The Purple Pen Blog

Meet Ty Boyd, Purple Martin Community Farm’s resident farmer. With a B.S. in Horticulture from NC State and a M.S. in Forest Ecology from Purdue University, Ty brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the community. Ty will oversee all farm programs and operations as Farm Supervisor. Click on the button below to watch our welcome video.

 

Preparing seedlings to be transplanted

I’m always amazed by the reflection of time in watching plants “grow up”. Seems like yesterday when the seeds began to germinate, followed by a flush of green leaves, and now they are all grown up and ready to fend for themselves in the garden. Well almost. The best thing that we can do to ensure the newly started plants have the best opportunity to excel is to toughen them up a bit; a process called hardening off.

Around one-week prior to transplanting outdoors, we want to gradually harden off the plants to reduce the amount of shock they encounter during the transition from a controlled indoor environment to the rigors and variability of climate outdoors. Hardening off is a process of gradually exposing the plants to outdoor temperatures for longer periods each day. It is important to note the minimum temperature of the crop you are growing, and not to expose the plants to temperatures cooler than what is written on the package. Otherwise, if the temperatures are below this limit, we run the risk of severely stunting the plants, burning the plants, or killing them. Reducing the amount of water is also important, but be sure to water them before and after exposure. You will see slight wilting the first few times they are moved outside, but this is natural.

In its simplicity, we are stressing the plant on a small scale, which in turn, builds the plants’ tolerance level so that it can endure similar stresses throughout its growth cycle. Over the course of a week, you will want to move the plants outside to an area that receives indirect sunlight. Although the plants have likely been in a windowsill or an area that receives a high amount of sunlight, the intensity is much different when there are no barriers. In general, you want to start with 2-3 hours/day of indirect sunlight and a sheltered location; moving the plants inside at night. Increase the amount and duration of exposure to sunlight over the following days until you feel comfortable leaving the plants outside for 24 hours. Be sure to water, without fertilizer, after each exposure.

Now the plants are ready to go into your garden area!

Once you have transplanted them into your garden, it is a good idea to water them in with a weak rate of fertilizer. This will help the plants avoid transplant shock and help them get the boost they need to continue growing.

Starting seeds indoors

Now that we have a “plan” for our garden, we can start to hone in on getting the most out of our space. If you haven’t added aged compost or organic matter to your soil, it’s still a great time to do so. You want to add about 1” to the garden and incorporate to a depth of 6-10”. The addition of the amendment to your soil will pay dividends throughout the year

Planning and preparing your garden site

A little planning can go a long way. By following these five steps, you can reduce the time spent in your garden, manage the growth of your garden, control watering and reap (consume) the rewards once your vegetables are ready to harvest.

The six-acre vegetable farm is the centerpiece of the 5401 North community; a community designed for you! Located in northeast Raleigh, N.C., at the intersection of US 401N and Interstate-540, the community provides a vast selection of modern amenities to offer its residents, while retaining traditional neighborhood living. Here at Purple Martin Community Farm we are committed to growing fresh produce for the neighborhood and surrounding community, promoting healthy living, and being a resource for educational programs. There are many benefits and reasons to be excited about urban farms, especially Purple Martin Community Farm.

Stressed? ... Garden! Feeling down? … Garden! Need a pick-me-up? ... Garden! Want to increase brain and heart health, reduce risk for dementia andAlzheimer’s? ... Garden! Garden! Garden!

Surely you get the point! If not, it turns out, spending a small portion of your day outside, knees on the ground, hands in the soil and sweat dripping from your brow has miraculous benefits to your health and wellbeing. Not to mention the rewards!!

Welcome to the Purple Martin Community Farm blog page!!

The six-acre vegetable farm is the centerpiece of the 5401 North community; a community designed for you! Located in northeast Raleigh, N.C., at the intersection of US 401N and Interstate-540, the community provides a vast selection of modern amenities to offer its residents, while retaining traditional neighborhood living. Here at Purple Martin Community Farm we are committed to growing fresh produce for the neighborhood and surrounding community, promoting healthy living, and being a resource for educational programs. There are many benefits and reasons to be excited about urban farms, especially Purple Martin Community Farm.

 

5401 North
7713 Midtown Market Square
Raleigh, NC 27616
Toll-free: 800.648.9064

5401 North Commercial (Mail Only)
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Raleigh, North Carolina 27616
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Email: info@5401north.com

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Raleigh, North Carolina 27616
Tel: 919.981.5451

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