9/13/09

Gardening Tips

As I find tips and tricks that I want to remember, I am going to post them here because then I will remember where they are.
Peas, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower
As fall approaches, many think that gardening is over but it isn't. Peas, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower like cooler temperatures. You can plant them now for a late autumn crop or in March for a early spring crop.
Carrots, beets, onions
If you pull up your crop of carrots and put them in your cold storage, they will eventually go soft. For fresh carrots all winter just leave them in your garden. Carrots, beets and onions can be kep in the soil all winter. Cover with at least 6" of mulch and they will be fine. Whenever you want/need carrots go out to your garden and pull up a few. If the tops are frozen, they may go mushy but you can cut that part off and eat the rest.
Tomatoes
If your tomatoes are still growing like crazy but the first frost is approaches, there are several things you can do. You can cover them at night to get a few more weeks of production. 2-You can pick the tomatoes and store them in a dark room without letting them touch each other. They will slowly ripen. 3-You can pull up the whole plant, hang it in the garage out of the light, and pck them as they ripen. I have heard of people eating tomatoes until Dec. 15 this way!!
Collecting seeds
I try to collect seeds from vegetables that I harvest and from my flowers. This helps me save money in future years as I dont have to purchase seeds. Collecting seeds is quite easy to do. Be sure to dry the seeds before storing or they will mold and be useless. Carrots are biennial plants, which mean they dont seed until the 2nd year. I just found this out this year. I had some carrots that were rather tiny last fall so instead of picking them I just left them in the garden. This year they grew tall stems and bloomed flowers. This had never happened before so I did some research online and found that they are biennials. I let the carrot flowers grow and bloom and start to dry out. Then I cut them off and put them in a paper sack to dry out. I am going to try to grow carrots from the seeds next year. Marigolds are a must have for any garden as they keep bad bugs away. Marigolds are very easy to grow from seeds and collecting the seeds from marigolds is very easy to do as well. My 3 year old & 6 year old helped me collect marigold seeds last week. Wait until the blooms are shriveled and dry and then pull on the dried out petals. The seeds will easily come out.
Weeds
If weeds are a problem in your garden, tilling may actually encourage weeds. One great way to deal with weeds is to put a layer of mulch to discourage weeds.

Some of this info came from an article in the Daily Herald and some of it is 'stuff' that I have learned over the past few years.

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