Organic Edible Gardening with Instar Farm’s Erika Nolan | Hollygrove Market and Farm

Gardening has been one of my passions ever since I was about 5 years old. Around that time, my grandmother showed me how to grow strawberries at her house. I completely attribute my love of gardening to her. I can’t guarantee how much of the gardening I actually helped with. But I do remember watching the blooming white flowers turn into green bulbs then red strawberries.

On Saturday, November 11, I decided to attend an intimate lecture led by Erila Nolan (left of me) on edible gardening to learn more about how I can become a more effective gardener. Erika provided the top 3 basic needs of a plant: sun, soil, and water. For each need, she went into depth of how each need can be implemented depending on the size [of the garden or plant] or method of gardening (container, no-till or raised bed).

Afterward, she continued to mention the not-so-basic or well-known needs of a plant, such as nutrients, maintenance, and beneficial bugs. I’d be glad to share these tips with you! Firstly, Nutrients, nutrients, nutrients. Well out of the 30 nutrients, the most important ones for gardening are Nitrogen (N), Phosperous (P), and Potassium (K).  When shopping for gardening products, look for the letter NPK and the highest numbers next to them. If you’re not sure which nutrient is most helpful for a particular plant, Google it!

Next, we have maintenance, which includes pest and disease control. I learned that many fruits and vegetables are not very forgiving if we don’t give them the attention they need. For this reason, we need to inspect plants daily to ensure their health. So be on the lookout for snails and caterpillars who maybe making holes in leaves or leaving their eggs underneath leaves.

But not all bugs are the same! Ladybugs are beneficial bugs that eat some bad bugs. Even some plants attract the beneficial bugs that eat the pests.

To learn more about edible gardening and helpful tips and tricks, follow @instarfarms on instagram. Or to see how my plants are doing, follow me on instagram @naturaleeashlee.

Feel free to add your own tips and tricks in the comment section.

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