Friday, April 11, 2008

growing a garden

Well one of the local nurseries came and spoke to us last night at our Relief Society Enrichment night. (First of all it was nice to have some adult people to talk to for a change) And they were so knowledgeable. I learned that most of the seed we plant is hybrid. It likes warm soil - 60 to 70 degrees. So it you plant around the 1st of June, it'll catch right up to all your neighbors who planted early and you'll get great veggies. I learned that plants want to go to seed, so don't trim tomato plants back, trim their roots with a shovel on one side in September and they'll ripen faster. He said he quits watering his tomato plants the end of July.

He also said he waters really heavy about once every two weeks. This makes the roots grow longer. He puts a granular fertilizer on once every 6 months. He has a gorgeous lawn. One of the ladies was dying because her husband waters all night long every night. So she asked to make an appointment to bring him over to talk with the nursery owner. Overwatering actually leaches the things out of the grass that keep it green, so you end up with yellow grass. And chemical lawn sprayers - they use a water based fertilizer so the first time you water, it's gone, that is why they reapply and reapply and charge you a ton!

He said use Ferti-loam instead of miracle grow on your plants and veggies. Aneheim and Garden Salsa are good salsa peppers. Roma tomatoes are the best for salsa because they are a drier tomato. I can't remember the good eating ones. I'll have to dig out my notes. If you are growing rows of tomatoes plants , use cinderblocks and cattle panels instead of cages and it keeps them off the ground better. Rip them out of the ground just before the first frost and hang them upside down in your garage or basement and you'll have ripening tomatoes until Thanksgiving.

Don't mix dirt and potting soil. Plants hate it and their roots can't grow in it. Dirt has a lot of bacteria that plants hate and the potting soils don't have it. If your potting soil smells like redwood, put it back (it's too salty) and get one that smells like dirt. It's a good idea to buy one really good pot a year if you like them. Buy one that has been fired - it won't crack in the winter.

Grapes take about 3-4 years around here to get going, but they are worth it. His now grow up his 60 foot pine each summer and he cuts them back each winter.

Don't trim your roses in the fall at all - they need the vitamins from the rose hips to strengthen their roots. Trim them in the late spring.

It takes a lot to kill day lilly plants. best to split them in the fall. if you split them in the spring, it will be next summer before they flower.

I am excited to see my flox bloom this year, they have crept all over the boulders in the back and it looks awesome! I've got to get some more starts from my MIL this year for out front since we have a driveway this year and not a mudslide! And I can't wait to see the tulips we planted for FHE one night - Haeley is especially excited. And hopefully we'll get our sprinkler system in soon enough to plant a veggie garden. Tractors and trenchers could be a problem in June.
So here we go!


Krysta said...

Those are awesome tips. What a fun enrichment activity. It's so fun to hear from people who are experienced with all of that. Good luck!!

Marne said...

I love Enrichment activities like that! Learning new tips are always great. Thanks for sharing what you learned!

Over here in the Boise area I already have my peas and lettuce growing. We can plant them earlier than you guys (March 17th or so) since we are a lower elevation. It will be 77 degrees here this weekend! Yippee!

I do Square Foot Gardening. It is AMAZING. I grow all my tomato plants on a trellis going up...along with my pumpkins, peas, beans...saves a ton of space. I am growing lots of romas this year because we love salsa in our house! I planted 6 tomato plants by seed and an growing them myself indoors to transplant later. It is working like a charm. They are already 7-8 inches tall. It will save me a ton of money...larger tomato plants are expensive!