Our Gardening Secrets

Why does our garden do so well?

People constantly ask us, why does your garden do so well? They say “your garden always looks so lush and you always grow so much.” They also ask us what are our gardening secrets. Well, the secret is that it is really a combination of several things that we think contribute to our gardening success. We don’t feel that we are gardening experts by any means but just have some tricks of the trade that work really well for us in our own garden.

Here is a list of what we feel are our gardening secrets:

1. We plant in raised beds or containers. We have several large raised beds, a couple tiered beds, pots and grow bags we use to grow plants. We feel using raised beds or containers is beneficial as it prevents soil erosion. Typically there will be soil loss or erosion if not in a container due to it washing away. We also feel we have more control of what is in the soil due to it being in a container.

2. We start with a good quality soil. Our soil is a mixture of good organic gardening soil and a manure/compost mixture. We feel using this mixture of soil, manure and compost creates the perfect growing environment. It is loose enough, retains water appropriately, and provides healthy micro-organisms, minerals and nutrients.

3. We buy high quality seeds from a reputable seed company. We have had incredible success with the seeds we have purchased from the MIgardener. We always grow heirloom and non-GMO varieties of plants. We know from experience in purchasing seeds from different companies that MIgardener’s seeds produce outstanding results. In addition, we have yields that are significantly higher and have luck growing plants that we otherwise couldn’t grow with previous seeds.

4. We use an organic fertilizer and have seen positive results from the organic fertilizer we use. The fertilizer we use is called Kellogg Garden Organics Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer and we typically apply it every couple of weeks. It is especially helpful to apply it to the base of tomatoes and peppers prior to watering when they are looking weak. We notice the plants to look healthy again within a couple of days after applying this fertilizer.

5. We only use natural or organic pesticides or insect killers. The organic and all natural pesticides are safer to use and do just as good of a job at controlling pests. The pesticide we use is the Dr. Earth vegetable garden insect killer on our plants. The pesticide and fungus control products we use on our fruit trees are Southern Ag Tripe Action Neem Oil and Bonide Copper Fungicide.

6. We don’t overwater. We only water every other day when it is very hot and every 3 days when it is cooler outside. As far as watering, we found there is not a need to water everyday due to the quality of our soil and growing in raised beds. The soil retains moisture and adequately provides to the plants even when watering every other day during the hottest days of summer.

7. We only train or trellis what we have to as our plants grow and we don’t fuss about it. We tend to call ourselves lazy gardeners as we only train or trellis what we have to so that it doesn’t take up more room than it needs and doesn’t crowd another plant out of the bed or container.

8. We rotate what crops we grow in each of our raised beds. Each season, we rotate what we plant in our raised beds. We never plant the same thing consecutively in a raised bed or container.

Below you will find links to the fertilizer, pesticide, neem oil and copper fungicide we use in our garden and on our plants. These are affiliate links which means we make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Therefore, the secret after all we feel is a combination of all of these things and not just one single thing. We feel our garden’s success is not just because we grow in raised beds or just because we grow high quality seeds but that we use an excellent organic fertilizer and also don’t water more than we need to. Also we don’t fuss about our garden, we let everything flourish and it becomes more like a jungle than a garden at it’s peak. And we wouldn’t have it any other way! We don’t fuss about it but tend to it and have amazing yields of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, melons, squash, pumpkins, peas, and beans.

We encourage you to try a few of these things in your upcoming garden. We know for many that we are nearing fall and it is not the optimal season for growing all plants. However, there are some excellent fall crops you could grow or you could start fresh next spring. Growing your own food no matter the season is rewarding and the best way for you and your family to become more self-reliant. Thank you for stopping by and visiting Sunup to Sundown! We’ll be back soon with another recipe or update regarding our garden or our journey to becoming more self-reliant.

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