Spring was definitely in the air as 53 people attended the March meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Kailey Bosch, co-owner of the Melrose Market located on Melrose Road near Shannonville Road, was the guest speaker for the evening. Kailey spoke about getting your garden ready for spring planting-evidently a topic of interest to many members!
Healthy soil is needed to start the garden. Kailey uses aged horse manure and compost. She plants her garden in 30-inch rows with an 18-inch walkway and raised 6-inches.
Kailey used organic and heirloom seeds in her plantings. She recommends seeds from High Mowing seeds, West Coast seeds and Village Green located in Foxboro.
-use peat/vermiculite and worm castings (available at Thrashers in Belleville); pro mix is a good pre-mixed starter; wet soil prior to planting
-seed depth should be 2 x the size of the seed deep; 1 ½ inch cells and soil blockers were recommended
-as soon as you see sprouts, move plants to south facing window or place under a full spectrum light for 12 hours a day; light should be 3 inches above leaves
-place a fan on low to keep air moving around plants
-keep the soil consistently wet by using a cover; as soon as seed germinate, remove cover and let soil dry out a bit between watering
-harden off plants before moving outdoors
Kailey discussed planting times appropriate planting times for our area…
Mid-March…peppers, tomatoes, greens/herbs
April…greens, lettuce, beets, broccoli and outside you can plant green onions, peas and spinach
May…outside you can plant squash, melon and cucumber
Pesta can be controlled by….
-using row covers
-companion planting-bail with tomatoes deters aphids
-using organic pesticide-Diatomaceous Earth, Insecticidal Soap and Neem Oil
Suggestions to yield a bountiful harvest all season long….
-do succession planting where one crop is pulled and another is planted
-do not plant all the seeds of one variety at the same time; this will prevent having all the same produce ready at once
-use companion planting…. plant two different plants together in one area
-if using raised beds, it is important to add compost every 2 weeks to build up the soil; Kailey suggested adding pelleted chicken manure to raised beds
-keep records so you know dates when seeds were planted, varieties planted, where planted in garden and any issues you had with seeds, and the yield your garden produced
Kailey’s Market Garden is open the weekend prior to the long weekend in May…this year that will be May 9th. Plants as well as produce are available at the Market Garden!