Merry meet all,
I am posting here about my garden. There is not too much going on with the paranormal here. That is not my only passion. My garden is my other passion. I am proud to state here that the mugwort is growing to a height of nearly seven feet high! The doe in the photo above visited my garden! I was amazed that the deer stood that close. Wow she sniffed the plants then left. I can’t blame her. She probably preferred the security of being in hiding.
I have more lemon balm than I know what to do with. I am also growing lovage, lavender, mint, basil, cilantro, parsley, dill, chamomile, thyme, lemon verbena, nasturtiums, red clover and anise hyssop. I’m growing cucumbers, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, popcorn, purple beans, green peas, pumpkin, and yellow string beans. I can’t wait for harvest. !! For fruit, I’m growing raspberry canes, strawberries, haskap berries (I enjoyed them in my Cheerios(, and blueberries.
This year, I used more fertilizers. One fertilizer I am very fond of is Gaia Green Organics Power bloom. My elecampane, comfrey and other plants have all greatly benefited from this rich fertilizer. I can’t believe the difference in my garden. Why didn’t I know about this stuff sooner? Oh well I do now and I love it. My comfrey flowered this year. I was sure I killed it. I enchanted the comfrey plant and elecampane which grow close together in the garden and they both grew better as a result of it.
I want to share gardening tips with you!!! Enjoy. Note: I wrote this for a family member but anyone can read and benefit from this listing of tips.
Read and enjoy!!
Here are tips on how to grow the best cucumbers and tomatoes EVER!!
- Plant tomatoes and cucumbers in full sun in rich, fertile soil. Amend the soil
- Remove rocks and debris and weeds. Or the plants will compete with the weeds for the nutrients.
- If you want, add gemstones to the soil to help plants grow. Clear quartz crystal and green stones such as aventurine and jade are good choices. The gemstones radiate energy which energizes the soil.
- Grow veggies where there are lots of earthworms- a good sign! They aerate the soil – loosen it up.
- Add worm castings for soil improvement and nutrients. Your plants will thank you.
- Support the plants with stakes and clips to support the plant’s growth.
- If you can, add a fish head to the hole where you plan to grow tomatoes. Then leave it there, like never dig it up.The tomato plant would get tons of nutrients though!!
- Water the veggie plants regularly. If left to drought, they bolt and go to seed.
- Leave room between each plant. Avoid overcrowding them. Plants are healthy when they have enough room between the plants. That way they don’t get moldy or mildewy.
- Support tomato plants in cages or with stakes. When they can grow tall and straight, they produce more better flowers. Cucumbers can grow vertically but they need support.
- Start your veggies, flowers or herbs early in the growing season. That way they get more time to develop and grow more fully.
- No pesticides! Plant flowers nearby that would attract pollinators. If you have to pollinate the plants yourself, using a paintbrush, gently dab at the male veggie flower and add the pollen to the female flower. Bees usually do this for us. When installing a cage to support the tomato plant as it grows, place it there early on and don’t hurt the roots. Then you are good to go!
- Water the plants regularly. I use a hose and a jug. The jug is reserved for applying fertilizers such as fish emulsion and miracle gro. Read the instructions to know how much to apply and how often. A little goes a long way. Never add too much at once!
- I like to water my garden early in the morning. This lets the plants dry and stay healthy. Watering at night can attract slugs. Plants reach deep down for water and nutrients. Regular watering ensures they don’t dry out. Water the roots of the plants. That is why it is a very good idea to have flowers or something nearby to attract them. Bees are unsung heroes.
- Ready for a cocktail of fertilizer? Ok
- Chopped up banana peels add potassium to the soil.
- Never add egg shells to the garbage again! You can add an entire egg to your soil, the shells, the water you boiled the eggs in. It all should go to your garden for a boost of calcium. Plus, the sharp edges deter slugs. I save egg shells by letting them dry out in a bowl then grinding them to a near powder and storing in a dry jar.
- Miracle Gro is a good choice but read it carefully. Yes, plants need nitrogen. Yet sometimes, the products contain more nitrogen than the much more necessary potassium and phosphorus. Make sure that you achieve a balance of all these nutrients.
- Other good helpful fertilizers are bonemeal, blood meal, seaweed extract.
- Less popular choices but as useful are molasses and Epsom salts. I am in debate as to how they much really help or are just a fad.
- I like to add both granular and liquid fertilizers to my garden. The Gaia Green Organics Power Bloom fertilizer has made a big difference in the productivity of my plants. Liquid and granular are both beneficial. A little does a lot, remember.
- I scratch back some soil at the base of the plant, spoon in the granular fertilizer without disturbing the roots, then put the soil back. The grains eventually break down. Always water after adding it to the soil.
- Rapid Grow Vegetable and Tomato Fertilizer is granular. It has a 5 -10 -5 fertilizer which contains 5% nitrogen, 8% phosphorus, 10% potash, 4% calcium, and 1.9% magnesium. This really does work. These products are available at Halifax Seed.
- Neptune Harvest Fish Emulsion liquid fertilizer is smelly but almost magical! I love adding it to my plants.
- I save the water that I use to boil veggies in and add that to my plants for a nutrient boost!
- The soil must be replenished each spring. This helps in the productivity and health of your plants.
- Cucumbers and tomatoes and most other plants are happy in the sun! I grew my tomatoes from seed indoors in a sunny area. I started the seeds in soil in Styrofoam cups. Sun, sun, sun. I poked a hole in the cups and labeled them.
- Let the plants also grow in a spot where they are sheltered but also get the wind. Wind sends a message to plants to grow a thicker stalk. That is why I like having a garden. The plants are exposed to all the elements.
- This is why it’s vital to support the plants. In case of really strong winds, the cages and supports hopefully keep the plants from being knocked over.
- After June 21, the sunlight decreases. Go ahead and try to give your budding plants a long growing season.
- I am glad to hear you prepared the garden bed first. That is vital. I can share some soil mixes I made for my plants. I went to some real work for one of my haskap berry plants. I got a big bowl and I mixed up some fertilizers in the bowl. Before I added that to the spot where the plant would grow, (and I even added a quartz gemstone), I dug a big hole where I would plant it. Then I added the soil from that hole to the bowl. I did my best to remove rocks and debris. It was cold out there but I sat in the cold and worked it. Then when I had removed as many little stones as I could, I added the mixture back to the root hole. Then I put the haskap plant in. The rest is history.
- I worked the soil in the veggie patch last year. I raked all the to soil back. It was a big patch. I had everything I needed at hand. I cracked a whole egg and added that. I added the egg shells I had stored all fall and winter to the soil. I added bonemeal, worm castings, and mixed it all up. I put the topsoil back and mixed it all together. After that, I added the plants.
- There are neutral ways to counteract pests in your garden.
- Remember, pests can develop a resistance to the toxic chemicals of pesticides which I never add to my garden.
- Beneficial insects happily march to the front lines in a faceoff with the bad bugs. It’s nature’s way. I direct seed nasturtium plants in my garden. Direct seed means plant the seeds right in the soil rather than starting the plants inside. The nasturtiums attract the aphids (which ants harvest, btw), but that gets the attention of the beneficial insects. Ladybugs eat aphids!
- I sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the base of my plants to deter slugs. Use broken glass bits, egg shells and coffee grounds. The grounds contain nitrogen but it is OK. Add it again after the rain. The egg shells + grounds are hard on slugs’ soft slimy bodies. Beer in a deep dish catches them too.
- Make a mix of water, dish soap and cayenne to a spray bottle. Spritz your plants with it. If plants taste bad, the bugs won’t eat it. But to save your tastebuds, always wash what you bring in from the garden.
- If plants are healthy, they can resist most bugs that want to eat them. Bugs can be washed off your plants with a strong spray of water.
- After all that hard work, the harvest is the reward. I don’t know how to stop powdery mildew. It can affect the harvest. Following most of the above tips can hopefully avert that problem.
- If the frost is near, then it is time to bring in your fruits! For me, it is a bittersweet time. If plants are cut from the vine, they get no more nutrients. But at some point, we all have to do it.
- Tomatoes can ripen on a windowsill. Cucumbers can ripen indoors. I can’t wait to harvest my onions. Some veggies have to be ‘cured’ first. They have to dry out for a few days so they are ready for storage.
- Mm who can resist veggies you grew yourself? Not a touch of that Monsanto poisoning. Yeah, I suspect my primary blog was hacked cuz I was outspoken about Monsanto. Ha didn’t stop me.
- Vines and stalks can be left to decompose and yes add their own nutrients to the soil. For example, I grow peas every year which are a natural source of nitrogen. When they are done, I cut the vines, get the last of the peas, and add the vines and the soil to the garden from the pots. All winter, they break down, leaving behind a good dose of nitrogen.
- But tomato stalks take a long time to decompose. Don’t worry. Just put them somewhere else in the garden to die back.
- You can save your own seeds from your plants. You need as much patience with this as you had when growing your tomatoes and cukes.
- Always keep only the strongest plants and the strongest seeds. Those strong seeds adapt to the growing conditions of your area.
- To save tomato seeds, scoop out the seeds from a tomato that looks viable and healthy. Put them in a jar with water.
- Now to start the fermentation process, the water will help to separate the seeds from the pulp. Again, only from the best healthiest tomato!
- Allow up for 4 days. It will begin to smell awful. That is nature’s way and normal!
- It is basically rotting. But you want that.
- Put a bit of cheesecloth over the jar to prevent flies from finding it.
- When a thick layer of mold or fermentation is at the top of the jar, and the seeds are lying at the bottom, it is done. Then you can remove the top mold layer and the fermentation and even shake the jar. The seeds will fall to the bottom again. Strain the seeds into a colander or mesh screen. Wash the seeds very well. Remove the bad stuff. You are left with strong, viable healthy seeds for future plantings.
- Let the seeds dry on a dish, not paper towel to dry completely. Air drying the seeds patiently is the best way. Then when they are totally dry with zero moisture, store them in a labeled and dated jar. Make sure the jar is bone dry and same for seeds – or herbs! They mold quickly and are then no good. Most people don’t know that.
- The heirloom seeds are the best to save but it is ok if they are no heirloom. The best things about saving the seeds from your tomato plants is that the tomatoes are adapted to the conditions in your area. So, the next generation of tomato plants would be as well.
- Saving cucumber seeds: Don’t save from plants that have diseases. Ever.
- Don’t save seeds from hybrid plants. They carry that trait to the future plant.
- Do check that the person or bee or wind that carried seeds or pollinated the plant – that you checked the pollination of the plants. You could get some weird looking plants with none of the traits of the parent plant if you are not watchful. Seed saving requires vigilance.
- Harvest seeds when the fruit is mature. Otherwise, the process for cucumber seed saving is the same as for tomatoes. Check which cucumber is most ripe and leave it to age and ripen on the vine that you want to get seeds from.
- Seed saving can save you money!
- I start my plants indoors in early April. Root veggies such as turnip, beets can be planted in April. Most plants though such as tomatoes and cucumbers need to be planted after all risk of frost is gone.
- Well, you can’t always guarantee a future cucumber plant or tomato will grow to be just like its parent plant. But that is part of the mystery.
- Store tomatoes out of direct sunlight. Store cucumbers in the crisper of your fridge
- Keep tomatoes in the fridge when they have fully ripened. This helps them last longer.
- Enjoy your harvest!
Potted plant or plant starting Tips
- I mix the soil with fertilizers before I add seeds. Seeds that are tiny can be planted on the surface of the soil. Larger seeds can be planted deeper in the soil. Some seeds need to germinate in the dark. Most seeds require sunlight or a grow light to germinate. As the plants grow, after a few weeks, you can fertilize them again. Read the instructions on the package.
- I churn the soil or stir it up to loosen up any clumps of soil. Big clumps of soil prevent a plant from growing its best. Most plants prefer rich, loose, healthy soil. Carrots like soil that has some sand in it and that is clump and pebble free. The roots go down deep.
- Don’t start seeds in starter pots that are so ridiculously small the roots have no room to form. The formation of plant roots is vital at this stage. The white Styrofoam cups were big enough to support the plant and let roots form strongly. They were also easy to label so I could remember what I wanted to grow.
- When buying starter plants, check that the plant roots have vitality and are white or healthy looking. (Yes, on occasion, I have bought plants and brought them home to discover later the plants were dead.)
- I don’t know if you have ever heard of ‘thinning’ seedlings out. It means to sort which are the strongest seedlings and which are the weakest. Discard the weak ones. Some veggies can be grown in pots. But there are a few conditions to follow.
- Plants prefer to be in a garden. Their roots grow down deeper and stronger. They are exposed to the elements. They are naturally pollinated. They are exercised by the blowing wind.
- My carrots are in containers. I still have to thin out the weak from the strong. I made sure the pots were big enough to sustain the carrot roots. I had to ensure the seedlings had room in between each seedling. Make sure each pot has a drainage hole.
- Germination takes patience.
- To avoid damping off, make sure each little seedling has plenty of ventilation and light. Damping off kills them. So put one seed in each pot or cup or whatever you start seeds in. The roots can more fully develop that way too.
- If you do ever start more than one seed in a starter pot, which you can do, you must gently separate them into their own individual pots later. Most plants don’t like to be uprooted. I have converted to Styrofoam cups for starter plants. Yup more chance of good root growth and room for the plant leaves to form and more chance of ventilation. All good all around. They are also easy to label. I even drew little pictures on the outsides of the cups- a sun, a flower.
- The tiny seedling that emerges in a starter pot is called a cotyledon. When it forms its true leaves, then it is really growing. This goes for all plants.
- When you divide up your seedlings, scoop them out with the roots using a tiny spoon. A spoon is better than a fork. You can’t hurt the roots. Be gentle. A spoon is round, the best choice for putting a plant in a deeper pot.
- Grow lights are not the same as the sun. But I started a lot of plants that are now in my garden by seed. I just turned a lamp on and placed the lamp right near my seedlings. It worked.
I hope you found these tips helpful. Happy gardening!
These tips are not carved in stone. This is all based on my own experience in gardening. I have found this information has worked for me and I am happy to pass it on! Most of the information here can be googled.