A little vitamin boost from Bio-tone Plus before amending your soil is key when planting up a fresh tomato path. More great tips from Bloom and Grow Radio in the full video!
Need a new and updated way to grow your strawberries? Try growing them vertically!
This windchime inspired planter will add life to your garden while adding an element of design to your home. Watch as Laura from Garden Answer shows us how to make vertical strawberry planters.
Be sure to keep the materials in mind – even Laura almost used toxic tubing for the project.
Materials she used includes:
Espoma products to help you grow your best strawberries yet:
Keywords: starting plants indoors, can you grow tomatoes indoors, growing vegetables indoors
Starting seeds indoors is great way to make your garden successful from the start. Nurturing and watching seedlings grow from nothing into a fully grown plant can be incredibly rewarding.
Gardeners have asked how to be more successful with starting their own seeds and the problems usually boil down to simple, common mistakes. Here are the three most common mistakes and how to fix them.
1. Problem: Not Enough Light
A common mistake beginner seed starters make is not giving their seeds enough light. New seeds need a lot of light to get growing. You can start with a south facing window, but if it doesn’t get 6+ hours a day, it probably won’t do.
Solution: Artificial lights.
Using grow lights, found at your local garden center, can provide the ample amount of light your seedlings need. Hang lights from chains, so you can lower and raise them as they grow. Keep lights about 2-3 inches above the seedlings.
2. Problem: Too Much or Not Enough Water
This is the most challenging part about starting seeds. Seedlings are incredibly delicate and need to be watered just right. Keep potting mix moist, but not wet.
Solution: Check seedlings regularly.
First, cover your seed starting container with plastic until the seeds germinate. This will trap any moisture in and will help keep the soil moist. Use a misting spray bottle until seedlings appear to avoid overwatering. Once your seedlings are established, water from the bottom. Your container should have drainage holes, so let your plants soak up the water from the holes to minimalize the risk of overwatering. Lastly, check your plants every day.
3. Problem: Starting Too Soon
Many beginners try to start seeds as soon as they buy them, instead of when the package advises. We all get a little excited to have green plants growing again, but if started too soon, they can die off from the cold.
Solution: Find out when your expected last frost is.
Seeds should usually be started four to six weeks before your last frost date. This will ensure that by the time your seedlings are ready to be transplanted, your soil will have started to warm up. You may need to place your seedlings outside during the day and bring them in at night for a few days to get them acclimated to the outside temperatures. Before you plant your seedlings in the ground, use Espoma’s Bio-Tone Starter Fertilizer to give your soil and new seedlings the head start they deserve.
In a few short weeks you’ll be ready to transplant!
Dreaming of juicy, flavorful tomatoes and ripe, spicy peppers? Grow them yourself in only a few months.
If you’re as excited about tomato season as we are, why not get started now?
The best way to get a head start on growing tomatoes is to start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last spring frost date in your region. Whether you’re growing cherry tomatoes or hot peppers, visit your local garden center to pick up supplies and seeds.
Here’s how to start tomato and pepper seeds indoors:
If you saved tomato seeds from last year and stored the seeds properly, they should last for about four years. Pepper seeds will last about two to three years.
Test your seeds a few weeks before you’re ready to start. Place several seeds on a wet paper towel cover it with plastic and place it in a warm spot. If the seeds are viable, they should sprout within a week.
Give your seeds a head-start. Simply soak seeds in warm water for 2-4 hours to soften. Read the instructions on the seed packet to ensure the optimal conditions for your seeds.
Gather supplies and fill seed trays to within ¼” of the top with Espoma’s Organic Seed Starting Mix. Follow instructions on the seed packets to see how deep and far apart to plant. Cover with soil, press down and lightly water. Find out more about starting seeds here.
Once the seeds are planted, it’s time to warm them up. Heat loving crops like tomatoes and peppers love the warm weather. While your seedlings are sprouting, store them on top of the fridge or in a warm place. An even better option is use a special heating mat. The warm temperatures help to speed up the growing process. Make sure to check seeds daily for moisture since the soil may dry out more quickly.
Once the true leaves have developed, seeds will benefit from a nutrient boost. Add Espoma’s Organic Tomato! plant food to feed instantly.
Thinning is the process of removing weaker seedlings to allow more room for the stronger ones. It creates healthier plants that produce more. As seedlings grow and you see crowding beginning to happen, gradually thin plants to 4” apart by gently pulling out the smallest ones with your hands.
Start hardening off plants once the last frost date has past. Place seedlings outdoors for seven to 10 days for a few hours each day. Once plants are ready for transplanting, gently remove plants from containers without damaging the roots. Plant in a prepared bed and mix in Espoma’s Bio-tone Starter Plus, to keep roots strong. Once plants are established in the garden or container feed with Tomato! liquid or Tomato-tone.
It’s never too late to start an edible garden. Different fruits and vegetables thrive in all types of conditions, so you’re bound to find the perfect fit for your garden, regardless of the season.
In fact, some summer favorites can be planted now for a delicious late summer or early fall harvest. Make sure to use Espoma’s Organic Garden-tone when growing veggies this summer.
Consider these options for late June – early July planting.
These little red veggies thrive in conditions with warm days and cooler nights, making them perfect for areas with a mild summer climate. They can also adapt to grow in cool weather, making your harvest last through the fall and winter. Beets prefer full sun when possible, but still produce leafy greens in the shade.
Aside from being delicious, beets also have a ton of nutritional benefits. With loads of vitamins A and C, iron, potassium and calcium, beets can help protect you from heart cancer.
Nothing says summer flavor like a delicious, crisp cucumber. Cucumbers serve as a perfect addition to any summer salad or cocktail, or they can stand on their own as a yummy snack. Cucumbers thrive in warm weather and that hot summer heat will give you delicious sprawling cucumbers in as little as 50 days.
Harvest cucumbers before they get too big to encourage continued growth.
Sweet, crisp and crunchy – what else could you want from a summer vegetable? Sugar snap peas need at least six hours of full sun every day and thrive in sunny spots. As sugar snap peas grow up, support them with a trellis or stake. They will be ready to harvest within 60-90 days of planting, which will give you a delicious late summer – early fall treat.
Zucchini is definitely a fan favorite when it comes to summer squash. This fast growing vegetable will be ready to harvest within 45-55 days after sowing seeds. Zucchini tastes best when it measures around 4-6 inches. If it grows much bigger, the flavor will become bitter.
Be sure to give your zucchini plants plenty of room to grow as they often produce lots of vegetables very quickly.
If you live a climate where the hot summer heat lasts well into the fall, try planting watermelons in your vegetable garden. Watermelons are extremely pest and disease resistant, making them perfect for an organic garden. Watermelons typically need 80-100 days of hot, humid weather to develop their delicious sweet taste, so only plant if you live in the right climate.
For those in climates a bit more mild, try planting honeydew or cantaloupe. These melons prefer warm weather but don’t require the same amount of heat as watermelons.
Summer gardens filled with fresh fruits and lots of veggies are worth the work. And while gardeners with shady areas may be envious, they can still have plenty of success on their own vegetables.
After, the secret to good crops is really in the soil.
A shady space that gets as little as two hours of direct sunlight a day is still a prime location for a veggie garden filled with root or leafy vegetables. Plus, you’ll have a longer growing period for cool-season crops.
Read on for five vegetables that don’t need to full sun.
5 Vegetables that Grow in Shade:
Easy to grow in almost any space, beets are a shade gardener’s best friend. Beets can be used for both their roots and their greens. Sow seeds directly in the ground in early spring for the best flavor.
This cold-weather vegetable can withstand cooler temps and shade. Use in soups, salads and stir-fries. Sow seeds directly in ground in both the fall and spring for two harvests.
Cold-hardy and resilient, kale will grow for months until the weather gets too hot. This plant can be added to stir-fry, salads, omelets and smoothies for a healthy addition. Plant kale about two months before your first frost.
Eat turnips raw or cook and serve in soups, stir-fries or mashes. These plants thrive in cool temperatures and shade. Scatter turnip seeds in your garden two to four weeks before the last frost in spring or from late August to October.
Requiring almost no space, garlic is simple to grow. Break off cloves from a whole bulb and plant in the ground. To harvest big and flavorful bulbs next summer, plant garlic in the fall. Allow garlic to cure after harvesting in an airy, shady spot for two weeks.
Want to get kids involved in vegetable gardening? Learn more about kid-friendly gardening.
The start of May brings colorful blooms and lush foliage to your garden. With summer right around the corner, that means there’s only more to come! Now is the best time to prep for your favorite fruits, veggies and flowers.
Here are a few things you can do this month to prep your garden for the summer growing season:
Be sure to keep your new plants happy and healthy all summer long with the proper nutrients and water. Then, get ready to enjoy your harvest!
Convincing kids to eat healthy may seem like a constant battle, but it doesn’t have to be. What easier way to get kids excited about fruits and veggies than by having them plant their own?
Growing food with kids is a great interactive learning experience. Not only will they get to spend time outdoors getting their hands dirty — what kid doesn’t love that? — they also have the chance to learn more about eating healthy and the science of growing.
For best results, choose a food that you already know your child enjoys, but isn’t too difficult to grow.
6 Plants Perfect for Kids
Trick kids into eating healthy with nature’s candy! Strawberries are a deliciously sweet snack and are also extremely high in vitamin C. Plant strawberries in your garden or start inside and then transfer outdoors.
Another sweet snack kids are sure to love, blueberries are nutritional powerhouses. These little berries are packed with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins C and K. They can be grown in containers or freely in the garden. Blueberry bushes can grow very tall, maybe even taller than your little ones!
This cold weather crop can withstand lower temps, so start planting in early spring. Sweet peas, snow peas and sugar snap peas are easy to grow and kids will love watching them grow tall on a trellis or vine. Simply snap off and pop in your mouth for a healthy snack on the go.
With all the different varieties of tomatoes, there is bound to be at least one your child likes. Try planting bite size tomatoes, such as cherry or grape varieties, making it easier for kids to pick and enjoy. Smaller tomatoes like these are often sweeter, too, making for a better healthy snack. Don’t forget to feed with Espoma’s Tomato-tone, it is formulated specifically for boosting tomato growth. The best part is, it’s completely organic, making veggies safe to eat for you and your family.
Growing carrots can teach kids another lesson in the garden – patience. Allowing your little ones to dig up these underground veggies will be well worth the wait. It’s almost like hunting for hidden treasure! Try growing in a variety of colors to create a rainbow of veggies.
Cucumbers grow long and fast, making it exciting for kids to watch their progress. Have each child choose a cucumber and start a contest to see whose grows fastest. When ready to be picked, cucumbers are the perfect refreshing snack on a nice warm day.
No yard? No problem! Watch this video to learn how to grow edibles in containers.
Which fruits and veggies will you plant with your little ones? Let us know in the comments below!
There’s a natural connection between children and the outdoors. And there’s nothing more special than caring for the Earth and enjoying Mother Nature in the family backyard. Toddlers, children and teens can explore a new hobby when they get outside and get growing.
This month, we’ve partnered with The Edible Schoolyard to encourage kids and families everywhere to grow their own food.
Here are our 5 tips to get kids growing.
5 Steps to creating a kids vegetable garden
1. Let them pick the plants.
“We’re growing broccoli and cabbage!” said no enthused child ever. Take a trip to your local grocery store or farmer’s market and let the kids pick out their favorite fruits and veggies. Research which ones will grow best in your yard and get ready to plant.
Choose to start seeds or purchase transplants for your new garden bed. Help kids understand what types of plants will thrive in your yard by asking them to pick out the sunniest and shadiest spots in the yard.
2. Prep Your Bed
Before planting, start at the beginning of the process by explaining the uses for different garden tools. Encourage kids to pick the spots for their new plants. Ask them to check the plant tags for information on spacing and sunlight and then determine the best spot. Be sure to bring a tape measure.
It’s a well-known fact that most children love digging holes. Once they’ve accomplished that task, it’s time to plant. Demonstrate how to gently remove plants from the container and loosen up the roots before planting.
4. Add nutrients and water
Just like people, plants need healthy nutrients to grow big and strong. Choose an organic fertilizer such Espoma’s Bio-tone Starter Plus to give plants the boost they need.
5. Create a schedule
Get kids involved in maintaining the garden by creating a monthly chart that includes days to water and feed. Chart when plants should be ready for harvest and create a countdown for your favorite plants.
Want to help? Be sure to Like our Facebook page and follow along!
It’s our favorite time of year again, spring is here! This marks the start of prime time gardening season as the weather begins to warm up.
Now’s the perfect time to put on some gardening gloves and repot indoor plants or start fresh with new seeds outdoors. Either way, March is the time to get a head start on rejuvenating your outdoor garden to ensure your harvest is ready by mid-spring or early-summer.
Healthy and delicious, the best time to plant beets is right now. They’ll harvest quickly, leaving us with an early summer treat. Plus, beets are known to lower blood pressure, fight inflammation and they’re rich in nutrients and fiber.
One of our favorite greens, broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse. It contains Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Fiber and Folate. This cool-weather crop can germinate in soil with temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to keep the soil wet, though, because this plant is thirsty.
Whether leafy green or perfectly purple, this annual vegetable is perfect for colder temperatures. Pests love Cabbage, so be sure to keep an eye on it. Try using natural repellant methods instead of harmful chemicals to keep your cabbage healthy and safe.
Why plant orange carrots when you can choose from the entire rainbow? Choose from purple, black, red, white or yellow. Not only are they good for eyesight, carrots are also one of the best plants for reducing the risk of Cardiovascular Disease.
This true cool-weather plant is actually stunted by hot temperatures. Perfect for early spring gardens, lettuce requires light watering since its leaves will develop quickly. And, don’t forget to use organic mulch to conserve water. Once true leaves grow, it is time to harvest the crop before it becomes bitter and tough.
Perfect for salads and sides, spinach loves the spring weather. This green is extremely sensitive to excessive heat. Spinach is fast-growing, forming flowers and developing seeds in no time at all.
Onions have disease fighting power and high nutritional value, making them one of the healthiest vegetables to eat. Onions can endure all of the hardships that come with early spring weather. Note that this crop will not be as fruitful if temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sweet peas, snow peas and snap peas are perfect for planting in March. They’re easy to grow and so delicious.
Give seeds a boost this spring by using Espoma’s Bio-tone Starter Plus!