Posted on Leave a comment

Tomato Times!

We love a good organic tomato; preferring a home-grown and heirloom variety or from the Farmer’s Market. Growing your own food is a great activity with kids, a satisfying way to teach organic gardening and the value of feeding the soil.

Do a little research to find out which plants do best in your climate. Our incredible propagating (plant growing) friends at “Island Seed and Feed” in Goleta, help us to figure out which tomato plants did well last year and what might be better this year. Of course, the amount of rain may be too much (fungus problems) or too little. We use a drip system linked up to a controller for reliable watering even if we’re busy or away.

Ask a few local irrigation companies if you’d like recommendations for setting up a drip-irrigation system with a controller. There are many ways to do-it-yourself and with help.

We use a good organic _potting_ soil in 15 gallon pots because the gophers will destroy our tomatoes if we plant in-ground. (Don’t reuse last year’s potted tomato soil to avoid transferring diseases; use that old soil with other non-tomato plants.) Be very cautious not to use contaminated soil or pesticides on your food plants.

Dr. N stirs in a few handfuls of organic plant food.

Then, hand waters with a B vitamin liquid + water to prevent “transplant shock.”

He leaves enough room at the top for an occasional deep watering by hand, and a sturdy tomato cage. He always puts the plant tag in the pot so we’ll remember which ones did well at the end of the harvest.

Just planted.
The original four tomato plants at 3 weeks and a new one on the right, at 2 weeks! Happy growing times.

Thank you for joining us as we do Pandemic Projects, meant to keep you energized, curious and learning!

Posted on Leave a comment

Growing Times

Growing healthful food and beneficial flowers (good for the garden and you) is a life long joy.
Here are seeds gathered and traded at a Seed Sharing event, Italian Vegetable and Herb packets, Native California Wildflower seeds, two varieties of Blueberry plants that will do well in our climate in 1 gallon pots, 2 sturdy watering cans, and, a little “Stupice” tomato seedling. Many thanks to our friends of 20 years- Island Seed & Feed, in Goleta, CA.

We are Green Gardeners in Santa Barbara, CA. We love to “feed the soil” with organic compost which we make ourselves or buy from a trustworthy source, organic worm castings from our worm bin and organic amendments that help correct any soil deficiencies. Organic soil care is particularly important for food crops like vegetables, tomatoes, herbs, berries and fruit trees, because all plants take up nutrients from the soil.

Our worm bin is made with recycled redwood fence boards. It’s on the East side of the house where our worms are sheltered from direct sun from the South and West and protected from most rain. If you want to build your own worm bin, Matt Buckmaster, from Island Seed & Feed has shared his woodworking plans, below. (Thank you, Matt!)

Beneficial insects include our pollinators! The flowering fruit trees, fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers are helping to keep our honey bees happy and vigorous. But, they aren’t the only ones! Do some research to find out who _your_ native plants are, what months do they bloom, which insects are in _your neighborhood_, both friends or foes! Local plant societies can help. Make a journal to record your findings. It’s tough work to figure out how to plant beneficial insect borders for your friendly insects (Green lacewing, etc.) to help defeat your insect foes (Aphids, etc.) Read this good article by copy and pasting into your browser:

Thank you for joining us as we do Pandemic Projects, meant to keep you energized, curious and learning!