We're working on tracking down some new rare & interesting varieties for next years growing season. We will be offering several new radish varieties including the rare watermelon radish. We also plan to expand our collection of heirloom tomato and pepper varieties. Keep checking back to see whats in store for next growing season!
You might think that gardening isn't for you, but I'm here to persuade you otherwise. The most common statement that I hear from people is "I've never grew anything in my life, I just don't have a green thumb". Well I'm here to tell you, the main reason people fail at gardening is because they go into it with the expectation of failure. I'm going to kill those expectations here and now.
Think of it this way, the sole purpose of a plants is to live and grow. The plant is instilled with the will to live above all odds, which quite frankly makes your job fairly simple. Your job as the gardener can be broken down to three easy steps. Those steps are food, water and protection from any potential problems that may arise along the way.
Let's address the gardeners responsibilities from easiest to hardest.
Water- This is the easiest of the three steps to a successful garden. This step is pretty simple because when plants need water they wilt. This is a built in signal to show that the plant is in need of water.
Now it's not good to let the plant get to the wilting stage all the time, but every now and then won't hurt. I like to use wilting as a means of setting a watering scheduled. Take for example you have a tomato plant. You water the tomato plant and five days later you notice that the plant has started to wilt. This show that to prevent the plant from wilting you will need to water it every four days.
Now this is going to vary because of temperature, rainfall and a slew of other variables, but don't worry you will quickly get the hang of it.
Food- This step can be really easy or a little more challenging depending on the soil your plant is planted in. If your plant is planted in a good rich soil that is high in compost you may not have to worry with this step at all. If the soil is rich the plant will draw whatever nutrients it needs right from the soil.
Unfortunately most people are not blessed with near perfect soil, so you are more than likely going to have to feed your plant to keep it healthy.
Now for the the big question. "How do I know when to feed the plant?" Well just like with water the plant will signal you when it needs food. The signal it gives you will differ from plant to plant, so this is a skill that you will have to learn from experience. Generally speaking the plant will start to look sickly, it's leaves may start to develop a yellow color, or it may stop blooming or growing all together. These are just some of the many signals that the plant needs food.
There are a couple of paths which you can take to feed your plant. You can either go the organic route, the man made route or a combination of both. There are advantages and disadvantages to both ways. I'm not going to get into a discussion on that right now because that's a whole different topic. The path that you choose is purely a matter of personal preference. I prefer the organic route it's easier on the plant and a lot harder to mess up.
The three main nutrients in fertilizer are nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Your plant may be lacking in one, two or all of these. In order to cover all of your bases it's best to use a general all purpose fertilizer. An all purpose fertilize will have equal parts of these three ingredients along with important micro nutrients. With water soluble fertilizers like Miracle Grow on the market, feeding plants has became easy. Follow the mixing instructions on the box and water the plant with the mixture about every third watering and that's it your done. A good organic all purpose fertilizer is fish emulsion which is basically blended up fish remains. Fish emulsion has a very distinctive smell which may take some getting use to, but in my opinion it is one of the best all purpose organic fertilizers on the market.
Potential Problems- Threats to your plants can creep up from many different areas. One of the top threats to your plants health is weeds. It's important to keep weeds away from the base of the plant; any weeds that are around your plant will steal food and water from the plant which in turn will affect the plants all around health. There are a few ways of controlling weeds, obviously the first way that comes to mind is simply pulling the weeds. This is the easiest way if you only have a few plants, but if you have a large garden this method is a lot of work. For a large garden mulching or tilling around the plant would be a better option. If you decide on mulch there are several different options to choose from. These include bark, leaves, grass clippings, newspaper, and peat moss as well as countless other materials. In a vegetable garden many people like to use grass clippings or news paper because it holds moisture and blocks weeds. Newspaper can be used shredded placed around the plant or simply cut a slit half way through the sheet of newspaper and slide it around the base of the plant.
If you have a problem that is not solved by watering or feeding the plant it is more than likely due to a disease, fungus or insects. The key is determining which of the three is causing the problem and finding the solution. It can be a challenge to determine which of the three is causing the issue. First inspect the plant thoroughly for signs of insects or insect damage. Insect damage should be evident as bites on leaves, stems, or fruit. If no insects are present then the problem is more than likely a disease or fungus. Diseases and fungus usually present themselves as spots, blotches, discoloration or growths on the plant. Once you have determined which of these is causing your problem you have to narrow it down to the exact cause in order to treat it. There are endless pest and diseases that could be causing your problems, so this is where the internet is going to become your best friend. The internet is an endless resource when it comes to plant problems. Simply search for the plant and the problem is that you are having and you are more than likely going to find a variety of solutions. If still cannot seem to find a solution to your problem, simply take a sample of the affected plant to your local garden center, most garden centers have an expert on hand who will be willing to help.