Archives for Gardening By Season category

Grow Tomato Plants from Heirloom Seeds

Spring, Tomatoes, Vegetables | No Comment

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.

Cool Season Garden Time

Fall, Gardening By Season, Vegetables | No Comment

Luigi Diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.netDepending 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 »

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Try Winter Squash for a Pick-Me-Up

Gardening By Season, Nutrition, Vegetables, Winter | No Comment

 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 »

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It’s Sweet Cherry Time Again!

Cherries, Fruits, Gardening By Season, Home gardening advice, Home gardening tips, Summer | No Comment

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!

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September Gardening Suggestions

Bulbs, Fall, September | No Comment

Here comes September, and with it, the fall.  In gardening, you need to be thinking 2-4 months ahead, so now’s the time to start planning for spring.  (Ain’t gardening fun?)  And what really makes spring look great?  Flowers from bulbs!

Now’s the time to pick up such bulbs as crocuses, lilies, paperwhites, daffodils, irises and more so you can get them ready to plant.  They need time to ‘overwinter’ so you’ll have the best display when spring hits.  If you’ve never tried bulbs out, here’s a little primer to get you started:

ABCs Of Bulb Gardening

Flowering plants that overwinter and multiply by means on fleshy stems of leaves are called bulbs. The bulbs we grow in our gardens today are native to temperate zones all over the world, the woodlands, meadows and mountains of the Mediterranean, Middle East, and North America. The Dutch have been extremely successful over the centuries in collection and hybridizing new species of bulbs and improving them for reliable garden performance. Tulips in particular, once played an important role in the Dutch economy.

There is no easier plant to cultivate than a bulb. Planted at the right time, in a loose, well-draining soil, bulbs will bloom punctually year after year and even spread (“naturalize”) if conditions are to their liking.

By planting a sequence of spring-, summer- and fall-flowering bulbs at the appropriate time, you can enjoy their blooms practically year ‘round.

Fall (late September through late November) – Plant hardy, spring-flowering bulbs: tulips, narcissus (includes all types of daffodils), crocus, eranthis (winter aconites), erythronium, fritillaria, hyacinths snowdrops, scilla, hardy cyclamen, lilies. In California and milder areas of the Southwest, also plant ranunculus, freesias, anemones and paperwhites outdoors. Store tulips, crocus and hyacinths in refrigerator for 6-8 weeks before planting. In all regions, store potted bulbs in refrigerator for forcing indoors.

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