Hi Everyone ! It’s Tuesday and time for some Garden news. March is closing in and its time to start your Gardening!
Location, Location ( New Garden)
The best site for a vegetable garden should incorporate the following: At least six hours of sunlight daily, good drainage and air circulation, and a level location with loose, rich soil. There should also be a nearby source of water, and ideally, convenient access to tool storage and equipment.
- Flat Ground & No Clogs
- Air Flow & No Toxins
- Water Source
Is morning sun or afternoon sun better for a garden?
Most vegetable plants are full-sun plants, requiring between six and eight hours of sunlight per day. Morning sun is preferable, as afternoon sun is hotter, and you don’t want your plants to overheat during the hottest part of the day
New Gardens : Call before you Dig a new garden . Also Check with HOA on garden placement and rules.
Old Garden :
Clean out derbies from the winter and till the Garden. (loosen the soil)
Soil Test :
A soil test will tell you whether you need to add amendments such as lime, nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium to the soil.
Test kits are available at home and garden centers, but use a university extension service or a state-certified soil-testing lab instead to get the most accurate results. Enter “university extension service” and your state in any search engine to find the nearest lab. Contact the lab to get the necessary paperwork to submit with your sample. Test fees are usually $15 to $20, and results take one to two weeks. Dig down 6 in. and scoop up a trowel full of soil. Take samples from 5 to 10 areas in the garden and mix them in a clean bucket. Wait for the soil to dry (this can take several days), then mail it to the extension service. Retest the soil every three to five years.
Adding fertilizer and more :
Your soil test will tell you the type of fertilizer your garden needs. Fertilizer labels list the three main nutrients needed for plant growth. A 10-20-10 formula, for example, contains 10 percent nitrogen (N), 20 percent phosphorus (P) and 10 percent potassium (K).
Buy a slow-release granular fertilizer that contains the appropriate percentage of the nutrients your soil needs. If your soil only needs one nutrient, don’t bother adding the others (some fertilizers contain just one nutrient, such as a 20-0-0). Apply the fertilizer just before planting.
Adding organic matter such as compost, manure or peat moss increases drainage in clay soils and water-holding capacity in sandy soils. It also makes the soil more permeable, which encourages root growth and attracts organisms that leave nutrients in the soil. There isn’t one best type of organic matter, so buy whatever’s the least expensive in your area.
Spread 2 to 4 in. of organic matter over the garden. You can work it into the top 6 to 10 in. of soil with a shovel by digging down, then flipping the load over to mix the organic matter and soil.
How do you choose vegetables to grow?
When deciding what to plant in a beginner vegetable garden, it’s best to start small. First, think about how much you and your family will eat. Keep in mind some vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and summer squash continue to grow and produce throughout the growing season.
Select crops that grow in your area
Check back of packages, ask other neighbor gardeners or area garden centers or extensions.
Easiest Vegetable plants to Grow :
- Garlic and Lettuce
- Summer Squash
Homemade liquid fertilizer from vegetable scraps
Ingredients: Vegetable scraps, Epsom salt, ammonia (optional), water.
Equipment required: Blender, five gallon bucket.
Steeping time: Twenty-four hours.
Start by saving all your cooked or raw vegetable scraps. Save them in the freezer until you have a couple of quarts’ worth. You can also save the water from boiling pasta or vegetables, which is also a good source of nutrients. To make the “scrap puree” which will form the base for your fertilizer, thaw your frozen scraps and puree them in a blender with enough water to make a smooth consistency. Pour the pureed scraps into your large bucket. For every blender-ful of puree, add 1/2 tsp Epson salt and one capful of ammonia to the bucket. Repeat this process until all your scraps are pureed. Stir the bucket and let it sit overnight. To mix up a batch of liquid fertilizer, add one quart of puree to one gallon of warm water, and shake to mix. Apply to the soil at the base of your plants.