Good early morning to you all! I am so happy because I’m late, but I ordered my very first Green Stalk Vertical Planter which will be here soon and I am so excited! I was saying before the season arrived that I would definitely be doing a lot more vertical planting this year and now the time has come. Yay! Not only will I be using the Green Stalk, but I will also be making and purchasing trellises as well; saving time and space. Yes! lol. I haven’t decided what all I will be planting in it though but by the time it gets here, I should have an idea lol.
With no shame in my game, this year my garden will have a much different purpose other than for my love of growing naturally. I will be, as stated in a previous post or two, planting for survival as well as pleasure. Again, the selections of different fruits and vegetables are narrow this year due to the food shortages and disadvantages farmers have been faced with in the US this year so I will be doing what I love to do even more. So, far, my seed starts are all off to a good start. There were only a few varieties of all of the plants total that did not germinate. Other than that, the kids are going to love me a whole lot more this year lol! I will definitely have to look into purchasing new banana plants as well as fruit bushes and trees unfortunately. The Winter Storm this year did its thing with those but I can’t be mad. I still have heads of cabbages and loads of garlic that is almost ready to harvest so I am thankful.
This year, I will be trying out earthworm castings and other natural fertilizers instead of just using miracle grow. Also, I will amend my soil from last year with a couple more than just vermiculite and cow manure so again, I could NOT be more excited lol. This will give my plants an even more beautiful green color, better health, and yield this year. In order to save money, I’ll also be sterilizing my soil from last year before amending it.
I went a little bananas on the tomatoes and kale this year because it was so easy to get them to come up lol. This year, I started about six kale varieties, about nine to ten tomato varieties, about ten lettuce varieties, five pepper varieties, and about four onions. Also, this year I decided to grow about four to five varieties of beans because I love them and they help add nitrogen to the rest of the garden. They’re good for intercropping. I try not to add too much nitrogen though when fertilizing because I learned last year with my tomatoes: that can lead to leafy plants but no vegetables. Of course, I have many more seedlings growing (herbs and vegetables alike) but honestly it was so easy because every time I felt a little stressed, I just went outside and gave love back to the earth and started more seeds lol. I feel like a nerd because of how much joy this gives me but again, no shame lol. The kids are respectful when I give them a tour of my seed starts because they love me but I can tell it is really not their thing (you know what I mean lol). To me, I’m showing them my new babies but to them, I’m just showing them green leaves that all look alike lol but I don’t mind because again, they pretend to show interest lol.
I will say this though: this year, I added just a touch of earthworm castings to my seed starts and it automatically seemed to give them a more healthy start as well as more resistance to early pests and stronger stems and roots. So far, I’ve seen no sign of weakness in them. I believe that I will continue doing this even after this year. Coco Coir was also a worthy substitute that I used instead of peat moss to give the tomato starts the ability to hold more water and not be so packed down. I still use Mycorrhizal Fungi is a MUST for me for about ten years now when I transplant them into the garden or greenhouse! Better roots equal stronger and bigger plants! I DO NOT TRANSPLANT WITHOUT IT! You don’t have to but you won’t regret it trust me. Adding sand to your soil for plants like lettuce and etc. is something I will always recommend as well.
I hope you all have started your seed starts and if not, it’s not too late. I will be sheltering mine until I am sure the last frost that we are suppose to have has passed. The weather has been really tricky where I am and they are saying we will be having an early spring this year. I sure do hope so. Of course, more garden updates coming soon! Grow for you family everyone!
Be kind, stay safe, and stay alive.