Beautiful Home Garden– Useful tips on gardening 4
Beautiful Home Garden
Useful tips on gardening 4
How To Store Vegetable Seeds For Next Year’s Garden
MAY 15, 2016 BY ADMIN LEAVE A COMMENT
We have a friend that grows so much in their flower beds and vegetable gardens that we are amazed. We also try to learn new things from the each year. My wife was telling me that they even save their seeds each year and store them for the following season. That sounds like a challenge to me. I figure if I can save orange seeds and plant them later and actually grow an orange tree right in the house, well I think I just might be able to do, but where to start.
Preparing Your Seeds For Storage
Now that I have a variety of seeds from different plants I need to clean and dry them in an effort to preserve the seeds from any kind of molds, mildewing or dampness.
I took each seed and made sure that I keep only the seed and discard the rest of the plant.
The tomato seeds were the hardest to clean up because they had membrane around each seed. They kinda looked like frog eggs before I cleaned them up. If I hadn’t cleaned all that slim off them they would have just rotted I’m sure.
Once I have all but the seeds left I place them on an old screened window we have. This allows air to flow freely around the entire seed so that it dries faster, giving the seed a better chance of survival.
I even kept some potatoes for next years seed potatoes. This is a first for us so we will see how they survive.
Storing Your Garden Seeds
I keep the little containers or packages meant to absorb moisture for the heart medication I take but they come in asprin bottles and vitamin bottles, and use those to keep too much moisture from building in each container over the winter months. Even though I keep the seeds in a low temp area that is dry. Just a precaution.
I like to put the seeds, after I’ve dried them, in a paper bag or envelope, which also helps to absorb excess moisture. Then I put them in a large plastic contain with the little dry packs I talked about. They don’t come in contact with the seeds as they are on the outside of the paper bags or envelopes I use.
Now it’s just a matter of waiting until next year when I start my plants from seed.
Planning Your First Vegetable Garden
MAY 15, 2016 BY ADMIN LEAVE A COMMENT
Have desire to grow your own vegetable garden? We went for many years before we were in a situation where we could have our own vegetable garden and now we do and I just double the size from last year.
Learning a few things about vegetable gardening will make the task more enjoyable, to the point where it may well become your favourite hobbies.
Follow a few steps before you plant anything and you will have a healthier vegetable garden with less work.
Steps To Planting Your First Garden
- Location, Location, Location
Location is important. You need sunlight and good drainage. These are two vital components to a good veggie garden. Anything else you need for your garden can be added.
Steer clear of trees if possible as their roots can rob nutrients from the soil and in the summer their branches can over shade your garden, blocking that vital sunlight. Like our first vegetable garden.
- Preparing The Soil
Our vegetable garden used to be part of our lawn and the soil beneath the turf was very dense clay that wouldn’t drain for days after a heavy rain. But we wanted a vegetable garden so that didn’t stop us.
First we removed the sod with as little dirt as possible. We even let it dry in the yard so we could pound the excess dirt off it.
Next I dug the entire plot to about a foot deep and mixed in fresh topsoil we have from composting and also added a few bags of peatmoss to help break the soil into something workable.
We tested the garden once we had added the compost and peatmoss to see how well it drained and found we had improved it considerable. So now it drains in hours instead of days.
- Know Your Local Planting Zones
There are a lot of vegetables one can grow but you need to decide what you like the most, making sure it will grow in your growing zone. For this you can look up the growing zones for where you live.
We live in New Brunswick Canada so we looked that up along with the phrase ‘growing zone’ or ‘vegetable growing zone’.
Note: We decided we wanted to grow a few things that needed a longer growing periods, so I started those inside a couple of months early so they were well started before planting them outside.
- How to Maintain Your Vegetable Garden
A vegetable garden doesn’t maintain itself very well and will soon be taken over by weeds if not watched. Keep a head of the weeds and it becomes rather easy to maintain. On the other hand leave it for a week or two and you may start to see the vegetable plants start to suffer.
We have our rows of vegetables running north to south for a couple of reasons.
- We wanted each plant to get as much sun as possible.
- Our garden is on a slight incline so we planted the rows so that the rain would not erode the garden.
I mentioned this but it’s important so I will mention it again. Your vegetable garden must drain well or your veggie roots will drown the plants.
We added compost and peatmoss but we also set the rows so the water would drain but not erode the garden.
- Know Your Garden Pests
Take the time to learn about the pest that like what you grow so you can learn how to control pests organically.
Completing each task doesn’t take too long, especially when it’s planned. We on the other hand didn’t learn before we started our first vegetable garden. Instead I just started digging in so we ended up with a lot more work than we needed so learn from my mistakes and plan your vegetable garden before planting it and happy gardening.
Saving Money by Growing Your Own Home Vegetable Garden
MAY 15, 2016 BY ADMIN LEAVE A COMMENT
I see more and more people today turning to vegetable gardening as a means to save money and have organically grown vegetables. The labour you put into your vegetable garden will produce healthier and less expensive vegetables for your table.
We started vegetable gardening a few years ago. We didn’t save a whole lot of money the first couple of years as we started small but had to buy garden tools to make the tasks easier. After the first couple of years we increase our garden to a 16 foot by 4 foot veggie garden and once the gardening was done for this year I increase it a bit so now it’s more like 16×8 and come next spring I may just increase it by another 4 feet wider.
Home Grown Vegetables Just Taste Better
We tend to get used to buying vegetables and perhaps don’t pay enough attention to organically grown. I get bad headaches, to the point of migraines. It took me many years of suffering before I finally put it together. I was being affected by the poisons on the vegetables and fruits we purchase. Not any more though.
Our veggie garden isn’t big enough to provide all year long so we do buy vegetables but now we wash everything with special soap. By the way, I have not had any migraines since we started washing our vegetables.
Where To Plant Your Vegetable Garden
We started growing vegetable in containers so finding a location in the sun was easy because we just moved them if they didn’t seem to get enough. Once we decided on an in-ground vegetable garden we had to find the best spot to start it. One that had good drainage, although we modified the soil to fix that little problem, and also a lot of sun over the summer.
We live in the centre of Moncton so we don’t see too many wild animals in our garden, unless you are referring to our son. Okay that was a joke, sorry buddy. But seriously, we don’t get any deer or rabbits, but we do have to deal with neighbourhood cats.
The Need For Good Topsoil
Before we started planting anything in our garden we dug it up to about a foot deep and then ammended the soil with peatmoss and topsoils. This was because our soil is heavy dense clay that grows little more than ugly weeds.
Adding organic matter to the soil releases nitrogen, minerals, and other nutrients plants need to survive. The most popular and best type of mulch you can use is compost.
We have a compost bin that allows us to recycle our kitchen and yard waste giving us great top soil for our vegetable garden while cutting back on what we put into the landfill.
Planting Your Vegetable Garden
I have already mentioned the need for lots of sunlight. So you have a plot picked out and prepared. Now it’s time to plan your planting and that means making sure your vegetables get enough of that available sunlight by planting the tallest vegetables to the east end of the garden.
Your tall plants will get early sunlight but will not block your other veggies once the sun moves past high noon and starts heading west. I managed to get this in reverse my first year, as a result we didn’t get a huge harvest, but a great learning experience.
When To Plant Your Veggies
You have now done all your home work and preparation. The next important step is to be ready to plant at the right time and that’s going to depend on whether you start from seeds or plants that are already started.
We usually don’t plant here in New Brunswick Canada until the threat of frost has past which is usually early June.
I will plant things ahead of time so that we have starter plants for those veggies that require longer growing periods but for things like lettuce, radishes, carrots and potatoes to mention a few we plant directly in the garden.
We do plant some veggies a little earlier than we should but if there is a call for low temperatures we cover the areas of the garden that need protection from frost.
Vegetable gardening started out as an interest and way to get healthier produce but today, a few years later it’s now become a hobby and we look forward to it each year.