Gardens Planted – Now What

The garden is planted and some plants seem to take forever to grow.

This is a list of things to pay attention to while you are waiting for the garden.

Asparagus – compost tea or kelp twice a season. Lots of leaf mulch for the winter months.

Basil – compost tea or kelp every 2 weeks

Beans – Thin to 3” – 5” apart. Fertilize every 3 – 4 weeks, especially at flowering.

Beets – When they are 3” tall thin the beets to 1 1/2” – 2” apart. Mulch with shredded mint.

Brassicas -Broccoli, Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Brussel Sprouts (lots of water) – Compost tea or kelp every 2 weeks and kelp before harvesting. Tie cauliflower leaves at the top when they start to form to create whiter cauliflower.

Carrots – thin at 2”to 1” apart. Second thinning 2 –4 weeks later. Water daily lightly until the carrots are up. Add kelp once they are up and one month later – mulch between the rows to keep moisture in.

Celery – need nitrogen – compost tea every 2 -3 weeks and mulch. Lots of water.

To prepare for blanching 2 weeks before harvesting wrap the celery with brown paper- if you do it too soon it may cause the celery to rot.

Celeriac – kelp or compost tea every 3 weeks and lots of water.

Chard (Swiss) compost tea or kelp regularly

Cucumbers- Kelp or compost tea every 2 -3 weeks. Pinch the tips to encourage branching.

Garlic – Kelp or compost tea every 2 -3 weeks. Wood ash in the spring and be sure to use leaf mulch in the fall to cover to help them in the winter months. Stop fertilizing one month before the bulbs start to form.

Horse radish – grows best in a deep, moist but well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Mulch with leaf mould to hold moisture. (Not wood chips). A good dose of egg shell tea for the micronutrients in the spring is all it needs.

Kale – Compost tea or kelp monthly.

Leeks – Compost tea/kelp monthly. Mulch with leaf mould or newspaper if you have it. Lots of water.

Onions – Need plenty of micronutrients. Kelp fertilizer and egg shell tea (Place 2 T of egg shells in a gallon of water then leave sit for one month. It will smell like rotten eggs.) Dilute a few tablespoons at a time in 1 gallon of water and use on any vegetables. It is rich in minerals and micronutrients.

Parsnip – Compost tea or kelp monthly. Thin to thin at 2”to 1” apart. Second thinning 2 –4 weeks later.

Peppers – Compost tea or kelp monthly. Especially when they begin to flower. Surround the base of the plant with crushed egg shells for added calcium. This helps create stronger stems.

Potatoes – Respond well to high fertility – Plant the potatoes in a trench then hill when the plants are 6 – 8” tall. Layer wilted comfrey leaves along side. Place wood ash in the trench before you hill the first time. Wood ash can increase yields by 30%.

Radishes – When they are at 2-3 leaf stay thin to 1” to 4” spacing depending on soil fertility. They are sometimes planted with the brassicas as they lure the worms away from the more valued crop. They don’t need nitrogen but do well with the egg shell or compost tea.

Rhubarb – is a heavy feeder. Compost as a mulch and compost tea regularly.

Shallots – Compost tea when the shoots are 6” high and then again in a month.

Spinach – Compost tea or kelp every 2 weeks. Water lots. Thin at 2” tall to 2” apart.

Strawberries – At least an1” of water per week. Fertilize regularly with egg shell tea and kelp. Every fall cover with leaf mould and this release lots of nutrient value to the plants as the leaves decay.

Sweet potato – Water, water water. Lay black plastic down to help keep the soil warmer. Start slips indoors in February and keep transplanting to larger pots until ready to plant out and only when the outside temperatures are warmer – after the May long weekend. Compost tea when the tubers are developing. Harvest before soil temperatures fall below 50 F.

Tomatoes – Compost tea or kelp weekly until flowering then every 2 – 3 weeks. Keep the lower branches trimmed. As the plants are establishing trim some of the leaves in half. This helps create stronger stems and sturdier plants. Also surround the base of the plant with crushed egg shells for added calcium and creating stronger stems. It is debated whether the suckers need to be removed.

Turnips/Rutabaga – Give them a feed of compost tea or liquid kelp and not too much nitrogen. Scatter coffee grounds to help deter wireworms.

And then there is the weeding -that is a labour of love. It is best to weed in the fourth quarter of the moon cycle for best results. That is typically the week before the new moon. At new moon, the Moon is lined up between the Earth and the Sun. We see the side of the Moon that is not being lit by the Sun (in other words, we see no Moon at all, because the brightness of the Sun outshines the dim Moon!)

Happy gardening

Katelyn and Linda