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Sow, Everything!

Everything you need to know about Sowing
Source::Grow Veg
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

You are fully informed on the basics and then some when it comes to sowing seeds. Now is a great time to start a garden and to join the many others who have started their own gardens since COVID 19. How did this article help you? What did you learn? What will you sow? Email us photos and we will share them with the community.

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Watermelon, Greenhouses & Indoor Gardening

Sugarbaby Watermelon Shidonna Raven

When we decided to start our garden, as you know, it began humbly with a mere 2 packs of seeds destined for the kitchen window. It quickly grew into over 30 seeds. We planted each one. Some where successful and others were not. But, as Eliot Coleman will tell you, even the experienced farmer learns through trail and error. When we started we began in our mini greenhouse, which is really our garage with 3 windows. We were so excited to get started that we begun at the end of the winter season, which was at the very very beginning of the growing season for many of our seeds in our zone (Virginia, USA). When you began before the last frost has past, you must start inside with the seeds that can be transplanted. Then once the frost has past and its growing season has begun one can transplant them outside. So, because we began early we started in our mini greenhouse and got a jump on the season. Greenhouses can be used year around for various reasons. However, they are key when you want to grow outside of a seeds growing season by either starting early or extending the season.

Pumpkin Flower in Bloom
Pumpkin Flower in Bloom

The watermelon you see (1st image) in our outside garden started as a seedling in our mini greenhouse. The mini greenhouse presented several challenges to us with its high moisture and low light. We discovered there were many other factors that were hindering the success of some of our seedlings. When we had questions and were left scratching our head when our seedlings ran into trouble, we turned to Richard Bray’s book “Greenhouse Gardening” for answers to our questions. Understanding greenhouse gardening is understanding how to garden indoors whether one has a kitchen herb plant or a simple house plant. He helped me to understand factors such as heat, ventilation, watering and sunlight. This book was a tremendous resource that helped us grow our watermelon successfully. We had to sow her several times. At first she did not sprout successfully. But, once we understood greenhouse gardening more, we were able to grow her successfully into a plantling. Now she is in the garden outside thriving. We located “Greenhouse Gardening” for an absolute steal. We love deals around here. Click the link below to get yours. We can not wait to see her fruit. I know someone who is a huge watermelon fan! So we are happy to report that she is doing well and in the same row as pumpkin. Stay tuned to see her progress.

What information do you find helpful? How did “Greenhouse Gardening” by Richard Bray help you? Email us photos to share with the community. Which one do you prefer: pumpkin or watermelon? We have big fans of both. As usually, we are all waiting to taste!

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Harvesting Green Beans

Harvesting Green Beans
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

We will be harvesting Green Beans soon. We only have a few Green Beans but they are beginning to get big. The plant itself is still very short compared to how tall it will grow. Yet and still the Green Beans are ripening. What did you learn about harvesting? What did you learn about Green Beans? How will this help you in your garden. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Zoning

When you purchase a packet of seeds, typically you will see a color coded map with a key to help you identify your growing zone. The USDA divides the United States into 11 separate planting zones. Each growing zone is 10 degrees (fahrenheit) warmer or cooler than the adjacent growing zone during an average winter. Near the color coded map there should also be a key with months in it. These months tell you the months in which it is best to begin planting or sowing seeds based on your growing zone.

While these maps do not tell you what is ideal to grow in your zone, it is important to know which plants will succeed in your growing zone and which will not. Where the map does come in handy is informing you of when to grow a particular plant. Some plants will grow into late fall just fine while other plants will not make it into the late fall months. Some plants can be started in doors before the traditional planting season and some cannot simply because they do not grow in containers well or they do not transplant well. Typically, plants cannot be started until the inside location (greenhouse) you have them in can remain above frost temperatures when temperatures dip.

Be careful to keep an eye out for cool summer nights when the last frost is already thought to have past. April is the big month to start sowing seeds in Norfolk, VA where we are (growing zone). Nonetheless, I have gotten more than my fair share of calls warning me about an ensuing frosty night. If you would like to learn more about protecting plants from frost, read our article “What do bed Sheets have to do with it?” dated May 2, 2020. To learn more about reading seed packets and the valuable information you can find on them read our article “Sow” dated May 12, 2020.

It amazes us how far we have come in such a short time in our journey. We have learned a lot together and in many ways our journey is just beginning. Our pest problems seem to be disappearing and the garden seems to be getting the start it needs. What has been the best part of the journey so far? How has your health changed? They say you need at least 30 days of consistency to see a change. What would you like to see in this journey? We have been getting a lot of comments, questions and positive feedback from everyone. And we would like you all to see what each other is saying, so feel at ease to leave your comments and questions here so the whole community can benefit. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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What do Bed Sheets have to do with it?

I got a late night call a few weeks ago from my father. He is not a late night kind of guy especially these days. So, when he called I was curious. Luckily so. He was calling with a weather watch warning. Although we were well into April, he told me that the weather was going to dip to frost levels. Once you get into April you figure you are safe. But, being from Massachusetts, I have seen it snow in July. Albeit snow flurries. It still snowed on a beautiful July day. I typically keep an eye on the weather mostly to see when it is going to rain. But, it is a good idea to know the weather for the day regardless, having a garden. There are several weather apps that come with or that you can put on your phone. So, keeping up with the weather is fairly easy to do. These apps are typically very user friendly and very informative. You will find that many of the things you learned in science class will come in handy when you begin to garden.

So what do bed sheets have to do with this anyway. Everything, as my dad pointed out. Bed sheets are a good way to keep the frost away as plants brave the chilly night frost. Most gardeners will tell you if a frost is coming or other inclement weather that may damage your crop, harvest all you can because your crop may not make it through.

Grab a few of the bed sheets that you were planning on replacing anyway. Preferably the ones without the elastic edges. And spread them lightly over your plants covering the tops and sides of your plants completely. Relax any spots weighing down heavily on the plants and protect plant stalks from damage or breakage.

Needless to say, when we got our weather watch warning we did just that. Of course before the frost. The next day we checked for any signs of frost. I was happy to thank my dad and to let him know that the plants showed no signs of frost. Launder your sheets as needed and place them with the rest of your gardening supplies for the next unexpected frost. What did you discover about gardening that you did not expect? Who are your gardening cohorts? Who do you know who also enjoys gardening? Share this site with them. Have some useful gardening tips and experience? Tell us all about it by leaving a comment or sending us an email. Have more questions than answers? Ask. Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.