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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  • GARDENING WEEK 9, PLANT ONIONS & ARTICHOKES

    Posted on February 28th, 2013 Pam No comments

    Week nine already!!!!!!!

    So now is the time to plant onion seeds and artichoke seeds. Plant these inside with a grow light, in a cold frame or in a greenhouse.  Planting them now gives them about a 40 day head start.
    Yes, Artichokes can be grown in eastern Idaho! I have grown them successfully now for three years. The Artichokes aren’t large, they are about baseball size.  If harvested when they are smaller, they don’t have a ‘choke’ part.  But the best part about growing artichokes is that because they are fresh, they taste so good!
    Artichokes and onions grow slowly, but they will withstand some cold weather.  Planting the seeds now will make sure they will be tall enough to transplant later.
    Last November I tried planting onion seeds, onion sets and radishes in my garden. I’ll update this site as to how they are doing as they come up this spring.
    Planting onions sets vs planting onion seeds. Planting onion sets gives the onions a huge head start, but do not store through the winter as well as the onions that were grown from seeds.  It is best to plant both onion seeds and onion sets.  Harvest the onion sets through the summer and fall, don’t harvest any onions grown from seeds.  Only harvest them late fall, dry them out and store for winter use.
    To plant onion seeds in flats, I use eight, 4″x 4″ inserts in each flat. I usually plant 50-75 seeds in each 4″x 4″ pack. It is best to plant them in 3-4 small rows. This makes it easier to transplant later.
    To plant artichokes in flats, I use eight 4-packs for each flat, in 32 separate 2″ containers. I usually plant two seeds per container or 62 seeds per flat. Then thin to one plant per 2″ container when they are about two inches tall.
    I recommend Green Globe or Imperial Star Artichokes  and Yellow Sweet Spanish Onions.
    Good luck and let me know how the planting is going!!
    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

  • GARDENING WEEK 8, BUY SEEDS NOW

    Posted on February 22nd, 2013 Pam No comments
    Yes, now is the time to buy garden seeds. Why??
    1.  Because the best selections are in stores now.  Be aware that the most popular seeds sell out quickly.
    2.  It may take up to four weeks to receive seeds when ordering from a catalog.
    3.  Spring is coming and it will be time to plant before we know it, buy or order now.
    4.  It is best to have seeds on hand when you want to plant them.
    Below is a 11 week schedule, we are on week 8.
    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

  • WEEKLY GARDEN PICTURES

    Posted on February 20th, 2013 Pam No comments

    This is my Wednesday garden update. I try to take pictures of my garden (inside or outside) every Wednesday. Here are the pictures for today.

    This is the last of the tulips I forced in water January 5th.

    This is a small Hyacinths that I forced in water February 4th. This is the first time I have had a pink one.

    This is the same Hyacinths, but this one shows the roots. Can you see the pennies in the bottom? They help keep the water fresh.

  • GARDEN WEEK 7, MAKE A GARDEN PLAN

    Posted on February 15th, 2013 Pam No comments
    This is quite a task, making a garden plan.  All of the weeks leading up to this week have prepared you for this huge undertaking.

    Listed below are a few tips.

    1.  First, put the same type of plants together, such as vine crops, salad greens and tall crops.
    2.  Place plants together that have the same watering needs, such as hand watering, sprinkling or drip irrigation.
    3.  Plan for succession planting, this is planting from two to five crops in the same place. A good example of this is salad greens and radishes.
    4.  Plan areas for saving seeds, this is an area where the vegetables will not be harvested but allow the seeds to dry or ripen for seed harvest. It is a good idea to mark these areas clearly, so they will not be harvested prematurely.
    5.  Plan areas for a fall garden, this is an area that will have crops ripen in the fall.
    7.  Plan areas for a winter garden, this is an area that will have crops that will winter over. For example, onions, peas and garlic.

    I usually make my garden plan in pencil and take it with me when planting the garden.  As I plant, I make changes if necessary.

    Below is a 12 week schedule, we are on week 7.

    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 How much to plant
    Feb. 15th Week 7 Make a garden plan
    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

  • GARDENING WEEK 6, HOW MUCH TO PLANT?

    Posted on February 8th, 2013 Pam No comments
    How much to plant depends on how much your family will eat, and your garden space.
    This is as simple or as complex as you want to make it.
    1. List what can be planted in your area.
    2. List what your family likes to eat, (check the family survey taken in week three).
    3. List any items that are on both lists.
    4. Plant these items, (plant more of the items that are on multiple lists).
    5. When the list is complete, put the items in order of  importance.
    Consider these five things.
    1. Will we really eat it?
    2  Will we plant several crops throughout the season? Remember to have extra seeds for additional crops.
    3. Do I really have room for it?
    4.Would I rather plant something else?
    5. Am I going to do any canning or store  items over the winter?
    Some seed packets list how much a package will plant. For example, a package of carrots may plant 50 feet, while a package of peas may only plant 20 feet.  Use package information as a guideline of how much to plant.
    Try this link #mce_temp_url# for an information vegetable table.
    This is a very good starting place, but remember, this is just one guide, adjust if necessary.
    Here is some information found there:
    1.  The number of seeds in an ounce and seeds in a gram
    2.  How many seeds it takes to plant 100 feet
    3.  The yield for 10 feet
    4.  How much to plant per person.
    5.  Row spacing.
    6.  Information about direct seeding or transplanting.
    Listed below are 11 weeks of my 50 weeks of gardening list.  If you find yourself behind, it is easy to catch up.  This is my schedule for Idaho Falls, adjust if necessary.

    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 How much to plant
    Feb. 15th Week 7 Make a garden plan
    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

  • ALWAYS EXPERIMENTING

    Posted on February 6th, 2013 Pam No comments

    I wanted to show how tulips continue to grow after picking them. They usually grow at least two more inches and get larger too.
    This was last Monday night, just after picking, (this tulip was forced to grow inside in water.)

    This shows a cut tulip next to a measuring tape. The height today is 19"

    This shows a tape measure that is at the top of the tulip.

    This is Wednesday morning, you can see the tulip has grown about 1.5 inches.

    Here is a picture of the tulip today, Wednesday about 8:00 am. I haven't changed the measuring tape.

    This is a close-up of the tulip. Yep, grown about 1.5 inches in 1.5 days.

    This is an update on my Hyacinths. They smell soooooo sweet!!

    Here is the last picture of the tulip test. This was taken February 14th and has grown a total of 4.75 inches from when it was picked on February 4th (10 days ago). I didn't re-trim this tulip, it would have lasted longer if I would have trimmed it.

  • INVENTORY SEEDS, WEEK 5

    Posted on February 1st, 2013 Pam No comments

    This week is easy.
    This week take inventory of all seeds that may be left over from previous years. After making the inventory, create a list of what seeds are needed or what is in the inventory.

    As seeds age, the percentage of germination or sprouting drops, so don’t carry too many seeds into the next year. Spinach, parsnips and onion seeds only last one year and should not be carried over to the next year. Try to plant all of these seeds every year and buy fresh the next year. Other seeds like lettuce, parsley, peppers, corn and swiss chard will last two years while peas, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and beans will last three about years.

    Keep the inventory list handy in your purse or wallet, or on your phone, then it will handy when needed. Try this… make the list and email it to yourself, then it can be used from a cell phone that has the Internet, or it can be accessed from almost anywhere. Then unnecessary purchases are not made and this will help keep the inventory low.

    If there are questions if certain seeds will sprout, test them by putting 10 seeds in a wet paper towel and place the paper towel in a ziplock bag. Make sure to label the bag with the seed information. Place the bag in a warm place, but not in the sun. Check it every few days to see that it is still damp and if any of the seeds of sprouted. If the after two to four weeks nothing has happened, the seeds may not be any good. Be patient when testing seeds some seeds could take up to four weeks.

    If after four weeks they haven’t sprouted, throw them away. If seven out of 10 seeds sprout then 70% of the seeds will germinate, so it is safe to use the seeds, just plant them a little thicker than normal. If all 10 seats sprout and then 100% of the seeds will germinate. Usually around 80 to 85% of seeds in packets will germinate. The percentage of sprouted seeds from seeds that you have saved yourself is usually higher.

    Now that I have said this, I have planted seeds that are much older than 3-5 years and sometimes I have had good luck with them. I usually plant them thicker and watch them carefully. I may also plant extra seed of the same type that was purchased this year. It isn’t a good idea to do this, because if the seed doesn’t germinate well, the entire season may be lost. It is always best to plant fresh seed. Spend time and money with seeds that are within the dates listed above.

    For example, one year I tried planting Sweet Meat seed that I had saved myself, as well as some seed that were pretty old. I thought that at least one of these types would come up. This is what happened. The Sweet Meat that I saved myself was not mature enough and DID NOT COME UP. The old seed was apparently too old and DID NOT COME UP. So this particular year, even though I had planted over 75 seeds, I didn’t have ANY Sweet Meat to eat or to sell. In my opinion, Sweet Meat is the best winter squash there is and I didn’t have any that year. So I learned my lesson, and I try to plant seed that is fresh seed and that has the best chance of growing.

    If this is the first gardening year for your family, begin making a list of things you may want to plant in your garden this year.