Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Plants in your garden, on your balcony, allotment, in your house, wherever else you garden, which would you most recommend


 Gardens and growing vegetables either in the ground, in pots and containers on balconies, or such all require labor and space as well as money. One should first determine the needs. For example is it for fun, food, health reasons, to reduce food bills, or a hobby, etc?

Let’s take economics as an example. Here in Western North Carolina where I live, I can buy organic carrots for less than a dollar per pound. My gardening attempts with carrots have not produced enough on a regular base, nor are they as good as those from our local Whole Foods. I simply cannot grow them for the same price. So buying them is better.

Now, on the other hand, heirloom and organic tomatoes at Whole Foods [in Season] cost around $3.99 to $4.99 per pound. I say that the price is way too high. Why? Because I grow them cheaper and have a wide variety of tomatoes.

I also grow things that I like a lot and have great health benefits. Garlic, for example, we have not bought any from the store going on 5 years now. Here is my 2019 harvest. This supply will last until my next harvest and it is the best garlic we have ever had.

Bottom line…grow what is the most expensive for you to purchase in the stores. This is one of the main reasons I grow food for us. Most folks trying to grow a garden for the first time might not think of it as I mentioned. Grow what is easy like green beans that can grow in a container or pot on a trellis or in a garden setting. By the way, beans do not need full sun as many people will say. I have grown them in partial shade but with just a slightly lower harvest, yet the same quality as full sun. The best tip is just to do it, reach down and get those beans planted. I say that you don’t need a “green thumb”, but rather a brown thumb…one that has been out there digging in the soil and enjoying the hopes of a crop. Learn to grow with a garden and remember it is a growing season, you don’t throw it all in the ground on one weekend during early Spring and expect to harvest all Spring and Summer. No, you plant and harvest and plant and harvest right up through Fall and early Winter. God bless your garden and you.

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Monday, November 21, 2022

Is it better to start plants from seed or buy them already grown?

Vegetable gardens can flourish with a unique diversity of varieties chosen with meticulous care and grown from seeds. While providing frugality over expensive seedling starter plants bought from big box stores.

You can provide heirloom seedlings for your area when you save seeds from your current garden. Those plants were raised in your area and each growing season results in seedlings adapted to your garden zone.

Over time I have discovered which plants grow most successfully for me. In an effort to lower gardening costs, seed propagation almost always wins.

Drawbacks of growing your own starter plants over buying seedlings.

Seed starts require planning for the proper planting time in your growing zone. Along with proper growing days to allow the plant to produce.

You also need seed-starting soil, planting containers, and other seed-starting items.

With more than 40 years of gardening under my feet. I start 90% or more of my plants from seeds. Have you ever encountered a plant-eating pest? Seedlings or store-bought ones could be eaten by pests and wipe out your plants. Groundhogs are very well known for chopping down an entire garden in one morning. It's just a matter of replanting them at a lower cost than buying the plants if you have extra seedlings. S.A.L.T.

Buying plants has its advantages and disadvantages. Store-bought plants can be purchased on short notice to fill empty garden spaces.

Store-bought plants may not always be fresh. A high price makes them more of a burden on your budget. Another factor to consider…most plants purchased in a store have non-organic fertilizers. Most store-bought plants are hybrids. So consider what is right for you.

How do you care for a garden?

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