Monday, May 26, 2008

Gardening Tips and Tricks

Happy Memorial Day everyone! Even though this is only the unofficial start to the season to me summer is here! Yes I still have school tomorrow but the weather is warm, the beach is gorgeous and traffic is crazy being that I live in a summer resort area. I never thought of it as a summer resort area growing up but after sitting in crazy traffic yesterday and seeing how many out of towners (aka bennies) are around I guess I do!

Anyway I want to start by saying that I am in no way, shape or form a gardener. In fact if not for my hubby and his love of landscaping I would without a doubt live in a condo or hire a landscaping company. Lucky for me Justin is so into his yard that he actually started his own landscaping biz this year because there are no other places for him to plant plants in ours! Every year I do make an attempt at having a small veggie garden. It usually consists of one pot of basil and one tomato plant on our deck but to me it is a garden. It never fails to start out great. My basil plants get HUGE, and I usually start picking my tomatoes by July. This kills my mother because she is an avid gardener yet her veggies never seem to take off as quickly as mine. Some may say it is a soil difference but being that she lives next door I doubt that is the problem. Then come about mid July when the whether is unbearably hot and humid I begin to loose interest. Watering doesn't occur as often as it should, the buds on the basil plants don't get plucked before they flower and eventually I forget about the garden all together!

I'm honestly going to make an effort to have a successful mini garden this year. I had Justin clear a small area in one of the flower gardens for veggies and have so far planted three different types of tomatoes. I'm also planning on planting a few pepper plants and basil in my garden. That is about my limit for this year but it is a start. After spending an obscene amount on produce yesterday I decided it was the least I could do for our money saving efforts. Besides knowing that I grew these veggies makes me think they'll taste that much better.

Now for a couple of green tips and tricks that I've learned so far. This is not an extensive list so anything that you have learned and would like to share would be greatly appreciated!

  • Beer: We have quite a few slugs in our area and they love tomato plants. They love beer even more though. If you have a slug problem place a pie pan of beer near your veggie garden and the slugs will go towards that instead of the garden. Just make sure you don't have pets near your garden or they might lap up the tasty treat before the slugs do.

  • Marigolds: We also have lots of bunnies where I live. Rabbits love gardens just as much as slugs but they do not like marigolds. If you plant a border of the smelly little flowers around your garden it will deter Peter and his siblings (oddly enough my maiden name is MacGregor but that is neither here nor there).

  • Epsom Salts: This is news to me but a little old lady that I know has awesome tomatoes year after year. She said her trick is to add a handful of Epsom salts to each hole she digs for her tomato plants before planting them. I went out and bought a bag and sure enough on the back of the bag there were directions for how to make a cleansing solution for cuts and bruises, a laxative cocktail and gardening directions.

As I learn more tips I will be sure to pass them on along with updates on how the garden is doing this year. Here is a pick of what I've got going on right now. So far it is pretty much a dirt patch but we'll see what happens!


Amber said...

i've got tomatoes and peppers, too...I hope they fare better than last year!

Mommy Mechanics said...

We just used our garden herbs for our spahgetti last night, it was delicious.

Danielle said...

Yay! Pete started our garden this weekend. I am too lazy to garden. But I do love the veggies. Thanks for the tips.