Already Started my Zone 4 Garden

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With the Late Blight we had last year on Tomatoes, I’m trying something a little different this year. Tho, I did get a huge crop last year, I could have had much more! With each year I’m learning more and more with great old way advice, materials read, and trial and errors of my own. This year I’ll better choose my plants for better disease tolerance or early developers for getting good crops before blight even hits.
-I’m starting seeds earlier.
-I’m choosing from varieties that are early or disease resistant like Rutgers, Legend, Old Brook, Golden Sweet Grape, Mountain Fresh, Bush Early Girl, Better Boys, Celebrity Hybrid, Brandywine Pinks, German Johnson, Bush Big Boy, Juliette Cherries, and others.
-AS SOON AS snow melts, or lower than 1,000 ft deep!, I’m cooking the soil. Laying plastic on garden, allowing it to heat in the sun. After some time, tilling it, re-cooking it. Cleaning all garden utensils thoroughly.
-Adding better trellises, for air circulation. Now that I realize indeterminate plants that are fed well, grow SEVERAL FEET HIGH… Or through the garden! AT LEAST 8-10ft high. Nicely spaced.
-Other ideas to come, with pictures. Follow us on our journey of gardening.

My growing season begins with:
Testing out seeds. I abandoned mine outdoors last year in the heat, left them in the cold of winter… Wasn’t until I remembered the seed prices, did I regret this! haha So, I test away.
I started: Tomato varieties. Pepper varieties, watermelon, canteloupe. Others I just wanted to test too. (*I don’t waste too much dirt on others tested… Like beans, peas, cukes, etc. You can use damp cloth, or label and put 4 diff. types (Peas, cukes, beans, etc.) into one container with dirt. It’s too early to start these, but, want to test to get ideal list of what to purchase.)
I get starter dirt, fill large bowl with it. Spray it with warm water. Mix til all’s perfectly moist.
Add to individual containers. Planting 3-4 SAME seeds in each. Set on low setting heating pad.
Tomato TIP* – I start in larger container, fill it about a third of way with wet dirt. Once sprouted and taller than a few inches, I keep adding dirt, CAREFULLY. About an inch at a time per about 3 inches it grows. Tomatoes grow roots where the stem hits the dirt, this will make for good rooting system. Also, adding more starter dirt continues to feed them.
After about a week or so, if no sprouting, I replant same seeds. In case of duds. To quickly get them going. As they sprout, I carefully transplant to 1-2 per container.
In about 2-3wks, I rebuy seeds not sprouted. I quickly plant those. Repeat process.
Once seeds are sprouted and a month in, I then fertilize. Using my secret weapon, other’s as well… Fish Fertilizer. Not just the crap from any store. Mine was $30, but, well worth it. Lasted 2 years. Will post picture of it later. I plan on using the large amount left over from last year, that froze over winter. I read it’ll still work, just may not be 100% potent, which is ok, as I’m using it on tender sprouting. Or you can use a nice Chicken Manure Fertilizer. Careful to not burn. I dilute it nicely. I always dump my chicken manure into dirt, till around, throw more dirt on top. I use this old chicken crap to place into tea bags, throw some (About 3-4T) into a quart of water, shake well a couple times a day over 2 days. Throw tea bags. Dilute about 1 part fertilizer to 6-10 parts water. I water soil of plants, not plants. Test on few plants first. to make sure it’s weak enough to not hurt them. Last year I did Chicken Manure, before I knew about Fish Fert., and it worked great. This year I’m trying Fish Fert.
No tea bags? No problem. Place manure onto coffee filter. Fold up all sides. Tie off TIGHTLY with twine. Just shake gently!
Note: Don’t use blight infested dirt FYI.

CLICK HERE FOR MY UPDATED Gardening Tips and Ideas: https://dinkingaround.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/2014-gardening/

COLORFUL, even on a cloudy day! Got some post tops painted and added to tomato trellis posts. Layers!

COLORFUL, even on a cloudy day! Got some post tops painted and added to tomato trellis posts. Layers!

CLICK HERE FOR MY UPDATED Gardening Tips and Ideas: https://dinkingaround.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/2014-gardening/

One response to “Already Started my Zone 4 Garden

  1. Pingback: Gardening Tips and Designs | Dinking Around {DING-KING UH-ROUND}

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