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What to do with those vegetables.

10 Sep

A bit late for this season, but going forward…looks good:

http://www.101cookbooks.com/

Happy, healthy eating!

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flea beetle damage to Oriental eggplants

19 Jun

flea beetle damage to Oriental eggplants

Distinctive “shot-hole” pattern. If you have sharp eyes you may see one or more of the tiny pests jumping off the leaf or on the soil. I’ve yet to see them, but I know they’re there.

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The tomatoes are beginning to color.

18 Jun

The tomatoes are beginning to color.

Check out the Roma tomatoes (bottom) in the Community Bed. Soon.

Update: OK; my bad. A trick of lighting and inattention on an overcast day. But several of the tomato plants in the Community Bed have set fruit, and that’s something to celebrate.

Pickled Radish recipe (requested by several gardeners)

3 Jun

Refrigerator Pickled Radishes

 

Radishes (or daikon or small turnips)

 

per Pint container:

¾ C. water

½ C. rice wine vinegar

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1 T. brown sugar

2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved

2 slices fresh ginger

6 black peppercorns

2 whole cloves

 

Wash radishes, remove greens, and cut into roughly equal-sized pieces.

Pack into jars.

 

Bring water and all other ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan.

Remove from heat; remove the garlic cloves from the brine.

 

Pour the rest over the radishes.  Make sure that all the spices get in the jar.

If you’re short of liquid to cover the radishes, add more hot water.

 

Put top on jar loosely; let cool a bit; tighten top.  Refrigerate.

 

Let sit in refrigerator for about 3 days before enjoying.

Will keep about a month in the refrigerator.

 

Note: Use KOSHER salt. If you absolutely must use regular table salt, use ½ tsp. or less.

Watering Guidelines

18 May

Check the watering schedule, sign up for a date/time, and then read this.

Keep these things in mind and the rest follows logically:

– For proper growth plants need adequate light, water, and air circulation.

– Plants take up nutrients through their roots. If the soil dries and pulls away from the roots, the plant starves.

– Soil that is wet only on top encourage plant roots to remain close to the surface making the plant vulnerable to drought, disease, and damage from hoeing, if the ground is bare.

1 – Water as infrequently as possible.

Constant moistening of only the upper layer of soil encourages shallow root development and can lead to disease.

Stick your finger in the soil before watering. If it’s damp 4”–6” down, you can skip watering.

A raised bed should be irrigated with 1”–2” of water or rainfall equivalent once or twice a week. During the summer more frequent watering may be needed.

Our soil is rich in organic matter and we’ll be mulching. Both these things encourage the soil to hold water.

2 – Water thoroughly.

Give the plants a steady soaking, enough to make the soil wet 4”–6” down.

(About 2–4 gallons of water per square yard of growing surface, or about 4–8 gallons per one of our raised beds.)

3 – Water deeply.

Soak the ground around the plants. You want to water every last little rootlet so the plant takes up optimum nutrients. (Use low water pressure and put your thumb over the end of the hose to reduce water force.)

4 – Water the soil (roots), not the leaves.

Whenever possible, water the soil directly around the plant rather than spraying the plant with a hose.

Wet foliage increases a plant’s susceptibility to fungal diseases.

Our garden is planted densely; the plants’ leaves won’t dry out and air circulation will be impeded as the plants grow larger.

Containers:

Monitor containers daily. Allow potting soil to dry to about 3” deep before watering.

Stick the hose under the plant, between the plant and container, when watering and use low water pressure.

Water a container to its maximum capacity to ensure that water has soaked through the entire container.

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Varmint-proof Covered Raised Salad Bed

26 Apr

Varmint-proof Covered Raised Salad Bed

Just an idea:

Critter-resistant Cages for Seedlings

26 Mar

I concocted this out of 2 plastic baskets 10″ x 14″ x 5″ deep (from Closeout Connection on Court St. – $1.50 each) and 2 large binder clips. I made it contra los gatos who think planting is the best thing I’ve done since decorating packages with raffia, but I expect it to be very useful in transporting the seedlings outside to harden off prior to transplanting in the garden.

It will accommodate seedlings 6″ – 7″ tall.

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