How does your garden grow? Let me count the ways. First you need lots of sunshine, water preferably rain, dirt, seeds, a little fertilizer and a whole bunch of love. In the spring when the ground has thawed, work up the soil and work in some peat moss to a fine mixture. This is especially nice if you are planting really small seeds like carrots or herbs. This gives the plant room to grow easily through the dirt. If the dirt was hard the poor little plants would be struggling to get through the hard surface so the plant might be stunted.
Carrots need to be planted kind of early (as soon as the soil can be worked) because it takes a while for the veggies to grow. The seed is very small but what you get in return is a giant orange carrot considering what you started with.
Lettuce is another plant that starts out very small but reaps a giant plant. Last year what I did was to take a piece of tape and placed seeds on the tape and then planted the tape. You can buy seeds already in a strip which is nice because your plants are then spaced evenly in a row. I have a tendency to get too many seeds in one spot and then when the plants grow they are really cramped up so using the tape method works best for me.
Lettuce is one of those plants that you can eat off of almost all summer long. There are varieties that can withstand the hot sun and some that even thrive in much cooler temperatures. I like the idea that if I want a salad for lunch or dinner you just go out and pick some lettuce. Another nice advantage of growing lettuce is you can even put it in a pot rather than in the ground. We all don’t have places where we can dig up the yard just to put in a garden. Growing your garden in pots is convenient and sometimes a lot easier not to mention that you can even utilize your potted veggies in your yard landscaping. My sister-in-law has raised beds of vegetables on her patio deck that are about as tall as your kitchen counter top. This option is nice because you don’t have to bend over to work the dirt or pick your veggies.
Tomatoes are another plant that can be grown in pots or raised beds. Tomatoes are a little more tender especially when started from seeds but once they get started they can produce large amounts of fruit. In my first garden I started with one tomato plant and had so many tomatoes I canned some and even gave away several to neighbors and friends.
Ok, here are a few tips for helping your garden grow. Don’t over water. Make sure the ground is moist but not soaking wet. It is beneficial for the plants roots to go in search of water, it makes for a stronger plant. Now when you have first planted the plant it will need some extra watering until it is established. Now for some fertilizer. The best garden fertilizer is rabbit beans (poo) but if you don’t have that Epsom Salt is a good one as well. On the package of Epsom Salt is the directions on how to apply it to the plants. I think the one famous brand of fertilizer is nothing more than epsom salt and a little blue food coloring.
If you are lucky enough to have a compost where you have generously put all your vegetable clippings and other items you can also apply that to the soil and work it in real good for some extra nutrition in the soil.
Until next time when we will talk about more gardening tips. Think Spring and Farmers Markets 🙂