Friday, October 17, 2014

When Will I Ever Get the Winter Garden Planted?

The time has come to plant the winter garden.  I'm still learning new things about organic growing.  I watched a video today that talked about using unsulferated molasses to create a food source for micro organisms.  The process made a lot of sense to me.  So since I have molasses, I will add the food when the plants begin to surface.

So far I have learned to use Epsom salts in the hole before I plant, started a compost pile in a bucket, and  will use the molasses tea.  I also use diluted milk to provide calcium for the plants after a heavy rain because the rain dilutes calcium in the soil.  Ground up egg shells are an additional source of calcium that releases calcium at a slower pace.  These are the things I have used that work for me, so far.  I tried spraying a concoction on a tomato plant to get rid of insects.  The insects died and so did the plant.  I can't remember what it was, but I will definitely research things in more depth before I do anything else to my future plants.

Today I cut the grass and weeded some of the garden.  The weeds behind the blackberry bush were enormous so I put vinegar on them to kill them because I don't have the strength to pull them.  The grass clippings went on the soil to be tilled under for a feeding to the soil.

Most of the grass clippings went on top of the soil to be tilled under.  Hopefully doing this will create a better soil environment for the new plants.

The blackberry bush got another trimming and has mulch of leaves and grass surrounding the roots.  Sleep tight my little producer.

I'm thrilled with the marigolds this year.  I used seeds I harvested from plants I grew while I lived in the North.  They produced huge and healthy plants this year.  Currently seeds are being harvested from these plants.

I lost the flowers that were in a pot while I was away, but the ones in the garden soil survived the absence.

I'll finish off the grass and till the soil then plant seeds for the winter.  I am happy the parsley is growing from the seeds I collected from last year's plants.

 The parsley is tiny, but doing nicely.

One of five peppers left on the plants.  Since the nights are getting cold, they need to be harvested today.  No time left for them to turn red.

Molasses Tea

1 gallon of water
1/4 cup UNSULFERATED molasses

Mix well and use after the garden has been watered.

Egg Shells

I use these two ways: Broken into pieces to surround plants on the soil.  This discourages pests from reaching the plants.  I also grind them in the spice grinder to create a powder that is spread over the garden soil and turned into the soil.  The shells need to be washed in hot soapy water and dried out before use in the garden.  This keeps the soil safe from salmonella contamination.

Epsom Salts

Put in the hole before the plant is placed and covered. (About one tablespoon) Then for tomatoes I dilute 2 tablespoons in a gallon of warm water when flowers begin to appear.

If it doesn't rain tomorrow I will begin planting seed for the winter.  Garlic, more parsley, lettuce, spinach, radishes, carrots and beets.  At the end of the season I'll leave a couple plants of each food go to seed so I have enough seeds for next year.

The pepper plants are still in the ground and are producing more veggies now then during summer.  I have since read they like cool nights.  Bring it on.  I now like cool nights too.

The blackberry bush has been cut back for the winter and mulched with leaves and pine needles.  The five strawberry plants that were planted at the beginning of summer are growing like crazy.  That portion of the garden will be only for strawberries next year.  Their growth is encouraging me to hope for my own berries for jam next year.  We shall see.

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