What an exciting couple of weeks we had. We finally got rain these last couple weeks, so it has been easier for the watering. The big news for me is my good friend and neighbour Harriet Hansen has finally come home! (We had to wait for the isolation to be over for the Covid-19, but she is all done!) Anyway, Harriet is a certified master gardener in both the US and in Canada. She can grow pretty much anything anywhere if there is even a sliver of hope of it growing, and is an expert at identifying issues in the garden and usually has a way to combat them. I have learned so much from her in addition to what I learned in the past from my family. Harriet will be joining now to share her knowledge with you.
Both Harriet and I believe in good food, and being able to grow your own food in a chemical free way. Earlier this year, during the transplant blog, I talked about the bump-up mix that you put under each transplant to help it grow, and the mixture you add to your carrots, beets and turnips in order for them to grow. Well, just like all living things, we need to give them even more food throughout the season to ensure their optimal growth.
Remember the giant broccoli heads I’ve been growing? Many of you have asked what I do to get them so big. It does have many factors such as when it was planted, the variety planted, and what went under the transplant when it entered the garden, and the steady flow of water without letting them dry out. Also, how much sun is it getting, what is planted next to it, how much space it has, the pH in your garden, possible disease in your gardens, and how you feed it throughout the season. So, it is much more than just planting a seed.
The week is about feeding your garden mid-summer, and we will be using manure AND garden weeds!!!???!!! Yup, garden weeds. Crazy eh? This blog will tell you how to make manure tea and weed tea to feed your garden. The recipe is below for each type.
You will need:
- 5 gallon bucket
- Raw chicken manure (2-3 litres of it or more, but no more then 1/4 of the 5 gallon bucket)
Take the manure and add it to the water. Leave it sit for a few days to a week. It will be extremely smelly — like gag reflex smelly — but it does work and is worth it. Now, take another empty bucket, fill it 3/4 with water and add some of the manure water until it looks like the colour of tea. If it gets too dark, it will be too rich. Do NOT give your plants the water directly from the rotting manure water as it is much too rich for your plants. Once it is the colour of tea, then take margarine containers and give one good scoop to your plants. You can water pretty much everything except maybe your tomatoes and your potatoes as this will encourage leaf growth but not fruit or potato growth. Your leaves will look great, green and lush though if you do water. You CAN water your tomatoes and potatoes with this if they look pale green and struggling. They may need a bit of a nitrogen boost. If they are green though, and fruiting, don’t give them this.
The plants you want to focus on with the manure tea are your leaf bearing plants, brassica family (kale, broccoli, cabbage, collards…etc..), large squash family or plants that look like they are lacking nitrogen… pale, small leaves on the plants are a good indicator of lack of nitrogen.
So, this is cool! You can use your weeds to feed your garden! You will need:
- 5 gallon pale 3/4 full of water
- weeds from your garden
So, all you need to do is pull your weeds and throw them into the water and let it start to decompose. It takes a few days to a week. You can keep adding weeds while you are waiting, it wont damage the water, it will make it better. Just like the manure tea, take another bucket and fill it with plain water 3/4 full. Then slowly add a little bit of the weed tea concentrate until the new bucket of water is the colour of tea. Not darker as it will be too rich. You can use this water to water for pretty much anything.
Now, how cool is that?
You can use manure and weeds to feed your garden mid summer and throughout the growing season. They are smelly buckets to have around, and there may be some of you that may not do this because of the smell, but I can assure you it works. If you watch the attached video, you can see how big everything is already and we are only part way through the season.
The video shows you a couple more tips on fertilizing if you care to watch, specifically for brassica family. I don’t want to make this blog too long.
Alright, so that is it for this week! Next week Harriet and I will show you how to get your Brussel sprouts really going, and the importance of cleaning up tomato leaves as the season moves on. See you then!
Oh, and if you enjoyed this blog, there is a tiny like bottom below and a share button as well. 🙂 I appreciate your support of reading and sharing. I am passionate about gardens, growing your own food, and staying organic in your gardens.
See you then! Happy Gardening!
P.s. If you have questions, please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org