Thursday, March 3, 2011

My secrets of gardening

sweet pea vines
So it's raining today which is why I am inside reading Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent A Year Trying To Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotole, and Generally Have More Fun,  almost out of breath here. Despite the overachieverish title, it has been a fun and fascinating read so far. When I got to Rubin's 'Secrets of Adulthood', p. 11 in my book, I had my own lightbulb moment. I have my own list, we can call it my 'Secrets of Gardening' as inspired by Gretchen Rubin. I'm sure you have your list as well. I think we all carry a list like this somewhere in our brains.

Here's mine so far, a work in progress.
Don't plant tomato seeds directly into the ground. Umm, don't laugh. I followed the directions on the back of a seed packet.

It helps to figure out what is your zone. Mine: USDA 11a. I now have a pretty good idea when to plant and what to plant.

I finally figured out what variety of tomatoes are happy in my zone. Mine: cool climate only.

Green beans and zucchini are summer plants. Do not snicker. I learned the hard way.

I can plant arugula all year but it doesn't grow really fast when it's cold despite what it says on the seed packet.

Nothing grows very fast when it's cold except for the sugar snap peas, radish and kale. And they could grow faster when it's warmer.

Crop rotation is a very good idea.

I must continually improve my soil: add compost and fertilize or face the consequences.

Soak your pea and bean seeds overnight before planting.

Those instructions on the back of the seed packet: take them with a grain of salt. See the tomato seed line above.
So what are your secrets of gardening?

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