Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What pretty green sticks.

First things first! WOOT WOOT 100 followers! ROCKIN!

Hello ALL! Today I am taking care of my herbs. So to start things off, I would like you go to guess what kind of an herb this is.

 If you said it looks dead and cant be an herb you are close, but If you said basil then you would be 100% correct.  This is in fact a basil plant, broad leaf basil to be more precise.

Now , if you are wondering why it looks like a stringy lifeless bunch of twigs, then your wonderings will lead you to my answer. That answer would be SNAILS! That is right, those gross things that come out when it rains and go crunch squish when you step on them.                          

Snails, the bane of my basil! Now how to get rid of them.
I decided to use the product that has worked wonders for me in the past. The tiny little white rabbit poop looking things. They are made of some kind of biodegradable breakdown in the rain material, with the active ingredient being Some kind of iron. So that means it will help my orange tree too! (if you have been reading for a while you will know my orange tree has a problem with a lack of iron ) 

The magical product I have been touting for this whole time is Sluggo. It is OMRI certified which means it natural and stuff, and it can be used around my dogs!
I will update you some time soon when or if I see positive ore negative results from this.

OK! thanks for reading guys! come back soon for an update on my sunflower seeds or possibly the basil!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hey guys! I'm back at it with my garden. I have been away and some things have come up, like WINTER! haha, but weather aside things have kept me from updating on my gardens.

So anyway, Can you guess what is in the above piture , the white out of focus thing. THATS right! it's a sunflower seed!

 My sunflowers are reaching the end of their days. And what a mighty time they have given me. From just tiny seeds to mamoth towers of leaves and yellow peddels. So nice to look at , and fun to watch grow. But alas all good things must end. My sunflowers are on their last legs and are drooping to and dropping seeds! However this is a good sign for me.
Once you get a majority of the flower to have mature seeds it is time to harvest. If you look at the pic to the left you can see all the lines of white leading to the center. As well as the darker spots, those being the places where seeds have fallen out. This is good and bad. Because it means I will have larger seeds, but less of them.

Then the time comes to sever the head of the flower! And I have just the tool! That is correct, a hand saw!

Although my job at cutting went well I only got about 1/6 of the way through before the weight of the sunflower head broke the steam and it just fell. Lucky I caught it, because the process of drying it out is what is next to come!
I am drying my sunflower head upside down, so all the fancy sap and juices drain all the way into the seeds. this means that it will take longer to dry , but will also be more tasty! In just about 2 weeks time I should have my own home made sunflower seeds to munch on!

OK! Thank you for being a reader of my blog. And come back soon!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Praying Mantis

You all remember I'm growing sunflowers right? Well, I have been tracking them I have found that they have acquired a protector . Also, they have been getting pollinated by the wonderful bees!

 My fun and super tall sunflowers.
 The new resident. A praying mantis who has decided to claim this flower as his home. Seeing as they can fly I guess it makes sense he picked this flower because the flowers are so tall.
 Here is a pic of the mantis poking his head over the top of the flower. He is saying "Hey, I'm on camera! I'm going to be famous!"
and here he says "Hi MOM!" . Haha, this thing is kinda funny to watch. I did not see him get any bugs or anything, but I'm sure he is keeping the place clear!

 Then I had another visitor, a fancy pollinating bee! Hooray! that means that I will have pollinated seeds to munch on, and that I will have seeds to plant next year!

Then some more pictures for perspective. This picture shows not only the bee but also how high up I am to take this picture. This massive flower is about 16 Feet Tall, that is close to 3 Full grown men stacked head to toe . Man, that's tall!

OK! Thanks for reading again! and come back again soon!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunflowers are at max height.

I would like to introduce you all to my sunflowers!

These Things have gotten huge! If you have been reading along with me you have seen my sunflowers grow to great heights! They have reached their maximum height now, and have begun to flower, blossom. It's a wonderful sight!

 The sunflower on the right in the picture above is around 16 FT tall. That's crazy tall and about 1 1/4 stories tall compared to my house behind it.

As you can see the smaller of the two sunflowers is filling in nicely, but the blossom still has some green in the middle, so it has some time yet to mature to the point where I can start to dry it out to eat!
 Here is a better view of the blossom. It's mighty large, and it attracts many bees which was the whole point other then to look fancy.
Now to sit back and wait for it to mature so I can make me some tasty roasted sunflower seeds!
Then lastly here is a first person view of how tall the 16FT sunflower is. Man that thing is big, and not to mention the trunk is so big around I can not wrap my fingers all the way around.

KK! thanks for the reads, and come back soon, I'll have more fun things to show you about my sunflowers, for  instance, what kind of insects have decided to stop by.  

Monday, September 19, 2011

What is Chlorosis?

 Hello Again, and welcome to another adventure in my garden!
Today I would like to show you how my Navel Orange Tree is doing!
As you can see it's nice and green and it seems to have recovered from the bout of chlorosis it was suffering from. Chlorsis is a condition in plants where the iron in the solid is either not available or not existent so the plant cannot form the healthy green color, and will drop many leaves. Fixing that last time was simple, just add some iron in the from of Ironite and get the Ph of the soil around 6.0 and it perked right up! But now I have run into another snag!
 That's right! I have another problem with my orange tree! Once again It seems to be being attacked by some unknown force making it's leaves turn from the desirable dark green to a unhappy yellow orange color.

I am pretty sure this is just another kind of chlorsis, which saddens me because that means there is something in the solid that the roots keep tapping into and its causing this. I will probably have to remove the tree from the pot , and change out a very large portion of the soil for new solid.

I have already gone through twice the reccomended dose of Ironite, which should solve this problem, but it keeps coming back. So more drastic measures are to come.
I will document just how I go about fixing my fancy little tree in the future, but for now I will fertilize it with my pooch Kun Kun!
Aint he just so cute! Ok guys! come back soon and I'll reveal how I plan on fixing this tree and maybe have a Sunflower update!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Got Some Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes!

Hello All!
Today is me showing off what tomatoes I have picked, and what a common problem is with tomatoes, and how to deal with it.

Let me see what I can show you today! I got a nice little tomato harvest! So lets show off what I got!

Here is one of my Favorite that I have grown. These make me happy! They got nice and big, but they were not as numerous as I had hoped for. So sad, but they are GREAT on my Burgers! Yummy! Care to guess what kind of tomato?
Nope! Nice try, but its a Black Pineapple ! Or if you could read the smaller print on the label it also goes by Belgium Beefsteak. Those silly Belgians.

 I got another fun thing from my garden! These things are great, and because they are not a pure variety they are bigger then what they should be. These things are like weeds, they pop up everywhere the year after you grow them. They are about the size of those Huge grapes with seeds, care to guess what they are called?

YUP! Cherry Tomatoes! They things are funny little things, they are very good in salads, or nice when boiled down to a great sauce! Just a bit of straining the results because of the seeds and skin, but it's well worth the effort!
 But a word of caution. For those of you out there who think gardening is all fun and games, well I have an example for you to change your mind! The picture to the left is a prime example of what you should expect to happen if you are not ever vigilant! What happened you ask? Well I'll tell you! It's the BIRDS! you see birds are animals that are not constrained by the confines of something like a fence so they have free access to those lush green and red veggies. So watch out for them birds, they will eat you out of house and home!
Ok, on a more serious note, they birds do get some of your fruits, but they typically will not get more then three or four. So they typically do not pose a big problem. But if you have this happen you know what it is now. If you have more then the usual tomatoes being eaten you can do many things to deter the birds.

1. Hang CD's and other shiny things around your plants
2. Stuffed or Fake cat to scare the birds, or the fake Barn Owl
3. Get a real Cat.
4. If these don't work, or you don't want a cat, then just post a question for further help, I'd be happy to help.

OK! thank you everybody for the reads! and Come back next time , I'll show you what happens when your summer garden starts to wind down for the winter!

Monday, September 12, 2011

What Is and Heirloom Tomato?

 Hey everbody, I know I have been away for some time, but I'm Back! I have had a few things going on, like a mix of school starting, my phone dying, my boss leaving so I had to run the shop, and a few other things. But enough with my excuses , I'm here to show off the stuff growing from my garden!
First, Let me define a word for you that I will be using . Heirloom: (in the context I'm using it) A tomato that is the same since or before the 1940's . So if you took one of these tomatos and time traveled back to the 1940s and compared it to one from then it would be almost the exact same thing! This is only important because some people have created these varieties for their taste , size and appearance, and have kept them pure, so they are the classics, where as the new genetically altered stuff nowdays might grow better but they typically dont have the same character ore appeal.

Now on to what I have been doing!

Here we see a Tomato, the pic above being one week prior to the picture to the left. As you can see this tomato is not a normal tomato, and if you care to guess at the name then do so now before scrolling down.  It is of the Heirloom variety
 That's right! It's a Black Krim! These babies are so good! and the strange thing is they almost always split. If you look at the above photo you see the split in the tomato, that is usually from over watering when the tomatoes is fully grown. Over waterting forces the plant to drink more water and it "pops" the tomatoes on the plant, but this variety is weird in that it pops all on its own.
Next up is a Non Heirloom Variety, and again I will show you the progression of the ripeness of the tomato. As you can see it's typical in ripening, starting green and gradually working it's way down to bright red!

 Well now, if you would like to guess at the name I'll give you a hint , the name does not really describe the size of the tomatoes shown, however the color is a better way of describing it.
This one is ripe an ready to be picked!
That's right! You guessed it, it's a Watermelon Beefsteak Tomato!  Now look again at the wonderful color scheme, can you see the cool watermelon like coloring! So cool. Although it does not taste like a watermelon, it was still great on my turkey sandwich!
Then to end on a bright note, my sunflowers are doing wonderfully! They are however more droopy then I would like, probably a lack of nitrogen, but That's just fine. They are doing what I wanted them to , attract the bees for my tomatoes!
Ok guys Thanks again for reading, and putting up with my absence, My next blog will cover two more tomatoes I have been growing! So come back again soon!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'm growing things I can eat!

Sorry I have not been blogging too much recently, but With school and finals in the summer its been kinda crazy. But I'm making a come back!
As time goes on the garden starts to produce food. This makes me happy! The food grown from the garden generally tastes better then stuff from the store, and it is cheaper too! And thus far I have a small harvest of stuff other then chard!
I have me some Green Beans! they have a wonderful snap to them when bitten!
Then I have a a bunch of cucumbers, all the right size for pickling! But That is for another day.

Then You can see the green beans have out grown the cage, and actually toppled the cage over . Now it's leaning on the cucumber cage. Silly plants! I gotta get some wooden stakes to anchor it down!
Then I have a bunch of blueberries growing! They are so sweet! yummy.

Then something that is taking longer then I had hoped it would. The tomato plants! they are doing well, but still smaller then I had hoped, and not producing tomatoes yet. There are about 20 on all four of the plants, but they are still very small and green. I'm thinking I got too late of a start with these guys.
But here is all that I got . from last week! A WHOLE BUNCH of oregano, 4 crook neck squash (the yellow things) , 5 Cucumbers, about 15 green beans, and a small handful of blueberries! 
The blueberries were my favorite of the whole harvest. Mostly because they are tasty, small and easy to eat. No prep work, and they are super healthy for you too! I think the soil PH is still too high , gotta lower it for the blueberries to really love the soil and produce!
 But this is about all the tomatoes I have grown. There are a few more just like this one, but they are all still green, and rather small. They could easily fit in a 1 Cup Measuring cup. still too small, but gotta go with what you got!
Then as usual, there is a butt load of chard as well, I did not include this in the main pic up above because it would dominate the picture. Oh and say hello to KUNKUN ! so cute!

OK! thanks for reading about my garden! come back soon ! I'll have more fruits of my labor to show off!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

SunFlowers, how tall will they get?

About the only thing that has made an significant change is the sun flowers At my sisters House have gotten really really big. about 4 of them are close to 6 FT tall. Its getting crazy big over there! That makes me very happy, it shows the soil is quite fertile.
Although, at this point I'm just waiting. Waiting for the tomatoes to turn red, waiting for the cantaloupe to get bigger then a baseball, waiting for the peppers to grow. AND Waiting for the herbs to get more green and leafy.
The cages in the background are just over 8FT tall, so you can  compare the sunflowers in front to the cages in the back and you can see that they are getting really big. I believe they have a 55-65 days of growth before flowering. Just to make sure the root system is in order, and the plant has grown as tall as possible before it sends out its big flower.

 This is the center of the sunflower, where it will pop out the flower. These Particular sunflowers are supposed to procure edible flowers. This will make me happy because I love to eat those things. Very yummy! I Just have to figure out how to harvest them.
I wonder If I should add a flavor to the sunflowers before eating them? or just use salt. not sure. Maybe do half and half.
Then the Pepper plants at my sisters house are doing very well. I think it is because the timer to the soaker hose was turned off and the hose was moved to water the front lawn. I need to get my sister a third hose so it can be used only for watering the garden. haha
Thank you everybody who has read this. Come back soon, I'm sure I will soon have great fruits to show off!