Saturday, April 27, 2013

Those Arugula Seeds I Gave You...

If you were lucky enough to run into one of us at a plant show this year, or the dermatologist, or the kids' school or gymnastics...
You are probably in possession of some arugula seeds.

Thank you for following the directions to get here!  Now what do you do?

The arugula seeds don't have to be buried, but...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Secret to Cilantro

Takes a special touch to grow cilantro.  Not a talent, just a touch, so anyone can learn it!  The farther you read, the more you will learn!

Cute wittle baby cilantro.
It starts with an understanding of the plant, where it came from and how it grows.  Plants will grow better for you if you listen to their stories and then care for them when they are screaming and let them alone if they need time to themselves.

Cilantro is in the...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Timing Your Garden Plants

It is NEVER too late!

I have heard so many people lately worried that they have missed the season.  "It's too late for...(fill in this blank.)"  It's not.  It's not too late to go back to college, start saving for retirement or to get in shape either.  You may not have the first tomato on the block, but it's no too late!  

Gardening should be fun and rewarding, not a race.  Truth is, if you get those tomato plants started in December and transplanted in February and spend twice what they would cost you to buy protecting them with every imaginable contraption to stave off the cold, you wouldn't be that far ahead!  Unless you have buried a soil heater in your garden, they are not going to grow much when it is cold.

At my garden center the gold standard of success was (and is) basil.  We would struggle with it all winter to have some in stock.  One of the die-hard rules for our system was to write the planting or most recent transplant date on the back of the tag when they are handled.  We would plant it in December and work hard to get some size on it by February.  Basil planted in March took three weeks from seed to finish in the hot greenhouse. Don't expect this at home unless you have a greenhouse and keep it hot.  My point is: early doesn't give you much of an edge.  When the sun gets at the right angle and the heat comes, things just click.

Furthermore, IT IS ALWAYS TIME TO PLANT SOMETHING.  Georgia Organics has a neat calendar that will help if you want to know which plants will thrive if planted now:

I love this chart!  I have it laminated in the kitchen of the farmhouse!

Keep in mind, if we have a cold Winter and Spring, the cold weather section would stretch out farther.  If we skip Spring and jump straight to Summer, the hot weather section will start a little earlier.  That is the gambling game of Spring that makes some gardeners and farmers feel inadequate.  

Let. It. Go.

On big commercial farms they do plant things before the frost date and try to cover them when they are wrong.  But they don't linger over mistakes.  They buy new plants and replant if the stuff gets killed.  They have to.  You need to do the same.

And remember: if the greenhouse gardener is ahead of you on tomatoes, it doesn't matter.  When the soil temperature gets over 65, the tomatoes are all going to grow!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Feel better; Eat Real, Recognizable, Whole Food!

Eating food in the form it was created.  Enough can't be said about how important this is.  Your Chi can't be centered, your work/family life balanced, your stress leveled while you are eating Cheetos. Doritos are tasty and remain in my diet, but they are not a life-sustaining food.  You won't wake up feeling better the next day.  

To feel better, you need real, unprocessed, recognizable food.

An old farmer was having breakfast at our house when I young.  I looked at his plate and immediately grew concerned.  "That's an awful lot of cholesterol.  You shouldn't eat that."  He explained when he was a kid, doctors told pregnant women ...