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Learning the Ropes: First Crop Leaf Lettuce, Romaine, Spinach and Kale

Do You Feel Like You Are Constantly Being Tested?
April 28, 2017
Home Safe Home
April 30, 2017

My Midwest (North Canton, Ohio) roots come out in many ways.

G ardening is definitely one of them. It’s in my blood. My Grandfather and my Father both planted large gardens, every year. We canned veggies. We shared with neighbors. They had cucumbers, but, we had extra tomatoes. And so forth.

T he tale of two dudes.

My Grandpa would just stick plants everywhere. If it struck him to put in 7 tomato plants in the middle of three Hydrangeas, he did it. No one knew why. It’s just what he did. It was like a mixed bag. I found stuff all over his property. My Dad, on the other hand, we’ll call him the “Great Organizer”. He viewed gardening like a science and it had its specific spot and purpose. This wasn’t for looks. This was to feed the family. No tomatoes by the Lilacs, or in between Hostas, oh no. He broke those chains. There would be none of that. His garden was a grand strand of beautifully laid out rows of veggie perfection. Corn, tomatoes, beans, peas, beets, carrots, squash, and much more. He was also a composter. My first recollection was somewhere around 11 years old, when we dug our own compost pit, if you will. This was a 4ft. X 4ft. hole about 5 feet deep. We put everything in there but the Cutlass Supreme. If it grew and we cut it down, it was going in! The bottom of that compost pile looked like hot compost mixed in, those plants grew like no one around us.....or, so it seemed. Compost. It is the difference maker. Little did I know how hip we were....and, we were organic before organic was cool. Now, I do follow my Dad’s footsteps. Grandpa D, too! Oh, Happy Father’s Day, Dad! He reads every issue. My current tip of the month — Garden boxes. I use garden boxes to keep down weeds and keep the rodents out. They seem to do the trick. I also thrown in an aluminum pie pan on a stick to rattle around to keep the birds away. All these little things lead to better looking and healthier crops. Tip #2 — Use zero pesticides. You don’t need them. Bugs will find any plant. But they can’t (usually) get to all of them. Plant more of what you like...right? Harvest the good stuff and compost the bad. It’s going to happen anyway. As you can see in the photos, the plants are healthy and vibrant. Not to mention, this Spring has been superb for rain vs. sun. Almost a perfect mix for growing. I started everything from seed which were sown in on St. Patrick’s Day. I have done minimal weeding because of the garden boxes, and have had minimal bug and rodent problems. Happy gardening. Now, go grow your own! tar on an August afternoon. And it stunk to high Heaven.

"Now, I do follow my Dad’s footsteps. Grandpa D, too! ”

 

But, with that compost mixed in, those plants grew like no one around us.....or, so it seemed.

Now, I do follow my Dad’s footsteps. Grandpa D, too! Oh, Happy Father’s Day, Dad! He reads every issue.

My current tip of the month — Garden boxes. I use garden boxes to keep down weeds and keep the rodents out. They seem to do the trick. I also thrown in an aluminum pie pan on a stick to rattle around to keep the birds away. All these little things lead to better looking and healthier crops.

Tip #2 — Use zero pesticides. You don’t need them. Bugs will find any plant. But they can’t (usually) get to all of them. Plant more of what you like...right? Harvest the good stuff and compost the bad. It’s going to happen anyway. As you can see in the photos, the plants are healthy and vibrant. Not to mention, this Spring has been superb for rain vs. sun. Almost a perfect mix for growing. I started everything from seed which were sown in on St. Patrick’s Day. I have done minimal weeding because of the garden boxes, and have had minimal bug and rodent problems.


Happy gardening. Now, go grow your own!

 

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