11 Common Seed Starting Mistakes and Tips to Avoid Them

11 Common Seed Starting Mistakes and Tips to Avoid Them
  1. Overwatering. My kids recently experienced this one. They get so excited for starting their seeds and want to take the best care of them. It’s kind of like smothering a pet, you love it so much it hurts the pet. Don’t do that with your seeds. Wait until the soil is beginning to feel almost dry to water. And I mean almost dry, not completely dry. There should still be a bit of moisture in the soil. Your little seedling babies will be ok, I promise.

Read More

What You Need to Know BEFORE You Plant Apple Trees

What You Need to Know BEFORE You Plant Apple Trees

A few weeks ago, some of our good friends were planting apple trees and were asking me the basics you need to know for planting apple trees. In responding to their questions, I realized it’s not quite as simple as it seems. The act of planting apple trees is not complicated. But if you want apples in years to come there are some important things you need to know before the tree goes in the ground.

I’m going to cover several points.

  1. Selecting a variety that works for your area and how you want to grow. (Organic or Conventional)

  2. Where to buy quality trees.

  3. Selecting the correct pollinators for your tree.

  4. When to plant.

  5. Where to plant. (Spacing and Location)

Read More

How to Prune Blackberries

How to Prune Blackberries

In order to understand how to prune blackberries it’s important to understand the basics of how blackberries grow. Blackberries are perennials. This means that the root system will live for many years. The root system produces new canes yearly. Canes produced are biennial and die after two years.

The first year of growth on a blackberry is called a primocane. For many varieties of blackberries (though not all) this is primarily a vegetative year of growth and will not produce fruit.

The second year of growth on a blackberry is called a floricane. Floricanes will bear fruit.

Read More

2019 Garden Plans

2019 Garden Plans

Planning a garden to feed us year round is quite a job for a family of six! It’s a little more complicated than it should be because I’m working in a tight space with intensive planting.

I do a four year rotation for my plant groups for the most part. Below are the plants I group together:

  1. Squash Family

  2. Nightshades

  3. Cabbage Family

  4. Lettuce and Friends- Friends being carrots, peas, onions

By “group together” I don’t mean they are all in one group in the garden. I just make sure that anything in the squash family doesn’t go into the same area for four years. And I’ll just say right here that 4 year rotation is the goal, however, it doesn’t always happen… (Read more)

Read More

How to Make Eliot Coleman's Soil Blocking Mix

How to Make Eliot Coleman's Soil Blocking Mix

About five years ago, I started doing soil blocks for the majority of my seeds. I use Eliot Coleman’s recipe. This recipe can be used for both soil blocking and regular seed starting in any other container. Because the recipe belongs to Eliot Coleman, I have not posted ratios on my blog. However, the full recipe can be found on Johnny’s Seeds website HERE. Johnny’s Seeds and Eliot Coleman collaborate on many projects.

I also highly recommend his book, The New Organic Grower, which has the soil block recipe noted above and a mini block recipe. The book is worth it just for the soil block recipes. In addition to that Eliot Coleman is a gardening genius and it has tons of other gems in the book as well. [Read More…]

Read More