Veggie Garden

Vegetable Gardens

Watermelons! December 5, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 9:59 pm

Hi Everyone,

So another favorite of mine in the summer is watermelon. Therefore, I figured I would learn how to grow watermelon in my garden for next year. I think it would be a tasty treat for all my hard labor of gardening. Watermelon is great to have on a hot summer afternoon when you need a cold sweet treat. My sister tried to grow them the first summer she had a garden but she was not successful. I think she got 2 small watermelons out of it and they were not so ripe. She did not do research on how to grow them though and I think that was her problem.

So here is what I found out:

1) Like almost everything else I have talked about in my past blogs, Watermelons love warm humid weather. They do not like cold weather. So as you guessed it, make sure it is in a sunny place and do not plant outside until it is above 65 degrees at night. Also, adding a tarp over the top of the soil and then cutting some slits in it for the plant to grow through will help keep the soil and the seeds warm.

                -Colorado might not be the best place to grow watermelon. If available, watermelons will do better in a greenhouse type structure until warm enough outside. 70% humidity is ideal, but ventilation is key too.

2) Good cirrculation is a must so do not plant close to other vegetables. Make sure it has plenty of room to spread out. Perferably in its own area. So if you are the type of person who wants a small garden, watermelons may not be for you. Unless, you do not plan on planting much else. I think this was my sisters problem. She does not have a very big garden and she planted a lot of veggies that year.

3) The soil should be slightly sanding and well drained. Plant some organic matter in the hole with the seeds/plant. Seeds are much better because watermelons do not do that well with transplanting.

4) Plant your seeds 3-7 feet apart depending on the type of watermelon seeds you buy. A good guess for depth of planting the seed is 4x the seed width.

5) Young seeds should receive about 1/2 an inch of water per week. After he flowers bloom, slow your watering down. Over watering will cause the plant to rot. Also, watering to much and close to harvest time will cause the sugar content to be lower and the inside to hollow out.

6) Once the flowers bloom remove the plastic covering so that the bee’s can pollinate and help the watermelon grow. If not enough bee’s to pollinate you can hand pollinate to help.

7) The watermelon should be ready to harvest about 40 days after the flowers are completely bloomed.

watermelons

800px-watermelons

watermelon2-787391

Now reading this you may be thinking to yourself, Colorado does not seem to be the best place to grow watermelon. Well I think you are right. I am not positive that I will be successful with my plants in the summer but I am still going to try. I would really love to have watermelons, and to try and fail is better than not trying. So we shall see. It seems really hard to me but I have faith, so should you if you love the fruit like I do.

Here are a few sites I visited for information. If you are planning on trying they will help you for sure. 

-Main Street Seed and Supply Comp. http://www.mainstreetseedandsupply.com/growing-watermelon.htm

-Agri Support Online http://www.agrisupportonline.com/Articles/germinating_watermelone_seeds.htm

-Good forum site to visit for growing watermelons is http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/cornucop/msg021320431359.html

 

Update on Herb Gardening! November 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 12:04 pm

Hi everyone,

First off I wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving! I am so excited for tomorrow I can’t handle it. I love this time of the year and getting together with family. So enjoy your Turkey Day! I know I will!

wild-turkey

With that said I wanted to update you all on my herb garden. It is doing very good and I am starting to see small plants growing out of the soil. I should be able to start using my herbs soon. I can’t wait. However, I did kill a few of them at first.

Here are some little tips I picked up on successful herb growing:

1) Don’t over water. I thought my plants needed water everyday and I gave them what I thought was enough every morning. I soon found out I was drowning them and they stood no chance. I learned to use a misting spray bottle and just sprites them a little every morning rather than dumping water in their containers. They started sprouting soon after.

2) I also had my herbs in the window that faced East because I thought morning sunlight would be better. Well I learned that a window facing South was much better. If you do not have a window facing South like me, you should invest in a growing lamp.

3) My last tip which I have not done yet but might have to in the next couple weeks is to watch the roots. If they are getting to big you might want to re-pot the herbs in a bigger pot. Also, change out the soil frequently. I think I will do that the end of next month as well.

You may also want to visit these sites for more tips on herb gardening. http://www.linglesherbs.com/quicktip.htm, http://www.backyardgardener.com/herb/index.html, http://www.gourmetspot.com/herbfeature.htm

Until next time 🙂

 

Growing Pumpkins! November 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 1:59 pm

Hi everyone,

This week I wanted to talk about growing pumpkins being that it is that time of the year. Pumpkins are what Fall is all about with jack-o-lantern’s and pumpkin pie (yumm!). Yes, Halloween is over but we still have Thanksgiving right around the corner and pumpkins are an icon for Thanksgiving as well. If any of you like pumpkin pie like I do, there is nothing like fresh pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving made from fresh pumpkins. Pumpkin pie is my specialty so next year I plan on growing them in my garden for making pumpkin pie, bread and all kinds of goodies.

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Growing Pumpkins:

1) Pick a sunny place to plant (just like most other vegetables).

2) Pumpkins do not like the cold very well so wait until middle or end of May to plant. This should still be plenty of time to have pumpkins for Halloween.

3) Make your hole about 1-2 inches deep with 2 seeds per hole and 2-3 feet between each hole.

4) Pumpkins need their room to grow so planting them separate from other vegetables is ideal.

5) Pumkins like moist to dry soil so do not water to often. However, when you do water make sure to give them enough water to insure the water goes deep into the soil and reaches their furthest roots (Drip irrigation is ideal).

6) Pumpkins are sensitive to cold temperatures and wind so make sure to protect them from the harsh elements.

Harvesting Pumpkins:

1) Most pumpkins reach maturity 50 days after their flower bloomed. A Good way to tell is if you have a rich, warm color and the vines start to die off. 

2) You can expect to get 25-50 medium pumpkins per 100 foot row. So you can estimate if you have a smaller parcel. The larger the pumpkin the less will grow.

3) If a few of your pumkins are ready to harvest early you can pick them and store them in a cool place (60-70 degrees) and out of humidity. Do not stack them when storing to ensure they get enough air circulation and do not rot.

Now you know how to grow pumpkins. Hopefully you can be successful and enjoy your labor come next fall. I know I will! 🙂 For more information and helpful tips visit http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopExt/4DMG/VegFruit/pumpkin2.htm or http://www.pumpkingrowingtips.com/organic.htm

I also wanted to share with you my pumpkin pie recipes. It is my favorite thing to bake.

pumpkin20pie

Pumpkin Pie Recipe (makes 1 1/2 pies)

Ingredients:

2 cup pureed pumpkin

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 nutmeg

1 2/3 cups evaporated milk

2 eggs

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

(a little tip- poke holes in crust and bake for 5 minutes before adding the batter.)

Mix all dry ingredients together first, and then add everything else. (Use and electric mixer on low so that it is light and airy). Add to pie crust. Cover crust edges with tin foil. Try very hard not to get the mix on the crust when putting into oven or your crust will be burnt there. Cook at 425 for 20 minutes and then turn heat down to 350 for 1 hour. Times may vary. It is good to check the pies after 30 minutes. Use a toothpick and see if still liquidity. If dark spots start appearing on top take the pies out because they are over done.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Election! November 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 9:01 pm

Hi everyone,

Sorry but I am going to deviate from my normal posts on gardening to talk a little about the election, being that it was the most important thing to happen in our country this year. This election was probably the most important election in my opinion. Our country is extremely vulnerable right now and the economy is spiraling downward. Obama has a lot on his plate to deal with and frankly I do not think he has what it takes to be the president of the United States. Personally, I think he sweeped the nation with his talk of change, yet has no plan on how he is going to make that change happen. He is already backing out on some of his promises now that he is officially the president. In his speech last night he said “we can’t accomplish everything we set out to do in one term.” He is already running for his next term and hasn’t even official stepped into his first term to prove what he might be capable of.

This is an e-mail I recieved yesterday that sums up all of my feelings.

Dear Mr.
Obama,

It is August 30, 2008. My name is Mark Gregg. I am a 50 something conservative white male. I have followed your campaign closely, including the speeches you and others made at the democratic national convention. I am respectfully providing you with seven simple (probably shallow) reasons why I could never vote for you. I believe my opinion is shared by many people. While there may not be quite enough to prevent you from becoming president of this nation, I do think there is an awakening to the fact that you are not a (the) messiah that the media and liberal Hollywood entertainers are trying to portray you.
1. I hear your mantra of change, change, change. Yet, you picked a long term, liberal, Washington insider (Joe Biden) to be your running mate. This is NOT change. It is a move that hypocritically refutes the very thing you supposedly stand for. Your campaign then slammed McCain for picking Sarah Palin, apparently, because she is NOT a Washington insider. She is a maverick who cleaned-up Alaska’s quagmire of political scandals.
Which way is it, Barack? Is it okay for you to pick a Washington insider under the mantra of ‘change’, but not okay for John McCain to pick a smart, aggressive, reformer?

2. You have the single most liberal voting record in the senate. This indicates to me and others like me that you may very well be an angry black man seeking to punish our country for sins of a different generation. I am not racist. I have some biases just like you and every other human alive. Unlike the democrat party who claims to be for the minority (but their record heavily refutes this), I will give any person who truly needs help, help. I married a ‘minority’ girl 35 years ago (she is Hispanic) and have seen the evils of prejudice first hand. However, I have also seen my wife and my children and others in her family throw off the veil of self imposed prejudicial bondage and move ahead. They love our country and do not view themselves any different than I view myself as a citizen of this country. Your lovely wife so disappointed people like me during this campaign when she stated it was the first time she had ever been proud of this country. She apparently never noticed the massive aid we give dozens of other countries. She apparently never noticed the sacrifice of literally millions of veterans who helped make this country a free nation and helped liberate other nations from brutal dictators such as Adolf Hitler. She apparently does not remember that she attended ivy league universities with scholarship money that ultimately (at least some of it) was paid for by our taxes. This troubles me more than you know. She is an angry black woman who appears to not like her country very much. I don’t want her representing me to the rest of the world.
3. You claim Christianity but apparently do not realize that the Bible teaches that he who does not work, does not eat. The Bible does not say or even suggest that he who CANNOT work, should not eat. Yet, your liberal policies reward people who are capable of working, but choose to not do so. This bothers me. I know that if you are elected our taxes will spiral upwards. You should heed the words of Winston Churchill: ‘We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.’ If I like anything about you, it is your campaign promise to balance the federal budget. Unfortunately, we have heard this a huge number of times from a number of different politicians and we realize that when you energize the very liberal Nancy Pelosi, Robert Byrd, Ted Kennedy, etc, etc, and the many other democrats like them, a balanced budget will never, ever happen on your watch.
4. During your question and answer session with Rick Warren of Saddleback Church your answer concerning the question of where does life begin, stunned me: ‘Above your pay grade?’ Does this mean when something bad happens as President of this nation that you are going to look at your salary to determine if you can respond? I am sorry, but this was the most serious gaffe I have seen you make. Frankly, it shows me that you are pandering in the most obvious manner. You will choose your words not from your heart, but from an agenda that I believe is still hidden from the American people.
5. If anything stands out about you it is probably your appeasement mentality. In this era of rampant, radical Islamic extremism and with the latest stunt pulled by the re-energized Russian government, I am not sure appeasement is healthy. I again revert to the words of Winston Churchill: ‘An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
6. You and your party tacitly believe that a 13 or 14 year old girl must have the parents approval to have the school nurse provide them with a Tylenol when they have a headache at school. Yet, this same girl can become pregnant and the school can skirt her off to a clinic and abort the child in her body without the parents knowing or being notified. This scares the hell out of me. You have two little girls. Would you be upset if this happened to them and you were not informed? Then why do you stand for this? It makes no sense to me.
7. My seventh and final point (for now) is your supporters. I have watched the Hollywood entertainers that support you, systematically embrace Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and others like him. I see the continuous smut and garbage produced by Hollywood, the very people who promote you the most vigorously. It is not a positive point to me and others like me to see these over-paid, bizarre, poor examples of human existence fawn over you and push you and your liberal agenda as hard as they do. The way I see it. When the devil is for you, we should question whether or not we should be against you.
In closing, I just want you to know that you scare me. I cannot vote for you. It is not because of your skin color. It is because these items I’ve listed and many, many others like them. Do not claim that my dislike for you is race based. It is because I do not feel you have the best interests of this nation at heart.
Respectfully,

Mark A. Gregg

 

Unfortunately, many people in this country got rapped up in his promise of change and let those words steer their decision alone. I hope with all my heart that I am wrong and that Obama does good for this country. I hope all that he does is in the best interest of the American citizens and that he really does change Washington for the better. But for now I feel America has voted for a long and rocky four years.

 

Herb Gardening! October 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 8:19 pm

Hi Everyone!

I just got a herb gardening kit to grow indoors and I figured I would share it with you. I am so excited! I am not much for cooking but I think I will be now that I have fresh herbs to add to my food. Well, I don’t have them yet but I will in a couple weeks when they start to grow. I got my kit from http://www.herbkits.com/culinary.htm. The one I chose was the indoor culinary kit that included a hanging garden stacker (pictured below) for $59.99. The kit included Parsley, Thyme, Cilantro, Basil, Dill, Oregano, Sweet Marjoram, Chives, Savory, Garlic Chives, Mustard and Sage. The planter will hold 9 different types of plants and each herb packet comes with more than enough seeds to experiment with and plant more if you need to. The kit comes with everything you need to plant your seeds and detailed instructions on how to plant and care for your herbs.

Hanging Herb Garden

Hanging Herb Garden

This is the perfect kit for people who love to cook and it makes a great gift. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in growing herbs inside.

Another item I bought was a bowl to crush my herbs in (pictured below). I cannot wait to be able to crush my fresh herbs in it and cook with them.

I will keep you posted on how well my herbs are growing as the weeks come.

Have a great weekend and Happy Halloween!

 

Maintaining your vegetable garden! October 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 9:35 pm

Hi everyone,

Now that you know how to start your garden and how to transplant your vegetables, I think it is time to give you tips on how to maintain your garden.

1) Watering is very important. You do not want to over water or under water your plants. It is always best to water in the early morning or late evening when the sun is not so hot. Use a nozzle that has big droplets rather than a mist or spray. As your plants get bigger, give them more water. The soil around the roots is all that needs to be moist, so the larger the plant gets, the deeper the roots go, the more water they need.

Tip: If you are unsure about whether your plants need water or not, a good way to tell is to sample the soil. Dig a narrow hole about a foot away from the plant and about a foot down (or as deep as the roots go). Take the soil you dig out and squeeze it in your hand. If it clumps together then you do not need to water. If it crumbles or is dry, give your plant some water.

2) Use mulch to help hold in the moisture. Landscape fabric covered with wood chips works the best. For a less expensive mulch use newspaper, grass clipings or compost leaves. The mulch will also help keep the weeds from taking over.

3) Staying on top of weeds is an important part of gardening. Mulch will help as I said before, but you will still need to keep an eye out for those persistent weeds that grow. Every time you water you should inspect you plants to make sure no pests are invading, weeds are pulled, and that everything is growing properly and upward.

Tip: Read the packages for all your different plants and try to follow directions carefully.

Tip: Do not use pesticides when the vegetables are about ready to be picked unless it is absolutely necessary.

Picture taken from http://z.about.com/d/gardening/1/0/R/9/OverviewSonny.JPG

 

For further descriptions on maintaining a vegetable garden, visit: http://www.colostate.edu/Dept/CoopExt/4DMG/VegFruit/maintain.htm

 

Fall is here! October 16, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 10:24 pm

Hi Everyone,

As you all can feel Fall is here. The leaves are falling, the air is chilly, and the days are getting shorter. I love this time of the year except for one thing. No more vegetable garden and no more fresh tomatoes on my vines. I am sad! : (

But I do have next year to look foward to, and all winter to sit inside and read up on vegetable gardens and how to grow plants successfully. I cannot wait until next year. I plan on having so much more in my garden.

If you haven’t done so already, you should pull all your old plants. If there are any vegetables left hopefully you can still salvage them. However, we are having cold nights now and I would be surprised if they last. I just pulled my tomato plants out of their planters the other day. A sad moment at that.

Until next time!