Posts Tagged ‘Dee McKenna’

10 Reasons to Visit Your Farmers Market

Friday, July 18th, 2014
While I wait for my garden to mature, I support my local farmers market and road side stands. I have always been grateful for farmers markets. They have given me fresh produce when I didn’t have the time and space to plant my own garden. During my youth, the farmers market was a source of income (and entertainment) for my family. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 18: Oh Hail

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
Oh Hail! I watched the dark clouds roll in as I weeded the garden.  I thought I would weed until it started raining, however, when the lightning started, I headed into the house. Within twenty minutes, the garden was gone. Hail and high winds shredded my tender plants as I helplessly watched from the window. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 17: Side Dressing with Commercial Fertilizer

Thursday, June 12th, 2014
I am really good at growing weeds! As you can see from this patch where I sowed carrots and herbs, there are more weeds than carrots and herbs. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 16: Weeding the Garden

Monday, June 2nd, 2014
“Moooooom, your garden is weedy!” said a bossy little five-year old. She is good at pointing out the obvious. After some much needed rain and sunshine, the garden is bursting with green, most of it weeds. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 15: Thinning Small Seeded Vegetables

Saturday, May 24th, 2014
I am a bit frustrated in the garden. I don’t even want to show you these pictures.  Can you see this row? It’s supposed to be a row of broccoli and it’s actually a pile of broccoli sprouts. Not sure what I am going to do here, I am considering putting my cucumbers there since we failed at getting a good stand. There are several other rows of seeds that did not come up and they should have by now. I think we may have covered the seeds too deeply. I do have a good stand of peas, lettuce and radishes. Tonight we thinned all three. Thinning is the process of removing seedlings from the row. I don’t like to be crowded and neither do seedlings. If plants are overcrowded, they fight for nutrients and water producing a smaller weaker plant. With a small amount of space to garden we need to use water, soil and nutrients as efficiently as possible. When sowing seeds, we often over seed. This helps ensure we have a good population rate or a good stand of seedlings. When two seedlings are too close to each other, I simply pull the smaller, weaker seedling. It seems a bit of a waste but it is a common garden practice. In a perfect garden (aren’t we all striving for perfection), the plants grow in nice straight lines and each plant is evenly spaced according to the spacing requirement for each vegetable. Thinning helps the gardener obtain this goal. Farmers are much better at this. Over time equipment has allowed farmers to plant with proper depth and spacing, eliminating the need for hand thinning. Can you imagine hand thinning one acre of lettuce? Thanks goodness farming has evolved and we all don’t have to rely on humans to do…

Nutrients in the Garden 13: 5 Steps To Directly Sow Seeds

Friday, May 9th, 2014
Between soccer games, track practice, birthday parties, and life we finally started planting the garden. The girls were as excited as I was to be digging and planting. We had limited time before the sun set, so I handed the camera to twelve year old and started sowing. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 12: How To Read A Fertilizer Label

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
As promised, this week we are looking at fertilizer labels. When you walk into the garden center you will see there are lots of different choices. Below, I show different samples of fertilizers. I am not promoting one or the other; I use a variety of different fertilizers for different purposes. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 11: Why Fertilize?

Thursday, April 17th, 2014
Snow and rain have me talking about gardening rather than actually gardening. I’m not complaining. We need the moisture and it gives me the opportunity to help a few friends by planting seeds of inspiration for their first garden. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 7: Soil for Raised Beds

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Gardening in raised beds is extremely popular and a great choice for a beginning gardener. I gardened in raised beds for nine years and had great success (minus a splinter or two). The best advantage to this form of gardening is the opportunity to fill the bed with soft, nutrient rich soil! (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 6: Get Acquainted With Your Soil

Monday, March 10th, 2014
There is a Chinese proverb that says, “He who plants a garden plants happiness.” I could not agree more. If you have been following the blog from the beginning of this series, you are four steps closer to planting happiness. You have decided why you want to garden, you know where to put your garden, you know what you want to plant, and you have a map of your plan!   Now, we talk about the most important ingredient to your gardening success: soil! Side note: I prefer not to call it dirt. Dirt is the stuff I tell my kids to wipe off their feet before coming into the house. Soil is where our food comes from. Without soil, we are naked and hungry. Soil is cultivated by hard working farmers that keep us fed and clothed. It is critical to our mortality; out of respect for this precious resource, I prefer to call it soil. This is where you want to get it right! With the wrong soil, your garden will struggle and you might consider throwing in the trowel and giving up. Simply put, poor soil = poor garden. We can prevent this by doing our homework now, while it’s still too cold to garden. There are over 70,000 types of soil and they are not all created equally; some soils are more plant friendly than others. Soils can have too much clay, be too sandy, too compacted, too acidic... the list goes on, but don’t worry, soil can be improved! Keep in mind that if you are dealing with a dire soil situation, sometimes it is easier to garden in pots or a raised bed, because you have total control over the type of soil you use. If you choose to garden the traditional way, cultivating a spot in…

Nutrients in the Garden 5: Map It Out

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Planting a vegetable garden, I am good at. Planning said vegetable garden, I am not good at. Writing this blog has been a bit agonizing as it forces me to sit down and make a plan, rather than winging it, which I am really good at. (more…)