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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Moslty Everything to Know About Determinate Type Tomatoes

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 There are basically two types of tomatoes. They are called determinate and indeterminate. Sometimes you will find a tomato billed as semi-determinate but don't worry about that one. A determinate tomato grows to a set or predetermined genetic height, produces all its tomatoes at once and then the plant dies. Sometimes the plant will start dieing out when the fruit is green. This is normal for a determinate type tomato.

Determinate Type Tomatoes:
  • Typically grow 3 to 4 feet tall and might carry the word 'bush' in the variety name.
  • Tomato seed packs are clearly marked as Determinate or Indeterminate varieties. Sometimes transplants aren't clearly marked. Searching the variety name on the internet will give you the type.
  • Produce all their fruit/tomatoes at once and the plant foliage will begin to yellow and die out.
  • Varying your determinate type tomatoes between early, mid and late producers will keep tomatoes in your garden over the season. Mix up the maturity dates of your determinate tomatoes.
  • Typically requires less staking and caging than indeterminate varieties and make a better choice for container gardening. Managing a 3-4 foot tomato in a container is easier than managing a 6-8 foot tomato.
  • Based on the determinate variety - they don't have to have 'suckers' pruned or only need light 'sucker' pruning. You typically want all of the tomato to grow and mature in your determinate varieties as to get the maximum number of tomatoes from the plant.
  • Are a good choice if you want to can or make sauces. You will get a mass of tomatoes all at once.
  • Often found as hybrids but come in long standing heirloom varieties too.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tomato Leaf Burn: Baking Soda and Wettable Sulphur Sprays FYI

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This is an FYI entry with a video. I effectively attempted to defoliate my tomatoes by spraying them with baking soda spray. Hmmm...

My original preventative spray was 2 tablespoons of baking soda per 1 gallon of water. It worked well for April and May and the early part of June. I didn't have any signs of leaf spot which attacked many of plants last year beginning in May.

Last week I sprayed heavily on a Tuesday evening with the anticipation of high humidity on Wednesday and Thursday. Within 24 hours, tomato leaf burn started showing up on my tomatoes. Different varieties were effected differently. The culprit was the baking soda and a temperature over 90 degrees. Those day reached 100 degrees. High heat and 2 tablespoons of baking soda per gallon will burn plant leaves.

I recommend cutting the spray mixture to 1 tablespoon per gallon and as always test spray some leaves first. Burn will show up with 24-48 hours. DO NOT spray this mixture and most sprays in direct sun or high heat. I figured I would help save others my  mistake and I shot this video showing the tomato leaf burn.

Good news is... all the plants are recovering fine. I have also been reading that tomatoes prefer more acidity (thus tolerate a more acidic spray better) and because of that I think I am going to start spraying them with wettable sulfur at 1 tablespoon per gallon. Baking soda is alkaline. I might have an early season strategy and a mid season strategy for spraying. Anyway... I hope to not see leaf spot and early blight in my garden. So far so good.



The Rusted Garden's Name and Objects

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Between seed starting, planting,  and tending... I often leave out my shovels, clippers and tools. They rust. Along with this bench, discarded tools and a rusting chiminea... I created the garden's name.  Mixed within in that is the metaphor of age and what happens to us as all over time. We just can't do the things we used to do... well for now I can but just a bit slower.

Rust is Part of the Garden - The Rusted Garden Blog

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tending Zucchini Grown in Tomato Cages and Squash Bugs

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The time has come for the dreaded squash bugs to start laying eggs on the underside  of your zucchini an squash leaves. I have found 3 sets so far on my zucchini leaves. 

A tip for space management is to grow your zucchini and squash up a tomato cage. It keeps them more contained and makes it easier to inspect them for squash bug eggs.

This video shows you what a cage grown zucchini looks like and it talks about some basic fertilizing needs of the plant. You will also see the dreaded squash bug and its eggs. Go inspect the leaves. They are there... sadly!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pruning Tomatoes to Single, Double and Triple Stems

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Tomatoes are vines that can be pruned and maintained. Pruning is often done for disease control and overall plant management. Pruning your plant by removing 'suckers' actually removes future additional stems that will produce flowers and fruit. The more stems you have, the more fruit you typically get. However the more fruit you have the more the tomato plant has to maintain. Often more fruit means smaller fruit. That is fine for cherry tomatoes or smaller tomatoes.

But if you want to grow large 1 pound or 2 pound or record setting tomatoes... you probably want fewer main stems. The 'fewer' fruit will get all the tomatoes energy and grow larger. I recommend experimenting with different numbers of tomato stems.



Blackberries in the Garden Too!

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Although I won't get a lot of these due to the birds... Don't forget you can grow raspberries, blueberries and other fruits in the garden. They actually add nicely to salsas and salads. This is in the corner of one of my vegetable beds.


Blackberries - The Rusted Garden Blog

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Yellow Cuke Leaves? Epsom Salts and Magnesium

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I shot a YouTube Video on Yellow Cucumber Leaves and Magnesium.

A general yellowing of the bottom leaves of cucumbers can be caused by a magnesium deficiency. Cucumbers are heavy feeders and can deplete the soil of nutrients. Epsom Salts are an easy way to add magnesium back into your cucumber's diet. It will fix yellow leaves. It also won't hurt the plant if the yellowing is caused by another issue. I included the original video and below that is the picture of the cucumbers 7-10 days later. They are doing great!





Cured Yellow Cucumber Leaves - The Rusted Garden Blog

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Growing Zucchini in Tomato Cages: Squash Bug Prevention

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One way to tame your zucchini is to grow it up a large tomato cage. You do have to secure the cage down with posts. The idea is to help the plant manage disease and pests. The leaves of zucchini and squash are large and if any part of the plant touches the ground, the squash bug can get on it and lay its eggs. Large leaves on the ground also block air flow.

Growing zucchini up the cage gets a majority of the leaves off the ground and it improves airflow and leaf drying after rains. Once the plant is growing up the cage you can put Sevin Dust on the stem. This is a targeted use of an insecticide. The squash bugs and beetles will have to walk up the stem and into the dust to get to the leaves. Here is a video on how to target use an insecticide dust: Controlling Squash Bugs with Dust


Growing Zucchini in a Tomato Cage - The Rusted Garden
Yellow Button Squash - The Rusted Garden

The white stuff is Epsom Salts. It is waiting for a rain to melt and wash into the soil. It help provide a boost of magnesium to the plants and that prevents yellowing leaves. Zucchini and squash are heavy feeders.


White Button Squash - The Rusted Garden

Tomato Progress at The Rusted Garden

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The progress of some of my tomatoes as of June 16th.

This group of tomatoes had the bottom leaves pruned out and a grass mulch put down to prevent soil splash diseases from getting on the plants.

Bottom Pruned Tomatoes - The Rusted Garden Blog
The 'Black Krim' Hot-House Tomato - The Rusted Garden Blog
The 'Black Krim' was started in my hot-house garden cage earlier than the rest of my tomatoes. It is about 1 1/2 the size of the other plants. You can see how I built the cage here: How to Build a Hot-House Tomato Cage.

Below is my disease bed design the has plastic and mulch covering the the soil. It is to prevent soil born diseases from getting on the tomatoes. So far so good! Check out how it was built at this blog entry: How to Build a Disease Barrier Raised Bed.

Disease Barrier Tomato Garden - The Rusted Garden Blog

Monday, June 18, 2012

Some Facts for Growing Vegetable in Containers

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The container is the key to successful container gardening. You have to image the vegetable plant at full size when planting your vegetables. All seeds will grow in a cup but most mature vegetables won't survive in a cup. The container must be large enough to support a fully mature vegetable plant, not hold a seedling or transplant.

The containers need to have a drainage hole and they should be lined on the inside or sealed on the outside to hold moisture. Terracotta pots look beautiful but they are porous and will dry out faster than plastic pots  or sealed ceramic pots. If you are using terracotta pots it is a good idea to insert a cheap plastic pot inside of it to hold the soil.

If the container is key then good soil selection is the lock to container vegetable success. You want to use new soil ever year. Container soil is most easily purchased pre-made and it should be a moisture control type of product. It should also be full of nutrients. Container vegetables will suck out all the nutrients in a soil much more quickly than ground planted vegetables.

That leads to the fourth fact and that is they will need to be fertilized at least monthly if not every week or two with a good liquid fertilizer. You can go purely organic or use something like Miracle Gro. Your choice.

The final fact can't be stressed enough. You can not let a container vegetable's soil dry out completely. If it happens, even once, then the plant will be damaged. You might not see the effect immediately but it will effect the plant's size, fruit production and disease resistance. Stressed vegetable plants have a harder time against pests and diseases.

Here are some general guidelines for container depth:
  • Radishes, Lettuces, Spinach, Parsley - 6 inches or more
  • Kale, Peas, Greens - 10 inches or more
  • Cucumber, Eggplant, Peppers, Squash - 12 inches or more
  • Tomatoes - 18 inches or more
A good rule of thumb is using 5 gallon paint containers for an idea of volume size for plants requiring 12 inches or more of soil depth. And using a 2 1/2 gallon paint container for plants requiring 6-10 inches of soil depth.

Video:An Early Update on My Self Watering Tomato Containers

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Container tomatoes are a challenge because the summer heat can dry them out in a day. If tomatoes dry out for 1 day, they will be damaged. I created these self wicking watering containers to grow tomatoes and other vegetables. Here is a little video update of their progress so far. They only cost $10 to make.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Blood Beets and Black Kale: Varieties from Catalogs

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It is fun to plant other varieties of vegetables that you can only get through seed catalogs. This is a beet variety call 'Blood'. The mature leaves are blood red. And the variety of kale is called 'Black' and it is a thinner crinkled leaf. Dark green but not quite black.

'Blood' Beets - The Rusted Garden
'Black' Kale - The Rusted Garden

Concord Grape Vines in the Rusted Garden

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I have a couple of grape vines in my garden. The Concord grape is by far the best. Sweet and it does well against disease. It does have seeds but it is worth the hassle. I have made out standing grape juice with it.

They will turn dark purple!

Concord Grape Vine - The Rusted Garden
A Nice Bunch of Concord Grapes - The Rusted Garden

Thursday, June 14, 2012

4 of 6: Tending Tomatoes Blossom End Rot and First Fruit Fertilizing

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This is my 4th video that highlights the growth and tending of my original hot-house tomato the 'black krim'. The link will show you a video of the original plant and how to build a hot-house tomato cage.

The essentials of this video are using calcium to prevent against blossom end rot. The disease where the bottoms of the tomatoes turn an ugly brown. And to give your tomatoes a liquid fertilizer boost when you see first fruit setting. The keys to preventing blossom end rot (if you want to see a picture and get full instructions).

If you know you are watering regularly and your are not having watering issues then adding calcium is the next step. If you add calcium 1 year, you are pretty safe skipping a year. There is always concern you might lower the PH of your soil out of the optimum range. I use a lot of peat moss which is acidic. In my garden the use of lime and peat moss essentially cancel each other out in the world of PH changes.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Brief Tomato Plant Update: Aspirin, Baking Soda and Disease

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Important: On June 20th my tomato plants suffered some phytotoxicity which is a fancy way of saying the leaves got burned by a chemical.  I have been applying baking soda at 2 tablespoons per gallon of water since April and it has been effective. However... that was when temperatures were really mid 80's or lower. On June 20th the temperature was over 95 degree with a heat index of 100 degrees. I sprayed my plants the night before with baking soda. The combination of that spray and the high heat (the next day) damaged leaves of different plants. I am now recommending 1 tablespoon of baking soda per gallon of water as a precaution. I will be shooting a YouTube video to describe the damage and process.

I honestly don't know how many tomatoes I have planted but it is around 30. I have been keeping updated with my Aspirin Spray routine see the 2012 Tomato Aspirin Experiment. My next day to spray is June 15th. I have solely been using baking soda spray to manage leaf spot and early blight. Last year I used wettable sulfur spray. The ideas is the spray makes the leaf of the tomato uninviting to the disease spores. You can find more at my YouTube video: Tomato Aspirin Spray for Defense.

I have not seen any signs of leaf spot. Last year at least 1/2 of my tomatoes showed signs of leaf spot. Last years weather was a mess, this year... not so bad. I have also been spraying all tomatoes with baking soda regularly. 

I have noticed some leaves that look like early blight on 2 plants. I pruned those leaves off. I am not convinced it is EB because the pattern of the browning is as circular or cylindrical as is typical. It is just brown leaf with no circular pattern (similar to how a cut tree trunk looks). However, it is brown spots surrounded by yellowing. I will assume it is EB and treat those plants more often with baking soda.

You can't cure leaf spot or early blight diseases. You can't eradicate them (spores) from your soil or the air. You can only be defensive. I will know over the next 4 weeks how I fared against these diseases. I hope everyone is doing well in the way of pest and disease management.

Good Growing!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Revisit: Identifying Leaf Spot on Your Tomato Stem and Scraping It

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First off, I am not sure this is Septoria. I believe it is. It is a spot disease. These plants had spots on the leaves and it looked like Septoria. All my leaves of any infected plant were cured by removing the leaves with spots and spraying the upper and lower sides of the remaining tomato leaves with my sulfur spray.

All in all I removed one plant. Leaves that had spots here and there were removed ASAP. I did spray all my plants as prevention that is standard practice for me now. They will get sprayed a minimum of 1x weekly. I am tracking if the spray does any damage. So far none noticed. All my plants are flowering and now I am seeing if the spray effects tomato production, that is will sprayed flowers turn into tomatoes.

My new experiment and I would suggest you view this as an experiment and try it out as just that... is to scrape away the spots on the stems of tomatoes. I have pictures. Scraping the spots takes off just the outer layer of the tomato stem. My theory is the spots are active and don't die off even when covered in spray. The second part of my theory is that the stem of a tomato is quite hardy and can heal. It is better to damage it and let it heal rather then leave the spots there, I think.

The concerns... Leaf spot could spread more quickly by damaging the plant and scraping the infected areas. I do know about spreading internally because Septoria or leaf spot is not a virus. It spreads externally. Wounding the plant won't introduce a virus into the plant. This is getting a bit scientific. If you count guessing as scientific.

I do three things.
  • Scrape the spots without touching the rest of the plant with my fingers or razor
  • Spray the freshly scraped spot with sulfur spray
  • Spray the surrounding leaves with sulfur spray once done with the plant

Pictures of what the process looks like.

Pictures of the spots on the stems:

These pictures will give you a good idea of what I am targeting. I actually just scraped them away.


Click to Enlarge and You Will See Spots!
Spots

A Really Good Picture of Spots on a Stem

Pictures of removed spots from  the stems if tomatoes are next. You only have to remove a layer that is thinner then a piece of clear tape. It isn't hard. There is no need to dig into the stem.

If You Enlarge This, You Will See Spots and Scraped Spots.
The above picture is my 2 foot dwarf cherries. They seemed to get it the worst.  I decided to scrape spots because of these plants. They are determinate varieties and I noticed the spots moving upward. I decided to scrape them to see if I could slow the process until the tomatoes naturally died out in July.

This plant had a lot of spots. I scraped them in stages to see how the stem would heal. It looks a mess but this was about 7-10 days ago. I have pictures of progress as of yesterday that I will post. It worked!


Freshly and Gently Scraped Stem
Scraped Stem to the Left and Spotted Stem to the Right

Scraped Stem. Notice How Shallow the Scraping Is.

Like I mentioned the above process was done about a week ago. I will update pictures of the stems as of yesterday, once I load them and all that. In short, the process worked.

Here are the spots versus the scrapes to give you an easy way to see the difference.











After the spots were scraped, I washed my hands or razor and the sprayed the wounds with sulfur spray.








Friday, June 8, 2012

Part 2 of 2: Filling a 4x4 Vegetable Garden Raised Bed - Lasagna Style!

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The idea behind a layered or lasagna raised bed is to fill it with what you have available. It is designed to make filling a bit easier. In my design as can be found in Part 1: Layer/Lasagna Raised Bed, I built the frame and turned the earth over without removing the grass. I covered it with an inch or two of peat moss to provide organic matter and moisture control. That is how you set up a basic raised bed. This design allows you to plant quickly without the excess labor of removing all the grass. Next year when you turn it, all the layers will get mixed together.


A Layered or Lasagna Raised Bed Garden - The Rusted Garden

Once you turn the earth and add some basic organic matter you need to cover the raised bed with newspaper. You should use about 3-4 layers of newspaper. This will decay over the year. This acts as a weed barrier to the grass you turned.


Layer 1 is Newspaper in a Raised Bed - The Rusted Garden

The benefit of a layered or lasagna type approach to filling a raised bed is that you can use whatever you have available as filling matter. I used the edging I removed from my other beds. I left the grass and weeds in the soil I put into the raised bed. This saves you time and effort. The grass and weeds will die and become organic matter. The goal is to fill the bed with minimal labor and proper ingredients that will be mixed together the following year.


Edging is Used to Fill the Raised Bed - The Rusted Garden
Evenly Spread out the Edging - The Rusted Garden
Another Layer of Newspaper Lasagna Style- The Rusted Garden

Another layer of newspaper becomes a second weed barrier. It should also be laid with 3 or 4 layers. The next level is organic matter. I used my composted materials. You can used a bagged product if you wish. This layer should be filled with organic matter of your choice.


A Layer of Composted Material - The Rusted Garden

The final layer of this lasagna raised bed is soil left over from my containers and such. Add about an inch or two of good soil. I emptied my containers into the bed and add a few bags of basic garden soil. Level it out and mix it slightly into the compost. You now have a bed that can be fully planted for the year.

The Layers of  a Lasagna Style Raised Bed: (remember it can vary based on your materials)
  • Turn the earth over 
  • Add an inch or two of peat moss or organic rich matter
  • Put down a layer of newspaper
  • Add you fill dirt from around the yard
  • Put down another layer of newspaper
  • Put down a 2 inch layer or so of compost or organic matter
  • Put down 1 or 2 inches of decent soil from spent containers or bagged garden soil

A Completed Raised Bed Lasagna Style! - The Rusted Garden

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cure Yellowing Cucumber Leaves with Epsom Salt aKA Magnesium Sulfate

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The video describes the process but if you have a general yellowing of leaves, starting from the bottom of the plant, it may be a magnesium deficiency. The entire leaf should look similiar in that it is getting yellow, in the green, throughout the leaf. Use about 2 tablespoons of Epsom Salt per gallon of water in your sprayer or watering can. Soak the leaves and the soil. Magnesium is absorbed quickly by vegetable leaves.

Good Luck!


Quaker Soft Baked Bars and the Morning Garden

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Quaker Oats for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

My weekend mornings often start with  a walk through my vegetable garden.  I enjoy seeing the progress of my labor. The garden is fully awake with sights and sounds. It is a peaceful way to start the morning and wake-up. I often include coffee in one hand and a breakfast snack in the other.  Lately, I have been opting for something quick and delicious to eat. Recently I've been eating a Quaker Soft Baked Bar because of the taste, convenience and nutritional value. Great taste at 140 calories with 5 B vitamins is the perfect addition to starting the morning off right, along with walking through my garden.

I choose to eat  wholesome food and that is in-part why I have a vegetable garden. Wholesome products are also what I try to buy for breakfast and snacks. I'm not perfect with my food choices but feel like the new Quaker bars fill me up and give me fiber, protein and vitamins. A good choice in 140 calories. I really enjoy the Cinnamon Pecan Bread flavor for reasons you can image. Great taste! Cinnamon and pecans are synonymous with breakfast smells and flavors.

QSBB Yum Image high res.jpg

My kids love the bars. They might grab one for breakfast but they really eat them along with their school lunches. They have also become snack alternatives to chips and other types of foods. A bar is often what my kids reach for when the come home from school. Not only are Quaker soft baked bars a delicious start to my morning, they have become a more nutritional snack choice for my kids.

QSBB 3D Carton Cinn Pecan.jpg (2 documents, 2 total pages)

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Soil Splas and Tomato Diseases Like Blight and Leaf Spot

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Twitter will be used for Q and A, Reminders and Gardening Tips This video will show you what soil splash does and explain to you how it can cause the spread of disease through your tomato plants.

Vegetable plant diseases like blight and leaf spot are spread through spores. It offers 2 ways to reduce soil splash and prevent diseases from getting to your tomatoes.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Part 1 of 2: Creating a 4x4 Raised Vegetable Garden Bed

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I created another raised bed in a section of my yard that was nothing more than grass. In pictures, here is the process to set up a basic raised bed. It really doesn't take much time. This blog entry shows you how to quickly set up the raised bed. Another blog entry shows you how to fill it Lasagna Style.

Raised Bed Garden Frame - The Rusted Garden

Pressure treated lumber will last 7 plus years. If you use untreated wood it will last 3 years. I have tried both. These are 8 foot boards (2 inches by 8inches). I asked the do-it-yourself shop to cut them in half for me. Let them do the work for you. Below I drilled 4 holes in each board and inserted 4 inch screws. Pre-drilling the wood helps prevent splitting. Once the screws were inserted, I just lined the boards up and screwed the framed together.


Raised Bed Garden Construction - The Rusted Garden
Constructing a Basic Raised Bed Frame - The Rusted Garden

Once you complete securing the frame, set it in place. You will notice I lined the inside with mulch. You can line it with dirt if needed. You do that so you can mark out your digging area as seen in the next photograph.


Line the Inside of the Frame - The Rusted Garden
Remove the Raised Bed - The Rusted Garden

Remove the frame and you are left with an outline. Turned the ground over. You can remove the grass if you want depending on how you are going to fill the raised bed. I am just showing your the basic set up. I filled this bed using a layered or lasagna style of filling. That method allows you to keep the grass in the box. It is a little less work.


Turn the Raised Bed Ground Base - The Rusted Garden

After turning the ground, return the frame and I suggest filling in the first layer with organic matter like peat moss.  About 2 inches will do. It is important to add organic matter to help with moisture control and good soil development.


Basic Raised Bed Garden Construction - The Rusted Garden

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Video: How to Create a 5 Gallon Self Wicking Tomato Watering Container

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I just set up 4 self wicking containers today. This system will provide your tomato with consistent water and help prevent total drying out of the container. 

I shot a video on how to build the system. It only costs about $10 to make. It doesn't require any special skill either to build. Anyone can build it. The second video on how to fill it with soil and plant it can be found at The Rusted Garden's YouTube video channel.

Transplant and Grow Leeks: They Are a No Fail Vegetable

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Leeks have my vote for the hardiest vegetable out there. They over winter in Maryland Zone 7. You can actually harvest leeks all year around in Maryland.

Leeks are best started in seed cells and they are HARDY! The can withstand drying out for a day. The can be over crowded in the cells. The roots are so hardy, you can tug the seedling apart with no fear when transplanting them to the garden.

If you like onions and garlic, you will love leeks.

The leeks I am transplanting sat mostly forgotten in the 9 cell pack I started them in. They probably have been in there 6 weeks.

Just start them in cells, keep them under care until about 4 inches high and transplant them. Once they get to be 4 inches or so they are really hard to kill out.

Here are a few pictures. They went into my new raised bed between beet tranplants.

Leeks with Massive Indestructable Roots - The Rusted Garden

Leek Transplants a No Fail Vegetable - The Rusted Garden

Disease Prevention Spraying Schedule: Aspirin, Baking Soda, Foliar Feeding

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Important: On June 20th my tomato plants suffered some phytotoxicity which is a fancy way of saying the leaves got burned by a chemical.  I have been applying baking soda at 2 tablespoons per gallon of water since April and it has been effective. However... that was when temperatures were really mid 80's or lower. On June 20th the temperature was over 95 degree with a heat index of 100 degrees. I sprayed my plants the night before with baking soda. The combination of that spray and the high heat (the next day) damaged leaves of different plants. I am now recommending 1 tablespoon of baking soda per gallon of water as a precaution. I will be shooting a YouTube video to describe the damage and process.

I have been busy with the garden. I am working hard on trying to keep my spraying routines on schedule. I haven't seen any leaf spot or early blight signs. I am a bit superstitious in saying that - that I might jinx myself. I have also completed about 5 videos in the last 10 days. Several videos focus on disease prevention.

The key really, beside the odd night time dance I do in the garden to keep spores and disease away, is maintaining a spray routine.

Here are the basic of my routine that might be helpful.

I have 3 sprayers. 1 is a gallon sprayer for aspirin, baking soda and Bt. I have a 4 gallon sprayer that I haven't used yet. When the plants get larger that will become my baking soda sprayer. I have decided to go with baking soda solely for managing spores and mildews. I have used wettable sulfur in the past (it works!). I was going to do an experiment between the two but to be honest... I just don't have the time. I also have another sprayer for stronger sprays for emergencies. I haven't had to use that yet.

Oh and a 4th sprayer is a 1/2 gallon small sprayer, I fill with soapy water for aphid and early white-fly management/sighting. As soon as you see signs... soak the area with soapy water.

Aspirin Spraying:
On the 1st and 15th of each month for April, May, June, July and August... the tomatoes (definitely) and other vegetables (if I feel like it) will get 325mg aspirin/ per 1 gallon of  aspirin water foliar spraying.

Baking Soda Spraying:
Baking soda spray as a way to decrease the PH on tomato leaves to make the leaf environment for spores inhospitable will occur  Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Baking soda will also go out on the 1st and 15th when spraying aspirin doses. This will be done through August.


Sevin Dust: (dusting not spraying)

Will be used site specific and not broadcast everywhere on my egg plant leaves 1x weekly and the bases of my zukes and squashes 1 to 2x weekly to manage flea beetles and squash bugs.


Soapy Water Spraying:
Will be used for aphids and white-flies ASAP when I notice signs. Aphids are usually managed in 1 spraying. White-flies will be target sprayed for 3 consecutive days.

Bt Spraying:
I started this in April and have sprayed about 3x a month on my kale and cabbage type leaves. I will be spraying Bt about 3-4x a month depending on rain. I also depends on how often I see the while butterfly that lays the eggs. And that has been daily for like 6 weeks! It has been EXTREMELY effective in managing the green cabbage worm/looper. My kales look great!

Foliar feeding sprays and Epson salt feedings as well as my lime slurry for calcium will occur when it look like the plants need it.

Multiple rainy days and ungodly consecutive humidity days will trigger some extra spraying of baking soda.

Good look and remember disease prevention is the key.

I have videos on my YouTube channel that detail the sprays.

Friday, June 1, 2012

My Dog Lucky Loves to Eat Peas Off the Vine

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This my dog Lucky. She loves to eat everything in the garden. Peas are her favorite. Maybe she can help inspire a kid you might know to try peas. If a cute little dog will eat them maybe the child will give them a try. She actually begs to go outside when she sees us eating them off the vines. She will claw at the sliding glass door until we let her out.  A bit loud but she is a dog.