Thursday, March 28, 2013

Garden Tasks as we Head into April

With all the snow we've been having lately it is hard to believe that we are already six days into spring. If you are still having snow these tasks may have to wait until the ground warms up a bit for you, but we wanted to go ahead and share this information with you.

Plant your leaf lettuce: keep in mind that they need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day.

Inside you will want to start your leeks: remember to plant one starter container for every leek you want to grow.

Also it is time to start your tomatoes inside: plant one starter container for every 10 to 12 lbs of tomatoes that you want. Also don't forget to invest in tomato rings and cages for when you plant them in your garden.

Plant green onions: your onions will need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day.

Plant carrots: they need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day.

Sow your hardy annuals such as wild flowers.

Repot any indoor plants that are starting to look tired. This is usually a sign that they need fresh dirt and a larger pot.

Time to plant fruit trees or wait until next year to do so.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

How to Prepare your Garden's Soil

To have a garden that grows well you have to have good soil so that the plants can thrive. Good soil has the nutrients that your plants need to grow and form beautiful fruits and vegetables.

To know what kind of soil you are working with you will want to have your soil tested. Your local County Cooperative Extension office should be able to supply you with information on soil testing in your area. Your soil sample will be sent to a laboratory and they will send you results that let you know what nutrients your soil needs and give advice on what steps should be taken in order to remedy this.

When you are adding nutrients to your soil after the soil test, you will only want to add nutrients that the test has deemed are needed. Adding things that are not needed can throw off the pH of your soil.

Fertilizer is also a needed additive to your soil, especially if you are growing a vegetable garden. Fertilizer will help your plants to produce much better fruits. There are many options in fertilizer in the categories of inorganic and organic.

If you want to fertilize your garden organically, one of the best ways is to create and use your own compost. For more information on composting check out these previous blogs:

Do NOT Compost These Items
Over 70 Things for the Compost Pile

Other organic fertilizers you can use in your soil are kelp, dried blood, cottonseed meal, cattle manure, horse manure, and chicken manure.

When using an inorganic fertilizer over a large area then you may want to look into using a broadcast spreader. This will help you even distribute the fertilizer over a large area.

During the growing season you may want to apply a side dressing (a boost of fertilizer) so that your plants continue to get the needed nutrients they need. To apply a side dressing you will want to make a 4 inch deep trench along one side of your plant row. Do not disturb the roots of the plants when you do this. Place your fertilizer into the 4 inch trench and cover it up with the removed soil. Watering your plants and rain will work your fertilizer into the soil so that it is easily used by your plants.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March Gardening Tasks

Spring will be upon us soon, what are somethings that you can be doing to help your garden?

Get out your gardening tools and be sure they are cleaned up and repaired if repairs need to be made.

Start indoor transplants of tomatoes, lettuce, eggplants, parsley, peppers, and other vegetables.

Turn your compost pile. (really this should be done weekly)

Start putting out your birdhouses

Fertilize shrubs and trees.

Prune fruit trees before the buds swell.

Start preparing the soil for your vegetable garden.

Peas, sweet peas, asparagus, rhubarb, artichokes, strawberries, blueberries, fruit trees, and horse radish can begin to be planted now.

Repair damaged areas of your lawn.

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