Garden shops, nurseries supply start-up plants for Fall garden
By Farmer Bubba
Is everyone enjoying this cool weather? I'll answer that. Oh yeah. It just puts you in the grow'n mode.
On the farm this time of year is clean up time. It's time to clean up the containers and get them ready for the Fall planting.
This week I've been transplanting strawberries. These are my own creation. I call'm Bubbalandberries. These berries are derived from four years of cross-pollinating different kinds of strawberry plants, and some really hard work trying to create a twelve-month strawberry. Well, not exactly my creation. I'm just assisting in this interesting project.
Now that we're in the beginning of the cool months, and according the the Farmer's Almanac, it's time to start your garden. Lot of you gardeners out there all ready know what to do. Today's column is for gardeners who read 'Bringing the Farm Home' and wants to grow their food rather than the picking up the green produce in the grocery stores. I'm talking growing your own, tasting good and smelling wonderful plants and vegetables.
A lot of the plant shops and garden stores are getting their plants on the shelves. These convenient, miniature container plants are for the gardener that would rather buy an established ready-to-plant bush rather than staring the plant from seed.
Most gardeners start their first garden this way. And I believe it's the best way to get introduced to the really neat world of gardening and farm'n. However, just because 'packaged plants' makes it a easier to start your garden, there are still important things to look for, and questions to ask, when buying plants.
Your new garden plants will come in 4 or 6 packs of small plants. The term 'packs' mean the amount of plants in one tray. A 4 pack will contain 4 plants and so on. Before you purchase the plants, look at'm. Are they real tall or compact? If they look like they're reach'n for sunlight it means the plants too close together and need to be planted real soon.
Right now, plants that are arriving in the gardening shops and stores should be compact. And what does 'compact' mean. I'm talking short plants with fat stems. The stem is the part that comes out of the ground before the leaves.
Also, look at the leaves. They should be green with no spots. Spots are an indication of a bacteria or fungus infestation called blight. Blight is a spore that forms on the bottom leaves and can spread real fast to other leaves on the plants. Don't' buy these plants no matter how cheap they are. Always look for healthy plants. It's also a good thing to ask the store who has the plants for sale, where they came from. This is one of those, know the farmer things.
When you buy plants you should never buy just one plant. Even plants need someone to grow up with.
BUBBA NOTE: In all the years I've sold or given plants away, not one plant ever left my farm alone. Someone once only wanted one tomato plant. So I sold'em one plant and gave'em one more at no charge. I just know plants do better if they have a companion plant to start their new growth.
Now that we have answered some gardening startup questions and you have looked your plants over real close, don't make the mistake, of leaving them in a hot car while making more shopping stops. Be sure buying your garden plants the last stop on your shopping list. You want to get your plants home right away. You wouldn't want to ride around in a hot car after leaving a perfect world with excellent sun and good air would ya. Do I need to answer that question for ya? I didn't think so.
When you get home with your new garden additions, put the new plants in a place all by themselves, away from the other plants for a short period of time. And for what reason you may ask? If the new plants have any disease, you don't want to infect your established garden citizens with the new disease. By putting the new plants in an controlled area all alone, you can keep them watered and check them daily for problems, In a few days any problems will arise if they exist.
Think of it like this. If you knew someone with a really bad cold, would you bring'em home to a healthy family? Of course not.
Now that your new store plants have gone through everything but the sniff test, it's time to plant. If you are a BTFH regular reader you know I prefer container gardening. Only because in containers I can control almost everything but a category 5 hurricane. And if a plant makes it through one of those storms, can you imagine the memory that seed will store.
BUBBA NOTE: I know it's hard for a lot of people to find the time to start a garden. Here's a little Bubbalosophy for ya. We all get caught up in the daily grind of life and the last thing we have time to think about is starting a garden. Remember that plants are alive and need our attention. They put on new growth each day and their success only comes with the amount of time you we spend with them. After all a garden, plants, might just be the head adjustment you need after a hard day. Who knows you might even look forward to seeing how much your plants have grown after a few visits to your garden after work.
So Farmer Bubba is telling you to get grow'n. You don't need a big field and long rows to start the love of farming flow'n through your veins. You only need a couple of plants who need someone to care for'em. We're still in the early stages of the Fall grow'n season. If you've never grown a plant, try it, you might just find some new little friends who'll make your day beter. Plants don't have a voice, but they have a way of making their voice heard.
A VERY BIG THANK YOU to GLOB Communications Coordinator Tonya Upton and her daughter Kendall, for attending the Skylight Minis Horse Farm Open Farm event in Alachua last Saturday. Horse Farm owner Angel James was the perfect host for the event, and it was special seeing another GLOBer on the farm. Always remember it's important to support your local farmer.
Aloha from the desk, on Farmer Bubba's Farm.
Do you have a gardening question for Farmer Bubba or a photo of your garden you would like to share? Email Bubba or add your question in the comment window below, and Bubba will try to reply as quickly as possible. Farmer Bubba is an all natural grower who sells seeds, plants, and produce in various N. Florida locations. Email Farmer Bubba for a location near you and to do whatever it takes to get you get your garden growing.