Dear Future Farmers

You never know…you might be!!

This rain has been perfect for the new plants, and these next few days of sunshine you’ll see surprising growth.

I’m pleased with most of the rows. You’ve prepared your soil well, and the plants will thrive in it. So, what do you do now that the seeds are in the ground?

Using egg shells is a clever way to start your seeds. When they get big enough to plant in the ground, you could crush the egg shell a bit and have an extra dose of composting to grow in!

Now that your rows are starting to get planted and the sun is out more than the rain clouds are, you’ll see the miracle of what you have just begun. To put a lifeless, little bit of a seed into rich earth, wait a couple of days and then see a bit of green popping its way through the dirt will always be one of God’s miracles…let alone the fact that in about a month to six weeks you can eat from it!

What do I do at this point?
There are a few weeds showing up already on the rows….should you pull them? Unless you are sure of what is a weed and what is a vegetable plant, I would leave them for a bit until what you planted gets a bit bigger and more obvious. If you planted in rows, then you will be able to tell which ones are the plants, they will all be in a row. Everything else will be a weed. We have to get the weeds out before they go to seed themselves, but they’re tiny enough right now that you have some time.

What about thinning…I planted too many seeds too close together.
I hope you all kept your seed packets when you get to this point. Each packet will tell you how far apart each plant should be planted for optimum growth. We had a lone arugula plant in one part of our garden which got to be about 3 feet height and 3 feet wide. Our other arugula plants that were spaced closer together only grew to be about half that size. Read the packets. All of your plants that are growing from seed are too small to thin right now, they need to get established and to get some meat on their bones. Once they start growing you’ll be able to tell which plants are the strongest (those you’ll want to keep) and you can pull out some of the weaker ones. Also, at this time, the plants you pull/thin will be big enough to be micro greens or baby carrots to take home and through in a salad….or to replant safely in a bare spot of your garden. In the meantime, you can watch this video gives for detailed instructions on how to thin lettuce:

The principal is the same for all the seedlings in your care, remove the ones that are smaller and crowded, leave the healthier ones to thrive.

Notice any pests yet?
They’ll be coming so watch for their signs. Look to see the health of your plant. Are there any yellowing, or spots, or bits of the leaves being eaten? All of these denote that there is something going on that needs your attention. Let me know if you see somethinFriendly stink bugsg and I’ll check your row specifically when I’m out to the garden. One resource found on our Gardener Resources Page is Insect Pest Finder. They offer ways to determine what insect is bothering your plant by the description of the damage, and then provide organic solutions to the deal with that specific pest. Otherwise, do 2 things. Google “natural ways to eliminate pests”, and get yourself a spray bottle to use. Try whatever you do on a small area first…and PLEASE make sure that it is natural/organic. With the rain or sprinklers going, nothing you apply will stay long on the plants. Our sprinklers come on early, early morning so if you sprayed at 6-7 am the solution would have a better chance to set on the plant. the healthier the soil and the plant, the less chance of bugs….they feed on the weak and diseased.

Do I have to add anything more to the soil?
Do you all realize that the soil is alive? It has as many microorganisms rummaging around as your body does. If your plants look green, healthy and are growing then the soil is good. If not, then there are other ways to get them healthy.

  • Fish emulsion. They sell it at home depot. Just mix it with some water and pour directly on your plants that look a little bedraggled.
  • Coffee grounds add nitrogen to the soil, which greens up everything. To apply the grounds, sprinkle them away from the stem of the plant in a circle around it. Its best not to use them on little seedlings as they are too strong for the roots.
  • Added compost is great too. Some of you have asked about bringing your food scraps to the garden. Please do your composting at home as we are not equipped to handle food scraps, yet. “Black cow” which is sold at home depot for $5 a bag is composted cow manure.

All of this is good, IF your plants look like they need something extra.

Good job, everyone!
Nancy

This entry was posted in Garden Observations, Gardener Instructions, Insect Control, Videos. Bookmark the permalink.

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