24. August 2012 08:16
By: Eliza Osborn
Isn’t one of the greatest things about summer having fresh, delicious tomatoes right out of your own garden? Well, here in the “Klondike” of the Rocky Mountains, we don’t get tomatoes till the very end of the summer and this year with our cold, wet spring we didn’t get them until September. We’d had a few cherry tomatoes get ripe but the big, slicing tomatoes took a very long time. That means, at least for us, there will probably be a freeze long before all of our tomatoes have ripened. That can be very frustrating. Fortunately there are some things you can do to keep from losing a lot of green tomatoes.
There are 3 tricks that I’ve heard of to save tomatoes, 2 of which we’ve tried and had success. The other we just recently learned of and are looking forward to trying this year.
If you have green tomatoes late into the season and you’re pretty sure they won’t have time to ripen before the cold hits them, you can bend the stalks over at the ground and it will trigger the tomatoes to go ahead and ripen.
Or if you have green tomatoes on the vine and freezing weather is imminent, you can carefully pull up the vines and hang them upside down in a protected area, like a garage. The tomatoes will ripen and won’t be wasted.
We’ve just heard of a way to save the plant for a head start in the spring. Cut the vines back and carefully lift the root ball. Place it in a container of sand and put it in a protected area that doesn’t freeze and doesn’t get too warm. Keep it moist but not wet. In the spring, when the ground has warmed up enough,just set it out in your garden. As I said, we haven’t tried this yet but will this fall. If anyone has tried this last trick we’d like to hear how it worked out for you.
If you live, like we do, where the growing season is so short you’ll do just about anything to extend your harvest.
27. February 2012 11:17
By: Eliza Osborn
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!