Sunday, July 10, 2011

What to consider in your garden and things to avoid

It's a Glorious time of year!

I couldn't be happier with my yard and mother nature did it all.
I want to take a moment to remind you of some gardening ideas 
I shared in class.  Some things to do and to NOT do. 

1) Potato can's....I hope they are all filled with soil,
mine are now starting to bloom and
it's really too late for the plant to make roots once it has bloomed.  
REMEMBER water to the bottom of the can that is where you planted those potato starts.

2) Tomatoes....don't waste your valuable summer warmth making BIG tomato plants.
Be sure and pinch those little starts in the V of two stems,
remove stems at the bottom to allow for air. 
And keep your tomato to one main stem and some major 
side shoots you have allowed to grow.  
We covered this in class this helps you have flowers
and fruit in time for it to ripen. 
If you feed the plants too much nitrogen it will just make Bigger and Bigger plants. 
If you get bloom drop it's sometimes a lack of calicum

 See the curls in the garlic those are the blooms beginning
feel free to cook and eat these.

3) my garlic is working on going to seed, 
I'm removing onion and garlic stems trying to 
make a seed pod. 
As my garlic stems die back I know the weeks
are numbered and I will be able to harvest my garlic. 

I'd say to wait until all has died back but 4 leaves on the garlic.
Remember onions can be harvested when ever you wish.  They are so tasty this time of year and that is why I don't mind planting them close together. 
I can harvest fresh ones to make space for the storage ones to grow larger. 
If your onions don't show a lot at the top of the soil, take your fingers and uncover the onion bulbs, this helps them get the biggest they can. 

4)  A lot of seeds didn't come up this year...replant it's not too late. 
Keep carrot seeds nice and moist for a couple of weeks
Really all new seeds need moisture for a while.
I have noticed we don't know how deep to plant our seeds

so here is a hint.  It's not as deep as you think! 

See that seed in the picture above, it only needs to be deep 
enough to hold the first roots. 
As the seed opens and turns (picture 2) it should be
close enough to the top of the soil to feel the warmth and be drawn to the sun.  
We suffer from such lack of sun here as it is so 
don't plant those seeds so deep that they can't find the warmth.  
The basic rule is only as deep as 2 to 3 times the seed size. 
Just lay three seeds in your hand and see how deep that is. 
beans 1 1/2-2 inches
beets 1/2 to 1 inch
broccoli 1/2 inch
cabbage 1/2 inch
carrot 1/4 inch
swiss chard 1 inch
corn 2 inches 
cucumber 1 inch 
kale 1/2 inch
peas 2 inches 
radish 1/2 inch
squash 1 inch
Tomato 1/2 inch

Just to give you a hint on what some common depths are.  

The bigger seeds disrupt the ground a lot and so need a deeper start.  

One last thing I'd like you to think about and that is your
fall garden. 
As you harvest begin planting for another summer crop if it's a short grower 
or a fall crop for things like broccoli. 
Some of our best veggies are ripe come fall.  I never gather carrots
and winter squash and fall kale until that first little freeze. 
That makes them oh so sweet

I plant for a fall garden from late July to mid August
I begin planting the winter garden including Garlic
In late August to mid Sept.

Plan ahead and you will eat year around. 

Happy summer!

No comments: