7 Reasons Why You Should Grow Blue Jarrahdale Pumpkins

One of my most favorite foods to grow, are the beautiful Jarrahdale Pumpkins. Everyone who has a vegetable garden should grow them! If you don’t, you will see them at your neighbors house and wish you had some of your own! Really! It is almost seed buying time, so definitely put these on your list! OK, here we go, these are the reasons why you need to grow blue Jarrahdale Pumpkins! And be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for a great list of other fun pumpkins to grow! 7 Reasons Why You should Grow Blue Jarrahdale Pumpkins: 1.They are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!! Just look at them! They are a gorgeous blue-green-greyish color. They contrast beautifully with the traditional orange, or also look great with white pumpkins, for a more modern farmhouse design! Stack them in alternating colors on your front porch, and you will be the envy of your neighborhood! 2.They are a great investment! If you are trying to get a lot of bang for your buck in the food department, you need to grow these. If cured correctly, (let sit in the sun for 7-10 days after harvesting, which allows the skin to harden) they can last up to 12 months in a cool dark place in your home like a closet or unheated room, even under a bed. On average, mine have weighed about 15 lbs each, some get much larger than that even! That is easy peasy long lasting, whole, real, healthy food that is inexpensive, so they are great for the budget. Especially if you grow them yourself! 3. They can make you some money! If you sell at a farmer’s market or have a farm stand at the end of your driveway, you…

Tamara


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How to Transplant Tomato Seedlings

How to Transplant Tomato Seedlings It is that time of the year, where it is time to transplant your tomato seedlings into their final spot for the summer growing season. In this article, I will share with you how to transplant tomato seedlings. If you need a tutorial on how to plant tomato seed, please see my article Seed Sowing 101: Planting Tomato Seed. I will show you how to plant tomato seedlings in pots, the traditional way in the ground, or how to plant them in the ground in trenches. Hardening Off your Tomato Seedlings Before moving your tomato seedlings to their permanent location outdoors, they need to be hardened off. This means that they are slowly and gradually allowed to accustom themselves to real outdoors conditions rather than the sheltered and stable indoor conditions that they have been growing in from seed. Start by moving your seedlings outdoors into a sheltered area, away from wind and hot direct sun, for an hour or two the first day. Three to four hours the second day, increasing the time by a little bit more each day until they have been outside all day. Same goes for exposing them to full hot sun. Don’t move them from the sheltered location, into a full day of hot hot sun. They will get sun scald and may go into shock. Slowly allow them to become accustomed to the direct sun as well. Preparing the Tomato Seedlings for Transplanting Once the seedlings have been hardened off, it is time to prepare them for their transplanting. Prior to transplanting your tomato seedlings, give them a good drink of water. I always water my tomato seedlings in trays from the bottom. By giving them a good drink ahead of time, this will help prevent…

Tamara


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How to Plant Onion Seedlings

This article will teach you how to plant onion seedlings for a healthy robust onion harvest in late summer. To learn how to grow your own onion seedlings, please see my How to Plant Onion Seed article from my Seed Starting 101 Series. In that article I discuss the pros and cons of planting onions by seed or by sets, and talk about different onion varieties you can choose to grow.  If you have any other questions after reading, please feel free to comment below! When and Where to Plant Onion Seedlings Onions are a cold hardy crop, so they can be planted much earlier than your warm season crops. Here in the PNW, I like to get mine planted in early April. Make sure that your soil is workable and not too wet by doing the squeeze test. Grab a bit of soil in your hand and squeeze. If the soil stays in a muddy ball when poke, then the soil is too wet. If it crumbles and falls apart when poked, you are good to go. Planting seedlings in soil that is too wet, will cause them to rot. When determining where to plant your onions, choose a sunny location with loose, well draining soil. Remove any weeds from the area prior to planting. Please don’t use commercial weed killer, you really don’t want that stuff anywhere near you or your food! Fertilizing the Onion Seedlings If you are new to gardening or starting a new garden, it is probably a good idea to test your soil to see where it is lacking in nutrients. I follow a no till method in my garden, so all supplements and organic matter are just added in layers above the soil. Onions are heavy feeders, so first…

Tamara


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How to Get a Massive Potato Harvest from Pots

The last few years, I have been trying to grow a massive potato harvest from pots. I’ve even tried these potato crates. I was getting an ok harvest, but the potatoes were always small, and never as big of a harvest as I had hoped. A little over a year ago, I stumbled upon someone on YouTube, who was having absolutely amazing results. Dan from Allotment Diary who is from the UK. The video I watched, he harvested over 25 pounds from a 13 gallon (50 liter) pot, and some of these potatoes were HUGE! The Tutorial to Grow a Massive Potato Harvest from Pots Thankfully Dan from Allotment Diary, has made a lot of videos on his process. This is the video I originally watched: Please be sure to Subscribe to Dan’s YouTube channel here to get more awesome gardening tips from him! He has a bunch of video’s on growing potatoes this way, as he makes a new one every year. He also has a lot of video’s showing his potato harvests, so if you want to see more, go check him out. You can also find him on Facebook. 🙂 My Results Last Year So last year, I grew my potatoes his way. The results were AMAZING! I actually had, that massive potato harvest from pots that I had been trying to achieve! So I am here to share how I did it, following Dan’s advice. I did not weigh all my food harvested last year, but I did weigh my best pot. It was only a small pot, about 10″ wide x 12″ high, so approximately 2-3 gallons I am guessing? My harvest from that single little pot was 12.8lbs!!!! And the potatoes…

Tamara


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Seed Starting 101: Planting Tomato Seed

Choosing Varieties to Plant Are you planting tomato seed this year? I will teach you how I grow many varieties of tomatoes from seed in this article. Have you decided which tomato varieties you will be growing this year? There are so many varieties, I think that is the hardest part of planting tomato seed! Just trying to decide! When you are deciding, think about how you will use them. I like to make a lot of tomato sauce to can up and keep in the pantry and I also like to freeze a bunch. I also love to eat them fresh. And I love to try new varieties as well as stick with the old that have worked well for me or taste the best. Below I have listed out which cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes and roma or paste tomatoes I will be growing this year.  Breaking them down into these three categories makes it a wee bit less intimidating! Cherry Tomatoes Past favorites that I have grown before and will grow again this year: Sungold: This is my favorite, and I think that goes for many people. A small orange cherry that is super sweet. Like candy! Yellow Pear: This is another favorite that I grow every year, not only for the color (I like lots of different colors, I would never plant all red tomatoes!), but it is also super sweet and it is fun to have a different shape as well. Blush: I grew this for the first time last year, and it was a quick favorite. The fruits are oblong in shape, almost like a mini paste tomato and they are a bit larger than most cherries. They are yellow, and as they ripen they get red and orange streaks down them. They have a…

Tamara


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Seed Starting 101: Planting Peas

Happy Spring! Today is the first day of spring…..have you got your peas planted yet? Planting peas is usually my first act of getting the garden going for the year. It is the first thing that gets planted outside in the garden in the new year, along with fava beans. Also known as broad beans. Fava beans are simple, just stick them in the ground, down about an 1″ or 2″, and you are good to go. Peas are a little more tricky, so in this article I will share my tips for planting peas successfully. Not a Fan of Peas? If you or your family are not a fan of peas, have you ever tried them fresh from the garden? Eating raw peas fresh from the garden is like eating candy. They are so sweet and crisp and yummy! Nothing like store bought canned peas which in my opinion are just gross. Freezing peas from the garden are almost as good as fresh. See my article on freezing beans, I use the exact same method for freezing peas. After shelling them of course! Than blanch and follow the same exact procedure. Although you can preserve peas by canning them, I find them unappealing preserved that way. So give them another try and grow them yourself and you will see. Types of Peas There are three different types of peas, shelling peas, snap peas and snow peas. Shelling peas are the ones you shell, and harvest the round green peas from inside the shell. I prefer the Green Arrow variety, because it produces a lot of peas per shell and they are super sweet and crisp. It takes a lot of time to shell each pea by hand, so I would rather get a lot of…

Tamara


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