Planting Time Is Finally Here

by Admin 22. March 2012 06:53

Vegetable seeds for this years gardenBy: Eliza Osborn

I finally made it to the garden center to select the seeds for our raised-bed vegetable garden. We have 3 beds that measure 16′x4′. One is located in the back yard by the peach trees, and two are in the side yard, on the other side of the driveway.

We usually grow the peas and lettuce in the side yard beds but this year I’m moving them to the raised bed in the back yard, mainly for convenience sake. It’s easier to dash out the back door and pick peas and lettuce, it’s much closer to my kitchen. The corn and tomatoes will go out in the beds in the side yard.

As you can see from the picture, I have quite a variety that I plan on growing this year. All have done well before, and I really look forward to having them much closer to the kitchen.

Almost all of the ones in the picture need to be planted soon and I’ll be trying to get them all planted today. We are in zone 6, so the time for planting early veggies in your zone may vary. Check the seed packet for that info.

The beans, squash and cucumber will go in later, when the soil warms up a little. I’m planting two kinds of peas, regular English peas and Sugar Snap Peas. Also, I’m planting 3 kinds of lettuce, for variety.

I did get a few packets of flower seeds, but I save so many seeds from my annuals each year that I don’t really need to buy many of those.

The timing is perfect for planting tomorrow because it’s suppose to rain over the weekend, which will water the seeds in really well and give them a good start. Also, I’ll be soaking the peas seeds overnight to give them a little head start.

If you want a really good selection of seeds, now’s the time to get to the garden center and make your selections.

Thank you and happy planting!

Starting a Vegetable Garden…It’s Easy

by Admin 7. March 2012 10:34

A very small vegetable gardenBy: Eliza Osborn

Many people, who have never gardened before, are considering growing their own food this year and backyard vegetable gardens are becoming quite popular. If you're reading this, then likely you are already a gardener, but if not, and you want to start a garden, don't be intimidated.

It's easy, if you follow these simple steps:

  1. Plan
  2. Prepare the Bed
  3. Layout the Plan and then Plant
  4. Water and Keep Moist Till Germination
  5. Watch Garden Grow

For information about each of these steps, check out this article: How To Start a Garden in 5 Easy Steps
Gardening should come with a warning, because it is very addicting.

Thank you and happy planting!

Don’t Want Pesky Pest and Damaging Diseases In The Garden?…Follow These Tips

by Admin 27. February 2012 11:17

By: Eliza Osborn

Green beans growing and maturing with new onions coming up in front.Okay, all gardeners get pests and even disease sometimes. Oh, the aphids were bad last year.

There is a lot we gardeners can do though, to help prevent a lot of our problems in the garden. Most of them are just good gardening practices, and we probably already do most of them. Just thought I'd list them so we can see what we might be neglecting.

Make sure your soil is healthy. Put nutrients (compost) back into it each year. Healthy plants are much more resistant to diseases and pests.
Don't plant the same vegetables in the same place each year. Rotate, rotate, rotate. Keep the bad guys guessing.
Plan your vegetable garden well. Plants need lots of sunshine and good air circulation. Over crowding hinders both.
Don't neglect your plants. Checking them regularly allows early detection of any problems.
Don't water the foliage late in the day, as it needs time to dry out before night to prevent fungus and mildew.
Keep garden tools clean. Rinse the dirt off and store them away. If you're working with diseased plants, it's a good idea to disinfect the tools with a little bleach water. Clean hands and garden gloves as well after working around diseased plants.
If you have plants with disease, do not compost them. Put them into the trash bin.
Hopefully this years garden will be pests and disease free.

Wouldn't that be so nice?

Thank you and happy planting!

Using Versatile Bamboo Canes In The Garden

by Admin 22. February 2012 06:39

By: Eliza Osborn

Some plants in the garden can’t ‘stand alone’, and they need to be staked. This is true of Delphiniums, Peonies, Dahlias and some others that have tall stems that are unable to hold up in a wind. The flowers then flop over and are ruined.

Some vegetables grow vertically with support, such as beans, peas and cucumbers. Tomatoes need support to grow on as well.

There are all types of supports and stakes you can buy in the store, from metal to plastic, and most of them can get pretty pricey if you need a lot of them, like I do.

I really like using Bamboo canes to stake my flowers and vegetables with. They can be shoved into the ground and then cut off at the length needed. I like to make teepees with them to grow my cucumbers and beans on. They can even be used to create cages for supporting tomatoes. Also can be driven into the ground around the wire tomato cages for more support. You can really do a lot with Bamboo and twine in the garden.

Bamboo comes in a variety of diameters, the wider the stronger, of course. Bamboo is strong, even strong enough to use to prop up branches heavy with fruit. It should last several seasons, and in the right climates may last much longer.

Using Bamboo is easy.

Because of the natural joints along the canes, it is easy to ties plant stems to it without them slipping down. Just drive the Bamboo into the ground near the plant (trying not to injure the roots)  and tie the stem to it in a figure 8 with a piece of hemp or twine. It’s important not to tie it to the plant too tightly. That’s why the figure 8 helps. Tie the twine to the pole tightly, then to the stem loosely.

Another way of supporting flower stems is to drive Bamboo canes into the ground throughout the bed of flowers and make a grid of twine, going back and forth between the canes. The flower stems can grow up through this grid and be supported.
To make a teepee for cucumbers or beans, I drive 4 to 6 bamboo poles into the ground in a circle (you can use as few as  3), before I plant the seeds. Then I pull them together at the top and secure them with twine.  From the top down to about a foot from the ground, I go around the teepee 4 to 6 times with twine (wrapping the twine around each pole as you come to it).   Then I plant the seeds near each pole. As the plants get big enough, I begin to train them up on the teepee. Pretty soon, they get the hang of it and just cover it all the way to the top. Make sure you know the approximate height the plant will grow in order to know how tall to make the teepee.

Bamboo is a natural in the garden.

Thank you and happy planting!