Seedlings are ready to transplant and It’s also a full Moon perfect timing!
My Tomato and Pepper Seedlings are ready now to transplant to bigger containers and wouldn’t you know it the April Full Moon! Pink Full Moon they call it, And no the moon won’t be pink . It was given that name by the native tribes because of the spring pink flowers that spread on the ground. Pretty cool huh!
I will say it pays to buy Heirloom seeds and non-GMO for this is the first time my seedlings have ever survived! Happy Camper here I might add.
I used a starting potting mix and potting cups and they look good this evening.
Hopefully in a couple weeks I can harden them off and get them ready to plant in garden! Have you planted your gardens yet? These above are Jalapeño peppers and Tomato plants both Heirloom plants.
I’m hoping for a good harvest this year with the new plant boxes and more energy(losing weight helped me there)! Plus I love gardening and planting new Perennials on my trails and small flower beds.
I plant mainlyPerennials because one they last longer and two I don’t have to replant every year! One of my favorites are Lavender and Echinacea (cone flower). Both of these plant are hardy in my area and so beautiful when in bloom not to mention they both have medicinal qualities also! I like to dry my Lavender and use the wonderful smelling buds for soap, lotions and sachets, the lotion is very relaxing just before bed ,heck I have even sprinkled some on our sheets and pillows at night! The cone flower I dry for tea especially during cold and flu season it’s a great Immune booster!
I planted some seedings of Heirloom seeds only a third came up and holding their own still small so time will tell.
What grows in your garden?
Experiment and have fun with Mother Nature and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!
2 ingredient dough: (6 sp total)
1/2 C self rising flour
Slightly less than 1/2 C plain Greek yogurt
Mix together (will be crumbly-keep working with it). Roll into a ball and then place on greased pizza pan and flatten or roll out(I used parchment paper instead of cooking spray because I don’t like my pizza pan sprayed).
I sprinkled Italian herbs on the crust before the sauce.
1/4C pizza sauce (1 sp)
1/2 C low fat mozzarella cheese (4sp)
I would’ve added chicken if I’d have had some. I added Turkey Pepperoni.
Seeds Vs. Starts. Hmmm. What would you like to do? Let’s look into this together and I think I would like to do both, Why not? Let’s go over the information and see what all it involves and make a decision.
When doing seeds we buy at the market we should always remember we may not get what we expected with results!
Start your own Seedlings. OR
Buy your Starts and plant them
Open pollinated heirloom varieties are an exception; they almost always live up to expectation, and generally have better disease resistance as well. Local farmers in your area are the best sources for heirlooms seeds of varieties that will do good in your area or a reputable suppliers.
If you have a short growing season , you need to start. your seeds indoors six to eight weeks early and then harden them up before planting outside in your garden.
Buying nursery starts can be expensive but are more reliable and can be planted right in the garden, Also you might be able to buy in bulk.
Where does your garden grow?
One of the best ways for a healthy garden is to first start with good soil and nutrients. Double dig and turn over compost and other amendments, remember no chemicals! And for those just starting out on their compost (like Me). ask around the local farmers for horse manure, chicken, and goat manure are all great to amend with your soil. By raising your garden bed a few inches with soil you can get better drainage and avoid root run. You can always dig trenches between the beds and pile up extra soil on the beds to raise them especially if you get a lot of rain like us!
Remember the size and shape of your Garden will matter also. Long beds more than four feet wide are unpractical and hard to maintain as far as chores like weeding and harvesting. Round beds five feet wide provide good access all around. Don’t forget raised beds! If you don’t have the time and patience or just old and not as flexible like me! These are great and on my to do list within a couple of weeks! I have a post I like this too just on raised garden beds. Garden Boxes
How about growing in containers? It’s a great idea for small spaces and you can start the crop early in a protected area and move the pots to more exposed locations, also to make it easier add a wheeled platform! You can use plastic, clay, ,metal or wooden containers for growing vegetables. The only problem with container gardening is the soil dries out faster and the roots only have so much space to grow in, So you may have to transplant or just start with a bigger pot. Remember to change your soil from last year, never use old soil from last season! All the nutrients are gone and may be bacteria, mold, and insects growing in the old soil.
So Seeds or Starts; I like the fun in trying to do it myself plus the satisfaction of it, But if its’ not successful then well It’s a lesson learnt. If you purchase you starts from a quality supplier then you have a good guarantee the plant will grow and survive and a chance to maybe buy in bulk. So compare, the seeds are cheaper to start and the out- come is the same as long as you’re starts live and produce. So you tell me what you want to do, as for me and my little homestead I will be doing both and either way for the majority all Heirlooms!
You may ask why make them and go to all the trouble for your dog? Well why not!
For starters when you make them yourself It’s all homemade with out all the added chemicals and additives and who knows what else is in the store bought ones!
So let’s do this for our four-legged critters we love!
Here’s what you will need to get started:
1 Cup of whole wheat flour (preferably a all Natural flour)
1/2 Cup of creamy peanut butter
1 Banana mashed
1/4 Cup of beef or chicken stock
1/2 Cup of Frozen Peas (slightly thawed)
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the above ingredients in a large mixing bowl by hand; It will be thick and sticky. Then dump onto floured surface and form into a ball then sprinkle a little extra flour on top of dough and roll out till about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick and cut out with a doggie cookie cutter. ( They are so dang cute) or whatever shape you want .
Place on cookie sheet sprayed with a release like PAM or Vegetable Spray .
If you know your pet does not like bananas you could use apple sauce instead, Also I added peas but you could grind up carrots also. My dogs happen to love fruit and veggies so this is how I make mine. So enjoy and have fun and they will love you for it!!
Ingredients added to bowl
Rolled out dough
Bake for 15-18 min until lightly golden brown and store in an air tight container.
Are you tired of the back aches, sore knees, or have physical limitations, But love to garden and grow your own produce; I know I’m ! Well here’s a suggestion for you and a few tips to help you out and give you something to think about this coming gardening season!
I approached this topic as the plan for my own garden this year due to poor quality of and lack of soil here on the river. Our soil is mostly sand and very dry and hot no matter how much watering it seems was never enough and a lot of our plants either would not produce in quality or quantity ! So the plans soon is to make our own garden boxes and bring in new soil along with the added compost and such.
So the fastest way to get good deep fertile soil is to make the Raised Beds! They can yield up to four times more than the same amount of space as in planted rows and save you money and time! I’m all for that! Not to mention less back, knee and stress on the body!
The plants also grow closer together and crowd out the weeds therefore you spend less time and effort weeding plus it makes watering and harvesting efficient and easier.
Did you know that planting in a triangle will yield more? I didn’t, So we need to pay attention how we arrange the plants AND by doing this you can fit 10-14% more plants in each bed!! I’m for that! Just don’t plant them too close to each other.
Weight yield is more important than the number of plants per square foot. Sometimes it’s hard to remember or think ahead what it will grow into!
Small garden? No problem, Grow up! go vertical hence Tomatoes, Pole Beans, Melons, can all be supported by fences, cages, or stakes, plus it saves time by going up it provides more air to circulate which means less Fungal Diseases!
Some great ideas for growing vertical are becoming more popular especially small yards, apartments and also for just the great looks! You can hang a shoe organizer up from a rod and attach heavy hooks through top holes of shoe garment to hang on the rod and fill each pocket up to an inch with compost and plant herbs, lettuce, flowers and such, the water will seep through the canvas material. Also you can use pallet boards leaning up against the house or garage and pack with dirt to plant herbs . I have see large plumbingtubes with drilled holes in them and attached together in shapes where plants are grown in the large holes drilled into them. Check out Pinterest.com for some great resources and DIY ideas on vertical gardening.
Grow Vining crops along the sides of your beds, You could even place buckets or cement blocks along the sides of your boxes AND have extra plants! I think I’m going with the cement blocks, and add some marigolds in a few boxes also! Just use what you have or can find.
Another thing to think about before you plant in your cute boxes is to make sure you have compatible plants such as the “Three Sisters” Corn, beans, and squash. The corn stocks support the beans and the squash grows on the ground shading out the weeds! More compatibles include Tomatoes, basil and onions.
Use your transplants that already are a month or so old when you plant them and they will mature faster, plus the pride you have from seeding them yourself!
Remember no pressure treated wood is allowed to grow “Organic Food” If you want to meet these high standards choose a different wood material. The EPA recommends use naturally Rot-Resistant woods like Red Cedar, Black Locust or Red Wood. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t know this or thought about it!
Check out some local lumber yards for Raised Garden Kits also if your not into building.
Raised Beds can also be used on a cement patio if you don’t have the yard space or want it closer to your house; keep in mind your plants need sun at least 6 hours of sunlight a day to thrive, Also Remember to block up one end of your box a little to allow for drainage if you chose this option.
farmers almanac Another great source for planting, and when to plant by the moon forecast and more.
You may ask ok what kind of soil do I use? The best is Homemade soil blend of 50% Topsoil made of healthy loom, 50% compost which can be manure, animal manure or fish compost.
The best Premium soil is :
1/3. Peat Moss
1/3. compost blend
I really like the idea of mulching the paths between the boxes it gives it a finished look and will keep the soil cooler, plus keep the weeds down! As you can see my Old Garden lacks any structure! Lay a landscape cloth on your path and cover with 2-3 inches of mulch or sawdust, Also when laying the fabric down allow it come up 1′ against the bottom board of box and staple it in place. The much will cover it.
One of the most important things to know is your plant zone which will tell you when you can plant according to each state. Here is a USA Zone Map to help you decide.
Now that you know when to start planting, Think ahead and start your own seedlings!
If you really want to start your own plants from seeds I think thats great! And what better satisfaction than doing it all your self . Here are some Tid-Bits from the ( Good Ol Farmers Almanac ) I read and you might enjoy!
Try using some things you may have around the house instead of purchasing seedling trays such as, Toilet Paper roll, Cut four slits in one end and fold in edge and fill with compost and your seeds plus you can plant the container and all! It’s Biodegradable.
Ice Cream cones are also great to start seeds in as well as 1/2 of an egg shell and what about empty egg cartons the paper ones.
Do you live in the country or farm and bothered by deer eating in your garden? You should try this DIY Deer Repellent. Mix 3 Tab hot sauce, 3 Tab minced garlic and 3 raw eggs, blend all together in blender and add to 1 gal of water and pour into spray bottle to spray your plants with and respray after a rain. Insects are always a pest for gardeners and here is a few natural ideas without the chemicals! Try planting Basil near your windows or doorways to repel flies and mosquitos, Plant some Dill near your tomatoes to prevent tomato hook worms .( Oh speaking of that , Did you know a tomato hornworm (also known as a tobacco hornworm) is like a humming bird ! it grows into a type of humming bird moth!! yup you heard me they are brownish 2-2.5 inches with no beak just a long roll out tongue and sucks nectar from flowers just like a real hummingbird!! ) Go figure. That’s Sci-Fi for ya! THAT I read in the Farmers Almanac!!
And what about those pesky weeds! Try your own homemade weed killer, Mix 5 Tab of dish washing soap per 1 quart of water and add to a spray bottle to spray the plants with, Oh an it works great on Aphids too! I use it every year!
Hopefully your plants are in the garden now or soon to be and you have all your garden tools, aprons, buckets or baskets to make things go smoothly and water nearby for your growing season! Stay tuned and in a few months it will be time to talk about how we preserve all your garden harvest.
Well this is just a little information I gained while researching the Raised Garden Beds of how and why I chose to go this route and sharing a little information on how to get started with your own seeds or seedlings with you.
Happy Gardening and stay green and dirty Gardners!