Are we there yet? If you have traveled with kids, I am sure you have heard this more than once. In fact, like me, you have probably thought the same thing at times. The joy I feel planting seeds reminds me of the anticipation I experience when planning for a long distance vacation. When the first leaves appear on my seedlings, I feel happiness like when I pack my suitcase and pull out of the driveway. Planting my young transplants in the garden sparks excitement similar to crossing a new state line. However, the day to day, week by week, caring for the plant begins to leave my asking “How much longer?”Read More »
A walk in the garden and what do I find? Weeds beginning to grow next to my young transplants. They take up space and compete with my plants for water, light and nutrients. These weeds must go and I will be taking steps to keep other weeds from growing here also.Read More »
I’ve sown my seeds, they are growing, and I am looking forward to transplanting them outdoors. But, are they ready to transplant? If I transplant them too early they will have a tough time adjusting to their new environment and may die. If I wait too long, they can become root bound in their container. When it comes to deciding when to transplant seedlings, I consider them ready to transplant when they have two to four true leaves.Read More »
Most seeds sprout within a week or two. I don’t know about you, but when I see the first seedling appearing from under the soil, I feel excited and successful. However, from past experience, I know that a lot can happen in the next couple of weeks. Therefore, I need to check on them every day. To help them thrive, they need adequate lighting and water. Read More »
If you have been following “Little Lessons Learned in the Garden” you have asked yourself some important questions. Answering these questions should have helped you decide what you are going to grow, where you will plant it, and whether or not you will begin with seeds or transplants.Read More »
Do I have enough space?
Taking into account my planting zone and what season I am in, I still have another question to ask…Do I have enough space to grow that here? Space is yet another thing to consider when growing plants. The roots and leaves need room to grow. When plants are overcrowded, they can become stunted and are more likely to suffer from diseases. Understanding the spacing needs of what you want to grow is essential to reaping an abundant harvest. Do your research and be clear about the amount of space needed to be successful.Read More »
After making a list of what I desired to grow, I narrowed it to the things that could grow in my zone. Now, I need to narrow it a little more. What season is it? Plants are sorted into two distinct categories: cool season (for spring and fall) and warm season (for summer). Planting in the proper season is the first step to a bountiful harvest. I use a chart for my planting zone that lists when I should start my seeds and when I should put my transplants into the ground. The reason this chart is so helpful is that if I plan on reaping a fall harvest, I usually have to begin by planting my seeds in the summer season. That means that I have to plan ahead. If I wait to plant my seeds, they might not have enough time to grow to maturity and produce an abundant harvest before the freezing temperatures of winter.Read More »
The first lesson from the garden was to ask yourself, “What do I desire to grow?” Now, you need to honestly ask yourself, “Can I grow that here?” I mean truthfully, I would love to grow everything I eat. However, I know that is not possible and I don’t want to waste my time and energy in the garden. I want to be successful and my harvest abundant. The success of my garden depends upon me choosing the right plants for my planting zone. Therefore, I need to know what planting zone I live in. The US Department of Agriculture produces a map for gardeners that divides North America into 11 planting zones. Each zone is 10°F warmer (or colder) in an average winter than the adjacent zone. After a little research, I have learned that I live in zone 8B. Now, I look back at my list. I have two options. I can cross off anything that does not grow in this zone, or I can move to another zone. I don’t want to move, so I select plants that thrive in my zone. This decision has increased my chances for success.Read More »
Growing a garden begins long before you plant the first seed. It begins with a desire. I WANT to grow something. I may spend hours looking through seed catalogs and websites. I am drawn to the colorful glossy pictures, and make long lists of what I desire to grow. But, before I place my order, I need to ask myself a few questions. The answers to these questions will determine if I place an order for new seeds, use the seeds left over from last year, or give up before I begin? Most importantly, it will determine what and how much I will reap in the end.Read More »
Over the last 34 years of my married life, I have planted a garden many times. My focus has always been on reaping the blessings that it would produce. It wasn’t until my children were grown and I spent more time in the garden that I began to understand that there are many life lessons to learn in the garden. Lessons that could have helped me in all aspects of my life. Whether you are young and single, married with small children, raising teenagers, empty-nesters, widowed, etc., follow me each week as I take you into my garden and share the little life lessons that I am learning.