Victory Garden Update

I can’t believe I have forgotten to post about my garden this year. I am fully embracing the victory garden life this year. Mentally changing my gardening experience to embrace the idea of victory gardening has changed my perspective. Growing food as a hobby is one thing. Growing food to survive and as a necessity is another.

Here are a few snapshots of what my garden has grown into this year.

What I am growing so far includes:

  1. Lettuce
  2. Shallots
  3. Red Onions
  4. Basil
  5. Parsley
  6. Lemon Balm
  7. Sage
  8. Rosemary
  9. Thyme
  10. Chives
  11. Pumpkins
  12. Red Raspberries
  13. Sour Cherries
  14. Peaches
  15. Pears
  16. Apples
  17. Yellow Squash
  18. Zucchini
  19. Eggplant
  20. Green Onions
  21. Peas
  22. Green Beans
  23. Dry Beans
  24. Jalapenos
  25. Sweet Bell Peppers
  26. Lunchbox Sweet Peppers
  27. Roma Tomatoes
  28. Purple Cherokee Tomatoes
  29. Butternut Squash
  30. Lavender
  31. I am foraging black raspberries, wild ramps, wild garlic, and dandelions

I still have time to get some other things in the ground like beets, and carrots. I hope to use some season extenders as well to grow into December.

Another mission I have in regards to my growing food this year is to document how many pounds I harvest. I am trying to prove to the naysayers that say growing your own food is too expensive for what you get out of it and too much hassle when you can just go to the store and buy it. Yeah that’s a bunch of bullshit in my opinion. I intend to prove my point by the end of the season.

Total harvested so far this season since starting to document it May 26th is 417.1 oz. which is 26.06 lbs of food. These foods include: Lettuce, Lemon Balm, Peas, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Black Raspberries and Sour Cherries.

I’ll try to update more regularly! Hope your gardens are all doing well 🙂 -MM

Transplanting Seedlings

Today I started the transplant process for the tomato babies!

The key for seedlings in my experience is not to put them in direct light as soon as they emerge from the soil. Instead put them under a florescent light then they don’t get leggy. I just use a plain old florescent tube light but if you can afford the fancy grow lights go for it!

These tomato seedlings have been up for about 3 weeks and they are ready for transplant because their second set of leaves are forming. I am trying to do all of this on the cheap so I came up with using the cardboard boxes that I have access to instead of using expensive peat pots to transplant the seedlings into.

I cut the box so it is about 3 inches deep and for drainage, I cut holes in the bottom of the box. Make sure to wet the soil thoroughly ahead of time to prevent dry pockets. I used my kitchen sink sprayer to moisten the soil in a large bowl.

After spreading part of the soil in the bottom of the box I started to loosen the seedlings from their cramped container. Yes, I re-purposed sour cream and cool whip containers (don’t judge lol).

When separating the plants take care not to break their necks. Only lift the plants by the leaves and not the stem. If you break a leaf it’s not a big deal but if you break its neck, the plant is a goner. Loosen the soil at the base of each plant with a spoon or even your fingers and very gently guide the plant and root out by the leaf.

I placed the seedling in a pre-formed hole in the soil and then back filled the soil burying it right up to its neck. That’s right… bury the stem because it will create a stronger plant and along that buried stem roots will form. Be sure to pat the seedling in firmly so no air pockets form under the soil and there is good root to soil contact.

Water well. I use a squeeze bottle so I don’t hit the plants and knock them over with too much force. Now you can put them in a sunny window and water when the soil seems to need it, every 3 or 4 days.

Watch them grow super fast now. I always say a tomato plant has taken root and is growing strong when the stem starts to turn light purple. You’ll see.

These tomato plants are Cherokee Purple Tomatoes, an heirloom and there are 48 of them. I definitely don’t need 48 so when the time is right I’ll be giving some away.

See you in a few weeks for an update. 🙂 -MM