Monday, June 28, 2010

My Hosta's they are turning brown!

Loosing a large tent in the back yard last year really hurt. The bed that is up close to the house has lost a very prominence piece of shading and all hell is breaking loose now. Weeds are shooting through the stones, some of the ferns are simply falling over exhausted and my poor poor Hosta is starting to turn brown!

Fortunately I think it has more to do with my watering them than anything else. After reading through some other sites on line I came across this page;

Since the browning appears to be random and spotty, I believe they are simply to moist. I put a large cement bird bath into the middle of the bed and I think filling it up with water is causing my Hosta's to stay damp.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

When to pull a cucumber plant.

If this is your first year planting cucumbers you may have lots of questions about their care. While they can be regarded as fairly standard when it comes to seeding and growing, knowing when it is time to pull a vine is very important. Cucumbers are slightly different than your run of the mill veggies, once a single cucumber has "went to seed" (Turned yellow/orange, puffs up) the entire vine is done producing.

While planting my row of cucumber hills I must have accidentally dropped a seed into the pathway. After finding the sprout  I decided to leave it and see what happens. Everything was going quite well with it, I had trained it down the side of the pathway and it had gotten quite long. Unfortunately the very first cucumber it produced was yellow and very disfigured looking.

Fortunately the other 5 plants are doing quite fine and have been producing quality cucumbers for a while now.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Harvesting Tomatoes!

The last few days I have been able to finally start harvesting some tomatoes, yay! Only a hand full so far, but plenty for tomato sandwiches ;) My wife (not growing up on a farm like me) was surprised when I brought in slightly hard tomatoes and proclaimed them ready. She was used to the kind you purchase from a store, where they have had time to age in packaging and transport.

The basic rule of thumb I have for picking tomatoes comes from my grandfather and goes some thing like this;

  • Note when a green tomato starts to turn
  • Wait at least 3 days 
  • Give the tomato a very gentle tug/twist
If it pops right off the vine, its ready to go. Otherwise give it one more day, and pick it no matter what. If it still looks like it needs a little bit of ripening sit it in a sunny spot inside for another day or so and let it finish ripening. Pulling them a little early relives the plant from having to "feed" it, and as a bonus most varieties get just a little bit sweeter while ripening off the vine. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My pond is a never ending task

I have one of those preformed plastic ponds, complete with preformed plastic waterfall,  available at your local super store. Just finished building the waterfall part of it a nice enclosure, with enough room to plant some flowers around. Even got around to putting a couple different aquatic plants into the water. To date I have 4 lily pads above water, and a fifth one on the way!

One of the things I am very proud of is reusing a cheap stand alone fountain as the sprayer. It creates a nice looking effect to see the water gently gushing up and then falling down a two tiered fountain into the waterfall feature. However this morning I noticed that the water had stopped flowing, it appears that the tubing for the pump and the copper piping on the fountain no longer wish to hold hands and play nice.

Oh well, guess I need to make another trip to my local home and garden store for more supplies :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Broccoli, you are my new arch nemesis

One of my vegetable crops this year was Broccoli. Started from seed I had high hopes for a summer filled with cheese and Broccoli side dishes, fresh cut Broccoli and vegetable dip and even some Broccoli and beef like you would find in an Asian restuarant. Being one of the more expensive vegtables at the market I was even counting on it to help lessen the food bill. But alas it was just not meant to be.

I am not sure where it went wrong, but I have had to pull all the Broccoli plants. Between something unseen eating the leaves and my own in-experience growing them not a single head of broccoli formed. A few different sources online and a couple good friends recommened I sprinkle 7-dust on them, to no end. As I pulled them last night some of them came up without the roots, having been "eaten" at the bast of the main stem there was virtually nothing holding them plant down.

But where one crop ends another begins. Within the next day I plan to have two different vegetable plants put in. A Honey Dew melon that my wife and I picked up from Walmart last night on a whim, and a Pumpkin plant my daughter and I have been growing from seed.