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Friday, August 8, 2014

Being Self Sufficient! Part 2

#2 Grow Some of Your Own Food – Plant a Garden
One of steps I like and have been doing now for 4 - 5 years is gardening.. the prices for food seems to go up every year.. especially for healthy, fresh veggies! I started just with tomatoes and peppers (yes, I am Italian.. so use those alot).. then every year I tried one or two new items.. This year I didnt try anything new.. the planting season started late.. plus it has been a cool, rainy season.. 
First having a backyard that is tree covered and with a bad clay soil with tons of weeds.. I didnt want to spend the energy gardening in it.. so I decided to do patio gardening.. my first attempt was to check out pots. um... large pots were way too expensive.. so thought about it and said.. why not recycle those plastic cat litter containers.. we get our cat litter in 40 lbs or larger and at the time was using Tidy Cat (yep.. those plastic containers).. so just took those. and punched holes in bottom for drainage.. I first tried using gardening soil.. discovered it was too heavy.. now I use potting soil.. If you look closely, you often can see the cat litter containers.. lol.. 
What I do is every year I take out half the old soil.. (saving it).. and mixing the old soil with new potting soil, coffee grinds, eggshells crushed really fine, and compost.  Then I transplant my seedlings (I dont often grow my seedings from seeds.. get them ready grown) in the pots with some fertilizer and more coffee grinds and egg shells.. You need to use eggshells in things like tomatoes to prevent with Blossom End Rot.. One of the things I discovered this year is you need to soak your crushed egg shells in vinegar before putting it in the soil and it really helped my tomatoes this year.. 
Anyways.. I discovered that these items seems to grow really well in pots: all kinds of tomatoes, peppers (both green peppers and Italian sweet peppers), eggplant, lettuces of all types, cucumbers, green beans, carrots, and the summer squashes.. I tried regular squash and broccoli.. no luck with those.. They just didnt produce enough for it to make it worth my while..The pictures here are recent.  took them a couple of days ago.. 

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