]I have been gardening for many years, but I am growing things this year that I am not very familiar with. Beets, brussel sprouts and radishes. I am used to planting directly in the ground, but for last year and this year I am using raised beds. I also repurposed a pallet and am using that to grow some things as well.
For those of you just getting started, I have some tips for you. If you live in a colder climate, like we do here in the northern plains, you cannot plant in the ground until the frost subsides. (This year that was on or around May 7th, and it is still kinda chilly here!) Last year I started some of my seeds indoors, using old things I have around the house. This year I planted some seeds directly in the ground, and also bought some seedlings to plant. You should use heirloom seeds whenever possible. I love tangy green zebra tomatoes, or the mortgage lifter tomato. MMmmm! Don’t forget to mark out a seed plant to harvest next years seeds from!
You can buy herloom seeds at : http://www.seedsavers.org/, http://seedrack.com, http://tomatofest.com, and http://tomatogrowers.com
When you are building raised beds, it’s a good idea to put landscaping fabric down to block weeds (something I entirely forgot to do last year) and chicken wire on the bottom to keep out underground thieves. The next step is to put down a thin layer of medium sized rock or gravel , to help with drainage. Then you can add your compost or soil.
I learned this year that to help some root veggies grow in clay heavy soil, to amend the soil with peat moss and sand. This seems to be working very well. I have an organic garden. In my raised beds I have garden soil, vermiculite, peat moss, and sand. This year I will be composting and I will post more details about that later.
In bed #1 I have: Sugar snap peas, Lincoln peas, Leeks, Beets, brussel sprouts, cabbage, garlic chives, (planted in between my cabbage and sprouts to keep out bugs) green onions, garlic and more beets.
In bed #2 I have : Bush green beans, tomatoes (beefsteak, cherry and super fantastic), jalapenos and habeneros, white onion, yellow onion and garlic.
I am going to be using Espoma Garden-tone a 3-3-4 fertilizer mix, phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/robin/EggstraEggstra.html, and JObe’s organics, all puprose fertilizer with biozomes. http://www.lilsproutinc.com/jobes-organic-all-prupose-granular-fertilizer/
I will post more about my pallet garden, companion planting and urban gardening tomorrow. Later this week I will post some delicious recipes for garden foods, canning tips and how to treat your tomatoes properly after they are picked.
Just for spring I wanted to share this pic. She sits outside my kitchen window, on her eggs, rain or shine. For the past two days we have has 40 mile an hour winds, and I have just been watching her surf the tree branch. She’s doing a good job!!