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 Gardening: Grow your own herbs and veggies
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3043 Posts

Posted - 06/17/2014 :  06:15:16 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Judy--look up lasagna gardening online. It is an easy method to set up a raised garden. You layer topsoil, wet newspaper, and leaves and it does a great job of hindering weeds and providing good dirt for your veggies. We do that at the church where most of the produce is given away to folk in the neighborhood. We add 2 or 3 new beds each year and have had great success each season.

Cinderblocks make a good foundation.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2014 :  04:33:56 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I took garbage bags and placed them on the ground, then put dirt on top for my raised bed garden. I did not put anything on the edges as the dirt will not wash away. I used topsoil, miracle gro garden soil and miracle gro potting mix. I poured the dirt from the bags into a storage container I had and mixed it all in together.

Judy, I use Burpee salsa tomato which is a round tomato and thick (not as juicy) for making salsa. If you go to the www/burpee.com it will show the salsa tomato. I have flowers on both of my plants now so soon I will have tomatoes. Plum or roma type is for sauce and that is what they use for tomato paste. The roma or plum is oblong in shape.
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2014 :  04:43:10 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Judy, I sent you links so you can see the roma and salsa tomatoes.

I got the garden in yesterday and it rained last night so woohoo.
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2014 :  07:38:08 AM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thank you both for the information. Im liking the idea of the raised garden. My son and I have back problems, so this might be a clear answer for at least some planting.As for the Salsa Tomatoes, and definitely going to order the seed next yr. MAYBE if I talk sweet, I can get him to build that raised garden yet this fall, so its ready for next springs planting. Of course, it will have to be built in such a way he wont have to pull weeds, or get off the rider to mow around. We just bought 2 identical John Deere 425 lawn tractors that cut a 54" swath. One tractor stays at the house, the other to be left at the farm. We already had the mower deck,tiller,and snowblower attachments, along with a 16" gas hand tiller for between plants. Hes cut the chore time in half. Our pepper plants werent growing so well here,or at the farm, so we bought a fertilizer high in sulfur that supposedly the plants love. Well, last night we went out to check them, and a huge difference in just three days.The plants now are taller, bushy and flowering like crazy. We brought back a bunch of german radishes to munch on too. Theyre almost the size of a golfball, and super delicious. These radishes are bigger than most you see at the grocer. The weather here has been a nice mix of sun, perfect temps, and gentle rain, which has really made for perfect gardening. I hope you have experienced the same with your weather. The cherry tomato plants are loaded with thumb size fruit also. Everything that should have flowers are doing great. Kurt is like a little kid seeing his work come to this. lol. Hes already talking about next year going bigger.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3043 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2014 :  4:32:30 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Judy--sounds like a wonderful garden. The garden at the church is producing like crazy--tomatoes, squash, zucchini, green beans, onions, basil, cilantro, and potatoes are being harvested. Melons, peppers, cukes, okra are working on it.

At home I had a few tomatoes before the mold pretty much did the plants in. We replanted with some that are supposed to be heat resistant, since it is already in the mid-to-high 90's down here. Don't know if we will get any more tomatoes, planting this late. The cukes, squash, zuchinni, and peppers are looking great, though. And we've been enjoying the green onions for salads that we get from thinning the yellow onions. The herbs would all be doing better in Berniece (half beagle, half greyhound) weren't so interested in tasting them.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2014 :  06:02:15 AM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jnanne, I couldnt help but smile a bit about the beagle mix tasting the herbs because there are many herbs they really like.When I was looking online for recipes for homemade dog food, many called for using various herbs as seasoning. Every time I made the pet food, Id change out the herb for variety. From what you describe in past postings, I gather you are a WORKER! You not only manage a home garden of many veggies and flowers, but also give time to the church garden. If it hadnt been for your advice Id have thrown those tomato plants out that looked so spindly, so I can imagine your knowledge is quite welcomed. Were getting close to getting several veggies for a salad, and we can hardly wait. Prices are ridiculous at the grocery store so I havent purchased any fresh veggies. Were also anxious for the potatoes to be ready to at least dig up some fingerlings to saute. Ninety degree temps, yuk! Plus, I imagine you also have high humidity there. I dont leave the house when the humidity gets above 60%, or the temps get that high, unless I absolutely have to. Retirement does have its advantages at times.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3043 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2014 :  5:22:19 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I retired from law enforcement in 2007. It lasted 6 months. Now I am a church administrator 22 hours per week, full-time mom to a 13-year-old, and caretaker to the wild kingdom. As of earlier this week we now have five cats and two dogs that are ours, and another cat and dog that belong to my mother-in-law (or she belongs to them), who all live with us. Add my sister-in-law and her two-year-old, and it is a very full house.

All the adults share the responsibility of caring for the property, whether gardening, cleaning, cooking, etc., so I really don't have that huge a workload.

And I am actually not a member of the Community Garden Project, although I do help care for the flowers, shrubs, and trees on the church property. Mostly what I do in the garden is escort folk (who stop by for assistance) out to pick whatever is ripe that they would like. We started the project specifically to share food with anyone in the neighborhood who wants some, regardless of income or anything else. Just stop by and help yourself. Most of the folk so far are young families or elderly individuals on fixed income. I don't believe I've seen anyone who is just trying to take advantage of the church. We also include whatever is available to supplement the Meals on Wheels deliveries we make each week.

Judy, I don't know whether there is a thread for dog food or dog treat recipes, but if not, would you start one and give some of your favorites? I've never made either, except when caring for an ill creature whose tummy is upset (boiled chicken, rice, cottage cheese, and the broth from the chicken).

Jnanne
Silver certified
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 06/20/2014 :  07:35:16 AM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
It sounds as though you DO have a houseful, and a lot of helpers.It must be the fact that you were raised on the farm and had to help in the garden, that you know so much about gardening. Whatever it is, I know I appreciate yours, and McBarb's helpful knowledge. As for a thread on making homemade dog foods, I went online to find what vegetables and fruits our dogs can eat, and was shocked to see there are few they cant have. I also found that adding oatmeal, barley, and white rice, and various herbs to the recipes can cure many issues dogs have with their skin, coat,skelotal health, and digestion. I also supplement with a multi-vitamin daily. Ive found making my own food, I HAVE control over the quality of meat and ingredients without having all that other garbage used in traditional bagged or canned. I use primarily chicken, skin removed, venison, turkey, duck, or beef with fat removed, or drained off.The meats I use are usually what is on sale at the time, and stock up on,or gotten when sons go hunting. One 4# chicken, with the other ingredients makes enough food for 3 weeks ( 1 cup for Smokie (46# dog) 2x day, and half cup 2x day for (20# shih-tzu) Buttons)which I freeze in containers for later use, and costs less than store bought. I alternate between cooked and raw meats in the recipes for variety, and run most of food through food processor, leaving some meat in small pieces for a bit of texture. I also make a couple of dog treat recipes that girls here on Volition offered up which are healthy. Smokie lost 10# of that 46# weight while eating the homemade food. I had also taken my ingredient list to my Vet to get her opinion as to its healthy choice for the dogs. She was all for it. I felt unsure they were getting all they required to be healthy, so added a daily vitamin supplement. Not knowing it at the time, various breeds of dogs such as Smokie, also need other specific vitamins, and minerals besides multi-vitamins to stay healthy. Of course, I found that out too late to save my girl! Lesson learned. Im now addressing the nutritional needs specific to OUR shih-tzu's diet. Since she is with me all day, and Im the one that feeds her, shes part mine Id say as shes all cuddled up in a blankie next to me.
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 06/20/2014 :  2:10:03 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have wax beans that sprouted. I put Job's organic plant food spikes in the pots of flowers and vegies, then sprinkled Job's vegetable and tomato food on the rest. I also noticed my white allysum seeds sprouted!! I have a bunch of cute little leaves. I am so psyched about that.
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2014 :  09:50:19 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I planted the seeds Tuesday and they all came up!! I see many peas, pole peas, pole beans, wax beans and green beans. I am planting more green beans today.
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2014 :  05:42:59 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My peas and beans are all up. Wow. I planted a lot and wished I had planted more but ran out of room.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3043 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2014 :  3:58:58 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Once you start the work of harvesting and canning or freezing you may be glad you didn't plant more!

Jnanne
Silver certified
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2014 :  06:07:18 AM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
The upside to having far more than one can use might be beneficial also. McBarb could always put a table up and sell her extras to passer-bys, or give to relatives, or friends, or donate to the food pantry. We took a run out to the farm last night and were absolutely shocked to see plants with tomatoes, sugar snap peas, string beans already a couple of inches long that werent there two days ago. Jnanne, do you can a lot? Im wondering if you or McBarb know of a way to can up string beans so the beans remain crispy. When you take into consideration the time it takes to get the pressure canner up to pressure, then process and cool down, the beans have cooked a long time and changes the texture. Ive tried cutting back minutes hoping that might help without success. They still come out what we feel is over-cooked. I generally can the beans whole because we like them that way. Got any suggestions? We may be starting to can next week. This IS one year Im glad I wont have pears to can! Although, the apple tree is going gang busters this year for some reason.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3043 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2014 :  08:10:27 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Judy--my grandmother canned lots and froze very little. They didn't have electricity on the farm until the 60's and indoor plumbing in the 70's, so she just wasn't used to relying on a freezer. However, my mom did lots of freezing and only canned jelly and jam. Consequently, I really don't know much about canning. I truly prefer the taste of frozen veggies.

I would recommend blanching for a very short time (however long the Fannie Farmer cookbook says) and freezing the beans. I don't recall ever eating crisp canned veggies, whether home-canned or store-bought.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2014 :  04:07:20 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jnanne

Once you start the work of harvesting and canning or freezing you may be glad you didn't plant more!


Last year I ate all of the beans from the garden. I never cooked any. I should say I ate what the chipmunks didn't. I had a lot of beans last year but just a few peas. I forgot to water them and they died.
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2014 :  09:52:29 AM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Other than sweet corn and peas, we dont care for frozen vegetables. Although, because this is the first year weve planted sugar snap peas, I know well have to freeze those. The local strawberry growers have finally started their picking. The neighbor lady, and I went out and picked four ice cream pails each in an hour. With the right amount of rain, and sun weve had here the berries are huge. Ive made freezer jam with mine. We plan on going again Monday for 4 more pails each. Those Ill freeze, make shortcake, and pies to be frozen. I also noticed the deer have been having a field day eating limbs off one of the young apple trees planted this spring. Although I cant remember the name of this, which I WILL post later, there is a mosquito spray new on the market that connects to your garden hose, and works fantastic! My son up north lives in the woods where mosquitos are so big, he kids, theyre canning them. This spray also takes care of those pesky black flies too. When Kurt comes home, Ill write the name of this stuff down so I DONT forget it, then post it before the day is done..
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2014 :  1:44:34 PM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
The name of the product is "Squitobeater" it comes in a powdered form, or a container that you just connect to your garden hose.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3043 Posts

Posted - 06/30/2014 :  2:08:47 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Judy--Should I look for that at Home Depot or Lowes? Wal-Mart? A local pest control company? The mosquitoes down here are big enough to saddle and ride (as are the "palmetto bugs"--a fancy name for cockroaches). I'd be willing to try just about anything that won't hurt my animals or garden!

Jnanne
Silver certified
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 06/30/2014 :  4:06:00 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have buds on all of my tomato plants that are in pots....marglobe, yellow jubilee, Cherokee purple and salsa!!!! The ones in the garden are still pretty small so I will have to change that and pot them. The potted ones are in a fenced area and I have pots of flowers around the garden. My zinnias will bloom soon! All beans and peas are growing like crazy as it has been sunny and hot. Jalapeno plant is going to have a flower soon and my eggplant (biggest plant) is going to flower very soon. I am sooo psyched. All of the dedication is paying off in such a big way. Tomorrow I can give the plants some food and trim the garden, placing stones and rocks I find in the yard to border. I wish I could post pics here.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3043 Posts

Posted - 07/01/2014 :  10:29:01 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Just found Skeeter Beater at Karen's Botanicals online. Among the ingredients sources it lists calendula, which is marigold. I am so sad. My marigold allergy is pretty ugly.

I'm hoping Squitobeater is a different product, but so far I haven't found it.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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