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Visit my 2013 Gardening Blog

Today, imagine 50 to 60 degree days, the grass is turning greener, the undergrowth in the woods or your yard coming up green and lush covering the ground, daffodils showing their sunny yellow blooms, and the local Wal-Mart and Farmers Co-op getting their gardening centers ready.  This is what it is like here where I live and it has caused me to have gardening fever.  So…

The 2013 gardening Blog is located at

Come garden and preserve with me this year.

The 2013 Planting Calendar is posted. You’ll find the link to it at the top of the page above the large picture.

Hope to see and hear from you all this year.  Here’s hoping this summer’s not a scorcher again.
REMEMBER to “Follow” this years blog; it is separate from last years.


Quickie Post

~ Picked 5 cantaloupes tonight that makes 8 total so far.  I plan on putting (mashing) one up in the freezer to make cantaloupe Bread later this year.  (If you’d like the recipe, just ask.)

~ Picked 22 tomatoes.  I’ve not been counting but I’d say I’ve picked over 60 all together.

My pretty Arkansas Traveler tomato

My pretty Arkansas Traveler tomato

The city of Warren, AR celebrates with a Pink Tomato Festival every year in June.  The festival is famous for its Heavenly Tomato Cake.  The tomatoes grown for the festival are Arkansas Travelers which grow really well here in AR.  I’ve not make this cake, yet. :O)

Heavenly Tomato Cake

2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup water, hot
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup pecans, chopped, toasted

Line a 15 ½ x 10 ½ x 1-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with non-stick spray.

Cream together margarine, shortening and sugar. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each.

Sift together cocoa, flour and soda. Add to butter mixture, combining thoroughly.

Combine tomato juice, hot water and marshmallows; add to batter.

Add vanilla. Batter will be thin and marshmallows will come to top.

Pour the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 35 minutes.

Turn cake out onto a cutting board and start on the icing.

Combine 1/2 c. margarine, 1/4 c. tomato juice, 2 Tbsp. water, 4 Tbsp. cocoa and 1/4 tsp. salt in a sauce pan and heat until boiling. Pour this mixture over 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted and beat well. Stir in the nuts.

Spread the hot icing over the cake. The icing sets up quickly so you have to work fast.

Sorry I forgot about posting the Historic Canning recipes; perhaps later this week.

Morning Gardening

Green Beans and Corn 6-17-12Morning sun on the green beans and corn.

I went out before breakfast and picked the green beans.  I didn’t get as many as the other day.  While I was in the garden I dug up two potato plants that had dried up. I got 4 big potatoes and a few medium sized.    I have one tomato that is just about vine ripe and I am dying to pick it.

My Dad will be home today from his Bluegrass Festival.  I hope I get the green beans canned before he arrives.

CornCobs6-17-12The corn ears are getting larger.  When do you know they’re ready to pick?  Last year my Dad took care of the corn so I didn’t pay any attention to the proper picking time.  Guess I could ask him when he gets home but, what do ya’ll think.?

Just a Shovelfull

As you can see my onion crop is not as good as I hoped.  I should be disappointed, but I’m not.  I’ve been learning these past years that there is always a good side to things.  I think I’m gonna pickle some of these onions.  My brother was over the other day telling me how much he enjoyed my pickled vegie mixture I made last year.  He espically liked the onions.

I checked on my green beans and they will need picking tomorrow or the next day.

I’ve been very busy this past week getting my Dad’s stuff together for his trip to a Bluegrass Festival in Waldron, AR.  He is not walking very well on his new knee so I had to clean and load the 5th wheel trailer for him.  I took him down there yesterday and got his trailer loaded with last minute stuff and made the bed.  Between work and doing all this I haven’t had much time to do anything in the garden like hoe up grass or kill these blasted Aphids that are all over my squash plants.

Sevin dust is now covering the squash plants; top and bottom of the leaves and the Aphids.  I took the last of the Sevin dust and gave the tomatoes a sprinkle just in case.

06-05-12 and 06-08-12

Black-eyed Susan

It’s been a few days since I’ve had time to get up into the garden.  We’ve had lots of rain for the past few days.  Monday mornings’ storm whipped some of the potato plants to the ground.  The corn and tomatoes made it through just fine.  The corn is starting to get those seed things coming out of the top. (I don’t know what they’re called.)  The tomatoes are getting bigger and so are the plants.  I placed some more twine around the plants this morning to hold up the vines.  My roma tomato plant looks kind of green & brown; not sure if it’s gonna make it.

Crab grass is going to seed around the green beans.  I pulled up a row and a half of it this morning; 3 1/2 rows to go. I’ll be going to work late in the morning on Thursday so the plan is to pull up more then.  I sure hope Sears calls about my tiller soon.

I picked 12 more Sweet Banana Peppers this morning.  I don’t understand why the insides of the peppers are not thick like the pickled ones at the stores and resturants.  Perhaps it’s the variety?  I think next year I’ll buy my peppers from a different nursery. 


In went up into the garden yesterday evening.  The green bean plants have little green beans on them.  I can’t wait to ‘can’ them, but I think I would love to forego the picking part.  No pain, no gain.

Among the 6 cantalope plants I found 5 tiny cantalopes.  The plants are full of flowers and have been for a few weeks. It’s so exciting to see your plants start producing!

The corn is starting to get tassles so I need to get busy and put some mineral oil on them. (It helps keep the worms out of the corn cobs and makes the worm eggs slide away.)  My Dad put mineral oil on our corn last year and it kept the worms at bay.

I have got to dig up the onions in the morning.  The tops have been dry for a week.  Here’s hopeing that I get some nice onions. *fingers crossed :O)

May YOUR garden produce beyond your expectations.

Strange Zucchini Update

Today I showed a picture of my strange round zucchini to a elderly friend.  She pulled out her seed catalog so we could look for a variety that looked like my squash.  We found a squash called Eight Ball Zucchini.  Here’s a pic from the web.

Here’s some info at the Burpee website.  BTW, Burpee also created a squash called Roly Poly.

I bought last yrs Regular long zucchini as starter plants.  These just came up from last years zucchini that was tilled up in the garden.  I am greatful to Kelly at Birds Blooms and Bugs for her comment about my strange zucchini being from a Hybrid.
Your volunteer seed was possibly from a hybrid zucchini. The seed from hybrids won’t produce a zucchini like its parent, but like one of its “grandparents.” So you may have some type of heirloom throwback. Very likely good to eat though!”

Here is some info from Specialty Produce.
Current Facts
Eight ball squash are a hybrid zucchini variety, with a round shape reminiscent of a billiard ball.

The eight ball squash is similar in color and taste to the longer, Italian zucchini. The squash have a shiny, speckled, green skin, and creamy, white flesh. They are firm and very mild-tasting.

Eight ball squash may be substituted for zucchini in most recipes. The size and shape of this summer squash variety are ideal for stuffing; slice off the top stem end, scoop out some of the interior and fill with meats, cheeses or nuts and grains. Eight ball quash may also be steamed, baked, roasted or grilled as you would other summer squash. Dice and stir-fry or saute with garlic, onions, fresh herbs and spices. Slice thinly, layer with other sliced summer vegetables and bake. Keep dry and refrigerate until ready to use.

Strange Zucchini

These cute round things came off of the volunteer plants in the garden that I guessed in a eariler post are squash. They look more like zucchini pumpkins. Has anyone had this happen before?
Oh and, those are my first Sweet Banana Peppers of the season.

Taters and Tillin’

     Sat. March 31, 2012  The potatoes have finally started coming out of the ground.  I counted 28 this morning.
     My Dad is trying to get the Tiller running so I can till the garden.  He is waiting on a knee replacement and cannot walk as much as he used to so I finally get to use the Tiller.
     Sunday brought the news from my brother that the Tiller needed a new spark plug.  No tilling that day.

     If you haven’t read last years’ Blog you need to know about the Bermuda grass in the garden.  In short…Bale of hay disked with the tractor into the garden 7 or so yrs. ago.  No garden for a couple of yrs. so the Bermuda grass took over.  I’ve been battling it for 5 yrs.  Each yr. the grass is less and less but it remains a nuisance!  Needless to say the garden needs a good tilling.

     Today my Dad and brother were able to get the Tiller started.  My brother brought the Tiller up to the garden and worked one row to see how it was doing. He taught me what levers were what and I took over.  I tilled only the section of the garden I have planted right now since it was 5 p.m. and I’d worked all day.  My Dad watched me and gave me some tips on how to handle the Tiller easier; such as turning at the end of a row.  It was a learning process.

In The Herb Garden
     Last years Sage, Rosemary, and both Lavenders made it through the winter and are looking great.  I bought some Sweet Basil and Greek Oregano today at the local Farmers Co-op and planted them both today.  I love oregano, but I’ve not been able to have good luck with it.  The plants die after about a month in the ground.  Too much water- too little water?  Any suggestions would be great!

Rain, Rain, Radishes

We’ve had rain here in AR all week with a promise today for it to stop. I took a peek in the garden yesterday and the radish seeds are showing their green tops. The potatoes continue to hide in the ground. I am concerned that they have rotted from all the rain. Our garden has sandy soil and the run off from the rain has been good. I can’t tell that it has washed away any of the soil. Perhaps all they need is a few days of sun shine to pop out of the ground.
The local Harps/PriceCutter grocery stores have their plants now. I bought my cucumbers, sweet peppers from there last yr. and they did great. I think I’ll get them from there again if they look like good plants. I’ll have to look at the planting calendar to see the good planting day for above ground crops and buy accordingly.
   A link to the 2012 Planting Calendar is at the top of this page above the picture of last yrs. cabbage plants.