Digging and Dollars: Signs of Life

By Michael Buck and Michelle Pittman

Plants need food, too.

We learned that when our cold weather crop of vegetables sat stagnant weeks after being planted in our backyard garden. It’s sort of a “well, duh” thing, but we didn’t think the soil would need to be fortified so soon. We fed our apparently hungry plants and were off and running.

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About a month ago we first introduced our garden. It was nothing more than a black spit of land. Now it’s legitimate, with broccoli, sweet onions, garlic and spinach all popping up. All the plants needed was a little water, food, sunshine and a close eye. We have a larger bed that will soon (this weekend?) be home to tomatoes, peppers, herbs, etc.

We’re using the lasagna method for gardening (Google it!) and topped off our layers of compost with a healthy dose of topsoil, which doesn’t have nearly enough nutrients as you might think.The answer to our nutritional woes was some simple fertilizer. The nice folks at Home Depot turned us on to a HUGE bag of all purpose fertilizer. It was only $10 for 40 pounds, so we don’t have to worry about buying that anymore … EVER. We also needed a nitrogen boost, so we got a small bag of blood meal (organic).

One application of each was all that our plants needed to get to growing. Now that we have well-fed plants, we should probably find out when to harvest them. It’s not anytime soon, but the last thing we want is to spend all this $$$ and not have anything to eat.

Of course, we could always leave the growing up to the real farmers. To try some in-season recipes, head on over to Feaston. We’ve got ideas for spinach, asparagus and peas all available from your local farmer now.

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