||This is the time - after the danger of frost has passed, and the soil has begun to warm up - when all but the most tender crops can be sown or planted outdoors. This then, is also the busiest time for all gardeners, as the gardening season gets underway in earnest now, and it's "go go gardening" for the next couple of weeks.|
And the very best indicator for the 'micro climate' of your own garden for this time of year is when the apple trees close to your gardens start to leaf out. If there isn't an apple tree close to your garden, chose another similar 'marker' - any kind of tree, shrub or perennial in, or very close to your garden - which does something noticeable at this time. Depending upon exposure to the south, shelter to the north, the predominant flow of air over your garden, and so forth, your own garden could be as much as a week ahead or behind your neighbour's garden.
So, it is best to pick a tree or shrub as close to your garden as possible, and then experiment a bit. If your 'apple tree' should begin to leaf out a week ahead of your neighbour's, by all means go ahead and sow or plant a few things, and keep a simple journal to see how they fare. Over the years, and in this manner, you can get a very accurate, and very reliable planting calendar for the micro climate of your gardens. This is particularly valuable for trying different kinds of tomatoes, for instance, to see which ones perform best in the micro climate of your garden.
Meanwhile, all but the most tender crops - cucumbers, squash, eggplants, melons, peppers and rutabagas - can now be sown or transplanted outdoors. These tender crops need warmer soil, and it's best to wait until the beginning of June to transplant, and the middle of June for direct seeding outdoors.
And never throw your coffee grounds into the garbage. Your are wasting a rich natural fertilizer, and a great fine mulch for seeded crops. Besides its fertiliser value, its dark colour absorbs and holds heat, which is great as an early mulch for all crops, when soils are still cool, and a fine mulch for all direct seeded crops. Its fine structure does not impede emerging tiny seedlings. When used on other than acid loving crops, such as tomatoes, give it a light dusting of dolomite lime, since coffee grounds are slightly acid. It is an ideal early mulch for carrots, for instance. An if you haven't got enough to mulch all your seed beds, appeal to your family and friends, even a friendly restaurant, to save their coffee grounds for you.
And always use dolomite lime. Besides the vital importance of its complete spectrum of the 72+ trace elements - due to its origin in ancient seas - dolomite lime also contains the indispensable trace element magnesium, which is required by all living organism for metabolising calcium. The common garden lime does not contain any magnesium, and while it raises the pH of the soil towards neutral, its calcium content can be used by plants only in conjunction with the necessary magnesium as they can find it in the soil. Dolomite lime, on the other hand, contains the necessary magnesium in perfect proportion with its calcium for all plant life - and via our produce, for us as well!
When transplanting tomatoes outdoors, you can bury their seedlings up to their ears - up to the top two leaves - in the soil. This makes for a nice and large root system, and great production later on. And for unequalled productivity later on, grow your tomatoes in wire cages, as described here earlier.
And always make sure to use some kind of sea-derived fertilizer - such as a fish, kelp meal or seaweed fertilizer, and later on when the soil has warmed up, a seaweed mulch, if you can. Sea-derived fertilizers are the only available fertilizers which contain the complete natural range of the 72+ trace elements, which is indispensable for the health of all of our crops, and our's. This alone will prevent practically all plant diseases.
A very good all around fertilizer is a manure 'tea' made in a five gallon bucket with 4 cups of composted steer, chicken or sheep manure, and two cups of seaweed or fish fertilizer. Use it periodically to side dress your crops. Another great fertilizer is dirty dishwater (see
"gardening tips" in these pages), augmented with a bit of sea-derived fertilizer.
This leaves only the sowing instructions for your specific crops, for which it is best to follow the instructions on the packages.
Next, and although summer isn't quite here yet, we'll get into fresh winter greens. We're very lucky that we can have, fresh from the garden, delicious and very nourishing winter greens throughout the winter and early spring next year.
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