Friday, April 23, 2010

Spring Tip #2 - Seeds

Last week, Daddy and I planted the spring garden. We planted radishes, leaf lettuce, peas, head lettuce, carrots, leeks, onions and garlic. We will be planting again in May. Last week, our area had a relatively major frost, but the seedlings are doing well. The seeds that we planted are cold weather plants, though they still need to be covered.

I have learned by experience that seeds can get too old. :) This year, I checked the backs of the packets to check the date so that I could see how old they were. Most seeds can last up to 3 years, but there are some that do not last as long. I used my gardening books and made a chart for easy reference on the seed life. (You may need to click on the chart to enlarge it.)

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Natural Plant Energizer

Last Saturday, Daddy, Ben and I got some aged manure from my grandparents' farm. We used it to fill up the middle bed and to mix with the clay-soil in the other two beds. Ben and I also added compost to the beds.

Aged manure is excellent for soil. It should be tilled in prior to spring planting. Fresh manure causes burning of plants because of too much nitrogen. Aged manure reduces the risk. Another way to reduce the hazard of damaging the plants is to combine manure with compost. When added to tight, compacted soil, aged manure loosens the dirt. It also reduces garden runoff. One great benefit of manure is that its nutrients are released slowly, fertilizing the soil. Manure enriches soil carbon, which is a great plant energizer.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Tip #1 - Blueprints

If you are like me, spring makes me want to start gardening, but it is a bit too early for planting here in the valley. One of the things that you can do for your garden while you wait to plant is to make a blueprint. Blueprints help with planning a garden. If you make a blueprint, you don't have to worry about where you are going to plant your vegetables when you begin planting! Also, it is helpful for the plants not to be grown in the same area as the previous year. The vegetables would have already taken the nutrients out of the soil that they needed. I have kept my old blueprints so that it's easy to see how the garden was planned out last year. It also helps me to be more efficient with my garden space.