I was getting so pumped to start getting my plants outside and transplanted and to finally sow in my straight to soil seeds but unfortunately Mother Nature has been a buzz kill yet again. It seems frost hasn’t gotten the hint to leave and is staying past it’s welcome. I am looking to probably start building my frame ends in the garage this weekend and possibly get those out next week. But based on the forecast temps we may have to wait longer to plant. Even though some plants like lettuce like cooler temps, the majority of my other veggies and fruits like it warm. Soil temps are a big factor on making or breaking your garden, so it doesn’t hardly pay to be hasty. We will just have to wait to catch a break!
One of the best tips anyone can give regarding gardening is going to be gardening tarp. If you want the benefits of a garden but don’t have the time to garden everyday after your 9-5, gardening tarp can definitely be your life saver. It is fairly simple to install and utilize. There are ton of varieties at different price points, at several retailers. I bought my roll in bulk and just cut a piece off to fit the size of my garden each season. If you want to be super organized, you can measure and pre-cut the diameters for your plants. For the larger ones that will need cages it might be difficult i.e. tomatoes. You can always cut out the tarp after planting as well it just might not look at pretty. The benefits are endless. You will have less weeds, and less chance for mold for your vine plants which is a big issue especially for zucchini and cucumbers. After measuring your tarp, laying it out and securing it (usually with small hoop hooks that go into the ground) you will want to cover with mulch. This will also prevent weeds emerging.
Hey everyone! Please take the time to read over this article below from Harvard Health. The team at Harvard goes into detail regarding the benefits of growing your own food. Not only do home grown foods taste better but you also get a ton of other benefits including:
- control – control of harvesting times, what you grow, and what comes into touch with your food whether it be the fertilizer, soil, etc. Picking food at the right time ensures the most nutrient dense product. Many foods from the grocery stores are picked before maturity and are then actually aged in transportation or in specialized rooms
- better sourcing – imagine just having to walk outside for your food, rather than travel to the grocery store … plus this will save on grocery bills for trips that you do take. This availability will also help you eat more healthy
- physical exercise – even though you may do things to keep the weeds down in your garden you still do need to maintain it to ensure the highest product yield, that takes movement which is exercise … plus it’s more fun than sitting on a treadmill or lifting weights.
Another great tip to keep in mind is to use your pet’s hair, preferably your dog. Putting dog hair around the perimeter will ward away the critters including rabbits and squirrels and birds. The scent of your pet’s hair will scare off the animals. This will save your small plants as well as promote a healthy, full growth.
“the salad bar”
My peppers finally gained some “pep” and caught up! I did do some transplanting as well for my other plants however a no go on the pictures yet (to come in the next post). I am starting to also map out the planting of all my seeds for the garden and finding out spacing. Larger vine growing plants like zucchini and melons are going to need a ton of room, as well as the tomatoes. That’s proving a bit difficult as they are hogging up a lot of my plot. One great thing about my lettuce seeds is I split the packet in half. Lettuce and beets are quick enough growing plants that you can actually plant them twice a season, so this will be my first bunch. I have some pictures below of my pepper plants, plus I have a few orphaned lettuce pods that weren’t ready to be transplanted yet. They needed a bit more nurturing in the Jiffy.
My seedlings finally popped up after a few days growing in the Jiffy tray. With a bit of sunlight and regular watering we have success! The beets and lettuce popped up super quick just waiting for the peppers. The gestation period for pepper seeds is usually a little bit longer. For the lettuce seedlings, they love water. I was sure to water them a ton. The next step is to find translating containers for the time being while I finalize my final set up for the garden box. Usually people won’t transplant the seedlings to another container but in this situation I don’t have a choice unfortunately because the box isn’t done yet. Once I transplant, I will also have to thin out the seeds to ensure they aren’t over crowded. Overcrowding leads to slow growing weak plants, the lack of space and full sun with cause competition between them. Here’s some pictures of my seedlings!