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Grow the BEST Tasting Tomatoes
Tired of tomatoes that are rock hard and taste like cardboard? Stupid question! Use these tips to grow your own tomatoes bursting with flavour.
Tomatoes are the most popular home garden vegetable grown for good reason. They are easy to grow and will tolerate a wide variety of soil types. They are also incredibly versatile. The methods described here will suit most tomato varieties. And what a variety! Big fleshy 'Ox Heart', sweet cherry-type 'Tom Thumbs', Grosse Lisse, Roma, the list goes on and on.
If you are starting your plants from seeds, put them in trays with a good quality seed raising mixture and cover lightly. Water very gently, perhaps using a spray bottle, so as not to disturb the seed. They will germinate best in a temperature of low 20's Celsius (about 70F). In cooler climates start your seedlings indoors or use a cold frame. (see www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com/start-seedlings-indoors.html)
Try to introduce them to periods of sunlight as quickly as possible to harden them off. You don't want them to be too spindly. Once they are large enough to handle, repot them into their own small containers of potting mix. Water them in well, but gently. Make sure the containers drain well. Tomato plants hate to sit in water. Small regular dressings of sulphate of potash will help your seedling form flowers and resist disease. Just a pinch a week watered in should do it.
In about 6 weeks, your tomato seedlings should be ready for the garden. If you are growing tall varieties, put your stakes in before the seedling so as not to damage the plants roots.
Tomatoes need full sun to grow. They also have plenty of fiberous roots just under the soil so don't allow them to dry out. But again, don't let them sit in water either. Water deeply to encourage deep root growth and mulch around the plant to protect the soil from drying out. Every few weeks, water in another dressing of sulphate of potash. A couple of tablespoons per plant (under the mulch) should keep them happy.
Harvest your tomatoes when they are pink and bring them indoors. Temperature rather than sunlight is what allows them to ripen to their rosey red. Put them inside in a dry place OUT of the sun to ripen. Putting them on the windowsill or in the fridge will rob them of their full flavour. Enjoy!
Judy Williams (http://www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com) splits her time between being an executive and an earth mother goddess. No Dig Vegetable Gardens represents a clean, green way to grow your own food. The site covers all aspects of growing, cooking and preserving your harvest.
Pruning the Backyard Grapevine
Proper pruning of your backyard grapevines is essential to maintain vine size, shape, and yield of the grapes. If you don't prune your vines, they will become unruly, tangled messes. Fruit ripeness will suffer. Overproduction of the vine may lead to premature death. It is also one of the harder things to visualize but one of the easier things to accomplish for the home gardener.
Themes of Shade
A Shade Garden can be created in any of several different types of shade. It can be in the mottled shade that comes from a broad leaf tree to the deep dark woods mentioned in Robert Frost's "Stopping by A Woods on A Snowy Evening". We have morning shade (not so good for a shade garden if this area gets afternoon sun - it will much too hot and drying) and afternoon shade. And we can even create or modify our shade with man-made constructions. Each type of shade supports different types of plants although there is over-lap. Of course, you should always be prepared to experiment with your garden.
Amish Furniture on the Front Porch
While shopping on line the other day at www.stoveramishfurniture.com, I looked at the Amish Hickory Rocker. Now I have looked at this rocker many a time, but I have never thought about it. Think about how many times a rocker like this, over the generations, has rocked a baby to sleep, or a grandpa. Think about those spring, summer and autumn nights on the porch watching the kids play on the streets, or just drinking a glass of cool sweet tea listen to the crickets. How many times has one of these rockers sat in front of the fireplace, and comforted someone to sleep on a cold night.
Getting Started with Garden and Patio Design
The art of managing outdoor space Designing a patio - or a garden, is much like designing a living room or a park. It's all about space, and how you use it. To start with, you have empty space with nothing in it. Then you add plants, statues and other decorative items to fill that space and make it feel like a homey, comfortable space.. but wait! You don't want to actually fill it with stuff. Then it would look cluttered, which is not what you want. What you want is a balance between empty space and decorative items. The real issue, then, is how do you achieve that balance?
Delavays Blueberry (Vaccinium delavayi)
Whether we know it or not, most of us are familiar with the genus Vaccinium as it has among its members several current or potential commercial crops, such as blueberry, cranberry, bilberry and huckleberry. Vaccinium delavayi, however, is strictly ornamental and very unlikely to be our next export success.
You Take The Vacation - Not Your Garden
If you are planning to go on vacation, there are some important tasks that you really must undertake to ensure that your garden continues to maintain that well cared for condition which you constantly strive for.
Seeds and More Seeds...What Your Garden Needs
Seeds are the most important ingredient in all gardening. Without quality seeds it would be impossible to have a beautiful garden. True seeds vary in size from the dust-like seeds of some orchids to the large seed contained in the coconut. The period of dormancy undergone by many seeds before germination also varies. The seeds may lie dormant for a short period of time before you see growth sprouting above the soil, or they may be dormant for a long time. For some seeds a long dormancy is a result of the extremely hard outer coating of the seeds. Flower seeds, vegetable seeds and garden seeds all germinate very quickly and are therefore perfect for home use.
Spurce Up Your Garden With Decorative Birdhouses
Decorative Birdhouses are active garden ornamentation --the presence and movement of birds creates a fluid focal point for your garden. As such, placement is critical for you to earn maximum benefit from your birdhouses. Cavity nesting birds will not be attracted to your garden without the appropriate environment. Each bird has a particular way they want to live and specific needs.
16 Lawn Mower Safety Tips
1. Always read the instruction manual before operating your lawnmower. I know it sounds boring but there is a very good reason you are supposed to read it (didn't you ever wonder why you were never able to set the time on your vcr?).
The Benefits of Landscaping
How much have you thought about landscaping? Do you know that a beautiful and well put together lawn has many benefits? Landscaping is lawn art and, like any other art form, it takes time, patience, and research to get your methods just right. So, what other benefits does landscaping provide besides just being "pretty"?
Pine Furniture Care Guide
First, some background on PINE WOOD. Pine is a naturally soft wood which continues to "breathe", based upon changes in the local (home, office, store, etc.) humidity and temperature. On the individual furniture piece there may be slight defects, such as knots,and shakes(small cracks in the surface of the wood). Some minor shrinkage may sometimes occur. These natural irregularities in pine enhance its overall uniqueness.
What You Should Know About Miniature Roses
Miniature roses are exactly what they sound like. They have all of the fragrance and beauty of a regular rose, but they have smaller blooms. These particular roses are great for indoor planting.
Teak Furniture - How to Care for it Properly
Many finer homes and businesses feature beautiful indoor and outdoor furniture made from teak. Although the obvious reason is the beauty that comes from teak, there are many benefits to choosing this type of wood. Saturated with natural oils required to survive the rainforest where teak grows, this wood is naturally resistant to rot, insects, and outdoor elements. Therefore, while the price of teak furniture is generally a little more than you would pay for cedar, redwood, or oak, the fact that teak furniture is strong and durable, it is money well spent.
Choosing the Proper Pond Pump
Whether you have a preformed or a liner pond, a pond pump is a paramount component of any water feature. Stagnant bodies of water attract mosquito infestations, which are a nuisance, and also undesirable, due to the recent outbreaks of the West Nile virus. Therefore, it is paramount that you utilize a pond pump that circulates your body of water.
Add Rich Color To Your Garden With Blue Perennial Flowers
Blue flowers are some of the most striking plants around and can add a rich splash of color to any garden. Plant them in a cluster of all blue or mix them in with other flowers for a rainbow of color.
Mix Perennials into Your Garden for Staying Power
Perennial plants and flowers stay around for more than just one gardening season. Some of them bloom again for only about 3 years, while others will continue to bloom for many years to come.
Ladybugs, Ladybugs, Come to My Garden
Ladybugs, also called lady beetles or ladybirds, can be a gardener's best friend. The ladybug's bright coloring brings welcomed cheer to the garden, as well as helping with pest control. Since medieval times, ladybugs have been valued by farmers all over the world. Many believe that the ladybug was divinely sent to free crops of insect pests. In fact, that is how the ladybug got its name. People dedicated the bug to the Virgin Mary and therefore called it "The Bug of our Lady", which was eventually shortened to the present name "ladybug".
Porch Swing Places: Where to Put a Porch Swing
So you've purchased a Porch Swing (or are about to) and you plan to hang it on the Porch? Not so fast!
Teak Furniture - The Proper Way to Care For & Clean It
Teak furniture is tropical hardwood that has a rich, golden honey color when new. However, as teak begins to age and is exposed to the elements, the natural, beautiful color changes to a silvery gray patina. In fact, this is how you can distinguish finely aged outdoor teak furniture! The key with teak is that if you were to leave this silvery gray color on the teak furniture without being treated, you would never be able to get the lustrous honey, caramel back.
Choosing Pond Plants
A pond without plants is like cake without icing. Pond plants fight algae, give fish a hiding place against predators, and beautify our own little slice of paradise to plunk down in at the end of a tiring day.
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