Friday, August 31, 2012

Beefsteak Tomato

You are reading that correctly, that tomato weighs almost 2 1/4 pounds. Two years ago I decided to try growing Beefsteak tomatoes instead of the usual Better Boy tomatoes that I usually grow.

Compared to a regulation size baseball.
The plants themselves grew to almost 8 feet tall, producing these giant tomatoes. The only problem is if you like a slice of tomato on your hamburger, this variety was almost the size of the plate and didn't fit on the burgers very well.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Red Hot Chili Peppers-Look Around


Changing Hydrageas colors.




One of the best features of  hydrangeas is their color—pink or blue—and it’s a feature that’s entirely controllable by you.

First, hydrangea bloom color is determined by the pH level of the soil. An acidic soil has a pH level of less than 7, while an alkaline soil has a pH of more than 7. pH level—the measure of how much calcium is in the soil—are important factors in planting because depending on the level, available nutrients will differ. As a rule of thumb, acidic soils tend to populate moist climates, while alkaline tends to populate dry climates.

Pink-colored flowers must be grown in acidic soil without aluminum. A lot of soils contain aluminum, so it’s important to add a fertilizer that contains phosphorus to your soil to help eliminate the metal traces. After you do that, you’ll need to add calcium or limestone (or a combination of both) to the soil as necessary to raise the pH level, but only to the 6.0-6.5 range, as anything higher may result in iron deficiency within the plant.

To change your flowers to blue, add a ½ to 1 cup of aluminum sulfate to the soil at planting time. Keep track of your pH level, because you want to lower it to around 5.5 (it can go as low as 5.2). You can also add things such as grass clippings, coffee grounds and fruit/vegetable peels to help lower pH levels. Fertilizer rich in potassium will also aid in this process.

Changing the color of the blooms on your hydrangea is especially easy to do if you grow them in containers or on the patio. Regardless of the way you choose to do it or wherever you decide to grow them, your hydrangeas are sure to brighten your garden, whether they’re pink or blue.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Secrets to a greener yard



Most of these you will want to use a hose end sprayer attachment, Miracle Gro seems to make one of the better ones on the market.


YARD MAINTENANCE

AID YOUR YARD IN BREAKING DOWN CLIPPINGS
·         USE MULCHER ON YOUR MOWER
·         1 CAN                     COKE
·         1 CUP                     LEMON SCENTED AMMONIA
·         1 OZ                       LIQUID DISH SOAP
·         USE EVERY THREE WEEKS WITH 20 GALLON HOSE END SPRAYER
·         DO THIS BEFORE NOON

REGULAR YARD MAINTENANCE OR A JUMP START FOR YOUR LAWN
·         1 CAN                     BEER
·         1 CUP                     AMMONIA
·         1/2 CUP                 LIQUID DISH SOAP
·         1/2 CUP                  LIQUID LAWN FOOD
·         1/2 CUP                  CLEAR CORN SYRUP

FOR INSECTS
·         1 CUP                     LISTERINE (OR EQUAL)
·         1 CUP                     LEMON SCENTED LIQUID DISH SOAP
·         1 CUP                     CHEWING TOBACCO JUICE
·         50%                        MEDICATION (DURISBAN OR DIAZONON)
·         CHEWING TOBACCO JUICE - TAKE LARGE PINCH (THUMB  & TWO FINGERS) OF CHEWING TOBACCO, PUT IN NYLON SOCK, BOIL IN WATER

FALL FEEDING  (WEEKEND BEFORE HALLOWEEN)
·         1/2  RATE   FERTILIZER AND KIND
·         1LB                        EPSON SALTS
·         SPREAD DRY MIX ON LAWN
·         NEXT - USING 20 GAL LIQUID SPREADER
·         1 CAN                     BEER
·         1 CUP                     LIQUID DISH SOAP
·         FILL BAL.   AMMONIA
·         MAKE SURE ALL DEBRIS’S/LEAVES ARE OUT OF GRASS
·         LET GRASS GROW A LITTLE TALLER IN THE FALL

SNACK FOR YOUR YARD
·         1 CAN                     BEER
·         1 CUP                     LIQUID DISH SOAP
·         BALANCE   LEMON SCENTED AMMONIA
·         USE 20 GALLON LIQUID SPREADER

SPRING
·         CLOSE CUT YOUR GRASS IN THE VERY EARLY SPRING
·         NEVER CUT YOUR GRASS BEFORE 7PM IN THE EVENING
·         NEVER WATER AFTER 10 AM IN THE MORNING
·         WATER 1” PER WEEK

CRABGRASS PREVENTION - IN LATE FEBRUARY
·         1 BAG                    CRABGRASS PREVENTER
·         1 CUP                     LAUNDRY DETERGENT
·         APPLY HALF RATE - NORTH & SOUTH
·         APPLY AGAIN SAME RATE - EAST & WEST IN MARCH



DROUGHT - SOFTEN SOIL
·         1 OZ                       CHILDREN’S SHAMPOO
MIX WITH
·         ORDINARY TONIC
·         1 CAN                     BEER
·         1 CAN                     COKE
·         1 CUP                     LIQUID SOAP
·         1 CUP                     LEMON SCENTED AMMONIA
·         1 CUP                     APPLE JUICE
ALSO
·         ANTI-DESICCANT STOPS LOSS OF MOISTURE
·         APPLY ORDINARY SUGAR IN DRY SPREADER TO DROUGHT AREA SETTING #3
·         THEN APPLY TONIC OVER SUGAR: AND ONCE WEEK UNTIL DRAUGHT

FLOWER FEEDING (EVERY 3 WEEKS)
·         1 CAN                     BEER
·         1 CAN                     COKE
·         1 CUP                     APPLE JUICE
·         1 CUP                     LEMON SCENTED AMMONIA
·         1 CUP                     LEMON SCENTED LIQUID DISH SOAP
·         1 CUP                     LIQUID LAWN FOOD

THATCH PROBLEM - DO ONCE IN SPRING AND ONCE IN FALL
·         AERATE YARD
·         1 CAN                     COKE
·         1 CAN                     BEER
·         1 CUP                     LEMON SCENTED AMMONIA
·         1 CUP                     THATCH BREAKER/BUSTER - COMMERCIAL

GARDEN SOIL
2-1/2 GAL BUCKET      
·         50%                        PALLETIZED GYPSUM
·         50%                        LIME
·         HANDFUL   OATMEAL
·         1-1/2 CUP   SUGAR
·         1 CUP                     DOG REPELLENT
·         1 CUP                     DOG FOOD - GROUND UP

GOOD FOR 100 SQUARE FEET - SPREAD EVENLY - TILL INTO SOIL


PERENNIAL PLANTING
·         BEST PLANTED IN THE FALL
·         CUT PLANT IF TO BIG IN STARTER BOX
·         BUY THE SHORTEST PLANT NOT THE BIGGEST (MORE POTENTIAL)
·         BEFORE YOU PLANT IN THE GROUND
·         1 PINCH           EPSOM SALTS
·         1 PINCH           SUGAR


WATERING

·         1” OF WATER PER WEEK IS ALL A LAWN REQUIRES
·         DON’T WATER LATE IN THE EVENING




SLUG BAIT
1 LB. BROWN SUGAR
1 ½ TSP. DRY YEAST
WARM WATER

MIX SUGAR AND YEAST IN 1 GALLON JUG.  FILL WITH WARM WATER AND LET SIT FOR TWO DAYS UNCOVERED.  POUR IN SLUG TRAPS TO ATTRACT SLUGS.


GREENER GRASS JUMP START
1 CUP FISH EMULSION
½ CUP AMMONIA
¼ CUP BABY SHAMPOO
¼ CUP CLEAR CORN SYRUP

MIX IN 20 GALLON HOSE END SPRAYER AND SATURATE SOIL.  WAIT SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE SOWING SEEDS.

WILD WEED WIPEOUT TONIC
1 TABLESPOON WHITE VINEGAR
1 TABLESPOON BABY SHAMPOO
1 TABLESPOON GIN
1 QUART WARM WATER

MIX TOGETHER AND PUT IN HANDHELD SPRAYER.  DRENCH EACH WEED.

BLOSSOM BOOSTER TONIC
1 CUP APPLE JUICE
1 CUP GATORADE
½ CUP AMMONIA
½ CUP PEDIALYTE

MIX IN 20 GALLON HOSE END SPRAYER.  OVERSPRAY FLOWER BEDS TO POINT OF RUNOFF.

FLOWER DEFENDER TONIC
1 CUP DISHWASHING LIQUID
1 CUP TOBACCO TEA*
1 CUP ANTISEPTIC MOUTHWASH
¼ CUP HOT SAUCE
WARM WATER

MIX IN 20 GALLON SPRAYER, FILLING REMAINDER WITH WARM WATER.  DRENCH FLOWERS.
*PLACE ½ HANDFUL TOBACCO INTO NYLON STOCKING AND SOAK IN ONE GALLON OF HOT WATER UNTIL DARK BROWN.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Accidental pumpkins

When we first moved into our house the back yard sloped down pretty bad. There was about a 3 1/2 foot difference from my back door to the back corner of my yard, so every time I did a project around the yard I would take the extra dirt and throw into the back corner to even out the slope. After Halloween in 2006 I had a pumpkin that started to go bad, so i chucked it out into the back corner and forgot about it. Next summer all of these vines appeared out of nowhere!

Once I saw the big yellow blooms I knew exactly what it was and where it cam from! We got about 4 pumpkins the size of basketballs that year. Every year we would throw the old one out back and next season we would have more pumpkins, last year we even had some gourds. This year I replaced my green beans that didn't make it because of the drought with a variety of pumpkins that are supposed to get about 3 feet round and weigh about 100 pounds. I will add more pictures when they start to bloom.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Canna Bulbs

So i was in Lowes a couple weeks ago and noticed that they were selling Canna bulbs for $5 a piece! Then I saw you could buy 1 Canna plant in a one gallon container for $15!!! I have 30 of these growing around my yard right now and every season they multiply! I started out with 6 bulbs 2 years ago that I got for free from my parents. Maybe next season I should just pot them up and sell a bunch.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

propagation

I started these about a month ago, they already have their roots and new growth. Geraniums on the left, Hybrid tea roses on the bottom right and French Lilac on the top right.

I keep the new cuttings in a container in coarse sand and sealed up in a large trash bag to give them plenty of heat and humidity to help grow new roots.

Wine and Rose Weigela on the left and Smoke Bush on the right.

Rose of Sharon. The wires or rulers help keep the plastic off the leaves.

  
Red twig Dogwood bush. The tubes in the middle also keep the plastic off the new cuttings.