Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fanciful Green Thumb

Planting Chart


Spring is about to spring my fanciful people!! What are you going to do to celebrate?! One thing I will be doing is planting my spring/summer garden! I can wait forever to be hot again but what I cannot wait for are those summer tomatoes!

To quote one of my favorite movies, Ouiser discusses why WE must grow tomatoes:
Anelle - Then why do you grow them (tomatoes)?
Ouiser - Because I'm an old Southern woman and we're supposed to wear funny looking hats and ugly clothes and grow vegetables in the dirt. Don't ask me those questions. I don't know why, I don't make the rules!

Can it get more southern than that? I think not.

Of course to begin this green journey you need someone willing to turn the dirt so to speak. Decide how much yard space (in the sunniest spot you can find) and shovel the grass away and break apart the soil. You can use a hand powered or gas powered tiller. Whatever way, it is best if you get a strong man to do it for you.... Just kidding. Kind of. At this point you can mix in different types of natural fertilizer if you would like. You can also check into ways to take a soil sample to make sure you aren’t growing yummy things in yucky things. This is probably a good idea if you are a city-dweller.

I have included a helpful and abbreviated planting chart (with some of my favorite items) in this post if you are brave enough to plant your garden from seeds. The planting dates refer to the majority of the state of Tennessee. To find more helpful information about other planting zones click here. Side note: Planting zones are the areas of the country you might find yourself in. These zones take into account the average climate of your area and give you ranges of dates for planting certain veggies. Our chart is mainly Spring and early Summer. There is a maturity column on the chart, this is when you will be able to harvest. You may be able to harvest sooner or have to harvest later depending on the type of weather you have this year and the soil you are growing in, water is also a factor. It may seem like it will take forever to enjoy the fruits of your labor but good things come to those who wait and it will be so good when you finally get to that point.

Most of the items on the chart are easy growers. Just make sure you water them well, but not too well. Don’t ask me about Asparagus or Broccoli, I have never grown those.

If you would like to jump start your season a bit start seedlings inside and then move them outdoors. Start saving your cardboard egg cartons and put a little dirt in each cavity then plant your seed. Make sure you keep your seeds fairly wet. The amount of soil is small so they will dry out pretty quickly. You can also use little bathroom cups or anything small. Your local lawn and garden store will also have small containers to use. I am all about recycling and saving money - so I use egg cartons.

If you would like to start your first garden a little simpler you may also purchase seedling plants of your choice at your local lawn and garden center. The seedlings are a little easier to keep alive if you are the type that might forget to water your plants...ahem...Laurie....

So...you live in an apartment and don’t have a space in a yard to plant your favorite veggies. Don’t cry! If you have any sort of porch or balcony you can grow some killer tomatoes and have an herb garden that makes your neighbors swoon. Check this out. It is a fantastic springboard for little space ideas.

If you take green thumb challenge this Spring I promise you will be glad you did it. First off, you will save money by eating from your garden and your food will taste better!

Go forth and grow fanciful people!!!

-Alison

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