Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Goji berries grow in Saskatchewan!

We were giving the garden tour to my sister in law and her husband last week and Gary, being the observant man that he is, pointed out that I actually had some goji berries at the base of my new plant! They are a bit on the muddy side, but they are goji berries! The test will be to see if they survive the Saskatchewan Winter. They should as they are native to the Himalayan mountains. I only have a handful, but I have berries!


Friday, June 20, 2014

Growing Blueberries...continued from last Fall

 Last Fall, I had planted 12 different hardy to Saskatchewan blueberry bushes. Three of the low bush blueberries did not survive. They were fine until Spring and then just dried up. They'd been kept in a garage all Winter just above freezing and had been watered enough to keep them dormant.
I put them all on my deck because some were wanting to flower and by golly, I wanted my own blueberries this year, so out they went and of course the bees found them in record time. Because they had been in the garage, the silly things wanted to grow way too early. So when it got too cold, we hauled them all back in for the nights and put them in the sun during the day.

Last week, all the viable plants were planted into the garden and they are doing very well. We've had a cool wet Spring and so the plants did not suffer from sun burn of any sort. They do have berries on them and I will be netting them this week so the birds don't get to eat them before I do!

Next, I will proceed to add pine needles to the plant site as well as other mulch.

Can't wait to taste that first berry!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

You can't believe everything you read on the Net

There are lots of things that I've read on the Net that have worked wonderfully. One of my biggest flops for gardening was the potato in the barrel. Yeah well, it really doesn't work that well. I will be trying it again in the future but all the directions that I read...nothing worked.

This Winter, I tried making all my seeding pots out of newspaper. The directions were awesome and I make all these great little biodegradable newspaper pots. I was worried about the inks in the paper affecting my plants but all the reading I did assured me that the ink was safe and biodegradable.

You know that little voice in your head that speaks to tell you to question it again? Yeah well, I should have listened to it.

I went ahead, filled my cute little pots with organic soil. I carefully seeded all my cute little seeds and waited for them to come up. Some came up and some didn't at all. Then those little seedlings withered and died or turned yellow and shriveled up. What did grow, stopped growing, they were stunted. I had them in a sunny window and under a grow light. Nothing seemed to help.

Look, I've been gardening a long time. Never had such a colossal flop ever. I really mean EVER.

Too late to start any more, I hit up the green house and bought all new ones and put them into the garden.

Not the heritage varieties I wanted. But at least I have a garden.

After seeing what newspaper can do to plants, I decided that I would never use it in my garden for whatever reason.

I really don't want to eat ink anyways...

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 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!