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Saturday, September 30, 2017

6 Principles For Managing Pests and Diseases in A Vegetable Garden

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6 Principles For Managing Pests and Diseases in A Vegetable Garden


Pests and Diseases will show up in your garden. They can't be stopped.  What you can do is reduce damage and manage the problems. All treatments don't work equally in our gardens. What works in one garden zone my not work as well in another zone or it may not work at all.  Don't be fooled into thinking companion planting is the cure for all, it can help. Or that the word organic is magical. It is important to start with the least potent treatment for pests and diseases. Work your way up from there, until you find something that works in your own garden. The videos use aphids, slugs and powdery mildew to highlight these six principles.



First Principle:
Check your plants and garden two or three times a week and look for signs of pests and diseases. Learn what comes to your garden. It will have a pattern. If you are not checking several times a week... problems will take hold quickly. They always do. Pests and diseases are common.



Second Principle:
Any time you introduce a new spray to your garden, be it premade or homemade... TEST SPRAY. Sprays can damage and are influenced by weather conditions. A spray that did not damage when the temperatures were in the 70's, may damage in the 90's. Different plants have different tolerances so you have to test spray on different plant types. Spray a few leaves and wait 48 hours and look for damage. If there is no damage... fully spray your plants. Typically, you should not spray in full sun or when temperatures are over 90 degrees unless you are fully comfortable with the spray. During high temperature months, spray in the evening.



Third Principle:
Follow a spraying and treatment routine. It is important to pick your products and spray routinely to stop pests and diseases in your garden. If you decide to spray weekly. Spray weekly. If you decide to spray every two weeks... stick with your plan. This works extremely well for prevention. If you are treating an active problem you may have to spray every two days over a week on ten days. This is typically done to stop an entire life cycle for insects. Dose one kills off the living insects. Following doses kill off hatching eggs. This holds true for disease too as many release spores. Pick a plan and follow it.

Fourth Principle:
Stay vigilant with the first principle. Take the time to watch a learn what is coming to your garden over an entire season. The key to treating and reducing damage is to start treatments as early as possible. Remove leaves, start sprays and begin maintenance as soon as possible. It may take a few years to learn about the pests and diseases that come to your garden.


Fifth Principle:
Remove diseased leaves immediately and DO NOT compost them. Bag infected leaves and throw them a way. Pests and disease can live in compost. A process known as hot composting can kill diseases, spores and eggs. However, most of our compost piles are simple cold composting. Don't take a chance. Very little compost is made from the infected leaves and plants you remove. Just throw them away.

Sixth Principle:
You won't be able to remember everything after the slumber of winter. Keep a journal and make immediate entries when each pest and disease shows up in your garden. As I said a pattern will show up year after year. Start prevention spraying 2-4 weeks week before the problems arrive based on your data. This is the best way to treat and manage problems in your garden. Keep track of what you spray and how you spray. Adjust accordingly and use the journal entries for next year's plan.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

How to Identify and Treat Aphids on Your Tomato and Vegetable Plants: No Chemicals Needed

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How to Identify and Treat Aphids on Your Tomato and Vegetable Plants:
No Chemicals Needed


Many pests and diseases come to our garden. Not all of them need to be managed by stronger chemicals. Aphids are soft bodied insects that can be managed using any of these three spray methods.

1) Spray with a jet of water. Spray every other day for 3 rounds of spraying.
2) Make a soapy water spray. Spray every other day for 2-3 rounds of spraying.
3) Make a smothering oil and soap spray. Spray every other day for 2-3  rounds of spraying


Start with water spray. The aphids are weak and once knocked to the ground they don't return. They stay typically in the area from which they hatch. You want to manage aphids with several rounds of interventions as to control newly hatching aphids. By using water spray, you remove 90% of the aphids and do no harm to good insects. The good insects will come in and eat what is left.

You can add in soap and oil as you wish to increase the strength of the spray method. Soap damages the soft bodied insect and they die. Oil covers them and they smother. You may or may not need the stronger intervention but in the case of aphids no strong garden chemicals are needed. The video discuss all the mixes and how to make them. 

Good Luck in Your Gardens,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)



Monday, September 11, 2017

A Complete Guide on How to Oven Dry & Store Hot Peppers: Cayenne, Facing Heaven and Jalapenos

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A Complete Guide on How to Oven Dry and Store Hot Peppers:
Cayenne, Facing Heaven and Jalapenos

I show you how to oven dry hot peppers. I dry Red Cayenne, Facing Heaven and Jalapeno peppers. General setting for the oven is 180 degrees F or less. It will take 4 - 8 hours to dry your peppers depending on several factors. I found this to be the best way to quickly process and dry your peppers. If you want more flavor and less oil evaporation... drop the temperature down.



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Understanding Bagged Garden Soil Products: What They Are & My Container Mix Recipe

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Understanding Bagged Garden Soil Products: 
What They Are & My Container Mix Recipe

What exactly is the difference between topsoil, garden soil, raised bed soil and potting mix? The bottom line is usually peat moss. The increase in peat moss with the addition of (in smaller amounts) coco coir, perlite and vermiculite is what typically changes the name on the bag. In addition to these amendments a lot of products have wood added to them under the name forestry product found under the ingredients label. You don't want excess would in your products.



This video explains the different labels and I show you what you find in the bag and discuss where you would use that bagged product. I also cover amendments; peat moss, leaf gro and humus & manure. It is important you know what you are buying and where you would use it in your garden. I also show you how I make my basic container soil that is cheaper than the bagged products.


Good Luck,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)


Growing Cherry Tomatoes from Start to Finish: Planting, Feeding, Staking, Pruning & More!

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Growing Cherry Tomatoes from Start to Finish: 
Planting, Feeding, Staking, Pruning and More!


This video is a compilation of 5 videos that teach you how to grow cherry tomatoes. I start with planting the seed in the the ground. You get to watch the plant grow from a seedling through full maturity and harvesting. The star of the video is a tomato variety called 'Midnight Snack.' It is an All-America Selections Winner for 2017.
If you are just starting to grow your own vegetables, cherry tomatoes are an outstanding addition. They grow quickly and really produce a lot of tomatoes. I recommend try two cherry tomato varieties in your garden. Pick up a transplant from your local stores and go with one of the sweet hybrid varieties. For the second tomato, find a variety that really looks interesting to you and order a pack of seeds. Two cherry type tomato plants will ensure you get a regular supply of tomatoes for your table.
Enjoy
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

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