I Used To Be Like That But Now I’m Like This.

…and not dead.

My body is fighting off two different infections, so there won’t be a new Doclopedia post. Instead, here is the post from this date 10 years ago.



Uncle Doc’s Gardening Tips

1: PLANT A VEGGIE GARDEN! In these tough economic times, why the hell are you paying $3.00 for a tomato? All the cool kids are starting Victory Gardens and you should, too! Yes, you do have room! Many veggies grow very well in pots or hanging planters.

2: Herbs will grow in all but the most terrible of soils. You can plant several herbs in a relatively small space.

3: When planting snap beans, plant the purple podded varieties. You can see them much easier among the plants foliage and thus will not miss any come picking time.

4: Cantaloupes, squash and the smaller pumpkins/watermelons will grow just fine on a trellis. This will save you many square yards of ground space.

5: Mulch, mulch, mulch! Yes, even when growing in pots.

6: Heirloom (non-hybrid) veggies generally taste WAY better than hybrid varieties, but may not have as good a resistance to disease. Heirlooms also generally produce less. In the case of heirloom tomatoes, they can look rather ugly, but I promise you, the taste will more than make up for it.

7: You only need 1 (ONE) zucchini plant! Trust me on this.

8: Newspaper makes great mulch. Just make sure you layer it 6-8 sheets deep.

9: Straw makes a good mulch only if there are NO WEED SEEDS in it. If you can get rice straw, get it. No seeds and is lasts a long time.

10: DON’T OVER WATER OR OVER FERTILIZE! Let the soil almost dry out before watering. As for fertilizer, mix some chicken or steer manure (say, 4 cups) with 5 gallons of water and let it sit for a day, stirring a few times. After that, use this manure tea to water your plants once every week.

My garden this year (2009) is a “modified square foot garden” that uses 12 X 12 X 12 inch plastic milk crates lined with a good plastic trash bag (with holes in the bottom for drainage) and filled with potting soil mixed 50/50 with good compost. I’ll be growing…

Tomatoes: 6-8 plants of 5-6 varieties

Spinach: Until the hot weather hits

Zuchinni: 1 plant

Cucumbers: 1 plant

Snap Beans, bush type: 14-18 plants

Italian Snap Beans, bush type: 6-8 plants

Pole Beans: 4 plants (these vines are going to provide green beans just for Winker, who loves ’em)

Cantalopes: 2 vines, 1 variety (Ambrosia)

Watermelons: 2 vines, 1 variety (Moon & Stars)

Chile Peppers: 8-10 plants, 6-8 varieties (Bells, Jalapenos, Anchos, New Mexicos,
Habaneros, Cayennes)

Winter Squash: 4 vines, 2 varieties (Butternut, Acorn)

Herbs (including the ones I have now): Sage, Cilantro/Coriander, Thai Basil, Genovese Basil, Lemon Basil, Chives, Garlic, French Tarragon, Rosemary, Lemon Thyme, Common Thyme, Dill, Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Chocolate Mint, Spearmint, Common Oregano, Greek Oregano, Lemon Grass, Lemon Verbena, Stevia, Bay Laurel (a 15 foot tall tree) and Italian Flat Leaf Parsley

Potatoes (grown in a mound, not a box): 2-3 plants, 1 variety (Yukon Gold)

Corn: 32 plants, 2 varieties (Gold Queen, Silver Queen) (all 32 plants will grow in 2 square feet)

I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but you get the idea.


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