May 2009  
In This Issue
May Garden Tasks
Get the Most from Your Garden
Quick Links
Dear Reader,

At last the weather has settled a bit in Colorado and the plants have a chance to get on with their growing.  Already my greenhouses are full with over 50 varieties of vegetables.  I love variety and all the diffeRoland in the gardenrent tastes.  At this time of year, our family develops a craving for lots of green stuff and eat salad almost every day.  We are especially enjoying a spectacular Italian salad mix, Insalata Odorosa.  Find it at Italian Seed and Tool Company.

Are you part of the powerful new movement of people growing more of their own food?  If so, you will have noticed that many smaller seed companies have sold out of popular varieties.  I lost out on a particular fingerling potato; it was gone by the end of March.  At Organic Bountea we are working hard to keep up with orders that are three times the amounts for the same time last year.  It is the flowering of a new gardening awareness.I have responded to increased demand by teaching morebeginning gardening  classes.  Do you have particular gardening questions and concerns?   I would love to hear from you about your particular needs so I can address them specifically in Bountea Growing Tips.  Give me some guidance please!
Some people think you can only grow giant veggies in Alaska.  Well, we know it is not the place — it is the soil plus the benefits of the Bountea Growing System that grows the best.  This picture is of my sister-in-law Mary holding one of John’s parsnips grown in Ireland.  It is about 6″ in diameter.

May is very satisfying.  Everything is growing fast — you have to stay on top of it all if you want to get the most from your garden.  That is the theme of this month’s article — how to use every square inch as intensively as possible.  Of course, you can expect even more productive results if you are using the Bountea Growing System.


Roland Evans
Organic Bountea

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May/June Garden Tasks
 (May 15th – June 15th)

The weather can be a little unpredictable until the end of May.  Try to be patient and plant tender transplants and seeds only when the weather is warm and frost free.  It is a good idea to hold back a few plants in case of disaster.May 15th
Seeds inside: keep sowing salad greens and reserve transplants of hot weather plants (see below).  You can always give them away if you have too many!
Seeds outside: (only when regular temperatures reach 55 degrees) — beans, corn, cucumber, gourds, melons, pumpkins, squash, sunflower.  Place row cover over cucumber, melons, squash, pumpkins to defeat the cucumber beetle.  Remove when flowers appear so insects can pollinate.
Transplants outside: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery.  Use walls of water or four-gallon water jugs around transplanted tomatoes and peppers if there is a chance of frost.  Begin hardening off tender plants like basil.
Ornamentals:   place compost around roses, trees and shrubs.June 1st (after all frosts)
Transplants outdoors: tomato, cucumber, eggplant, melons, gourds, peppers, pumpkins, winter squash, summer squash.   Make tomato collars to repel cutworms (tuna can or cardboard collar placed around tomato plant and pushed into the ground to the depth of one inch)
Ornamentals: plant tender annuals

Tree Planting Tips:  Dig a WIDE hole.  Loosen soil at the bottom and add 2 tablespoons of SuperStart for Plants.  Do not add compost.  Carefully disentangle roots and lower tree into the hole with roots spread out to the side.  Make sure the graft joint is above the soil level.  If you do not have some Bountea on hand, you can add 2 teaspoons of Root Web to 2 gallons of water.  Soak all the roots and the soil around the tree.  Mix 1 cup of Humisoil with your garden soil and planting mix and carefully fill around the roots.  Water with Bountea as you fill until the soil is level.  Spread compost or other mulch around the tree.


Bountea Compost Tea:
  Build up the soil for fall with Bountea
, M3 and Root Web.  Use SuperStart when planting or transplanting seeds.


Bountea Compost Tea:  If this is your third application of the Bountea, add the M3 about 2 hours before the end of the brewing cycle.  Dilute 10 – 1 and apply to the leaves of all your seedlings as well as the soil.
Tip: Signup for reminders and special advice on when and how to apply Bountea Compost Tea.  Click on Update Profile/Email Address at the bottom of this page.
Get the Most from Your Garden

It is spring and plants are growing fast, taking up more space every day.  At this time of year I find myself scrabbling around to find room to move seedlings, wondering why I planted that thing there, and straining to find a place for the next crop.  I never have enough garden to grow everything I want, particularly as I add about 10 new varieties each year.How do you cram 60+ kinds of vegetables into beds that total just over 500 square feet?  What should I do with all those flower seedlings and bedding plants?  In essence, how do I get the
most from every square inch of my outdoor and indoor gardens?Fanatic growers have struggled with these questions – and have come up with remarkable solutions.  The methods of intensive cultivation are not for the casual gardener.  You have to plan carefully, have a thorough knowledge of the growth cycle of each plant and be willing to experiment with unusual techniques.

The Gurus of this movement are Alan Chadwick and John Jeavons.  Jeavons’ book, How to Grow More Vegetables – than you ever though possible on less land than you can imagine, is a classic, packed with information but a bit overwhelming on first reading.  A more accessible book, based on similar ideas is High-Yield Gardening by Hunt and Bortz.  If you want to garden intensively, it pays to have the experts at your fingertips.

Intensive Soil Preparation
Intensive gardening (sometimes called French intensive or biointensive) rests solidly on exceptional soil management.  When you ask your soil to produce twice the amount of vegetation as normal, you have to treat it impeccably (see previous soil articles).

Chadwick and Jeavons both suggest double digging and lots of compost to create topsoil that is as much as 24″ deep.  A more ecological approach using minimal soil disturbance adds compost tea, cover crops, mulching and organic nutrients to the mix.  Match your cultivation method to your soil type (see soil articles) and aim for a deeply fertile soil tilth that is rich in life and minerals.  If you allow fertility to sag, so will your harvest.

Raised Beds
Intensive cultivation uses raised beds, 3′ – 4′ wide (see raised bed article).  This is necessary to gain space that would be lost to pathways and to maintain access to the closely planted beds.  In my greenhouses, the plants are often so dense they threaten to take over the pathways; I have to resort to hacking off the overhanging leaves …  Read More

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Organic Bountea
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