As Spring begins so does my obsessive drive towards nature and my gardening hobbies. Last year, my gardening venture was cut short due to some unforeseen medical circumstances that I won’t bore you with right now… But this year, I’m going to try again and share with you what didn’t work for me last year and some new things I’m trying this year.
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First, you don’t have to buy all your seeds!
Last year I purchased a bunch of seeds online and planned on planting them all! Firstly, why spend so much money when your veggies you buy from the store already come with seeds….Bruh. Secondly…. what the heck did I plan on doing with 25 eggplants? No idea.
Tid-bit* – You don’t have to plant them all! Because that’s silly! And THAT’S EXACTLY what I did….For a family of 3 (us) we definitely do not need 25 plants of Eggplant. But, if you have already mastered food preservation (which I have not) you could probably knock out and have a good annual supply of your 100 eggplants. Let me know how you do that!
Second, starting indoors is perfectly fine!
So far this year, I’ve managed to start some spaghetti squash in my sunroom. I gathered the seeds from a squash we ate for dinner a couple months ago and put them right in the dirt. Thankfully my dog digging them up didn’t seem to affect them too terribly since they did continue to sprout.
My sunroom stays consistently above 60 degrees in the winter and they seem to be okay with it. Last week I finally transplanted the sprouts into their own grow bags. Grow Bags I found on Amazon last year and I love them because I can move them around, indoors to outdoors and visa versa. I wanted a way to keep my plants going year round, even through the winter months for the purpose of an endless food supply.
Third, I love these grow bags.
These black grow bags are reusable and durable. I used them last year and I’m using them again this year. The dark fabric helps attract heat and warms the soil while making it breathable. If you click on the picture to the right, it’ll take you to it’s amazon product page so you can look into them further.
Forth, using compost and left over hard wood ash from the winter for plant food.
This year, I’m trying something else for my garden. I keep a wood boiler going all winter long and I end up with a pretty large amount of hard wood ash. I plan on trying to make lye for my first time for my homemade all natural soaps I make. But, I also discovered that I can use wood ash as a plant fertilizer. Wood ash provides as a great source as lime, potassium, and phosphorus that your plants need to thrive. I’ve read it’s best to lightly scatter on the surface, or to mix with other compost (which I’ve chosen to mix it with left over wood chips I swept up from my wood pile and place that mixture in the bottom of my grow bags) then you can top it off with some more dead leaves and/or potting soil.
Other veggies I’ve started indoors and so far, so good. But the transition to outdoors is where I went wrong last year… read on.
I also planted cherry tomatoes from other cherry tomatoes I bought from the store and a roma tomato! I’m also about to cut into a “regular” tomato and plant a couple of those.
The thing about starting tomato plants and other plants indoors… you need to put them outside gradually, because if you just move you’re indoor plants outside in the direct sunlight, it’ll be too much and they could wilt and die. Not to mention other external elements like wind, the stalks need time to strengthen since there is not too much wind/air movement indoors.
Move the plants outside for about an hour at first, then two hours, three, four, etc. Until they seem pretty sturdy enough to join the elements of nature. Baby your plants and they will fruit for you! Something I also learned the hard way… and I was crushed. But this year, it’s going to happen! I’m going to grow at least one tomato.
Propagating my plants, so far so good.
I’ve also started onions! I had some onions sitting on my counter that ended up sprouting and so I looked around on the other farmer blogs on how to plant them and many of them said to peel the outer layers away and place the root part of the bulb in water. They are actually sprouting new roots and I’m very excited!
Currently I’m in the process of propagating my onions and other veggies. Word of the day! Meaning to multiply the current plant you have by replanting it’s sprouted bulbs or its seeds. In this case, I’m making it root so it has an easier time growing in the soil when I do plant it.
Next…I will be researching and learning about onion and garlic preservation through the winter months… So I’ll be back in the fall to tell you how that’s going. If you have any words of advice, please let me know, I’d be very happy to hear your thoughts!
I’ve also began growing herbs, like JUST started. So there’s not too much going on at this current time… But trying to grow cilantro has been a challenge.. I’m on my second round trying to grow that sucker. Accidentally killed it the first time.. oops.
I know these aren’t veggies, but I love my non-attention seeking cactus plants.
I’m pretty good at cactuses… since they need such little attention. I’m really good at not over watering plants… lol. My aloe plant was in need of some TLC since it had 11 babies and I haven’t paid much attention to it since our holiday season. Thank goodness for another resilient plant! My Christmas cactus is more of a Thanksgiving/Easter cactus and I have a much easier time getting a really awesome bloom when I bring it back indoors from fall. I usually bring my Christmas cactus outside in the Spring and it’ll stay out until Fall after the first frost hits it. Once I bring it back inside in October/November, I get this awesome bloom! It’s does bloom around Easter, but our time to shine is really more around Thanksgiving.
So as my summer goes on with my gardening endeavors, I’ll pop back in with some more posts on how things are going! So keep following along for more Do’s and Don’ts in Veggie Gardening!