In the Garden Articles


I received an email today from Park Seed sharing lots of hints and tips from their gardeners.  It made me think I should go ahead and make a spring time to share with everyone "the things I do" collection.

For as many as I have parts to make, I will use soaker hoses laid on top of the soil. We are trying to duplicate our very best cucumber bed and it had a simple soaker hose. We had to fence the entire trellised area to keep the rabbits from wiping out all the cukes. That made it extremely difficult to get into the trellis and see what cucumbers were ready to pick. We had a cool, mild spring and we can always hope that might be the case. More often than not, we'll have a spring with no sunshine for 6 to 8 weeks and nothing in the garden does well, nothing blooms and the plants are all stunted.

Our best year with the cukes was a year we covered the beds with black plastic covering. It helped greatly to keep down the weeds and keep the

I will be posting photos when we get a sunny day but the carrots are planted with the empty jug method to get the water and fertilizer down deep to the roots. The seeds have almost had enough time to sprout but the rain shower was enough to tend them for today. I had read a method of placing a window screen over the carrot seeds scattered. Hey, I had one of those and was wondering what it would be good for. I figure that when the plants get up a few days, I will be able to move the screen to a new successive planting of carrots and that's the way you want your harvests of carrots. If they don't grow fast though, they get tough and stringy.

With all our sand, we cannot have raised beds so much as just making a small pit in the area to plant. Scoop it out and use the sand for making sides for the crater. Into this goes the fresh compost for planting the seeds.

One of the tips I read in the Park Seed listing was on how you should dig the hole for your new plant and then fill it with water. You were only suppose to wait until the water had partially soaked in and then plant. But if you wait until the water is completely soaked down, you know if you have adequate drainage. If you have  heavy soil with lots of clay, it won't allow the water to drain. Add a few cupfuls or a shovelful of sand. Often layers of matted grass or leaves will prevent water from draining. This will cause the plant roots to rot and not grow. Turning the soil will keep any trouble from hiding.

One year we tried those cute little peat pots. The compressed button that expanded and there was a mesh net around it. The package said that they plants would have no trouble with the roots growing through the peat and net. After a season of poorly growing tomatoes despite starting seeds and knowing the varieties, we pulled up the plants. Sure enough, each plant had only the original 2 square inches of soil to grow their roots in, none had been able to escape the net.

Another of the Park Seed ideas was to use old tires to stack and fill with soil and plant with pretty flowers or veggies.  We have one tire in the yard and that would be an excellent use. The tipster mentioned using 2 to make a planter of raised bed status. The idea was to give height to a person who did not want to be down on ground level for tending the bed.

There is a TV slot for Garden Power dot com. Every week the topic changes and they show interesting ideas. This past week was about using anything and everything as a plant container. The item in question was old work boots. The boot had natural drainage as it had a hole in the bottom. They showed how you should push the dirt all the way into the toe so the roots would have as much space for growing as possible. Put a tall plant and a spreading plant for beautiful effect. Most impressive. I have an old wheelbarrow. The wheel is long gone but good drainage and an interesting container. These will be for the coming weeks as seeds are put into soil.