It can feel like forever waiting for seeds to sprout once we've planted them. If you're feeling anxious - don't worry, it is still very early in the Kentucky growing season. Soil temperatures outdoors are not staying warm enough for long enough to properly germinate vegetable seeds outdoors. The question is, how can you germinate seeds now to get a jump start on the growing season?
Hiring a professional garden coach makes it easy as they always have helpful tips on seed germination in a jiffy! But for you DIY'ers... here are the dirty deets:
#1. Seed Selection
You may start *most* lettuces, brassicas, and some herbs indoors now. EX: salad greens, cooking greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, (wait on brussels sprouts), fennel, celery, green onions, dill, cilantro, calendula, nasturtium, etc.
It is not advised to start root vegetables indoors or very fast growing plants. EX: Carrots, beets, turnips, radish, parsnips, rutabaga, potato, snow peas, snap peas....
Have you or your spouse always dreamed of having a home garden but maybe the time wasn't right? Maybe the kids were too young, the set-up was too daunting, or time felt too restricted?
Perhaps 2024 is your season. Taking time for ourselves, in our hearts and homes, requires removing something from our plate. Literally or emotionally we get to decide when its time to nurture our dream. One plant at a time:)
I'm Marlena Wolf, owner of Edible Gardens Inc. est 2019. My job and purpose in life is to help you learn how to grow food, successfully. Why do I care? It's my lifelong obsession.
It started in 2005 with poor health. It quickly advanced to research on modern food systems and how they correlate with chronic illness in the Western diet. I'm seeing holistic medicine doctors because "modern medicine" failed me. In 2007, I'm volunteering on local farms and joining local food advocacy organizations. Lobbying in Frankfort to...
You always hear about farmers rotating crops to replenish soil nutrients. What you don't hear much about are other options that provide the same results. You guessed it, Cover Crops!
A cover crop is traditionally a non-edible grain, legume, or tillage radish sown to feed the microbes under the ground - in your garden beds.
Winter is THE busiest time of year for soil decomposition. Cover Crops help to feed the biological soil life keeping them active longer. In return, these plants will reduce soil erosion, improve aeration, improve drainage, replenish nitrogen, and organic matter.
In Kentucky, we like to use a Winter Blend containing: Winter rye, Austrian peas (or Hairy Vetch or Crimson Clover), and daikon radish. This will sprout in the Fall, go dormant in the Winter, then grow more in the Spring. It's gorgeous and green ALL WINTER. Come Springtime, cultivate plants into the soil and let them rest before planting in that bed. You may also plant among the cover crop...
Who else loves garlic? It's easy to grow. It stores well. It's a natural rodent & pest repellent. It has natural antibiotic & antifungal properties. And it's amazingly versatile in its culinary uses! Think whole roasted bulbs spread on fresh bread. Not to mention garlic scape pesto!
Garlic planting in Kentucky runs from October to mid November. It is a 9 month grower with several steps to consider for a successful experience. Let's get started!
Step One: Soil Preparation. Garlic likes loose soil with good drainage. If the bulb sits in wet conditions too long it can lead to root rot. Grow them in a raised bed or directly in the ground. Be sure to amend your soil with a plant or animal derived fertilizer rather than a synthetic. This will feed the microbial life in the soil increasing nutrient availability to YOU! Measure your square footage to determine the proper...
I love your ambition. You are a go-getter! But just because the Derby horses are running in Kentucky doesn't mean you have to rush to plant your home garden.
A common mistake beginning gardeners make is planting without planning. This isn't you, is it?
You know how much space you have, you bought a ton of seeds and plants, and now the weather is right but, what now?
Here are some helpful tips on creating a Planting Plans:
First, get an idea as to how much space your plants need, especially if your garden area is small. If you have unlimited space you may place your plants further apart and add in more aisle space.
Grab some graph paper, create a veggie key, and sketch out your bed dimensions. Start penciling in your plant selections by size.
Here is a good rule of thumb...
Nine to 16 small-sized plants like radish, carrots, and lettuces can be packed into a square foot.
Four to six medium-sized plants like garlic, Swiss chard, beets, and cilantro can fit into a...
It’s OK to remove old strawberry plants from your garden!
Every plant has its lifespan, even perennials only produce so long.
Strawberries are considered a biannual. Some plants will produce for three years while others may produce for 7 years. "June Bearing" berries are typically in this category. That means, if not properly managed the berries will reduce in size and production. It's all about management and knowing when to replant. Strawberry patches require fertilization, plant renovation, and covering with straw in Kentucky winters.
Renovating is a three step process that includes: mowing down the foliage directly after the harvest season; fertilization after harvest; and cultivating out the original plants to make space for the new growth (runners/new shoots/new plants).
THIS IS SO HARD for gardeners but overcrowded plants won't produce as long.
Fertilizers are needed for continued plant health especially ones containing...
Tiny tips on taters: Buy seed potatoes from a local nursery May cut into 3-4 pieces but be sure there is an eye on each piece plant eye side up Plant 1 potato piece per square foot Plant 2-3 inches below the soil
Don't have deep soil? Plant in a pot OR on the ground underneath 2" of straw.
How to know when they are ready to harvest?
When the plants flower, the tubers are developed. If you harvest now, the skins will be soft so you must eat them right away.
When the plants "die back" and turn brown, the potato has cured underground and will store better. Harvest!
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I don't know about you, but I'm always searching for a way to extend my joy for home gardening into the off-season. So what can we do with the end-of-season harvests? I've found that most people enjoy consumable gifts!
So here are 5 Gift Ideas you can pull together to create a killer Garden Gift Basket!
1) Seeds! If you let your plants go to seed this year, try packing them in tiny ziplocks (from a craft store) and giving to a friend! It's okay if you didn't. If you need to shop for seeds go HERE!
2) Herbs! Everyone loves dried herbs in the pantry! If yours haven't froze yet - clip some stems and bring in to hang dry. Or if you have some that is completely dry you are in luck. Go ahead and crumble them off the stem into a mason jar. Pack them tight! Tie a red bow around the jar just below the lid. Viola! Super cute gift.
3) Herb Wreaths! I like using garden sage, rosemary or thyme the best! Use what you still have alive in the garden. Lots of herbs are cold...