Monday, August 27, 2012
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
It is time to start planting your fall vegetables or cool - season vegetables. Some of the vegetables that like the cool weather are broccoli, cauliflower, peas, spinach, onions, garlic, potatoes, lettuce, mustard & cabbage. If the weather in your area is still quite warm/hot, you may want to start sowing your seeds indoors & transplant them when the weather gets cooler. If you have nice cool weather, you can directly plant them in the soil. Take care to water them more than once a day if the weather starts to warm up.
I started a little patch & planted some red onions & carrot seeds in the soil today. Planning to plant garlic, spinach, cauliflower & some peas in the next few days.
Here's a "time window" to plant your fall vegetables in zone 8
|Beans - 8/1 - 9/1 (lima beans 7/15 - 8/15)||Muskmelon (Cantaloupe) - 7/15 - 8/1|
|Beets - 9/1 - 10/15||Mustard - 9/15 - 10/15|
|Broccoli plants - 8/1 - 9/15||Parsley - 8/15 - 10/1|
|Brussels sprouts - 8/1 - 10/1||Peas, English - 8/15 - 9/15|
|Cabbage plants - 8/15 - 9/15||Peas, Southern - 7/1 - 8/1|
|Carrots - 8/15 - 10/15||Pepper plants - 7/1 - 8/1|
|Cauliflower plants - 8/15 - 9/15||Potatoes, Irish - 8/15 - 9/15|
|Chard, Swiss - 8/1 - 10/15||Pumpkin - 7/1 - 8/1|
|Collard/Kale - 8/15 - 10/1||Radish - 9/15 - 10/15|
|Corn, Sweet - 8/1 - 8/15||Spinach - 9/1 - 10/15|
|Cucumber - 8/1 - 9/1||Squash, Summer - 7/15 - 8/15|
|Eggplant plants - 7/15 - 8/1||Squash, Winter - 7/1 - 7/15|
|Garlic - 9/1 - 10/15||Tomato plants - 7/15 - 8/1|
|Kohlrabi - 8/15 - 9/15||Turnips - 10/1 - 11/1|
|Lettuce (leaf) - 9/15 - 10/15||Watermelon - 7/1 - 8/1|
Timing is very important for a successful fall garden. Crops sensitive to the cold need to planted ahead of time so that it matures before the weather turns cold. Also, heat sensitive plants have to be planted accordingly to avoid any heat but making sure the plant has enough time to grow before the first frost.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Composting is simple & is a way of recycling our food waste.
So, what exactly can be composted?
Fruits & Vegetables - peels & cores
Tea bags or used tea leaves
Egg Shells (rinsed & crushed)
Rice & Pasta
Dried flowers & plant clippings
shredded newspaper ( skip the colored paper as they have harmful dyes )
Keep a container with a lid in your kitchen to collect all your food scraps.
The method is to use two earthen pots, one a little bigger than the other. The hole at the bottom of the smaller pot needs be covered with a piece of rock. Place the bigger pot on top of the smaller one ( the bottom part of the bigger pot should cover the mouth of the smaller one).
Then place a layer of shredded newspaper & grass clippings in your bigger pot.
Once your container in the kitchen is filled with scraps, empty 1/2 of it onto the layer of newspaper & grass clippings. Layer with more shredded newspaper & grass clippings. Add the rest of the food scraps on top. Slowly mix everything together. The food scraps make the nitrogen layer & newspaper, grass clippings are carbon. The carbon layer should be added above & beneath the food scraps.
Loosely cover this mixture with a piece of wood or some plastic to avoid attracting pests. Mix every few days to provide oxygen to the pile which helps the ingredients break down. Your pile should always be moist, but make sure that it is NOT soaking wet !!!
Place this in a warm sunny location for the composting to be faster.