May 25, 2013 6:30 pmon the Radio - 99.3
June 1, 2013 6:30 pmon the Radio - 99.3
In just 6 weeks, I am amazed at where we started and where we are now. Huge difference! It’s almost as rewarding seeing how much they’ve grown as it is harvesting But we couldn’t have asked for better weather and rain fall for the cool season veggies. We only had to water twice and that was right after we first planted. Keeping up with the weeding has been easy. Adam and I take turns We weed about once a week – easiest to weed the day after it rains. The weeds just pull right out. We laid weed mat down between the rows of cole crops which has worked out well.
These noticeably grow everyday. We fertilized at the beginning with the Foxfarm Jump Start fertilizer and have side dressed with Foxfarm’s Tomato and Vegetable Organic fertilizer at week 3 and 6. We have several different fertilizers, but I like this one because it is high in nitrogen. Nitrogen boost top leafy growth – which is great for my broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage. With these cool season vegetable crops, it is important to get them growing and producing before the heat sets in. Ok so for the more technical part on my go to Foxfarm Tomato and Vegetable fertilizer – it also has micro nutrients and active microbes allowing the roots to actually take up and use the nutrients and nitrogen needed to produce my veggies. It also has organic ingredients like bat guano, kelp meal, alfalfa meal, fish meal and naturally occurring organic material that is formed when organic matter decomposes. Or you can just take my word for it and use it
So far, we have done nothing but plant these. Green onions are the easiest to grow. Plant the onion set 2″ deep and close together. Let them grow to 6″ tall and the bulb no bigger than a 1/2″. Harvest. Done. The longer you let them grow the stronger the taste. Adam and I aren’t a big fan of raw onions, so we sauté them with potatoes and stir-fries.
The bulb onions won’t be ready until August, so we just let them be and gently weed them by hand.
These have also been super easy. Adam might say differently because I literary have not touched them! Hehe. The red pontiacs and kennebecs were the first to pop out of the ground. It took the irish cobblers, all blues and yucon golds a little more time. You can see the difference in the week 4 pics below. By week 6, they are all growing well. We planted in them in slight trenches at first and were worried that with all the rain, some might rot. But that wasn’t the case. Adam took the rototiller through this week (week 6) to mound (or hill) them. You can see in week 4 pics that we have extra soil on the side. In week 6 pics they are now mounded. You don’t cover them completely, but just keep mounding the soil to protect the potatoes from the sun.
This was such an elegant garden bouquet. The mixed shades of purples with the white and variegated greens, created such a soft look. The bouquets were made of lisianthus, stock, spray roses and asiatic lilies.
Onion sets may be used to produce green onions and dry onion bulbs. We carry red, yellow, white and candy onion sets. Most gardeners prefer white sets for green onions, although red or yellow sets are also acceptable. Candy onions are a sweet extra large round onion. Very easy to grow in this area and are comparable to vidalia onions. (more…)
Planting: Potatoes are actually tubers that are started from “seed” pieces. Cut the tubers into seed pieces making sure each piece has an eye. The “eyes” are the buds which sprout shoots. Very small whole potatoes can be used without cutting. Cut seed pieces need to heal before planting. This takes usually a couple of days. Make sure to protect them from sun and wind. Potatoes from the grocery store cannot be used because they have been sprayed to prevent growth. (more…)
Finally the weather cooperated for us and we were able to get our garden prepped and ready for planting four weeks ago (my pictures are from 3 weeks of growth). It’s important to make sure the soil is dried out enough before planting. We added a layer of compost and tilled in Fertilome’s Top Dressing. This helps bring your soil “back to life” and increases microbial activity. Microbes makes for happier soil and allows your plants to take up nutrients better, equalling happier plants! We started with vegetables that can handle the cool weather – potatoes, onions, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, peas and sugar snap peas.
Oh gardening is so much fun! It might look like Adam is doing all the work, but someone had to be the photographer We planted two rows of potatoes this year. We planted all 5 varieties that we carry so that we can compare and taste test. The varieties included red pontiac, kennebec, yukon gold, irish cobbler and all blue potatoes. Adam added Bone Meal in the trenches. Bone Meal has been around forever and is pretty much an organic and all natural fertilizer before “organic” was the trend. Bone Meal is high in phosphorus – meaning great for root development. By week four, our potatoes are popping out of the ground – more pics to come! Potato Tip Sheet can be found here.
We usually plant onion sets for bulb onions (the regular large cutting onions) but Adam wanted to try some green onions. Green onions are usually planted from white onion sets, but any variety will work. You plant these around 2″ deep and can be planted close together since they don’t form large bulbs. Onion Tip Sheet can be found here.
Bulb onions are also planted from onion sets. We carry white, yellow, red and candy onion sets. Candy onions are similar to a vidalia onion, but grow better in this area. These onions are just barely planted in the ground. As you see in the picture below, we just stuck them in about 1/2″ into the soil and then covered them with the surrounding soil. They started sprouting in just a few days.
A little interesting knowledge about onion sets - The smaller the set (smaller than a dime in diameter) produce the best bulbs for large, dry onions; Round onion sets produce flat onions; elongated or torpedo-shaped sets mature into round onions. Onion Tip Sheet can be found here.
Now for the yummy cole crops (no I didn’t not misspell cold). Cole and Cold crops are used interchangeably but are not the same and have very different meanings. Cole crops are a member of the Cruciferae or mustard family, which include cool season crops – broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. These like the cooler temps and can handle frost – especially in the begininning stages. As they start to develop actual “heads” then frost can do some damage. Cole crops like an average temp of 70 degrees. They will hopefully be ready and picked before the hot summer weather hits. I planted 2 1/2 rows of cole crops – Adam will only eat the broccoli, so I didn’t get any help planting these I hilled the rows because you never know how much rain we are going to get in the spring and I didn’t want water “pooling” around the plants. I used Fox Farms Jump Start Fertilizer in each hole when I planted. It is all natural and organic, providing the plants added nutrients and microbes to get them growing.
Blues, purples, and greens were the color combo for this wedding. As we were making the arrangements, I think these bouquets received more compliments than any other wedding. People just loved the unique combination and the dyed blue dendrobium orchids. Thank you so much Amanda for letting us create the flowers for your wedding!
Now this really has me excited, and soon you will be too! How does Raspberry Shortcake raspberries and Peach Sorbet blueberries sound to you? Delicious. These new compact patio berries are great for small places or to be used in your landscape – not for the garden. These are too pretty to throw in the garden. They have the added bonus of being edible and they are thornless.
This is a new dwarf, thornless red raspberry that grows round and compact and is suitable for patio containers. It can be placed as an accent shrub in the landscape and requires no staking. They are self fertile, but we always recommend two for better pollination. Raspberry Shortcake produces full sized, nutritious, super sweet berries in mid-summer.
Raspberries like well drained soil. Berries will produce on new canes each year, so trim old canes back after fruiting to allow new canes to develop.
This is an exciting new compact blueberry. It gives excellent show-stopping color in all 4 seasons. It blooms white showy flowers in the spring. Sweet blueberries in the summer are paired with peachy pink to orange to emerald green glossy foliage. In the late fall / winter, the foliage turns a rich eggplant purple. Great choice for the landscape or patio pot!
Blueberries like acidic soil. They will produce berries on new canes each year, so prune fruiting canes back after harvest to allow new canes to develop. Best to have two blueberry plants.
Winter seeding is the easiest time to sow grass seed. This can be done January through February based on the weather, as long as the ground is still freezing and thawing. Soil does not need to be loosened or scraped during this time. As the ground freezes and thaws, the seed will naturally work its way into the ground. Seed will germinate in the spring as temperatures warm.
The only issue with winter seeding is weed prevention in the spring. You can not put down the Fertilome All Seasons Lawn Food plus Crabgrassand Weed Preventer until after the grass has germinated. The grass and crabgrass will start to germinate at the same time. Crabgrass will continue to germinate throughout the spring and summer, so it is still important to put this step down after the grass has germinated. It’s best to wait one to two mowings on the new lawn before applying the weed preventer. Fertilome’s weed preventer has Prodiomine as the active ingredient preventing any seed from germinating for up to 6 months. It offers great protection providing you with a weed free lawn!
So if you decide to winter seed and then put the Fertilome weed preventer down after one to two mowings, then you might have some crabgrass and other weedy grasses that germinated along with the grass seed. This can be taken care of after your grass is mature (usually around 5 cuttings). Fertilome’s Weed Out with Q will take care of both crabgrass (weedy grasses) and broadleaf weeds (dandelions) in one easy step. Also controls Barnyardgrass, Foxtail, Buttercup, Catnip, Chickweed, Dollarweed, Ground Ivy, Ragweed, Thistle and others. Cautionary Notes: This is only for your lawn. Do not spray this on any of your actual flowers that you want to keep. This will kill any ornamental flowers also, just not the grass. Large trees and shrubs are not a concern, but you do have to be careful of wind drift. Only spray on non-windy days. If this travels to your flower or vegetable beds it can do damage and kill the plants. If it travels onto the leaves of your trees, the leaves could look burnt or kill off a section of leaves. Just make sure to only spray what you want to kill and on a calm non-breezy day.
Bare Seeding - If you only have small patches of bare spots and do not need to over-seed the whole lawn, then you can still winter seed the bare spots and prevent the crabgrass in the rest of the lawn. This technique can be done carefully. Go ahead now and sow the grass seed in the bare spots. When it comes time to put down the crabgrass preventer (estimated March 15) just cover the bare spots with cardboard or a sheet so the preventer does not come in contact with the bare spots. You can remove the protection after you are done spreading the weed preventer.
To seed or not to seed - This could very easily be your question. Every lawn is unique and each lawn it’s own situation. If your lawn is just a little thin and you are thinking of doing a little over-seeding, then it is probably best to wait until fall. Putting down Fertilome’s All Seasons Weed Preventer will help the grass to thicken naturally. When the weeds aren’t taking over, it gives the grass a chance to grow and thicken. Any thining areas left can be over-seeded in the fall. If your lawn if mostly bare, then you definitely want to sow seed. Otherwise weeds will be the only thing growing in your lawn. Small bare patches we discussed in the above paragraph. It is always best to discuss with us the best route to take on lawn care before jumping into any lawn care program. It’s easy to have a beautiful lawn as long as you know the proper steps to take.
Coming next – Which grass seed to choose?