Donna R. obviously has green thumbs. And she’s a talented photographer too!
Organic Beefsteaks — “We had a nice year of tomatoes. “
Garlic — “We planted in the fall and harvested them in July. Twenty five huge organic bulbs that made us very excited.”
“Our first attempt at onions brought us a small happy harvest.”
Organic Squash — “We thought we would attempt these this year. We have had quite a harvest.”
“When I came to the first meeting you had the speaker from Fuller Gardens. After his talk I decided to try and grow a rose bush. Here is one of the first 7 roses that it keeps producing. I’m very excited about being able to nurture this rose.”
“Some of the sunflowers growing in our gardens.”
“I enjoy putting together the window boxes.”
“The mom built a nest on the hose so we had to water from another source until the birds left the nest. We had two other nests in our shrubs and you couldn’t go near them or the mother would aim and dive for your head!!”
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And from Linda V, “My helianthus and Joe Pye weed are still going strong.”
Are you trying to choose the best tomatoes to grow when spring finally arrives? Open pollinated/heirloom varieties offer the best assortment of choices but if you have issues with certain tomato diseases, you may want to try a hybrid. Below is a chart that shows what the letters in seed catalogs and on seed packet mean when indicating tomato disease resistance.
Hybrid DOES NOT mean it is GMO. A hybrid vegetable is created when plant breeders intentionally cross-pollinate two different varieties of a plant, aiming to produce an offspring, or hybrid, that contains the best traits of each of the parents. Cross-pollination is a natural process that occurs within members of the same plant species.
GMO plants, on the other hand, are the result of genetic engineering. (“GMO” stands for “genetically modified organism.”) This is a process during which the plant’s DNA is altered in a way that cannot occur naturally, and sometimes includes the insertion of genes from other species.
Tip for today for our gardening friends: Save your eggshells for a nutritional boost in your garden. Let them dry out in a container and then pulverize them in your blender to use as a calcium source for your tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Lack of calcium can cause blossom end rot, the dark rotted bottoms that can occur if your soil is lacking this critical mineral. When planting, place a sprinkling of the pulverized shell in the hole. Or, simple mix in with the soil surface after planting.
If your garden is prone to slugs and snails, roughly crush the eggshells and encircle them around your plants as a deadly barrier. The soft bodies of these pests are sliced as they pass over the jagged edges.
Best of all, this recycles what might otherwise end up in the trash and is a natural alternative to using chemical products!
Some Thanksgiving tables this season will be sporting unique centerpieces! The Design Committee held a “build a vegetable man” centerpiece workshop. Even the snack plate was decked out! Max led the group in this merry undertaking. Fun was had by all! Here are some snaps that Ann H. took!
I have seen signs of tomato hornworms on my tomatoes. Dead and dying stems are the sure sign that they are invading. But today I discovered one of the invaders! It turns out that he is being invaded by his own attackers: a small wasp that is taking over and consuming his body. I was very happy to see all these little white eggs on his back when I discovered him today. As these hatch more will be available to help take care of any other tomato hornworms that may be lurking. This is one of the reasons I do not use chemicals on my plants to take care of pests, mother nature can do a pretty good job on her own if you just give her a chance! Patti