How and When to Harvest Garlic

When is it time to harvest your garlic? Today I will share the clues you need to know it is time! Today we are talking all about how and when to harvest garlic as well as how to cure and store garlic! How Long Does Garlic Take to Grow? For the largest garlic cloves, garlic seed which is actually just garlic cloves, should be planted in the fall, before the first hard freeze. Because of this, I like to think of planting garlic, as the beginning of a new growing year. In our neck of the woods, zone 8b outside Seattle, Columbus Day is usually the target date, or mid October. For the best selection of garlic, it should be ordered online mid summer. Most places run out quickly of favorite varieties. Here is a page showing what Amazon currently has in stock: Garlic Seed My absolute favorite variety is Music Garlic. Great flavor and huge cloves! Big cloves are key to being one of my favorites. I have grown varieties where the cloves are teeny tiny and it is no fun peeling them! You can plant it later and it will do fine. In fact, you can plant it in early spring if you like. However, you will get much smaller garlic cloves as a result. Around here, harvest time is usually late June to early July. So that makes it around 8-9 months for it to grow and be ready for harvest. Related Article You May Be Interested In: How to Store Onions Thru the Winter The Benefits of Freezing Your Tomato Harvest How to Freeze Your Green Bean HarvestOur favorite Homesteading & Gardening things in our Amazon Store! Pros and Cons of Hard Neck vs Soft Neck Garlic What’s the difference between these two…

Free Tomato Plants from Cuttings – Farm Fresh Tuesday (#7)

Do you love tomatoes? Would you like to double or triple how many tomato plants you are growing for FREE? Today, I will be sharing tips on how to get free tomato plants from pruning the suckers,  found in our featured post this week! Growing Tomato Plants from Seed Are you a tomato lover like me? I LOVE me some home grown tomatoes! I can never get enough! Every year I grow my tomatoes from seed, and have a lot of great tips here in my Seed Sowing 101: Planting Tomato Seed article. I also go over how I transplant tomato seedlings in my article How to Transplant Tomato Seedlings. Be sure to keep reading, to learn how to get yourself some FREE tomato plants! Tips for Growing Tomatoes Tomatoes are a little bit tricky to grow, so I have some tips here in these related articles: Simple Easy DIY Tomato Support System – A great tutorial on how to support those ever growing indeterminate tomatoes. These guys can get out of hand quickly, so it is a good idea to have a plan on how you are going to support the plants, before they even go in the ground! I have found that this support system, works really well for me year after year. Some other things, like those tomato cages, don’t. They fall over pretty quickly or the string used in the weave method breaks. This system is sturdy and rock solid, but does take some effort well before your tomato plants need it. Tomatoes do better in the long run, if you prune them. (Hint: this is how you get the free tomato plants too!) Especially near the ground where viruses and bacteria can splatter up onto the foliage and create problems for your plants…

How and Why You Should Prune Tomato Plants

Not sure how or why you should prune your tomato plants? Today we will be sharing how and why you should! Pruning Indeterminate Tomato Plants Indeterminate tomato plants grow much taller than determinate tomato plants. They are a vining plant that will continue to grow and produce fruit until they experience their first frost. Therefore it is a good idea to provide them adequate support and to prune them to keep them healthy. To see how I support my tomato plants, please see my article Simple DIY Tomato Support System. Determinate tomato plants on the other hand, are not a vining plant that continually produces fruit. They grow one large crop of fruit that all ripens at the same time, and then the plant dies back. This type of tomato does not need to be pruned as much. However, I would still prune around the base of the plant (see below for more on that). Related Article You May Be Interested In: The Benefits of Freezing Your Tomato Harvest How to Transplant Tomato Seedlings Seed Starting 101: Planting Tomato Seed Our favorite Homesteading & Gardening things in our Amazon Store! 3 Reasons Why You Should Prune Your Tomatoes There are a couple of good reasons why you should prune your indeterminate tomato plants to keep them healthy. Pruning the lower 12″-18″ of the plant, helps to prevent back splash from the ground when it rains or when you water. The dirt in the ground can carry viruses which can harm the plants such as blight. Removing the stems and leaves at the bottom of the plant allows for less surface area for those viruses to infect. Pruning the suckers off the plant, creates better air flow and air circulation around the plant. This also prevents disease and…

Watering Solutions – Farm Fresh Tuesday (#6)

Are you watering your garden properly? Many people don’t. Today, I will be sharing all about watering solutions for your garden via my own personal tips, and those solutions found in our featured post! How to Water Your Garden Properly Now that the summer heat is settling in, watering your garden is essential. If you are a beginner gardener, this post is for you! I participate in a lot of online gardening groups, and one thing I see time and time again, is people incorrectly watering their garden. And then they wonder why their plants are struggling. I saw a post on last weeks Blog Hop on this topic on how to water your garden, and decided to feature it this week as it is very timely! Watering Tips for the Garden My personal tips on watering your garden the correct way are these: water deeply, every few days on an overcast/rainy day if you can to prevent extra evaporation when you think you are done watering, dig down 6″ or so and check to see if the soil is wet down there, it should be! do not water briefly every day: this only waters the surface roots, which dry out very quickly due to the heat of the sun your goal should be to water the deeper roots, you want the water to go as deep as possible, so the plants will send their roots deeper plants with only surface roots will struggle and not produce well for you plants with deep roots will be happier healthier plants MULCH! It conserves water, prevents evaporation AND prevents weeds! See my article on mulching: The Secret to Easy Gardening, Use Mulch for No Weeding! Our Featured Post This Week: Watering Solutions This week I chose to feature…

DIY Tutorial Tomato Support System (Cheap, Easy & Strong!)

Staking Indeterminate tomatoes is a must. Today, I will be sharing with you how to stake tomatoes cheap and easy with this DIY tutorial on how to build a tomato plant support system using wooden stakes and chicken wire! Tomato Cages, Stakes and/or Trellises Not Working For You? Than you are in the right place! I got tired of my tomato support cages falling over, my wooden tomato stakes not being tall enough, the trellis system not being big enough, the twine or string breaking in a weave system. So my husband and I set out to build something that works! This DIY tomato support system uses inexpensive 2x2x8 wooden posts and chicken wire or welded wire, whatever you might have on hand will work. It is an excellent support for tomatoes in pots, or in the ground! Related Article You May Be Interested In: The Benefits of Freezing Your Tomato Harvest How to Transplant Tomato Seedlings Seed Starting 101: Planting Tomato SeedOur favorite Homesteading & Gardening things in our Amazon Store! How to Stake Tomatoes in Pots Living in the PNW, in our cool short summer growing season, I grow my tomatoes in pots, both in the greenhouse, and outside. It helps keep the plants & roots warmer, and I find that I get a bigger harvest growing them in pots. But I struggled to find a way to support the indeterminate tomato plants while growing them in pots. That is how this system was born. How to Stake Tomatoes or Support Tomatoes in a Greenhouse After unsuccessfully growing tomatoes outside, we invested in this greenhouse. It is rather large, at 10×20 and is my favorite gardening purchase EVER. (I secretly want a second one, to expand my Making Money Growing Plants project each spring&#8230…

Tracking Your Homestead Garden Harvest Tally

Today I am excited to share how and why I keep track of my Homestead Garden Harvests! Do You Track Your Garden Harvests? How many of you have thought of tracking your homestead garden harvest? For the last number of years, I have been weighing mine, and logging the results in a spreadsheet. I was initially inspired to do so by Mavis over at One Hundred Dollars a Month. One year she grew over 2,000 lbs! It is fun to see how much food you can grow, and this is an excellent way to keep track of it. I use this digital kitchen scale and I weigh items as you would find them in a farmers market. For instance, in a farmers market, when you buy carrots, they have greens on them. So when I weigh my carrots, I weigh them with greens on. I log in every single thing that I harvest! Related Article You May Be Interested In: The Benefits of Freezing Your Tomato Harvest Which Pressure Canner Should You Get? How to Preserve your Pumpkins and Winter Squash by Roasting and FreezingOur favorite Homesteading & Gardening things in our Amazon Store! Challenge Yourself to Grow More Food! I like to challenge myself to grow a little bit more food each year. Why? Because someone can always use it! If you can’t, first thing you should do is offer it to people who really NEED it! I like to donate to our local food pantry when I have a lot. I also decided that this year I am going to try and sell a little bit too, so this will be an experiment. I don’t live in a place that gets a lot of traffic, so a cute little farmstand at the end…