Dusting off my green thumbs

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I've got my seeds started for this year!

My tomatoes, peppers and variety of herbs are all started in the greenhouse. 

Pretty much everything else can be just thrown in the ground after last frost, but this stuff needs a couple of extra months of growing time to really mature in our environment. 

Check out pictures above.

Anyway, that's all a bit of a side note, the real reason I wanted to write this update was to drop some gardening wisdom on my devoted readers. 

As promised, this post is going to be about things I learned last year putting in my first garden.

I’ve decided to write this in list form, because my generation has the attention span of plankton and we like things in easy to read formats.

I’ll probably do another list at some point, but these are the first five bits of wisdom that jumped right out at me.

1. All seeds grow

When starting my plants in the greenhouse last year I dumped out the whole package of tomato seeds into the tray of soil.

For some reason I had it in my head that many of the seeds wouldn’t germinate, so by using the whole package I’d get the right amount. I was wrong.

I ended up with more than 30 roma tomato plants and a too much of a guilty conscience to throw any of them out.

Start exactly as many seeds as you think you can handle. As long as they’re new seeds and you give them optimal conditions, they should grow.

2. Tomato plants are a lot of work

Most tomato plants grow to be quite large.

My parents never grew them – so I don’t think I’d ever seen a fully grown tomato plant before last year.

My romas were approaching my chest in height before they died off.

Transplanting, feeding and constantly watering these suckers is a lot of work.

And honestly, nobody needs that many tomatoes – I made tonnes of sauce and still gave away bags and bags of them. Even more went to compost.

A handful of tomato plants are more than enough for anyone.

3. Squash doesn’t need to be started inside

By the time the ground had thawed enough for me to plant, the squash I’d started in the greenhouse were several feet long and growing fruit.

Their little tendrils that wrap themselves around things to secure the vines had attached themselves to the table they were growing on. So I had to cut them loose to move them outside.

Direct plant squash after the threat of frost has passed.

4. Growing stuff upside down is awesome

Last year I had a cherry tomato plant in one of those Scene on TV Topsy Turvy planters. The kind that lets you grow your plants upside down.

The thing grew huge and was much more convenient to water, maintain and harvest than the plants I had in normal pots.

I’ve got four upside down planters for this year’s crop.

5. I hate weeding

There were some days last year when my garden looked more like an abandoned lot than anything else.

I couldn’t keep up with the weeds, not if I wanted to work and have any sign of a life outside the garden.

Look for tricks to help keep down weeds, newspapers, garden fabric and so on.  It’s worth the initial investment. 

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