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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Seed Starting and Germinating Lavender & Rosemary: Start Really Early!

Seed Starting and Germinating Lavender & Rosemary: 
Start Really Early!


Lavender and rosemary take a long time to germinate, compared to many vegetables and flowers. They are also slow growers. They are both seeds you can start indoors a good 10-12 weeks before they would be able to go outside into your garden. Lavender and rosemary are a handful of seeds I start indoors in January, here in Maryland Zone 7. 


The best tip I have for both of these seeds is that they germinate poorly. Some people say refrigerating them for 7 days helps with germination. I have not tried that yet. So make sure you put several seeds in each starting cell. They actually divide pretty, easily so don't worry if more than one germinate. I place a seed in three of the four corners of each cell. It is better to have to remove seedlings and have too many than to have too few.


I recommend you buy a sterile seed starting mix. Don't bring soil in from your yard for starting seeds indoors. You will bring in disease, fungus, mold and insects. Pre-moisten your starting mix before you pack it into your seed cells or cups. You want to gently press the starting mix into your containers to makes a firm planting base for your seeds. If it is too loose, seeds can fall to the bottom of the cells or cups when moving them around.

Lavender Transplants After about 12 weeks
Lavender and rosemary can take 3-4 weeks just to germinate, so be patient. I press my lavender seeds onto the surfaces of the starting mix. Press them in with your fingers, to make sure they make good contact with the starting mix. Rosemary should be covered with about 1/4 inch of soil. Water the seeds in after planting, from the bottom. Let the containers sit in water and absorb water from the bottom holes. After about 30 minutes get rid of excess water in the trays. 

Once you see the first seed germinate, the trays or starting cups should get 14-16 hours of light daily from your grow lights. After I see the first seed germinate that is when I put everything under the lights.  If you don't have grow lights, you can try a south facing window. Water them when the seed starting mix dries on the top. The video will give you tips on germinating and seed starting lavender and rosemary.


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


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Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Quick Vegetable Grow Light Box from a 5 Gallon Bucket: Apply the Principle!

A Quick Vegetable Grow Light Box from a 5 Gallon Bucket:
 Apply the Principle! 

I have done a couple videos on making your own grow light boxes. This is a simple design you can make with a 5 gallon bucket or similar container. The key to any grow light box or closet is having the right intensity and type of light. With that you have to make sure the light source stays close enough to your germinating seeds and plant leaves for them to grow well. I explain those concepts in detail in other videos.

Grow Light Bucket Design - The Rusted Garden

This video will show you how to build the vegetable grow light bucket with basic materials you can get from places like Home Depot.  I also touch on light details so you can better understand what type of bulbs to use for you germination seeds and vegetable transplants.






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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Understanding Light for Your Indoor Vegetable Seed Starts and Grow Closets: Lumen & Kelvin Measurements Explained!

Understanding Light for Your Indoor Vegetable Seed Starts and Grow Closets: 
Lumen & Kelvin Measurements Explained!

Grow light closets or boxes are great ways to start seeds indoors and grow your own vegetable garden transplants. They are really easy to set up, inexpensive to buy the parts and it really doesn't cost a lot in the way of electricity. A basic set up might cost $10 in electricity a month at the most.

Kelvin and Lumens Explained for Vegetable Grow Closets
The key to setting up a successful vegetable seed start or growing closet is buying the right bulbs. Do NOT spend a lot on bulbs that specialize or advertise for plant growing. They are probably the wrong bulb and will cost your 3x's as much versus buying a fluorescent or CFL bulb with the right Kelvin and Lumen numbers on the package. This video will teach you what kind of bulbs to buy.


Understanding Lumen and Kelvin numbers is essential for growing healthy seedlings for transplants. Lumens is the brightness or intensity of a bulb. You want a lumen number between 2000 and 3000. Kelvin is the color of the light. The higher the kelvin number the closer it is to Natural Light. You want a kelvin number between 4100 and 6500. Keep in mind you may not find the perfect bulb as they vary in availability. However, there is a nice range that is effective for germinating vegetable seeds and growing vegetable transplants.

You don't have to build a big grow closet. you can build a grow light box that works for small scale seed starting and growing transplants. This video shows you how to build one and provides the cost of the pieces. You can get all the parts at Lowes or Home Depot.







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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Building and Planting Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens: A Great Fall and Winter Idea!

Building and Planting Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens:
A Great Fall and Winter Idea!

Raised beds a great way to manage your vegetable garden. They help you concentrate resources to a targeted space and that can save you money. They warm more quickly than earth beds and can be planted sooner. They help with drainage. They require less work in the long run because you never step in them and compact the soil down. And the really look great and help you maximize your planting space!
 
 
 
 

Fall and winter are good times to think about putting in raised beds. This is my new YouTube Playlist on raised beds. I show you how to construct them, fill them and plant them. There are enough videos to help you make a decision about vegetable garden raised beds and if they would work in your gardens.




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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Heirloom Tomato Profiles: Mature Tomato Plants - Check Them Out and See if They are Something You Want to Grow Next Year!


Heirloom Tomato Profiles: Mature Tomato Plants
Check Them Out and See if They are Something You Want to Grow Next Year!

What Variety of Tomatoes Will You Be Growing?

I made video profiles of mature tomato plants last year. As we approach winter, you might be considering what variety of  tomatoes you would like to grow in your 2015 garden. Why not take the time to see what 16 varieties of tomato plants look like fully mature?  Most of these are heirloom varieties. I show you the mature fruit on the vine, sliced tomatoes and provide a little bit of history on the tomato seed variety. I can't think of a better way to pass the time until spring arrives.




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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Seed Starting Mixes, Vegetable Seed Flats & Cells and How to Water Vegetable Seed Starts

Seed Starting Mixes, Vegetable Seed Flats & Cells and 
How to Water Vegetable Seed Starts

I will hold videos that show you step by step (Everything!) from seed starting to growing your plants to full size. If you are just learning about gardening, this would be a great channel to subscribe too! I will be making video of all my steps in 2015.

This video talks about what type of vegetable seed starting mix to buy, seed cells and flats, how to prepare the mix and pack the cells and how and when to water your seeds starts. I will be making videos on every step needed to start your own seeds indoors. Planting and lighting videos are next.\



I started a new YouTube Channel that is associated with this G+ Community: Our Tomato and Vegetable Gardens. Is also linked to my G+ Page :The Rusted Garden G+ Page





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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Understanding the Six Macro-Nutrient Garden Fertilizers: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg) & Sulfur (S)

Understanding the Six Macro-Nutrient Garden Fertilizers: 
Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), Potassium (K), 
Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg) & Sulfur (S)


Vegetable garden fertilizers are generally classed as either macro-nutrients or micro-nutrients. There are six major macro-nutrients although we tend to think there are only 3: Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium. There are also Calcium, Magnesium and Sulfur. They are not needed as much as N-P-K in the way of quantity but they have to be present in the soil for your vegetable plants to thrive.

6 Videos on 6 Macro-Nutrient Garden Fertilizers
I did a six video series on the major macro-nutrients to explain to you what they are, what they do, how they work, how you can add them to your soil and give you recommendations on how to best use them or manage them. My goal is to provide you with information and principles that you can adapt to your own garden needs. Gardens vary greatly around the world. There is no exact recipe for the perfect fertilized garden soil.

Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K) are what we most often see on fertilizer packaging. They sometimes can be needed in larger quantity and can be lacking in heavily used soils. Remember compost and organic matter are the keys to keeping your garden healthy. I provide a lot information about N-P-K but also make recommendations and one of them is... that you don't over use them! Use less!





There are 3 more macro-nutrients. Although they are needed in less quantity, they are essential for your vegetable plants to fully thrive. There are a lot of easy ways to add these fertilizers to your garden. Epsom Salts which is magnesium sulfate will add  both Magnesium (Mg) and Sulfur (S) to your garden. I explain what Ca-Mg-S do and how much of each you might really need in your vegetable gardens.








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Monday, November 24, 2014

How to Roast Garden Brussels Sprouts: Brine, Roast and Broil

How to Roast Garden Brussels Sprouts: 
Brine, Roast and Broil

I once disliked Brussels Sprouts until I started growing them in my vegetable garden. They are a hardy vegetable that can take frost and a freeze. Today 11/24, here in Maryland Zone 7, I picked a bunch of Sprouts after a week of freezing temperatures. They survived perfectly. They are sweeter with the cold and freeze! This is how I brine them, roast them and broil them.

Roasted Garden Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad
I ate my Brussels Sprouts with a kale salad that was also picked from my fall garden. Kale is another cool season crop that can take a frost. It does very well over-wintering here in Maryland Zone 7.

Brussels Sprouts Sitting in a Brine
Soak your Brussels Sprouts in a warm water salt brine for about 30 minutes. Let the salty water seep into the center of the sprouts. You can add garlic powder if you want. You can also make it an apple juice brine if you want to add some sweetness. Season the brine how you wish.

30 Minutes in a Warm Water Salt Brine
Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil and a Pyrex Baking Dish
Put them in a Pyrex or other type of baking dish with a size that mostly lets them lay flat. Cover them with a nice thin line of olive oil making sure your touch each one. Lightly salt and pepper them to your taste.  Roast them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Check them 15 minutes in and mix them around and roll them over.

Brussels Sprouts Roasted at 400 F for 30 Minutes
They are going to steam a little bit from the brine. That will soften them up and they will begin to caramelize slightly as they sit roasting. Make sure you put the dish in the middle of the oven.

Brussels Sprouts Broiled for 2-3 Minutes then Plated
After 30 minutes, mix them up again and broil them for about 2-3 minutes. Watch them carefully each minute as ovens tend to broil differently. You don't want them to burn, just caramelize a bit more. Stir them one more time and broil them again for another 2-3 minutes.

Keep an Eye on the Broiling.... Delicious!

ENJOY!

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

How to Effectively Use Eggshells to Make a Vegetable Garden Slug/Snail Barrier

How to Effectively Use Eggshells to Make 
A Vegetable Garden Slug/Snail Barrier


Eggshells can be effective barriers that will stop snails and slugs from getting to your vegetable garden plants. However, you have to build the right barrier with eggshells crushed to the right size.

The sharp edges of the eggshells irritate the skin of the pests. The barrier has to be wide enough to stop a slug from stretching over it and you have to put enough eggshells down so the snails can't work their way through it.

Making a Garden Snail/Slug Eggshell Barrier

This video shows you the general size to crush the eggshells and explains the general principle for making the barrier. Remember your barrier has to maintain itself even after a heavy rain. If your eggshell particles are two small they will be washed into the soil. If they are two big, the snails and slugs will be able to go over them with out getting deterred.





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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Understanding Garden Nitrogen: Products, Organic vs. Synthetic, Use and Strategies

Understanding Garden Nitrogen: Products, Organic vs. Synthetic, Use and Strategies


Nitrogen is a macro-nutrient which means it is a main element all plants need to grow. Without it, you can't really have a thriving garden. The earth's atmosphere is made up of nearly 80% nitrogen but plants can't use nitrogen in that form. It must be fixed or transformed into a form the plants can absorb and use. Nitrogen can be changed biologically or chemically. Biological forms are often called organic nitrogen. Chemically processed nitrogen is often called synthetic. Ammonia is the basis for chemical fertilizers.

Understanding Nitrogen Fertilizer - TRG 2014

I made this video to help you understand the different forms of nitrogen available for your garden. I use both organic and synthetic forms of fertilizers. I also use compost and nitrogen fixing legumes like beans, red clover and peas. I believe is in using garden fertilizers in and educated and purposeful way. My recommendation is you use less than is suggest. I feel we are all guided to over fertilize when it really isn't needed.

Plants can't tell the difference between the different forms of nitrogen. The main difference between synthetic and organic fertilizers is that synthetics do nothing for soil structure or the micro-organisms in the soil. Organic fertilizers generally feed your plants and the life in your soil. This video shows you a lot about what else.... nitrogen fertilizer.





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Thursday, October 30, 2014

How to Plant Garlic in the Fall: How, When and Why

How to Plant Garlic in the Fall: How, When and Why


My method for planting garlic is for gardeners in areas that get freezing winters. If you don't get freezing nights, snow and frozen ground... garlic bulbs are often pushed into the garden bed  surface, about an inch deep and covered with some mulch.

I am in Maryland Zone 7 and my beds freeze in the winter. Garlic should be planted 3-4 inches deep depending on how much cold you get. The video will show you how I set up the soil and plant the garlic cloves, broken from the bulbs. I will use diffenernt fertilizers as available. I often use bone meal for phosphorous, as it helps with bulb growth, and blood meal for nitrogen. The key to nice size garlic bulbs is very loose soil and fall planting.


Garlic Sprouts - The Rusted Garden 2014

You plant them in the fall for two reasons. The garlic will recognize the winter and come spring will set off to form a bulb. Planting them in the fall also allows the clove to sprout a tip and develop a really strong root system. When you plant the clove you want to make sure you have some slow release fertilizer mixed into the planting area. Don't worry if your garlic gets a few inches of green growth that gets beat up before the cold arrives. It won't hurt it.


Plant Garlic in the Fall before the Freeze Comes

I plant my garlic about 4 inches deep in my zone. I don't mulch it. You can plant it in late September through October. If you want to push it, early November is okay. The key is that you want about 4 inches of a barrier between the clove you plant and freeze. You could do a 4 inch depth in the soil or 2 inches in the soil and 2 inches of mulch. It is really up to you. You do not need to be exact.

I use garlic from the grocery store. A lot of people say you shouldn't as you have a risk for diseases. I haven't had issues. You can buy it from catalogs and online. You can go to specialty gourmet stores for different varieties that are meant to be eaten... but I plant them.





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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall is Here and Now is the Time to Build Raised Beds and Prepare Garden Beds for Next Spring

Fall is Here and Now is the Time to 
Build Raised Beds and Prepare Garden Beds for Next Spring


Fall often signals the end of the gardening season. It is a great time of year to convert your earth beds over to simple raised beds or to increase the size of your garden with another raised bed or two. If you have a raised bed it also the time to clean out the old plants, amend your soil and prepare them for hibernation. Which really means tossing in some compost, dirt and maybe some cover crops. Come the spring, you just need to turn the beds and get them ready for planting.





If you do the work in the fall, come spring you really just have to turn the soil, add what you like and plant your seeds. Raised beds are a great way to organize your garden. They can be planted earlier in the spring, as they drain better and warm faster. They also help you conserve resources by directing you time, amendments and money into the actual planting area. The space between the beds can be mulched for weed control and walking. The good stuff goes into the raised bed.

If you are framing out a new raised bed, you can actually build the frame, lay it down and put newspaper and cardboard over the grass inside the frame. Cover the frame with basic cheap soil to press down the newspaper and come spring you have a place that is weed and grass free. You can add compost and amendments of your choice and just turn the bed. You will be ready to plant come spring.










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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bulk Seed Sale: 7 Varieties of Cool Weather Salad Greens

7 Varieties of Cool Weather Salad Greens


I selected these bulk purchase seeds based on what I enjoy in my salads. There are 4 types of lettuce with different colors and shapes. A spicy arugula, an endive and some turnip greens. You can grow these in the spring and fall in most areas. They love the cool weather. I am growing these now in my greenhouse cold-frame for fall and hopefully winter greens.


Sprouted Seeds in the Cool Weather Seed Packages

Arugula Roquette
A leafy green with a slightly peppery flavor.  The young leaves can be used fresh or mature greens can be cooked. It will get to 3 feet tall when fully mature. It does not like heat. A definite cool weather crop.

Endive Salad King
Grows 2 feet tall. This is a dark green variety with curled and deeply cut leaves. The plants are slow bolting. Plants can stand a light frost. Plant in spring and fall.

Lettuce Danyelle
This is an incredibly red lettuce from baby leaf size to maturity. It is sweet and crispy with nice full heads and an upright habit. The plants are easy to grow and hold their quality in the field for a long time. 28 days baby leaf. 50 days mature.

Lettuce Grand Rapids
Non-heading variety with fringed and curled, sweet crisp, light-green leaves. Great for leaf picking and cut and come again lettuce. 45 days to maturity.

Lettuce Oakleaf
Medium-green oak leaf-like leaves are born on a single stalk/rosette. As outer leaves are picked, plant continues to produce tender new leaves. A unique loose leaf variety. Good container plant. 40 days.

Lettuce Red Romaine
A great looking lettuce. It is tender crisp with a sweet gourmet romaine flavor. Plants are 12" tall, slow to bolt and widely adapted. The leaves are green at the very base and red on top. The red color intensifies with cool weather. Great for spring and fall crops. It matures later in about 70 days but you can pick it as you wish.

Turnip Seven Top (Greens)
Popular turnip grown not for the root but for the delicious greens. It is an heirloom and has been around for 100+ years. It matures in 45 days. Another great cool weather green.


7 Varieties of Seeds for $ 9.75 (shipping included)



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Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Rusted Garden 2015 Tomato Seed Sale is Active: 40 Varieties I Hand Collected

The Rusted Garden 2015 Tomato Seed Sale is Active: 40 Varieties I Hand Collected


All 40 Tomato Varieties Test Germinated: Sale is On!
Well it was a great summer. I grew over 40 varieties of tomatoes and collected seeds from about 40 plants for resale. All the seeds test germinated well. You can purchase them from my blog and here is the quick link to The Rusted Garden Tomato Seed Sale.  I have decent quantities but I think they will go pretty quickly. You can view the seeds at the link and order there. I have descriptions, pictures and videos for a lot of the seeds. I will add more over time.

I also order some bulk tomato and pepper seeds from a company I use. These will be seeds I grow next year in the a garden. I am also offering them in a package of 10. I will do a few discount packages or bulk deals as time goes on.

Thanks for being kind and watching my videos. I am already looking forward to next year. I hope everyone had a great year in the garden!

Gary
The Rusted Garden Tomato Seeds Ready for Sale




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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Growing, Harvesting and Drying Hot Cayenne Peppers: Red Pepper Flakes for Pasta!

Growing, Harvesting and Drying Hot Cayenne Peppers: Red Pepper Flakes for Pasta!


A pepper that is very easy to grow is the hot 'Cayenne' pepper. There is a sweet version with no heat. I grow the hot cayenne specifically for making red pepper flakes for my pastas. I live in Maryland Zone 7 and transplant my plants late May into my earth beds and container gardens. I typically harvest the peppers in late August or early September when they are a brilliant red and start drying a bit on the plant. I believe harvesting them this way improves their flavor!


The Finished Product - Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Peppers need warm days and nights to really start growing. If you plant them too early, frost will kill them and if you put them in past the frost date but when it is still cool... they will just sit. They prefer 60+ degree nights and 80 degrees days to really start growing. Warmer night bring faster growth. Late May is a good time to get them in ground in my area. I recommend using transplants you either start yourself indoors about 8 weeks before they would go into the ground or you can by transplants locally.


Cayenne Peppers Oven Dried and Ready to be Crushed 

If you don't have room to grow them in the ground you can grow them in containers. I recommend a 5 gallon container but they can also be grown in 2 1/2 gallon containers like in the video. The key to healthy container peppers is never letting the soil fully dry out and liquid feedings about every two weeks with a balance fertilizer or one with a lower nitrogen number. Too much nitrogen gets you a lot of leaf growth.




Over time I found letting them dry a bit on the plant adds flavor. They will go from being a firm plump red pepper that is hard to bend to a slightly wrinkled red pepper that is pliable. Don't let them over dry on the plant but just wrinkle a bit. This is typically around  90 days after transplanting. You may get several harvests too depending on the area in which you grow. Here is a video that shows you my recent September harvest and how the peppers look before picking. I also quickly go over the drying process. Drying time will vary.




One of the great things about gardening is you continually learn. Here is my first video on picking and drying hot cayenne peppers from 2 or 3 years ago. It is essentially the same but I did change a few things. I now let them dry a bit on the plant. And I don't take the tops off when they go in the oven. I think my new method keeps a bit more flavor within the peppers. However, nothing is exact and this video shows you how to dry fully plump cayenne peppers which really means instead of 5 hours drying time it will take you nearly 7 hours. And that makes sense as there is less moisture in wrinkled pliable cayenne peppers you take off the plants... but more flavor!




And finally... store them in an air tight container. You don't want the humidity of the days to seep back into your dried peppers. Keep the crisp. When you use them they will absorb the flavors of the pasta sauces you use. Good luck and enjoy!


Two Ways to Store Your Dried Cayenne Peppers



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Friday, September 19, 2014

10 Varieties of Hot Peppers from Mild to Blistering with Mixed Flavors and Uses: Bulk Package Deal

 10 Varieties of Hot Peppers from Mild to Blistering
with Mixed Flavors and Uses: Bulk Package Deal

I selected these bulk seeds based on loving hot peppers myself. They range from very mild to quite hot. They are also functional too in that they vary in flavor and use. Some are great for grilling, sauces, pickling, salsa and just burning. These are seeds I bulk order.

10 Varieties of Seeds (30+ per pack)  for $14.00 (shipping inlcuded)


Ancho/Poblano
Mildly hot stuffing pepper. Heart shaped peppers are 4x3”. They start out green and turn deep red when ripe. 80 days. 76-80 days. The are picked as Ancho but when dried are called Poblano.

Cayenne Long Slim
Dark green, long fruit maturing to red. Slim 6” x 3/4” pointed and wrinkled. Strong, spreading plant, 20-24” tall. Great for processing & drying. 70-75 days. Great for hot pepper flakes.

Habanero Orange
HOT!  Late maturing pepper has fruits with thin walls and lantern shape averaging 2” x 1”. Matures to orange color that looks too hot to even touch. 100 days. 150,000+ Scoville Units.

Hungarian Yellow Wax

Hot! Peppers are light yellow to red, medium-thick wall fruit 5 1/2” x 1 1/2” wide. Strong upright plant growth. 65-70 days. A very hot banana pepper.

Jalapeno (Early)
Thick walled, dark-green fruit maturing to red. Averages 3” x 1 1/2” in size. Tapered to a blunt tip. 4,000-5,000 Scovilles. 65 days.

Large Red Cherry
Prolific and very hot. Bears heavy crops of 1” x 1 1/2” medium-green to red nearly round fruit. Pungency rating: 1,000-2,000. 70 days.

Mulato Isleno
A mildly hot poblano type pepper. This heart shaped pepper matures from green to dark chocolate brown. 1,000 on the Scoville scale. Excellent for salsa, roasting and stuffing. 3” wide, 6” long. 80 days.

Pepperoncini (Greek Golden)
Yellowish-green, Greek pepperoncini similar to those found at many salad bars, pizza parlors and sub sandwich restaurants. Just the right amount of heat. Prolific, early season fruits eventually turn red but should be harvested immature. 62 days

Scotch Bonnet orange
Hot! This variety is for serious Chile heads, the heat registers over 100,000 Scoville units. Peppers are green before ripening. They are 2” long by 2” wide. Plants are very productive. Scotch Bonnets are the most popular of the Caribbean peppers. 100 days.

Tabasco
This is the pepper used to make Tabasco sauce. It was introduced to the country in the 1800’s from México and is still going strong. The peppers are 1 1/2-3” long and are held upright on the plants. They ripen from green to yellow to orange to red. 30,000-50,000 Scovilles. 90 days.





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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Gardener’s Perspective: Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson … Didn’t Know Better? Are You Serious?



A Gardener’s Perspective: 
 Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson … Didn’t Know Better? Are You Serious?


Every once in a while I air an opinion on my garden blog not related to gardening, when something makes little sense to me. Ray Rice struck his girlfriend. It was quite violent. Adrian Peterson actually whipped his children with a switch. It was a violent act, not child discipline. I am a clinical therapist who has been in the field for 20+ years. Violent acts are an adult striking an adult and an adult striking a child. This is not about anger. We all get angry but we all don’t beat children or hit women. It is a choice in our behavior. So... people are actually saying they did not know better. Really?

We have really done little to address child abuse and domestic violence in America. I only hope Rice and Peterson get their share of the consequences but also hope the NFL get theirs. Plain and simple… benign neglect is still neglect.The NFL is responsible for neglecting a deep problem. Listening to the NFL say they didn't know it was happening is like seeing a battered woman or bruised child and saying they just fall a lot.

The main reason I am putting my thoughts down on my blog is this… Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson are adults that have practiced a life time to become athletes and football players at the highest level. They are educated and have shown the capacity to learn and develop their skills. To say their excuses maybe that they grew up with violence, their mother or father beat them, they never learned to express anger the right way and finally they were never taught how to not be violent to another adult or child is ridiculous. These excuses create permission and perpetuate this type of violence. Come on… Are we saying they didn't know better? Are we saying they haven't learned right from wrong? Are we saying the NFL didn't know these things were issues among their players?

Here is the simple litmus test to not knowing something is wrong. You don’t try and hide it. The players tried to hide it. The NFL tried to hide it. They all know that this kind of behavior is wrong. If they thought it was right and okay, Rice would have said he hit her because he felt she was out of line in his opinion. Peterson would have said he whips his kids all the time because he finds it to be an effective way to best discipline them. They tried to hide it. Both players only really admitted it, after it was discovered. As did the NFL, or to be honest, when that behavior became more harmful to the NFL by not addressing it. How many victims does it take before a privilege of playing a sport for entertainment is taking away from those that can't follow civil rules? No person or organization should benefit from the rewards of civil society if they themselves can not be civil.

If Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson can spend hours upon hours upon hours learning how to improve their skills to be an athlete… they could have taken a parenting class to learn how to raise a child appropriately or not to abuse a child or a behavior management class to learn how interact with someone you love and not strike them when you get mad. They could have done it on their own, at anytime. They chose violence. And if not a class, they could have inferred over time as they grew up to become adults, practicing day after day with adults, that violence is wrong. I would argue they ran into hundreds of potential role models and could have inferred violence was wrong, The NFL should also recognize that hitting children and adults is wrong. Recognize it in a way that creates strong policy, not a game of hide and seek.

Rice and Peterson didn't walk onto a professional football field with baseball cleats on their feet and hockey gear for protection because that is all they used as a kid growing up. You know when you are a kid, you use what’s available to play a pick-up game. The end zone is the old oak tree and the pine tree. Out of bounce is beyond that bush. This method of playing wasn't imprinted on them as the only way to play football. They both learned how to play the game the right way, with the right equipment, with the right training while being coached. You can also learn that way when it comes to raising kids and loving someone.

Saying they don’t know better or didn’t know better around hitting an adult or child because that is what they learned as a child is well… like saying they didn’t have the capacity to become professional athletes because as child they didn’t have the right equipment. Silly and sad, that people are really trying to make excuses for their behavior. Why are we making excuses for them and the NFL? Don't you teach a child hitting is wrong? Don't schools teach hitting is wrong? Don't movies teach abuse is wrong? Doesn't the media put out enough information that striking a child is wrong? Since when does not knowing or "that's the way my parents did it" become an acceptable excuse?

As adults we have the capacity to learn. That is why you found my blog and YouTube channel. And as an adult we are responsible for violence directed toward others. Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson are responsible for their actions. They have the capacity to learn, change and deal with the consequences of their actions. That is their individual burden to deal with and reconcile. The NFL is equally responsible for their failure to address this type of violence from their paid employees. Making an example of the NFL, not Ray Rice or Adrian Peterson is the best way to change attitudes and save millions of men, women and children from domestic violence and child abuse. A better NFL policy may have prevented the recent events. Early action is the best way to change behavior. Playing dumb is not.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tomato Seed Sale for 2014-2105 Has Started



I just activated the sales for tomato seeds. I will be updating the page over the next 3 weeks. I will be adding in 40 varieties of tomatoes with pictures and videos so you can see what they look like. Not all seeds get this treatment as I couldn't shoot video for them all. All 40 varieties were grown this year in The Rusted Garden. I hand collect them all!





As of 9/10/14 I only have a 10 pack bulk seed package up for sale. But as I said I will be adding all my seeds and more package deals over the next 3 weeks. Please check back regularly and spread the word. Thank you for watching my videos and being so kind!




The Rusted Garden Tomato Seed Sale

2014-2015



Bulk Purchased Tomato Seeds
and
40 Varieties of Hand Collected Tomato Seeds
from The Rusted Garden Beds

Click Link to View and Order: Tomato Seed Sale

I will be adding to it over the next 2 weeks
All 40 Single Pack Varietes are Now Active

*If you made a donation for tomato seeds in the last 6 weeks... the seeds will be going out this week. I have finished packaging them. Thank You!


Package One (Bulk Seeds):
Source: NE Seeds - All Non-GMO
Limited Quantity
Heirloom Tomato Seed Bulk Purchased Seed Package
10 different tomato varieties for $14 Shipped
(Medium to Large Sized Tomatoes)

These seeds come from seeds I purchased in bulk. I selected bulk tomato seeds that will give you a great variety of medium to large sized tomatoes in all shapes and colors. Most of them are heirloom varieties. They not only vary in size, shape, color and taste... but also in when the fruits mature and how large the plants get. This a great way to have a variety of tomatoes in your garden.

You will get 35-50 seeds per pack. Store them in a cool dry place and they will last for years.

Here are the 10 varieties of bulk purchased tomato seeds (10 packs)
for $14.00 (shipping is included in the $14.00 price):

Beefsteak
Indeterminate (12 oz.) Extra large, meaty and ribbed deep-scarlet fruit. 90 days.

Black Krim
Indeterminate (12 oz.) Brownish-purple to maroon colored fruit with green shoulders. An heirloom for the Isle of Krim. Sweet, mild and rich in flavor. 80 days

Bradley
Semi-Determinate (10 oz.) Semi-determinate short stake type. Features pink fruit with green shoulders. Great for southern growers. 80 days.

Brandywine Red
Indeterminate (12 oz.) Heirloom dating back to the 1870’s. Named after Brandywine Creek in Chester County, PA. Red fruits. 80-100 days.

Cherokee Purple
Indeterminate (6-12 oz.) Slicer type heirloom. Dusky pink-purple with darker shoulders. Mild flavor. 80 days.

Costoluto Genovese
Indeterminate (7 oz.) Once you’ve tried Costoluto you’ll never try anything else! This Italian heirloom is truly all-purpose. It makes intensely flavored slices with a scalloped shape. People also swear by it as the best flavored roasted, sauced or juiced variety. Good for home gardeners, market growers and chefs. 80 days.

German Johnson
Indeterminate (12-24 oz.) Old time favorite heirloom. Extra-large, rough fruit, pink with yellow shoulders. Mild, low acid and very meaty. 80 days.

Mountain Gold
Determinate. (8-12 oz.) Yellow-fruited, superior in disease resistance. Released in 1991, developed by Dr. Randy Gardner at the North Carolina State Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station. This is not a hybrid. 80 days.

Paul Robeson
Indeterminate (7-10 oz. fruit) Another outstanding heirloom black tomato with unbelievably rich flavor. This is an old Russian variety that was renamed in honor of a great civil rights activist. It will be your best producer early in the season and during cool summers. 80 days.

Pink Oxheart
Indeterminate (1 lb.) Firm, meaty, pink fruits with thick walls, very mild flavor. Large, heart-shaped fruits on indeterminate vines. 90 days.

Click Link to View and Order: Tomato Seed Sale



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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How to Make Neem Oil Sprays and Fix Oil Separation: 100% Cold Pressed Neem Oil in the Garden

How to Make Neem Oil Sprays and Fix Oil Separation


Neem Oil can be used to manage chewing insects in your garden. However, you must make sure you purchase 100% Cold Pressed Neem Oil that has all its components. This pure Neem Oil has a compound called Azadirachtin. It is what kills chewing insects. A lot of the Neem Oil you see in stores is processed with all the major components removed. Yes it is Neem Oil but no it is not 100% Cold Pressed with all its components including Azadirachtin.

You don't need a lot to make basic sprays. I show you in my video how to make a spray for dealing with chewing insects like the Green Cabbage Looper or most chewing worms and how to add baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) or potassium bicarbonate to the spray to also help fight powdery mildew.


Neem Oil can separate like in the above picture. If you let it sit in warm water for about 15 minutes it  will warm and blend back together. You can see how I do this in the video.




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Monday, August 18, 2014

From Garden Grill: Parmesan Mozzarella Garlic Panko Jalapeno Crisp - Well Oven...

From Garden Grill: Parmesan Mozzarella Garlic Panko Jalapeno Crisp - Well Oven...


Jalapenos are one of the most productive hot peppers you can grow in the garden. I love them. I grew some mammoth sized jalapenos this year and stuffed them with cheese and Panko bread crumbs. They were simply outstanding. I had dozens of your standard sized jalapenos and to be honest, I just didn't feel like stuff so many small peppers. So I created a new recipe that has all the elements of a stuffed jalapeno. The video shows you the whole process but in general...

A couple of cups of jalapenos cut in half and cored.

A topping made from Panko bread crumbs with about 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese and 1 cup of Parmesan mixed together. In the topping were also 4 pressed garlic cloves.

The jalapenos were placed in a Pryex pan, covered in olive oil and topped with the bread crumb mixture.




They baked for about 20-30 minutes at 350-375 degrees until the pepper softened and the top was golden brown.

A little more cheese was added and browned for about 3 minutes under the broiler.

You can add to this recipe as you wish. It is a very crispy appetizer with moist jalapenos. The cheese has a great nutty flavor when browned. It is very easy to make and it will use up all your excess hot peppers.



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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Rusted Garden 2014 Tomato Profiles: The 'Aussie', 'Brandysweet Plum', 'Black Cherry', 'Indigo Apple' and the 'Red Grape'

The Rusted Garden 2014 Tomato Profiles (So Far...)


I planted somewhere between 30 and 40 varieties of tomatoes this year. Too many... yes but enjoyable. One of my goals was to narrow them down to plants that do well in my gardening zone, which is Maryland Zone 7.  My other goal was to do a video series called Tomato Profiles. Here are some of the videos I completed so far. You can get a quick visual and basic information from them to help you decide if you want to give them a try in your vegetable garden. I will be selling seeds to most of these varieties come August.


The 'Aussie" is an heirloom tomato from Australia. It it s big producer of 1 and 2 pound tomatoes. Great flavor, good production and it is decent in the heat. I have been growing this plant for many years and it is my prime keeper tomato for large red beefsteaks.




The 'Brandysweet Plum' is also an heirloom from a cross in 1915. It tastes like a big beefsteak tomato in a cherry size. I think the flavor is close to 'Brandywines'. It isn't overly prolific for a cherry so I would plant two. It also stays about 6 feet tall. For the flavor alone it is a new keeper in my garden.




The 'Black Cherry' is a keeper that I have grown for years. Huge growth to 8 or 9 feet tall. It will keep growing until cold weather or disease gets it. It does very well in my area. It produces in high heat. It has good disease resistance. The flavor is solid and the color is outstanding. As I said, a keeper in my garden.




The 'Indigo Apple' is new to my garden and a keeper for the shear brilliance of the color. It looks painted. The flavor was better than I expected as for the 'Indigo' tomatoes can be tart. The trick is to let them almost... almost over ripen. They get a lot less tart and a bit sweeter. It is not full of sweetness but has a good tomato flavor finish. The inside is red, the colors are in the skin only.




The 'Grape' or ' Red Grape' tomato is, believe it or not, new to my garden. It does well in the heat in that it doesn't yellow out and it produces new fruit. Very good disease resistance and it is a prolific grower and producer. You will get massive grape shaped clusters of red tomatoes. They are sweet and I swear, I can taste and grape flavor. Might just be psychological though...



More to come!


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