Peetee, the incredible nursery dog warming in the sun this morning on a soft bed of mulch.
Great gardens start with great seeds. Not the same-ol, same-ol stuff (we have that too)
You gotta start some seeds inside in seed starting soil that contains no “dirt.” This company is the marijuana grower’s favorite potting soil. I figure if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us.
These are great little seed starter thingys also. Plop the tiny seeds into the tiny well then place in a tray of good old H2O then watch em grow. Plant the entire thingy after the frost date.
Coconut fiber cells for starting seeds- an efficient way to start seeds for a space saving way to grow exactly what you want in the quantity needed. Plant the entire cell coconut fiber pot, plant and all!
Then refill the plastic tray (use it over and over) with the coconut pot refills. Efficient space savers!
All this talk of starting up the garden either bores my dog Peetee or tired her out. She never tells me which.
...pretty soon you will not need to buy this chemical-laden stuff, it’ll be coming out of your garden!!!
We just ordered a bunch of veggie seeds from a very unique grower! Lots of really interesting varieties of flowers and veggies I didn’t know existed
I was never a fan of seeds till last year when I sprinkled them into trenches for the first time. Radishes, carrots, arugula. Best arugula over ever had. I would sometimes just sit in front of the row to pick/eat/pick/eat/pick/eat. I’m pretty sure that no arugula ever actually made it into the kitchen. That experience sold me on the seeding method.... not to mention how cheap in comparison seeds are. The best thing though, is the varieties we can get now from seeds- stuff I’ve never seen before! Check out the white-tipped radishes we have- so cool.
My kid found a recipe he wanted to cook that included scallions and shallots. “What the HELL is a shallot” I thought???
Many recipes have ingredients where you need a teaspoon but you gotta buy a quart. I only needed one shallot but had to buy a bag.
At least my kid was interested in something besides technology so I entertained him, bought the damn shallots.
I peeled the oniony paper skin off and started slicing (you know where this is going, don’t you?).
As soon as the steel hit the flesh, my nostrils were filled with the most delightful fragrance. I reluctantly tossed the slices into the pan and thought how cool that plant is. I immediately went to Wikipedia to find out about this discovery. Where have shallots been my whole life???
Last night I went to stop and shop and saw shallots in bulk next to all the onions- musta been there all this time but my eyes passed over them as if they were invisible.
Im going to save these for planting- they might grow like onions do, but now onions need to move over, there’s a new boy in town.
So last night I sliced up a large shallot and put it into the spinach/lettuce/vine-ripened tomato/pesto/ Caesar salad dressing salad, and we ate every scrap. Imagine a 14 yo boy shoving a parent out of the way to get to the salad?
I have shallots to thank, and my kid for making me buy them!
Post script in order here. I’m a blabber mouth, and have been gospelling the word of shallots to anyone who would listen. A friend of mine soaked shallot cloves in vodka this week and made a pitcher of shallot martinis for everyone last night! BEST MARTINI I EVER HAD!
Holy crap, is there anything a shallot can’t do???
We NEVER hear about this- almost never. More reason to grow your own food! Do these residual chemicals cause disease and cancer?
1. ROUNDUP- best weedkiller/timesaver ever invented. I’ve used it for 45 years.
Here is is what I know about it (FACTS):
It is a plant hormone that prevents storage of ATP by photosynthesizing plants, resulting in sprayed plants eating reserves instead- starvation results in sprayed plants.
It is only absorbed by leaves- never roots
It is “eaten” by microbes in the soil, breaking it down into inert ingredients
It does NOT leach into groundwater- sticking to organic soil particles instead, nor does it runoff into streams.
It is NOT supposed to be applied to plants that you are going to eat- why the hell would you do that?!
It is NOT supposed to be bathed in, eaten, inhaled, applied to skin in any way- STUPID!
There is NO RESIDUAL in the soil after the microbes eat it.
During droughts, roundup is excruciatingly slow to work as the target plants have gone dormant.
Ok, so if you aren’t breathing it/bathing in it/spraying it on plants you are going to eat, then WHERE EXACTLY IS THE PROBLEM? East of the Mississippi River, homeowners can use this product all they want without problems that you hear about in the news- as George Carlin once said “ITS ALL BULLSHIT FOLKS!”
The problem is when large farmers aerial spray crops to kill them for efficient harvests, the chemical is STILL INSIDE THE PLANT when it’s harvested/processed into beer and bread. Who ever came up with the idea to spray roundup on wheat? Sounds criminal to me. I do not want to eat roundup (brings up an entirely different conversation about chemical residuals in ALL of our food- what other bad chemicals are we unknowingly eating?).
How about that worker awarded $60 million bucks for cancer he claims he got from roundup...? Bullshit verdict from an emotional jury- hope it gets overturned on appeal. Did he have an applicators license? Was he ever trained in the mixing and spraying of pesticides? What else did he ever spray? What other factors in his life could have caused his cancer? Did the guy use sunscreen everyday he worked for that school? Did he ever smoke? Did he ever breathe two cycle exhaust when working? Who can say the guy got his cancer from roundup? ANSWER- nobody can.
Course, you have a choice- bend over and weed by hand (I do a lot of that when the weeds are close to my veggies), or spray roundup. If it’s sprayed with common sense and logic according to the directions on the label, you have a great tool for your yard. Wanna weed by hand? Go ahead! Have fun! Im not doing that because the anti-roundup stuff in the news is sensationalized and hyped up WAY PAST any amount of scientific analysis, and every single assault on roundup is met with scoffing and humor by people in my industry- well-educated professionals who really know the reality of this issue.
Just thought I would add some facts to a subject that’s been in the news A LOT.
2. Chemical VS. organic fertilizers:
I never use organic fertilizers! Why you ask?
I can’t help looking closely at things in my business- totally logical for someone like me to use my education like this-
On a MOLECULAR level, the macro nutrients are identical. Nitrogen is either ammonical/watersoluble/water insoluble/urea in both organic and chemical fertilizers.
Phosphorous- P2O5- same with both fertilizers
Potassium- K2O- same
So if, on a molecular level, the molecules are the same, then what’s the advantage of organic over chemical fertilizers? There is none.
Again, as a matter of fact, organic fertilizers need to be applied more frequently, don’t last as long, cost more, and are less concentrated (you need more).
Some of my customers actually don’t feed their garden at all- they don’t water either! That’s totally up to them.
I figure people can look at the pics I put up here to show them how I do this garden thing. I don’t get drunk and go out into the night naked and spray roundup all over Nature and toss chemical fertilizers into the wild...
I am a logical intelligent well-educated user of the tools at my disposal that I scrutinize carefully and use if they pass my sniff test. Put fertilizer into the hole when planting? You reduce the amount by 50% because the food is in the root zone readily and easily available. Weed control in my garden? Mainly grass clippings- go back into last year’s archives to see how I let the lawn grow long then harvest it.
That entire organic fertilizer thing thing is understandable but totally illogical when looked at carefully by people with some chemical education.
Its my opinion that a combination of good old fashioned methods in the garden mixed with modern technology yields the best results. If you start at the very beginning of this veggie blog, I started with basic info for perspective gardeners- hope it helps!
Any questions??? Feel free to call me!
THIS JUST IN (3/19/19)
Yesterdays paper. But it doesn’t change anything. When used according to the label instructions, you aren’t supposed to bathe in it, breathe it, drink or eat it, not get it on your skin, or spray it on plants that you are going to eat. Did this user follow those directions? Did he ever get motor oil on his hands, breathe gasoline vapors, eat food from the grocery store that had chemical residuals? Fish with mercury? Live in the northeast where we breathe in polluted air coming our way from other parts of the country?
I just do not see how anyone other than neutral scientists can draw connections between health issues and roundup. So far none have.
Link to article:
Its time. You have had enough time off. Did you have enough food this winter from last year’s efforts?
1. Don’t plant too close together
2. Don’t use CHINESE CHEAP CHEAP stakes- they are as shitty as all the other cheap Chinese products- wilting at the second slamming of the sledge hammer.
3. Don’t plant plants that need chemical sprays
4. Do plant tons of veggies that store easily for long periods of time
5. Do collect grass clippings for mulching plants to regulate soil moisture
6. Don’t plant too many cucurbits (cucumbers/zucchini/squash) because of squash vine borer- an impossible insect that loves catnip as a moth. No catnip if you like those plants.
7. Do plant from seeds as much as possible- selection is greater. It’s cheaper. It’s amazingly satisfying.
8. Do feed with Harrell’s 18-6-12 when planting for biggest yields
9. Do not be afraid to use some chemicals like roundup/malathion/BT/rotenone, etc., but you just don’t want to if you don’t need to
10. Staking/supporting plants is a must
11. Do consider rigging some sort of drip irrigation for your plants.
12. Do try new plants being introduced yearly by our aggressive industry- stuff is always being introduced
13. Figure out how to turn your garden into an early spring to late late fall producer of food
These rows looked far enough apart when I planted them but two months later I couldn’t walk between them- couldn’t really even see them. Notice the plant food sprinkled in the trench with the plants- makes a HUGE difference in output. Like having gasoline in your car’s gas tank.
Meanwhile- in the world of news, it turns out that our country SUCKS at living. Countries we despise live better/longer than we do.
“Shithole countries,” as tRUMP calls them, believe in pre-sickness care instead of post-disease treatment. Suicides, obesity, opiates, smoking, inactivity seems to take their toll on us.
Buck the trend, get up off the couch, and garden for food! Could be the beginning of the rest of your long, long, long life!
This article caught my eye. Spain is first. Surely USA must be second- nope. Tenth? Nope. Twentieth? Nooooo. Thirtieth???? Nope
LINK TO ARTICLE:
If your garden stinks, it’s because your soil is human soil. It needs to be nature’s soil. Human soil only grows frustration, not a fun crop to eat.
We share this planet with microbes, essential for life. Happy microbes make happy plants, the fuel for our lives. If microbes starve, we starve. Ergo, feed the microbes!
Here is what I do to feed the microbes....
Microbes in the soil environment have cool relationships with plants that we don’t totally comprehend. We don’t even know all the names of the invisible critters in our soils. Baffling that we as a species care more about iPhones than the soils that feeds us. Some day maybe soils and plants will be cool subjects to know about but until then only farmers like me observe and respect what makes nature thrive underground.
Trees and weeds grow and die. When they die they fall unceremoniously onto the forest floor. Time goes by and bark falls off. Worms and birds peck and slither looking for food but it’s the microbes that do all the work. Bark? YUMMMM they shout. Cellulose!!! Gimme more they say! To all this, humans say yukkk! GROSS! DIRTY!
Cellulose that makes up plants is made up of carbon mainly. Microbes eat cellulose. Microbes find dead piles of trees and weeds and realize there is an abundance of food. They PARTY! They mate. They reproduce. They poop, pee, die. Plant roots find dead piles of microbes and they party, they poop, pee, grow, expand and reproduce. With microbes and plants, everyone benefits. This is the beauty of nature’s way, been going on like this for millions of years.
Human suburban landscape culture dictates cleanliness. Collect grass clippings, rake leaves. Keep it clean is our mantra! But in ‘keeping it clean’ we are depriving the soil microbes of renewed cellulose sources, and when the food is gone, the microbes die off leaving the soil devoid of one half of the mass of life-giving microbe/plant relationship. All that’s left is- dirt!
Knowing that plants need fluffy spongy “organicky” soil, I add copious amounts of old mulch and partially decomposed wood chips to our garden soil to make our veggie garden soil.
Today this pile gets put into our garden soil house to cook all winter in prep for next year’s garden season.
Tech-savvy Americans see a huge pile of dirt. I see a huge pile of food/soil/microbial bliss with a million times more biology than the most alive yogurt- a tremendous orgy of life and death ready to spread on top of people’s yards to grow food.
Store bought giant Brussels sprouts. Sizzling in butter and garlic. Rice dumped on top, served with broiled salmon. That was last night’s dinner.
I planted brussel sprouts this spring but they didn’t like me. They turned into weeds. So did my potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, and a few others.
I think some years it’s a “crap shoot,” garden plants planted by starry-eyed hopeful gardeners with visions of Whole Foods-like displays of healthy veggies piled up in their kitchen.
The truth is is much different sometimes than those visions.
Lucy (best nursery dog in the world) is buried under Roberto, and she must have called PeeTee over to help oversee the goings on below the garden. All three sat together for an extended period of time yesterday as I fixed the garden. Life and death can be mysterious, perplexing, interesting and somber all rolled up into one huge nebulous emotion. Dogs we loved are tantalizingly within reach...yet frustratingly far away. LUCY!!! I STILL LOVE YOU!!!
Its so cool eating out of your yard and storing great food you grew yourself for long periods of time. What the hell would one call this dish anyway???
Whatever one would call it, it was great. The tomato sauce tastes sweeter than when I made it a year ago.
David Benjamin- horticulture degree North Carolina State University graduated 1983, has worked at the nursery since 1976. Somewhat tired of eating grocery store food.