Gardening – How To Grow Spinach

When you think of growing spinach, you most likely think of fall gardening, right? But do you really understand that how to grow spinach is easier than it is in the spring? I have found that spinach tends to be one of the easiest vegetables to grow in any season. It grows very well in partial shade and is a perennial crop.

You should be prepared when you go out to start this type of plant if you are going to plant it in a pot. The soil should be extremely light, and you want to plant in an area that receives full sun all day long. You want to be sure that you plant your spinach in partial sun so that it will grow to be a strong, healthy plant. However, if you are growing spinach in a container, then you can move the pots around to ensure that it gets the full sun it needs to grow strong and healthy. This also makes the plant more portable.

The next step in growing spinach is to prepare the soil. When you plant seeds in the soil, they need to be kept slightly moist until they germinate. The best time to germinate seeds in the soil in late summer through early fall. If your seeds germinate during the winter, it is better for you to move them because by doing so, the soil will not heat as fast, and you can move it slower. If you start your seeds germinate in soil that is too warm, it will take much longer to germinate, and you risk having your seed killed off before it has a chance to sprout.

How To Grow Spinach – Spread the seedlings out onto an area where they receive plenty of sunlight. It does not take long for seedlings to sprout their leaves. In order to ensure healthy growth, it is important that you keep the plant away from too much shade. If you want your plants to grow taller, place the seedlings about a foot away from each other for a better chance of them spreading their leaves and creating lots of new foliage.

How To Grow Spinach – In order for your seedlings to thrive and grow properly, you must plant them in the proper location. If you place the seedlings too close together, they will have trouble spreading their leaves out evenly. The best place for your seedlings is about one to two inches below the surface of the soil. Once your seedlings are about one inch tall, you will want to place them in about half inches of water. Make sure that the soil is completely moist but not soggy.

How To Grow Spinach – If you are going to be planting seeds rather than growing them, you will also need to pay attention to the type of pots you are using when learning how to grow spinach. Most greens seeds will need pots that are either round or square in shape. This way, the roots of the greens will not grow outwards and cause problems when they try to break through the top of the pot. Most plants do not like to have their roots touching the sides of a pot. But, if the plant is in a round pot, it will typically grow better because of the shape of the leaves of the greens.

How To Grow Spinach – When the weather starts to get colder, and you find that your plants are not growing, you may want to try different types of gardening. If you are having trouble growing your plants this year, you may have to transplant some of your seeds to a different area. One thing that many people do is plant vegetables in pots rather than growing them in the ground. But, if you can not transplant your greens because the area they are in does not get enough sunlight or is too cold, you can always use plastic pots to keep your plants warm during the winter months. Or, you can simply grow your spinach in your windowsill or on a balcony.

How To Grow Spinach – What is the proper way to water your plants? In most cases, you will want to mist the leaves of the plants as often as you can in order for them to properly absorb the moisture they need. It is also important that you keep the soil temperature at about 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the warmer times of the season. Your chances of successfully growing spinach are much higher in areas with milder weather.

How To Grow Spinach

Cold Frame Gardening

Cold frame gardening can be termed as a system for using a cold frame structure to grow plants, flowers, or vegetables. The cold frame is essentially a metal frame with an attached air mattress which is used to keep the plants warm during the colder months of the year. The hotbed or hotbeds as they are more popularly known are generally made of wood and have an inner heat source. A hotbed will typically use wood that is already pre-heated and has no heating source built into it. The cold frame gardening system can be designed to be as simple or complex as you like and can be designed to accommodate as many plants as you like.

As far as how to make a cold frame gardening system simple is to just get a cold frame. This is the least expensive of the cold frame gardening systems. If you already own a hotbed you may want to explore the possibility of getting an additional hotbed along with the cold frame. Many people find this a much better solution, especially if they already own a hotbed.

The other option you have is to get a hotbed that is already built and integrated into the frame. These hotbeds can be purchased fairly cheaply and you will have the option of buying them pre-made or more specifically built. In this case, the options are endless and you will find there are plenty of hotbeds to choose from. You can also find hotbeds that are not necessarily built from metal but that use wood as the heat source.

The third option you have when it comes to cold frame gardening systems is to go completely without a heating system at all. Many gardeners prefer this way of gardening because they do not have the problems associated with using wood or metal. When using a cold frame you are not subject to drafts. This is a huge benefit. With a metal or wooden hotbed, you are subject to cold drafts during the winter months.

Another benefit you will find when using a cold frame is that you can enjoy a higher yield. When you are growing in a cold frame garden you will notice that your yields are a lot greater. This is because you are not subject to rising temperatures. This allows you to put on the smallest amount of fertilizer which leads to better root growth.

One of the downsides to cold frame gardening is that you are limited in the amount of space you have for growing. If you are a gardener that loves to grow close to home, you may want to consider a small electric hotbed. These hotbeds only take up a very small amount of space and can be used for just about any type of garden. Many of them are small enough to fit on a tabletop and some are even smaller. These are great options for people that have limited space.

Some people are more worried about the lack of heat. With cold frame gardening, you do not have this concern. The heat is built into the frame so all you need to worry about is the water. Most of these units will not require any type of heat lamp.

When deciding on what type of cold frame gardening unit is best for you, there are many things to take into consideration. Make sure to get one that has a good track record. A unit that has been on the market for several years is a good choice. You should also make sure that it comes with a warranty. This will help protect you in case anything should happen to it.

Gardening – Early Spring Garden Vegetables

Early spring is the perfect time of year to start preparing for summer by planting new vegetables. This is the time when you can really have some fun in the garden by growing some varieties that are not readily available all year round. One of the best vegetables to start preparing for is early spring garden vegetables. These vegetables will be much easier to grow and harvest than vegetables planted in the fall or winter. Here are some easy-to-maintain spring vegetables that will produce good yields even during the colder months of the year.

It’s only early spring until the plants that were just planted start to bloom, so if you are looking for an easy vegetable to grow in spring, here it is. Slugs, crickets, grasshoppers, and aphids are very easy to attract to your garden with just a few drops of water. You can easily make them go away by setting up traps or sprinkling insecticides before you put the vegetables in your garden. Although these are considered early spring garden vegetables, you might want to wait for late summer to harvest them.

Sweet peas are probably one of the easiest, early spring garden vegetables to grow since they don’t require a lot of work except for watering. They can be stored as well, though. Since they are small, you can plant them in groups of two or three at a time. The secret is to plant them in rows, with each group consisting of approximately five to ten plants.

Beets are another one of the easiest, early spring garden vegetables to grow. Beets actually prefer a cold climate, so it would be wise to plant them where temperatures are freezing during the winter. Plant them about two feet tall with sharp leaves. If you want to give them a more rustic look, use horsetail clover instead of beets.

Kale and spinach are also great early-spring options. You can use either type of vegetable to dress your salad greens, as they are both rather mild and easy to chew. Both vegetables will taste better if they are cut up before eating.

As for late summer and fall vegetables, most gardeners have a hard time picking their favorite ones in the springtime because of the weather. However, this doesn’t mean that they should wait until the vegetables begin to lose their flavor and texture. Picking your favorite summer vegetables in the early spring gives you plenty of time to prepare them for the cold weather ahead. You can also store these vegetables in your freezer until the weather starts to warm up.

One important tip when it comes to early spring garden vegetables is to never let your garden get too cold or damp. The last thing you want is for your vegetable plants to develop fungus or other organic problems that will harm them in the long run. Some early spring garden vegetables that you should keep in the garden all year round are: carrots, onions, beets, peas, corn, squash and melons. If you have an area where you do not have to worry about frost, then you might consider planting lettuce. It is not hard to take care of and is very easy to grow. However, if you do find yourself in the middle of nowhere with very cold temperatures, make sure that you bring some water with you just in case your lettuce did not survive the frost.

One final tip for early spring garden vegetables is to always make sure that you don’t leave your vegetables lying in your garden for too long. Most people wait until the last minute to get the vegetables out of their beds and into their gardens. The truth is that most fruits and vegetables need at least a week to come up and start to show their best colors if they are going to thrive. If you wait too long, then you are risking rotting, wilting and mold. Your garden is not the place for fungus to breed, so make sure that you get your crops out of the ground as soon as possible.

5 March Southern Gardening Tips

March is just around the corner – and you know what that means: spring is making its way down south!

Even though spring is a beautiful time of the year, it’s also pretty hectic for gardeners. If you love your backyard, you need to roll up your sleeves and get ready to work after that winter break you took.

No worries, though! Here are 5 south gardening tips for March you can use to get the engines running – and the flowers going!

1. Get ready to work.

Time to loosen up and get ready to work and shake off  the winter. There’s a lot to do – and you probably forgot how much it takes to work on a garden during spring!

Here’s the basic stuff you need to get ready for:

  1. Get the seeds of warm-season flowers and vegetables
  2. Buy (or prepare) fertilizer – because warm seasons are fertilizing seasons
  3. Pick up your gardening tools to prune frost-damaged plants
  4. Watch out for garden pests, such as ants and snails

2. but don’t rush it!

Now, wait a minute! You can’t rush to your garden right now. You have to wait until the time is right to get to work.

We have all been shopping for seeds and dreaming of warm weather – but that’s no excuse to ruin your garden because you couldn’t wait for a couple more days!

Depending on what you’re doing, you need to wait until:

  • Frost is over – don’t start unless it’s warm enough!
  • The soil is dry and ready for you (which means a 600F temperature)
  • Early March for things like spinach, lettuce, and cauliflower
  • Late March for things like peas, beans, and watermelon

Keep in mind that it is a little too early for April stuff (like pumpkins and potatoes), but the time will come!

3. Prepare your spring greens, the right flowers, and certain herbs

During spring, you’ll be working the most with flowers, a little more than usual with vegetables, and not that much with herbs (they can’t survive hot temperatures).

Here’s what you can start working on during March:

Your spring greens:

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Collard Greens
  • Lettuce
  • Radish

The right flowers:

  • Sunflowers
  • Cosmos
  • Morning Glory
  • Gomphrena

A few herbs:

  • Horseradish
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint

Of course, there are way more things you can plant during spring. This is a brief list of what most people prefer to grow during March.

4. Keep in mind spring is not all about flowers

Flowers, veggies, and herbs – that’s the beauty of spring! Unfortunately, beautiful flowers and tasty veggies aren’t the only ones  coming back when the temperatures start to warm up.

You need to watch out for:

  • Ants
  • Snails
  • Spiders
  • And other pests

It’s not all bad news, though! Birds are also coming back. Make sure you are ready to welcome them back home by:

  • Fixing any broken bird feeders
  • Filling the bird feeders
  • Cleaning birdhouses
  • Oiling the bird feeder poles (if you want to keep squirrels away)

5. Enjoy the show!

It’s always fun to take care of your garden – but that doesn’t mean you won’t be tired when the month is over. But the truth is, it’s going to be worth it!

Once you have:

  • Dealt with your flowers
  • Planted your veggies
  • Chosen an herb or two
  • Got rid of pests
  • Welcomed the birds

Now, You can relax, and enjoy the sight of your beautiful garden. You’ve earned that right!

Poetry – April

Emblem of life, see changeful April sail
In varying vest along the shadowy skies,
Now bidding Summer’s softest zephyrs rise,
Anon recalling Winter’s stormy gale,
And pouring from the cloud her sudden hail:
Then smiling through the tear that dims her eyes,
While Iris with her braid the welkin dyes,
Promise of sunshine not so prone to fail.
So, to us sojourners in life’s low vale,
The smiles of Fortune flatter to deceive,
While still the Fates the web of misery weave,
So Hope exultant spreads her airy sail,
And from the present gloom the soul conveys
To distant summers and far happier days.

— Henry Kirke White.

Poetry – April Showers

“Thou makest the earth soft with showers: Thou bless-est the spring-ing there-of.”

—PSALM lxv. 10.

When A-pril skies be-gin to frown,
And the cold rain comes pelt-ing down,
We must not grum-ble nor com-plain,
Nor i-dly say, we hate the rain.

God sends the rain; the dust-y ground
It soft-ens in the fields a-round;
The mois-ture ev-e-ry plant re-ceives,
And springs a-fresh in flow-ers and leaves.

Should God for-bid the show-ers to fall,
Nor send us any rain at all,
The ground would all grow hard and dry,
And ev-e-ry liv-ing plant would die.

All things would starve and per-ish then—
No food for birds, nor beasts, nor men;
Then do not mur-mur, nor com-plain,
God, in His good-ness, sends the rain.

— anonymous

Poetry – Spring Morning

Now the moisty wood discloses
Wrinkled leaves of primèroses,
While the birds, they flute and sing:
Build your nests, for here is Spring.

All about the open hills
Daisies shew their peasant frills,
Washed and white and newly spun
For a festival of sun.

Like a blossom from the sky,
Drops a yellow butterfly,
Dancing down the hedges grey
Snow-bestrewn till yesterday.

Squirrels skipping up the trees
Smell how Spring is in the breeze,
While the birds, they flute and sing:
Build your nests, for here is Spring.

— Frances Cornford

Poetry – The Snow-Drop (Mower)

Sweet little unassuming flower,
It stays not for an April shower,
But dares to rear its tiny head,
While threat’ning clouds the skies o’erspread.

It ne’er displays the vain desire
To dress in flaunting gay attire;
No purple, scarlet, blue, or gold,
Deck its fair leaves when they unfold.

Born on a cold and wintry night,
Its flowing robes were snowy white;
No vernal zephyrs fan its form—
It often battles with the storm.

It never drank mild summer’s dew,
But chilling winds around it blew;
And hoary frost his mantle spread
Upon the little snow-drop’s bed.

I love this modest little flower;—
It comes in desolation’s hour
The barren landscape’s face to cheer,
When none beside it dares appear.

Just like the friend, whose brightest smile
Is spared, our sorrows to beguile;
Who like some angel from the sky,
When needed most, is ever nigh—

To pluck vile slander’s envious dart
From out the wounded, bleeding heart,
And raise from earth the drooping head
When all our summer friends are fled.

And shall these humble pages dare
Presume to ask, if they compare
With that fair, fragrant, precious gem,
Plucked from cold winter’s diadem?

‘Tis true both struggled into life,
Through scenes of sorrow, care and strife;
This poor, frail, intellectual flower
Was reared in no elysian bower.

No ray of fortune on it shone,—
It forced its weary way alone;
Up-springing from the barren sod,
Untilled, save by affliction’s rod.

— Sarah S. Mower

Poetry – THE SNOWDROP (Tennyson )

Many, many welcomes,
February fair-maid!
Ever as of old time,
Solitary firstling,
Coming in the cold time,
Prophet of the gay time,
Prophet of the May time,
Prophet of the roses,
Many, many welcomes,
February fair-maid!

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Poetry – My Old Coat

My Old Coat

BE ever true to me, thou well-loved coat,
For we are growing old together now,
These ten long years I’ve brushed thee every day
Myself; great Socrates the Sage, I trow
Had not done better! And if remorseless Fate
Gnaw with sharp tooth that poor, thin cloth of thine,
Resist, say I, with calm philosophy,
Let us not part, thou dear old friend of mine!

How I recall—(for even now I’m bless’d
With a good memory!), that glad day of days
When first I wore thee! It was at my feast;
My friends to crown my glory, sang thy praise.
Thy poverty and age that honor me
Have not yet made their early love decline—
They’re ready still to feast us once again.
Let us not part, thou dear old friend of mine!

Have I perfumed thee with those floods of musk,
Which the vain fop exhales before his glass?
Have I exposed thee, waiting audience,
To scorn and laughter of the great who pass?
Just for a paltry ribbon, all fair wide France
Was rent apart, but simply I combine
A few sweet wild-flowers for thine ornament.
Let us not part, thou dear old friend of mine!…

Fear nevermore those days of struggling vain,
When the same lowly destiny was ours;
Those days of pleasure intermix’d with pain,
Of sunny sky o’ercast by April showers.
Soon comes the night, for evening shadows fall,
And soon forever must I my coat resign.
Wait yet a little, together we’ll end it all,
And never part, thou dear old friend of mine!…

— Pierre Jean de Béranger