Tag Archives: Garden Tips

Corn Harvest and Tomato Shade

     The temps here have been in the 100s this week.  I’ve been watering the garden every evening hoping to keep it from burning up from the sun.  Today I discovered that the sweet banana pepper and bell pepper plants had scrubed to the heat.  The peppers on each plant had sun burn spots on them so I decided I’d gotten my share and decided not to water them anymore.
     I picked the corn today.  Sad harvest.  The ears had 1 worm each and some had ants and/or some kind of long thin black bug.  The bugs had eaten anywhere from a quarter to half of each ear.    I only picked 25 ears and out of that I was able to only put 6 away, in the deep freezer, for corn on the cob.                  I cut the rest of the corn off the cobs to make some Corn Relish.  I didn’t have any garlic so I waited till Sat. to make the relish. (Friday shopping)  A couple of years ago I made a Zucchini and Corn Relish that you could pour over your pan fried chicken breasts.  I wanted to make something similar, so I invented a recipe using ingredients I had on hand.  See the July 1 post for the recipe.

With the sun blaring down on my tomatoes I was concerned about them getting burned up.  I was thinking, during the day, about how I could shade them a little.  My Dad used to put 6 fence posts up, two on each end of the row of tomatoes and two in the middle.  When the days started to get too hot he would then lay a piece of rebarb, he had laying around, on top of the tomatoes. (Hog fencing would work also.)  He would use wire to tie the rebarb to the fence posts.  Once this was done he would take the old corn stalks and lay them on top to shade the tomatoes.  He always had beautiful bushy tomato plants that grew up through the rebarb and then they ended up shading themselves.
Anyway back to shading my tomatoes…Having the corn stalks in mind I decided that I would lean some of the corn stalks against the West side of my tomato plants.


Beautiful Sunday

How nice it is to get out at 7 a.m. and see the beginning of the day when you don’t have to go to work.  I saw a huge red headed woodpecker in front of the house; he sure makes a loud noise.  In the garden, a ruby throated hummingbird flew within a 2 feet of me looking for flowers.  The two little birds who have been eating the dewberries were out to greet me.  I was reading a post by a fellow Blogger about his morning yesterday and was inspired to write that this morning.

This morning I was out early to place the metal fence posts between the tomato plants.  I use these because they’re sturdy; no falling over.  My Dad made a “post slammer” out of a long piece of metal pipe (about 4 feet long) and welded the end with lots iron.  You place this over the end of the post and slam it into the ground. Such fun. UGH!  Now that that is done I have to find enough baleing twine to tie up the tomato plants.

It is looking like RAIN.  Could we be so lucky?

Garden Update and Tip

  The garden is all planted and we’re in the “waiting while it grows” stage.  The green beans and corn are getting taller. I expect any day now to see blooms on the green beans. (Wishful thinking)
   I am still having problems with potato bugs even after the hand picking and all.  I dusted the plants with Sevin Dust this morning.  I can’t get over how tall the potato plants are this year; over 2 feet!   I noticed that the dirt was cracking around some of the plants so I mounded the dirt up against them this morning.
   I’ve seen a worm on one of the tomato plants; killed him/her and sprinkled a bit of Sevin Dust on all of them.  I will be getting some marigold plants and setting them around the tomatoes; they are great for keeping worms off your tomatoes.
   My orange bell pepper plants are looking really good.  I’ve never had good luck with bell peppers.  I plan on paying close attention to them this year.  Does any one have a tip or two that has worked for them?

     On another note I love to take pictures with my digital camera.  Since I live out in the country, a mile off the county road, I’ve been taking pictures of wild flowers.  I’ve amassed quite a collection of pictures and I am in the planning stage of putting them in a scrapbook.  I have a book titled Wildflowers of Arkansas by Carl G. Hunter that I use for identification.  I highly recommend this book if you’re into wildflowers.
Here is a picture of White-Flowered Milkweed that I took a few days ago.  I saw this plant up on a incline surrounded by poison ivy, but I just had to trudge up there and take a look; I’m glad I did.

Tilling and Bugs

Potato Blooms

I finally tilled the garden this evening.  We’ve been having chances of rain for the past couple of days and all we got here were sprinkles.  The temps have gone down for this week to the mid 70s.  I am loving it!  The garden is flourishing and as I was tilling I saw I had a sweet banana pepper on one plant.  I pulled up a few radishes yesterday.  I really need to plant more.  The volunteer squash plants continue to bloom, but no squash yet.

I mentioned potato bugs in my last post and today I worked on getting rid of them.  Instead of opting for pesticides I went plant by plant looking for eggs and bugs.  I used my scissors to cut the adult bugs in half and I trimmed the leaves off with the babies & eggs on them; placing them in a bucket.  I took the bucket and dumped it in the woods AWAY from the house.  I’m sure I didn’t get them all so I’ll have to keep an eye on the plants.  I would still love any suggestions on removing them other than picking them off.

Here’s a pic. of the bug whos babies were eating the leaves off my potato plants.

How to Deter Deer From the Garden

but I had to share

An elderly friend told me today how the husband of a friend of her’s would deter deer from eating his watermelons and cantalopes.
He would use his urinal and take it and pour the urine around the edge of his garden. 
I was told that the male unine would stop the deer from crossing into the garden and that female urine would not work.
The man has done this for years and says it works.

     I’m not saying I’m going to do this or rather ask my Dad to. lol  I just wanted to pass along one more way to keep your garden safe.
     I personally think the best organic and safe way to deter deer, rabbits, squirrels or any varmint is a dog.

Rainy Morn-Sunny Afternoon

I’ve been hoping for a few weeks to catch a picture of one of these illusive butterflies.   I took this from my car door, on our lane, this afternoon.  He flew from flower to flower posing for me.  I ended up with two nice shots.

We got a good rain this morning about and inch.  The sun came out this afternoon and when I got home I noticed that the green beans and corn are up. Yeah!
The moment the corn starts to silk we’ll take some glycerin and place some drops on the silks.  The gylcerin is slick causing the worms to slip off and their eggs to slide away.  We tried this last year with success.
I put some 10-20-10 fertilizer on the cantalopes and the roma tomato before I left the house this morning.  Rain is the best to melt it into the ground. 

Gardening Tips
From an article by Sharon Lovejoy on the Fine Gardening website.

Adhesive tape lifts small insects from plant leaves.
Tricks for removing aphids, mites, and other small insects:
Scientists at Texas A&M University estimate that up to 90 percent of problems with aphids, mites, and spittlebug nymphs can be cured by dislodging them with a strong blast of water. You can also use adhesive tape to remove aphids and other small insects from plant leaves. Simply wrap a long piece of tape around your fingers (sticky side out), and blot off the bugs.

For aphids in particular, set a yellow dish filled with soapy water near the plant.
Aphids are drawn to the color yellow. For spider mites that persist despite a daily spray of plain water, use a buttermilk spray developed by scientists at Purdue University. Combine 1/4 cup of buttermilk and 2 cups of wheat flour in 2-1/2 gallons of water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, shake the ingredients thoroughly, and spray it on your plants.
Crushed strong-scented herbs make a tea that repels many insects.
An herbal brew to combat troublesome creepy crawlers:
Basil and especially potently scented herbs- such as lavender, rosemary, tansy, southernwood, rue, mint, wormwood, or sage-help fight harmful leafhoppers, aphids, cabbage loopers, mites, cucumber beetles, and many other creepy crawlers. Simply gather a handful of fresh basil leaves and stems and any other herb trimmings you have on hand, crush them slightly, and stuff them into a mesh produce sack, if you have one. Put the sack (or the loose herbs) into a bucket or a large glass jar that is at least 1/2 gallon in size, and fill with water. Cover the container, and set it in the sun to brew for a few days. Remove the sack, or strain the solids from the mixture.
Store the liquid in a covered container in a cool, dark area until it’s needed as an insecticide. When you’re ready to do battle, pour the herbal brew into a spray bottle, add 1/8 teaspoon of liquid soap, and shake well before spraying.

Preparing for the dry season

In a previous post “Work and Gardening don’t mix sometimes”  I mentioned the plastic pickle bucket rings we put around our tomato plants.
“To make plastic circles you cut a plastic pickle bucket in half and  cut out the bottom; giving you 2 circles.  You place one circle around each plant pushing it into the dirt.  This plastic circle allows water to gather around the plant watering the roots instead of just draining away.  These come in handy during the summer months when you have to water your plants.  At the end of the season save the circles and use them next year. ”
  Anyway..Here’s the picture I promised to post.

Re-Grow Your Celery


Here is just the coolest idea from Kara at Kalio Chic.

“I also wanted up give a little recap and update on my celery plant growth and sweet potato slip growing. First for the celery, the plant has been in ground for a little over two weeks and is growing great. See below for the two week growth photo. The baby celery stalks are emerging quite nicely. I have had several questions regarding planting your own celery, so I just wanted to recap for some of you what I did. I brought my celery home from the store and cut the tops off leaving about 2-3 inches from the base. Then I took the base outside and planted it in my garden. I just planted it about an inch deep in the soil, but I think that you can plant the entire base and leave the top level with the soil. The prefered temperature for prime celery growth is 65-75 degree’s F. It can tolerate full to partial sun and they like lots of water. In a few months you should have your new celery stalks ready to cut and eat. You can also just cut of the stalks of the celery as you need them leaving the rest of the stalks to continue growing.”

Check out the whole article and learn how to re-use other vegies and see a picture of the celery.

4-18-12     Here’s a picture of mine in the kitchen window three days after I put it in water.  The center has grown considerably.  I swear it’s taller than it was this morning.

Work and gardening don’t mix sometimes

Garden 4-9-12

     The garden on Monday 4-09-12.  Potatoes in the foreground, the onions are next to them but you can’t see them well.

Arrived home from work on Tuesday and my Dad had bought his watermelon, cantalope, and tomato plants.  He as usual was in a hurry to get them in the ground. I managed to put him off till the next day.  So, yesterday after work I planted his 8 tomato plants, my 4 sweet bananna pepper plants, and 4 orange bell pepper plants.  I also planted some carrot seed planting strips.  Planting strips?  Yes something new I found; made by Ferry-Morse.  The seeds are incased in a strip of paper.  To plant you dig a shallow trench, lay down the strip and cover with dirt. Done.
Here’s a picture of the package front.

Today I was too tired after work  to plant anything so I took some pictures of my Herb Garden,  Flower Garden and I put the plastic circles around the tomato plants. 
Note: To make plastic circles you cut a plastic pickle bucket in half and  cut out the bottom; giving you 2 circles.  You place one circle around each plant pushing it into the dirt.  This plastic circle allows water to gather around the plant watering the roots instead of just draining away.  These come in handy during the summer months when you have to water your plants.  At the end of the season save the circles and use them next year.    I promise to take a picture and post it so you can see what I’m yaking on about. :O)
BTW:: If you have a Firehouse Sub resturant in your area they sell their pickle buckets to customers.

     Here’s a pic of my herb garden sofar this year. 

        Back row (left to right):: Lavender and Rosemary
        Front (left to right):: Sage, Basil and Oregano
The lavender and sage are blooming right now.  This is their second year here in the herb garden along with the Rosemary.

Here’s a pic of my Flower Garden sofar this year.

The flower garden remains a work in progress; each year I add more to it.  Last fall I added two hibiscus bushes and I’m waiting to see if they’ve survived the winter.   That is moss covering the ground.  I am hoping that it will cover it completely one day.

Gardening Tips & Flower Garden


Coffee Grounds
Used coffee grounds make excellent earthworm food.  Earthworms will multiply rapidly by adding coffee grounds to a compost heap.                            ~ Phillip Smith, New York

Cabbage butterfies are repelled by tomatoes, rosemary, sage, and peppermint.  Plant any of these along side your cabbage plants.                ~ L.F. Easterbrook

Nasturtiums among fruit trees will reduce destructions by aphids.           ~ L.F. Easterbrook
(Note from Me:  Nasturtiums also work well in the garden next to squash plants to keep aphids at bay.)

To control insects:  Mix powdered garlic and black pepper in equal parts in a pint of hot water.  Let it sit till it cools by about half, then strain through a dairy straining pad or something similiar.  It sprays easily from a had sprayer and really stops the bugs.                ~ Martin Stansbury, Illinois

    This morning was so nice, 65 degrees, that I went out and worked in my flower garden.  The flower garden is in front of the house; it is a work in progress. I’m a bit disappointed; all my tulips have not come up yet and I am concerned that a mole ate the bulbs.  I was reading in a issue of Organic Gardening about baring your soil.  The article recommended raking away your mulch to allow the soil to warm up in the spring; giving the plants and bulbs the needed warmth and sun to emerge out of the ground.  The article did suggest keeping your mulch or ground-up leaves so you could put it back later when the summer sun heats up.
     I took this advice and raked the largest dead leaves away uncovering the ground-up (mulched) leaves I placed their last fall.  This leaf mulch was about 2″ thick so I raked away enough leaving just a thin layer.  I’m hoping that this will allow the tulips that haven’t emerged encourgement to do so.
    I did find a new growth in the other flower bed.  Did I mention there are two in the front?  Anyway, it looks like a bulb growing but don’t ask me what it is I have forgotten I even planted anything there.  I do have some hycintha bulbs I need to get in the ground, it’s a bit late so I may just wait till fall to plant them.
   I bought two new plants for the flower garden; ‘Hawaii Blue’ Ageratum and ‘Silverdust’ Dusty Miller.  I’m going to wait till Monday or Tues. to plant them.  Monday starts a few days of above ground planting.