With summertime finally here, now is the perfect opportunity to cultivate your garden. From planting various herbs to caring for vegetables, there are a lot of delicious crops to be harvested. While you may be looking forward to incorporating fresh produce into your meals, pests and animals can often wreak havoc on garden spaces devouring crops before they are done growing.
If you’re looking for ways to prevent animals from eating your garden and summertime produce, I partnered with RedFin and gardening experts across North America, from San Juan Capistrano, CA to Richmond, BC, to share their best tips for keeping your garden free from pests. Read on to see what they have to say.
Tips for a Successful Garden!
Is seed starting a frustrating experience? I would gather all my supplies, ripe with excitement for spring, only to be disappointed when my tiny seedling soon died. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong.
I had almost given up on the entire notion that I could start a garden indoors and therefore give myself a head start. After consulting a few garden friends, I was able to up my seed starting game and turns out I'm actually pretty good at it! As a zone 5 gardener, this was a major victory!
Start your seeds in this DIY mix!
There are so many options in the world of potting soil; seed starting mix, extended release fertilizer blend, veggie garden mix...the list goes on! I have found a simple recipe that works well in a pot indoors or to start my seeds in the spring. This recipe is not only easy, but it will same some money too (and what homesteader isn't thrifty??).
You will find many recipes online for seed starting mix or potting soil. My version contains just three sustainable ingredients.
Make Green Tomato Enchilada Sauce Instead...
It was the end of the growing season and I was left with bowls upon bowls of green tomatoes. This is one of the frustrations of gardening in Colorado, so many tomatoes that could have been! In previous years, I would keep an eye on those bowls and pluck the lucky ones that turned red out of the bowls to eat.
But there were quite a few more that went bad than would turn juicey red. So last season I knew I had to find a better way to handle these guys. Green tomato salsa usually comes to mind but I wasn't in love with the idea of canning a hundred pounds of green tomato salsa, so I made one batch and called that good.
Fried green tomatoes are another favorite but the San Marzano tomatoes are a little small for this dish. Rest assured, I still made a batch of those too!
Preserving your cucumber harvest
Pickles are one of the best items to come out of the garden in my opinion! Years ago, pickling for me was a tedious task that had somewhat unreliable results. Nothing more disappointing than a mushy pickle after you have invested several hours in a hot kitchen and waited weeks to try them!
So when I stumbled upon fermented pickles I rejoiced! No more hot kitchen, no more hours of labor prepping and canning, and higher nutritional value. Sign me up!
Francesca, wife and mother of three, eagerly shares day-to-day life on her ten acre farm in northern Colorado.