It’s finally starting to look like spring in Boulder.
And it’s finally Cinco de Mayo.
Between sips of margaritas, start scheming about planting some tasty jalapeños for a spicy, summer addition to salads and sauces.
Here are a few tips from Steve Aegerter, Colorado Master Gardener from Colorado State University.
Make sure nighttime temps consistently stay above 50 degrees before planting.
Use well-amended soil that contains plenty of organic matter, supplemented with a balanced fertilizer.
Plant in an area that receives lots of sun, spacing them about 18 inches apart with rows three feet apart.
Support with small tomato cages or a similar device to keep plants from splitting or falling over due to a heavy
Need a little help ensuring that your green tomato plants grow into juicy, red balls of deliciousness?
Roots: It is very beneficial to re-pot tomato starts at least once before transplanting them into their final outdoor location.
The first transplant: Once the start has two sets of leaves and the plant is 3-4 inches tall, re-plant the start just under the lowest set of leaves.
More transplants: You can transplant your tomato again (and again) once it reaches 8-10 inches in height, before you plant your tomato outside.
The final transplant: The transplanting of your tomato into it’s outdoor growing location should be done using a similar method of burying the stem above the current soil level.
Read the rest of Oaksford’s suggestions at DIY: Transplanting tomatoes (again and again).
Hey! It’s a guest post from the Camera’s Allison Barrett!
A few months ago I moved into a quiet apartment that had one amazing feature: A large balcony. We aren’t talking 4′ x 9′ or even 5′ x 10. We are talking a 6′ by 25′ balcony that had so many possibilities that the mind boggled.
I happened to move in next to a green thumb and, throughout the cold winter months, before she ran off to Arizona, we devised greater and greater plans for what to do with my space. Her balcony, even in the dead of winter, was a warm, cozy place with chairs spaced appropriately for company and gardening pots and tools carefully placed on the side, ready to be used again as soon as it was time.
So these grandiose plans came down to one simple fact: I needed dirt. Three options arose.
First, sneak out and “borrow” dirt from neighboring homes in the dead of night. Second, buy dirt from a dirt store. Third, and the most enticing, make dirt. Create compost using all the organic materials left around after making a meal, coffee and reading the newspaper!
The first one would land me in jail, the second was not very appealing due to a small budget and even smaller ambition to carry large bags of dirt up to the second floor where my apartment was located. The last one made the most sense. Eco-friendly, cost-effective and hey, I have a balcony, I have plenty of room to “grow” dirt. Read more
OK, actually, the trellis here won’t make any beer for you at all. The fellow who made the trellis however, Patrick Doyle, will be a strong candidate for Vanity Fair’s “Awesome Gentlemen” issue in about 25-30 years, and does make a good beer.
Here’s what he has to say about his newest design for urban gardening — the Most Indestructible Trellis Ever 2.0:
Introducing the Most Indestructible Trellis Ever 2.0, which is so strong, I’m confident I could grow watermelons and pumpkins on it. (Which I’m not planning on doing, but it’s that beastly.) All that stainless steal is just gorgeous.
Looks awesome. I’m going to grow bowling balls and anvils for my famous Most Inedible Chili Ever recipe.
Check out the specs over at Grown In The City.
Hope Mom loved it, Nick!
You may recall that a while ago, I started working on a DIY terraced urban farm, which is my fancy-talk for four shelves on which we’re going to put containers.
The idea was that I wanted an attractive, mostly out-of-the-way place to put plants so they’d get sun that they need — while also protecting them a bit from the high Colorado winds that we get. (If you hear faint tink-a-tink chimes from the north in Boulder, duck; it’s not an ice cream truck — it’s my neighbor’s wind chimes migrating south at about 70 mph.) Read more
I don’t know about you guys, but the mosquitoes are trickling back into my neck of the woods. We’re thinking about making our own bug repellent, so I thought I’d share a find with you.
Here is an easy repellent to make that has a shelf life of around six months. Label jars “mosquito,” “tick,” etc. for quick identification.
1o to 25 drops essential oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (olive oil is fine)
1 tablespoon aloe vera gel (optional)
Combine the ingredients in a glass jar. Shake to blend. Dab a few drops on your skin or clothing.
So I’m making a thing.
We have a very small balcony, but it gets so much sun that it seems like a waste not to grow tons of stuff. We’ve already started with hanging tomatoes — don’t worry, we bring them in at night still — and strawberries. But we’re fired up.
This whole year, I basically promised myself I’d try things I’m not good at way more often. Sort of a masochistic New Year’s resolution. Judging by the amount of times I’ve felt very stupid this year, it would appear to be working. In any case, growing food certainly qualifies, so we’re going at it, full steam. Pictures and tales of adventure below the fold! Read more