It finally feels like summer in my yard! The garden is planted and with the mixture of rain and high temperatures everything is growing like mad. I am like most gardeners, optimistic that it is going to be a good growing season. I can walk through the garden and see all shades of green, tender tendrils of beans growing up the twine trellis and tomatoes putting out small yellow flowers to attract bees. It is beautiful and peaceful. My early spring crops of bok choy and arugula have gone to seed (see above flower) and have flowers that tiny native bees are loving. Cool weather crops will bolt and flower when they do not like the heat. This is a sweet time in the garden. The hard work of planting is completed and growth comes fast and easy with the warm weather and rain. There is a short window of time before the garden is invaded by insects and small rodents that attempt to destroy the place.
I wanted to share a few things that I have already learned this season. First, when the seed packet tells you to keep the soil moist over the freshly planted carrot seeds, it isn't joking. I have never spent a lot of time watering carrot seeds but this year mother nature took over and I have young carrot seedlings like I never had in the past!
Garden Tip: When planting seeds in the garden, it is advised to plant them in a layer of potting soil over the dirt. Sometimes, the garden dirt will crust over and the seeds will dry out, but the mixture of the potting soil will retain some of the moisture.
Secondly, use the Aerogarden to start plants. The root structures of the plants started in the Aerogarden are unbelievable. The plants look so amazing! I purchased a few paste tomatoes from the farmers market and my plants look so much better. Perhaps mine are older or I am biased about my tomatoes, I'll let you know how it turns out. I have 37 tomato plants to compare..oh, did I just admit that I have 37 tomato plants?
Lastly, a quick tip if you have over planted and things are over crowded. First of all, if you have good soil over crowding is not always a bad thing. The close plants support each other and block out weeds. That being said, how should you thin your plants? If they are very small and you are thinning carrots or radishes, you can apply gentle pressure and pull them out of the ground. If they are getting bigger like green beans, use a scissors and clip them next to the soil without pulling. Cutting the seedlings will prevent damage to the roots when you tug the seedling out of the ground.
That is all for now, my fingers are sore from the mass contouring and weeding of my butterfly garden over the weekend. Please remember that I am always available to answer questions. You can also ask me on my web page www.gardenRN.com.