Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Talking About Whiteflies Again?

The biggest question I ever get is how to get rid of white flies...I have written on this before but I have been doing a little research on how to get rid of them and here are a few more ideas.....

Murphy's oil soap will kill white flies on house plants: mix equal parts of soap and water and place in spray bottle mist affected plants.

How about mixing garlic powder and dish washing liquid? Mix 3 teaspoons garlic and 1/2 teaspoon dish washing liquid to 1 quart water. Put this in a large clean jar and shake very hard until all ingredients are mix together. This will be a concentrate so you will have to mix this with water....2 ounces to 16 ounces of water. Place into a spray bottle. ***remember garlic will also kill beneficial insects so spray carefully)

Hot Pepper sauce and Vegetable oil... 2 teaspoons pepper sauce and 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil add 16 ounces of water into a spray bottle.and shake well before spraying each time.

I hope this helps those with white fly problems.

Always use a small amount to see if it works on your plants...

Did you know? White flies excrete a sticky honeydew that tends to attract black mold to plant leaves....its true!

Happy Gardening....


I would love to hear if you ever try different ingredients to help with insect problems?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Green Apple Chutney

It is almost apple season which I enjoy...we have two apple trees but the birds usually get them before we do. We have a local apple orchard we visit every year. We usually bring home a few baskets full and then I set up the kitchen to make apple chutney. Here is my recipe for Apple Chutney. It is so good on ham!

Apple Chutney

2 1/2 lbs green apples (chopped) (leaving the skins on)

1 small bulb garlic (chopped)

4 cups malted vinegar

1 pounds dates (chopped)

a small stem of ginger (chopped)

2 1/2 cups raisins

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon salt

In a large pan place apples and enough vinegar to cover apples...gently boil until soft.

Place chopped dates and ginger and garlic.... after apples have soften up a bit. Then place the rest of the ingredients stirring well.

Simmer for about 45 minutes...spoon in to warm sterilized jars and then seal jars. (check in your hot water baths instruction guide on the set timing for chutneys)

* A reminder on how to sterilize preserves in a water bath.... ( always make sure you use clean undamaged jars) (keep jars full of hot water before placing warm preserves in them)

1. Use a special sterlizing pan or a large sause pan. I line mine with a a folded cloth to keep my jars from banging against each other.

2. Place jars with lids fasten in the pan and I fold the cloth around each jar to prevent them from touching.

3. I then fill the pan with cold water to cover jars...at least 1 inch over the jars. I simmer for the required time.

4. Once the sterilizing time is complete and the jars have cooled check seal. Store in cool dark place.

Happy Gardening...


Friday, August 21, 2009

Open Face Onion Sandwich

We have onions drying for the winter monthes...but it is hard not to use a few each week. I hope we have enough left for the winter monthes. I love making open face onion sandwiches.....just thought I would share the recipe.

Open Face Onion Sandwich

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip

4 slices of fresh bread remove the crusts (you can also use store bought)

1 very nice sweet onion cut into 4 very thin slices

Preheat the broiler

In a small bowl, mix together cheese and Mayo. Spread evenly on bread slices. Place onion in the middle of the square.

Broil 4-5 inches from heat until light brown. Serve immediately.

I sometimes add a slice of tomato too! Yum!

The garden is still doing pretty good....can't wait to plant our fall veggies.

Happy Gardening..


Friday, August 14, 2009

What Zucchini in my Salsa??

I was asked what part of the scape should you use... I asked my friend and she said use everything that is tender. Puree the pods in the blender...use the stalks by peeling it like broccoli stems. I can't not recommend enough to try this it was so Good!

We have had so much zucchini that I have been trying to find ways to cook it and I have this great salsa recipe... I though I would share it with you...so Good and Crazy! What until your friends find out what is in their salsa.

Zucchini Salsa

1 cup zucchini finely chopped

1 tablespoon salt

2 cups fresh tomatoes

1 cup sweet corn

1 red bell pepper

1/2 chilies finely chopped

1/4 cup red onion

2 tablespoons oregano ( tablespoon if dried)

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Mix together the zucchini and salt let this sit for about an hour in refrigerator then drain stir in the remaining ingredients. Enjoy!!

Happy Gardening...


Thursday, August 13, 2009

What is a Garlic Scape?.... glad you asked!

Well it has been a while since I have posted..the summer garden is still slowly producing. We have been getting many potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, onions, zucchini, cucumbers and many other veggies. We are getting ready to plant our fall garden.

I really wanted to write about going to a friends house and what she served me...garlic scape. This is very new to me and I was really surprised how good it was. What is a garlic scape?
Scape's are the flower stalk found on onions, garlic, chives and leeks. Most people cut these off and throw them into the compost pile. My friend cuts them off and uses them or freezes them.

When the Garlic scape's are full and become a full curl she snaps this off just like you would asparagus. Make sure you pick these at least two weeks before budding they will not taste as good after they bloom.

You can use these in soup or salads or just about in any of your favorite recipes.

My friend made a Garlic Scape Pesto which she did use frozen scape which was good but I would imagine fresh would have tasted even better!

Here is her recipe:

Garlic Scape Pesto

1/4 pound garlic scapes

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup grated paresan cheese

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

a bit of salt

Puree garlic scape's and olive oil in a blender until smooth.

Stir in Parmesan cheese and lime juice and salt if you like.

She put this over pasta and it was so good!!

Next year I will be growing garlic and I will cut off the scape's for me to use in my kitchen and not the compost bin!

Happy Gardening...


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Favorite Zucchini Bread Recipe

We have been eating zucchini for weeks now...we love it fried with onions just until it's a little soft Yum! I made my favorite zucchini bread and I thought I would share it with you. Enjoy!

My Favorite Zucchini Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups of zucchini (shredded)

In large bowl mix the flour, sugar, salt,baking soda,and baking powder. In small bowl add eggs, oil, vanilla and cinnamon. Use a hand mixer and mix together....then add dry ingredients a small amount at a time. Blend in zucchini at the very end...( batter will be a little thick)

This makes two 8-in x 4in x 2 in loaf pans Bake at 350 for about 1 hour.

Don't forget you can add Chocolate chips to this recipe but reduce the flour to 2-3/4 cups.

I have also added Apple pieces....reduce sugar to 1 cup and add 1 cup brown sugar...and replace cinnamon with 1/4 teaspoon on nutmeg....Yum!

Happy Gardening....


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Storing Tomatoes Through The Winter....

We are getting tomatoes everyday now...and we will not be able to eat them all. We usually can a few jars of salsa and I like to make spaghetti sauce.....but did you know that you can freeze and dry tomatoes?

Yes you can...... the easiest way to freeze tomatoes is by putting them whole in freezer bags. I usually put tomatoes into two freezer bags to prevent freezer burn. Just take them out of the freezer and warm them in some warm water you can use these in Chili on a cold winter day. ( the skins will slip right off if you put them in hot water) You can also puree them and put into freezer bags this is great in pasta sauce. ( always use blemish free tomatoes)

If you have a food dehydrator you can dry tomatoes....you can fully dry them and then store them in jars. To dry tomatoes you cut them in half lay them on the drying rack...sprinkle salt on the up turned half. The drying time can take up to a day or longer....remove them when they feel firm and dry.

I love having the fresh taste of a tomatoes in the cold winter months. I know that they don't taste exactly the same but the flavor is still there!

Happy Gardening....


Friday, July 17, 2009

Basil Vinegar

My Basil has been growing like crazy...and it really needs to be cut back. I decided it would be great to have a few bottles of home-made vinegar during the winter monthes. I cut a bunch of my basil and began making my Basil Vinegar....

4 large sprigs of fresh Basil

2 cups of white wine vinegar

I place the basil in a clean canning jar( don't worry about crushing it a bit that will help with the flavor) then pour the vinegar over the basil then screw on lid tightly. I store this in a cool dark place for 2-3 weeks. I shake the jar every couple of days to make sure the Basil is mixing into the vinegar.

I love to add this to my salad dressings or even over baked chicken Yum!

I also like to add other flavors to White Wine Vinegar: Blackberries and Lavender flowers this is so Good!

When I use Apple Cider Vinegar I add Chili Peppers, Horseradish and Shallots. Yum!!

Do you make Herb Vinegars? What do you like to add?

Happy Gardening...


Thursday, July 16, 2009

How I Dry Chili Peppers

We have been working in the garden daily. Our peppers are looking great and are about ready to pick. We have decided to try growing another row of green beans...we will have to wait an see if we have planted them to late but it is a chance worth taking if we can.. can a few more jars of green beans.

I thought I would share how we store our chili peppers for the winter months....

If you store your Chili Peppers right you can have them all winter long. One way is using a food dehydrator...these are great if you don't have one you should get one...you can use it for many vegetables and even fruits.

The most simple way to store Chili Peppers is hanging them.... just string a few on a piece of string. I put three together at a time so air can get around each pod. After a few weeks the peppers will get sort of wrinkly I then place them in a glass jar and use when needed.

***** I always wear plastic gloves when working with peppers and take care not to touch your face because just a little bit can really burn your eyes.****

Happy Gardening...


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

How Long To Keep Vegetable Seeds?

It is almost time for fall planting. I was going through all of my old seeds and I was thinking about how long I keep seeds before I compost them. I never put my seeds in plastic bags....paper bags are always best. If you can keep your seeds in the refrigerator that would be best. It is okay to buy store bought seeds but always look at the purchased date...the older the seed the less likely it will germinate.

This is how long I keep my seeds before buy new ones....or collect new ones.

Carrots 2 years

Onions 2 years

Beans 3 years

Spinach 3 years

Peas 3 years

Broccoli 4 years

Cabbage 4 years

Pumpkins 4 years

Cucumbers 6 years

Tomatoes 6 years

Happy Gardening...


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cucumber Jam?

We love cucumbers in my family..and the best thing about cucumbers when they are ready to pick you can get a bunch off of one bush. We usually pick and wrap them in clear plastic wrap. They will last a few weeks in the refrigerator.

Since we can't freeze cucumbers we try to eat as many fresh or we make my famous bread-n-butter pickles. I found this great cucumber jam recipe and I thought I would share it with you. Enjoy!!!

Cucumber Jam

2 lbs Cucumbers (peeled)

2 lbs sugar

2 tablespoons water

Juice of two lemons

Dice cucumbers and simmer in water until soft, add lemon juice and sugar, stir and boil...keep boiling until setting point (it becomes thick)

Jar and seal

Happy Gardening...


Monday, July 6, 2009

How To Store Onions...

Well it is time to start getting my onions ready to be stored through the winter months. The easiest way to store onions is by hanging them and letting them dry.

On a nice warm sunny day after my onion tops have died all the way to the ground..I then lift them up out of the ground and let them dry for a week or two it is good to have them lay on something so you can bring them out of the rain. Placing them on a wood board or plastic seed tray work great!

When your onions have dried you can place them on a strong string (or cord)...I take four onions and tie the stalks together..I then tie the knotted stalks to a piece of string (or cord).... then I add more onions by tying the stalks around the piece of string (or cord) just slide them down to meet the others. After I have a few on a string (or cord)... I keep them hanging in my basement so air can get to all sides and I keep them away from moisture.

Freezing Onions?

I place small onions in freezer bags. I always peel them and make sure they are clean.

I cut onions into small pieces and place in freezer when they are rock hard. I then place them in freezer bags. I use them in sauces and they taste fresh all winter long!

Happy Gardening....


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Some Ways To Use Basil

Basil is one of my favorite herbs...I don't know why I don't grow it.... I always buy it at the farmers market. I bought a big bunch of it this weekend and I am going to make my favorite Pesto Sauce.

There are other ways to use Basil such as...

1. You can grow it in a pot on your windowsill it is suppose to keep flies away.

2. You can crush its leaves and rub the juice on your skin as a mosquito repellent.

3. You can crush some in a tissue an inhale it to keep mental fatigue away.

4 It also adds some zing to a hot refreshing bath.

or...... how about making my favorite Pesto!

1 tablespoon pine nuts

4 tablespoons chopped basil leaves (fresh is best)

2 cloves garlic (chopped)

3 oz Parmesan cheese (grated)

6 tablespoons olive oil

Blend together pine nuts, basil, and chopped garlic until smooth...then add olive oil slowly to the mixture until you have a thick paste. Stir sauce into hot pasta and then sprinkle with cheese. Yum! This will keep at least a week in a good sealed container...although I doubt you will have any left-overs!

Happy Gardening...


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Getting Rid of Whiteflies

These tiny pests can do a lot of damage to flowers and fruit trees. Whiteflies suck all the juice out the leaves of flowers, flower buds and stems. I don't know how may times I have reached for a piece of fruit off one of our fruit trees and had a bunch start flying around my head.

Signs that you might have whiteflies:

Weak or stunned plants

Sticky coating on leaves and fruit ...we sometimes get this on the bark of our peach trees.

Yellow eggs the size of tiny pinpoints on the underside of leaves.

When we get them really bad we have to cut down a tree or pull up a flower bush. I hate to do that but when you have them really bad that is what you have to do. Here is one way that I have tried to get rid of them:


I just found this recipe that I am going to try:

Whitefly recipe:

1 cup sour milk

2 tablespoons flour

1 quart water

mix together and spray of infected areas.

I really hope this helps kill our whiteflies. I will let you know!

Happy Gardening...


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Grow Potatoes On Your Deck?

I went to a friends house yesterday and guess what she was growing on her deck? Potatoes! She was growing them in a small garbage can! She took a small old garbage can and filled it with about a six inches of soil she then planted about 2 sets of potatoes. After the plants have grown but before they flowered she added another layer of soil....she continued building the soil as the plants appear until it reached around four feet. They were not ready to harvest but she said that when she dumps it over she should have a heavy crop of potatoes. I thought I would try this next year!

Happy Gardening...


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Crazy Ways to Water........

We have had a lot of rain lately....I was thinking about last year and how dry it was..it had to be one of the driest. Here are a few ways you can keep your garden growing through the driest times.

1. Soaker hoses: you can get these in any garden supply store although I think they are a little expensive for my whole garden.

2. Plastic Milk Jugs: I poke about 25 holes in the bottom of a plastic milk jug. I make sure cap is off and fill with water. I usually do this in the evening.

3. Red Flower Pots: These are great! I dig a hole in the middle of my plants I place the red porous pot and fill back just leaving a lip of pot. I then only water in the hole of the pot...this has seemed to really work and it also keeps my garden tidy without the jugs everywhere.

4. Place a bag of ice near your plants in the cool of the evening.

5. Sprinklers: I remember my parents keeping the sprinkler on all night to water there vegetable plants...that was before water conservation.

6. Save your water that you cook your vegetables in....let cool and water your plants.

7. Rain Barrel: We have one of these in our garden nothing fancy and old garbage can. I have found that if I put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in it...it really keeps the mosquitoes away.

Happy Gardening...


Friday, June 26, 2009

My Favorite Herb that are Perennial?

I love the fact that I can plant a herb plant and it will be there next year. Here are a few of my favorite Perennial Herbs.

Chives and Garlic Chives: Chives: often grow their spiky onion favored leaves in early spring..these can be picked or cut through spring. In May they will grow many purple-pink flowers these can be eaten in salads. Garlic Chives: These produce flatter garlic flavored leaves which can be cut from April to late autumn they grow white flowers in August which can be eaten in all sort of dishes.

Lovage: The leaves of this has a celery taste. Harvest time March- November

Mint: This can have a minty or fruity favor such as apple mint. This starts growing early spring and dies back late fall.

Sorrel: This has pale green leaves like spinach but has a lemon flavor. This starts growing in early spring and you should have the herbs leaves until late summer. If it gets to hot it will begin to die back early.

Happy Gardening..


Thursday, June 25, 2009

What to use as mulch in your gardening beds?

I had a friend ask if she could use anything else but regular hardwood mulch to mulch her garden and I said Yes! Here are the few suggestions I gave her.....




grass clippings ( always make sure you use grass clippings that have not been sprayed with a chemical weed killer)

saw dust

ground corn cobs and stalks ( you can place these in a chipper shredder)

coffee grounds


partly finished compost

newspaper ( I do not use any that have color)

shredded paper (old mail through a paper shredder works great)

Spanish moss ( you can get this at a garden supply store)

pine needles (blue berries love them)

But..... what about black plastic?

I just don't like the look of black plastic but I have seen people roll it out and place dirt over the top and that looks pretty good.

One thing about black plastic it really heats up the soil to several degrees and that could make a big difference on your planting time.

I have been asked what you should use as mulch on onions and garlic? Grass clippings applied right after you plant should help with this problem. ****(always make sure you use grass clipping that have not been sprayed with any chemical weed killer)

I always recommend that if you use a natural mulch on your garden beds such as hay, grass clippings ect... remove these in the fall. I really think that helps prevent diseases to grow through the winter monthes...you can always plant and replace in the spring.

Happy Gardening....


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Minty Mango Salsa

My mint is doing great and I have been trying to find recipes to use it in..... here is one that I thought was Terrific! Enjoy!

Minty Mango Salsa

1 large ripe mango peeled and diced

1 medium sweet red pepper diced

1 can 4 ounces chopped green chilies

1/4 cup green onions

1 tablespoons lime juice

2 teaspoons minced fresh mint

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger ( I left this out and it was still very good)

Tortilla chips

In small bowl mix together mango, red pepper, chilies, onions, lime juice, mint and ginger. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.


Happy Gardening.....


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Squash Vine Borers

We haven't grown squash in years but we do grow cucumbers, zucchini and melon. They used get attacked by the squash vine borer and the thing about these pest is you can't see them until it is to late...the first thing you will notice is wilted stems and leaves.

We have had very good luck getting rid of these pests by placing pieces of heavy aluminum foil 15-18 inches square around the base of each plant. The reflection seems to keep the borers away at least for a time.

I have never tried this but I have heard that if you do see some wilting you can look along the stem to see where the borer went in...the borer may not be far behind...cut the stem lengthwise just a little bit on both sides of the hole to see if you can find the borer and take it out. You still might lose the plant?

Happy Gardening...


Monday, June 22, 2009

A Recipe for a Great Container Garden....

I have many herbs growing in pots all around my deck...I also love flowers. I really think it makes my deck look interesting to have many pots growing many things...I have rosemary, basil and mint growing in pots along with petunias and marigolds.

I love sitting outside enjoying the smells and the blooms from my many different plants. Don't forget about hanging basket plants...My husband always grows a few tomatoes in hanging baskets every year...the tomatoes are easier to get to and it is another fun conversational piece. I think next year we are going to try to grow strawberries that way to see if we can beat the slugs.

Here is a recipe that I use every year in my container gardens and you probably have all the ingredients in you home right now!

Container Recipe

2 tablespoons black coffee

1/2 cup unflavored gelatin

1/2 teaspoon baby shampoo (or cheap shampoo)

1/2 cup of ammonia

1 gallon of water

1 heaping scoop of compost

Mix together and pour on as needed.

Happy Gardening.....


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Strange but Good....

We have been able to dig up many of our onions and this is one of my favorite recipes.....I hope you enjoy it!!!

Vegetable-Stuffed Baked Onions

8-10 medium onions peeled

4 strips bacon

3/4 cups carrots

1/2 cup sweet red pepper chopped finely

1-1/2 cup soft bread crumbs

1/3 cup minced fresh parsley

3 tablespoons butter melted

1-1/2 teaspoons salt (less if you like)

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3/4 beef broth

Cut 1/2 inch off top of onion and trim bottom to be able to sit flat...scoop out center leaving 1/2 in shell of onion. (Chop up rest of middle of onion to add to your stuffing mix)

Place onion shells in a square pan and cover with water..bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 8-10 minutes.

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp...place bacon on paper towel and save 1 teaspoon drippings

In the bacon drippings saute onion, carrots, red pepper until tender...remove from heat stir in bread crumbs, parsley , butter, salt, pepper, and bacon.

Drain onion shells and fill with mixture...place in ungreased shallow baking dish. Pour beef broth over onions. Cover and baked at 350 for 45-50 minutes

Happy Gardening.....


Friday, June 19, 2009

Mom's Clematis Recipe

My mom has the most beautiful Clematis...I have been asking her to share what she has been using on it and she has finally told me....

My mom's Clematis Recipe:

5 gallons compost

1/2 cup lime

1/2 cup bone meal

Mix all the ingredients together and spreed over base of plant. She does this early spring every year.

My mom also cuts her Clematis back hard in the early spring to encourage lots of new growth...she told me she cuts the Clematis down to around 8 inches above the ground don't be afraid to do this you will reap many new blooms. *Early Bloomers* There are a few Clematis you shouldn't prune back and they are..Alpine and Anemone if you prune back early you will be cutting off there only buds.

My mom also said she cuts all dead growth and messy vines after blooming to prevent disease's that go into the soil.

I hope your Clematis will look as good as my moms next year!

Thank you Mom!!!

Happy Gardening...


Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Small List of Helpful Hints............

A small list of helpful hints......

1. Make sure onion necks are exposed to the sun and not covered by dirt...by harvest time they will be already be partly dried and ready for your root cellar.

2. Do you have trouble starting lettuce in the heat of summer try placing lettuce seeds in the refrigerator for a few days then plant. Place a little mulch, straw or hay over this and keep watered.

3. Do you have a shaded location in your garden bed? You can plant lettuce,spinach and mustard greens there.

4. When planting carrots add a little coffee to their soil this helps prevent root maggots

5. Are birds pulling out your corn plants? Save those milk and juice jugs cover seedlings until plants are big enough that the birds can't pull them out. I placed a small hole at the top about the size of a dime to vent it..I didn't want my corn to get to hot.

6. When I tie back my tomatoes I always use a piece of nylon stocking never an old rag remember the plant is going to grow and it will need something to be stretchy.

7. I try to plant my corn when my apple blossoms begin to fall (I haven't had time to do this... this year)

8. Cutworms: Protect your plants by adding a ring of cardboard, a tin can that has the top and bottom removed ( be careful doing this) My favorite and cheap way is a bathroom Dixie cup with the bottom removed.

9. Think about building a cold frame we use ours to harden off our plants and to keep lettuce a little longer (through the end of fall)

10. We have added chickens to our homestead this year we use the droppings in our compost bin and we enjoy eggs all year round. We only have 6 chickens on a 1 acre lot....so I think they are a perfect addition for a small gardener.

Happy Gardening.....


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Friends Recipe to Keep Bugs Away.....

I have a dear friend that reads my blog and she gave me her recipe to get rid of bugs...I have never tried this but by looking at the ingredients it just might work.

Bug Spray:

1 Cup Murphy's Oil

1 Cup of Antiseptic mouthwash

1 cup of Tobacco tea

Mix together place in a hose-end sprayer..... soak plants to the point of run-off.

what is tobacco tea?

Place a handful of chewing tobacco in a gallon of water place in sun...after water turns dark brown strain with old screen window.

* My friend said this gets rid of all bugs and I say why wouldn't it.......

Happy Gardening...


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Garlic Spray

We planted our garlic in the fall and it is almost ready for us to pull up...and I will be glad because I really need to make a batch of bug spray. I still have been battling bugs on my herbs...I make this solution and it really seems to work.

Bug Spray:

6 large cloves of garlic chopped fine

1 small onion

1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dish soap (cheap)

1 quart of water.

I mix this all together and let it sit over night. I strain with some cheese cloth...I then put the solution in a spray bottle.

This will work on many plants just don't let the solution sit on your plants for many days...I always test it on one plant to even see if it will kill the bugs and it usually does!

Happy Gardening...


Monday, June 15, 2009

My Favorite Tool.... the Hoe

We have been busy working in the garden pulling weeds mostly...we have been getting so much rain it amazes me how fast the weeds seem to grow. I mostly hand weed because the raise beds make it easier...but after I hand weed I usually take the hoe through the whole bed. I started thinking this is my favorite tool in the whole shed.

I usually run the hoe along all my garden beds to stir up the soil and by doing this I am removing all smaller weeds, loosing up the soil which improves aeration. Many times after a hard rain our soil takes on a hard crust....this needs to be removed so the plant can get all the nutrients and moisture it needs to grow.

I hoe very shallow without going to close to the plant and never deep enough to hurt the roots. I scrap the top crust off making the soil look like new on top...it really looks nice after a good scraping.

I have many friends that mulch their beds with straw, leaves, hay, grass clippings etc.. I have not gotten into the habit of this...all my beds are plain dirt. I know if I did this I probably wouldn't have as many weeds and I wouldn't have to hoe.. I guess that would take all the fun out of me trying to battle the weeds every year. Plus it's good exercise.

What's your favorite gardening tool?

Happy Gardening...


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Raised Beds

When we first started gardening we started by planted all our vegetables and herbs in rows...It was very hard keeping up with weeds and we nearly gave up until we found out about square foot gardening or raised beds. We grow everything in raised beds all our vegetables, herbs and our fruit. Here are a few reasons why.....

We usually had big puddles in our beds after it rained our drainage has improved.

Soil warms up faster and dries out more quickly....this means we can plant earlier in the spring.

We don't walk up to our plants so we don't disturb the soil.

Our beds are smaller so we can reach the weeds easier....when we pull weeds it is easier to clean a whole bed in a matter of minutes instead of hours.

We can build our beds in the fall and have them ready for spring...remember we add lots of compost to all our beds in the fall.

We can plant our plants closer together so this leaves little room for weeds to grow.

Okay what are the disadvantages of raised beds?

Our garden beds dry out in the heat of the summer. (which means extra watering) (you could add extra mulch or even a soaker hose during this time.)

The paths down the middle get rather weedy.... we just mow between our beds and I kind of like the look. I have friends that pile up leaves or use straw to get rid of the weeds. I myself do not like this look so I would rather mow between the paths.

I wanted to remind you.... we don't use treated lumber for our raised beds so they do need to be replaced after a few years. I know lots of people that use cinder blocks which work great but they are a little expensive for me.

Happy Gardening...


Friday, June 12, 2009

Lettuce for all Seasons.....and a recipe

We love that we can pick lettuce almost all season long...until it gets real hot. There are so many different kinds of lettuce and they all like different temperatures so you can almost grow it all season.

We grow a lot of Romaine lettuce because of its crunchy texture. We can grow this lettuce in the summer months. Our favorites are Apollo and Jericho.

We also like loose leaf lettuce...you just pick its outer leaves and it will keep on growing. We have had lettuce grow for months and months. I like that we can grow this in the summer months our favorite is Red Oakleaf and Salad Bowl.

My ultimate favorite lettuce is Butterhead or Buttercrunch (Yum!) It is soft green with red heads and has a buttery flavor you can grow this in early spring and summer. Cool season Capitane warm season Esmeralda.

What about Iceburg? We have tried to grow this....I think we get to warm in the spring time. We just can't get it to grow.

We plant lettuce all around our garden...we have lettuce in our potato beds around our onions ect... When it starts getting bitter we pull it up....making room for are other plants to grow. This works really well in the early season.

Here is one of my favorite Salad Dressings:

Creamy Herb

1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise

2 tablespoons and 1/2 teaspoon soymilk or fat free milk

4 teaspoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a small whisk together and then chill....wonderful over fresh crisped lettuce.

Happy Gardening...


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Recommended Seed Spacing

When you plant your seeds do you ever think about how far apart you need to space them? I know that not every seed will germinate but if they did I want them to be spaced far enough apart. It saves me time not having to thin them out. This is my recommended seed spacing I hope it helps you....out in your garden.

Radishes 1 inch apart

Onions 2 inches apart

Parsnips 2 inches apart (I thin to 4 inches apart)

Carrots 3 inches apart

Kohlrabi 3 inches apart

Beets 4 inches apart

Leeks 4 inches apart

Swiss Card 5 inches apart

Leaf Lettuce 6 inches apart ( I usually have to thin this)

Broccoli 15 inches apart

Cabbage 15 inches apart

Collards 15 inches apart

There are many vegetables I left off here because most of the time I start my seeds indoors like tomatoes. I think it is a lot cheaper to start your plants by seed and planting at seed out it good rich dirt does produce a hardy plant that will give you vegetables. Remember to buy extra seeds at your garden center for fall planting!

Happy Gardening...


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Heavy and Light feeders? What is Crop Rotation???

Last year we had to get rid of a few of our garden beds to make room for a greenhouse. That means after the beds were built we then added lots of compost to get the soil ready in those new beds. We also rotate our beds every year to prevent pest and to keep diseases down. Some plants like very rich soil and others do not.

We have 12 garden beds.... In the spring when we built our new beds we added the soil that we got from the beds and we then added at least 2 inches of compost to those beds. At the end of the season we add compost to all our beds to let the soil get rained on and snowed on until spring. The older beds have had this done many seasons so the soil is so rich...and some plants like rich soil (heavy feeders) and others like leaner soil not as fertile (light feeders).

Heavy feeders like (rich soil) : beans, swiss chard, broccoli, cauliflower, kale , celery, corn, asparagus, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, artichoke, lettuce, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes.

Light Feeder like (leaner soil) : beets, radishes, turnips, carrots, parsley, sweet potatoes, potatoes.

You can improve your soil by adding heavy feeder's like spinach in the spring you then can plant beans right in their place in the summer. The soil will become richer because you had the spinach there in the spring..like wise if you have a light feeder such as peas in the spring replace them with another light feeder such as carrots in the summer.

Now...the next year you should rotate those beds... you should plant your spinach in the pea bed and so on... This is how I rotate my beds I never plant the same plants in the same beds each year and that includes plant families such as broccoli and cabbage they are in the same plant family...this means they get the same pests and diseases.

If you get nervous and can't decide what to plant and when...I suggest you plant beans. I believe beans plants are the best thing for any type of soil....it adds nitrogen to the soil and this will help any plant you plant afterward.

A few suggestions:

The first year I plant tomatoes and the next year green beans

The first year I plant parsley and the next year carrots

The first year sunflowers and the next year green beans

The first year green beans the next year sweet potatoes

I hope this helps you understand crop rotation...I would love to hear how you rotate your garden beds.

Happy Gardening....


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Why Do You Plant Your Tomatoes So Deep?

We have had many people walking through our garden lately and I believe the biggest question asked is "why do you plant your tomatoes so deep."

Tomatoes have this great advantage over many other plants because their stems can grow roots when they're in contact with the soil. When you plant deep you are giving your plant a stronger root system and a strong stem. When we do this we always remove a few lower leaves( if you don't do this the leaves will wilt under the soil or they will rot and cause disease problems) then place the plant deep into the soil just up to the leaves.

We have bought many tomato plants at garden supply stores and they look so leggy...we try to dig a deep enough hole but there are times when we have had to plant the tomato plant sideways...to do this dig a shallow ditch sideways and lay your tomato plant on the ground with it's head just sticking out of the soil we then scoop up the soil around the stem and the leaves. the plant will look like a small tomato plant but within a few weeks your plant will grow into a big strong tomato plant. I can almost guarantee you will get more tomatoes then ever before!

We have done this ever year... and we actually look for those sad leggy plants at the store now mainy because we can get them pretty cheap.

How do you plant your tomatoes?

Happy Gardening..


Monday, June 8, 2009


We love eating cucumbers in our family and we make the best bread and butter pickles around if I say so myself. There are a few common problems you can have growing cucumbers and I thought I would address how to fix those problems in this post.


First of all cucumbers need to be planted where they can get full sun...they like well drained soil. We always add a good amount of compost and then make a raised hill and place our cucumber plant in the middle of this hill. We make the hill so that when it rains the water runs off the hill... cucumbers plants do not like to sit in water!

We feed our cucumbers with compost tea about a month later.

Problems we have had...

Fruit sometimes taste bitter? This is because they did not get enough water while they were forming..we water more often when we see blooms appear.

White coating on leaves? This is powdery mildew...I spray with baking soda recipe every 7-10 days. I try to avoid watering the leaves and evening watering....I only water the soil!

Yellow or Brown spots: Downy mildew this usually means we have had a lot of wet weather. I pull up the plants as soon as possible to prevent the disease from spreading to other plants. ( I *Do Not* compost these plants!

Wilted or shriveled up leaves: I usually find squash bugs on my plants. I pull these up as soon as possible and I again Do Not compost these plants. I have heard that you can use spun row covers to prevent this problem. We now use crop rotation and it has helped us with this problem.

Plants wilt quickly: Cucumber Beetles is usually the problem here...again you can use a spun row cover. Make sure you are not over watering if you do not see any pests.

Baking soda Recipe

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 quart of water

I mix into a spray bottle and spray on my plants for 7-10 days I have found this really does help with powdery mildew.

Happy Gardening..


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Help your Plants Get Their Food

I bet you knew all plants need food to survive...but what are we feeding are plants? If you just till up your soil and plant you might be feeding them a bunch of clay. If you add organic matter you will be feeding them great nutrients for your plants roots to absorb and grow. The most important minerals are nitrogen, potash, potassium and phosphorus. What happens when your plants get these and how can you help your plant get them?

Nitrogen: This encourages leafy growth. Your plants can get this from rain and snow. You can help by giving you plants animal manures (remember not cat or dog droppings)

Potash: This helps build your plants tissues, and root development and helps with disease resistance. You can help by adding animal manures and compost.

Potassium: Helps your plant grow and make fruit. You can help by adding wood ashes.

Phosphorus: Promotes development of a good strong root system. It also helps to get your plant to grow more quickly. You can help by adding bone meal, and rock phosphate.

I am a big believer in organic matter... so start a compost pile today!

Happy Gardening....


Friday, June 5, 2009

What is Wrong with My Tomatoes??

We have planted all of our tomatoes and we are now waiting for them to grow and give us some great tomatoes to eat, and salsa to make. I now can see that our tomatoes are having a few problems not just aphids. I thought I would write about a few problems you can have with your tomatoes and ways you can take care of those problems.

1. Reddish Purple Leaves: This is a phosphorus deficiency....this happens when your soil is under 6.0 test your soil. I use fish emulsion for a short time to correct this problem.

2. Yellow Leaves: This is a nitrogen deficiency. I spray my plants with fish emulsion and if they have not been planted I try to plant them as soon as possible.

3. Slow Growth: This is potassium deficiency. I have found that if I add a good amount of compost to the soil in the fall this helps this problem a lot. Right now you can always add a little compost tea.

4. Black End Rot: This happens when you water infrequently when fruit is developing. Once you see the black spot you can not fix it....you can cut that spot off and eat the remaining fruit that is what I do why waste? You can fix this problem with regular watering and mulching well.

5. Holes in Leaves: This is probably the tomato horn worm. You can fix this by picking and removing pest.....but if you see that they have white eggs on it's back leave it there this is a good thing these eggs will produce parastic wasps and they will help kill any remaining horn worms that you find on your tomatoes leaves.

6. Little holes in your fruit: Birds...keep a bird bath near your garden. Birds peck at fruit in the hot days of summer to get a little moisture.

Happy Gardening...


Thursday, June 4, 2009


In just a few days we will get to begin picking our two rows of strawberries. We will need to plant a another row this year because our first row will be three years old and then they will not produce as many strawberries. It is good to rotate the beds every 2-3 year's or at least add new berries to your patch. We grow our strawberries in "hills" We cut all runners when they form not allowing them to jump over to make a new plant. This keeps our strawberries tidy and we get larger strawberries this way.

Where to plant Strawberries: We have our strawberries in two long raised beds but you can plant strawberries about anywhere.

1. They like a sunny location

2. Southern exposure is best

3. A place were there is good air circulation

4. They need good drainage (watch out for tree roots)

5 Good soil pH 5-6 We top dress with compost every year.

We will make our new raised beds this fall so when spring comes we will add our new plants... we can either "catch" some runners or dig up small plants to add to our new bed. We always plant so the crown is at surface level...planting to deep can cause the crown to rot. We have never used straw because I have always thought that it would attract slugs..because of it retaining moisture...but as I have written before we are having trouble with slugs never the less. I am now thinking straw might be a good idea. We are still using egg shells but that is not keeping them a way from my delicious strawberries.

Happy Gardening...


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Corn tips and tricks..

We have been putting our corn in a few rows at a time so we can have corn all season. I know that many people think corn is one of the easiest vegetables to grow but I disagree. We have the hardest time growing corn but I do have a few tips that I have tried and they have worked about every season.

We have many hungry raccoons in our area and I have learned that if we plant beans with corn it does help keep them away a bit. I have seen many people plant squash or pumpkins letting them ramble along the cornstalks and cover the soil. I know this might work but it is too messy for me.

Corn does not like compost.... well atleast seeds and seedlings. Do not add compost to the top of the soil after planting I have found that compost will rot your corn seeds and little seedlings. I always wait until my corn plant is about a foot high then I will give them a top dressing of compost or a good dose of compost tea.

The most common pest that I have is the European corn borer larvae and corn ear worms. To prevent this problem you really need to start in the fall...you need to make sure you clean up all corn debris and turn over the soil each season. To keep the ear worms from eating your corn now you can add a drop of mineral oil to each silk just before the corn begins to form.

Another problem I have had is having many ears of corn without having many kernels in each cob. I plant my corn 10 inches apart in rows 30 inches apart. When I walk through my corn now I shake the stalks insuring good pollination...I really believe this has helped some.

Crows: They like to eat the early seedlings..if I see crows pulling up new seedlings I just add a row of gutter guard. This is 5 inches wide mine is wire but you can buy it in plastic. I just place this over my seedlings cover the sides with a good amount of soil and when the plants are just about bending I then remove it...I then know that roots of the corn are settled and will be harder to pull up.

Happy Gardening..


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What to do about Aphids

Yesterday I spent most of my morning picking Colorado Potato Beetles from my two beds of potatoes and.... yes it was a yucky mess! I just hate to pick those pests off but it was needed. I picked two bowls full. While I was out in the garden I checked everything and I found many aphids on my tomato plants. I thought I would tell you how I get rid of aphids the organic way.

Aphids: These are very tiny insects they get on your plant and suck the juices out of the leaves and stems..this just weakens the plant.

There are many predators for aphids...my favorite the lady beetle larvae, lacewings, small wasps and syrphid fly larvae.

I never spray chemicals for aphids it is not good for the plant or for you. I use my hose and spray a strong spray of water on all my plants. I have also mixed some soapy (dish soap) water together and sprayed if I felt they were getting out of hand.

If you are having a Really Bad problem I suggest getting some floating row covers to protect your plants. You can usually get these at a garden supply store. I think you can get them over the Internet.

I have heard of people ordering lady beetles and placing them in their garden... I think this is a great idea. I have never had aphids that bad to do this.

Happy Gardening..


Monday, June 1, 2009

Tomato Pests

Many people have asked what pests like tomato plants... here is a small list of what pest may be bothering you tomato plant.

1. Colorado potato beetle I find these eary spring.

2. Missing leaves might suggest a hornworm.

3. Blister Beetles these use come out about mid-summer.

4. Fruit Flies This is after fruit begins to ripen.

5. Slugs I have these when my fruit is on the ground and there are a few overly-ripen close together.

I have found the easiest method to get rid of the Colorado Potato Beetle and the Tomato Horn Worm is to get out early and pick them off...starting the beginning of the season....before they take over your garden.

I pick them and place them in a bucket with 1 quart of water and 1 teaspoon liquid soap. This way they won't crawl back up the bucket and get out and it is safe to throw the remains in my compost pile.

I have many recipes that you can use to spray them but if you want immediate results you can always hand pick.

Happy Gardening..


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Using All-purpose Flour In Your Garden?

I have been finding that many products that we have at home work great in your garden too! One of my favorite and cheap ways to get rid of Grasshoppers and Blister Beetles is by using All-Purpose Flour.

I put 3 cups of all purpose flour in a brown bag that has a few holes in the bottom (making a shaker) I tie up the top and shake this up and down on my bean plants and tomatoes. ( I do this in the morning while there is still dew on the plants it really helps the flour stick) I dust the insects and the leaves with the flour.

Note: You do have to make sure you rinse your plants off after few days. You can not keep the flour on your plants all the time. (I only do this when I see the insects are out of control) This will not harm your plants as long as you rinse them off real good.

***Don't use self-rising flour this contains salt and will injury plant leaves.

Happy Gardening...


Friday, May 29, 2009

Grilled Sweet Corn

I hate to admit that I have been buying my corn right now at the store... it isn't quite ready to pick yet. (remember we are in zone 5) This is my favorite recipe for Grilled Sweet Corn. We had it this past weekend and it was so good!

Grilled Sweet Corn

8 large ears sweet corn in husk

6 tablespoons butter soften ( I use margarine)

1 tablespoon chopped parsley ( fresh)

1-2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic

1/2- 1 teaspoon ground cumin

I peel back the husks from corn about inch of the bottom, I try to remove all the silk I combine all ingredients from above and spread all over the corn.

I rewrap the corn in the husks and secure with kitchen string. Place in large kettle cover with cold water ( this keeps it from burning on the grill) soak 20 minutes then drain.

I grill my corn uncovered over a medium heat for about 25-30 minutes or until tender...turn often.

I hope you enjoy this recipe....

Happy Gardening..


Thursday, May 28, 2009

What should I put in my Compost bin?

We have 3 huge compost piles in our backyard...and many times when we have people over they ask how do you start one of those, what do you put in them, and why do you do this? I thought I would tell you how we have our compost pile and what we put in ours.

We don't have anything fancy around our piles I guess you could call them compost heaps. We start out with "greens" that would be grass clippings, weeds, kitchen scraps. I would call this "moist" ingredients because these have moisture. "Greens" provide nitrogen. We then add our "browns" this would be straw, sawdust, dead plants, and leaves. This will keep your pile loose so air can get in your pile. Lastly you will need to add your "blacks" This could be garden soil, manure from chicken, rabbits, cows, hogs, *Not* cats or dogs (these may contain parasitic organisms not healthy for your garden) The "black" is what really gets your pile moving it will help your compost to break down more quickly.

Things that should not be put in your compost bin...

Charcoal or ashes from your grill, meat and dairy products,( these could attract animals to your bin) oil, grease, weeds with seeds you will have a weedy compost bin unless you have enough heat to kill those seeds.

We stir our compost a few times a year..we do this with a pitch fork just lifting and turning the heap. You need to make sure air can get into your pile... a huge pile without air will stay a huge pile and not turn into compost.

I make compost tea every year to put on my plants here is the recipe...

I place a few hand fulls of compost in a burlap bag tie bag with a cord. I then place warm water in a 5 gallon bucket ( I some times use a old washed out paint bucket). I put the burlap bag in the bucket and place in the sun for a few hours. (I strain the compost with a old window screen) I then pour this tea at the base of my tomato plants they love it! I do this every couple of weeks.

I would love to hear about your compost bins.

Happy Gardening...


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tomato or Fruit Tree White Fly Trap

Our tomatoes are looking really good...I just wish It would stop raining. Every year I build this white fly trap it may look goofy but it keeps those darn flies away.

White Fly Trap

1) tomato stake

1) 48 ounce juice can ( you can also use family size soup cans)

Yellow paint ( You can find this in a craft shop) ( We use Patio paint)

Foam Paint Bruch

1 Clear Plastic bag (Large enough to fit over your can)

Petroleum jelly (cheap dollar store brand)

If you stake your tomatoes you might get to skip the first step...because you need a stake next to your tomato plant. I place a large stake in the middle of my plant to help suport my tomatoes but if you don't you will need to pound in 1 stake near your tomato.

Paint the juice or soup cans with the yellow paint.

After paint is completely dry place the painted can over the stake.

Cover each can with plastic bag

Smear petroleum jelly outside the bag.

I don't know why this works but it does...replace the bag when it is covered with white flies. I have a friend that places yellow or red golf balls in a bag covers them with petroleum and hangs them in her fruit trees...Yes they look funny but it saves her fruit every year.

Happy Gardening...


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Planting in mounds or hills?

Planting in mounds or hill planting....are the same thing! Many people plant potatoes this way but you can also plant corn, muskmelons and watermelons this way. You can do this 2 ways.... First mound up your dirt and plant a seed wait for your seedling to grow and then mound up dirt as it grows. Second mound up your dirt and then put transplant in your mound or hill. The important part is to still place dirt around the plant while it is still growing. This keeps the plant sturdy...this works great with corn. During the end of summer our corn will bend over but the extra dirt really holds them up.

I couldn't remember if I have shared this great recipe? It is one of my favorites and now is the time you can get the flowers. It only keeps for a few weeks but it works for many bugs.

Easy Bug Juice:

1/2 Marigolds

1/2 cup Geraniums

1/2 cup Garlic

Chop this up fine

mix with 10 gallons of warm water let set then strain put into a spray bottle...

Happy Gardening...


Monday, May 25, 2009

Vegetable plants for the beginning gardener

We went to my brother's yesterday and he has a small garden. We were out back looking at what he had planted. I hated to tell him many things he was trying to grow was not right for our area or zone (ours is 6). He has two children and they want to see something growing...so I gave him a list of easy to grow vegetables that he is going to try.

Vegetables for the beginning gardener


Bush Beans ( no trellis to build)

Cherry tomatoes ( I told him to use a tomato cage)


Green Peppers

Lettuce (he was trying head which doesn't grow in our area I suggested leaf lettuce)



I can't wait to go visit in a few weeks and see how his garden is growing. It is always fun to watch a new gardener. He inspires me to write this blog for others that don't know how to garden and a few tricks on how to beat all those bad bugs!

Happy Gardening,


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Two-Cabbage Slaw

I thought I would share one of my favorite picnic side dishes.....

Two-Cabbage Slaw

4 cups shredded green cabbage

1 cup shredded red cabbage

1 medium green pepper chopped

1 medium red pepper chopped

4 green onions finely chopped


1 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

In large bowl mix first five ingredients. Then a small bowl mix the dressing ingredients.

Pour over cabbage mixture stir to coat

This serves 6

I hope you enjoy this recipe....


Thursday, May 21, 2009


One of my favorite veggies is eggplant...it took me a while to learn to cook it right and now we love it.

We have had problems with caterpillars on our eggplant. I now use dry cayenne pepper. We crush this with a roller making sure it is very fine almost like dust. I sprinkle the cayenne on the eggplant while there is still dew on the plants.

If you grow eggplant among your green beans this will protect your plants from the Colorado potato beetle. The beetles like eggplant even more than your potatoes but they will find the green beans as a repellent.

Happy Gardening...


Blackberries don't like Raspberries?

We love blackberries but we have never been successful growing them and now I know why...we have always tried to grow blackberries near our raspberries...I have been reading that blackberries just don't grow very well near raspberries. They like the soil moderate acid 5-5.7
(raspberries like near neutral soil 6.5-7)

It is a good idea to grow mulberries, chokecherries and elderberries near your blackberries this will attract birds away from your blackberries.

I can't wait to start growing blackberries!!

Happy Gardening....


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What is a rootworm?

Root worms: These are tiny worms that attack the roots of cabbages and radishes..the larvae hatch quickly and then they burrow in the soil heading to the root of the plant.

Root worms are a minor nuisance in radishes and carrots you can cut were they have been and eat the rest....but they will kill cabbage and broccoli. I have seen them kill seedlings if they eat much of the roots.

I have heard that you can slip some heavy plastic around your plant deep near the roots...but this hasn't ever helped me. I usually have to compost the infected plant.

Happy Gardening...



Basil: Is easy grow just pinch a bit and use...the plant will grow tall if not pinched back every so often and the new leaves always taste better. Usually by the end of our summer the aphids take over the plant and we just pull it up and put it in the compost. * Basil is a annual*

My favorite way to eat basil is with tomatoes. Making a big batch of spaghetti sauce is great!!

You can also put basil, tomatoes on goat cheese drizzle a little olive oil then place on a cracker.....Yum!

Happy Gardening...


Monday, May 18, 2009

Egg Shells and slugs...

We have been placing crushed egg shells around our strawberry plants to get rid of the slugs...I have to say I am not sure if this is working or not....I think the roughness of the shells is helping to inhibit their movement but not repelling them from eating our wonderful strawberries. I have read that you have to have 2 inches of egg shells to keep the slugs from moving over to the plants.

We will have our chicken coop built in the matter of weeks...so we will have many eggs before to long. I think I will keep trying the egg shells because I don't like using anything not organic...do you have any advice about slugs or how you keep them off your strawberries.

Happy Gardening..


Adding coffee grounds to your garden beds...

I have been reading a lot about composting and what you should and should not add to your compost bins...but I have found that somethings can be added directly into your garden beds such as coffee.

Spreading coffee grounds around some of your garden plants is a good idea. The coffee grounds will add nutrients to the soil as they break down and will benefit your plants. Now I am not saying you should run out with a fresh filter of coffee grounds warm from the pot or pour a few fresh cups into your plants soil.

I would recommend putting your coffee grounds in a bucket and placing a little compost on top mix together then add to your garden plants..I know that lettuce loves this mixture. Tomatoes do not!

Coffee itself has a pH of 5-5.5 right out of the cup.

Do you ever use coffee grounds in your garden?

Happy Gardening...


Baking soda and your garden

I have been trying to find way's to use what I have in the kitchen to help our garden plants...and I have found that I can use a mixture of baking soda to control black-spot and powdery mildew.

1 tablespoon of baking soda

1 gallon of water

1 teaspoon liquid dish soap (cheap)

I mix this together and put in a spray bottle.

I use this once a week. * Don't use on a sunny day*

You can use this on strawberries and roses

Happy Gardening...


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Flower pots...

I Love to find those cheap orange pots at the garden center...I bring them home paint them with out-side paint or even spray paint...I let them dry add some pebbles for the bottom, then potting soil and a beautiful plant...Enjoy!

Don't have money for the orange pot? How about painting a margarine container or any kind of round container. Just make sure there are holes in the bottom for drainage.

Other things that can be used as a flower pot...

plastic buckets

old wheelbarrows ( might find one at a flea market?)

plastic ice cream container

hollowed out log,

old wooden box

teapots or tea cups

glass jars

Happy Gardening...



We used to love doing this with our girls....making egg-heads.

1 egg with the inside blown out

craft glue

plastic google eyes

water (spray-bottle)

grass seed (herb seeds work to)

cotton ball

a red permanent marker

Give the egg head a hole on the top off it's head

We then place a cotton ball in the hole that we made, put a little grass seed on the cotton ball and water....next decorate the face with eyes and a mouth. We cut our egg carton and place the egg-head in one section of the carton. Place in a sunny window....their hair will start growing in a few days....make sure your children keep the cotton ball watered with the spray bottle....and don't forget to give them a haircut when needed.

Happy Gardening...


Gardening with children

We have teenage daughters now but we have always had our girls out in the garden. They still help us transplant plants, water and of course eat what we pick each evening. Here are a few ways to get your children involved with gardening....

1. Let your children have their own garden...help them draw up a plan and let them color where they are going to plant their vegetables.

2. Help them get their soil ready for the plants new home. I hate watching children get excited about planting their plants and then watching them dig a hole in clay dirt. Try to get the beds ready before hand....the children should not have to use a shovel...they should be able to dig with their hands in the nice composted soil.

3. Select vegetables that are easy to grow.

4. Always select vegetables that the children like to eat...why plant tomatoes if they don't like to eat tomatoes?

5. Have Fun!!! It should not be work....making it fun...will make them want to grow another garden next year!!

Happy Gardening!!



Herbs that grow best in the sun are...

Lavender, Borage, Sage, Rosemary, Nasturtium, Lemon verbena

Herbs that grow best in the Shade:

Violets, Mint and Cress

The easiest herbs to grow are:

Parsley, Mint, Basil, Chives, and Lavender

Happy Gardening...


Herbs for Potpourri

I Love the smell of herbs in the winter time and the best way to have that wonderful smell is to dry your herbs..... When you are growing your herbs this summer grow a few extra to dry and use for potpourri.

My favorite herbs for potpourri are:

Rosemary, Mint, peppermint, thyme, sage (I use only the leaves)

Lavender, violets (I use only the flowers)

Caraway, Coriander, Angelica (I use only the seeds)

Happy Gardening...


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tomato Compost cage feeder....

My father-in law always had the best tomatoes and he had a trick..... I would like to share....He grew his tomatoes in a circle and put compost in the middle. I have seen this done by putting a cage in the middle then plant the tomatoes around this cage. You start with a little compost in the middle of the cage...as your tomatoes need more good food... add more compost and make sure when you water you water that compost pile in the middle. Your plants will love this!!

Happy Gardening...


Milk Jug Protector for tomatoes and peppers

I try to re-use many things around the house for our garden. I have found that milk jugs are good for milk but also good for my tomato plants and pepper plants.

Here is how I use that old milk jug:

I cut about 2 inches off the bottom of a milk jug. I then place the jug over my new little tomato plant or pepper plant... *when I hear the weather is going to get cold* I keep the lid off the jug for ventilation. ***This should keep my plants safe from a frost***

I also use milk jugs to keep my plants warm in our cold frame...just fill up milk jugs with warm water and set near plants in cold frame the heat should keep your plants warm over night. ( I spray paint my milk jugs black this keeps the jugs water warmer.) (solar heat)

Happy Gardening..


Drying Herbs

Drying Herbs so that you can use for later is easy and here are a few easy ways....

1. Hang Herbs in brown paper bags. I cut herbs left on their stalks place them in a brown bag I staple close the bag and use laundry pins to attach to a wire hanger let dry for about two weeks.

2. You can place herbs in your oven with door open. I put herbs on a cookie sheet and always use the lowest setting of your oven. This only takes a short time with some herbs...check often.

3. Spread herbs on a old window screen place in a cool dry place. This might take about a week.

My favorite Herbs to dry: Mint, Lavender, Sage, Rosemary, Spearmint, Lemon Balm, Lemon grass.

Happy Gardening...


Herb Vinegars

One of my favorite ways to use herbs is to make a good herb vinegar. You can use all kinds of herbs and here is how you make it...

Herb Vinegar

Heat Vinegar until hot but not boiling (I use cider)

Pour over your favorite herbs. ( such as basil, rosemary, thyme, chives, dill, sage etc..) mix and match to find the herbs you like best together.

Pour this into a glass jar and let it set for about 2 weeks. strain herbs before you use.

Happy Gardening..

Companion Planting Part 1

Companion planting is very important you can use other plants to keep bugs away...Here are a few of my favorites.

Mint: is a companion to cabbage and tomatoes and keeps white cabbage moths away.

Rue: companion to roses and raspberries keeps Japanese beetles away. It doesn't like to be near sweet basil

Wormwood: You can plant this as a border to keep small animals aways. Rabbits, mice etc..

Sage: Plant with rosemary, cabbage, and carrots. This does not like to be planted near cucumbers. It will keep carrot fly and the cabbage moth away.

Petunia: Companion to all beans.

Marigolds: Companion to tomatoes.. keeps tomato worm , and asparagus beetles away.

Happy Gardening...


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sun Dry Tomatoes and Basil cheese

This is so quick to make you can serve it with crackers or one of your favorite breads. I really hope you enjoy it...

6-to-8 ounces goat cheese

18-24 fresh basil leaves

1 bottle sun-dried tomato in oil

coarsely black pepper

I lay out all my crackers on a plate..I then place some goat cheese and then a piece of basil. I then drizzle the sun dried tomato oil over the top. I love adding a little black pepper just before serving.


Happy Gardening..


Asparagus blue cheese rolls.... appetizers

Asparagus Blue cheese rolls this appetizer is one of my favorite recipes.... Enjoy!

12 slices of white bread....crusts removed

1/3 cup blue cheese (room temperature is best)

12 cooked asparagus drained well

1/3 to 1/2 cup melted butter

mayonnaise to taste

preheat oven 375

Using a rolling pin gently flatten each slice of white bread.

In a small bowl mix blue cheese and enough mayonnaise to make it spreadable. Then spread about a teaspoon of mixture on each slice of white bread, place an asparagus spear on the end and roll it up. (try not to let too much asparagus hang out if so cut)

Melt butter then spread with a paint brush on each bread wrap on all surfaces. Place seam side down on baking sheet. bake 10-12 minutes until crisp. Then cut the roll into 4 pieces enjoy!

Happy Gardening..


Radishs means stay away

You should plant radishs near your cabbage and eggplants.

How will this help? Well the flea bettles and root maggot flies will eat your radishs before they will eat you cabbage and eggplant. ( atleast that is the goal) When the radish is covered with insects pull up plant and destroy it....

Happy Gardening..


How to plant potatoes...eyes up or eyes down??

If you think all potatoes are the same you have never had a home grown potato. I think potatoes from the garden are wonderful and they are so easy to grow....

Potatoes can be planted by seed but this can take a long time and they will be need to be started indoors and then transplanted. I believe the best way is to use seed potatoes. These are tubers that have many eyes or sprouts. I cut mine so there are at least two eyes on each potato.I have found that presprouted potatoes develop quicker than whole seed potatoes. (I cut my potatoes and let sit out for 2 days so they can get a skin on the side that I cut) I plant them when I know there will only be 2-4 weeks until my last frost. Potatoes do the best when the soil is warm 60-70 degrees.

Potatoes like good soil I make sure my soil is full of compost. I then plant my potatoes eyes up in a trench and 4 inches deep and about a foot apart. I always cover my potatoes with about 2-4 inches of soil.

It will take about a week for the sprouts to come up. After my plants get about 6 inches tall I then "hill" them I start putting dirt all around my potato plants so they look like little "hills" I do this about every two weeks keeping dirt right up to my potatoes. When your plants are full size you can mulch them I don't...I just sit back and wait for my potatoes leaves to dye back.

After the leaves have dyed back I know that I can now harvest my potatoes. Just lift the entire plant and search for those yummy spuds.

I dig mine up and store dirty...I just wash and cook them.

* Don't eat green potatoes they would have an off flavor and could make you sick.

I would love to hear how you grow your potatoes.

Happy Gardening..


Dividing Herbs and a recipe

Every year I have to divide some of my herbs this year it will be my mint and chives. My chives have over-grown in to big clumps and my mint has jumped out of one of my beds. This is how I divide my herbs.

I dig up my chives and mint from underneath the soil trying to keep all the roots intact. I then use a knife and slice the soil into smaller clumps. I plant these new clumps of herbs in a place where they will have a lot of room to grow. This way I won't have to divide them in a few years.
* The best time to divide is early spring or fall

One of my favorite ways to use mint:

I usually go out in the morning and cut a few stalks of mint. I chopped them up a bit and place them in a ice tray...I then fill the ice tray with water. After the ice gets solid I put a few mint ice cubes in my favorite tea Yum!! I hope you try this!

Happy Gardening!


Growing Vegetables in the Shade?

Yes, you can grow many vegetables in the shade. Here are a few that will grow behind a house, or even under a tree.











Now even if you have a shaded yard here are a few veggies you can grow.

Happy Gardening..


What plants can you grow in pots?

There are times when you do not have space to grow vegetables in your yard. I have found that you can grow many vegetables right on your own back or front deck. You just need a large pot and some good dirt with a little compost mixed in and you will have vegetables all season long.

Here are the best plants you can grow in pots.





Snap Beans




Carrots (small finger type)

Happy Gardening...


Monday, May 11, 2009

Egg Seed Pots

Here is a great way to save a little money in the garden. You can make seed pots out of egg shells. I poke a hole in the bottom of a egg blow out the contents ( I use this in a omelet) I try my best to cut the egg in the middle ( this doesn't always happen) I then put soil in each half and then plant 2 seeds. When my plant gets a few leaves I transplant it in the garden. (I crush the egg shell a little to let the roots have some room to spread out.)

Happy Gardening..




You must have acid soil 4.5 to 5 pH the soil must be well drained with rich compost. You should mix 1 to 2 bucketfuls of an acidic peat moss into each hole.

If you happen to have alkaline soil you really should dig a hole at least 3 feet deep and 6 feet across and fill with soil, acidic peat moss, sand, cottonseed meal and ammonium sulfate these are all very high in acidic and this will help your blueberries get a good start.

You can mulch your blueberries with wood chips, pine needles, and saw dust.

Don't forget birds love blueberries so you will have to net them before the berries begin to ripen. Make sure you can easily get the net off and on....you don't want to miss one of those wonderful berries.

Happy Gardening...


How to clean out your flower pots

It is very important to clean out your flowerpots every year. The simplest way is 2 tablespoons of bleach to a quart of water. I wash out my pots then rinse them with this solution and then I rinse again. This is a great way to get rid of virus and fungus diseases that have been left on from the previous year. You can use this on pruning shears, and all garden equipment.

Happy Gardening...


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Heirloom Tomatoes

I like keeping a small list of my favorite heirloom tomatoes and here they are....in no particular order

Amish Paste

Mortgage lifter


Red Pear

Brandy wine

Old Fashion Cherry

Happy Gardening...


How to kill a plant....

There are times when you just want to get rid of a plant. I have some little rose bushes that have the worst thorns. I used this method and they we gone in a few weeks.

Salt! Salt will kill about any plant. I suggest that you only use this on plants that you want to kill and make sure there are no other plants around that you want to keep.

1. Dig down cutting the roots of the plant you want to kill.

2. Cut back all branches as close to the grown as possible

3. Pour a lot of salt directly into the wounds. Try not to get much on the soil just on the plant.

I do this on a very warm day letting the sun work on the salt.

This should kill that stubborn plant.

Happy Gardening...


Keeping Wasps away...

Keep Wasps Away.....

I like being out-side and not being bothered by them.... here is how I keep them away...

Cut the top off a plastic bottle..I use a water bottle.

I then invert the lid back inside the bottle ...it will look like a funnel inside. I then secure the out-side with tape. I place two holes and place a string to hang out on a tree branch. I then pour sugar water into the bottle. This keeps the wasps near the sugar water and way from me.

Give this a try!

Happy Gardening...



I am a big fan of mint....I love it in a nice tall glass of ice tea.

Mint is easy to grow but it can be invasive...I grow mine in large pots. I have see my friends grow mint in pots and place them in the ground. This way the mint doesn't spread out into the yard.

You need to clip off young shoots regularly to promote new growth. Pruning especially hard to stimulate growth of tender leaves.

I have my pots of mint near my house to prevent ants from coming in my house. You can place bundles of mint in your cabinets to prevent insects from getting into your beans, rice and even cereal.

One of my favorite ways to use mint is to make a pesticide to get ride of aphids and little caterpillars.


1 cup chopped mint
1 quart of water

placed in blender....blend strain....place in spray bottle

Spray on aphids and caterpillars until gone.

Happy Gardening...



We have the cutest little chipmunks in our yard but they cause so much damage to our garden. Chipmunks love to eat newly planted bulbs their favorite's our crocuses, hyacinths, tulips.

The best way to keep chipmunks out of your garden beds.....

Plant your bulbs and place wire over them...you can also place moth crystals on top of them.

You can plant bulbs extra deep and then place gravel over top of them.

Happy Gardening,


Friday, May 8, 2009


We have a few raspberries growing in garden but the birds usually get them before we do. You can plant raspberries just about anywhere but they do like a big handful of compost when planting. You should plant them at least 3 feet apart...red raspberries 1 inch deeper than the root ball. They like good drainage we have ours planted so the water drains down the hill.

I suggest that you plant them in a long row...and keep sister plants from growing in the middle of the beds. I just cut them off to the ground when they start appearing in the spring.

Don't forget that raspberries are biennials this means that next years growth will come from new canes...and last years will die after fruiting. Make sure you cut them to the ground and prune back all woody canes. Try to keep your beds nice and tidy...keeping the middle of the beds clear.

Happy Gardening..


5 reasons why we stake our tomatoes

We have always staked out tomatoes but I am sure some wonder why so here are a few reasons why we do.....

1. Fruit is cleaner...keeping fruit off the ground.

2. Slugs love tomatoes. (keeping tomatoes off the ground keeps slugs from eating your tomatoes)

3. Keeps garden tidy

4. We think we get more tomatoes (we don't prune our tomatoes)

5. You don't have to bend over as much...which wastes time.

Happy Gardening...


Staking Tomatoes...

Great recipes for Tomatoes, Peppers and Azaleas

Azaleas : Love left over tea and tea leaves....finished with that last bit of ice tea pour it over your Azaleas.

Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplants: They love a drink of Epsom Salts water. 2 tablespoons Epsom salt to one gallon of water. Give them a pint of water to each plant until they begin to bloom.

Asparagus love manure apply a thick layer of manure over your asparagus patch after the ground freezes in the fall...this will give them that added protection along with great nutrients they will need to make the new plants for spring.

Happy Gardening..



We have a huge pile of compost in our backyard. We don't have a fence around it or any pretty fancy boards just a big pile of grass, leaves and scraps. We have ours out in the sun too!

Here is a list of composting materials:

shredded paper
egg shells
tea bags
vegetable peelings
evergreen needles (not to many)
bag from vacuum sweeper

No meat or dairy products this will just encourage mice and other animals to visit your compost pile. Don't forget to turn the pile with a shovel everyweek to let the compost get some well needed air.

Happy Gardening..


Cover Crops

I love the use of a cover crop. Cover crops really help to improve your soil....just plant it during late summer or early fall let grow and turn under when spring arrives. You can get many at your garden supply store...you might have to ask for it.

My favorite cover crops are:

hairy vetch



winter rye


Here are a few that can be planted in the spring and can be carried over until the next spring.



sweet clover

This will improve your soil for many years to come.

Happy Gardening,



I used to have cutworms kill my new transplants...... now I have a few ways to keep that from happening....

You can use a tin can with the top and bottom removed. I place this collar 1 inch into the ground over my new transplant.

You can also use paper cups with the bottoms taken out

You can re- use milk cartons this way too.

These ways should keep that cutworm from killing your plants.

Keep the Raccoons out of my corn

We have had raccoons in our corn for years....here are a few ways to keep them out.

1. We keep a radio on in our garden at night...Place it in a plastic bag if calling for rain.

2. You can interplant corn with pumpkins and squash....raccoons don't like stepping on the prickly vines and leaves.

3. Our favorite way is to place a floppy chicken wire about two feet wide over the top of your garden fence. It won't support the weight of the raccoon and they should flip right off.

I hope this saves your garden from the raccoons.

Happy Gardening...


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rosemary, Sage and Spearmint

Rosemary... not only smells good it can add flavor to a roast or some small red potatoes. Did you know that Rosemary also repels bean beetles and carrot flies?

Sage... is great on all kinds of meats especially fish and chicken. I also use it for sore throats. I crush it up add some water let it set for a while then strain. It works on minor sore throats.

Spearmint...I use this to make tea...Did you know that Spearmint keeps rats away. I plan on planting some next to my rabbit hutches.

Happy Gardening...


Fun Ways to use Herbs

I love using herbs in my daily life....but all herbs are different. Here are a few ways you might enjoy using herbs...

Rose Petals and Calendula petals...place in a warm bath tub

Oatmeal with Calendula petals crushed up to make a salve for a sun burn or rash.

Basil and Peppermint place in a bowl and fill with hot boiling water this will open your sinus's and just might open some clogged pores.

Chamomile and Lavender place in a soft pouch and place under pillow for a nice nights rest. (crush the herbs just before resting)

Happy Gardening...


Easy Herb Salad dressing

My favorite meal is salad....I love having a homemade dressing to go with a great salad. Here is a quick salad dressing everyone will love.

1 part herb flavored vinegar ( place herb in a jar filled with vinegar overnight)

3 parts of olive oil

2 teaspoons of your favorite dried herb

place oil, vinegar and dried herbs in a mason jar shake hard.

Pour over your salad.

Let me know what you think....

Happy Gardening..


What is this...Wilts, Rust, Blight,Powdery Mildew

What is Powdery Mildew? Your plants will look like someone put baby powder on them. The mildew can be on top and on the bottom of the leaves.

The Wilts... This can happen because of fungi and bacteria. Your plants leaves will turn yellow and wilt. I think this happens because of over-watering.

Blight..Brown spots or patches on your plants leaves...you might even see them shrivel up and rot.

Rust... I get this on my Roses. It makes the leaves look like someone placed rust all over the leaves.

Happy Gardening..


I just hate flea beetles....

Almost every year I have flea beetles on my broccoli this is what I do to get rid of them....

6 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

I crush the garlic and the red pepper and place in a mason jar. I pour 1 quart of warm water over the pepper and garlic. I place this in the windowsill for about a week. I strain this and place it in a spray bottle. I spray on both sides of the leaves....I never do this on a sunny day it might burn the plants.

Happy Gardening..


Get Rid of Slugs

I usually try to go out early in the morning to remove the slugs off my strawberries...I put them in a bucket of soapy water....but there are times that I can't get out early enough. So here is what I do.....

I have found that if I place mason jar lid filled with beer (cheap) they will stay off my strawberries.

Keep replacing beer as needed.

Happy Gardening..


Alkaline loving plants

Alkaline plants are plants that like their soil with the pH 7 or above.











Okra Swiss


Happy Gardening..


No more Damping off

Here is a mixture to help those young plants from damping off....Damping off is a fungal disease but this might help prevent it.

1 cup water

2 teaspoons dried Chamomile flowers

Bring water to a boil stir in Chamomile and cover let this cool and strain

Use this liquid by putting in the soil before you plant your seed or plants. You can also water your plants with this liquid.

Happy Gardening..


What are Acid loving plants??

Here is a small list of some acid loving plants.... this means they like their soil pH below 6.5. These plants will have a hard time in alkaline soil.





butterfly weed


Happy Gardening..


Pour me a cup of Leaf Tea?

This might sound strange or Crazy but tree leaves contain huge amounts of acid. Plants such as azalea, parsley and blueberries would love to have a cup of leaf tea.

How to make leaf tea....

you will need:

a 5 gallon bucket

a small bag of brown oak leaves

Fill the bucket 1/2 full of the oak leaves

then fill the bucket to just cover the leaves

set the bucket in the sun for 1 week....the tea will be dark brown when done.

Strain the mixture and use on your plants.

Happy Gardening...


Worms help my Garden

This is a great recipe to help get those new plants growing....

12 cups worms castings (or compost)

1/2 cup Epsom salts

Mix well...I put 1 cup of this mixture into each hole...great for tomatoes

Happy Gardening...


Monday, May 4, 2009

Help get my Rubarb Growing

To get my Rhubarb growing I use..

1 Tbsp. Epsom Salts

1 cup strong tea

1 cup of organic matter

mix together with 1 quart water

pour this mixture into the ground near the Rhubarb.

Happy Gardening


Grapes grow the best in loose soil....with Good drainage.

I mix equal amounts of soil, peat moss and a little manure to get my grape plants started out right.

You can Fertilize grapes with 1/4 lb of ammonium nitrate in early spring. You should spread this about 2 foot from the vine. The next year do the same but 3 foot from the vine and so on...

Happy Gardening..


Organic Flower Bug Spray

Here is another organic bug spray...

1/2 cup marigolds

1/2 cup geraniums

1/2 cup garlic minced

I chop this very, very fine mix with 10 gallons of warm water. I pour this all around my vegetable and flower beds.

When should I plant?

I have little reminders on when I plant my garden here are a few.....

I plant my tomatoes, melons and eggplant when the peonies flower and when the black locust bloom.

I plant my pole beans and cucumbers when the apple blossoms drop.

I plant my potatoes when the white oak leaves are as big as a cats ear.

I plant my spinach, beets and onions when the daffodils bloom.

I plant my broccoli and cabbage after the dog-woods have dropped their flowers.

Happy Gardening...


Compost Helper

You can add this after you have started you compost pile...

1/4 bottle of beer (cheap)

1/4 cup ammonia ( not much more)

1 gallon of warm water

Pour this over your compost pile you will see a big difference in weeks.

I do this Spring and Fall.

Happy Gardening...


Seed Soak

You can soak your seeds that have a hard shell in this wonderful liquid.

1 Tbsp. Fels-Naptha soap (I find this in the laundry aisle)

1 tbsp. Epsom salts

1 tbsp. tea water

1 gallon of very warm water

I put all this in to a bowl and put my seeds in there over-night. I wake up the next morning and plant.

Happy Gardening..


Organic Fertilizer

This is great for all veggies..

5 cups seaweed meal

3 parts granite dust

1 part dehydrated manure

1 part bone meal

Combine all these ingredients in a bucket....put a couple hands on your plants 2 or 3 times during planting season.

Happy Gardening..


Fruit Tree fungi..

This Chive solution helps Fruit Tree Fungi....

1 bunch of chives leaves

4 parts water

Put Chives and water in pan and bring water to a boil....let cool and strain. Put in hand sprayer and spray fruit trees every day for seven days.

Happy Gardening..


Organic pest control for Ahids

I am not a big fan of Aphids....so I use this to control them on my herb plants.

1/2 cup Parsley flakes (fresh is best)

2 Tbsp. of minced garlic

3 cups water

Mix together and boil to 2 cups. Strain and cool.

I use this in a 20 gallon hose-end sprayer drench the herbs....use until aphids are gone. Could take a few days.

Happy Gardening...


Knock the Weeds out of your Yard

This is a great organic way to kill those stubborn weeds in your yard..

1 Tsp. Gin

1 Tbsp. Vinegar

1 Tsp. of liquid dish soap ( I use cheap)

1 Qt. of very warm water

mix together pour into hand spray bottle....drench weeds.

Do not spray near near-by plants.

Happy Gardening...


Blight Tonic

Use this on tomatoes, potaoes, and celery...

1 Tbsp. of horticutural oil (found in gardening centers)

1 Tbsp. baking soda

1 Gal. water

Mix together put in a spray bottle and soak plants.

Happy Gardening...


Monday, April 27, 2009

Japanese Beetle Spray

Japanese Beetle Spray

1/2 cup dried cayenne pepper

1/2 cup of jalapeno pepper

1 gallon of water

Add peppers to water and bring to a boil then let simmer....put a lid on the pot. Do Not lift lid off until the solution cools.

then strain and put into a spray bottle.

Keep this out of the reach of Children.

Happy Gardening...


Damping off solution

Damping of Solution

4 tsp Chamomile tea

1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap

1 quart boiling water

Mix tea and soap with water let this steep for at least an hour or longer.

Spray on little plants just as they sprout.

Happy Gardening...


Compost Tea

Compost Tea:

1 gallon of fresh compost

4 gallons of water

Put compost in a burlap bag or even pantyhose...tie up the top. Place the bag of compost in the 4 gallons of water let this steep for an hour or longer. If you can put the bucket in the sun.

Use after the water turns dark brown....great on all plants.

Happy Gardening...


Strawberry jump start

Strawberry Jump Start

1 can of beer

1/2 cup cold coffee

2 tablespoon of liquid dish soap

2 gallons of water

mix all items together in a big bucket...soak berries bare roots in solution for 10 minutes. Then plant strawberries right away and place the rest of solution on the plants.

Happy Gardening...


Black Spot Remover

Black Spot Remover:

15 tomato leaves

2 small onions

1/2 cup rubbing alcohol

chop the tomato leaves and onions finely...steep them in alcohol overnight. Then rub with a sponge brush into the mixture and apply to both top and bottoms of the infected Rose leaves.

Happy Gardening...