Veggie Garden

Vegetable Gardens

Starting a Garden! September 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 8:40 pm

Hello Everyone,

I fugured I would talk about some basic gardening tips for a beginner starting a garden. Many people want to grow vegetables, they just don’t know where or how to start. First, pick a spot where there is a lot of sunlight. Vegetables need at least six hours of full sunlight a day to be successful. If you are in an apartment or condo like I am you can always plant vegetables in pots. Start out small, gardening can be a big chore and if you are not ready for it and plant to much you will get discouraged and you won’t be successful. There is always next year to expand your garden and plant more if you decide you can handle more.

Gardening can be quite expensive so if you are on a budget like I am you should start your vegetables from seeds indoors, weeks before the last frost. Then you can transplant them when ready. Start your garden outside with lots of fresh soil and fertilizer. A good website to visit when trying to map out where you are going to plant which vegetable and how deep you should plant them is http://www.thegardenhelper.com/vegtips.html. After you plant your vegetables, surround them with mulch to help keep weeds from over coming your garden. If you are like me, you do not have time to continuously pick weeds. Next, you might consider putting a fence up around your garden to keep animals from getting in it.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is a small well maintained healthy garden is better then a big neglected garden.

Well that is the basic information for starting a garden. I will give more info. next week.

Have a great weekend!

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Pepper Plants! September 18, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 8:43 pm

Hi Everyone,

Ted had made a comment on pepper plants and how his did not really produce pepper this year. Since I am hoping to grow more vegetables next summer and peppers are on my list, I figured now would be a good time to do some research and figure out how to grow successful pepper plants. Peppers are also one of the most grown vegetable in small vegetable gardens, so I think this post could benefit many. Whether you prefer hot peppers or sweet peppers, the tips I have learned will help either plant grow and produce tasteful peppers.

Since peppers take a long time to grow from seedlings, I learned that you should plant them about eight weeks before the end of the frosty season and store them inside. A little tip is to keep them right around 80 degrees to make sure they grow (1). Pepper plants like the hot weather so they do best if kept at or above this temperature. You can do this by putting the plant on a heat plate or use heat lamps. Once the last frost has hit and the weather is warm enough, you can plant you pepper plants outside. Make sure you use lots of compost, fertilizer, and manure (1). It is best if you space the plants 24 inches apart. If after you plant them outside you get a cold night, just cover them with a bucket or a tarp to help keep them warm.

Pepper plants do best in moist soil but do not over water them. Wet soil will cause your plant to die. You should water more in the hot dry summer months (2). Also, make sure they are in full sun light. However, be mindful that “hot, dry winds and dry soil may prevent fruit set or cause abortion of small immature fruits.” (3)

Make sure you keep your pepper plants fertilized. After it starts producing peppers they say you should switch over to a fertilizer that is high in Phosphorous and Potassium (1). This may be the best advice I have found for you all. As Garden Hobbies says, many people over fertilize their plants which cause the plant to look full and thick but it will produce very little amounts of peppers. The other reasons that could cause your pepper plant to produce very little is exposure to frost and extreme temperatures that stay above 70 degrees for many nights. Being in Colorado we have weird weather that is not favorable to growing peppers, but it can be done; just pay attention to the weather.

It is also good to pick the peppers as soon as they reach a good size that way the plant will produce more buds. It is possible to get a second harvest if the growing season lasts long enough.

 Pepper plants are known to be over come by spider mites and aphids. If you have problems with insects and pests use an organic pesticide and it should solve you problem.

References

1. Garden Hobbies: Pepper Plants; http://gardenhobbies.com/vegetables/pepper.html

2. The Gardener’s Network; How to Grow Pepper Plants; http://www.gardenersnet.com/vegetable/pepper.htm

3. Watch Your Garden Grow; University of Illinois Extension; Peppers; http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/veggies/peppers1.html

 

The cold weather is approching! September 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 4:03 pm

Hi everyone,

To everyone who read my first blog I am sure you realized I will be talking about how to grow vegetables in the Colorado weather and how to do it successfully. I will share my experiences and learn right along with you all. I am a beginner at this myself so I am interested in learning more and more. I started my blog off with a story of my first experience and first mistakes of growing tomatoes because I was so excited about it I couldn’t wait to tell you all about it. I am new to blogging so I am not sure of the proper way to do this so it might seem strange that I am giving my introduction this week instead of last week.

I also wanted to let you all know that with the cold weather coming I am a little nervous of what to do with my tomato plants. I still have a lot of tomatoes on them that are not ready to eat. So, I did a little research because I did not want to lose them and I called my sister to find out what I should do. She told me now would be a good time to start picking the tomatoes and storing them in a dark place under newspaper. I know it sounds weird but she informed me that they will turn red if I do this and I will be able to enjoy them without throwing them away.

So for anyone who grows a tomato plant and does not want to loose the tomatoes in the cold weather, I hope this little tid-bit of advice will help you. : )

 

My first mistake! September 5, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 5:42 pm

I figured I would start out by telling you about my first mistake and the problems I encountered in the spring of 2008 with my tomato plants.

My parents have always had numerous tomato plants in their backyard and I always stood next to them in the afternoon when I got home and I would eat the tomato’s right off the vines. I love tomato’s! So, when I moved into my own place a tomato plant was the first thing I wanted to plant. Of course I had to wait for the following spring to come. So, in the beginning of April 2008 I went and bought two cherry tomato plants and all the fixings to go with them. My parents told me it was still too early and too cold to plant them, but I could not wait. Luckily, the lady at Fort Collins Nursery was very helpful. She informed me that I could plant them as long as I bought a water wall. The water wall is the coolest thing since bread and butter in my opinion. It simply creates a green house effect and keeps my plants from freezing. I was so excited! I was going to have tomato’s three weeks before my parents.

My tomato plants w/water wall

My tomato plants w/water wall

Everything was looking good and about the middle of May I was able to take the water wall off my plants. My tomato plants were looking great and growing fast. I had a lot of flower buds and that meant I was going to have a lot of tomato’s. In the begging of June many of those flower buds had turned into tomato’s. I was so excited! About a week later my mom told me she ate her first tomato. I was than extremely upset! I had planted my plants three weeks before them and they got red tomato’s before me. What was going on? Then my sister informed me that I was watering my plants too much and that was why they were not turning red. I couldn’t understand! I was only watering them once a day like I was told. However, they were not getting as much direct sunlight as my parents plants were so I needed to cut back. As soon as I did that the tomato’s started to turn red. I was again very excited!

The next little tip my parents gave me when they saw how scrawny my plants were, was to bury them deeper in the soil. Their tomato plants were always so full and tall and then there was mine, short and thin. So next year I know. I will cut the bottom couple of branches off and bury the plants deeper in the soil. Next year I should have award winning tomato plants! Ha.

Well, I won’t go that far but I now know not to water my plants too much and to bury them deeper. These two things will help to ensure that I get a lot more tomato’s earlier in the season then this year.

I guess you live and learn! Hopefully these little tips will help anyone else reading this that want to grow their own. All of you now know how to have a successful tomato plant.