Monday, May 20, 2013

Preparing My Garden Soil


Last year I struggled to get one sunflower to grow in my garden.  I didn't have room to start them inside and tried direct sowing, but my endeavors were in vain.  I decided to try winter sowing and look what I have, sunflowers.  At least they're on their way.  They germinated and they are progressing toward showing their smiling faces. They are growing quite nicely on my deck in the containers that I originally planted them in.  I have Lemon Queen, Velvet Queen and Evening Sun growing. 

I'm really into winter sowing, I will be trying it again for my flowers and a few veggies that I was successful germinating.  Didn't do well with the tomatoes, they germinated but failed to grow.  I hope to give all a new home shortly.  Hopefully the new soil will help them alone.   I'm excited, as sunflowers are a favorite.  Do you grow sunflowers in your garden?  Please leave me a tip if you do on how you're successful.  


Our last frost date was 5/15.  We had a few chilly days afterwards, but I think we're ready to go in Zone 6B now.  I lost 2 tomato plants, a few bush beans and 2 sweet potato plants that I had planned to use in containers to frost.  I guess I didn't have them close enough to the house to avoid the hit.  This my fellow gardeners is why I wait until Memorial Day week-end to plant out.  I'm not one to run to the garden and scrabble to cover everything due to frost.  Patience is a must as a gardener. 

I did cover my garden with about 4 inches of aged manure this week-end.  I had planned to do this a month ago, but my resource didn't come through so I'm a little late.  I have reconnected with a school mate who owns 10 horses, and she is allowing me to get all that I can carry.  Her husband loads the truck for me and I'm off.  I call in the man power when I get home and assist in spreading it.  So glad, I invested in a pair of Wellies.  I plan to till this in over the week-end, and than add another 4 - 5 inches in the fall.  As you can see it has straw mixed in with it, but it should be okay since it is aged manure.  I'm going to allow it to lay on the garden for a week, and than work it in to a depth of 4 - 5 inches.   Hopefully, mama's babies will love their nourishment.     

My onions are doing well.  I didn't put any manure around them since they really don't need fertilizer.  I put in yellow and white.  I need some spicy red for my salsa.  I'm going to focus on tomatoes, cukes, and peppers this year with a few squash, zucchini and green beans.  I'm going to grow lettuce in my shady areas.   My dill is doing well too.  I need this for my refrigerator pickles.  I have white belle and a few mixed as well as mixed cayenne to plant out and basil to go with my tomatoes.  I'm going to dry my basil this year since I like to use it in my Italian dishes.  My pickled peppers were a big hit with the family last year.  So good my daughter wanted me to ship jars to her, ha.  I hope that I can do it again, lol.  If I don't get the plants off my deck soon, I won't be able to get out the door.  I found geraniums on clearance that I want to add in and my marigolds. 

Did you notice my garden cart in the background picture above.  It's actually a cooler where the lid had cracked, I converted it to my garden cart.  It's a perfect transporter for my garden supplies!  Have you planted your seedlings/plants yet? 


Dave Barry Quote



  1. You are very successful at winter sewing. Here sunflowers come up wild from those that seeded last year. And they cross breed, so I never know what I will get because I try to grown different varieties every year. Love the garden cart. Nice repurpose.

  2. Somewhat successful. I didn't know sunflowers reseeded. Thanks for the info. Yes, my cooler has become the perfect garden cart and it was free. That's the best part.

  3. Great idea with the cooler! We plant our Mammoth sun flowers after the first frost which is a little sooner here. We used little seed pots with a mix of peat moss and perlite. Very light weight. Every seed sprouted. I also have many seeds left if you would like some email me!!!

    1. I didn't plant the Mammoth sunflowers this year. Those are the one that I direct sowed, with no success last year. We will be doing a seed swap in the fall. Please save your seeds and join us.