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Archive for the ‘Growing Vegetables’ Category

Those Who Labor Will Enjoy the Aboundance

On Friday, with the many warnings of the approaching storm, we rushed out to pick all the vegetables and herbs that are not frost resistant.

We got some Basil and Mexican Mint for pesto and all these crops that could be seen in the picture.
There was no real snow in our area, but a colder night followed.
We got them just in time, and are grateful for the extra warmer days in October.
These tomatoes are SO much juicier, and tastier, than one can purchase, even when they are indoors for a few weeks!!!
They will last at least through November and December.
Only draw back with growing our own…we are reluctant to buy cucumbers and tomatoes in the winter, because they are so tasteless.
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We planted a few potato eyes in the  summer in a pot.  We also planted green beans in that pot to add nitrogen to the soil.  The beans and the potatoes got huge and looked healthy, even after the deer dined on them once.

By the end of August, we removed the bean plants to let the potatoes get all the sun and space.
On October 23rd, we turned over the pot and were so amazed by the dark reddish color and the size (11.5 x 4.5 inches) of one of the potatoes.  The rest of the potatoes were much smaller.

Conclusion: Next year, we will start right after the last frost date, and use two full size trash cans with drainage for the sweet potatoes and for the regular potatoes.

I highly recommend trying this in your garden and enjoying the best potatoes you would ever have.

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Tomato Pest
Who can Identify this Worm?

It is October 9th, and our tomato plants are continuing to produce lots of fruits, while others report dismal tomato crops this year.

We have no idea how we did that.  Maybe, the new soil has something to do with our bumper crops late in the season.
This worm showed up on about two tomatoes.  In both cases, I eliminated the offenders.  We will see if the problem has been eliminated too.
This worm does not look like the Tomato Fruitworm, or any other listed online.  What is it?

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These beautiful healthy spaghetti Squashes grew from seeds I saved last year. We have been picking them, some even while very small.  Our baby grandson loved them, when he was here.

We also shared some with friends who wondered why they are not yellow like the one purchased in the store.

Does anyone have an idea how to tell when is the best time to harvest?

In the past, I served this Squash as one would serve pasta.  I added chopped Basil, Pine Nuts, chopped Garlic and grated Cheese.  This week, for our company we experimented and created a different dish.  Here are the instructions for our new dish:

Cut in half, remove all seeds, sprinkle with Cinnamon and Nutmeg.  Grate an Apple and sprinkle with unsweetened coconut.  Top it off with a few pieces of Butter and bake until soft when you poke it with a fork.

We liked it and so did the company.

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Teaching animals proper etiquette

Can I outsmart nature?

Every night some animal removes one large green tomato and chews it just a little.  The tomato is left in the raised bed, and I dutifully throw it out every morning.

Today, I decided to leave that green tomato that is already lost to us on the ground.

What do you think will happen tonight?

Would the animal pick a new tomato, or go back to the partial consumed one?

I cannot wait to find out.

Oh, I also remove most of the larger green tomato to ripen in the house.  I am tired of letting the birds, squirrles and chipmunks devour our tomatoes.

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I already admitted one mistake:

1.  I planted too many tomatoes in a small area.

2. I did not know to add calcium to the soil and plants, early on.

The plants are fed once in 3-4 weeks with Miracle Gro and in between also manure.

Now, I would like to know what I can do to get the leaves greener looking and to eliminate the obvious issues.

I have some pest eating the leaves and I might have some pest in the stalks, too.

Here are the pictures of the not very healthy plants.

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Tomato plants in raised beds

Too many Tomato plants in my garden

After giving up on tomatoes in my former home, I decided to start all over again with new soil and a raised bed.  I planted 14 plants, in a small space because Tom in my office started them from seeds and gave them to me.

Of course, I wanted to try every kind he had to offer.

Now, 3 months later, I know I planted too many plants and waited too long to add calcium to the soil.  I thought the manure would supply all the needed nutrition.

We have sufficient amount of cherry tomatoes, however most of the other tomatoes had bottom end rot.  We had to pick lots of tomatoes early and after we removed the damage we used the green tomatoes in sauce, pickling and even tried fried green tomatoes.  I would rather not use them green in the future.

Next year, I will follow the advice to plant at the most 6 tomato plants in a 4 x 4 raised bed and will use the MiracleGro with calcium.  I will interplant with the Borage and Basil and will reuse the red liner that is working well now to reflect light and conserve water.

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