First fruits (rather first harvest)

Yes, that’s right, the other day, (actually, on Christmas day) we picked our first harvest from the seeds we’ve planted in pots around our decking at the front of the house!Our first radishes were ready to be picked, and only five weeks after being planted! We’d been picking the leaves off the lettuce for a couple of weeks so it wasn’t strictly the ‘first harvest’ as we had them about two weeks ago, but they were the first things we grew from seed, and that made them special Alongside a Tomato just to show the size!Think I might be proud of them? Yep, they were in the salad we had for dinner that night!Okay, so what’s the key? How do you do it?The answer is in the watering, I have to admit I cheat a little here, I water the plants every night, and I give them a really good soaking, most gardeners tell you it’s better to water in the early morning, and they’re right, but I’m usually heading off to work around six in the morning, so I do mine at night.But I also ‘cheat a bit’Or is it ‘cheating’? I’ll let you decide.See, just watering alone will allow the plants to survive, but they aren’t going to grow very big, what you need in fertilizer. The plants need some nourishment, and there are a few ways you can do it, without breaking the bank.(1) Buy fertilizer. This isn’t as ‘cheating’ as it sounds. Just about every garden center sells good quality fertilizers for the home gardener, and most of the reputable ones are conscious of both price and that we want organic. I actually can’t remember when I bought the fertilizer that I use, it was at least five years ago, but the stuff is still good for the job that I want it to do, and I supplement it with some ‘home grown’ stuff. (2) Make your own. Love a cup of coffee in the morning? How about a nice cup of tea?Yes, coffee and tea are perfect for fertilizer, not only that but they’re pretty good at warding off some of the garden’s unwelcome visitors!When you make the morning cuppa, be it coffee or tea, don’t throw the ‘slush’ or the tea bags away. keep them, rip up the tea bags (or coffee bags if you use them). Place them somewhere, then when you’re ready to water the plants put them into the watering can with the water and just water the garden as normal!Coffee and Tea are both totally organic, and the minerals they contain will leach into the soil, restoring vital minerals that your plants need, not only that, but they contain caffeine which when the slugs and snails take in causes a heart attack in them thus eliminating a pest in the garden, pretty soon you won’t have any pests, by the way, if you think that cruel you really don’t want to know what the regular snail and slug bait does, it’s salt based and burns the creature!Another good fertilizer, if you can get hold of it is seaweed, but make sure you wash in thoroughly in water, as you’ll need to remove all the salt from it, then mince it up and ‘water it in’ (3) Have nature make it for you! This one will require some investment, and probably should only be done if you’re getting really serious about this gardening thing!Basically, you either buy or build a worm farm, they’re great, easy to keep and do not produce any smell as they feast on the food scraps Here’s how to make one for under $10 Okay, I cheated there as I bought my worm farm, rather I had it bought as a Christmas present a few years ago (that’s another way of getting things, Christmas and birthday lists!)I water mine once a week with either the fertilizer or the worm farm ‘pee’ and well, you want to take a look at the results!By the way, I’ve got Tomatoes, Radishes, Lettuce, Courgette (Zucchini) Apple cucumbers, Broccoli, Cabbage and Carrots all in a tiny space, that’s not to mention the Lemon tree and two Rosemary bushes, and every time I walk into a garden center I get ideas for more plants, all on a strict budget, and almost no space to grow them in, yet we manage!Blessings

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