Thursday, July 30, 2009

Green Onions


Growing green onions is fun and very good for your health. When I was growing up and my grandfather showed me that onions are a great part of our diet. It has fiber and nutrients that are essential to our natural well being. I remember as a kid my grandfather would make bacon and eggs for breakfast and have sliced tomatoes with green onions. He ate these most every day and he was a very healthy man. But I always got caught up in his enthusiasm to grow his garden. Growing green onions in your garden is not only fun but it is beneficial to your health, and best of all it enhances the flavor of most foods.

Monday, July 27, 2009

About Saving Seeds

When acquiring seed to grow vegetables make sure you buy Heirloom seeds. Do not buy hybrid seeds because you cannot save these seeds. Once you grow them they will not reproduce. Heirlooms seed are the best because they are handed down from generation to generation with the same elements that helped our grandparents survive with a healthy diet and without all these problems we have today with our health. It’s time to get back to basics before it is too late. Gather seed even if you do not garden, In the near future you may need this seed to live on because it will keep for a few years.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tomatoes, America’s Favorite


When planting tomatoes be sure and set the plants deeper in the soil than in the original container. Be sure and use mulch or black plastic ground cover to maintain even soil temperature and moisture. A light side dressing of fertilizer may be applied when blossoms first appear. Also while plants are small you should put a tomato cage or some other type of support, so when the plant is mature it will not fall over from the weight of the tomatoes. Soil should be well limed before planting, this and even moisture levels will help prevent Blossom-End Rot. Select tomato varieties that are resistant to disease. Harvest tomatoes when red and juicy. A the end of the season, pick green tomatoes before the first frost and wrap in a single layer of newspaper and bring indoors to ripen.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Celery Growing Tips


Celery requires a cool growing season and rich moist soil. Set plant in a trench 4 to 5 inches deep and fill in with soil as plant grows. If further blanching (whitening) is desired, hill plants by mounding additional soil around their bases. Apply soluble plant food every 2 to 3 weeks. Celery is very sweet fresh out of the garden.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bean Growing Tips


Pole Snap Bean
Use legume inoculants when sowing. Fertilize when planting and again when plants are 6 to 8 inches tall. Train on a trellis, tripod, fence or other support. Keep picked to encourage further growth.
Bush Snap Bean
Use legume inoculants when sowing. Fertilize when planting and again when plants are 6 to 8 inches tall. Keep picked to encourage further growth.
Lima Beans
Use legume inoculants when sowing. Lima beans require a longer, milder growing season than snap beans. Fertilize at planting time and again when plants are 6 to 8 inches tall.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Next Years Garden


Give some thought to the size and location of your garden. Whatever your choices are, it’s wise to make them ahead of time. Plan for paths where you want to walk. Consider the type of plants you want, the conditions under which they thrive, and place your beds where the best combination of light, shade, moisture and drainage. Choose the right plant for each location.

The amount of shade cast by each plant in your garden should be considered when you plan your garden. Trees are most versatile, permitting plenty of light during the cool weather of early spring and fall, and providing shade in the summer. Evergreen trees and shrubs will provide year-round shade.

Low walls and evergreen hedges provide a pattern of part day shade and part day sun, except to the south side where sun falls all day. Buildings and high walls are opaque to light, providing dense shade to the north and very hot, bright conditions to the south. A building may provide protection for the tender plants in winter.

Remember the sun rises about 30 degrees higher in summer than winter. Observe how light falls in your yard over the course of a year, and plan your garden area to use this to your advantage in each season.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Advantages of Raised Bed Gardening


I would have to say the most important advantage is greatly reduced soil compacting. Plant roots need air. In an ordinary garden, you can’t avoid stepping in the garden bed occasionally when doing your everyday gardening. A properly designed raised bed garden allows you to do all you’re gardening from the garden path.
Plants can be spaced a little closer together in a raised bed because you don’t need places to step. This increases productivity per square foot of bed and reduces weeding when the plants begin to mature.
Note: Avoid the temptation to crowd your plants. You will still want to use generous plant spacing because your plants will grow much larger in raised beds.

Raised beds tend to drain away excess moisture better than ordinary garden beds. This is another advantage that helps the plant roots to breath. In areas that have saturated soil like Florida and many areas of the South, raised beds may be the only way you can grow many types of plants.
Soil conditions and types can be controlled more efficiently in a raised bed and they can be varied easily from bed to bed. Raised beds are the answer when topsoil is thin.
Water, fertilizer, compost, mulch, etc. can be applied more carefully because they only need to be applied to the garden beds.
Various studies have shown that raised garden beds produce 1.4 to 2 times as much vegetables and flowers per square foot as ordinary beds, due mainly to the above advantages. You can have a smaller and more manageable garden that produces more vegetables for your table.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Get Your Soil Right


Plant growth is highly responsive to proper soil reaction to PH in the soil and ample supplies of nutrients, such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Send samples of your soil to your local County Agricultural Extension Agent; for a modest fee you will get excellent advice as to how to amend your soil for maximum productivity of the plants you want to grow. Lime sweetens the soil if it is too acidic, increasing the availability of nutrients. Sodium reduces excess alkalinity. Fertilizer hastens and promotes growth. All should be used carefully, according to directions.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

You’re Soil for Next Season



Good soil grows healthy plants. You should prepare your soil well ahead of time to provide the right conditions for growth. We have had the best success getting beds ready in the fall, right after the summer’s garden is finished and when cool, dry weather permits.
Because roots like a soil that is conditioned enough to hold moisture, but porous enough to provide air spaces and good drainage, The best way to give soil this texture is by adding well rotted organic compost, as often as is practical. Good organics include peat moss, well rotted manure over your entire garden to a depth of several inches and mix it into your soil as deeply and thoroughly as possible.
If your soil still seems heavy and form clumps when wet or hard clods when dry mix in up to 2 inches of coarse sand as well as the organic compost.
Soils that are too sandy and drain too quickly can be made more productive through liberal amounts of organic compost.
After preparing your bed, cover with deep mulch over winter to protect the soil and hold weeds down in the spring. With a raised bed prepared this way, we are often able to plant straight into it in spring with no further tilling.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Inexpensive Compost


You can make easy compost at home from leaves, grass clippings, garden wastes such as stalks and weeds, and vegetable leftovers minus the meat. Pile these together until well rotted. Use a compost tool to aerate the pile. You can enclose the pile with wire or with a ready-made compost bin. Keep adding organics until the size of the pile suits you, and then start another one. Keep the pile moist but not soaking. The pile is usually ready in about 6 months or faster in warm weather. You know it’s ready for the garden when its contents are dark and crumbly and look like the soil in the woods.