When spring time rolls around, I’m always so excited to put my seedlings out to start my garden! (I just have to pinch myself to remind myself that it’s the end of spring and not the beginning of spring that the little guys go outdoors — yep, year after year I lose a bunch from frost)
This is why I have created this little space as a checklist so to speak, of little reminders of things I need to do to ensure a successful harvest every year.
Feel free to add a comment if you have some more tips! This will be a living document that will be frequently updated as we get more experience in the garden. 🙂
- Fertilize! – Using organic fertilizers such as seaweed tea or compost it gives these little guys a jump start!
- Mulching – This helps retain the moisture in the ground so you don’t have to water as frequently and it keeps the ground evening moist. I find that when the ground gets bone dry and then we get heavy rain falls, the tomatoes split and crack and then mold and become gross. Uneven watering will do that.
- Pinch those suckers! – On the actual plant, you will sometimes see baby plants growing out of the ‘elbows’ these things are called suckers because they suck out nutrients and form new branches which detracts nutrition to the main plant. Pinch them out and you’ll have better flower growth. (this is also dependent on if they are indeterminate or determinate plants. Will need to do a bit more research on this and will post a picture up when spring peeks back again.)
- Lop it off! – For the longest time I just grew pepper plants as is and I would get like 2 peppers a year. A whole 2! Not a lot of good eats eh? I learned that by lopping off the main stem but leaving a few branches on (will insert picture here during the spring) it forces the plant to grow two separate plants in opposite directions which produces like 10x more flowers! …which produces 100 gazillion more peppers~! Score! Just make sure you don’t lop off the top of the plant before it has a chance to grow a few feet first. I did that one year and I had 1/2 foot pepper plants all year. It will start to grow side ways and not up once you lop it off.
- Water – Kale love water, if you don’t water it they dry up and well – then you don’t get much kale!
- Spread the seeds – I found a way to make these little guys perennial (coming back every year on it’s own without interaction). When the plants start to grow these thin tiny little pods, let it dry out on the plant. When they dry out snip it off and sprinkle it back onto the soil. The seeds will grow next year and you will have kale again! (This is dependent on weather of course. The nasty cold-30 winters here kill off all greens, but if you’re lucky and live in warm all year weathers then no need for this.)