Garden SECRETS

 

It seems to be a week of GARDENING posts (I’m in the ZONE).

 

Today, I’d like to share with you a few little SECRETS- on Gardening (Stop salivating. I’m not giving up anything that I’d have to kill you for).

 

  1. If you don’t have a large space to plant a vegetable that needs to be cross-pollinated (like corn) plant your seeds CLOSER but don’t expect as large fruit (I’m doing everything possible to NOT make a joke here). I was always under the impression that corn needed a large field. When I was a kid the best corn came from the center of the field. That’s why my mother always sent me deep into the field……(?). Anywho, last year I planted corn in a 2×4 foot space- one seedling every 6 inches, and ya know what? I got CORN! Two ears per stalk instead of three and they were smaller but delicious! I think the Corn Cartel just keeps telling us this so that we all don’t grow our own.

  2. Fruits are Perennials. They need a place to call home for a l-o-n-g time. Plant them where you won’t have to move them. Pick them to increase yield, and trim the deadwood. This is a good rule in LIFE, as well.

  3. Most vegetables are Annuals- this means they have only one life, but if you grow heirloom plants you can collect the seeds and plant the next season. If you plant ‘Hybrid’ chances are the ‘trade-off’ for, let’s say ‘increased disease resistance’ is sterility. Exceptions to the Annual rule are Asparagus and Rhubarb- they will come back every year, though Asparagus needs a few years to develop to maturity- like your teenager, who thinks he knows every damn thing and you’re the idiot. Oh boy…

  4. Both fruits and vegetables are heavy feeders, but they need different combinations of food, which leads me to explaining….

  5. Fertilizer. They are coded with  something that looks like this “N-P-K” or “12-12-12” or whatever ratio is inside. The ‘N’ abbreviation is for the element NITROGEN. Nitrogen assists with over-all active growth. It’s what will make your plants green. It comes from Blood Meal (dried blood). Most soils are lacking in it. So is your badboy boyfriend.

  6. Next is the “P”. It stands for the element PHOSPHORUS. It’s basically Bone Meal (ground bones). Phosphorous assists in root growth. Excellent sprinkled in the hole your planting in. Also excellent in the Fall when you want your plant’s roots to continue to grow over the winter. (Yes, all sorts of things occur under the freeze line, am I right ladies?).

  7. And, finally, the “K”, which stands for the element POTASSIUM. Potassium feeds the fruit and increases water efficiency. It can be found in potash, or hard wood ashes, kelp, or your expensive face cream. I kid you not.

  8. So… depending on the time of year, you want to change-up the N-P-K. What do you want your plant to do? Where is your plant in it’s growing cycle? What season is it? All questions I ask myself every time I look at my husband.

  9. When you want to bring your flowers into the house, cut them as early in the day as possible (they are less stressed when cool with more moisture in the stems). When you get inside, re-cut the stems (on an angle to increase the surface area that water will travel through) and plunge them into cool fresh water. To preserve your flowers add a capful of good old fashioned Listerine (original flavor) to the water. Listerine provides everything a flower needs: a biocide (disinfectant to prevent bacteria), an acidifer (that lowers the pH of tap water improves the water flow), and food (sucrose). Your welcome.

  10. And finally, my little SECRET on how to keep tulips from slumping over: cut a small slit near the base of the flower bulb. Tulips ‘slump’ because they get top heavy with water. This little trick provides a place for the water to escape.

 

If only Living were so easy. 

 

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Trim with a sharp knife, not scissors (they crush the stem). Discard any side growth that will be under the water line. Here, I’ve stripped the tulips of leaves, and dignity. Gardening isn’t benevolent.

 

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Can you see the small slit I’ve made? I practice on my husband’s sanity.

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These tulips are five days old already. No slumping AND a s-l-o-w opening of the flower. Nice.




  • Linda Roy (elleroy was here) - Tulips! They’re beautiful and YAY, Spring is about to….spring! God, it’s been a long winter. I can’t wait to get outside, clean up the yard and get things growing.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I know the feeling. Even down here it’s been a l-o-n-g winter. In the meantime, I hit-up Whole Foods for flowers. EeGads. I’m one of ‘those’.ReplyCancel

  • Diane - Deinitely saving this article! Thank you!!!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Just don’t forget the Listerine! HahaaaaReplyCancel

  • Mary - This post is a keeper! Pinned!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa at Grandma's Briefs - A former neighbor of mine was a huge proponent of bone meal. She used to give me a tiny baggie of it each time she gave me a cutting. That memory makes me smile (I moved away from her), so thank you for that! 😀ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - It’s great stuff- ground bones! Boo! (no seriously- good stuff).ReplyCancel

  • Angela Douglas Mager - Very helpful tips…and funny! 🙂 I wish we could grow Tulips down here in Texas. Those are gorgeous!!ReplyCancel

  • Ruth Curran - I had no idea that the time of day you cut a flower would make a difference and… Listerine in the water? Brilliant! I am going to try this tomorrow morning!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Oh yes. Timing is everything- even in the garden! Tell me what the results are w the Listerine. I’d love to know your opinion!ReplyCancel

  • Roshni - This is news to me that asparagus is like teenagers …slow to mature and heavy feeders!! Lol!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Yes, they take several years to grow big enough to cut. HahahaaaReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - I still think it would be way easier for you to just do it for me. Maybe not as funny. Well, maybe way funnier in person!ReplyCancel

  • Teresa Lee - We thank you Lovely Lady for you!ReplyCancel

  • Karen @Baking In A Tornado - I need to print this out, this is everything I need to know all in one place.ReplyCancel

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