Growing Tomatoes, etc. in Early Spring - "Poor Man's Hydroponics"

Written by Jim Kennard, President - Food For Everyone Foundation

Continued from page 1

7. When your plants have at least one set of true leaves (notrepparttar seed leaves), but before they crowd each other and begin to stretch, transplant at least 2" apart in flats or 2" pots.

8. When plant leaves begin overlapping, prune 2 or 3 leaves from each plant. This will shockrepparttar 113314 plant briefly, and it will make a thicker stem, then after a few days it will again extendrepparttar 113315 growing tip and produce new leaves. This procedure can be done twice without harmingrepparttar 113316 plant.

9. As soon as leaves begin to overlaprepparttar 113317 third time, transplant into 4" or gallon pots, depending on your time schedule for planting inrepparttar 113318 garden andrepparttar 113319 amount of space in your greenhouse or growing area. When leaves overlap again, separaterepparttar 113320 pots to provide unrestricted light to all plants. These procedures will give you plants with short, stocky and sturdy stems, very capable of handlingrepparttar 113321 rigors of growing outdoors.

10. If your plants begin producing sucker stems, prune them all off, leaving only one main stem on each plant. And whenrepparttar 113322 plants approach 12" in height push a small stick or dowel intorepparttar 113323 soil nearrepparttar 113324 stem and tierepparttar 113325 stem loosely, protecting it from falling over.

11. Whenrepparttar 113326 danger of frost is past, transplant your seedlings intorepparttar 113327 garden. Harden off outside for 2 days first, and then immediately after transplanting, apply 8 ounces of ammonium nitrate to a 30' row of seedlings - at a distance of 4" fromrepparttar 113328 plant stems, and water it in thoroughly. Three days later, begin applyingrepparttar 113329 Weekly Feed mix inrepparttar 113330 same manner.

If you have limited space and cannot accommodate 4" or gallon pots, or you just want to put your plants intorepparttar 113331 ground sooner thanrepparttar 113332 ideal time, you may have success usingrepparttar 113333 Mittleider "Mini-Greenhouses." Cut 4' lengths of 3/4" Schedule 200 PVC pipe, then bend them into a capital A shape, with a 4" flat top, 9" sides and 13" legs. Put both legs intorepparttar 113334 ground atrepparttar 113335 top ofrepparttar 113336 ridges to a depth of 5-6". Place a 4'-wide X 33'-long piece of 6 mil clear greenhouse plastic overrepparttar 113337 bed and buryrepparttar 113338 edges with dirt on all sides. Pictures are inrepparttar 113339 Photos section ofrepparttar 113340 free gardening group at as well as in several of Dr. M's books.

Openrepparttar 113341 ends duringrepparttar 113342 day for air circulation, and on warm days, removerepparttar 113343 dirt from one side and layrepparttar 113344 plastic inrepparttar 113345 aisle. Failure to do this may cause your plants to cook, asrepparttar 113346 mini greenhouses will heat up quickly with sunlight. On nights when frost is expected, put an extension cord with a couple of 100 watt bulbs nearrepparttar 113347 ends of your beds, and for a hard frost use a small heater (be careful you don't melt your plastic cover).

Complete instructions and excellent illustrations are in Dr. Mittleider's books at

Jim is a Master Mittleider Gardening Instructor, and has taught classes and worked one-on-one with Dr. Jacob Mittleider on several gardening projects in the USA and abroad. In the past three years Jim has conducted intensive food production training projects in Armenia, Madagascar, and Turkey. The Foundation website provides free materials and information including an ebook, greenhouse plans, Gardening Group, and large FAQ section.

How to Grow Healthy Food

Written by Linda Paquette

Continued from page 1

No matter what amount of chemical you use in your gardening, a drop is a deluge to a microorganism. More torepparttar point, most chemicals don’t fade away. They leech into your garden and wait to attach to some growing thing… like your plants. One example is a gardener who claims to grow organic apples. He doesn’t spray his trees, but he does use a chemical “weed & feed” application on his lawn, seemingly unaware ofrepparttar 113313 systemic consequences of using chemicals.

Feed your soil

The best way to enrich your soil is to give it regular applications of composted organic matter. Compost can be anything from yard mulch to kitchen vegetable waste. If you don’t haverepparttar 113314 time to maintain a compost bin, an easy way to add organic matter to your yard is through mowing your lawn with a mulching mower. Prepared compost is also available for purchase from nurseries and home garden centers.

Rememberrepparttar 113315 house that Jack built? It’s similar in your garden. The roots take fromrepparttar 113316 soil to give torepparttar 113317 stems that bearrepparttar 113318 buds that turn intorepparttar 113319 fruit…. Whether or notrepparttar 113320 fruit is healthy depends on what was inrepparttar 113321 soil.

Linda is editor of Gardening Guides

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