Aquaponic Gardening

As a teenager I was able to visit DisneyWorld, and among the time I spent there I remember passing through the Epcot center and seeing their hydroponic gardens.  They were amazing systems that displayed the potential for growing food without dirt. As a kid of course I thought this was something designed simply for use in spaceships, why else would you not have *dirt*? I learned how the workers needed to make sure the water had the correct nutrients for the plants, all that good soil would normally provide. Continue reading “Aquaponic Gardening”

Utah Garden Planning Documents

A while back we posted on a series of classes that the incomparable Gordon Wells was teaching throughout the Utah Valley. Some of you may have attended and hopefully have started out on your first gardening attempts or are implementing his teachings into your existing garden.

A coworker of mine went to the same class last year and implemented it in his garden that spring. He was amazed at the results he was able to obtain just by following the simple guidelines laid out by Mr. Wells. He was so impressed that he created a series of three PDF documents that simply and quickly illustrate when and what to plant. Continue reading “Utah Garden Planning Documents”

As my Garden Grows – So do my weeds!

corn1My new garden is nearly a quarter acre, I had forgotten just how many weeds show up in a brand new garden!

I’ve been gardening all my life – my Father got his Masters Degree in Agronomy and for as long as I can remember he has kept a very large garden, large enough to feed his family of 9.  Growing up we spent each spring building hills for the garden and planting, summers were spent weeding and maintaining and fall was always a huge harvest that the entire family participated in.

Continue reading “As my Garden Grows – So do my weeds!”

Gardening in Beds

I’m a relatively new bed gardener (just got ours built last year), but have already found that there are many benefits to laying out a garden in beds rather than rows.

Garden laid out in beds.  Pay no attention to the weeds--they are outside the beds!
Garden laid out in beds. Pay no attention to the weeds--they are outside the beds!

First is the increased production in less space.  Beans don’t need 18 inches between rows like the seed packet says.  That 18 inches is for you to walk between rows. Continue reading “Gardening in Beds”

Gardening In Utah

Recently I had a small message in my inbox that came in via the contact form here on the blog.  It was somebody named Alex mentioning that he had a blog we might be interested in.  A quick check showed that he was right, VegeNag is a blog about vegetable gardening in Utah.  I know I’m always looking for all the help I can get, so it’s nice to have somebody that can give advice that is local and knowledgeable about our specific soil conditions and other factors.

He is adding on quite a few useful articles on things he is doing to help plants grow around here, and has many useful links directly to useful locations such as the Utah State Extensions which provide very useful on agriculture, horticulture, insects, in short everything you might need to know about growing anything in your own county.

It looks like in the future he is planning on expanding his blog to also give alerts for when you need to take certain actions in your garden according to our climate.  And if we’ve learned anything this spring, it’s that a little help in knowing the real planting/safe dates can really help (I still can’t believe I got snow again today!)

Starts for the Spring garden

Ten days and counting. Boy do I have spring-fever. We planted lettuce, broccoli, carrots and two kinds of peas Monday night in our starter trays and by this morning they had already sprouted and pushed their heads up through the soil. I will be moving them outside on the fourteenth. I tried two approaches to see which would perform better. Half the seeds went in a 72 cup Jiffy Greenhouse Kit and the other half went in biodegradable peat pots filled with seed-starting potting soil and covered with cellophane.

I found the Jiffy Greenhouse Kit cumbersome, but it does appear to be performing better than the pots I filled with soil by hand. The peat pellets in the kit are compressed and dehydrated and come as small wafers. Before use, you must rehydrate them with an eighth a cup of water and slice open the top of the fabric that holds them together so that you can get the seed inside. The raised plastic lid also appears to be regulating the humidity better than the cellophane on the others. The cellophane is also going to have to be removed once shoots get much higher than the edge of the peat pots.

The only real obstacle that I foresee is distinguishing between each of the plants while they are young as my toddler has removed my markers.