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 Gardener's Network Garden Blog 2020


Welcome to the newest gardening section of The Gardener's Network... our Garden Blog! We're talking gardening of all kinds. Our garden blog strives to offer you the latest garden information and tips on a timely, seasonal basis.

 

They're Called Snow Peas for a Reason

Garden Snow Peas

Author: Bob Matthews

Posted March 23 2020

Are sweet and tasty garden snow peas one of the vegetables you are planning to grow this year? Also called sweet peas, they are one of the earliest vegetable crops of the season. Many home gardeners plant them much later than they should be, resulting in a less than optimum, and sometimes disappointing harvest.

They call them snow peas for a reason. Peas are a cold weather crop. Snow peas germinate in lower soil temperatures. The plants thrive in cooler temperatures. Young plants survive frost and freeze. The plants will be fine, even after being covered by a surprise, late season snowfall.  Hot, humid weather brings plant disease, which can kill your plants just as the pods appear and begin to get plump.

This means, you should be planting garden peas now in just about any part of the country. In more northerly areas of the country, a first week of April planting may be ideal. Warmer areas of the country, could have snow peas up and growing by now.

Peas can and should be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. At 60 F, they sprout in about 9 days. We do recommend that you hill your sweet pea plants. Raised rows work just fine. This helps to drain off excess water from heavy spring rains. Soggy, wet soils can result in rotting the seeds before they sprout. It will also warm the soil, aiding in plant germination.

Planting your sweet peas now has another advantage. The crop will be harvested in time for you to clean up and reuse the space for a second season or fall crop. To grow and harvest  snow peas in time to plant a second crop, it is especially important for more northerly areas to plant snow peas early. A second crop can be just about any plant that will produce a harvest before the first frost this fall. With an early start, you double the size of your garden's productivity!

 Read more on

 

 

 

Important Garden Alert

Romaine Lettuce garden

Author: Bob Matthews

Posted March 13, 2020

Like so many other things, the coronavirus will have an impact on this year's garden season. The information you are about to read is very important to gardeners. Equally important, the information should not cause you to panic. It is not life and death. It should not cause you to drop everything else. Read on, to see why it is so important for you to get your garden seeds now. This article will also help you to identify what seeds will be impacted and how.

Like many other things right now, the coronavirus will ultimately cause some disruption in the availability of garden seeds, at a time when gardeners are getting ready to acquire their seeds. Any time there is  a recession, floods, earthquakes, disease, or calamities of any type, the demand for home garden seeds rises dramatically. The availability of home garden seeds is no exception. The coronavirus coupled with the stock market downturn and the resulting economic impact, will cause some disruption to the availability of seeds.

The perfect example is the Great Recession in 2008-2009. When the great recession arrived, it brought out doomsayers, pessimists and survivalists in great numbers. (aka the sky is falling). People lost their jobs. Many started gardens for the first time, to help pinch pennies and feed the family. Existing gardeners enlarged the size of their gardens. Even people who felt somewhat secure, turned to gardening. The doomsayers and especially survivalists came out in droves, buying hundreds of seed packets apiece. More than one survivalist bought over a thousand packets! 

 As you absorb this information, I repeat, do not panic. Handle you higher, most important priorities first. Buy ample toilet paper. Get your cleaning and sanitizing supplies. Stock up on some groceries. And, don't forget to acquire your favorite beverages, to help see you past this crisis. Then, and only then, calmly turn your attention to garden seeds.

Like in the Great Recession, in the next several weeks their will be some shortages of vegetable seeds. To some extent, herb seeds will be impacted, too. But, there WILL NOT be an outright run on vegetable seeds. Remember, seeds have a limited shelf life. You can only use so many seeds this year. By this time next year, supply will be back to normal. As you might guess, there will be no significant impact on flower seeds. Back in the Great Recession, seed manufacturers assured retailers that there would be ample supply. That did not prove to be the case. As the weeks progressed, there were shortages, one by one some varieties went out of stock for the season. It was not a problem for those who didn't care about what kind of tomatoes or beans they wanted. Most times, gardeners simply turned to another tomato or bean variety or brand. There were a few types of vegetable seeds that did indeed become quite scarce. Most notably was Kale, which at the time was just becoming the latest health food rage. By late April, Kale seeds were not available anywhere.  As we progressed through the planting season, more and more types of seeds ran out of stock for the season, far more than normal and far earlier. Late in the spring planting season, many gardeners could not get the seeds they wanted. For gardeners who normally plant a second crop in the summer, second season seeds were simply not available for most varieties.

By now, you should realize what a gardener should do. First, don't panic. Second, don't over buy, as next year's seed supply will be just fine. Finally, don't wait. Calmly buy now, to assure you get the seeds you want. But, it doesn't make sense to buy more than you normally do.

 

Related Imformation:

Garden Seeds and Supplies

Seed Companies

 

  Please share this important article with your gardening friends.

 

 

The Best Garden Begins with a Plan

onions in garden 

Author: Bob Matthews

Posted March 5, 2020

March is a good time to make plans for your flower, vegetable and herb gardens. A successful garden begins with a good plan. Sure, you can have a good garden without one. But, the very best gardens, are those that used and followed a plan of what to do. Importantly, a plan should include a timetable, to help remind you when things need to be done. For example, snow peas, a cool weather crop, are best planted as soon as the garden can be worked in the spring. Planting them too late, and hot weather arrives before the harvest, negatively affecting the crop. Indoor plant start times vary. Tomato plants started indoors too early, can result in overgrown, root bound seedlings. Mark target dates in your plan. Your plan also leads to efficiency in all of your gardening activities. 

Your plan should include these key, early steps:

  • Determine what you are going to plant this year. Will it be same-o, same-o? Or, will you be adventuresome, and try something new, something challenging?

  • Buy the seeds you need. Don't wait until later, when stores begin to run out of variety. March is peak time for seed sales. Find seeds now.

  •  Perform a soil test, to make certain the pH level is ideal for the plants you have decided to grow. See Soil pH.

  • Determine what will you add to the soil, to improve it. Will it be compost, manure, fertilizers, or some of each? How to improve garden soil.

  • Right now, it's a great time to review the basic "how to's" of growing your favorite plants. along with searching out new tips on how to grow a bigger and better garden. Make sure to surf through our many How To Grow pages.

  • Identify when to start or transplant tender, cold and frost sensitive plants. Know your local last frost date. Then, consult the back of the seed packet, to determine when to start your indoor transplants.

The above key dates are just a few of the items for the early days of your garden plan. Focus upon the early steps for the new gardening  season. You can always add or amend the plan as the season goes by. Whatever you do, keep it simple. Don't let the task of planning become a chore.

The result of your advance planning? Healthier plants. A bigger, healthier crop. And, a garden season filled with success!

 

 

It Doesn't Have to Be Red!!

White Rose

Author: Bob Matthews

Posted February 12, 2020

 It's Valentine's Day, a day that is all about love. It can be a romantic love, a love of a child or family member, or even to express our feelings to a friend. As we all know, nothing expresses that love more than roses, specifically red roses.

But, wait just a minute!! Stop and think about the meaning of each color of roses. It doesn't have to be red. Each rose color has its own specific and special meaning. It sends an unspoken message, to express what you want to say.

You can bet the house, that she knows what each color represents. You can bet your bottom dollar, she hopes to receive red roses. If your intent is to express your love this Valentine's Day, nothing sends the message of love more clearly than red roses. The only exception we can think of, is if she doesn't like the color red. I don't know about you, but I am certain when it comes to roses on Valentine's Day, she absolutely loves the color red. And, it pretty much has to be roses. Even if she is allergic to roses, chances are she still wants red roses from you on this day. She will enjoy looking at them, even if she can't get close enough to touch or smell them.

There are plenty of situations where red roses just might not be the right thing to give. Perhaps, you are not ready to signal the word "love" in your relationship. Or, maybe you are sending the gift of roses to a friend in a non-romantic situation this Valentine's Day. If this is your intent, you're in luck. You have a wide choice of colors.     

Before you decide, first check out The Meaning of Each Rose Color.

 For those of you who received roses on Valentines Day, Learn Ho to Make Roses Last Longer.

 

It's All About the Seeds

Garden seed packets, seeds for plants.

Author: Bob Matthews

Posted January 1, 2020

As the new year and a new decade arrives, it doesn't take a sage prognosticator to know what's on the minds of each and every home gardener. That's right, seeds. For the next several weeks, it's the most important thing we think about. The experienced gardener knows a great garden always begins with the seeds he or she acquires. If you are one of the very few of us who will have a small garden, and you will grow the same variety of plants every year, you can skip the rest of this article. For the other 99.9% of gardeners, read on. The more you read and learn about the plants you will grow, and the seeds you will use in this year's garden, the better prepared you will be to produce a garden overflowing with prize winning plants.

 

Without a doubt, there is much to think about, when pondering your seed options and choices. The first thing to consider, is how good your garden plants were last year. If your bean crop was less than bountiful, or the beans were a little stringy, then perhaps your seed selection should lean towards a different variety. Were your zinnia plants too tall or too short? Look for a variety of zinnias that fits the desired height for your flower bed. What about the color selection for your flower bed? Many varieties of flowers offer a wide range of colors and blends, affording you endless possibilities. Will you go with the same brand of seeds? It might be a good time to change brands, a time to acquire higher quality seeds, as you seek better results than in previous years. Fortunately for you, the internet has opened up our options to dozens of brands.

 

If you're expanding your garden or ready to change what you grow, you've got a lot of fun ahead of you, as you make plans and procure the seeds you will need. Larger gardens translate into so many more options. You can now grow early, mid and late varieties of plants. This will allow you to harvest fresh, homegrown corn or lettuces over an extended period of time. Will you grow a wider range of vegetables? Just imagine how great your homemade soup will taste with a little okra in it. Your fresh garden salads will taste so much better, and look more appealing, with some mustard greens or endive included in the mix. When it comes to flowers, expanding or altering your flower beds offers endless possibilities. Will you go with annuals or perennials? May we suggest something a little different from what you've usually grown, like flowering kale, coral bells, or nasturtium which is an edible flower.

 

I don't know about you, but to me one of the best things about gardening is experimenting with plants I've never grown. The challenge and reward is a real thrill. Are you equal to the task? Of course you are! Have you ever grown Pumpkin on a Stick, or Cotton? Both plants are guaranteed to catch the eye of anyone who sees your victory garden. Last year, I grew Hops just for fun. I was rewarded with a very successful crop, large enough to offer them to a friend of mine who brews beer. Wow, writing this article makes me wonder what new plant I will try this year......

 

Did we give you enough to think about? ....good. Now your mission, is to grab another cup of hot chocolate, sit by the fireside and begin to make those garden plans. Once you've decided, don't wait too long to get the seeds you need. Get those seeds while they are still in stock. For those of you who have been with us for a long time, you know we shut down our online store last year as we headed to retirement. We were one of the largest online seed sellers. Many of you reported that our absence left a gap in your search for seeds. Here's a link that may help you ....  Find your garden seeds now.

     



About the Author

Bob Matthews is an avid life time gardener, and a recognized garden authority on the Internet since the 1990s. Residing in Rochester, NY, Bob is the author and owner of The Gardener's Network, Pumpkin Nook , Garden Hobbies, and other websites. Bob proudly authored every page of the over 1,000 pages of garden information and tips on these websites.

About some of Bob's other gardening websites:

The Gardener's Network - One of the finest, most popular sites on the internet to read, learn and have gardening fun. The Gardener's Network is the perfect place for you and your plants, the perfect source for how to grow just about any garden plant!

Garden Hobbies - Looking for "How to Grow" gardening information? It's the perfect place for you and your plants.

Pumpkin Nook - By far the biggest, most comprehensive site on the Internet for pumpkins. Information and fun abounds, including: how to grow pumpkins, Halloween, one of the largest collections of pumpkin recipes and much more.

 


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