Thursday, July 30, 2009

Growing Green Onions

Growing green onions is fun and very good for your health. When I was growing up and my grandfather show me that onions are a great part of our diet. It has fiber and nutrients that are essential to our natural well being. I remember as a kid my grandfather would make bacon and eggs for breakfast and have sliced tomatoes with green onions. He ate these most every day and he was a very healthy man. But I always got caught up in his enthusiasm to grow his garden. Growing green onions in your garden is not only fun but it is beneficial to your health, and best of all it enhances the flavor of most foods.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Saving Seeds

When acquiring seed to grow vegetables make sure you buy Heirloom seeds. Do not buy hybrid seeds because you cannot save these seeds. Once you grow them they will not reproduce. Heirlooms seed are the best because they are handed down from generation to generation with the same elements that helped our grandparents survive with a healthy diet and without all these problems we have today with our health. It’s time to get back to basics before it is too late. Gather seed even if you do not garden, In the near future you may need this seed to live on because it will keep for a few years.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Asparagus

Asparagus Part 2

Toss the crowns into the furrow on top of the fertilizer. The fertilizer will not burn the crowns, and the plants will grow regardless of how they land so don't bother to spread the roots. Space the crowns 1-1/2 feet apart in the row. If more than one row is planted, space the rows five feet apart from center to center. Wide between-row spacing is necessary because the vigorously growing fern will fill in the space quickly. Wide spacing also promotes rapid drying of the fern to help prevent the onset of fungus diseases.

After planting, back fill the furrow to its original soil level. It isn't necessary to gradually cover the crowns with a few inches of soil until the furrow is filled in. However, do not compact the soil over the newly filled furrow or the emergence of the asparagus will be severely reduced. Spears should emerge within one week in moist soils.

Do not harvest the asparagus during the planting year. Spears will be produced from expanded buds on the crown. As the spears elongate and reach a height of about 8 to 9 inches, the tips will open. The spear will become woody to support the small branch lets that become ferns. The ferns produce food for the plant and then move it down to the crown for next year's spear production.
Asparagus is very drought tolerant and can usually grow without supplemental watering because it seeks moisture deep in the soil. However, if rainfall is insufficient when planting or afterwards, it is beneficial to irrigate the crowns. Otherwise the plants will become stressed and growth will be slowed.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Asparagus


Asparagus Part 1
Asparagus grows in most any soil as long as it has good internal drainage. Asparagus roots do not like waterlogged soils that will lead to root rot. Till to a 6 inch depth before planting.

Buy one-year-old, healthy, disease-free crowns from a reputable crown grower. A crown is the root system of a one-year-old asparagus plant that is grown from seed. Each crown can produce 1/2 lb. of spears per year when fully established.
Asparagus is a long-lived perennial vegetable crop that is enjoyed by many gardeners. It can be productive for 15 or more years if given proper care.

Asparagus can be planted throughout the northeast from mid-April to late May after the soil has warmed up to about 50 degrees F. There is no advantage to planting the crowns in cold, wet soils. They will not grow until the soil warms and there is danger of the plants being more susceptible to Fusarium crown rot if crowns are exposed to cold, wet soils over a prolonged period. Plant the asparagus at either the west or north side of the garden so that it will not shade the other vegetables and will not be injured when the rest of the garden is tilled.

Dig a furrow no deeper than 5 to 6 inches. Research has shown that the deeper asparagus crowns are planted, the more the total yield is reduced. Apply about 1 lb. of 0-46-0 (triple superphosphate) or 2 lbs. of 0-20-0 (superphosphate) fertilizer per 50 feet of row in the bottom of the furrow before planting. This will make phosphorus immediately available to the crowns. Omitting this procedure will result in decreased yields and the spear production will not be as vigorous.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bean Growing Tips



Pole Snap Bean
Use legume inoculants when sowing. Fertilize when planting and again when plants are 6 to 8 inches tall. Train on a trellis, tripod, fence or other support. Keep picked to encourage further growth.
Bush Snap Bean
Use legume inoculants when sowing. Fertilize when planting and again when plants are 6 to 8 inches tall. Keep picked to encourage further growth.
Lima Beans
Use legume inoculants when sowing. Lima beans require a longer, milder growing season than snap beans. Fertilize at planting time and again when plants are 6 to 8 inches tall.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Carrot Growing Tips

For best carrots, soil should be loose textured and cultivated very deep. If you cannot cultivate very deep use short rooted types of seed. After germination, thin seedlings well. Sometimes these seedlings can be very sweet to the taste. Fertilize when foliage is 6 to 8 inches high. Harvest when carrots are about the size of your finger, up to about 2 inches in diameter.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Growing Tips for Sweet Corn


To ensure pollination plant several rows together in a block, Instead of one long row. Be sure and Side dress with fertilizer when the plants are 8 inches high. Keep well watered, from the time the tassels form up to harvest. Hill corn plants by pushing a few inches of soil up around the base of the plants when they are fertilized. This will provide more stability, but take care not to disturb the roots. Do not remove suckers, which are off-shoots of the main stem. Regular sweet corn, super sweet, sugar enhanced, and most important, popcorn should be isolated from each other to prevent cross-pollination.

Friday, July 17, 2009

More on Raised Bed Gardens


I would have to say the most important advantage is greatly reduced soil compacting. Plant roots need air. In an ordinary garden, you can’t avoid stepping in the garden bed occasionally when doing your everyday gardening. A properly designed raised bed garden allows you to do all you’re gardening from the garden path.
Plants can be spaced a little closer together in a raised bed because you don’t need places to step. This increases productivity per square foot of bed and reduces weeding when the plants begin to mature.
Note: Avoid the temptation to crowd your plants. You will still want to use generous plant spacing because your plants will grow much larger in raised beds.

Raised beds tend to drain away excess moisture better than ordinary garden beds. This is another advantage that helps the plant roots to breath. In areas that have saturated soil like Florida and many areas of the South, raised beds may be the only way you can grow many types of plants.
Soil conditions and types can be controlled more efficiently in a raised bed and they can be varied easily from bed to bed. Raised beds are the answer when topsoil is thin.
Water, fertilizer, compost, mulch, etc. can be applied more carefully because they only need to be applied to the garden beds.
Various studies have shown that raised garden beds produce 1.4 to 2 times as much vegetables and flowers per square foot as ordinary beds, due mainly to the above advantages. You can have a smaller and more manageable garden that produces more vegetables for your table.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Plan for Next Year’s Garden



Location
Give some thought to the size and location of your garden. Whatever your choices are, it’s wise to make them ahead of time. Plan for paths where you want to walk. Consider the type of plants you want, the conditions under which they thrive, and place your beds where the best combination of light, shade, moisture and drainage. Choose the right plant for each location.

The amount of shade cast by each plant in your garden should be considered when you plan your garden. Trees are most versatile, permitting plenty of light during the cool weather of early spring and fall, and providing shade in the summer. Evergreen trees and shrubs will provide year-round shade.

Low walls and evergreen hedges provide a pattern of part day shade and part day sun, except to the south side where sun falls all day. Buildings and high walls are opaque to light, providing dense shade to the north and very hot, bright conditions to the south. A building may provide protection for the tender plants in winter.

Remember the sun rises about 30 degrees higher in summer than winter. Observe how light falls in your yard over the course of a year, and plan your garden area to use this to your advantage in each season.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Soil Adjustments


Plant growth is highly responsive to proper soil reaction to PH in the soil and ample supplies of nutrients, such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Send samples of your soil to your local County Agricultural Extension Agent; for a modest fee you will get excellent advice as to how to adjust your soil for maximum productivity of the plants you want to grow. Lime sweetens the soil if it is too acidic, increasing the availability of nutrients. Sodium reduces excess alkalinity. Fertilizer hastens and promotes growth. All should be used carefully, according to directions.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Preparing your soil for next year



Good soil grows healthy plants. You should prepare your soil well ahead of time to provide the right conditions for growth. We have had the best success getting beds ready in the fall, right after the summer’s garden is finished and when cool, dry weather permits.
Because roots like a soil that is conditioned enough to hold moisture, but porous enough to provide air spaces and good drainage, The best way to give soil this texture is by adding well rotted organic compost, as often as is practical. Good organics include peat moss, well rotted manure over your entire garden to a depth of several inches and mix it into your soil as deeply and thoroughly as possible.
If your soil still seems heavy and form clumps when wet or hard clods when dry mix in up to 2 inches of coarse sand as well as the organic compost.
Soils that are too sandy and drain too quickly can be made more productive through liberal amounts of organic compost.
After preparing your bed, cover with deep mulch over winter to protect the soil and hold weeds down in the spring. With a raised bed prepared this way, we are often able to plant straight into it in spring with no further tilling.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Making Compost


You can make inexpensive, easy compost at home from leaves, grass clippings, garden wastes such as stalks and weeds, and vegetable leftovers minus the meat. Pile these together until well rotted. Use a compost tool to aerate the pile. You can enclose the pile with wire or with a ready-made compost bin. Keep adding organics until the size of the pile suits you, and then start another one. Keep the pile moist but not soaking. The pile is usually ready in about 6 months or faster in warm weather. You know it’s ready for the garden when its contents are dark and crumbly and look like the soil in the woods.