When planning and planting a garden, why is it said to stagger planting some of my veggies? There are some vegetables that produce lots and lots of fruit and keep producing for a good portion of the year. Like tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini. However there are some
I always like to keep a nice library of gardening books. There is always such great information in them, and it is so easy to refer back to and make notes right in the book for what works in your garden or what doesn’t. I recently received a copy of Rocky Mountain Gardener’s Handbook by Mary Ann Newcomer and John Cretti for review. The first thing I noticed about the book when I started to flip through is that it has sections such as annuals, edibles, perennials, tress, ect. Then all of the plants that grow well in the Rocky Mountain area are listed and talked about along with a nice picture of each plant in the sections. I typically
Here are 5 small tips that anyone just starting to get into gardening should know, for some of us it is a good reminder.
- Know your zone and average last frost date. Planting varieties and plants for your zone will ensure a better harvest. But it also helps you to know when you can plant all the different plants in your garden.
- Plant veggies in a location that gets 8 hours of sunlight. Some can tolerate some shade, but for most of them to have enough energy to produce the fruit or veggie, at least 8 hours of sunlight is essential (more is good).
- Tomatoes are fair weather plants. Tomatoes need a fairly long growing season, but if it gets too hot during the summer (85 degrees or more), they will stop producing. They also do not like the weather to be too cold. Boy do they grow well when the weather is good! Pretty much when I don’t like to be outside- neither do they…
- There are many flowers and herbs that are beneficial to plant next to plants in your garden such as: marigolds and tomatoes, chives and carrots, mint and cabbage family plants. This is called companion planting. They not only keep some of the bad bugs away when planted together, but some help to make the veggies taste even better.
- Do not add manure that hasn’t aged properly! It contains too much nitrogen at that point and will burn your plants. Adding nice compost and manure to your garden every year will greatly improve the soil in your garden. Your plants will thank you.
It’s that time of year… Happy Gardening!
What should you be doing in your garden right now? There are many things you could be doing in your garden right now and really it depends on what your particular garden needs but here are a few ideas for you.
Growing your own vegetables, and even your own flowers from seeds is very fun, and also can save you money. However growing them from seed might seem a little tricky at times. One of the keys to getting healthy starts is keep them growing fast. There are a few simple tricks you can use to keep them healthy and growing fast.
- After all of the seedlings have their true leaves, with a very light fertilizer, feed the seedlings.
- Thin them out with a pair of scissors or something that will not disturb the roots. However if you are growing onions, they will grow back if thin them out with scissors so they have to be very carefully pulled out. Thinning out will make it so they are not competing for light and nutrients.
- Lightly brush the plants with your hands everyday or as often as you think about it. This will help them build up stronger stems. It is what the wind dose for them out in the real world. You can even keep a fan on in that room to help the plants get good air circulation and it helps so that no fungus or mold grows on the soil.
- If you seedlings are spindly and look as though they are stretching to reach the light, they are not getting enough light. This can happen if you are using a window seal to grow them, or if the fluorescent lights are not close enough to the plants. I keep them just a few inches and move them up as the plants grow.
- Water the plants from the bottom. This encourages the plants to extend their roots downward and gives them a better foundation.
- Transplant the seedlings when they start rubbing leaves with the next door neighbor plants. Root bound plants if left long enough, can cause the plant to be stunted it’s whole life.
Watch this video to learn how easy it is to start your own seeds inside!
There are a few tips you can do to help some of your harvested fruits and veggies from going bad so fast. Of course this can be used for both purchased produce and produce you have grown yourself. You could for example buy enough onions to last through the fall winter and spring at the farmers market. Remember that it is best to store them in a low humidity environment and also a cooler spot in the house. I have a room that dose not have any heating run to it, and if the door is kept shut, it says very cool in there year round. It works for us for now, until I can have my root cellar.
- Store lettuce in a salad spinner in the fridge or with a paper towel in the bowl with it to absorb the moisture. That is the biggest reason the lettuce will go bad quickly is added moisture sitting on the leaves.
- After harvesting and curing your onions, try using old nylons or pantyhose and putting the onions in one by one with a knot in between to keep them from touching one another and then they will not go bad as fast. Also avoid storing them near potatoes as they make the potatoes spoil.
- Store potatoes with apples as the apples keep the potatoes from sprouting
- Try using the green bags for some of the other vegetables in the fridge as it helps to relieve the ethane gas emitted by the fruits and vegetables. They can even be used when freezing produce in the freezer.
I would love to hear any other interesting and great ways to help produce stay good longer, so please leave a comment by April 30th about the best way you have found to make your produce last a bit longer. The person with the best tip, I will send some Debbie Meyer GreenBags!