May 23, 2012

Not-so-frequently asked questions

Now that I've been gardening for eons (Read: entering my second year) and have such vast knowledge (Read: Still clueless) I find people ask me questions all the time! (Read: One or two people have asked me a few things.)  So, I'd like to put these questions here as often as I can to pass on my immense knowledge. =) If you have a question, let me know and I'll do my best to answer it.

Note: Follow my advice at your own risk.  I don't want to be responsible for the death of your plants.

What do you think about using cow fertilizer in the garden?
 Even if I had it available, there are a few reasons why I'm against it.  
1. You're going to eat the things you are growing in this soil.  Animal feces in your soil = iffy.
2. You're going to be touching it with your own hands. (Especially if you're like me and often find your gloves on the ground and your hands covered in soil.)  Yuck.
3. If you are trying to keep the garden organic, this presents another challenge.  Do you know what the cows have been eating?  Have they been treated with hormones or other things that might *Ahem* carry over to your garden?  These are all things to think about with cow fertilizer.

My recommendation is to buy organic fertilizer if you aren't composting yourself.  I've had great luck with Garrett Juice, but check out your local stores.  You're bound to find something.

Does it matter when I water?

 If you read a few books or websites on gardening, they will mostly recommend that you water early in the morning.  This will give the plants time to absorb some water and won't harm plants that are prone to fungus problems, which can happen if you water at night.  Some resources will even go as far to say not to get any water on the leaves.  Not being a morning person myself, I used to stress out about watering, until I had a thought. (Shocking, I know.)

It rains at all times, day and night.  That gets the leaves wet too.  Rain is great for plants.  So, my young padawan, breathe easy.  Water early in the morning or late at night, but avoid the heat of the day.  The beauty of gardening is the experiment of finding what works for you and your plants, and no two situations are alike!

May 16, 2012

Bloomin' Broccoli

I know, I know, I am still ridiculously behind on blogging.  This Thursday is Graduation, and work and life have been so busy.  After this week, I promise to catch you up on what's growing in my little piece of heaven, aka my garden.  For now, my two readers, you'll have to make do with these pictures of what broccoli looks like when you let it bloom. =) 

Kind of pretty, don't you think?  These blooms are also supposed to be edible, but I didn't try my hand at cooking them...  I had things to plant and time keeps on slippin' away. Happy Wednesday!

May 9, 2012

Things I Neglected to Tell You

Yesterday was the first day in a long time that I got to spend out in my garden.  I've been so busy lately with many other things, but I've truly missed being able to putter around my tiny garden.  I had many plants to plant, among them three different kinds of love apples.  While getting ready to plant, I realized that I had neglected to tell you important information! 

1. Save your eggshells!  During the late winter/early spring, I begin saving all of mine.  Just give them a quick rinse and put them in a bowl on your counter so that you can let them dry out.  Once you have an amount that seems like a lot, put them in a baggie.  Then take your rolling pin, or instrument of your choice, and beat them to smithereens.

It feels great.  Trust me.  When you plant your love apples, mix and sprinkle the eggshells into the surrounding soil.  Tomatoes love calcium, and this also helps to prevent blossom end rot, which is a common problem with tomatoes. 

2. Plant the tomato so that part of the stem that doesn't have leaves is under the soil level.  Tomatoes are wondrous things that will actually sprout additional roots from the part of the plant you put under the soil, making the plant stronger and better able to absorb water. 

Now, grab a large pot or tiny plot of land that gets a lot of sun, head to your local nursery and get a tomato plant, and start planting! I've said it before, but if you are only going to grow one thing, grow love apples!