Thursday, June 16, 2011

10 Things I Will Do via Notes from a Master Gardener

  1. Practice eating what’s in season locally. This will get your family used to eating seasonal produce, and, therefore, what you can grow in your own garden.
  2.  Keep a bucket filled with sand and a bit of motor oil mixed in to clean off dirty gardening tools.
  3. Solarize your garden area to get rid of weeds a few weeks before planting season. Clear out weeds or scalp mow your garden beds. Moisten the ground well, and cover with a large sheet of clear plastic. Weight the plastic down around the edges with rocks or bricks. Weed seeds will germinate, but the heat will kill them. Leave the plastic sheet on for 6-8 weeks. This will reduce the rate of weed seed germination by 60-80%.
  4. A wire mesh trash can is good for sifting compost.
  5. Mail order companies are best when it comes to buying seeds because they store their seeds in optimal conditions.
  6. Never work the soil when it is wet or very dry and have your soil tested so you will know what additives it needs.
  7. Transplant when it’s either a cloudy day or at dusk.
  8. Plan your garden so you’re planting for a staggered harvest. Otherwise, you may be harvesting tons of zucchini, for example, during a single week and then have to wait several more weeks for another zucchini harvest.
  9. Don’t water at night, and be sure to water the soil, not the leaves..
  10.  Use soapy water to get rid of many types of pests. (Don’t use a soap that contains citrus oils/ingredients.) Planting marigolds in the vegetable garden is another way to deter pests.

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