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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Come Join My New Gardening Group Called: Grow It Cook It Eat! - We Will Be Discussing Seed Starting Herbs and More!

Come Join My New Gardening Group Called: Grow It Cook It Eat! -
We Will Be Discussing Seed Starting Herbs and More!

You are all invited!
Grow It Cook It Eat It FB Group - Come Join!

Here's to a great gardening 2017 season. We do a video series called Grow It Cook It Eat It.


As we build members this month, we will be focusing, come January, on seed starting you own vegetables. January will start with lighting, seed starting supplies and starting herbs. Why not join our FB group and learn!

We are launching a Gardening and Cooking FB Group focused on sharing home grown food with family and friends. Check out the pinned description for details and group theme.  We have a big season planned for GCE 2017. I'll start be giving away 25 packs of seeds (mixed lot)  on December 15th to a randomly drawn new GCE member.

Grow It Cook It Eat It FB Group - Come Join!






Below is the description of the Grow It Cook It Eat FB group.


Coley and I welcome you to Grow It, Cook It, Eat It.

We started the GCE video series out of our passion for gardening and cooking.  We have big plans for 2017. We invite you to join us and everyone here!

This group will teach you how to grow and cook garden vegetables so you can share them with family and friends. We believe sharing home grown and home cooked food is so important, yet too often overlooked in life!

No question is to big or small. People come here to share and learn. This group is all about the vegetables and the people that you share them with!

We aren't here just to teach. We want to see what you have grown & cooked, your garden tips & recipes and any idea that makes Grow It Cook It Eat It a better place for everyone.

So go grow, cook and eat something with your family and friends!

Enjoy,
Coley & Gary





Friday, November 11, 2016

Using 100% Cold Pressed Neem Oil for Chewing Insects: Don't Get Fooled by Hydrophobic Extracts

Using 100% Cold Pressed Neem Oil for Chewing Insects:
Don't Get Fooled by Hydrophobic Extracts
 
I’ve been using organic 100% cold pressed Neem Oil with all its natural components for nearly 5 years in my garden to control chewing insects. If you are plagued by caterpillars/insects chewing your cabbage family, also known as the Brassicaceae family, plant leaves, you have an organic solution to stop them. That would include broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, kale and other leafy green plant not in the family.

A natural component in Neem Oil called Azadirachtin will impair the systems of chewing insects when ingested. They will die off in a few days. The bonus is that once it is sprayed and dried, it will not harm other insects that come in contact with it. It has to be ingested. This product has been used in India for centuries. I highly recommend you search Neem Oil and India as a phrase. Historically, the story goes like this, locusts came and devastated large parts of India. The trees left standing with little damage to their leaves were the Neem Trees. They were skipped for a very good reason.

The nut from the Neem Tree is pressed and produces 100% cold pressed Neem Oil with all its natural components. Why is this important? All Neem Oil is not the same. We are misled and I hope to educate you so you can by the product you want for your garden.

Any oil based spray will smother and kill soft bodied insects but (generally) not caterpillars or hard bodied insects… any oil. The oil of choice must be sprayed onto the soft bodied insects to kill them. Neem Oil as an oil has this property too. If you spray it on soft bodied insects it will smoother them. However, that process is not what kills the chewing insects. It is the component called Azadirachtin that only comes in Neem Oil that does the killing. That is why you want 100% cold pressed Neem Oil. Your salad oil in your pantry can be used as a smothering oil.

Many products show the words NEEM OIL in bold on their packaging. Notice 100% Cold Pressed is not on them. Nor is the word Azadiracthin. The words you will find in the ingredients is often Hydrophobic Extract of Neem Oil. That means the company removed the good stuff, Azadiractin, and gave you Neem Oil that is useless but for smothering soft bodied insects and as a fungicide (all oils have fungicide properties). It may also state it is an insecticide because smothering oils can be called that.

You DO NOT have the azadirachtin that sits on the leaves for 7-10 days and kills chewing insects if you purchase a Hydrophobic Extract. This video explains the difference between Hydrophobic Extract of Neem Oil and Cold Pressed Neem Oil.
 
 
 
If you want to buy this, I sell this on my blog. It is 100% cold pressed with Azadirachtin. It is a little bit more expensive through me as I can’t compete with scale. However, the money goes back into the garden and garden videos. You can find it elsewhere but… make sure other oils are not cut into it and make sure it is 100% Cold Pressed Neem Oil with Azadirachtin. The Azadirachtin is what you want to purchase.
 
 
Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

Join My FB VIDEO Page - :The Rusted Garden FB Videos

Join My FB DISCUSSION Group - :The Rusted Garden: All About Vegetable Gardening

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Show What You Grow (E1): 5 Vegetable Gardening Tips, Contest Winners & Bloopers

Show What You Grow (E1): 
5 Vegetable Gardening Tips,  Contest Winners & Bloopers


Welcome to Show What You Grow - E1. This is an ongoing collaboration series I am doing with CaliKim. She has a wonderful garden YT channel she shoots on the west coast. This series will offer garden tips from the both of us, plus it will show off 3-5 contest winners from our Instagram Garden contests. You can win a place in our next video by doing a 1 minute Instagram garden tour showing off what you are growing  and offering up one garden tip. Contest details and links to the winner's social media are below. And we decided to put a few blooper in at the end. Have fun and send us a video!




TracEy Monster's YT Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TraceyMonster

Retro Flowers YT Channel:https://www.youtube.com/user/dezarae1984

House of Hurleys Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/houseofhurleys/

To join our contest follow both Kim and I on Instagram
Gary at The Rusted Garden: https://www.instagram.com/therustedgarden/
Kim at CaliKim29: https://www.instagram.com/calikim29/

We will launch contest details from Instgram as we ready for episode of Show What You Grow.


Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

Join My FB VIDEO Page - :The Rusted Garden FB Videos

Join My FB DISCUSSION Group - :The Rusted Garden: All About Vegetable Gardening

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Growing Organic Garlic in Containers and Earth Beds: Fall Planting

Growing Organic Garlic 
in Containers and Earth Beds: Fall Planting
Gary Pilarchik (The Rusted Garden)

Gary Pilarchik (The Rusted Garden)

There are two general categories for garlic and they are either softneck garlic or hardneck garlic. I recommend you do a search for zone planting of garlic and it will tell you which garlic type is best suited for your area. I am in Maryland Zone 7 and my zone is kind of like the buffer zone for both types. As you go more north, you would look to grow hardneck varieties. As you go more south you would look to grow softneck varieties. I grow both.

The key to planting garlic in the fall is to plant when the cool fall weather arrives and stays. You want your garlic to establish a strong root system over the fall but not grow lots of green growth. If you plant it when it is too warm, it will send up green shoots. Some green growth is fine. When the nights in your area start to stay in the 50's that is a great time to plant your garlic. I plant mine in late October. When you see the tree leaves turning colors... get your garlic in the ground.

Garlic should be planted in loose well draining soil. It doesn't like to sit in damp earth as it creates disease issues. The planting depth will vary between 2 inches to 6 inches as you want the cloves to be planted below the freeze level of the ground. I plant mine, in containers, at a 6 inch depth as containers freeze more deeply during my winters. I plant them 4 inches deep in my earth beds as the earth holds heat better. The ground beds get about an inch of freeze during our coldest months. You can also put several inches of straw or mulch on your beds to insulate the ground. Just remove it come spring. That is a great tip for more northern zones. This is how I plant garlic in my containers.




I use a balanced 5-5-5 (or close to that as I buy what is on sale) organic fertilizer for most of  my garlic and most of my vegetable plants. That is 5 (N)itrogen-5 (P)hosphorous-5 (K)/Potassium which is your N-P-K values. You really don't need more than that for most vegetables. However, fertilizers vary greatly. Try and stay in the middle of a 1-1-1 and a 10-10-10. The numbers do not need to be balanced. This is just a guideline. In fact for bulb development phosphorus is really important. While a 5-5-5 will work just fine to establish the bed or container, I like to boost mine with Bone Meal which is a 2-14-0 fertilizer.  The high phosphorous helps bulb growth.

The earth bed garlic video will detail the fertilizers. Don't stress about it. Just use this as a guideline. Come spring you want to feed your garlic with a water soluble organic fertilizer and try to find one that has a higher P or phosphorous value over N or nitrogen. You want bulb growth and not leaf growth in the case of garlic.

Spacing is pretty simple. I plant the cloves 4-6 inches apart based on the size of the bulb development when mature. If in doubt stay at the 6 inch spacing. And remember, you are not planting a whole garlic bulb but a portion of it called the clove. Row spacing, I keep the same at 4-6 inches. Although some people recommend 8-10 inches between rows, I have not found the value in giving up the extra space. You'll notice in the videos that  my container garlic gets planted more closely together. That will inhibit, to some degree, the bulb size but you can help off-set that with extra water soluble feedings.




You don't really need to water the garlic cloves in at planting as the weather is cool. Watering it twice a week is plenty come the warming end of spring. Watering is more important for container garlic then earth bed garlic. If you notice buds on the tips of your garlic growth as summer approaches, remove them. You don't went energy going into flowering/scapes. Garlic, in my zone, is ready to harvest come mid to late June. The green growth will brown and fall over.  Now I like to pick some early. I use it in salad dressings and in cooking.  I even use the leaves in scrambled eggs.

You can purchase your garlic on line. It is a great way to find different varieties of softneck and hardneck garlics suited to your taste desires and planting zone. Garlic from grocery stores can be used. I have used it for years. Even if your garlic fails to a degree, you will get a bulb of some size and be able to use it your kitchen. Just plant a bulb and give it a try! You only learn by doing.


Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

Join My FB VIDEO Page - :The Rusted Garden FB Videos

Join My FB DISCUSSION Group - :The Rusted Garden: All About Vegetable Gardening

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Cool Season Vegetable Crops (Spring & Fall): Facts and Planting - Revised 2016

Cool Season Vegetable Crops (Spring & Fall)


A  Mix of Cool Weather Vegetables: The Rusted Garden

What Makes A  Vegetable a Cool Weather Vegetable?
The cell structures of vegetables differ in that some vegetables have plant cells that will burst if they freeze or encounter even a light frost.. Cool weather vegetables tend to have the ability to freeze without cell damage. They are designed for the cooler temperatures. The cells can freeze and defrost in the sun with out damage to the plant leaf. When a extend cold comes that will freeze the roots or area where the roots meet the stem, that is when the plant usually dies or is damaged. So you have a lot of time to grow cool season vegetables!



Fully Frozen and Survived: The Rusted Garden

Cool season vegetables prefer the cooler weather. This group of vegetables grows best and tastes their best with 50 degree (F) nights and 60-70 degree (F) days. Cool weather vegetables can be broken into two sub-categories which are Hardy and Semi-Hardy.

Why Can’t I Plant Them When It Is Hot??
Many of the cool weather vegetables try and set seed when it gets warm. Lettuces, for example, don’t mature to full heads and grow quickly to flower and set seeds when the warmth comes. This is aprocess called ‘bolting’. Most lettuces will also become bitter tasting when it is get regularly warm.

Radishes become woody and also ‘bolt’. The cool weather allows vegetables time to mature slowly and it inhibits (slows) the ‘bolting’ process. Kale is a hardy cool weather crop that tastes sweeter when‘cool grown’ but it can be grown through the whole season in many locations.

Hardy Cool Weather Vegetables: 
This group of vegetables can manage well with mid 40 degree days and can survive a strong frost. Many vegetables in this group can over-winter in your garden and bring you early spring greens. Vegetables in this group can be planted up to 4 weeks before the average last frost date in your area. You can probably even get away with 6 weeks if you like pushing garden limits.

Semi-Hardy Cool Weather Vegetables: 
This group of vegetables doesn’t fare as well with frost although they can handle a light frosting with minimal to no damage. They prefer daytime temperatures in the 50’s and nights that don’t fall below 40 degrees, although they can handle nights in the 30’s. Vegetables in this group can be planted up to 2-4 weeks before the average last frost date in your area.

A Cool Weather Tip
In places with warm to hot summers, you actually have two cool weather seasons. I plant in Maryland Zone 7. I can start my cool weather planting March 1st and I can plant them again mid August for a fall cool season. I actually plant at this time to also establish vegetables that I will let over-winter.

Different Types of Cool Weather Vegetables

The exact split, between hardy (H) and semi-hardy (SH), and where to place a vegetable in the sub-categories is debated. It is best used for general planting guidelines and understanding they simply like the cool weather. My guidelines for each vegetable is based on my growing area (Zone 7). I am giving you the general range for first planting of these vegetables. You can plant successive crops every 2 weeks as you wish based on you planting zone.


Some Cool Weather Vegetable Crops: The Rusted Garden

Asparagus (H) (Perennial) It takes about 3 years to establish a viable crop. It is a perennial plant that will start sending up stalks in March when planted the previous year. If you are planting it for the first time to establish it your garden, it is best to use transplants. You can grow them from seed in cell trays. They should be planting in the garden in May.

Arugula (SH) It can be started indoors and planted in the garden 2 weeks before last frost date. You can also plant seeds at the same time.

Beets (SH) It can be planted as seeds 2 weeks before last frost date. I have had success growing transplants.

Bok Choy (Pak Choi) (H) It can be planted as seeds directly in the garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date. I do recommend growing it indoors and transplanting it into the garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date.

Broccoli (H) It is best planted as a transplant 4 weeks before last frost date. I would not recommend starting it as seeds in the ground in Zone 7.

Brussels sprouts (H) It is best planted as a transplant 2 weeks before last frost date. I would not recommend starting it as seeds in the ground in Zone 7.

Cabbage (H) It is best planted as a transplant 4 weeks before last frost date. I would not recommend starting it as seeds in the ground in Zone 7.

Carrots (SH) Carrots should not be grown as transplants. They can be seeded in your garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date.

Cauliflower (H) It is best planted as a transplant 2-4 weeks before last frost date. I would not recommend starting it as seeds in the ground in Zone 7.

Celery (SH) It is best planted as a transplant 2 weeks before last frost date. I would not recommend starting it as seeds in the ground in Zone 7.

Cilantro (H) It can be planted as seeds directly in the garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date.

Collard Greens (H) It can be planted as seeds directly in the garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date. I do recommend growing it indoors and transplanting it into the garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date.

Fennel (H) It can be planted as seeds directly in the garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date. I do recommend growing it indoors and transplanting it into the garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date.

Kale (H) It can be planted as seeds directly in the garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date. I do recommend growing it indoors and transplanting it into the garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date.

Kohlrabi (H) It can be started indoors and planted in the garden 2 weeks before last frost date. You can also plant seeds at the same time.

Lettuce (H) It can be started indoors and planted in the garden 4 weeks before last frost date. You can also plant seeds at the same time.

Mustard Greens (H) It can be planted as seeds directly in the garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date. I do recommend growing it indoors and transplanting it into the garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date.

Onions (H) If you are using bulbs you can plant them 6 weeks before last frost date. I have not used seeds.

Parsley (H) It can be planted as seeds directly in the garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date. I do recommend growing it indoors and transplanting it into the garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date.

Peas (SH) They should be planted directly in the ground 4 weeks before last frost date. Peas do not like soggy cold soil.

Potatoes (SH) They should be planted directly in the ground 4 weeks before last frost date.

Radishes (H) They should be planted directly in the ground 4 weeks before last frost date.

Spinach (H) It can be planted as seeds directly in the garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date. I do recommend growing it indoors and transplanting it into the garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date.

Chard (SH) It can be planted as seeds directly in the garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date. I do recommend growing it indoors and transplanting it into the garden 2-4 weeks before last frost date.

Turnips (H) They should be planted directly in the ground 4 weeks before last frost date


More Cool Weather Vegetable Crops: The Rusted Garden

Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

Join My FB VIDEO Page - :The Rusted Garden FB Videos

Join My FB DISCUSSION Group - :The Rusted Garden: All About Vegetable Gardening