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Sunday, December 29, 2013

How to Prepare Eggshells for Use in the Vegetable Garden: Pulverize and Vinegar

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How to Prepare Eggshells for Use in the Vegetable Garden:
 Pulverize and Vinegar

Eggshell are a great source of calcium for the garden. Calcium related problems can lead to tomato blossom end-rot. That is the disease that turns the bottom of your once great looking green tomatoes - brown. Many gardeners treat blossom end-rot preventatively.  That is, they make sure there is enough calcium in the soil for their tomatoes and vegetables to use.

Use... is the key word. Eggshells are made up of calcium carbonate. Yes it is calcium but no it is not easily used by tomato plants in that form. The eggshells need to decompose and be broken down into a usable form of calcium. This is often done through composting. The eggshells you crumble into the planting hole will eventually breakdown over a season. However, to stop or prevent blossom end-rot you need to get calcium to your vegetable plants quickly. The video will give you a method to do this.




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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays: Thanks, Good Luck and Just Enjoy!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays: Thanks, Good Luck and Just Enjoy!

I started gardening when I was in elementary school. My grandfather taught me. He has passed but I still remember him through what he taught me and when I walk the garden. Life is like that. Those that care for us and teach us and those we encounter, shape our life. They not only  influence the quality of our life but they become part of our memories. While time and death do take, our memories hold those that pass. And for an instance they are alive.

I started The Rusted Garden Blog about 5 or 6 years ago. I love gardening and enjoy computers... so I combined them. A couple years later, I shot 5 or 6 YouTube videos for an experiment.


I shot my first YouTube video called: Tending Zucchini and Squash and Finding Squash Bug Eggs: The Rusted Garden 2011. I am laughing as I write this, again. Who was that guy? Who says, "I've been away on vacation for 5 days - It's time to tend the garden." I don't say that. Why did I say that? My neighbors still needle me about it. What I learned  and decided was that I was not going to stop something I enjoyed because I felt awkward and thought I sounded funny.  I new I was just  talking to other gardeners that like to learn and share information. That is how I developed my theme for videos. Short videos, packed with information so you can learn and get back to gardening. And I've learned a lot to that I taken back to my garden.

 My second video was How to Grow Large Tomatoes in Containers: The Rusted Garden 2011. It was a lot of fun and about 1 year later I noticed people where watching it and I noticed it earned like $10 for the year.  I thought, "$10, well if I shoot 50 videos that might be $500 a year for gardening supplies!" Well things don't quite work like that but I do this to relax and have fun. So come 2012 I started shooting a lot of videos and my YouTube Channel: The Rusted Garden was born so to speak. Almost 300 videos!


During the winter of 2012, I noticed Google added G+ Communities and I promptly became intrigued and started several G+ Gardening communities. All of a sudden, yes seriously, a globe full of gardeners became available to talk with and see what they were doing on their world garden plot. And you know what? We are pretty much the same across the world, too bad politicians can't see that. But that is another soap box. Add in Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter... and I am having a great time. I  really think it is cool, a good word choice, that we can actually talk globally about gardening.

I wanted to share a little bit about how The Rusted Garden grew up and I wanted to thank everyone that I have encountered. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. The Rusted Garden Blog reached 500,000 page views (not inlcuding mine (lol)) yesterday. The Rusted Garden YouTube channel had it's 1,500,000th view yesterday also, coincidentally. My goal for 2014 is to get a bunch more people involved in gardening. I also decided to show my face in videos for the next season.


Again, I thank you all for visiting my blog and channel. I wish you luck in life and of course in the garden. But most of all take the time to enjoy who you are and what you do. In the many things we take for granted in life, we take ourselves, our skills and our influence for granted. Be proud of who your are and what you do in both life and the garden. If you can, please teach a child about seeds, the garden and where their food comes from. Radishes don't grow on trees and tomatoes don't come from grocery stores!

Thanks Again & Merry Christmas

Gary



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

Join My Google+ Community Our Tomato and Vegetable Gardens (2500+ Members!)
250 HD Short and to Point Garden Videos: My YouTube Video Gardening Channel
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Monday, December 23, 2013

Starting Tomato Seeds Indoors for New Gardeners: Starting Mixes, Seed Cells and Planting Tomato Seeds

Starting Tomato Seeds Indoors for New Gardeners:
Starting Mixes, Seed Cells and Planting Tomato Seeds

These videos address the first three areas for successfully starting tomato seeds and other garden vegetable seeds indoors. I have a new blog for new gardeners called: My First Vegetable Garden. It will totally focus on new gardeners for the 2014 season. Coming soon... will be videos on lighting, feeding, watering and transplanting your indoor tomatoes and seedlings.

The first area covered is starting mixes.  Starting mixes are important because you want a sterile starting medium. Bringing in soil from outside or using soil mediums that have earth in them, typically brings in trouble in the form of disease and fungus. Starting mixes usually come in 8 quart bags and they are dry.


You want to start seeds in a sterile starting mix. No life. A combination of peat moss, perlite and vermiculite are the main sterile mediums used for staring seeds and growing transplants. This video clearly explains starting mixes and how to prepare them for your seeds.




Starting mixes may or may not have fertilizers in them. A lot of products do. If you make your own starting mix, you would want to add some sort of fertilizer. There are many choices. You can also skip the initial addition of fertilizer and use a water soluble fertilizer later. You can even do both. It is your choice.

Once you've made or chosen your seed starting mix, you want to purchase the supplies needed for starting seeds indoors. They are inexpensive and can be found at many places. If you can't find them locally, you can order them on-line. Whatever you choose to start your seeds in, you want to make sure the starting mix is pre-moisten and properly packed into your seed starting cells. Two steps that can make a huge difference toward successful germination.


Starting your seeds in dry mix or in loosely packed starting medium will inhibit or delay germination. It is really important to starts your seeds off properly and give them the greatest chance for timely germination.




Once you have your seed cells packed with starting mix, you are ready to add seeds. I recommend starting two tomato seeds per cell and thinning them to one once they grow their first 'True Leaves.'




These videos are only the first steps in getting your seeds started indoors. I will be doing future videos on lighting, feeding, watering and transplanting the seedlings in 2014.


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

Join My Google+ Community Our Tomato and Vegetable Gardens (2500+ Members!)
250 HD Short and to Point Garden Videos: My YouTube Video Gardening Channel
Follow and Organize The Rusted Garden on Pinterest

Tomato & Vegetable Grow-Light Box Update: Plant Growth, Lighting Tips and Watering Tips

Tomato & Vegetable Grow-Light Box Update: 
Plant Growth, Lighting Tips and Watering Tips 


The grow-light box has been successful. The seedlings germinated and are growing nicely without being 'leggy.' That is they are getting enough light. I wanted to clarify a few things with the CFL lights. It is very confusing.

The CFL bulbs are often marked in Watts that are equal to the old incandescent bulb. I don't know why but they are. So when you buy a 100 Watt CFL bulb it usually has two wattage marking. The first is the comparative wattage to the old incandescent and the second is the actually wattage it uses. In my videos I am using a 100 watt CFL bulb but it really only uses 23 watts of electricity.

The 100 Watt CFL will heat the box to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. I ran a test on it for 6 hours. That is a good temperature.

The video below will give you my tips for growing seedlings, managing lighting and a safe way to water the plants. 



Here is the original construction video of the grow-light box.




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

Join My Google+ Community Our Tomato and Vegetable Gardens (2500+ Members!)
250 HD Short and to Point Garden Videos: My YouTube Video Gardening Channel
Follow and Organize The Rusted Garden on Pinterest

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Rusted Garden Seed Give-A-Way for January 2014: Promotion to Follow Me on Twitter and Instagram

The Rusted Garden Seed Give-A-Way for January 2014: 
A Promotion to Follow Me on Twitter and Instagram

My give-a-ways are to promote my blogs and YouTube channels. I am asking that you follow me on Twitter and Instagram if you are interested in having a chance to win a prize. That being said, I am trying to make the prizes interesting and useful.

Win Seeds of 10 Varieties of Small Tomatoes in January 2014

I plan to do an extensive cherry sized and smaller tomato garden this year. I have ordered a lot of seeds. I am giving a way 10 different packs of the tomato varieties I am planting. I only get 25-30 seeds per pack so you will all get about 5 seeds of each of the 10 randomly selected tomato varieties. You can see the varieties of tomatoes that seeds will be picked from here on my blog entry: I'm Growing 20-25 Small Sized Tomatoes for 2014: All Kinds of Colors and Shapes from Pea Sized to Large Cherry


The Rusted Garden Promotion for 2014

To be eligible to win you should follow me on Instagram and Twitter. If these links don't work you can follow link to my blog below and find other links. The accounts are also under the name The Rusted Garden. This is how I will announce the event.

*To clarify you could just follow me on Twitter if you don't have an Instagram account. Instagram just gives you a head up.

How Can I Win the Seeds?

At some point in mid January I will post a picture of the seeds I am giving away. At some point in that day a Tweet will be sent by The Rusted Garden announcing the give-a-way. The first person to re-Tweet the message and show up first in my email will win the prize. The Rusted Garden email gets re-Tweets emailed to it. That is what I will use to identify first winner.

This will be done for the months of January through August. Thanks for helping with the promotion.


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

Join My Google+ Community Our Tomato and Vegetable Gardens (2500+ Members!)
250 HD Short and to Point Garden Videos: My YouTube Video Gardening Channel
Follow and Organize The Rusted Garden on Pinterest

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I'm Growing 20-25 Small Sized Tomatoes for 2014: All Kinds of Colors and Shapes from Pea Sized to Large Cherry

I'm Growing 20-25 Small Sized Tomatoes for 2014: 
All Kinds of Colors and Shapes from Pea Sized to Large Cherry

I have focused several seasons on the 1-2 pound tomatoes. I am still growing them but will be dedicating the 2014 vegetable gardening  season to small sized tomatoes. I have 21 varieties at current count and they vary in shape, color and size. I have the small currant/pea sized tomatoes up to the large cherry sized. I will be doing blog and video entries one each variety and spending time shooting a lot of videos on caring for and growing tiny tomatoes.

This is what I am growing so far. Please let me know if you have grown them before and your opinion on them. This is a mix of determinate and indeterminate varieties and some of them produce earlier in the season.

Baxter's Bush (Large Cherry) (Red)


Black Plum (Large Grape) (Mahogany/Purple)


Black Cherry (Small Cherry) (Mahogany/Purple)


Blush (Large Grape) (Yellow w/ Pink Streaks)


Brandywine Plum (Elongated Cherry) (Red)


Coyote (Small Cherry) (Creamy Ivory)


Flamme (Large Cherry) (Orange)


Glacier (Early) (Small Cherry) (Red)


Grape Tomato (Elongated Cherry) (Red)


Indigo Blue Berries (Small Cherry) (Indigo/Black)


Isis Candy (Small Cherry) (Yellow w/ Red Marbling)


Kimberly (Early) (Large Cherry) (Red)


Linda's Mystery (Small Cherry) (Orange)


Matt's Wild Cherry (Currant) (Red)


Principe Borghese (Small Plum) (Red)


Purple Bumble Bee (Small Cherry) (Mahogany/Purple w/ Green Steaks)


Red Pear (Small Pear) (Red)


Riesentraube (Small Cherry/Pointed) (Red)


Sarah's Galapagos (Currant) (Red)


Sweet Pea Currant (Currant) (Red)


Yellow Currant (Currant) (Yellow)






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

Join My Google+ Community Our Tomato and Vegetable Gardens (2500+ Members!)
250 HD Short and to Point Garden Videos: My YouTube Video Gardening Channel
Follow and Organize The Rusted Garden on Pinterest

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