Saturday, April 30, 2011

Zucchini: A Summer Squash

If you've ever grown zucchini, you know the trick isn't so much in getting it to grow as it is making use of all the zucchini your garden produces. I've learned from past gardens that a couple mounds of zucchini produces plenty of this fruit for my family's use and enough to share, too.

This video from the Garden Guru discusses a problem some gardeners have with zucchini, which is the squash yellowing and rotting before ever turning green. According to the Garden Guru, this is an issue of the plants' flowers not being pollinated. The video shows you how to do it yourself. It's a simple procedure that doesn't require more than a few minutes, especially after you've done it a few times.

Zucchini, like tomatoes, is not actually a vegetable, but a fruit.

Friday, April 29, 2011

You're Planting a Vegetable Garden?

Maybe you've had it happen to you, too. Friends and family members learn you are planting a vegetable garden. And since you are, would you mind planting some____ for me?

I am as neighborly as the next person, but it raises my hackles to be asked this. The way I've handled it so far this time around is that if the requested veggie is something I was planning to plant anyway, I respond with, "That's already in the ground. When it's time to pick it, I'll give you a call."

"Oh," is usually the first comeback response..

And my full intention is to notify that person after I've harvested what I need for my family. After all, that was one of the biggest reasons I planted a garden in the first place.

If the vegetable is something I haven't yet planted, but also would enjoy it as much as the person requesting it,, I'll go ahead a plant a little, space providing. I enjoy variety in my vegetable garden and sharing extra with others feels like the right thing to do to me.

Do you plant extra when planning your vegetable garden? If so, what will you do with the extras?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

X Is for Excited About My Emerging Plants

Yes, I've cheated a bit on the alphabet challenge by using a word that only begins with the "x" sound, but I really wanted to share my excitement at finding two of the vegetables I planted from seed starting to sprout from the ground.

Even though I watered the seeds after planting them, nothing emerged from the ground until after the rain--at least nothing I was hoping that would grow. Yesterday I found my "Early Girl" tomato seeds had sprouted and today I was pleased to find my green pea seeds pushing up through the earth.

In addition to not having had a vegetable garden for a number of years, I am working on a shoe-string budget. I know what the experts recommend and I know what I money I have available to spend. I'm hoping I can creatively solve the most necessary of concerns.

Have you begun to see success with your plantings this season?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tomatoes for Health, Nutrition and Flavor

Tomatoes for Health, Nutrition and Flavor: ""

W Is for Wagon

My little wagon, or perhaps more correctly, cart, has been a Godsend in helping me minimize trips to and from the shed and garden for needed tools and supplies. A family member had been ready to pitch the little green gem when I rescued it.

The cart holds much more than a wheelbarrow can and have to say it is also easier to navigate. I use it to peruse the yard for sticks and debris than need cleaned up, for moving objects too heavy to carry by hand, and for my gardening needs.

Maybe I should spruce it up with a new coat of paint, but then I'd feel like I needed to use it more gingerly so as not to mar its beauty. Nah, I think I like it just the way it is.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Composting: Good for Your Garden

Read article here.

V Is for the Vegetables I've Planted

If you garden, you know the difficulty in choosing what you will and will not plant. Everything looks so darn enticing in the seed books and catalogs. I almost succumbed to the temptation to plant eggplant--just because that purple-black color is so attractive. But no one who eats at my house eats eggplant. I'm just going to have to enjoy looking at pictures of them.

As I talk to other gardeners, I listen to their lists of vegetables planted. I begin second-guessing myself. Maybe I should have put in some white potatoes or not decided to wait on greens until fall. Then I remember that gardening isn't a competition--and if it is, it's not with other gardeners but with the elements.

Of all that I have planted, the tomatoes hold the most interest for me. It just isn't summer without homegrown tomatoes. Or fried green tomatoes. Lots of other vegetables will be growing, but I will consider this gardening year successful if I have a bumper crop of tomatoes.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Gardening in Earnest

Ah blog, I have forsaken you--but not my garden. Have planted seeds for pole green beans, peas, three types of tomatoes, two types of pepper, cantelope, cucumber, beets, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and broccoli. Also planted three garlic cloves. All this went into the ground around April 17.

Then I waited for the rain, as did farmers and gardeners throughout my area. The newspaper reported that we were in the worst 4 month drought since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Just my luck.

I've been watering the garden daily, but so far I haven't seen any green sprouts. Today, Easter, our area was blessed with rainfall. It rained through the night and much of the day. It was wonderful. I'll be keeping an eye on my plantings much closer now; the real thing--rain--just has to be what the sprouts have been waiting for.