Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Calling all gardeners!

It’s March! That means that all the stores are stocking garden supplies. I can’t resist! Never mind that it was just snowing here 2 days ago… Why, yes! I do need more seeds. I just bought seeds. For the third time in 3 weeks. I may have a problem.
Want a look into my gardening neurosis? So far this year, I’ve purchased:
·         Carrot seeds
·         Beefsteak tomato seeds
·         Loose-leaf lettuce seeds
·         Sugar snap pea seeds
·         Bush bean seeds
·         Broccoli seeds
·         Straightneck summer squash seeds
·         Cylindrical beet seeds
·         Spinach seeds
·         Garlic starts
·         Blue and red seed potatoes
·         Asparagus starts
·         Blueberry shrubs
From last year, I’ve already got:
·         Strawberries
·         Boysenberry canes
·         Thyme
I still want to buy:
·         Yellow onion seeds/starts
·         Basil
·         Sage
·         Dill
·         Oregano
I’m sure there’s more, but I know I’ve already gone overboard. I don’t have enough room for what I’ve got.

Almost everything I grow originates from organic seed and I use organic soil and fertilizer. Last year I installed a new 4' x 8' raised garden bed. I’m going to need about 2 more of them and don’t have any money to buy them, much less room to install them. I have a feeling that I’m going to be doing lots of gardening in pots this year. The soil in my yard is awful, and gardening attempts prior to the new raised planting bed (with all new soil) yielded pitiful results. Last year was my first real success and I'd like it to be bigger and better this year.  
I just bought a huge new pot that I will grow potatoes in. I read an article about using a barrel or large pot to grow potatoes, so I’m going to give it a try. Basically, you add some soil in the bottom of the barrel, add the seed potatoes and let them grow about 6 inches or more, and then add another layer of soil, not covering the leaves of the existing plants, and add more seed potatoes. Keep growing, layering and planting until you reach the top and then at the end of the season, dump the whole thing over and collect your bounty. I can't wait to try it.
I think I may also attempt collecting my own seeds this year, too. I really have no idea how to do it, but I’m sure Google will offer up some great suggestions. Do you collect your own seeds?
My biggest flop from last year was growing carrots. All of my carrots were short, tiny, fat and funky. I’d like them to actually look like carrots this year so that my kids will eat them. How do you get carrots to grow properly?
I’m fairly new to the gardening thing and I have a lot to learn. As for now, I need to figure out when to start the seeds so that my little plants are all ready to grow out in the big, bad world after the fear of frost is gone. When should I start the seeds?    
Do you garden? Do you have any tips? I’m all ears (well, I guess it would be eyes…)! Please, feel free to comment below with your favorite gardening tip. I’d love to hear from you!  


Self Care Girl said...

I was raised on a farm, my Dad was a master gardener and I LOVE LOVE LOVE fresh produce and gardens! Unfortunately, I know a LOT about weeding and not a whole heck of a lot about growing things (Sad, I know!) I admire the organic approach and wish you lots of sunshine and good growing conditions this year.

Diggin' in the dirt and eating organic veggies is very good self care!

Take Good Care!
Self Care Girl

Caffeinated Autism Mom said...

Well, if you ever fancy doing some weeding around here, I'd be happy to have an expert help me out! I love the planting, hate the weeding! Thanks for your support and I hope that the garden is a big success this year.

Kathleen said...

I love to garden too. Carrots can be stunted for a few reasons, but one of them is if the dirt is too hard packed or clay-like. A raised garden might help or a deeply dug garden bed filled with softer soil works too. Hope this helps!

Saw your message in the gluten free group at bloggymoms.

Caffeinated Autism Mom said...

Thanks for your tips, Kathleen. Actually, that's why I decided to go with the raised planting bed with all new organic soil. I did it for the carrots and I still had no luck. I must not have the carrot thumb! BTW, I'm following your blog now! :-)

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