Getting Your Spring Garden Ready!

Spring is almost here and gardeners are preparing for the first bloom! Preparing your garden for early spring might be challenging depending on where you are. Don’t worry you can follow these steps after the last frost or whenever you are ready!

First, WEEDS!
Your garden may be over run by weeds from the winter months and needs to be tended to! You can get it all done in one day or you can try weeding one day at a time so you don’t overwhelm yourself.

Second, Get your SOIL ready!
Depleted soil can affect your plants growth, health, strength and nutrition. Begin by picking out any debris on the surface of your garden bed, then start tilling up the soil about 12 inches down. Add OceanSolution Home & Garden 3-0-3 to your soil and till again to mix it in! The 3-0-3 will release trapped nutrients and stimulate microbial activity for healthier, restored soil! Soil is ready for gardening once it is free of ice crystals and crumbles easily. You should never use wet soil, it can hinder the plants and cause root rot.

Third, BRING OUT THOSE BULBS!
Plant your daffodils, lilies, crocus, hyacinth and any other bulbs that you’ve brought inside! Early spring is the BEST time to set out bulbs.

Fourth, CLEAN UP your old plants!
Prune all your plants that have survived winter for better growth and a more uniform look.

Fifth, COMPANION PLANTING !
Figure out what you want to plant this year for spring, then plant companion plants to ward off pest and disease. Avoid planting vegetables in big patches or long rows, instead inter-plant with flowers and herbs. Large patches of one type of vegetable serve as a beacon to problematic pests. If you mix in some herbs and flowers, it becomes more difficult for pests to find your veggies. The scent of flowers and herbs, as well as the change up in color, is thought to confuse pests. Certain flowers and herbs attract beneficial insects to your garden as well. Here is a great chart for companion planting! http://www.ufseeds.com/Vegetable-Companion-Planting-Chart.html

Sixth, MULCH IT!
Using mulch in your garden helps in more than one way. It helps maintain the temperature, it conserves water and helps drastically reduce weeds.You can also use straw, leaves, sawdust, compost or grass clippings, as well as the traditional wood mulch.

Seventh, KEEP UP!
Now is when you can relax and enjoy your garden! You can check on your garden everyday and tend to your plants, pull weeds, gather harvests and check for pests. Be sure to water and use OceanSolution 3-0-3 in the morning, twice a week! (we have great gadgets for easy feeding while watering at www.OceanSolution.com)

HAPPY GROWING!

Tips for Beginners in Hydroponics

 

Are you considering getting into hydroponic growing?

Deep Water Culture Grow with OceanSolution Minerals

Here are some tips to help get you started.

1) Start growing in soil first. See if you can create and sustain an herb garden before moving into hydroponics. This will allow you to learn the basics while enjoying a successful growing experience. Jumping straight into hydroponics for the laymen can be discouraging do to the higher level of experience/education needed to be successful.

2) Research different hydroponic growing set-ups. I would encourage the first time grower to start with a “deep water culture” growing environment. These are very easy to set-up and require less oversight. Just google “deep water culture growing” via google and its pretty straight forward.

3) Grow lettuce or herbs first. Don’t try growing tomatoes or cumbers in your first few attempts. These crops grow quicker and require less nutrients, lighting, and babysitting. I know it’s not as sexy but it will still look awesome when everything is growing well.

4) Buy fresh seeds that are not expired. Don’t use seeds that have been sitting around the house or garage. I would also encourage using organic seeds if possible. Research the seed variety requirements for germinating (its more complicated then you might think).

5) Use a growing medium that helps maintain moisture such as coco coir.

6) Research the amount of light needed for what your growing. Generally the more light (lumens) the better. Most people don’t have sufficient light and no matter how perfect everything else is their grow will fail.

7) Temperature and airflow are two frequently understated factors for a successful grow. Plants like certain temperatures for optimal growth. For instance, lettuce likes a cooler temperature in the low 70s F. Airflow is also important because it discourage fungus growth and encourages transpiration so be sure to have a fan lightly blowing across the leaves once they have reached that stage of growth.

8) Go to a local pet store and buy an aquarium air pump and air stone attachment for the water/nutrient basin (very affordable). It will keep the water oxygenated for the root systems. Oxygen is a lot like light in that root systems like a lot of oxygen particles in their nutrient solution.

9) Last but not least, I need to mention nutrients. The retail hydroponic nutrient market is dominated by fertilizer designed for indoor marijuana grows. Therefore, you will see a lot of 2/3 part nutrient programs for different stages of growth and most are not organic. It’s not necessary for you use a multi-part solution especially for greens. Many organic hydroponic growers that I work with use a mixture of fish emulsion, kelp, and OceanSolution minerals to create a natural solution. Keep a close eye on the parts per million of the nutrient solution. Leafy greens don’t like a strong nutrient density in their water especially when they are young. I would strongly encourage all hydroponic growers to use a TDS Meter to measure the total dissolved solids or part per million of the solution so you don’t burn the roots. They are cheap and fun because you can use them to measure things like your drinking water to see how much other stuff is in.

Good Luck. Growing anything is an adventure!

Tom Lonergan

OceanGrown Team Member and Fellow Grower

ps Please don’t hesitate to reach out to members of our team with any growing questions you may have!