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 Gardening: Grow your own herbs and veggies
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1645 Posts

Posted - 02/23/2013 :  06:25:27 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am going to start planting seeds today. I will soak hollyhock seeds and plant geraniums, brussel sprouts and more geraniums. I may plant leek seeds and scallions as they grow slowly. Got my order from Burpee and will start Rutgers tomatoes too. I think they are New Jersey style beefsteak. Oh boy!!
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1645 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2013 :  6:02:22 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
What can Ido to keep squirrels and chipmunks from destroying my plants.??! They ate one of my morning glories! Baaaad chipmunk. Most people think they are cute. I know better.
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SheilaC
Star Contributor

Philadelphia, PA
USA
274 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2013 :  6:24:58 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Put mothballs (or now what are "fake" moth balls) in the planting beds. The rodents don't like them. The grosser suggestions are bobcat urine (Housecat urine may work.) or wolf urine. From my days in Maine... not needed so much in Philadelphia!
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3045 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2013 :  06:55:54 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've had success with human hair. I had a friend who owned a beauty shop, so it was easy to replenish the supply. The animals smell it and think there is danger nearby and stay away. Andit is biodegradable, so it won't hurt your soil.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1645 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2013 :  4:44:10 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I ate some green and yellow beans today right off the plants. Tomatoes are growing slower now. I see some spots on the bottom of a lot of my Salsa tomatoes so am picking them so they do not all turn black. We have had so much rain it has ruined many Salsa tomatoes. I will have some Rutgers, Cherokee Purple, yellow, yellow pear and cherry tomatoes tho, beans, peas are going to flower soon, scarlet runner beans are starting to flower Too!! All flowers are doing really well too..... cleomes , nasturtiums, sunflowers, morning glories are growing up into my porch, pumpkin, cosmos, perennial and annual hollyhocks, geraniums everywhere and last but not least sweet peas and 4 o'clocks!!!! Oops, can't forgot basil and oregano, jalapeno pepps, sweet and habanero pepps.

How about you?
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3045 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2013 :  06:30:04 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My tomatos finally gave up the ghost. With the temps over 100 daily, and dipping into the 80's overnight, I just couldn't give them enough water to combat the heat. However, I am not giving up! I went to Lowe's and bought two varieties of heat/drought resistant plants. The growing season is long enough down here that I should be able to get some fruit from these plants.

My peppers are doing great. We've had lots of bell, banana, and jalapeno. All the herbs are going great--even had some annuals from last year reseed themselves and come back.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2013 :  4:29:13 PM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
We had a major snowstorm May 3rd which slowed our planting date. Then we had several inches of rain fall in the coming weeks that left our garden sitting in inches of water, and planter pots overflowing with water. The pepper plant leaves all turned yellow and fell off. To my amazement, with in a few days, the leaves grew back on, and eventually the plants began to flourish once I transplanted them in my very small garden. I really didn't think Id get anything out of the garden this year due to all the rain, but my tomato plants grew to 5 and a half feet tall within homemade cages I put together, with tons of huge green tomatoes on them. Out of the 12 pepper plants, I got 4 peppers, whoopee! Im just hoping the tomatoes have enough time to ripen, or Im going to have a ton of Green tomato relish to share with family and friends. They'll love the gift, but we'll miss having eating tomatoes on the table!
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3045 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2013 :  05:53:32 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
If you can rig up a tarp cover that you can put over the plants at night when you expect frost, you may be able to baby those tomato plants for a month or two (or even three) into the winter season. It all depends on how good you are at keeping them strategically covered and how cold it actually gets. A mild winter and good luck with protecting from hard frost, and you could be eating fresh tomatoes and peppers almost until it is time to plant again. The flavor is not as rich as in the summer months and sometimes the texture gets a bit off, but it still beats hothouse from the grocery store.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2013 :  08:57:50 AM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Ive already planned for frost, hoping to prolong the freeing of the plants. The small area I have my tomatoes is just the right size to put up a tent of sorts to protect them. Last year, I removed all remaining green tomatoes, and placed in a box which I brought in the house with the intent of making more relish with them. I didn't get the chance though, as they ripened slowly and we got to enjoy tomatoes for several weeks as they ripened. Ive gotten so many huge tomatoes on the 12 plants Im going to share with my neighbor who lost her whole garden, due to the rain and snow we received. My son, who lives up north, also is getting me a couple construction size trash bags full of string beans planted by the canning companies, that don't make it into the trucks for hauling to the cannery. There should be enough for both of us to can all we want.
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1645 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2013 :  05:36:05 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
If you pick them, they might turn red eventually. I had mold spots on mine from too much rain this summer but I picked them.. they are turning red and I am cutting off the mold spots and eating them. Good luck gardening Jnanne and Judy K.!!!!

I looked out this morning and saw 2 huge white morning glories. I have waited and waited but nothing has grown from the Old Glory (Burpee) so I called Burpee and he said I may be watering them too much. I stopped watering daily and I have 2 huge white flowers... sort of like a moonflower..... heavenly!!!!!!!
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1645 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2013 :  05:51:59 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am getting ready to make salsa. I have jalapenos..waiting for them to get bigger and maybe turn red... have salsa tomatoes. I need cilantro and limes. Does anyone have a recipe for salsa?
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3045 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2013 :  08:11:28 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
We call it salsa, but it is really pico de gallo, since it is not cooked. Here is what my family enjoys--and I never measure, just add the ingredients until it looks/tastes the way you like it. I am betting that if you cook this down it will be a pretty good salsa or picante, also.

Ripe, red, beefy tomatoes
green bell pepper
red bell pepper
chile peppers
red or yellow banana peppers
jalapeno peppers
vidalia, walla-walla, or similar sweet onion
cilantro

Dice the tomato about the size of corn kernels. Keep as much liquid as possible. Toss in a large bowl. Dice bell peppers in similar size and add to bowl. Dice the hot peppers and onion much smaller and add to bowl. Chop the cilantro and add to bowl. Stir. Taste. Add more of whatever you wish to bring it to the mix of flavors your family prefers. The heat will grow as the flavors mix, so if you eat it immediately it will have a bit of a crunch and be a little milder than if you let it sit in the fridge for a day. If you make it a day in advance, it won't be as crunchy, but will be hotter.

If you want a bit more twang to the flavor add a little apple cider vinegar. You can substitute lemon or lime juice for the vinegar--I'm allergic to citrus, so switched to vinegar years ago and still like the flavor.

Mix it up--add different kinds of peppers. Sadly, some people even add salt, but I just don't like the flavor and figure the chips we use for dipping have plenty of salt already. Habanero or Dutch Bonnet peppers will make it very, very hot. For mild use more sweet banana and bell and fewer jalapeno and chile.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1853 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2013 :  1:11:05 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
We're moving as soon as we sell our house, and one of the requirements for a new house is some land. We plan to permaculture, and plant in hugelkultur beds. The lazy way. lol

“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” Tacitus
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1645 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2013 :  4:49:33 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Julie_WA_Writer

..... We plan to permaculture, and plant in hugelkultur beds. The lazy way. lol

So what does that(permaculture & hugelkultur beds) mean please?
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2013 :  10:54:05 AM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
hugelkultur gardening is a fancy name for raised gardens, and permaculture is a special design of gardening which I believe requires less work, and is self-sustainable. Classes can be taken for this.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3045 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2013 :  06:06:23 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Don't know if there is a fancy term for it, but the gardens at the church are in raised beds that require almost no work once they are planted. We killed the grass by putting black plastic over it for a couple of weeks, then scored it into 2" X 2" grid and pealed back the dead stuff, tilled the ground, surrounded each bed with wooden borders. Next we put down what the committee chair calls lasagna: layers of topsoil, newspaper (soaked with a hose before being covered with another layer), and compost. After planting the seedlings we layered dead leaves around them.

There have been almost no weeds any of the years we have had the garden going. We set up an irrigation system with soaker hoses on timers, watering for an hour each morning around sun-up. Despite the drought we've had bumper crops every year. Our tomatoes are still producing, and they are thick, healthy, and green bushy plants over 6' tall. The okra is almost as tall, and the peppers are about 3 1/2 feet and still blossoming and making peppers.

It was definitely worth the effort we put into starting each new bed every year--we add two more every spring. We've been able to provide fresh veggies to several charitable organizations, as well as allowing the folk who live in our neighborhood to come over and pick whatever they want. Maybe in the future we will invite folk to adopt a space and grow whatever they wish, but for now we do the work and invite others to share the harvest as a hands-on ministry. Those who want to come and help are always welcome. It has been a great way to help the neighbors--and to get to know them.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1645 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2013 :  05:02:53 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I recently met a lady that turned me onto some online seed swaps. I am signing up at some forums to do this. I can meet people all over and swap seeds. How much fun is that??! Does anyone do this? This lady gave me some double white hollyhock seeds!!
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3045 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2013 :  06:40:49 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
McBarb--how is the seed trading going? Was it worth the effort? If so, would you please share links to the sites where you have had success? Or maybe we could start a seed exchange of our own on the exchange thread if enough people are interested.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1645 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2013 :  08:00:04 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Did someone here make a post about growing hot peppers in a sandy soil to make them hotter? I thought I read that here but now I do not see it.

Anyways, I do not do Facebook. The invite for seed swap was for the bloom room at Facebook. I think it is an EXCELLENT idea to have a seed swap. Let's go!!
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2013 :  2:20:35 PM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
McBarb, back in August you were looking for a recipe for Salsa, maybe I can help. I don't know where my DIL got the recipe, but we thought it fantastic, and it only got better after we made some minor adjustments that got more compliments. Here goes:

7# or 20 medium tomatoes
2 cups chopped green peppers
6 Jalapeno or Serrano peppers
4 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup snipped fresh cilantro or parsley
1/2 cup vinegar
5-10 cloves minced garlic
2 Tablespoons sugar ( don't be afraid to add less)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

I also added:
1 small can of Tomato Paste
2 cans drained black beans
1/2 bag of frozen corn
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
Because Id already canned all my tomatoes up and didn't have any fresh, the very last batch I used 4# fresh Roma tomatoes and added 3 quarts of home canned shredded tomatoes- WOW! Everyone's favorite!
Making the recipe without my additions its excellent, but Im not into mildly HOT, so made the adjustments to make it more mild. When all mixed together I put in pint jar containers and processed in hot water bath for 25 minutes.
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