Tired of the same old boring, solid-red beefsteak tomatoes? Looking for something a little more lively or different, both in color and even flavor? Why not try planting some heirloom tomatoes in your garden this spring?
What are heirloom tomatoes you ask? Pretty much what they sound like: tomato seeds that have been passed down from generation to generation, grown to keep them as close to the original style as possible rather than hybridizing them with other types of tomatoes for flavor or color. Then the seeds from each year are kept to create the next season’s crop.
The tomatoes pictured to the left are called Black Krimand they are a Russian heirloom seed. They produce 8-12 oz. size fruit which are globe-shaped, full flavored and very juicy. They have a dark reddish-purple interior with a deep green thin delicate skin. They can be grown staked or caged.
For something even more unusual, why not try the Black Sea Manvariety? Pictured below, they grow on small plants with medium-sized fruit that looks a bit like a watermelon gone crazy, with a red interior and green exterior and are full of flavor.
Only feeling a little adventurous? Then why not try your basic Beefsteak heirloom seeds? You still great the great tomato we all know and love for putting on hamburgers, but in a variety of colors you may not have tried before, including yellows, oranges and deep reddish-purple.
Bacteria, protozoa, fungi – while the wrong kind can make you sick, what a lot of people don’t realize is that not having enough of the right kind can make your plants very unhappy.
Soil isn’t just made up of dirt. It’s a blend of organic and inorganic materials and living organisms that provide your garden with the nutrients it needs. Most plants can’t just use the components in fertilizers straight from the ground. For the bulk of trees, flowers and vegetables, microbes and other friendly helpers in the dirt are needed to convert the vitamins, minerals and even water into a usable form. Without those little critters, plants do poorly.
So what does this mean for your garden? Have you ever tilled the garden until you got the dirt to be nice and loose? Then you dumped in some fertilizer and planted, only you didn’t get the amazing results you’d hoped for? What you don’t realize is, that by tilling heavily, you may have actually disturbed/destroyed what good bacteria, microbes, and other living organisms and soil structure those plants actually needed to thrive. Read the rest of this entry »
Depending on where you live, this is now the perfect time to plant your cool weather vegetables: lettuce, kale, broccoli, arugula, chard, mustard, carrots, radishes, cauliflower, peas, potatoes, spinach, cabbage, (even Brussels sprouts if you’re inclined.) There’s nothing like having fresh veggies all winter long…
If you live in a place where it doesn’t freeze at night, a regular garden patch will do just fine. However, if you live in a colder climate, then you may want to consider using raised beds and covers to keep your plants warm enough. Read the rest of this entry »
Squashes are a great way to help boost your body’s energy levels, plus they can aid you in your fight to keep your blood sugar even, and they can even fight wrinkles from the inside out. According to an article in FOR WOMEN FIRST, here are some squashes you should try out to get these benefits: Read the rest of this entry »
Are fleas the bane of your and your pets’ existence? Don’t have pets and yet you still have fleas in your home and don’t know why?
The little buggers are notorious for being hard to kill. One reason is that they don’t just live on cats and dogs. Their eggs can also be found in your yard and in fields, just waiting to be dragged into the house on your shoes or pant legs and into your carpets, waiting for warm weather (and a warm body to go by) to hatch and start feeding. (And don’t forget your car – you may have picked up some from the house or yard and gotten some in there, only to bring them back into the house after they’ve hatched to start the whole thing over again!) Read the rest of this entry »
Do you have trouble figuring out where you should put your plants? Do you put them in the garden and just hope for the best, which, if you’re like me, is practically a death sentence for each poor plant?
While surfing Amazon.com , I came across this nifty little gadget that looks like it was created with just me in mind: THE EASYBLOOM. Check it out:
How It Works
1. Set It
Plug the EasyBloom Plant Sensor into a USB port–you will be brought to your My EasyBloom Dashboard page. Put the sensor into Recommend or Monitor mode.
2. Place Sensor
Place the sensor in a spot where you would like to grow a plant, or adjacent to the plant that needs monitoring. Let the EasyBloom Plant Sensor gather a ‘plant’s eye’ view of that location.
Every year, I can’t wait for the end of June, beginning of July, as that’s when our sweet cherry tree goes to town.
When we moved into our house, it was the dead of winter, with snow on the ground, and not a tree in sight had leaves, so we had no idea what kind of fruiting or flowering we could look forward to come spring.
Imagine our surprise the first summer to see that we had a sweet cherry tree! (My absolute favorite fruit! Give me a bing cherry or 300, and I’m a happy – and bloated – puppy. I also adore blueberries, raspberries, Thompson green grapes and raw English snap peas, but if I could only have one, it would be the cherries hands-down.)
And given the prices of cherries these days, up to $8 or $9 a lb., having my very own tree is heaven!