Gardening tips. (A bit late.)

We’ve been gardening for 10 years.  We started off small, but now have a large garden growing strawberries, rhubarb, cucumbers, cantelope, butternut squash, zucchini, peppers, broccoli, beans, peas, tomatoes, lettuce, carrots and pumpkins. 

We have learned quite a bit over the years. I thought I’d share some tips that we have learned to help you out as well.

(I know I’m a bit late in the game, but I haven’t had time to get these down before now. Now that our garden is finally completely planted that is.)

  • Grow vines up trellises. We grow all of our cucs, cantelope and squashes up trellises. This saves a TON of space in your garden and also yields more evenly grown produce. It also helps keeping pesky animals from easily eating your produce (especially cantelope!).
  • For heavy produce (like cantelope or butternut squash) grown up a trellis, use old pantyhose to tie onto the trellis. Cut the leg of the pantyhose and slip the produce into the toe. Tie the other end to the trellis so that the produce still has room to grow, but won’t weigh down the plant or break off the stem too early.
  • Build a cage around your strawberry patch. My husband built one out of PVC piping and chicken wire. If you have a big patch, I would suggest building a cage with a separate top so that you only have to remove the top to pick the crop rather than the whole cage.
  • Strawberries go bad quickly, especially if they are next to other strawberries. One way to keep them good longer is to store them in egg cartons in the fridge. Don’t wash them or cut off the stems until you’re ready to eat them.
  • We were so tired of spending every weekend all summer weeding the garden. So we covered our entire garden (except for our strawberry patch and one other square for rhubarb, carrots and lettuce) with plastic and then cut holes where we wanted to plant. We’ve had the same plastic down for 2 years and it’s been a lifesaver. This year my husband is covering it with (free) mulch to make it look nicer.
  • You can get free “mulch” from tree trimming companies. Find out who the city uses for tree trimming and ask for free mulch. It’s not beautiful, dark mulch that costs a ton of money, but it does the same thing. And it’s free.
  • Cover smaller plants that need a bit of protecting still with plastic 2 liters. Cut off the bottom of the bottle and carefully place over your plant (or seeds) and press lightly into the ground, enough that it won’t blow away in a storm. Besides giving it a bit of protection from the weather, it creates a little greenhouse and does wonders for plant starts! (If it’s early in the spring, keep the top on. As it gets hotter, take the top off so the plants don’t bake.)
  • Put on your tomato cages now, before your plants are too big and you break branches by trying to stuff them in the cages.
  • I can’t stand gardening gloves. They are always too big and I can’t feel anything through them. But I also HATE having dirt stained hands for 2 days after I garden/weed. Instead, wear disposable kitchen gloves – you know, the kind some women wear while doing dishes? They are AWESOME for gardening!
  • Lastly, save seeds from your current crop to use for plant starts next year. Let them dry on your countertop first, then place in paper envelopes. Don’t forget to label them!

I hope this helps you this summer and next. If you have another tip, please share!!!

Advertisements

About Katie White

believer. wife. mom. friend. life in transition.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Gardening tips. (A bit late.)

  1. This is awesome!! If I ever have a garden, I will come back to this post!!

  2. Danielle says:

    Awesome! We just planted our first ever garden. We have two raised beds beside the house. I wanted to try cantelope so this is really helpful.

    Thx

  3. Deb Baresic says:

    Just planted ours this past weekend. I think it is so late we will get veggies sometime in November! We use bedding “felt” that comes in a roll and put it down just like your plastic. Tried to talk Dad into plastic (cause our garden was less than productive last year), but no luck, felt it is.
    We use our grass clippings to put around the edges of the garden so that weeds don’t grow. We have beans, cucumber, peppers (that I started from seed) and tomotoes. Going to get broccoli this weekend.

  4. Pingback: Get a jump on your garden. |

  5. Jennie Rader says:

    Great post Katie! I DONT have my garden in yet, but this is the weekend. Im inspired!! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s