Archive | Togetherfarm Blocks

Garden preparation for May

Photo by Zack Dowell

Photo by Zack Dowell

What to do in the garden in May to get ready for all the plants that will be in the ground before you know it? May is an in-between month for many gardening zones. Too cold to plant your less hardy varietals that might be harmed by a late frost, but just warm enough to start prepping the soil for those seeds that can take a little colder weather. But regardless of what gardening zone you are in,  there are plenty of tasks to be done to prep your garden and give it the head start it needs to perform:

  • Rip out invasive plants while the soil is damp, before they spread even further.
  • Check out spring flowering trees and shrubs while they are in bloom and make notes for future purchases.
  • Ready your compost bin, turn it and add nitrogen or plant matter if need be.
  • Keep a watch out for asparagus beetles, aphids, cabbage worms, cutworms, scale, slugs & snails and any signs of fungal diseases.
  • Clean the flower pots with a solution of bleach and water to kill any lingering disease or mold if used from one season to the next. If you have Togetherfarm Blocks, you can simply toss them in the dishwasher for one cycle!
  • Seed cool season vegetables and root crops after mid-month (beetsbeanscabbagecarrots,chard, lettuce, onionspotatoesradishesturnips).
  • Start warm season melons and squash indoors, to transplant after Memorial Day.
  • Keep seeding lettuces, greens and beans.
  • Summer bulbs can be planted outdoors.

For those of you new to gardening this year, you can get a head start on the Spring weather by snapping your Togetherfarm garden beds together, add a good compost rich soil, and plant your zone appropriate veggies and flowers.

And here is a zone-specific garden “to do” list  from the USDA, and a task specific to do list for each zone at Organic Gardening.

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Benefits of Growing and Eating Kale

Benefits of Growing and Eating Kale

Ornamental Kale looks beautiful in the garden and is also edible.

Kale is one of those garden plants that is packed full of all kinds of nutrients and benefits for your body. In addition, it is really easy to grow and is hardy in lots of different climates. This article will tell you how to grow kale as well as explain some of the benefits to eating kale.

How to Grow Kale

Kale is really easy to grow. All you need is a portion of your garden that gets lots of good sunlight and where the nutrient rich soil is at least 6-12″ deep. Kale is in the same family as broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts which all require soil that is rich in nitrogen. You can buy kale starts at most places where vegetable starts are sold however, kale is also easy to start from seed. The past few years I have done a combination of purchasing a few starts to give me some kale earlier in the year and then started a few kale plants from seed. Once the kale plant has established itself, water it 1-2 times per week when the temperatures are under 80°F and every other day for warmer climates. When the plant has several leaves on it, you can start picking and eating the bottom leaves. The plant will continue to grow and produce more and more leaves that can be eaten. I had one summer where my kale plants had gotten to about 4 feet tall and we had so much kale that we were sharing with all of our neighbors.

Benefits of Growing and Eating Kale

Ornamental Kale can survive freezes as low as 20°F.

If you live in a colder environment or if you want to grow kale in the winter, many varieties do well in near freezing whether. In addition, some of the ornamental kale can withstand temperatures down to 20°F. The ornamental kale is edible but doesn’t taste quite as good as regular kale.

One of the garden pests to watch out for with kale is aphids. If you have a problem with aphids on your kale, check out this article for some organic ways to get rid of aphids in your garden.

Benefits of Eating Kale

Kale is full of incredible nutrients. It is high in Vitamins A, C, and K. It also has lots of calcium, potassium, folic acid, lutein, and antioxidants. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef, more calcium than milk, and 10x more vitamin C than spinach. Wow! That’s a lot of wholesome goodness in one plant. So what is all that good for? Well, these nutrients help with eye health, skin health, reduction of the risk of heart disease and cancer. Kale also contributes to weight loss, lower cholesterol, and healthier bones.

Here is a fantastic info graphic that sums all of this up, courtesy of Juice Generation:

Why you should eat kale and health benefits of kale

Do you grow kale? How do you like to eat your kale? Share your favorite recipe in the comments.

Eat Kale, Stay Healthy

 

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In the News

together-farm-blueberries

It’s been an incredible month so far and we’ve been mentioned in the news a number of times just in January alone.  We wanted to share these with you.  Help us say thank you by checking out a news article or two!

As always, thank you for your support and for your efforts to get the word out about Togetherfarm Blocks!

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