Along with canning, the other most frequently asked about topic is gardening. How to start one, what kind to start, what to grow, how to grow, how to care for, etc. Just as with gardening, I am putting together a post here for you to consult for all your gardening questions! I will also keep a copy in the “notes” section on the Facebook Page for Burlap and Butter Knives for easy reference and I will update both as I find great new info for you! Of course, I also have a pinterest board full of gardening glory.
Gardening isn’t impossible, it doesn’t require acres of land, just find what works for you. YOU can do it! In your yard, in containers, however you want. Just take your time, read ahead and plan it out.
*My own personal tips* I’m not the end all be all of gardening, but this is what I have learned.
- Start your tomatoes and peppers indoors first, I generally start them the end of march. Once it warms up, I set them outside (covered) curing the day, and bring them in at night.
- Cucumbers, Zucchini, Squash, Beans, Peas, Carrots, Beets, and Lettuce all grow best when planted directly in the ground. (direct sow)
- Soak your beet, bean, and pea seeds for 12 hours, or overnight, to give them a good start!
- Spinach doesn’t like full sun or a lot of heat.
- Research your herbs! Some spread with a vengeance, and it is nearly impossible to contain them.
- Harvest frequently
- I water at 4 am, and at 4pm
- Do not harvest lettuce into a metal bowl in the sun. The bowl will get hot and the lettuce will wilt.
- Chipmunks love tomatoes.
- I hate Chipmunks
- If you are lucky, you will find Cicada skin.
- Watch out for Squash borers, they are terrible bugs. I hate them too.
- If you think a plant has problem, don’t be afraid to call the Cornell Garden Hotline! 845-340-DIRT (3478) for you Hudson Valley Residents
- If you have too much of something, check out pinterest for ways to use it up or save it for winter!
- Plant radishes throughout your garden, they are a great pest deterrent!
- Pictures of my garden in various stages, from it’s very humble beginning to it’s current size
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask, I am always here to help!
My favorite websites
- Golden Harvest Organics, they offer tips for keeping critters out, my all time favorite companion planting guide (it is in my garden binder and consulted frequently), plant disease, gardening tips, insect issues, weed id’s and how to deal with them, as well as great products for gardens!
- The Helpful Gardener, pretty much every topic you can imagine, container, beds, fruits, veggies, forums (great for questions and answers) and so much more
- Organic Gardening, all inclusive website. They do annoyingly try and sell you things, BUT the information is great. Some things require you to give them your email address to gain access, but it is well worth it!
- The Real Dirt On Gardening, a fantastic website run by the incredibly knowledgeable Greg Draiss, the head of all things Garden Center for Adams Fairacre Farms and an amazing gardener!
- A Visual Guide to Lettuce, from Epicurious, this is a fantastic visual for figuring out which lettuce is best for you!
- Hudson Valley Seed Library, great place for local (as in Hudson Valley) seeds
- Comstock Ferre Co. FANTASTIC seed source, owned by Baker Creek Heirloom (my other favorite source)
- Baker Creek Heirloom Most fantastic seeds, herloom and non gmo!
General gardening, planting and seed starting downloads and printables
- Fantastic download from Organic Gardening on Companion Planting
- Two great companion planting charts from Tinkers Garden
- Seed Germination Temperatures, from Tinkers Garden a truly fantastic resource
- Companion Planting, my favorite and must used guide, from Golden Harvest Organics
- Full list of all available downloads from Organic Gardening
- Abundant Harvest, you’re guide to the home vegetable garden. This guide, though lofty with things such as a sprinkler system, has solid and practical advice for gardening. Joe Lamp’l is an excellent source of garden information, google him and you can always find tons of great information.
- Growing a Greener World, the main page for Joe Lamp’l
- Getting Started, a page from Organic Gardening with articles on everything you could possibly want to know about starting a garden from scratch
- Gardening Factsheets fom Cornell Extension (we all know how much I love them!) Ecogardening, vegetables, fruits, plant disease, etc.
- Seed Starting 101, Part 5, Direct Sow. One of my favorite chapters from Hudson Valley Seed Library, it is a great and basic “how to” for direct sowing. When it comes to the post bare bones nitty gritty of what matters, this is it! They also have posts on Seed Starting 101, part one, crafting a seeding schedule , Seed Starting 101, part 2, starting seeds indoors, Seed Starting 101, part 3 sowing practices, Seed Starting 101 part 4, quick and easy cold frame , the entire Hudson Valley Seed Library blog can be accessed here
- The soup to nuts on composting, from Tinkers Garden
- Simple DIY Compost Bin from Green Child Magazine
Garden Problems and Solutions
- A Fantastic pictorial pest guide to help you identify good and bad bugs
- Plant Physiology Symptons of Deficiency of Essential Minerals. A fantastic pictorial to help identify if your plants are lacking in any nutritional areas. (I LOVE this)
- 3 Pests to Plan For, from Hudson Valley Seed Library goes over 3 of the most common “bugs” slugs, aphids, and flea beetles.
- http://pinterest.com/evelynvincent/garden-planting-charts/ (this is a “board” that has links to some garden info)
Berry Good Care
- How to care for Raspberries (a great basic guide)
- A fantastic and lengthy article from fine gardening on raspberries
- Raspberries and Blackberries, from the University of Maine
- A good forum on Raspberry Care, the Helpful Gardner
- Strawberries, from the about.com gardening section, a good overview
Looking to grow fruit trees?
What to do with all that food after you’ve grown it!
- Hanging Pantyhose I did this last year, it works, BUT, it really needs to be super cold temperatures, and NO WHERE near a heat source. I did end up loosing a lot of garlic that was on the “warmer side” of the storage closet. In the end I cut it all down and put it in the fridge.
- Blanch and freeze. This works best for corn, green beans, peas, and zucchini I haven’t tried much else
- Jams, Jellies, marmalade
- Crushed Tomatoes
- And again, pinterest!
- http://www.facebook.com/GrowFoodNotLawns?fref=ts Grow Food Not Lawns
- http://www.facebook.com/VeggieGardening?fref=ts Veggie Gardening
- http://www.facebook.com/punkrockhomesteading?ref=stream Punk Rock Homesteading
I will add more great sources as I find them!