Sunday, March 2, 2014

Three week lemon trees

I have 17 beautiful little lemon trees growing! They will be getting transplanted tomorrow. I have read that they do not reproduce a true lemon. Not a big deal! I love the feel of the plants, they are silky and almost rubbery. They are about two inches tall at three weeks old. They did take about three weeks to germinate. See my previous post how I got them to actually grow.

Sooooo excited!

OK so I'm a garden geek.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Gardening right into a bag of potting soil

I'm going to try this. My cousin Rose posted a link on Facebook and I had to do a bit more research. This link from Mother Earth News describes how to go about it.

Mother Earth News

This would work especially well in back yards with no garden space or very poor soil. I would certainly be using an organic mix. In the fall, I would discard the bags and use the soil in my garden to improve it's quality. I have clay soil and it's heavy. I put an awful lot of soil amendments like horse manure every year. The result is beautiful soil.


Here's their photo from their website to entice you over there. They have a wonderful site!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Third time is the charm! Growing a lemon tree

 If you look really closely, there are little green specs and they are lemon seeds sprouting and growing! I have tried this three times and finally, I have success!
The secret to my success is a plastic grocery bag when you buy fruit and veggies at the grocery store. After visiting several web sites with how to's on how to grow a lemon tree, this is what works!

1) Fill a pot with potting soil.
2) Wet the soil thoroughly and let drain.
3) Press lemon seeds into the soil and cover.
4) Cover the pot with a plastic bag to create a mini green house
5) Place in a sunny window to warm the soil
6) Periodically, add water ... enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy. It must not dry out.
7) Most importantly: When removing the seeds from the lemon, place in a bowl with water to cover the seeds...do not let them dry out! Plant the day that you harvest the seeds from the lemon.

From what I can see, once all danger of frost has passed, the lemon trees can go outside for the summer until frost threatens in the fall. So far, I have 8 little lemon trees growing. I'm going to let them get started and then I will transplant them to each their own pots.

What kind of lemon seeds did I use? I bought organic lemons at the grocery store, not the Meyer lemons because I don't like their taste.

I love growing things that I normally don't get to grow! Grow my little lemon trees, grow!

Going to try growing an orange tree now! We shall see how that goes!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sun Dried Tomatoes in the Oven

I had a couple of bowls of tomatoes left from the gallons and gallons I picked. So this morning I had time to research a recipe and jump right in. It was super easy and as they are cooking right now, they smell totally awesome!

I found this page through Pinterest with an awesome how to video:

Sun Dried Tomato video


That was my starting point. I washed my tomatoes and cut off the flower end. Then, I cut the tomatoes in half. I then took the seeds and juice out of the halves with my thumbs...much easier than using a spoon. Next, I covered each of my cookie sheets with tin foil. Then I proceeded to lay the tomatoes side by side barely touching and filled the whole cookie sheet.

The herbs I sprinkled over top were salt and pepper, garlic and oregano. I sprinkled sparingly for my first try because the tomatoes shrink at least by half and the spices are going to be more concentrated.

I then took some extra virgin olive oil (organic) and drizzled over all the tomatoes. The tomatoes were then popped into the oven at 200F. They cooked there for almost 5 hours. I turned off the heat and opened the oven doors and let the tomatoes cool.
 Next, I took out some small canning jars and packed my cooled tomatoes into the jars, packing as I went. To release as much of the air pockets as I could, I took a dull table knife and gently went around the inside of the jars releasing the trapped air. Then, I covered the packed tomatoes with more olive oil. I screwed on the lids and Voila! they were ready for the freezer!
I did have to rescue some from my husband as he was busy taste testing them before I could get them into the jars. Lots of mmmmmmm and "These are good" going on. Not everything I've tried gets those kinds of reviews!

Enjoy!

Monday, August 5, 2013

My new varieties of Summer flowers

Just thought I'd share my new flowers growing in my flower garden!


These are all perennial flowers and bulbs I picked up this year at the greenhouse. Wonderful selections to add to my gardens!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Growing Mint

Mint is an invasive plant. I still love it, but I'm careful with it because I learned my lesson a few years back. Now, every Spring, I buy one plant from the green house and plant in a large three gallon pot. It grows all summer and just before frost I bring it in to have fresh mint for the Winter. It usually adapts fairly well to being in the house, as long as I water it and keep it in a sunny window.

When preparing the soil, I mix 2/3 potting soil with 1/3 garden soil and I add 1 cup of well rotted manure that I buy at the hardware store. Super easy. Just don't forget to water regularly!

It's an easy plant to grow!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Growing Kale

I grew Kale for the first time in my garden last year. I've read how much of a super food it really is. So what does one do with the stuff once it's growing in your garden? Keep it simple.

Kale is a member of the cabbage family. It grows really well in our Saskatchewan climate. All I did was till the soil and transplant the little Kale plants I got from the greenhouse and watered. I have never been able to find Kale seeds. I was reading Dr. Terry Wahls' website (www.terrywahls.com) and she's had some amazing results eating Kale.

I have to admit the only green thing I grew up eating was garden lettuce and yes, I ate a ton of it at every meal. But other greens I've had to acquire a taste for. I started with Spinach and graduated to Swiss Chard and now I'm trying Kale. Finding recipes for Kale has been trying.

These are some of the Kale plants in my Garden:
The plant itself is not very pretty. The leaves are thick and almost rubbery. They are very easy to pull off the base and wash up quickly. My son started adding a couple of leaves to our juicing. It's definitely green tasting. I have a glass of green juice every day...it's an acquired taste! What is amazing is that I feel better in a couple of hours, less fatigued. I now have a lot of Kale in my garden, because well, I bought six plants. What else can I do with it?

I found a simple recipe that sounded good. I picked 6 large leaves of Kale, washed it and then took off everything around the large middle vein and tore it up into large pieces and discarded the vein (my horses got it in their veggie pail...nothing wasted!) I had some green onion tails so I chopped up about 1.4 cup, added 6 minced garlic cloves and the torn pieces of kale with a couple tablespoons of olive oil into my stir fry pan. Stir fried for about 5 minutes until the Kale was tender and served it to my guys with their supper.

The above was the result and it was devoured by my crew! My guys ate it with no salt, but I think for me, a bit of salt may have added to the dish. It doesn't taste like anything I've ever had. The onions and the garlic certainly made the Kale taste better.

I was amazed how fast Kale grows, it almost grows as fast as the weeds in my garden. The only problem I have is that the little black canola beetles like it too...so I have to powder them once they start showing up because they will strip the plant bare.

Now I just have to figure out how to freeze it without losing all the nutrients!