Its all about the soil and the sun! Everything I know I have learned from my husband’s green thumb. He is the plant whisperer. So first sun. Planting in an area that is going to provide enough sun exposure to your plants is so important! Especially for tomatoes, they love sun from the time it rises until the time it sets. Next is soil! The soil is the incubator of healthy plants. We use compost from the food we have recycled from the year before. Instead of buying fertilizer, just recycle all the food you eat excluding meat and dairy. We cannot expect to take all the nutrients from the Earth not replenishing the soil, then wonder why our plants will not grow! Next is the magic worker. Gin trash, or cotton seed hull. Huttos in Jackson has a bedding mix with top soil and gin trash that works like steroids for the plants.You can ask your local gardening shop for something similar! If you are using raised beds, compost can go on bottom and bedding mix on top! If you are planting directly in the ground, tilling is the first step. The area of the garden needs to be tilled at least three times fully so that the ground is super soft! Then tilling in compost adding in the bedding mix last is your best bet. The fun part! Pick out your plants and put them in the ground! Water them after they are planted so they may begin to settle in where they are! Thats it! Now the job is to keep the weeds picked while they are small and water the garden daily, unless the rain helps you out! If you are still wanting to plant, go for it! The most opportune time has passed but better late than never!
A few tips we have learned about individual plants:
- Okra do best in the dry humid heat. Don’t over water them.
- Tomatoes need to be staked to they can grow up as high as possible. When fruiting the limbs become too heavy and fall on the ground. The tomatoes will rot if they are laying on the ground. Help them out with stakes and string!
- Cucumbers will grow wherever the please. They need a trellis to climb and you can help them by redirecting the fingers that wrap around everything!
- Tomatoes have sucklings! You can pluck these off and replant them. They will become a whole other fruit producing plant that you can give to a friend or family in a pot! We usually have about fifty tomato plants by the end of summer.
- Basil will grow until it seeds! Drop the seeds in the soil in the same pot it is growing in. When summer ends pull up the dead basil plant and compost it. The next spring all the seeds you sprinkled will become new baby basil! You never have to buy another basil plant again!
These are just suggestions and what we have had success with!! Id love to post a live video of Gregg talking about the plants soon! Feel free to comment or ask any questions!
LOVE and SPRING