Holiday Trash Piling Up? Grow Something!! Gardenology, 101…

So, everyone is filing thru for the Holiday? Parties among us? Trash bags filling up? And, “Whats this thingy Aunt Meg Brought???”

Well, let’s put on our Grow Cap for a sec, the things I always tell you to look out for. I know, can’t plant in a tie, that gaudy sweater, AGAIN!!!, But, the up-cycling, ohhhh the cool re-usable platters and things.

If you have ever, been to one of my lectures, or had the privilege to see me on TV, WWBT’s “More Bang For Your Buck” or “America Now News”, then, get ready for the ride. Save your “trash” and get this Personal Garden Coach onboard.

…and more. Wine Bottles, party Platters, plastic juice and water bottles for cuttings and more, and yes, as I’m known as, “The Dryer Lint Guy” for the coming seed starting season. Oh, and BTW, DON’T TOSS OUT THAT POINSETTIA!!! Makes a cool, Summer Annual in the yard. Wait till after last frost, plant it in your yard, then let me know, I know, how it performed… Just try it this year. You “Live Tree” folks? After you take it down, Cut off a piece of the trunk, save it for this reason… Then, plop it in the ground, somewhere, and stuff your dryer lint in it, and make those Peanut Butter with Bird Seed things with your kids, it will be green till first part of May.

There’s more Sustainable Ideas from http://www.Kevinsgarden.com if you need. Growing these days is important, nurturing you, is paramount.

Email me at Kevin@ Kevinsgarden.com if you have a “thingy” you think, you can grow in.

 

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Merry Christmas

My Gentle Snowflakes, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas. I will.. See, this is the shortest hours of daylight this week. On Christmas Day, we gain one minute back of daylight, and that in itself, is a gift to me. We get one more per day until like the 21st of January, when it starts skipping to 2 minutes a day. On that day, it is the same as November 21st. Same hours of daylight/darkness. We are at 9hrs 34min now of daylight, the last part of June, we are at 14hrs 45mins of wonderful daylight. There are a lot of minutes in the 24 hr day, I just hate when they are mostly “dark” minutes”.

Now, there is a lot to start thinking about soon. We need to start planning when to lime our lawns in January, prune back roses and ornamental grasses in February, Put down preventers in March as well as solarize vegetable gardens. Seed starting indoors, well what else can you do? It will get busy here in my home again very soon. Yeah, I love when the days get longer. I can only clean my house but so much. I want outside!

What else is there.. Ah yes, pruning Crape Myrtles in March, forgot that. Oh, planting Bare Root Roses in February, and B&B trees and shrubs. Get that compost turned in late Winter will speed things up a bit. Seeing steam in the mornings in that pile? Congrats, you are making “dirt”. Ma Nature will be proud. When April 15th gets here, we will be off the leash in our landscapes again. Start toning up your gardening muscles before hand. Get that logbook out and review last years pics, remember the heat last year, just think in your mind, it could happen again, so plan out your irrigation early, get those soaker hoses in place before the onset of growth happens. Drip irrigation systems? A wonderful thing to have.

Yeah, it’s coming. Thanks Laurie, for making me get that mental visualization of picking a ripe Tomato the other day. I could smell it, see it, taste it. I felt the warm soil under my bare feet. I saw other yellow blooms on the vine. I got mad, because I mentally, forgot the salt shaker…. It needs to get here soon.

So, Merry Christmas folks, I hope you and yours get everything you want in the coming year.

Solarization Plain and Simple

Still some random weeds in there. The "pile" will be used as top dressing for another composted bed.

Still some random weeds in there. The "pile" will be used as top dressing for another composted bed.

 

    First of all, let’s get some requirements listed. Food, light, moisture, soil. Basically, that’s it. Anything will germinate or hatch. Maybe not healthy, but we don’t care for now.

    Now, we need to introduce those to your late February garden. We are gaining daylight nicely at this time. Almost 1-1/2 hrs. Soil temps are going to climb slowly, but then it will heat up nicely. Time to hurry it up a bit. You will need some basic items. A garden hose, enough clear plastic to cover your garden space, a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10 or so, and a garden rake.  Time to get dirty.

    First you will need to pull out most of your weeds. I rake out what I can, but I don’t worry about getting all of it. I won’t break a sweat.  Next you will need to kind of get it evened out and neat. Then spread some of your fertilizer lightly around the whole plot. Sometimes I will put down about 1-1/2 inch of manure instead, mostly just enough so I can’t see the old soil. Now water it pretty good. A nice sheen on the top should be sufficient. Last thing, pull your plastic over the entire bed, lag it down with some timbers, bricks, sod staples, or whatever you have. It needs to remind you of a shallow terrarium when your done. For million dollar veggies this season, do this right.

clean-enough-to-solarize

Clean enough.

   In a few weeks you will see things happening. Volunteers will germinate, weeds will spread, and bugs will hatch. That’s great! You did it… You are gardening! Now comes the really satisfying part. In late March (watch the weather now, that’s my disclaimer) the weather folks always post frost or late freeze warnings for covering your tender plants. You want to go out that afternoon, pull off the plastic, and let ol Jack Frost burn the heck out of everything, Bugs will die, plants will fry. In a few days, you will see the nice browned out everything in the beds. Rake it out, prep, you will be transplanting soon afterward.  (Just a note, if you are gonna use cloches, start saving your empty 2 liters and gallon milk jugs. We’ll talk later). If you are gonna row cover, save the plastic for later.

   For the Black plastic comments I know I’m going to get, wait a sec. Clear will allow the sunlight in to promote germination, photosynthesis, etc. Black plastic is great for over heating plant life, and starving it for light. Killing off a grass section for a new bed for example. Lay black plastic on it in late June or July and wham! It’s dead, but the seed is still there.

   It’s late February, and here in Richmond people are buying up the Pre-emergents like mad because of the warm spell last week. You will see things sprout where they don’t belong, Gnat storms and other bugs, weeds that weren’t there yesterday. It snowed here yesterday and they are calling for it again Saturday night along with 20 degree lows… Wow, Ma Nature is doing her own solarization. Watch and learn. The new bugs will die, and most of those weeds will burn. Don’t jump the gun…. Forsythia!

   Get dirty this week-end. If you don’t know how, get a Coach, we’ll show you how.