There’s so much happening in the world right now, as we find ourselves in the middle of an unprecedented global pandemic. This led Marla to reach out to today’s guest, Jackie Marie Beyer, of the Green Organic Garden Podcast, because there is always something we can do, and Jackie has some really helpful information to share with all of us today.
Jackie is Marla’s resident expert about all things gardening. She lives in Northwest Montana, and she works as an elementary school teacher. Today she will be talking to us about some things that we can do for Mother Nature, and to help people learn.
Starting with the Green Organic Garden Podcast
Jackie started her podcast back in 2015, intending for her husband, who is their head gardener at home, to teach people how to garden. Apart from growing a few geraniums, Jackie used to know almost nothing about gardening at the time.
Now, she has reached her 311th interview on the Green Organic Garden Podcast. In the five years that the podcast has been running, Jackie has interviewed hundreds of the most incredible gardeners who have all shared their knowledge. And although she works full-time, Jackie has found that she is spending more and more time in the garden each year.
Growing vegetables is a separate learning curve from gardening
Some gardeners like to grow only flowers, and others prefer doing vegetables or landscapes.
Jackie’s husband grew up on a cattle ranch. He now has a “mini-farm” going at their home and his goal is to grow as much organic food as possible to supplement their family’s needs.
Becoming a more effective and efficient gardener
On the Green Organic Garden Podcast, Jackie interviews experts on all aspects of gardening. And they share their secrets to becoming a more productive, effective, and efficient gardener.
A teacher’s life
Jackie has been considering what things will look like if nobody is allowed to go back to school on Monday, after Spring Break, so she’s been looking for new and exciting things to post online for her students.
Kids love gardening, and Jackie loves posting authentic garden-math problems and challenges for her students. She started doing it one winter, two years ago when her school was closed for a snowstorm, and she made some videos for her students about counting all the loose change that they could find in their homes.
Carrots are easy to grow but hard to plant
Carrots are one of the easiest vegetables to grow, but they are hard to plant because the seeds are so tiny. Children’s fingers are much smaller, however, so they can plant the seeds, and space them out, quite easily.
An innovative way to plant carrot seeds with the right spaces between them is to cut strips of newspaper and, using a paste made from flour and water, stick the carrot seeds onto the strips of newspaper, about an inch apart. Then simply plant the strips of newspaper and keep watering them. Then, wait for the carrots to start growing.
Growing things indoors
Jackie’s favorite things to grow indoors are herbs, in pots. And she loves to always have a basil plant growing on her windowsill, where it is easy to water it.
To grow herbs indoors, Jackie prefers to use an organic seed starter, like Espoma Organic Seed Starter Potting Mix. You can put some of it into a planting pot with some pebbles at the bottom for good drainage and some dirt. Put it in a sunny spot and be sure to water it every day.
Arugula is another good plant to grow indoors because the leaves are full of flavor and you can start eating them when they are still tiny. The arugula plant will continue growing until the leaves reach their full size, similar to lettuce leaves.
The herbs that Jackie loves to grow indoors
Jackie loves to grow basil, parsley, rosemary, arugula (her favorite), cilantro, and cherry tomatoes in pots indoors, on her patio, or her windowsill.
Is it better to start growing seeds or starter plants indoors?
If you can get hold of some starter plants at a farmer’s market, they will mature faster than seeds will. And some seeds will propagate faster than others.
Rosemary and lavender are a bit more difficult to grow, so it would be best to grow them from starter plants.
Jackie likes to start making sprouts in December. To do that, you can buy a sprouter and place some organic sprouting mix, or some radish, alfa-alfa, broccoli, or any other sprout seeds on the bottom, and soak them in two inches of water for twenty-four hours. Then, pour the water out and rinse the seeds in clear water every day until they have grown enough to be eaten.
Bigger container gardening
It is possible to grow herbs and vegetables in all sorts of containers, indoors or even on the patio.
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