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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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...