Fertilizer is the key

Make your own fertilizer using a mixture of ingredients such as egg shells

  • May. 24, 2017 7:30 a.m.

Jocelyne Sewell

Morning Star Columnist

All of my tomatoes are in the ground. The ones with the taller stems, I snipped the bottom leaves and buried them sideways. This permits the stems to root along the part that is buried and makes for a stronger plant. Don’t try to bend the plant to go up, as it will within a few days.

In the hole I added one tablespoon each of organic fertilizer, epsom salts and crushed eggshells. My organic fertilizer consists of a mixture of bone meal, greensand, Glacial Rock Dust, all purpose Gaia 4-4-4 and some dried coffee grounds. I work by volume and this mix gives me about 9N-12P-9K which stands for N: nitrogen, P: phosphorous and K: potassium or potash. These are the three numbers that you see on boxes of fertilizer. I also use a handful of finished compost and mulch with more compost and grass clippings to keep the soil from drying.

Nitrogen is used by plants for lots of leaf growth and good green colour. You can use more nitrogen if you are growing lettuce, for example. If you are using too much of it for your tomato plants, you will have lots of beautiful green plants but you will be short on tomatoes. Phosphorous is used to help form new roots, make seeds, fruits and flowers. It’s also used by plants to help fight disease. Potassium helps plants make strong stems and keep growing fast. It’s also used to help fight disease. I like using organic fertilizer because I don’t have to worry about hurting the plants if I use too much, the only drawback would be wasting money on the short run but eventually, it will be used by plants. I do not broadcast my fertilizer over my beds but only put it where needed as I plant.

Only one week left in May and now is the time to think about the big fundraiser for the People Place, the popular Garden Tour, which is coming soon. With the purchase of a ticket, you support the 19 social service agencies housed in People Place providing support to people in the North Okanagan. This year this popular event will be June 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The tickets are still $15 and are available at Blue Mountain Nursery in Armstrong, Briteland, Coldstream Willows Nursery, Swan Lake Nurseryland and the People Place. The gardens are located in various sites in the Vernon area, and a map is included with the ticket. You are free to tour the gardens in any order you wish during the open hours.

Jocelyne Sewell is an organic gardening enthusiast in the North Okanagan and member of Okanagan Gardens & Roses Club. Her column appears every other Wednesday.

Just Posted

It’s a YES for the cultural centre

Vernon voters delivered a huge YES in the Cultural Centre Referendum.

Cumming wins Vernon mayor’s chair

‘I felt pretty good about the campaign right from the beginning.’

Three new faces on Vernon council

Like he did in 2014, Quiring topped the polls, collecting 4,120 votes.

Vernon School District sees five new trustees

Only two incumbents, Mollie Bono and Robert Lee, are returning to SD22

Dirt biking accident near Coldstream lands one in hosital

Undetermined injuries in crash on Sunday

The Valley Votes: Your election results

The results are in from the 2018 municipal election.

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Most Read