These corn transplants are starting to take off. Corn doesn’t perform well in cool spring weather so that makes it a good choice to follow other earlier crops like spring lettuce, spinach, radishes, beets, carrots, snap peas, and even new potatoes. Transplanting the corn helps us get a quick transition from one crop to the next so there is still time for the corn to mature before the first frost.
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Ode to the artichoke! Have you ever seen one of these in bloom? Part of the thistle family, when you eat an artichoke, you’re actually eating the bud before the bloom (although really it’s not one flower, but a bunch of tiny ones clustered together).
Side note: Pablo Neruda has a lovely poem about this funny little veggie. 🤓
Plants grow towards their light source. So if you ever notice leaning seedlings be sure to rotate them. This is a common problem when starting seeds on a window sill.
Since I am not starting these seeds in full sun exposure or under lights I rotate the trays every other day in order to achieve even growth. 🌱🌱🌱
Other common problems when starting seeds are:
1️⃣. Weak leggy seedlings- this occurs when the light source for the seedling is not strong enough. If the problem is not quickly corrected the plant can grow tall but weak. Solution - decrease the distance between lights and top of plants.
2️⃣. Discolored leaves- this tells you something is wrong with the plant. Colors can be yellow, brown or even purple. Problems occur for a few reasons- ➡️Nutrient burn occurs when the fertilizer is too strong for the plant. ➡️Nutirent imbalance- under / over fertilization. Follow directions on fertilizer. I usually use 1/4 strength dosage. ➡️Light burn- getting nutrient solution on leaves and then placing directly under the light can lead to burns/brown spots. Solution- if you're going to get water solution on leaves or foliar feed due so before the lights are scheduled to come on. Or simply don't get the leaves wet.
3️⃣. Seedling suddenly dying at the base. Usually caused by seedling blight. Solution- use clean trays. Water the seedlings from the bottom. Do not keep medium excessively moist.
4️⃣. Small bug flies around- Fungus gnats. Solution- water seedlings from the bottom. Improve air circulation around soil/base of the plant. Do not allow growing medium to remain excessively wet. If fungus gnats are excessive you can use yellow sticky traps. .
🌈 E A T T H E R A I N B O W 🌈
Black beauty eggplant
Yellow pear tomatoes
Midnight snacker tomatoes
Repunzel cherry tomatoes
Early Girl tomatoes
Let’s talk about compost tea. It’s one of my favorite cheap ways to fertilize the garden. All you really need is compost, water (best to use rainwater or water standing for 24hrs for dechlorination), molasses and an aerator. Mix it all together and let it brew for 2-3 days...voila! You end up with a nutritious drink full of beneficial microbes for your plants.
I like to add other stuff to my tea, as shown in the photos. I sometimes also chop up things like comfrey, and even add some of the excess liquid from the chickens’ fermented food. I do it all the lazy way: no measuring or straining, unless I’m planning on using it as a foliar spray. It’s getting poured in the garden, so why bother straining it? I don’t need or want the extra work. The solids will breakdown further and add extra nutrients to the soil anyways. Some folks are really into straining their tea and are very specific with their formulas and additives. I’m not that person, unless I’m targeting a specific plant’s needs. A handful of this, and a pinch of that, works for me for general applications. I just try to keep a balance and make sure I use organic ingredients whenever possible. The time saved being non-specific can be used to prune something or hugging 🐓🐓.
When I add extra stuff, I usually let my tea brew over 48 hours, usually 72 or 96, to let things break down more. I do make sure I add more molasses for the microbes to feed on. And when it’s ready, I stir to agitate the sediments and pour a little for every plant or tree. I use less for trees in areas where the chickens hang out, because of the vast quantities of “fertilizer”💩 they drop.
I try to brew every 4-6 weeks, but sometimes it’s more like 8+ weeks, due to various life things and summer heat waves. When I’m too lazy to make tea, I mix up fish meal, alfalfa, and kelp together and sprinkle it around the base of my plants, then I water them in. Easy peasy.
Another raspberry shot. My posts are becoming as predictable as the daily harvest of at least one giant bowl of these beauties. Yesterday I harvested in the morning and there were more ready by bedtime (!) What is this wizardry?? It’s hard to believe this won’t last forever.
This is the corner of our patio. Nothing here is new or fancy; almost everything we have has been upcycled and given a new, beautiful purpose.
In that galvanized tub is our mystery tomato plant (I believe it’s a white zebra), a yellow bell, nasturtiums that have almost bit the dust and morning glories.
I didn’t plant the morning glories, and I was quite frustrated with them at first...but I began to realize that they are making my life easier by supporting the tomato plant, which means less tying up for me! #mothernaturekicksass