January 2007

January 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Last of my flowers bracing for the "superstorm"

Our weather Thursday and Friday was wonderful. It's hard to believe that an historic "superstorm" is headed our way. I can only hope we are far enough on the outskirts to get a mild version.  Rain and 50 mph winds are predicted, nothing we haven't had before.  But what will it do to the rest of my flowers?
begonias are still going strong
Coleus looks beautiful against the yellow leaves of my hosta. I took a few cuttings to root.
Feverfew is re-blooming with more blossoms yet to open
This is my favorite mum.  I don't know the actual name of it - I get many of my plants from friends and the original names don't come with them. I should pick a bouquet of these and bring them to work before the wind demolishes them.
Jupiter's Beard and rust-colored mum
2nd blooming of lavender, alyssum doing great now that the hot, dry summer is over
miniature rose bush hanging in there
Climbing roses still working their way up the arbor
Turtle head not done yet

Morning glories and snapdragons
I let my morning glories come up wherever they want, which is all over my yard. Occasionally I have to pull some out when they threaten to strangle another plant. It's such a joy to go out in the morning and wander about looking for their pretty little blossoms greeting me with the morning sun. They have migrated to my back yard and are now growing in with my raspberries. That could become a problem - I'll have to stay on top of them next year.
Speaking of raspberries - look at what is still growing in my yard!  I've been picking and eating them right at the bushes - no chance of them making their way into the house.

For all the east coast bloggers - stay safe and dry the next couple of days.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fried Green Tomatoes

The weatherman said it was going to freeze. Here was my dilemma - I live so close to Lake Ontario, it was possible we would stay above freezing while 1 mile inland might freeze - so do I take my chance on not freezing and leave my tomatoes on the vine or do I pick them? 


Then comes the question - what do I do with all those green tomatoes?  I could let them ripen indoors, sure they'd turn red but they wouldn't have any flavor. They'd just be a tasteless red thing in my salad - like those things we use all winter just to add color to our salads. Then I got an Epiphany - FRIED GREEN TOMATOES!  YUM

I forget to make these all summer, or maybe I just don't want to pick my green tomatoes. I'd rather pick them ripe and slice them into a sandwich.
Here's how I make my fried green tomatoes:
Fried Green Tomatoes
mix yellow cornmeal with spices (I like salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano)
slice tomatoes about 1/4" thick
dip tomato slices in beaten egg, then dip in cornmeal mixture
fry in a little bit of hot oil until crispy on each side
serve with a dab of mayonnaise

And there you have a delicious end-of-summer treat when the weatherman says your garden is going to freeze - oh and by the way, mine didn't freeze.  I left a few tomatoes out there but they are still green.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Epsom Salts for your garden

I've been reading a lot about using Epsom Salts in your garden on other blogs so I decided to share what I've been learning. They aren't just for sore muscles anymore!
I've used them on my green peppers for many years - I never knew why they were good for them, I just heard that they were.  Well, here's why:
Epsom Salts are magnesium sulfate. Magnesium and sulfate provide many benefits to your plants
  • helps seed germination by strengthening the plants cell wall
  • helps the plants produce chlorophyll
  • helps plants absorb fertilizer such as phosphorus and nitrogen
  • many gardeners believe using Epsom Salts make their plants bigger and greener and produce more flowers
How to use:
  • Mix 2 Tablespoons into 1 gallon of water. This can be used to water potted plants, including houseplants, and outdoor plants in the garden once a month.
  • Mix 2 Tablespoons into 1 gallon of water and use in a sprayer to water your plants.
  • Before setting plants into the ground, put 2 Tablespoons of Epsom Salts into the hole or sprinkle 1 cup per 100 square feet of  garden over the soil and work it in before planting.
Tomatoes tend to become magnesium deficient during the growing season resulting in yellowing leaves and less fruit production.  Water every 2 weeks with the Epsom Salts mixture or work 1 Tablespoon of Epsom Salts per each foot of plant into the soil around the base of the plant.

Peppers also suffer from magnesium deficiency. Treat as for tomatoes but feed twice a week.

Roses benefit from feedings of the Epsom Salts and water mixture.

Shrubs- work 1 Tablespoon per 9 sq. feet of shrub into the soil over the root zone.  Repeat every 2 weeks.

Your lawn can also benefit from spraying with the water mixture or putting Epsom Salts in a spreader.

I'll have to wait until next spring to give this a try. It seems like a no-fail way to give your plants an all-natural, low-cost boost.