Welcome to Red Lioness Gardens

| 9/18/2012 11:40:52 AM

Tags: gardening, plants, education, planning, building, planting, fertilizing, plant disease, harvest, David Stratton,

Peppers In Box 

David StrattonHello and greetings to all Grit readers--I'm a relatively new gardener--this is my second year--and I'll be writing each week or so about my experiences, education, and ongoing projects in the gardening field. I've always been a DIY type and I decided to pursue a vegetable garden due to the quality of vegetables available in the supermarket. Additionally, I have no faith in the USDA to protect the food supply, and I wanted organic food.

Last year, I began by buying organic seeds--cucumbers--and using large clay pots to grow them in. I also made a box from wood and grew parsley. Tomatoes were grown in five gallon plastic buckets. My fertilizer was obtained from an ag student I know who has been of considerable help. Considering that this was my first effort, I had some good fortune. The tomatoes, which were of a plum variety, produced relatively well, although I did have some blossom end rot due to a lack of calcium. I learned this later after researching it online. But I had a good enough harvest to can seven quarts.

The cucumbers also had positives and negatives. The harvest was good--I had lots to give away and to eat, but some of the plants died due to the wilt caused by cucumber beetles. I noticed a beetle one day but did not realize what it was. Shortly thereafter, some of the plants became sick and died. Again, I researched the matter online and learned about wilt--most of my help has come from the Ohio State and Penn State extensions, and from Colorado State as well.

Last fall I decided to make a garden using raised beds and terraces. Wood frames formed the boundaries of my 300 square foot garden and I also made a terrace as the ground slopes sharply away from the southern sun. A good deal of excavating, leveling, and filling in was required. The soil was made from store-bought topsoil, sand, peat moss, and clay. Mixing these elements was done by hand and using a rototiller.

One of my last zucchinis  

9/18/2012 9:20:39 PM

David, welcome to the GRIT blogging community. You have learned allot in just two years. The extension office Websites can be a great help, can't they. The care and health of the soil is the most important thing in gardening. I don't have too much faith in the government protecting our food either. Your list of gardening things to remember is right on track. I'm looking forward to more of your informative posts. Have a great day in the garden.

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