Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Greenhouse

This is my wonderful greenhouse my husband built me. When he had started the building of it and told me the size I was sure it was going to be way to big. But that thought did not last for long, as I jammed it full with all my seedlings.

There is nothing that equals the good taste of a home grown tomato. This year because of our poor summer weather the tomato's are very late. We would be serving tomato's at our B and B in June, but unfortunately here it is the end of July and they are not ripe yet. They are loaded with vitamin A and C, potassium and calcium. I love to can them in different ways or just freeze them whole for stews and soups. If you have any problems with high blood pressure, raw tomato's contain only a slight trace of sodium while store boughten canned tomato's contain over 100 times as much. They also contain lycopene, which prevents some types of cancer, including prostate cancer. But best of all there is nothing better than a tomato fresh off the vine.

I also grow one huge raised bed of pickling cucumbers, which gives me about 100 jars of dill pickles, my husband eats them like candy.

The tiny tomato's in the picture are tumbler's, I just would not be without them they are so delicious and are shaped like a tear drop and are the first ones to come.We have lettuce coming up always in April-May which seeds it self and that also goes for the parsley.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Rhododendron Layering

Layering is great for the gardener that is not in a hurry.This waiting time is necessary, you can expect to wait about 18 months before the new plant is self sustaining.As I am weeding throughout the year if I come across a flexible low branch with firm growth from the previous year;

I will dig a 3 to 4" deep trench in the soil below the branch. Then make a cut half-way through the upper side of the branch and pin the branch in the trench with a wire "hairpin".

Then I fill the trench back up with the soil which I add a little peat moss to and water it in.

I find August is a good time of year to do this since the seasons growth has become firm, although you can perform the layering at any time the ground is not frozen.

After the 18 months are up you are ready to cut the new plant off the 'mother' plant.

I always find this time so exciting for now I have created a new plant.

Here is the new Rhodo completely removed from the mother plant.

Here I want to show you it was well worth waiting the 18 months. It was a great success as you can see it has a good root system.

Here I will put the new plant in a pot for my new site for planting is not ready yet.Because their root systems are not deep do not plant in the pot to deep.

The dirt that you use for planting should be a mixture of 40% organic material at least 1/2 peat moss, 40% topsoil (not clay) and 20% sand.They must always be kept moist until you plant them.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Transplanting Tomato Seedlings

It is Jan. and the snow is still on the ground. I am going to start planting my tomato seeds. Here I am using Jiffy 7 peat pellets which is a combination of the best growing media (sterile sphagnum) with a small amount of fertilizer contained by a neutral plastic net which allows maximum root penetration. This compressed pellet will expand to a height of 2 1/8" when set in water. Then you can go ahead and put your seeds in. I usually put 3-4 seeds to each Jiffy.

The tomato's are up now and have their true leaves on. I have planted Beefmaster an extremely large 20 oz. Italian Beefsteak with an outstanding taste, my husband and B & B guests love them. Then there is Subarctic because they take 48 days and is the earliest fruited type for far north regions. Plants set 2 1/2 oz. scarlet 2"round fruit. Tumbler my favorite patio type also 48 days. Extremely early determination they are excellent for hanging baskets. Masses of 1 1/4" bright red round, sweet fruit they are a must.

Now it's time to transplant your tomato plants into a pot by placing them on just a little bit of your potting soil covering the base of your pot.

While holding your tomato plant upright gently continue filling your pot with soil around your plant until it is just below the leaves. The reason I plant them so deep in the soil is because I want them to grow a good root system. You can cover their stem with dirt up to about 75% and this will encourage them to produce new roots all up the buried stem and enhance their development.

Mission accomplished, now I have a head start on spring and this will allow me to harvest fresh tomatoes earlier than if I had to wait until the middle of April which is the beginning of our planting season in the greenhouse.

I better hurry and get my tender little seedlings back indoors to their sunny windowsill, for it is very cold and the snow is still on the ground.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Test Post

Just checking out new template to see if it works :)