So as this gardening thing continues with me, I'm branching out of my comfort zones and actually am starting to feel like a real gardener. Not a master by any stretch of the word, but definitely more competent than a year ago. Two of my latest changes (and for all you true gardeners out there, please take pity on this newbie), liquid seaweed and organic bone meal. I've always used a higher nitrogen fertilizer (John's Recipe to be exact), but didn't really know enough or pay as close attention to the other aspects of fertilization. My father in-law has been extremely instrumental in all this new found knowledge with me however, and I have to say I'm learning alot from our conversations. He suggested with every transplant to put a handful of bone meal in the hole I've dug before putting the plant in, to help the roots grow strong and give the plant a good healthy dose of phosphate. Then after the planting, to water it all in with my regular fertilizer. I have to say, my veggies and ornamentals do look much healthier and stronger. Pumpkins, something I've never been successful with, are actually making pumpkins! I am very excited. My front yard is growing by leaps and bounds as well. And I'm starting to tuck in a tomato plant or two into some of the empty spaces. It is so nice to sit out there and watch the transformation we saw in our mind's eye 2 years ago, start coming to fruition.
I am also just starting with liquid seaweed. I sprayed the first application yesterday morning and plan on doing it once a week for the first month, then once every couple weeks for another month, then once a month after that. My own experiment with this one, but everything I've read says this greatly benefits all plants. And my mentor, aka: father in law, agrees. Maybe it is my imagination, but my plants did look happier after that initial spray.
We've gotten a good, soaking rain today so that will be wonderful for the plants when the warm weather comes back next week. The other thing I've given up is my intense hold on every single planting. If something is obviously not working, I'm pulling it and trying again in a new spot. No more getting attached to the last 2 tomatoes on the plant that just won't grow, but in my intense desire to get every last fruit, I stubbornly refuse to pull the plant. No sir, now that plant will be history and something new will be taking it's place. No more push-over gardening for me!
I have been trying to spend at least 15 minutes, more if possible, in the gardens every morning and I think it's showing. I also love how it affects the girls. They know so much more than I did at that age, and they love it. L is so proud that her one little Bluebonnet is actually blooming, and X is always ready with spade to help me plant. We hand water everything now too and I do believe that makes a huge difference. We don't need to water nearly as often, and it's quite meditative to walk through the gardens with a bucket of water in one hand and a 3 year old by my side helping give the flowers their drinks. So peaceful...
I hope you all are enjoying your springtime blooms. Peace!