10 FARMING/GARDENING TIPS Over my years of farming/urban farming I have learned tons of knowledge, gained even more experience by just getting out in the garden an doing the work best way of learning is getting your hands dirty. Here are 15 tips for farming/gardening From Wyatt Thomas at Thomas Food Farm 1.) Location: Choosing the location is very important the amount of sunlight varies from plant to plant. Some plants like shady areas some plants prefer more direct sunlight. You have to keep in mind choosing the right crop for your climate; will have an effect on your overall harvest. When and where to plant your plants can bring you a busy/multiple harvest. Plants will need anywhere from 4-10 hours of daily sunlight. 2.)4 Soil Types: 1.) Clay soil: Clay soil consists of very fine Minerals, Animals, Plant life all ingredients that are in soil. Usually in areas where rivers or streams had flowed at one point clay soil Drains slowly also dries and crack during the summer heat, compacts suffocating the roots making the roots unable to grow with lack of intake of nutrients for the plant production. 2.) Loamy soil: loamy soil is a combination of clay, sand and, silt. Sand keeps the soil from compacting too much. The clay and silt hold the moisture the mixture helps with drainage. Loam soil dries out at a slower rate in the summer an doesn’t get waterlogged in the winter. Good way to tell your ratio of materials in your mud is a mud shake. How to make a mud shake to do so you pour some water in a jar and fill it half way with the material you want to measure out. shake it all up an let it sit for a few hours to let everything settle an you should have layers of each material divide each material ring and that will be your percent of each material you have in your garden. 3.) Sandy soil: Often known as light soils, tend to be more on the acidic side an lacks in nutrients like nitrogen and other organic matter, animal minerals, plant matter etc. Sand is very high in calcium, carbonate and phosphate making it infertile. Sand is formed over thousands of years from time, wind, rain, ice, heat, cold, and even animals and plants breakdown rocks into smaller and smaller pebbles then into the grains of sand you see today. Link sand 4.) Silt: Silty soil is made up of fine array of particles that are smaller than sand particles but are also larger than clay. Silt soil has good drainage, high fertility rating it but it can be easily compacted. Particles size ranges from 0.002 and 0.006MM due to the fineness when it is wet it becomes a smooth mud that can be formed easily. 3.) Watering/Feeding: Keeping a watering schedule is vital to the growth /production of your garden. Dry spells can cause your plants to stunt and wither under stress due to lack of micro- organism life an water throughout the plant. Just like us micro- organisms that help the plants grow need water to help transfer food an nutrient's around for the plants. When watering you want to make sure you get the whole root system and try to aim for 2-3ft down into the soil. You don’t want to water log the soil so watch how much you're watering water logging the soil will cause the roots to suffocate an it won’t absorb the nutrients. Feeding extra nutrients to the plants is a must; well not a must, but it really helps when harvest time comes. There are many chemical plant foods out there but I recommend using natural SOIL AID or COMPOST tea to get the micro-organisms repopulated in the soil that the plants are growing in. 4.) Natural pest control: Time an time again I have tired multiple methods trying to get rid of pests that eat away an damage the plants. I have come up with a pest list you can learn more about what pests you have in your garden. I have noticed with my time using flowers and beneficial insects to fight off the pests, have been the best way to control pests in the garden without harming the micro-organisms life in the ground or the plant itself. 5.) Weed Management: Always stay on top of weeding. Letting it get out of control, the weeds will start to suffocate and fight over nutrients. The plants you are trying to produce won't have the best result or the result you're looking for. With all the weed control chemicals out there, I still prefer making a homemade bottle of wham kabam (soapy vinegar water diluted) to get rid of the weedy pests or just hand pulling is good for stress relief Try hitting the garden at the same time you're watering if you feel the garden needs more love and attention give it just that. 6.) Adding a mulch: There are many benefits to placing mulch in your garden. It helps the soil stay moist by controlling how much water evaporates from the soil. Well improving the micro-organism life in the soil. The Mulch will protect it from temperature changes an also preventing weeds from coming through. 7.) Size of your garden: Sizing your garden for your needs keeping in mind how many people you will be feeding starting small is always best to get the feel for things starting to big you will feel swamped. Roughly 100-500 square feet is what you want to aim for if you are feeding yourself or a family of 5 you want roughly 100 sq ft per person. 8.) When an where to plant: Local weather conditions will vary in different locations growing in seasonal climates will have an effect on your harvest an grow time check with your local zone charts for more information on your zone. Working the soil to early is a common mistake the soil has to be the right texture and moisture level soil temperatures should be between 65- and 75-degrees F before seeding if you want earlier blooms start indoors 3–4-weeks prior. If you time out your season properly you can get 2-3 harvest every year. 9.) Pruning: is a very important to plant care an overall health by removing the unhealthy parts or undesired parts of the plant. Allowing such removal will help the plant flourish an production will be greater come harvest time. Best times to prune are in the evening. Removing under the sun will cause the plant to stress more than it has to. once everything has set in and bloomed you want to prune and remove foliage. keep in mind if you have vegetable blooms you will want to defoliate the fan leaf's not the runners that have the flowers on it keeping the flowers to get pollinated by pollinators so you can produce vegetables. 10.) Organization (inventory of your plants): organization is one KEY to success, planning out the green space may seem like a headache at first, but well worth it in the long run. Keeping track of your plant inventory an when plants are seeded by making labels for time/type. Arrangements of plants some plants will not like each other causing it to not thrive or even die off in its environment

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