Welcome to my new website. It will be both fun and informative. It will have five of my favorite topics: pictures, thoughts, recipes, gardening ideas and did you know? Please enjoy, leave comments, ask questions and visit often.
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  • ALL I KNOW ABOUT GARLIC, ‘HOW TO PLANT AND GROW GARLIC’

    Posted on September 30th, 2013 Pam 2 comments
     I LOVE GROWING GARLIC, IT WAS MY FAVORITE THING TO GROW EVERY YEAR.
    It is very easy to grow. Here are some steps to growing garlic the easy way.

    1. Only plant garlic purchased from a garden center, commercial greenhouse or me. NEVER plant garlic from the grocery store. The largest garlic I have grown is called Musik, some cloves can be as large as a golf ball.
    2. Plant mid September or early October.
    3. Divide the bulb into the separate cloves. Try to keep the thin paper on the cloves.
    4. Dig a hole or furrow and water well.
    5. Plant cloves 3″ – 4″ deep, pointed side up.
    6. Plant about 8″- 12″ apart. If planting several in one row, stagger the cloves.
    7. Fertilize and cover with soil.
    8. Mulch with grass clippings, leaves, potting soil or straw, I like straw the best.
    9. In the spring, carefully rake off the straw and use it as mulch in garden paths, it helps keep weeds down. It is best to uncover the mulch gradually in the spring. The garlic will be 6″-8″ tall. The leaves will be tender, so uncover slowly over a few days. Uncovering them in the evening is also a good idea.
    10. Water at least 1″ per week, 2″ is better.  Reduce watering as harvest time grows near.
    11. After a few months ‘scapes ‘will grow from the center of the plant. It is best to trim these off when they are about 10″ and use them in cooking. They are great to stir fry or chop and use in any dish requiring garlic. NOTE: not all garlic will grow scapes, usually the soft neck will not grow a normal sized scape.
    12. The scapes are trimmed because they rob strength from the garlic bulb. If left on the plant they will go to seed. Leave on a few plants if you want to save seeds. BUT I DON’T RECOMMEND THIS.
    13. Garlic begins to mature when the bottom leaves begin to turn brown or dry up and the main stalk is still green. This is usually late June to the middle of July. Harvest when three to four of the bottom leaves turn brown and before the entire stalk turns brown. I have found the weather is a large factor and determines when the garlic is ready to dig. For example, in 2015 I started digging garlic the end of June, but in 2017 I didn’t dig in June but late July.
    14. To harvest, use a shovel and dig the entire bulb. Do not leave any garlic in the garden, harvest everything you plant. Allow to dry on a rack, in the shade for two to three weeks. Then trim the top to about two inches and trim the roots to about ½ inch.
    15. Rub one or two paper layers off to clean the garlic. Keep the garlic dry. DO NOT CLEAN GARLIC WITH WATER.
    NOTE: Each garlic bulb will have 4-18 cloves, depending on the type. Figure how much garlic you use and plant twice as much….you will love this ‘fresh’ garlic!!!!
    Did you know 80% of the garlic purchased from the grocery store is from China? It is easy to see how your fresh garlic will taste much better.

    Read more articles at my blogs:
    www.pamolsen.net
    www.gardeninglifestyle.blogspot.com

    Pam Olsen
    ‘ON THE SUNNYSIDE’
    208-406-1243
    pamolsen@prophoto.bz

  • GARDEN WEEK 14, PLANT TOMATOES AND PEPPERS

    Posted on May 31st, 2013 Pam No comments

    Now is the time for planting tomato and pepper seeds.  They are slow to germinate, so plant them now.  I usually plant them in a flat that has 32 compartments.  The compartments are about 2” square.  Depending on how old the seeds are, I usually plant two seeds per 2” cup.  Then thin them out to one per cup when they are about 2” tall.    Just a note about seeds, if the seeds are expensive, or if you just have a few, only plant one seed per cup.

    If they are planted now, they should be ready to transplant around May 31st.

    Only plant the seeds in a cold frame, greenhouse or inside with a grow light.

    A short note about the use of heating pads.  Heading pads are electric pads that make the flat warm, this allows the plants to germinate and grow much quicker.  Sometimes peppers and tomatoes can germinate 7-14 days faster. I have used them with great success.

    If planting tomato and pepper seeds for the first time, congratulations. You are in for a treat.  I learned so much the first time I planted seeds like this.

  • Week 8, 50 weeks of gardening

    Posted on March 28th, 2013 Pam 2 comments

    Onion sets can be planted now, if the ground is dry enough to be worked.  If large onions are wanted, plant them about 5-7 inches apart.  If small ‘green’ onions are wanted, plant them 2” inches apart.  I usually plant them in a row that is about 12” wide.  I plant about 3-4 across the row. This allows me to have some large onions and pick some for green onions too.  But, a note of caution, it is best to thin out the onions by harvesting the smallest ones and leave the larger ones.  This way they can keep growing so they will be bigger when harvesting in the fall.

    A quick note about garlic.  If your garlic has been mulched, it is best to uncover the mulch gradually.  They will need time to adjust to the colder temperatures and harden in.

    Roses that have been mulched should also be uncovered now.

    Raspberries and Currents can be transplanted now. Raspberries and Currents are dormant now, so this time is the best time to transplant.  They adjust to the transition more smoothly if moved early in the year.  Determine the length and width of the row, taking into consideration that the plants will usually spread.  I just transplanted some today and I planted them about 3′ apart and plan for them to spread 3′ wide.  I planted some ever-bearing raspberries.  They will continue to continue to produce if they are picked regularly.  These raspberries will start bearing the end of July and continue until it snows.  I can’t wait to see how they produce.

    Now is also a good time to transplant trees. Some greenhouses have bare root trees on sale now for a discounted price.  It is best to buy an older tree, one that is 5-7 feet tall rather than plant a young 2-3 foot tree.  An older tree is more expensive, but it will bare fruit sooner.  Sometimes up to three years sooner.

    A quick note about soil. When the ground is wet, it can be compacted and become very hard. Then it becomes too hard to plant or dig in.  ‘NEVER’ walk on soil when it is wet, unless that area is going to be a pathway.  It may be a good idea to determine pathways and always use those areas to walk on.  Stand on the paths and reach across to access the plants when weeding or planting.

    Sometimes accomplishing everything on the week specified is not convenient.  Remember, these are just MY SUGGESTIONS, adjust if necessary, plant earlier or later, according to different areas of the country and of course, YOUR SCHEDULE.

    Jan. 4th Week 1 Order gardening catalogs
    Jan. 11th Week 2 Check out Books & Magazines from Library
    Jan. 18th Week 3 Family survey
    Jan. 25th Week 4 Garden Journal, study gardening books
    Feb. 1st Week 5 Seed inventory, test seeds
    Feb. 8th Week 6 Make a garden plan
    Feb. 15th Week 7 How much to plant
    Feb. 22nd Week 8 Buy seeds
    Mar. 1st Week 9 Plant onion seeds and artichokes
    Mar. 8th Week 10 Trim Raspberries and apply Caseron
    Mar. 15th Week 11 Plant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage seeds
    Mar. 22nd Week 12 Plant flower seeds & herbs
    Mar. 29th Week 13 Plant onion sets, plant raspberry starts
    Apr. 5th Week 14 Plant tomato, pepper seeds
    Apr. 12th Week 15 Transplant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage if ready
    Apr. 19th Week 16 Plant salad greens, radishes, cress, peas
    Apr. 26th Week 17 Plant melons  & cucumber seeds for transplanting later
    May 3rd Week 18 FERTILIZE when planting melons, cucumbers, squash, pumpkin seeds in garden

  • GARDEN WEEK 12, PLANT FLOWER AND HERB SEEDS

    Posted on March 22nd, 2013 Pam No comments

    Typically, flower and herb seeds are very slow germinating and growing. So it is a good idea to plant as early as possible.  Especially when planting in the house with a grow-light, in a cold frame or greenhouse. It is best to plant seeds as early in the season as possible, but keep in mind frost dates and if the plant likes cold or hot weather.

    Most flowers and herbs cannot be transplanted in the garden until the ground is warm.  In my area this isn’t until the end of May.  But, if planted now, with some protection, they will be ready for trans-planting the end of May, instead of just planting seeds.
    The earlier the flowers can be planted, the sooner their blossoms can be enjoyed. The earlier the herbs can be planted the sooner they can begin to be harvested. But keep in mind that some flowers and herbs do not like to be transplanted, so read the labels carefully and plant accordingly.

    The biggest advantage of planting your own seed is the variety of choices you have.  When purchasing transplants from retail stores, selection may be limited.   But, when planting from seed different plants can be tried.  For example purple cauliflower, purple artichokes, white cucumbers…the list is endless.  Planting and experimenting with different plants is always fun for me.

    Jan. 4th Week 1 Order gardening catalogs
    Jan. 11th Week 2 Check out Books & Magazines from Library
    Jan. 18th Week 3 Family survey
    Jan. 25th Week 4 Garden Journal, study gardening books
    Feb. 1st Week 5 Seed inventory, test seeds
    Feb. 8th Week 6 Make a garden plan
    Feb. 15th Week 7 How much to plant
    Feb. 22nd Week 8 Buy seeds
    Mar. 1st Week 9 Plant onion seeds and artichokes
    Mar. 8th Week 10 Trim Raspberries and apply Caseron
    Mar. 15th Week 11 Plant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage seeds
    Mar. 22nd Week 12 Plant flower seeds & herbs
    Mar. 29th Week 13 Plant onion sets, plant raspberry starts, plant trees
    Apr. 5th Week 14 Plant tomato, pepper seeds
    Apr. 12th Week 15 Transplant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage if ready
    Apr. 19th Week 16 Plant salad greens, radishes, cress, peas
    Apr. 26th Week 17 Plant melons  & cucumber seeds for transplanting later

  • GARDENING WEEK 11, PLANT BROCCOLI, CAULIFLOWER AND CABBAGE

    Posted on March 15th, 2013 Pam No comments
    Broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and cabbage can be planted now.  Especially if they are planted in a cold frame or greenhouse.   If they are planted now, they can be trans-planted earlier in the spring.  These members from the ‘brassica’ family love cool weather, so the earlier they are planted, the better.  If they are planted now, they should be large enough to trans-plant the end of April.

    I plant the seeds in flats filled with potting soil.  I use flat inserts that have 32 individual 2” containers.  It is best to plant 2-3 seeds per container, when doing this, a better crop is guaranteed. When the plants are about 2” tall, I choose the strongest and healthiest plant in each 2” container and PINCH out the extra plants.  If I pull out the extra plants, the roots of the strongest plant are disturbed.

    I have tried these types of ‘brassicas’ and I recommend the list below.
    Broccoli:  Packman
    Cabbage:  Copenhagen Market (green), Golden Acre, (early green),  Red Express, (red).
    Cauliflower:  Jade, Early Snowball.  (the Jade cauliflower is green and very, very good.
    Also, it is not too early to plant Kale, Swiss Chard or Spinach.

    If you fall behind this schedule, it is not too late to catch up!!

    Jan. 4th Week 1 Order gardening catalogs
    Jan. 11th Week 2 Check out Books & Magazines from Library
    Jan. 18th Week 3 Family survey
    Jan. 25th Week 4 Garden Journal, study gardening books
    Feb. 1st Week 5 Seed inventory, test seeds
    Feb. 8th Week 6 Make a garden plan
    Feb. 15th Week 7 How much to plant
    Feb. 22nd Week 8 Buy seeds
    Mar. 1st Week 9 Plant onion seeds and artichokes
    Mar. 8th Week 10 Trim Raspberries and apply Caseron
    Mar. 15th Week 11 Plant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage seeds
    Mar. 22nd Week 12 Plant flower seeds & herbs
    Mar. 29th Week 13 Plant onion sets, plant raspberry starts
    Apr. 5th Week 14 Plant tomato, pepper seeds
    Apr. 12th Week 15 Transplant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage if ready
    Apr. 19th Week 16 Plant salad greens, radishes, cress, peas

  • WEDNESDAY, GARDEN PICTURES

    Posted on March 8th, 2013 Pam No comments

    Sorry I am posting these pictures a little late, but here they are.  These were taken on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

    These are Amaryllis blossoms. It is always good to have flowers blooming inside.

    Here are some Hyacinths planted around February 4th. Blooming nicely. If you look closely you can see the water they are growing in and the white roots.

    This is a blossom of a paperwhite. Forced to bloom inside.

    Spring is definitely coming!!! When I have several pictures of something that is green we are well on our way to spring!!

    These are Crocus, these will bloom VERY VERY soon. These are the first flowers to bloom, in snow or rain.

    Here are the tallest tulips I have outside so far. They will be pink and they will be early.

    This is a picture of some of my Alyssum. Alyssum is a ground color, this happens to be yellow. I thought it was a cool picture, snow above them and water below them.

    Now to the greenhouse, here are some of the tulips, daffodils and lilies I have put in the greenhouse so far. I planted these March 6th of this week.

    Here are two rows of onions I planted last November. They are about 30" wide and 50' long.

    This is a close-up of some of the onions. If you look closely and I mean CLOSELY, you can see hundreds of onions coming up. These are from onion sets.

    Here is a picture of the Sunrise Garden (the garden on the east side). The snow is going, but it is still VERY muddy!!

    This is a picture of the Sunset Garden (on the west). It is looking good, about 2/3 of the snow is gone.

  • WEEK 10, TRIM RASPBERRIES AND APPLY CASERON

    Posted on March 8th, 2013 Pam No comments

    Trim raspberries now or in the next few weeks. I usually wait until the raspberries have just started to leaf out and the ground is not too wet.  I use hand loppers (trimmers) to cut the dead raspberries at ground level. Then trim the living raspberries to about 40 inches tall.  If the raspberries are trimmed this way, they branch out and produce more raspberries.

    After trimming the raspberries, it is the best time to clean the area of all leaves, branches and debris. I use a 6″ rake, it fits well between the canes.  After the area is clean, to control weeds, I apply Caseron.  It should be applied to raspberries before any weeds or grasses begin to grow.
    Caseron prevents weeds. It is actually a pre-mergent and keeps seeds from germinating.  It also creates a barrier that keeps weed roots (like quack-grass), from breaking through the soil. However, woody plants and trees are not affected, that is the magic of Caseron.  It can be sprinkled around woody plants, like raspberries, currents, shrubs and trees, without any damage to any new or old growth. It is the best product I have ever used and it also lasts the entire season.  Products like Prem will last about eight weeks then re-application is necessary. Prem works well around flower beds and garden paths, but the results have not been the best for me.
    It may be a little early to apply Caseron, and some areas may still have snow, but do not wait too long.  I am going to apply it to my fence lines and ditch banks tomorrow morning, (when the ground is still frozen and I will not sink in the mud).
    Caseron works best on bare ground. To apply, sprinkle it about as thick as salt and pepper. I use a hand fertilizer spreader that spreads it very thin. Caseron also works well on cracks or seams of cement sidewalks or driveways. For some of my wide flower borders, I use a walk behind lawn fertilizer spreader.
    WARNINGS
    1.  Do not apply it too thick or it will kill the ‘good’ plants. A little bit goes a long way.
    2.  READ PACKAGE DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY!!  Caseron is a STRONG HERBICIDE.
    3.  Be careful, Caseron lasts one year in the soil.
    4.  Caseron spreads, I have had it spread as much as one foot.  So do not apply it too close to gardens or flowers.
    5.  Be careful using it around children, pets and livestock–especially chickens.
    6.  Use a face-mask and gloves when applying and wash clothes afterward.
    50 WEEK GARDEN SCHEDULE
    Jan. 4th Week 1 Order gardening catalogs
    Jan. 11th Week 2 Check out Books & Magazines from Library
    Jan. 18th Week 3 Family survey
    Jan. 25th Week 4 Garden Journal, study gardening books
    Feb. 1st Week 5 Seed inventory, test seeds
    Feb. 8th Week 6 Make a garden plan
    Feb. 15th Week 7 How much to plant
    Feb. 22nd Week 8 Buy seeds
    Mar. 1st Week 9 Plant onion seeds and artichokes
    Mar. 8th Week 10 Trim Raspberries and apply Caseron
    Mar. 15th Week 11 Plant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage seeds
    Mar. 22nd Week 12 Plant flower seeds & herbs
    Mar. 29th Week 13 Plant onion sets, plant raspberry starts
    Apr. 5th Week 14 Plant tomato, pepper seeds
    Apr. 12th Week 15 Transplant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage if ready
    HAVE A GREAT GARDENING WEEK, WHETHER IT IS DREAMING OR GETTING IN THE DIRT!!!!