Tips For Growing Zucchini

Tips For Growing Zucchini

 

 

Tips For Growing Zucchini

Fresh Zucchini

 

 

 

Zucchini seems to be the rage for healthy eating these days, as a kid I don’t even remember hearing about Zucchini much less eating it.  Zucchini is a summer squash along with Acorn Squash, Spaghetti Squash & Butternut Squash.   I have grown Zucchini for the past 5 years, I want to share a few “Tips For Growing Zucchini.”

 

  • Let’s start with planting it, I live in Zone 3/4, I am kind of in the edge of Zone 3 and so I can use Zone 4 as a growing time line.  What is important to planting Zucchini?  I plant mine from seed, but you can buy your plants at a greenhouse.  I have found growing them from seed has worked well for me.  This year I planted my seeds the very end of May, the soil needs to be at least 60 degrees.  Some will say you need to start your seeds indoors 4-6 weeks prior to planting outside, but I planted my seeds directly into the soil and they are growing fine.  I plant my seeds in mounds about 18″ around and 4 seeds in each mound, normally I have ended up harvesting many more Zucchini then I really could use, so depending on how many Zucchini you want to end up with is how many mounds and seeds or seedlings (if you choose that way) you plant.

 

  •   Zucchini Plant Needs:  Fertile Soil, Sunlight and Water.

Soil:  Zucchini prefer a soil environment with a pH between 6 and 7.5, you can purchase a test kit to test your pH levels, and then you can amend your soil for the best growing conditions.  Mounds do work well for the fact that they get good drainage.  Also mulching your plants will help with the growth of your plants by holding moisture.  If you don’t have good draining soil adding sand will help.

Sunlight:  Zucchini plants need 6-10 hours of sunlight per day, they thrive in an area that gets plenty of sunlight and with room to spread out.

Watering:  Moist soil but not soggy soil.  Making sure your zucchini get enough water, they need at least 2″s of water a week, if the rainfall is lacking then manually water your plants.  Frequent and consistent watering is recommended.  Water most diligently when fruits form and throughout their growth period.

 

      Maintaining your Zucchini Plants:  Maintenance & Plant Growth.

Zucchini are pretty much a low maintenance plant, but any plant likes some special attention, so giving zucchini plants the nutrients it needs is very important.  After harvest begins, fertilize occasionally for vigorous growth and lots of fruits.

         

    Troubles with your Zucchini Plants.   

Blossom End Rot has been my biggest headache with my Zucchini plants for the pass 2 years, but I have found solutions to the problem.  What is Blossom End Rot?  Blossom End Rot on squash at the onset as a small bruise on the blossom end of the fruit, gradually softening and darkening in color until it eventually rots.  It is caused by a lack of calcium deficiency, the lack of calcium in the soil is brought about by a number of factors including extreme soil moisture fluxes, over fertilization, or root damage usually caused by cultivation, so be careful when hoeing or tilling around plants.  

           Preventing Blossom End Rot.

Test your soil prior to planting to see if it has enough calcium, local extension offices can test your soil or use the store bought soil test kits.  Also, maintain consistent irrigation and keep the soil evenly moist.  Mulch the plants to aid in water retention with organic mulch, like straw, or inorganic mulch, like black plastic.  Zucchini plants do not need high amounts of nitrogen, which can result in lush, healthy foliage and little to no fruit.  Excess nitrogen also causes blossom end rot on zucchini squash, as it blocks the absorption of calcium.  Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers and ammonia fertilizers (such as fresh manure).  Now the fresh manure is an interesting fact that I was not aware of, I had had fresh manure put on my garden the pass 2 years and that might be the cause of my problems with blossom end rot.

         

 

Tips For Growing Zucchini

Zucchini’s after being treated for Blossom End Rot

 

 

 

             Treatment for Blossom End Rot.

If you are seeing the signs of blossom end rot you can improve your soil by adding calcium, the calcium needs to go directly to the roots so avoid a foliar spray.  Calcium carbonate tablets, or anti-acid tablets like Tums, can be inserted at the base of the plant.  They will then dissolve and within a few hours, calcium will be available to the plant.  I have actually used the anti-acid tablets, they do work, I have smashed them up and added them to a gallon of water along with a cup of milk and I have also just pushed them down into the soil around the roots, it has been a very effective cure

 

Happy Zucchini planting and harvesting, I hope “Tips For Growing Zucchini”  was helpful to you!!

 

One of my favorite recipes using Zucchini:  https://www.mykitchenescapades.com/zucchini-recipe/

Container Zucchini Planting:  http://www.hometalk.com/3400506/5-best-container-vegetables-for-beginning-gardeners

Preserving Zucchini:  http://growagoodlife.com/preserve-zucchini/

 

 




Use Hydrogen Peroxide In Your Garden

Use Hydrogen Peroxide In Your Garden

 

   

Use Hydrogen Peroxide In Your Garden

Healthy Plants

 

 

Wow, who would have ever thought hydrogen peroxide would be good for a garden?  I was really surprised to learn this, so check out how to “Use Hydrogen Peroxide In Your Garden.”

I know Hydrogen Peroxide is a very good cleaning agent, but I have never thought of it to be useful in the garden because of the oxygen element.  Hydrogen peroxide has an extra oxygen atom, it is this extra oxygen atom that makes the hydrogen peroxide so useful.  

There are a number of good reasons why the Hydrogen Peroxide is good in the garden, I will be trying this out myself.

 

Use Hydrogen Peroxide In Your Garden

Preventing Root Rot

 

 

  1.  Hydrogen Peroxide Uses Against Root Rot.  

    Overwatering can be one of the causes of root rot, it can also be poor soil aeration. Giving your soil enough space for air and nutrients to get through to the roots of your plants is the best way to see your plants flourish.  The bad news about having root rot is that you don’t generally notice it until it has really taken over your plants, but the good news is you can treat it with Hydrogen Peroxide.  Use a week solution, mixing one part chemical with two parts water.  Carefully pour it around the roots and the base of your plant to kill off the bacteria.  This will also kill off any bacteria or fungus, establishing a good root system will give you healthy thriving plants.

    Use Hydrogen Peroxide In Your Garden

    Use Hydrogen Peroxide for faster germination.

  2. Using Hydrogen for Faster Seed Germination

    You can use hydrogen peroxide to help seeds germinate more quickly. Hydrogen peroxide softens the coat of seeds and kills any pathogen present on seed coat thus increase the germination rate and help the seed germinate faster. Soak your seeds in a 3% hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes. Rinse the seeds several times with water before planting and plant them as usual.

  3.  Hydrogen Peroxide for Mold and Mildew

    Hydrogen peroxide has an oxidizing property that is fatal for mold and mildew. Mix a liter of water with 10 tablespoons of 3 to 6% hydrogen peroxide depending on the level of infection. Spray this solution on plants daily until the fungus disappears.

    Use Hydrogen Peroxide In Your Garden

    Healthy Roots

  4. Strengthen Your Plants Roots System.

    Hydrogen peroxide has an extra oxygen molecule over water, that helps plant’s roots to absorb nutritions from the soil.  Watering plants with hydrogen peroxide solution will introduce more oxygen into your soil.  and it will give it a kick start or help an ailing plant get back on track. Use about two teaspoons of 35% hydrogen peroxide to around one gallon of water and then use it on your garden every other time you go out to water your plants.  

    Getting rid of those bugs and insects

  5.  Keep The Pest Away.

    All gardens have bugs and insects, some are helpful like the honey bee and then there are those downright pests that damage the plants.  Using a 1% hydrogen peroxide solution, it is safe to use and will keep away insects and kill any eggs.  It is a safer and cheaper means then the store-bought insecticides which are full of toxic chemicals harmful to pets and wildlife.

     

     

    Use Hydrogen Peroxide In Your Garden

    Ridding your garden of weeds

  6. WEED KILLER.

    Using a week solution of hydrogen peroxide is good for plants without harming them but a stronger solution will take care of those weeds.  A 10% concentration will kill the weeds, simply mix it with water in a spray bottle and target those nasty weeds, be careful not to get it on the plants it will kill them also. 

  7. DISINFECT POTS & GARDEN TOOLS.

    Doesn’t it make sense to clean those pots and tools up, if you have used them in the garden where there has been a fungus or you have had diseased dirt or plants in a pot you would want to clean them up!  To disinfect your tools, remove and dirt and debris then fill a bucket with hydrogen peroxide solution.  The solution should be a gallon of water to two cups of hydrogen peroxide.  Then rinse out the pots with the same solution.

 Solution Chart for hydrogen peroxide mix:   https://www.pinterest.com/pin/33214115972092357/

Uses for hydrogen peroxide:  http://diply.com/hydrogen-peroxide-uses/5?publisher=different-solutions&sf=ljvdodr

So there you have it how to, “Use Hydrogen Peroxide In Your Garden.”  I hope this was useful to you having a beautiful thriving garden.

 

 

Use Hydrogen Peroxide In Your Garden

Vegetable Garden Produce

 

 




Homemade Treatments For Vegetable Garden Pests

Homemade Treatments For Vegetable Garden Pests

 

 

Homemade Treatments For Vegetable Garden Pests

Homemade Treatments For Vegetable Garden Pests

 

I know some of you live in an area where your garden has been in for quite some time, but here in Northern Wisconsin it is just starting to be time for the vegetable garden to be planting, but it is a good time to take control of those pest that try to invade your vegetable plants, so today I am going to share some “Home made Treatments For Vegetable Garden Pests.”

One year I had a lot of trouble with rabbits eating my plants, then the next year I had trouble with bugs on my cauliflower and then there is always some kind of bug or creature that disturbs my tomatoes, hopefully this year I can get a good control on these invaders.

 

Homemade Treatment For Vegetable Garden Pests

Dog hair works great!

 

 

Do you have unwanted cute little creatures showing up to eat your vegetable plants?  Those cute little rabbits and the gorgeous brown eyed deer!  I haven’t had a problem with the deer but rabbits are another story!  One thing I have going for me is that I have a beautiful Golden Labrador who like to potty in areas outside my garden so that definitely helps to keep the creatures out.  

Remedies for those cute invading creatures, of course a fence is always a good answer but costly so let’s look at some “Homemade Treatments For Vegetable Garden Pests.”

  • Close up that salad bar for those cute brown eyed invaders with some strong smelling soap, Irish Spring is a great one to use.  Shred it up, can do it in a food processor and then wash it out with a little vinegar to get the soap smell out.  Once you have that soap shredded you can sprinkle it around your garden, I have read it is good around in your flower garden, the deer especially like hosta plants.  
  • Now how about a really low cost way to keep those invaders out, tying those plastic grocery bags on a post, blowing in the breeze makes noise and gives the appearance of someone in the area.
  • Human or dog hair works great, trouble with human hair is usually when it is cut it has been washed first so then losses the human scent, but with dog hair the scent is there and deter the creatures from your garden.
  • You can also use a tin pie plate, punch a hole in the top part of the pie plate and tie a string onto it and attach it onto something where it can swing, place it in your garden or near by.
  • One of my favorites is the homemade repellent, works great for keeping those rabbits at bay.  Just get yourself a gallon jug, mix up 5 garlic cloves, 1 tsp crushed red peppers, 1 gallon of water & 1 Tbsp of dish soap.  I have used this for a couple of years and works great.
  • This year I am going to put some post around my garden and drill a hole big enough to put some cheap solar lights in and I am thinking this will keep critters away, hopeful it doesn’t give them light to see a great salad bar available.
  • And of course don’t forget the old faithful Scarecrow!!!

 

 

Homemade Treatments For Vegetable Garden Pests

Scare them away!!!

 

 

Links for Garden Pest:

  1. http://thecoastalhomestead.com/diy-critter-ridder-recipe/
  2. http://oldermommystillyummy.com/2012/07/deer-guard.html
  3. http://www.offthegridnews.com/survival-gardening-2/9-tricks-to-keep-your-garden-animal-free-without-a-fence/

 

I hope these “Homemade Treatments For Vegetable Garden Pests,” are helpful to you and aide you to have a beautiful bountiful vegetable garden.  Come back real soon for a post on how to treat vegetable for those nuisance bugs and little pests.

 




4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots

 

 

4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots

4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots

 

 

 

 

I know it is getting kind of late in the season to start seeds indoors but the way the weather is going up here in the Northland of Wisconsin I don’t know, we may not be able to plant outdoors for quite a while, so the “4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots,” may not be too premature.  

One thing that is always needed for growing any type of plant is SUN, and as the forecast looks right now we have rain, ice & snow in our forecast for a few days in a row, so that sunshine needed for making any plants grow is going to be hidden behind those clouds!!

I am a saver so I decided trying to start some of those plants indoors this year is my way to save money, so I am hoping the “4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots” will work out well for me.  I really don’t like buying those 4 paks of seedlings when I only need 2, so I decided to start my Cilantro indoors and then I can use what I want to use, plus I am going to start some flower plants too because I wants lots & lots of Zinnias today.  Did you know that Zinnas have some benefits in your garden, like they deter beetles and tomato worms.  Come back for some flower growing tips and benefits in another post.

Use seed starting mix, a good quality mix, I purchased, Jiffy, Natural & Organic Seed Starting Mix, at Walmart, it was very inexpensive.  The plants need 12-16 hours of light for the best growth, you can place them in a window that gets plenty of sunshine or under a grow light.  Also keep the soil well watered, but not drenched, using a misting spray bottle works well, let your soil dry out just a bit between watering to insure they don’t mold.

Once the seedlings start to grow they may need to be repotted in larger containers before being planted in the garden. Also all plants to a hardening time, so gradually introduce them to the outdoors, leave them for a couple of hours at a time, this will introduce them to the sun, wind, rain and other conditions.

It is a good idea to plant extra seeds, can’t always count on every seed to sprout.  You can also start more seeds every 6 weeks that way you can plant more later on and will give you a continual supply, that is especially true for flowers, always nice to have more flowers.  Make sure to follow the planting instructions on the seed packet some can be very specific.

 

 

4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots

Zinnias

 

 

 

So the “4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots,” are:

  • Toilet Paper Rolls (empty ones obviously).
  • Newspaper.
  • Egg Shells.
  • Egg Cartons.

 

  1. Toilet Paper Rolls: What a low cost way to start seeds, they are also biodegradable so right from the indoors to the garden.  Fill the toilet paper tubes with the soil then plant your seeds and mist the soil. The following link will show how to prepare the paper rolls.  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/182044009917801530/

4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots

Toilet Paper Rolls

4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots

Folding Toilet Roll

 

 

 

 

 

2. Newspaper Seed Pot: Making these pots only takes a few minutes and there you have pots that can go right from indoors to the garden the newspaper decomposes naturally.  The following link will show you how to fold the newspaper.  http://lindycottagehill.blogspot.com/2011/03/recycled-newspaper-pots_19.html

 

4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots

Forming newspaper pots

Folded newspaper pot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Egg Shells: Not only are these so easy to use eggshells are full of useful minerals. Also the shells slowly dissolve and boost your seedlings growth and health.  I am fortunate to have a friend that has chickens that produce some extra large eggs so I have really nice sized shells.  Start with clean eggshells, use an egg carton, fill the shells with seed-starting soil.  Plant your seeds, moisten with a fine mist and then moisten every couple of days.  When the seedlings have developed and are ready for planting crush the eggshell and plant into either a larger container or ground.

 

4.  Egg Carton Greenhouse:  What a great concept, I am anxious to see how this little greenhouse works. Poke a small hole in each dimple of the carton for water drainage, then fill each egg pocket with the seed-starting soil, mist with water and mist regularly to keep moist but not soaked.  I placed my carton in a clear plastic bag and sealed up, making it a little tent, then place it in a sunny spot.

 

4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots

Egg Carton with Egg Shells.

 

So there you have it on your way to starting a garden!  Some of you in warmer parts of the country have already planted your garden, but you can still start seedlings indoors to plant later in the season for those Winter Gardens.

 

4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots




Growing A Successful Garden

Growing A Successful Garden

 

 

Growing A Successful Garden

Growing A Successful Garden

 

“Growing A Successful Garden,” starts with a strong foundation.

 

The condition of your soil all depends on getting the soil ready, eliminating weeds and spending time getting your soil in the best condition. Time spent in preparing your soil reduces the time you will spend throughout the course of the growing season!  It also will produce healthy nutritious vegetables!

Soil Textures:  Sand, Silt and Clay.

  1. Sandy soil feels gritty, it tends to be nutrient poor and low in beneficial microbes and organic matter that plants thrive on.
  2. Silty soil feels smooth like talcum powder.  It is dense and does not drain well and is more fertile than sandy or clay soil.
  3. Clay soil feels harsh when dry and slippery and stick when wet.
  4. Most soils fall in between one of these soils.

Soil Fixes:

  • Sandy soil can be improved by adding organic material – well-rotted livestock compost, used wood chips, leaves, hay, straw, peat moss or sawdust.  Applying 2″ layers of the organic material each year will make for better soil.
  • Silty soil can can be improved by adding coarse sand (not beach sand) or compost.  Add an inch of organic matter each year.
  • Clay soils will be improved by adding 2-3″ of organic matter worked into it.  Add compost, coarse sand (not beach sand), and peat moss.  Applying 1″ of organic matter each year can only improve it.

Good Soil Amendments:

  • Bark – made from tree bards are good for improving soil structure.
  • Compost – excellent for soil.
  • Manure – well-rotted livestock manure.
  • Leaf Mold – decomposed leaves.
  • Lime – raises the pH of acid in soil, also helps loosen clay soil.
  • Peat Moss – helps retain water.
  • Sand – improves drainage in clay soil.
  • Mulch – Organic (straw, hay, grass clippings, shredded bark) insulates the soil from extreme heat and cold.

Plants need air just as humans!  That makes me think of when my youngest granddaughter was like 2 or 3, when this old grandma would get up out of the chair I would walk kind of stiff like and she said to me, “Grandma why do you walk like a penguin?”  Then one day I wasn’t walking all stiff like and I said to her, “Ali, grandma isn’t walking like a penguin today.” and her response was, “You mean you are walking like a human?”  Just had to add that tidbit!!

Walking like a penguin

 

Now back to plants need air, air in the soil holds atmospheric nitrogen that is converted into usable air for plants.  Adding organic material, especially compost helps balance air supply to plants.

Plants also get thirsty:  When rain isn’t sufficient then we need to add or not add it.  All forms of life need water but not too much or too little.  In sandy soils water drains off quickly, silt or clay soil get water-logged, this will suffocate the plant roots and soil organisms.  Adding organic material holds water so that plants can use it when needed.

 

Watering the garden

 

Compost will improve almost any soil, silty and clay soils gain nutrients and are improved greatly with adding compost. Make your own compost or buy it, either way it is a beneficial organic material to add to your garden.  Making your own compost is as easy as piling layers of brown (straw, leaves) and green layers (grass clippings, livestock manure or food waste) on top of one another, keep the pile wet.   DIY Compost:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAMy_ZJ0Xa8

There is so much more to know about “Growing A Successful Garden.”  Yet once you have that garden going and are enjoying all the benefits of having that fresh produce or if you are one that freezes or cans it for the winter months it is so worth it.

My personal tricks I have used in my garden that I found worked well.

  • Crushed Egg Shells:  I save them up for a while in the spring and then I put them in my blender and make them into a powder and use them when planting my tomatoes, they are a great calcium builder.  There are other plants that they are really useful for.
  • Epsom Salt:  I have used this for a couple of years when planting my peppers, I just put a handful in the ground before adding the plant, I also have mixed Epsom Salt with water and put it in a spray bottle and sprayed the pepper plants once peppers start forming on the plant.  Epsom Salt is rich in magnesium and sulfate.
  • Grass Cuttings:  I have raked up the grass cuttings after my husband mows the grass and I pile it around my tomato plants, it keeps the weeds out and also gives the tomato plants.  https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/tomato/mulch-for-tomatoes.htm

So there you have it, I hope this gives you some useful information for your gardening journey!!!  




Vegetable Garden Preparation Thyme

Vegetable Garden Preparation Thyme

 

Vegetable Garden Preparation Thyme

 

 

  

The weather is warming up, Spring is upon us and it is “Vegetable Garden Preparation Thyme.”

Gardening seems so easy, but if you want those garden plants to produce for you there are steps to take make sure your soil is up to par.  When it comes to a healthy garden, soil preparation makes a difference.

Testing your soil.  You can have your soil tested at a local cooperative extension service office for free or a low-fee.  Or you can buy a DIY Soil Test Kit.  I used a test kit to check my soil last year.  Test kits:  (links).

 

Vegetable Garden Preparation Thyme

pH Test Kit

 

 

 

How do you know if your soil is healthy?  Let’s start with the facts of pH levels:

  • Plants primary nutrients are nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and potassium (K).
  • Nitrogen promotes strong leaf, stem growth and dark green color, such as broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and herbs.
  • Phosphorus promotes root and early plant growth, it’s important for cucumbers, peppers, squash and tomatoes.
  • Potassium promotes plant root vigor, disease and stress resistance and also enhances flavor. Vital for carrots, radishes, onions and garlic.
  • Calcium, magnesium and sulfur are your secondary nutrients.
  • Calcium is essential to plant growth, an important part of the walls of the plant cells and root development.
  • Sulfur lacking plants are not able to take in necessary nutrients, including vitamins and proteins.
  • Magnesium is vital to the process of photosynthesis, lack of it stunts the plants growth.

pH levels are critical to your plants ability to absorb nutrients.  A pH of 6.5 is a good number for home gardens, plant will thrive in pH levels 6.0 to 7.0 (slightly acidic to neutral) range.  If your soil is acidic (low pH at or below 6.0) or alkaline (high pH, above 7.0), the plants won’t be able to absorb the nutrients, so soil testing is very advantageous to a healthy garden.

Testing the soil in the spring or fall is the best time as then the soil is stable.  Also best time to add any soil amendments or fertilizers.

As respected gardener Frank Tozer writes:  “When building soil you not only improve your plants health, but you can improve your own.”

I have only been gardening seriously for 4 years, most times my garden has given a great amount of produce, but I have had some nutrient issues.  Last year I had Blossom End Rot on my Zucchini, I solved it by mixing up my own calcium treatment, which was ground up egg shells, milk and crushed up antacid tablets!!  A real cheap way to solve a very annoying problem for your calcium lacking soil.  

 

Vegetable Garden Preparation Thyme

 

Please come back tomorrow for my post on Soil Fixes, Soil Texture and Soil Life.  Some gardening tricks I have found to be very low-priced and works great in the garden.

 

Here are a few links that might also be helpful:

Blossom End Rot:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/259519997251632365/

pH Levels:  http://www.almanac.com/content/ph-preferences

Vegetable Gardening For Beginners:  http://www.gardeners.com/how-to/vegetable-gardening/5069.html

 

 

 

 

 




Planting Garlic Is Easy

Planting Garlic Is Easy

 

Planting Garlic Is Easy

Planting Garlic Is Easy

 

 

Today is such a beautiful day here in Northern Wisconsin!!! Temperature is in the low 60’s very beautiful for November!!  The fall leaves have pretty much lost their brilliance or have fallen off the branches and padded the ground!!

 

Elm Tree

Elm Tree

 

Being it was so beautiful out and my husband had my garden all tilled up, plus I had gotten a load of compost put on my garden a couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be a great time to plant my garlic.  I had no idea that planting garlic is so easy, well actually growing it is so easy too.    

To start by leveling off the garden area where I would be planting garlic and posted off where the rows would go.  

 

Posted Garlic Space

Posted Garlic Space

 

Separate your garlic head into separate cloves.  Just pull them apart.  Pick out the biggest cloves for planting.  I am very fortunate to have a great friend who gave me some beautiful garlic.

Make sure when planting these you put the flat side down and the the other end pointing up.  Plant them around 4 inches apart and then cover them with 1 to 2 inches of dirt.

 

Garlic Cloves

Garlic Cloves

Flat End of Garlic

Flat End of Garlic

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Plant them around 4 inches apart and then cover with 1 to 2 inches of dirt.

 

Garlic Planted Point Up

Garlic Planted Point Up

 

Now all you have to do is wait the winter out and in the spring you will see the garlic start to sprout, little green sprouts will shoot up and you are on your way to having some fresh garlic for your recipes, like my SnapIt Salsa!!

One tip I want to give you is the great gardening stool/kneeling pad, I couldn’t do all the gardening I do without my faithful-sturdy gardening stool!  I know you will love it and it sure makes getting up off that ground so much easier.  Would make a great Christmas Gift for that Gardener in your family, I know I would have loved one for Christmas last year!!

 

Garden Kneeler

Garden Kneeler

 

 




Winterize the Garden for the season

Winterize the Garden for the season

Are you ready to get to Winterize the Garden?  It may take a lot of work or time but it will be worth it when you see that beautiful soil in the spring when you get ready to plant your new garden!

Last week I spent a few hours pulling the plants that weren’t producing any longer, I pulled my tomato plants, I had 4 different types, Potato Amish, Roma Amish, Big Boys & Cherry Tomatoes.  I pulled all of the tomato plants except for the 2 cherry tomatoes as they are still giving me some of those sweet red tomatoes.  I also pulled my broccoli, it was still producing but I just couldn’t keep up with anymore & I decided I don’t really care for the broccoli I have frozen.  Sadly I pulled up my Brussels Sprouts, they didn’t produce anything this year, I am not quite sure why, I plan on researching what the reason could have been, I was disappointed because that is one vegetable I really like, they are great roasted.  And the beans and zucchini are gone too, but still have cucumbers producing, they have been crazy this year! So now it is time to say goodbye to this year’s garden and start winterizing your vegetable garden.

I still have 2 lonely Cherry Tomato plants hanging in there, they are pretty sad looking but the tomatoes are still coming so I will let them go as long as I can harvest from them.  Fortunately for me this year up we haven’t even had a frost which is very unusual for Northern Wisconsin and it being the first week of October, so I am hoping to get everything harvested by the time we do have that fateful frost.

dscn2151dscn2152There are so many things that can go wrong with planting a garden and I surely am not a professional at growing a vegetable garden but I am happy to say that in the pass 4 years I have been able to get plenty of harvest from it and I have become much more knowledgeable about growing so many plants I had no idea about before.

Taking a just a few hours to winterize the garden and get it put to bed will be worth it in the end, I think the cleaning up the garden is more work then planting it and taking care of it throughout the growing season.

So let’s get started on the journey of saying goodnight, goodbye to this year’s garden.

  • Clean out any plants that aren’t coming back next year, make sure to get all the roots.
  • Dispose of any diseased plants, either burn them or discard at a dumping ground, but make sure they are totally removed from your garden, you don’t want any of that disease tilled into your soil.
  • Get those nasty weeds out, getting them totally cleaned out now will save you from having the burden of them in the spring.
  • Compost any of the non-diseased plants, you can even add those raked up leaves to the compost pile.
  • Test your soul, you can do this by digging a few holes and scrape some soil from the side of the hole, make sure it is weed free.  Mix those samples of soils together, a cup or two should be sufficient, put in a plastic bag and take it to a soil testing lab, lots of times your local county extension office can test your soil.  I actually bought my own soil testing kit:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000DI845/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  • Till your soil, this will help eliminate any pest hiding down in the soil, will make for a healthier soil in the spring.
  • Amend your soil, Add lime, it is best to test your soil first to know how much lime to add.  Lime adds much needed magnesium, calcium and neutralizes soil acidity.  If you aren’t testing your soil, 5 to 10 pounds of lime per 100 ft is a good rule of thumb.
  • Additional amending, add your compose, manure and/or mulched leaves, gently till into the soil.
  1. Another suggestion is to sow a cover crop, winter rye will improve your soil. http://garden.org/ediblelandscaping/?page=september_cover
  2. Free Fertilizer-Shredding or mulching your leaves give you less weeds in the spring and better soil.  Leaf mold will give you some beautiful soil.
  3. Clean, sharpen and store all those tools.  Be ready in the spring for a new fresh start.

Storing your Garden Tools  http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/info/winter-garden-tool-storage.htm

Old Farmer’s Almanac   http://www.almanac.com/blog/celestes-garden/putting-garden-bed

After I cleaned up my garden last year

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