• Laurie Blake

The Garden Blakey Style

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

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I just broke into the garden yesterday and wanted to share some information about planting seeds, food-grade pails for container gardening, potting plants, and companion planting. I'll get into further details later when I'm working in the garden. We'll just stay high level for now.


In previous years I started all my tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and sweet peppers, etc. and so on in the basement under grow lights. Below are the lights I used which worked well for me.

I set four of them up on adjustable chains attached to wood set up across fold-able workhorses. I just slide them down as required. Be creative with the items you have around the house.

If you're planting a large garden or a lot of containers, it's more economical to start your own seeds. Planting your seeds will enable you to enjoy varieties not found in stores.

If you're thinking about a gardening side hustle, then having potting plants not available in your typical garden store will make your side hustle boom. There are also plenty of people out there that will purchase your potting plants over store-bought starters, even if they cost a bit more, the love, and attention you have shown your seedlings will show in the quality of the plants.

The first time I did the starter plant side hustle I used plastic beer cups which worked while however weren't large enough for the tomato plants by the time I was ready to sell them.

The second-year I bought nursery pots which were great and re-usable.

The following year I improved a bit more and used fabric ones that were larger and cost less.

If you haven't started your seeds, you can buy some potting plants on a local buy and sell, from your local garden store, or online. I haven't done my starts this year as we are concentrating on house renovations and hitting the road—no big deal. I would suggest re-potting any plants you purchase as soon as possible. More times then not, they will have algae growth, gnats, and bacteria you don't want to contaminate your garden with.

I started some seeds yesterday to plant out in May when it warms up and to sell in our community garage sale. I should make enough to fund my vegetable garden for the season, which means everything I grow will be free for us to consume. A penny saved is a penny earned.

Food Grade Plastic

The best food grade buckets are HDPE, symbol #2. Other food-grade plastics have recycle symbols 1 PETE, 4 LDPE, and 5 PP. Another indicator is if the bucket has a glass and fork symbol on the bottom.

Sometimes these containers have been previously filled with other materials that could be toxic, so check before you use them.

If you live in an apartment, have a small area available, or do not currently have a garden—no big deal. Just grow your plants in buckets or garden bags. I planted in food grade buckets and containers when David was working in the backyard so that I could move the garden out of his way.

Potting Plants or Starter Plants

The starters we purchased had heavy algae growth. This is pretty typical of store-bought starters. The algae will not directly harm the plants. The issue with the algae is it forms a hard crust on the surface of the soil, preventing water and nutrients from reaching our babies.

I'm going to compost all of the soil that came with the starter plants. The soil also likely contains other pests and bacteria that I don't want in the long term soil.

There are a couple of reasons I'm planting my peppers in pails this year. The first one being I really can't plant them the greenhouse until June as the plants won't like the cooler nighttime temperatures. Peppers are sensitive to cold temperatures. Freezing or even near-freezing temperatures will significantly retard growth and likely kill young plants.

We are planning on hitting the road in September or October this year, and I don't want to

leave these babies behind.

I want every last pepper I can get from them.

Commercial hot peppers and pepper spices are laden with pesticides and herbicides. I'm going to do my best to keep that stuff out of my food supply.

Before planting out in the garden, you will need to introduce the seedlings to more direct sunlight gradually. I'll show you what I'm going to do in another video and put together a blog on the different items I'm planting. I have bought some herbs as well, and I will transfer all of them into the greenhouse mid-May.

I’m just going to put them in plastic containers for now so I can put them out in the greenhouse during the day to get the good sun.

Most starter plants need at least eight hours of good light whether it be natural or grow lights to get a good start. Seedlings, the little guys need about 12 hours.

I'm just going to put them in plastic containers for now, so I can put them out in the greenhouse during the day to get the good sun.

Most starter plants need at least eight hours of good light, whether it be natural or grow lights, to get a good start. Seedlings, the little guys need about 12 hours.

I also planted both packages of peas yesterday on the outer edges of the greenhouse. Peas like the cooler temperatures. I planted them at the back, so I could work the soil before fully planting the greenhouse. I also put them where they won't block the light of the other plants. They should be done and ready to pull out by the end of June. I'll plant the carrots and beets at the end of April.

I planted all the squash, zucchini, and beans yesterday in plastic containers. I'm going to make sure I know what types are planted whereby marking the containers with painters tape so I can sell the extras in our community garage sale at the end of May. I have some kale and Swiss chard starters to hold us over until the seeds get going.

I don't want to fully plant the greenhouse at the moment as I want to give the greenhouse a good clean, David is going to do a couple of repairs, and I want to add some volcanic ash to the soil which won't be available in my local store until the end of April. I'm also going to add some bone meal, banana peels, and Epsom salts at the same time. I'll do a video to explain everything in detail once I get there.

If you're in a position to plant your cooler weather seeds, now consider kale, peas, radishes, spinach, and turnips.

Companion Planting


Good - Cabbage,

cucumber, Lavender, and strawberries

Bad - Fennel, garlic, and onions


Good - Beans, cabbage, lettuce, and onions

Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale

Good - Calendula, marigold, mint, and peas


Good - Chives, leeks, lettuce, peas, rosemary, and sage

Bad - Cabbage, fennel, and strawberries


Good - Beans, carrots, cucumber, radish, and strawberries

Bad - Celery and parsley

Onion / Garlic

Good - Beetroot, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, strawberries, and tomatoes

Bad - Beans, parsley, peas, and leeks


Good - Most plants

Bad - Beans, garlic, and onion


Good - Beans, cabbage, coriander or cilantro, corn, and marigold

Bad - Cucumber, squash/zucchini family, sunflower, and tomatoes


Good - Broad beans, peas, and strawberries


Good - Carrot, celery, herbs and flowers, and onions

Bad - Cabbage family, fennel, and potatoes (I learned this one the hard way when I didn’t take the time to check first)

Hot Peppers

Benefit - Repels cabbage moth and other flying pests

Good - Cabbage and maize


Benefit – edible – Repels aphids, bean beetles, nematodes and more


Benefit – edible – repels spider mites and whiteflies. Improves flavour of tomatoes


Benefit – repels cabbage worm

Good - Cabbage


Benefit – repels bean beetles, cabbage moth, and carrot fly

Good - Beans, cabbage, carrots, and sage

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Until next time take care and live well.

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