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Cool ambient soil temperatures will affect plant growth, flower bud formation, and taste. Water walls will insulate against cold temperatures and help increase your harvest yields.
Don't Toss Those Old Tomato Seeds Before Their Time!
By pardalinum, March 7, 2014
Tomato seeds can stay viable for many years. Just reseal the packet, place in a ziplock sandwich bag and store in the refrigerator crisper. I have had good germination on tomato seeds that were 10+ years old. As you can see, it is also useful to keep track of the number of remaining seeds in the packets from season to season. Without reopening the packet you will have the information at hand to know when to reorder seeds.
Instead of using cages or posts, try using the Florida Weave method to support your tomato plants.
Grow Roma? Should You Be Growing Viva Italia Instead?
By Newyorkrita, March 5, 2014
Many of us grow paste-type tomatoes especially for cooking. Let's take a closer look at Roma and Viva Italia.
My new favorite sweet pepper to grow at home is the hybrid Italian variety, 'Giant Marconi' (Capsicum annuum 'Giant Marconi'). It's one of the largest of the Italian sweet peppers and has an oblong profile with a slightly lobed stem end. The fruits reach 6-8 inches or more in length.
No room for a conventional veggie garden? Think outside the box. I put new garden beds in the lawn.
Tomato spotted wilt first appears as light brown flecks on leaves. This is followed by growing brown spots, drooping, and finally, full browning and dying. The plants will look wilted. It affects many plants other than tomatoes, but on tomatoes the fruit is also severely affected. Discoloration is the most common effect, but cracking and rot also appear in severe cases. It also degrades the flavor and texture.
Avid gardeners everywhere love to talk about their favorite tomato varieties. But how do you know which tomatoes you would like the most, especially if you are a beginning gardener?
Here's a fun compilation of some interesting facts about tomatoes.
The Top 25 Tomatoes and Peppers, Selected by ATP Members
By dave, March 1, 2014
It's the week we've all been waiting for! Let's open Tomatoes and Peppers week with a look at the most popular varieties, as determined by the number of individuals who have posted comments and photos to the entries in our database.
ATP Podcast #48: Questions, Questions, Questions and Answers!
By dave, February 28, 2014
Today's show will be a non-themed show where we'll just talk about a variety of gardening topics we've wanted to cover. We'll answer a few questions we've received from the listeners, along with some timely tips on early spring gardening. Is pressure treated lumber safe for raised bed gardening? What about compost made from biosolids? Listen to find out!
About three months ago, I began an odyssey that took me to places that, in my life long journey as a gardener, I never would have imagined. It all began with a daylily seedling.
I have heard a lot of folks say that they cannot get their Amaryllis/Hippeastrum to bloom the second or third year, and I was very surprised to be told by a saleslady at a garden center that she was unsuccessful.
I sit here writing this on 1/28/14 while we await abnormal winter weather to strike this evening. Here in the south our perennials are showing signs of tender new spring growth, but the weather is predicted to give us a beating for the next 2 days in the form of unseasonable ice pellets and mixed winter precipitation, to include snow or sleet.
Composting can be a challenge in Alaska, where the weather is cool in summer and very cold for a long time in winter, but I think I have finally found a wonderful solution so I won't have to pitch out my kitchen scraps all winter and will have a hot compost ready for spring. Note black compost bins buried in the snow.
Many of us use online catalogues, but the paper copies still keep coming. They are useful to others who do not use technology, so we should drop them off at a senior center or other book exchange place. Our grocer has a bookshelf at the exit and I drop the paper catalogues there.
For plants that are a little too tender to survive the winter in your climate, you can still grow them with a little protection.
ATP Podcast #47: Our Top Culinary and Medicinal Herbs
By dave, February 21, 2014
In today's podcast we finish off herbs week by talking about our own favorite herbs, how we grow them, how we cook with them, and how we use them for medicinal purposes.
Caraway is an easy herb to grow in temperate zone gardens, and it has many culinary and medicinal applications.
When reading up on the use of herbs, one often runs into terms that sound similar but have slightly different meanings.
Explore the fun of using herbs in your daily life. In addition to their culinary uses, they may also be used for medicinal purposes and added to cosmetics, can serve as insect repellents, and reportedly have magical properties.
Bitter herbs (also known as bitters) have been used for thousands of years. They are frequently used in cooking, in herbal and alternative medicine, and in the religious ceremonies of numerous cultures around the world. These herbs can be powerful enough to cause physiological reactions within the body. So, what are the bitter herbs?
These two common garden herbs are useful both for adding flavor to our cooking and for attracting butterflies to our gardens as host plants.
Everywhere a mint mint! With apologies to Old MacDonald, let's dig a little deeper into the invasive tactics of a delightful herb named Mentha.