3-31-09 Spring Along with Me

In This Issue:

  1. March in the Garden
  2. Planting Tomatoes
  3. Gardenerd Tip of the Week: Free Mulch
  4. Product of the Month: Gardenerd Recycled Grocery Tote

1. March in the Garden

Gardening has been in the news these days, from the White House’s announcement that they’re putting in a Victory Garden, to news of seed sales rising 35%.  It seems that everyone is getting in on the action one way or another.

Spring is definitely here in Southern California.  As per usual in March, the wisteria vines and citrus trees are in bloom, and stinking up the place in a good way.  We just planted out the tomatoes (see how in the next section), which is very exciting this year.  We found way too many of our favorite seeds through Tomatofest.com and went a little crazy on the seed starting.  As a result, we’re growing gorgeous heirloom varieties like Nepal, Great White, Ispolin, Dona, and Old German.

The black “lacinato” kale is sprouted, as is the Golden chard.  Potatoes that went in last week are already poking their heads through the top layer of compost.  We’re trying quinoa for the first time this year.  Not expecting a large yield, but it will be nice to see how it grows in our climate.

Another first this year:  Bennings Green Tint patty pan squash.  We’re looking forward to being over-run with squash this season.  We’ve got zucchini, yellow crookneck, pumpkin, Delicata and butternut varieties in the plan.  The birds have gotten the first two rounds of Bennings and Zucchini that were planted in the ground, so we’re trying for a third time indoors.

We hope you have plans to enjoy this spring and all the excitement that comes with planting a spring garden.  Happy Gardening!

2. Planting Tomatoes

Last weekend, Angelenos rushed over to Tomato Mania for what can be called the annual spring gardener’s delight.  If you’ve picked out your tomato transplants for the season, you’re ready to plant.  Here are a few tips on how to get your tomatoes in the ground and keep them growing strong:

1) Remove all the lower leaves that might touch the ground

2) Throw in a handful of Epsom salts and a handful of “acid-loving plant” fertilizer.  This will help prevent blossom end rot later on.

3) Plant deep – really deep.  You can even pinch off more leaves and plant the start a few inches deeper than the soil level.  Tomatoes form new roots along the stem wherever they are buried.

4) Water in with kelp or fish emulsion.  Tomatoes love it!

5) Start looking through cookbooks for recipes, then sit back and watch them grow.

By the way, it’s not too late to start tomatoes from seed indoors in colder climates or late tomatoes.  We still have a few sets of the 2009 Heirloom Tomato Collection available.  Get yours today!

3. Gardenerd Tip of the Week: Free Mulch

Tired of buying bagged mulch to keep your pathways weed-free?  Well, if you’re not picky about how it looks, you can most likely find free mulch being given away by the city where you live.  A quick search on the internet yielded more than 30 pages of links to programs in cities all over the country.  Most free mulch programs include composted tree trimmings from city-managed properties.  Bring your own shovel (pitch forks work better), bags and/or truck and take all you want.

4. Product of the Month: Gardenerd Recycled Grocery Tote

Plastic is so out.  Reusable bags are offered almost everywhere now.  But the Gardenerd Recycled Grocery Tote has several features that make it the bag of choice when it comes to reusable bags.  First, it has a 7 inch gusset, which means you can practically carry a small child (and certainly a little dog) – ample room for all your favorite fruits and veggies. Also, some reusable bags are made from vinyl, which is still a petroleum product.  The Gardenerd Grocery Tote is made from recycled cotton.  In other words, no cottons were harmed in the making of this bag.  Last but not least, you can display your Gardenerd tendencies proudly with that cute little carrot nerd across the front of the bag.  Plus you’ll look great riding along with a baguette hanging out the back of it.

Stay tuned for more gardening tips and tidbits from the all-new Gardenerd.com. Happy Spring Gardening!

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