I mentioned in a post a few days ago that I was TIRED, and could really use a blogging break. Luckily, my friend Roxanne actually READS my blog and offered to help. A disclaimer – her post is actually helpful and educational. There’s not one mention of my expanding butt. Don’t get used to it.
Can You Learn to Have a Green Thumb?
Guest Blog by Roxy J
For the first time in my life, I am growing a vegetable garden from seeds. I’ve had some success with tomato plants and herbs in the past but I bought established plants and only had to keep them alive for a few months through Summer. My experience with house plants is another story. Torture is the word that comes to mind. When it comes to watering – it’s either feast or famine. Either way, definitely a case of survival of the fittest. Before I throw a party, I buy new house plants for the occasion. I think you get the picture. So imagine my husband’s surprise when I told him I was growing a vegetable garden this year… from seeds.
What got me started on this quest? I watched the documentary, Food, Inc. and learned that most of the vegetables you buy today in the grocery store don’t have the same nutritional value they did even a decade ago. Most vegetables you buy are from GMO seed which has been modified to grow faster and resist insects. The food starts loosing nutritional value the moment it gets harvested until the time it appears on your dinner plate.
I’ve been reading articles on the Internet, checking books out at the library, along with talking to gardeners and reading their advice on the Internet. It’s amazing the resources that are out there and the gardening decisions to be made … What types of fruits and vegetables do you want to grow? How much space do you have for your garden and does it get a lot of sunshine? What growing “zone” do you live in? (This determines when to plant and may limit what you can grow.) Are you growing from containers or planting in the ground? Is your soil acidic or alkaline, sandy or clay? I’ve found that soil seems to be the most important element. Of course sunshine, good seeds, and water/drainage are also important. But having the right type of soil and pH for the seeds you’re growing is essential. I have a whole new appreciation for peat moss and composting to help the soil.
I researched non-GMO seeds and learned about heirloom seeds. After you plant the seeds and harvest your crop, you can save seeds for the following year. So you have fresh vegetables that taste great (much better than what you buy at the grocery store) from your healthy, organic garden and you have perpetual seeds. That’s the plan anyway.
I bought seeds from El Dorado Seeds. <www.eldoradoheirloomseeds.com> Home Depot had grow lights, seed starter soil, potting soil, peat moss, and plant food. From Burpee, www.burpee.com I bought a Seeding Heat Mat (48×20), a cool “Pot Maker” using recycled newspapers, and Organic Sea Magic Growth Activator. Burpee has a lot of gardener’s gadgets and I was tempted by the Sun Calc and the Electronic Soil Tester. So if you’re wondering, a Burpee Gift Card would make an excellent Birthday present for the gardeners in your life or pinch-hitting guest bloggers.
I hope this encourages you to grow your own vegetable garden. Please make a comment if you have any tips for growing lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, green beans or broccoli. I know from history that I don’t naturally have a green thumb – which adds the element of surprise to this experiment. It could go either way….