Sunday, August 29, 2010
The vegetables used during fall gardening are considered cold weather vegetables. This means that they have a higher tolerance for cooler temperatures and can live and thrive even after the first frost. These vegetables include most types of lettuce, spinach, mustard leaves and cabbage. If your pre winter temperatures do not go below 40 to 35 degrees, you can also grow broccoli and cauliflower. For cooler climates, you can include rutabagas, turnips and carrots. Fall gardening is basically the same as summer gardening. But there are a few tips that can make it a bit easier, so that you can have a bigger harvest.
You will never want to place seeds in the garden in the late summer. The temperatures are too hot and rain is usually scarce during this time. Garden pests can be another problem when the weather is hot and the newer plants will not do well under any of these conditions. It is a good idea to start the seeds indoors and start with a stronger, healthier plant to place in the garden.
Place your seeds in small cups of soil. You can use Dixie cups or yogurt cups but make sure that there are holes in the bottom of these containers for water drainage. Place a few seeds in every cup and cover lightly with a bit of soil. Keep these plants watered and in an area that has sunlight. A windowsill is a perfect place for your starter plants. The best time to do this is exactly 12 weeks back from your first predicted frost. But this also depends on how fast the plants grow. For example, lettuce grows at a fast rate, so always read the directions on the seed package to know exactly when to place them in your garden.
When the plants are 4 to 5 inches tall, they are ready for your garden space. Choose a cloudy cooler day to plant them and make sure that the debris from your summer garden is gone. Remove any dead or dying plants and give your new plants fresh soil to grow in. Completely saturate the soil a few times a week, while your new plants are growing.
You should make sure that the types of vegetables you are using are specifically used for fall gardening. Some brands of all of the winter vegetables are made for different climates or to be grown in milder temperatures. You can ask when purchasing these plants, if they are supposed to be used for cold weather crops.
Don’t forget your onions, garlic and asparagus. They should be planted between September and October and they should be even spaced apart to produce healthier plants in the spring. This way, as soon as spring starts, you can begin to harvest your freshly grown vegetables.
If you would like to take it one step further with your fall gardening, you can add an organic fertilizer to the soil. Manure, fish emulsion or compost is a great way to improve the soil and this helps to produce larger, healthier vegetables. Due to the cooler temperatures, you will not have to worry about pests and insecticides. This means that your vegetables will be considered organic and this will save you even more at the grocery store.
Posted by Ron at 8:45 AM
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Let's face it. If the stories coming out on the world's food supply are even half right, we've got real problems and they aren't going to go away quickly. Here are a couple stories that I ran across recently:
• Jim Randas, former U.S. Intelligence officer, appeared on ABC telling Americans to start stockpiling food.
• Worldwide grain stocks are dropping precipitously as bio-fuels consume inventories... and on and on and on.
Click Here for you Survival Seed Bank
Posted by Ron at 8:20 PM
Saturday, August 14, 2010
The amount of shade cast by each plant in your garden should be considered when you plan your garden. Trees are most versatile, permitting plenty of light during the cool weather of early spring and fall, and providing shade in the summer. Evergreen trees and shrubs will provide year-round shade.
Low walls and evergreen hedges provide a pattern of part day shade and part day sun, except to the south side where sun falls all day. Buildings and high walls are opaque to light, providing dense shade to the north and very hot, bright conditions to the south. A building may provide protection for the tender plants in winter.
Remember the sun rises about 30 degrees higher in summer than winter. Observe how light falls in your yard over the course of a year, and plan your garden area to use this to your advantage in each season.
Posted by Ron at 4:53 PM
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Starting seeds is actually an easy process, but success only comes through many years of trial and error. The obvious advantages are the cost savings and the variety as opposed to purchasing seedlings at the garden center.
Most vegetable and annual flower seeds need to be started 6-8 weeks prior to your last expected frost. The exact timing can be found on the seed packets, but 6 weeks is usually a good rule of thumb. Never sow seeds deeper than twice their diameter. For small seeds, place them on the surface of the growing medium, and then lightly sprinkle the mix over the seed until it is barely covered. Water from the bottom to avoid disrupting the seed germination process.
Seedlings need to be in simulated sunshine for at least 14 hours per day. They also need 8 hours of dormancy for good growth. You either need to invest in fluorescent bulbs called grow-lights which are as close to natural light as anything sold on the market, or substitute these with less expensive bulbs. By using one cool and one warm white fluorescent in combination, you will achieve the same effect.
If given the correct conditions, namely adequate moisture, strong light, and healthy soil, the seeds will germinate and grow to maturity with few or any problems. I grow my seedlings in seed trays with individual cell packs. After sowing the seeds, I cover them with a pre-fitted plastic dome. This is critical to keep the soil moist and the humidity high. But once the first seedlings sprout, it is important to remove the cover to avoid damping-off disease. This is a fatal fungus disease which only attacks young seedlings, and is caused by inadequate air circulation and non-sterile soil. That is why I advise all those who start seeds indoors to only use sterile, soilless mixes composed of vermiculite, perlite, and sphagnum moss. These mixes can be purchased at any reputable garden center.
Once the seedlings develop their second set of leaves, you can begin supplementing the plants with a diluted solution of fertilizer. Since you want to keep the nitrogen and salt levels low at this stage of growth, I highly recommend staying away from the chemical mixes. Rather, use a seaweed/fish emulsion formula at ¼ the recommended level. This will help the plants’ development and also help ward off disease. You can purchase these organic formulas at most garden centers or through online websites.
Posted by Ron at 8:25 AM
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Posted by Ron at 10:05 PM