Tag: Garden (page 1 of 5)

When You Find A Rich Source Of Soil You Didn’t Know Existed

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Those of you with farms and homesteads know about “those places.”  Those places where all the extra wood gets tossed.  Or metal.  Or fencing.  Or spare tractor parts.  Or… Yeah, you know those places.

One of those places has always been along the north side of our well house.  Over the years it has gathered metal poles and wood.  Once in a while when we make a dump run, we’ll grab what we can, but it’s always had something there.

Every year when the snow melts I vow to get it cleaned out, but homestead life just moves so fast that I can never get it all.

Until this year.

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Planting Tomato Starts Into The Ground

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Nothing goes into the ground until June 1 around here.  This year, we had a freeze on June 10, so I didn’t transplant my tomato starts out until after that.

Obviously, with a 70 day growing season, we can’t start tomatoes by seed in the soil here.  Instead, I start my plants early and grow them inside until they can be moved to the greenhouse, and eventually out into the ground.

This year, for my outside tomatoes, I started Golden Nugget, Yellow Pear, and Amish Paste by seed inside.  Because of our lack of light here in the north, I can only start my own tomatoes with the assistance of grow lights if I want to eventually grow them out in the soil and have them be productive.  My plant room has north and west facing windows.  It’s not ideal, but with the grow lights, it works out.

Once there is enough daylight and the greenhouse is warm enough to encourage adequate growth, my tomato starts make their way out there.  This year I was fortunate enough to move all my tomato starts out during a set of overcast days.

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Growing Self Sufficiency: Start Your Journey Of Self Sufficiency

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Self sufficiency is a growing trend right now–and for good reason.  Once you get a taste of providing for yourself, you realize it’s one of the most rewarding adventures you could pursue.  From having a few potted plants or a beehive on your balcony, to having full-out acreage with larger animals, there is a level of self sufficiency we can all achieve when we’re willing to put in the time and sweat.

Knowing where and how to start is often what keeps us from taking that first step.  Once we map out our direction and choose a starting point, this new plan becomes our driving force.

If you are looking for that driving force, or just want a little bit more information before you further your journey, then this is one resource you’re going to find incredibly helpful.

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How To Get Rid Of Gophers: Lethal And Non-Lethal Methods

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Get rid of gophers in gardens and fields. Lists both lethal and non-lethal techniques.

Gophers are a pest known to many gardeners, and hated by most.  They live in all areas of North America except for the far north and east.

With their front claws and front teeth, gophers dig tunnels 6-12 inches below ground that can be up to 800 feet long.  These tunnels are concentrated in open fields, lawns, and the gardens we love.

While a mole will dig tunnels and eat mainly grubs and worms, gophers go right for our good stuff—our coveted produce and flowers.  They aren’t overly picky, and will eat buds, grass, nuts, roots, and vegetables.  Carrots, lettuce, and radishes are a favorite, although any vegetable that is juicy will do.  I have a particular problem keeping them away from my young pepper plants.

In our area, with it’s short growing season, gophers have one main breeding season, and that’s usually in June.  One minute we’ve got a few tunnels, and we’re planting our garden.  The next minute, we’re overrun with gophers.  I’ve learned over the years that if I can employ a variety of means to get rid of them in June, the rest of my season isn’t so bad.

If you live in a warmer climate, however, you could see 3-4 breeding cycles a year in your area.  How do you get rid of gophers?  It’s not easy to do, and it’s a task I have to tackle every single year.

Here are some ways you can try to rid yourself of these rodents from killing them to trying to convince them to leave on their own, and some other things you’ll need to think about as you consider your options.

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The Secrets To Growing Summer Squash And Common Varieties

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The term squash generally includes summer squash, winter squash, and pumpkins.  Summer squash are the weak-stemmed, tender annuals that usually grow as a bush and include zucchini, yellow squash, and patty pan squash.

They are usually eaten in their immature stage while the skins are still thin and tender.

If there’s one thing anyone can grow, it’s summer squash.  With little maintenance, these fast growers quickly take over any space in a garden.

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How To Grow Tomatoes: Tips From A Large Scale Gardener

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Probably the most common vegetable you will find in any food garden is the tomato—which is technically a fruit.  Both new and experienced gardeners alike love to grow tomatoes for their color and fragrance in the garden as well as their flavor and versatility in the kitchen.

Because of the diversity of varieties tomatoes come in, you can grow a different size, color and even shape of tomato every year and never get bored.  Red, yellow, green, black, purple, and white are just a few colors you’ll find when you start researching these tasty treats.

Whether you’ve got a large plot to grow in this year, or just one pot of dirt, you’re sure to find a variety that will work for you and give you an abundant bounty during your growing season.

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Planning A Focused Garden On Intense Homestead Years

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There’s no doubt about it, some years on the homestead are so intense that you need to cut back in certain areas to get through it all.  Perhaps you’re learning a new skill that takes up your time.  Maybe finances, weather, or family circumstances keep you from your full homesteading capacity.  Whatever your reasoning, changing your regular garden plans to a focused garden plan is going to make that one area more manageable.

In my book, Raising Young Children On The Homestead, I talk about the basic principles of a focused garden, and how it will get you through your intense homestead years (such as when you have a newborn).  It discusses how to plan a unique focused garden that will meet the needs of an individual family.

I also tell you how and when I started doing my own focused gardens to meet the consumption needs of my own family.

This year is one of those years—an intense homestead year in which I have to cut back in some areas.  Gardening is one of those areas, and I’m falling back to the focused garden plan we’ve used in the past.

Here is the focused garden plan that works best for our family during the intense years.

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19 White Fruits And Vegetables You Need To Grow This Year

It’s time once again to plan our gardens for the upcoming season.  Have you got everything planned out?  Have you got your seeds ordered, mapped out your garden plot, and written your plans in your garden journal?

No?

Then perhaps this year you’ll try something new–like a white themed garden. Did you know many of the most delicious  fruits and vegetables out there come in a white variety?

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How To Grow Cucumbers: The Warm Weather Vegetable

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Cucumbers are an annual warm weather crop that are easy for some gardeners to grow, yet others find nearly impossible to work with.  They require only a short growing season of usually 55-65 days from planting to harvest, and can be harvested for a month or more.  This makes them ideal for our 70 day growing season.

If the right variety is picked, cucumbers can be grown in just about any part of the United States.  For specific planting dates in your area, check with your local extension office.  They should also be able to suggest a good variety for your area, and if you have a longer growing season, they can help you with a schedule for succession planting if you wish.

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Resolve To Grow An Abundant Garden This Year

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If you’ve never had a garden, or you have but don’t feel successful when you have, then you may be yearning to not only grow a garden, but grow a successful and abundant garden this year—and I think that’s exciting!

So what has stopped you in the past?  Time?  Knowledge?  A plan?

Relax future gardener, there’s help.  There are seven simple steps to take to help you grow your best garden yet this year.  And—they aren’t that hard—I promise.

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