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Marty’s 2016 Gamble Garden

Whatever profession you choose to go into, hopefully it’s because you enjoy doing the basics of the particular industry. Maybe owning a restaurant is what you always wanted to do because you enjoy cooking. Maybe you enjoyed working on and riding bikes and always wanted to open a bike shop (who would that be?!) You enjoy planting trees and shrubs – landscaping, whatever your thing is, at some point in order to grow your business, you end up working ON your business, not IN your business.

Growing up around the garden center, the Johnson boys loved going up to the store and helping Dad – Harold, and Grandpa – Orie at the shop. There were never any 2 days alike, and there was always something to do depending on the season. Maybe it was filling the soil into the transplanting room, filling flats or revarnishing the floor in the store.

During the 70’s, Dad spent most of his time ON the business in terms of growing it. Grandpa, at this stage in his life, got to go back and work IN the business. He was the propagator. Sewing seeds, taking cuttings, starting new plants, it’s what he loved doing.

Fortunately these days, Jeremy gets to spend his time working ON the business, and he’s very good at it. He loves the business challenge and is better at it than myself. I know he does love working IN the business, too. In fact, on social media he’s known as the plant geek. I get to spend more time these days working IN the business. I like the marketing aspect of the business, DOTA, and Marty’s Acre – our vegetable garden. I love growing tomatoes and peppers.

nano_domeA gardener at heart, I tend to be a gamble gardener and try to always push the planting window a bit – just because I can. I have planted tomatoes successfully in late February, but I didn’t have vine ripened tomatoes much earlier. I do take satisfaction in knowing I planted the transplants weeks earlier than the average last frost date of mid April.

I’ve planted my first seeds, Early Girl tomatoes, for my gamble garden this year. My goal is to plant them in 6 weeks from seeding time. That means, weather permitting, I’ll be planting the first week of March. Habanero peppers were seeded as well, not to plant as a gamble garden, but I want more established transplants when they go in the ground in late April. Direct seeding into the containers will save the transplanting step, hopefully keeping the seedlings growing. Bottom heat from a heat mat will provide an even 72 degrees, which is optimum for rapid root growth.

BTW, that bike shop idea, I’d rather be on my bike than working ON the bike shop business. Plus, I have great friends in the bike shop business and they take really good care of my bikes.

DOTA is coming up, the 2nd Monday of the month, February 8. I hope you’ll join us. We have a good group of home brewers showing up, so stop by and hang with us. I’ll have my seed tray for you to check out!

Happy Gardening!
Marty Johnson