Tuesday’s Tips — Grab Bag

Barbara: I just bought Pat Welsh’s Southern California Organic Gardening: Month By Month. What an amazing resource this is! A month-by-month guide to organic gardening, it’s full-to-bursting with everything you need to know about growing beautiful, healthy plants.

Even though this guide is written for my region, I would encourage the rest of you to consider it for the advice Pat gives on plant cultivation. Our climate and gardening calendars may be different, but the tips and organic recipes for feeding your plants are well worth the price of admission. Her catalog of organic fertilizer ingredients and how to use them is the best I’ve ever seen.

A little plug for organic gardening — the most important thing to understand is that if you grow plants in the right place, give them the right amount of water (neither too much, nor too little), and feed them well you will have gorgeous plants that can shrug off most pests. (We’re talking bugs here. I make no such claims for rabbits, deer, gophers, etc.)

Here’s a grab bag of tips from Pat’s book.

Pat Welsh’s Quick Tip #1 — Use Paint Buckets for Garden Tasks

Pat recommends keeping several small, plastic paint buckets around your garden for measuring, mixing and carrying fertilizer. She also points out that they’re great for carrying kitchen peelings to the compost bin and birdseed to the feeder. I find them useful for catching the random prunings and deadheading that I inevitably do as I walk through the garden in the morning.

Pat Welsh’s Quick Tip #2 — Protect Bean and Corn Sprouts from Birds

Save those little green berry baskets (the ones strawberries come in) and put one over each planted seed. This will keep the birds from eating your seeds. By the time the sprouts have grown to touch the top of the basket the birds will have lost interest.

Pat Welsh’s Tip Quick Tip # 3 — Encourage Ladybugs to Stay Put

When you buy ladybugs to release into the garden, they more often than not fly away. Pat says to put them in the fridge for a couple of hours to slow their metabolism. Time their stay in the cold so that you are releasing them at dusk. Place them low on the plants and, if it’s dry, provide dishes of water at the base of the plant with a little rock in the bowl for the ladybugs to perch on while they drink. This, plus some yummy pests will encourage then to stay in your garden.

Here’s a link to Pat’s website.

Happy Gardening!

2 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Tips — Grab Bag

Add yours

  1. Buckets! See? Buckets. Just wait until Pat’s buckets are captured in the aerial view by satellite. He’ll be so proud. But if he has time to chill his ladybugs, I guess he probably has time to put away his buckets.

  2. I sent Pat Welsh an email to let her know that I featured her book and she sent this lovely reply. I thought I should share it with you especially because it includes information on yet another great chart that unfortunately was left out of the first printing of the book. The Generic Fertilizers and Amendments Chart is super helpful and will make your life much easier — see below for where to download it.

    Dear Barbara:

    Thank you so much for your very kind review with little tidbits from my book. I’m delighted to hear you recommending it coast to coast. I agree with you that much of the material will work everywhere, with the exception, of course, of the subtropical plants that won’t grow outdoors in cold-winter climates, and except for the garden timing which as you point out must be adjusted for other climates.

    I would like to straighten out one point. The Catalogue of Organic Amendments on page 28 is not the same as the Generic Fertilizer Chart referred to several times throughout the book. The chart of Generic Fertilizers was inadvertently omitted from the first printing but will be included in the next printing. Meanwhile, it is available for downloading from my new website patwelsh.com/wpmu where it is listed under Fertilizers. The Name of this Chart is “Generic Fertilizers and Soil Amendments.” http://www.patwelsh.com/pdf/GenericFertilizersChart.pdf

    Everyone can download this chart from my website, and I think they will find it hugely helpful to know what materials to use in order to feed organic nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to plants. Gardeners can even mix their own fertilizers. However, I do include various recipes in the book.

    Once again, many thanks!


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