I started this blog to get to know other gardeners and track my own garden's progrss. It is a wonderful way to honor the stewardship I have over my plot of ground I have been blessed with. Thanks for stopping by!
Thursday, April 28, 2011
An article from our local nursery
Tired of Thinning Carrots?
It just seems so wasteful to discard perfectly healthy plants that could have developed into mature carrots. On our radio show on Saturday we received a couple of great tips from callers on techniques to reduce thinning.
Idea #1- Mix sand and radish seed with your carrots. The sand allows you to spread the seed more thinly and since the radishes mature quickly, when you harvest the radishes your are automatically leaving room for the carrots to grow.
Idea #2- Create your own "seed tape" that automatically spaces the carrot seed to reduce thinning. It also produces a wider row so you get more carrots in a small space. Jon and Eileen stopped by the store and showed us how they do it. All you need is single ply toilet paper, white glue, a toothpick, and carrot seed. Simply dip your toothpick in the glue, touch it to your carrot seed (spread out slightly on the table or a plate), touch it to the toilet paper and let it dry. When you plant, just barely cover the seed with soil until the paper isn't showing. Your seeds will germinate with the right spacing between the plants.
My husband and I have been married 36 years - amazing to me that he still loves me! He is a trooper. We have 5 children, 4 daughters and 1 son. We have 7 grandchildren (6 are under two!) We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have traveled a lot and lived in several places. Grateful now that we have sunk our roots back home.
This is my Waldon Pond year - we have had so much going on it is time to find peace again.
Please come and visit me in my little blogging rooms that are centered around my interests:
Holiday Decorating and Fun
Being a Grandma (Book done -website to go live soon)
and I am working on others.
Pretend we are sharing lemonade if it is summer and a hot chocolate if it is winter!
From the Millenial Ark Website Rotate Crops in Your Vegetable Garden for Healthier PlantsCreate your own crop rotation plan, and grow a healthier garden.
May 30, 2010By Colleen VanderlindenPlanet GreenOne of the best ways to thwart pest and disease problems in your garden is changing up where you plant certain types of vegetables. Vegetables within the same "family" (I'll explain families more below) are often attacked by the same diseases and insects, and if you keep planting members of that family in a particular spot, they're more susceptible to problems.Vegetable Families ExplainedThere are nine basic vegetable families:NightshadesThese are your tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes. Problems with pests like tomato hornworm or diseases like blight are much more likely if you're planting nightshades in the same place year after year. In addition, these crops are usually fairly heavy feeders, and can deplete nutrients in your soil within a few seasons.LegumesPeas and beans are known as legumes. While they are susceptible to some pests and diseases, the main reason to make sure you're planting these veggies in different spots in your garden is that their roots are able to "fix" nitrogen, thereby increasing the nutrients in your soil. Whichever vegetables you plant after you've planted legumes in your garden benefit from that extra nitrogen boost.Squashes and MelonsSummer and winter squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, and melons are all part of this family. Susceptible to several pests (including squash bugs, which overwinters in the soil), members of this family are also heavy feeders and will deplete the soil over time.Brassicas and Salad GreensGreens such as arugula and mache, as well as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are all members of this family. These crops generally require high amounts of nitrogen, because they put on so much green growth (as opposed to flowers and fruit) over the course of a season.Sunflower FamilyThis is a little confusing, because this family includes sunflowers, Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), lettuce, and endive. These crops are light feeders, and grow best when followed by a heavy feeder, such as the brassicas.Carrot FamilyThis family includes carrots, parsley, parsnips, and celery. These plants like lots of organic matter in the soil, but too much nitrogen causes misshapen growth. Best not to plant these in a spot you planted legumes in the previous year.Goosefoot FamilyBeets, swiss chard, and spinach are members of the Goosefoot family. They grow well even in soils with low fertility, so are a good family to plant in places you planted brassicas or nightshades in previous years.Grass FamilyCorn is a member of the grass family. It needs good, fertile soil, so it's a good candidate to plant in a place you grew beans or peas in the previous season.Onion FamilyOnions, garlic, leeks, and scallions are all members of this family. They are good at repelling pests, and require high fertility.How to Rotate Crop Families in Your GardenBasically, the idea is that you don't want to plant members of the same family in the same spot two years in a row. You also want to keep the fertility needs of different families in mind, and try to follow heavy feeders with light feeders. With that in mind, here is a sample crop rotation plan:
Native American Gardening and Instructions
The Three Sisters’ –
Corn, beans and squash – The Three Sisters – are grown from the northeast to the southeast, from the Plains to the southwest and into Middle America.
Many Native American cultures grow corn, beans and squash, but the tradition of calling these crops the ‘Three Sisters’ originated with the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) – ‘The People of The Longhouse’.
‘The corn, the bean and the squash are three loving sisters who must always live together to be happy.'
The older sister is tall and graceful, the next younger loved to twine about her and lean for strength upon her. The youngest rambled at the feet of her sisters and protected them from prowling enemies.
When the moon drops low and the summer night is lit only by the mysterious light of the stars, these three sisters come forth in human form wearing their green garments and decked in blossoms.
They have been seen dancing in the shadows, singing to their mother earth, praising their father sun and whispering words of comfort to mankind. And men to show gratitude, call the three sisters Dyonheyko, ”they who sustain our lives”.’ Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) legend
‘Three Sisters Gardening’
A traditional three sisters’ garden forms a community of plants, bugs and animals – an ecosystem – that lasts for the growing season. It does not use ploughing and relies on the natural relationships between corn, beans and squash.
This relationship is a form of companion planting. The tall stems of the corn will support the vine-like climbing beanstalks, and the beans will in return convert atmospheric nitrogen to a form that becomes available to the hungry corn. The large leaves of the squash plants act as a ground- covering weed-suppressing mulch -a living mulch - that also helps in reducing evaporation of soil moisture.
Three sisters ‘gardens are planted using small round mounds or hills. These mounds slow down the flow of water and help hold the soil in place, unlike planting in rows, which can channel rainwater and can cause soil erosion.
Growing corn, beans and squash together will also attract beneficial insects that prey on those that are destructive; this is a method known as biological control.
Three sisters gardening will create a fertile soil that encourages strong healthy plant growth.
Strong healthy plants are more able to resist disease, and damage from insect pests that may otherwise destroy them.
Geraniums are popular bedding plants, blooming from May through frost. However, the first hard frost doesn't have to be the end of your geraniums. They can be overwintered indoors by potting up individual plants, taking cuttings, or storing bare- root plants in a cool, dry place. Regardless of the method, the plants should be removed from the garden prior to the first frost.
Carefully dig up each plant and place in a 6- to 8-inch pot. Prune the geraniums back to 1/2 to 1/3 of their original height. Water each plant thoroughly, then place the geraniums in a bright, sunny window or under artificial lighting. Geraniums prefer cool indoor temperatures. Daytime temperatures near 65šF and night temperatures around 55šF are ideal. (Geraniums become tall and spindly when grown in warm, poorly lit areas.) During their stay indoors, water the plants thoroughly when the soil becomes dry. Occasionally pinch the geraniums to produce stocky, well- branched plants.
Using a sharp knife, take 3- to 4-inch stem cuttings from the terminal ends of the shoots. Pinch off the lower leaves, then dip the base of each cutting in a rooting hormone. Stick the cuttings in a rooting medium of coarse sand or a mixture of coarse sand and sphagnum peat moss. Clay or plastic pots with drainage holes in the bottom are suitable rooting containers. Insert the cuttings into the medium just far enough to be self-supporting. After all the cuttings are inserted, water the cuttings and medium thoroughly. After the medium is allowed to drain, place a clear plastic bag over the cuttings and container to prevent wilting of the cuttings. Then place the cuttings in bright light, but not direct sunlight. The cuttings should root in 6 to 8 weeks. When the cuttings have good root systems, remove them from the rooting medium and plant each rooted cutting in its own pot.
Dig the geraniums and carefully shake all the soil from their roots. Then hang the plants upside down in a cool (45-50šF), dry place. An alternate method is to place 1 or 2 plants in a large paper sack. Once a month during winter, soak the roots of each plant in water for 1 to 2 hours. Most of the leaves will eventually fall off. (The paper sack method is much cleaner than the hanging method.) In March, prune or cut back each plant. Remove all shriveled, dead material. Healthy, live stems will be firm and solid. After pruning, pot up the plants and water thoroughly. Place the potted geraniums in a sunny window or under artificial lighting. Geraniums that are pruned and potted in March should produce green, attractive plants that can be planted outdoors in May.
Most annuals, such marigolds and petunias, are relatively inexpensive compared to geraniums. Gardeners who plant large numbers of geraniums can reduce their gardening expenses by overwintering their geraniums indoors.
Taking Pictures of Your Garden - Helps and Book Review
January 15, 2009
Improve your Garden Photography Skills
Get up close and personal with your plants with a gorgeous new book on garden photography. Whether you want to improve your garden photography skills or just look at stunning photos that transport you into another world visually, this is your book. Gifted garden photographer Alan L. Detrick has compiled some of his most outstanding closeup photography into Macro Photography for Gardeners and Nature Lovers: The Essential Guide to Digital Techniques (Timber Press, 2008). There are large, stunning close-up photos throughout the book, but the text is also very hardworking, giving you an expert photographer' s secrets on digital photography. Topics include choosing cameras, digital effects, storage, and creative ideas for using your photos in digital projects. Even if you don't want to get fancy with garden photography, you can instantly improve your garden snapshots by going in as close as you can to your plant subjects. Try using the close-up settings on your camera and filling the whole frame with, say, a single sunflower or cluster of roses. For other great garden books, try these Timber Press favorites—and have fun reading while your garden is sleeping this winter!