Blog posts from February 2010

‘Easy Does it’ 2010 AARS Rose…I’m drooling…

Feb 26, 2010

UPDATE: We'll have these over at NHG this week! If you've read my blog for a while then you know how I feel about peach colored roses. I CANNOT wait to get my hands on this one! 'Easy Does It', a floribunda and the 2010 AARS winner, is to die for. It's so....ruffly!

Easy Does it Rose

So you wanted to know which tomato variety this was??

Feb 22, 2010

Alright folks, I'm letting the cat out of the bag. It seems Organic Gardening Magazine won't be publishing our test garden variety results this year. They do have a feature scheduled to publish the 2010 trials next year. So I guess I'm free to tell you now about my 2009 trials. The amazing tomato below, which was my favorite from the trials, is a variety called 'Sapho'. Yes, it's spelled correctly. North Haven Gardens will have a limited quantity of the plants available around mid-March. Call them to check for arrival time. Prime tomato planting time here in North Texas is about the second week of March through the end of March for early summer harvest.

* I wish I could identify this tomato variety for you...but I can't...it's top secret. LOL. If I told you, well then, you know what I'd have to do to you. It's one of my Organic Gardening Magazine test varieties. And, it's awesome. It's not often you can plant a spring crop of tomato and have it continue to produce and ripen through the entire summer and fall here in Texas. With a fantastic flavor to boot! Normally, once spring plants have produced their early summer crop, the heat of summer pretty much does them in. Then, we plant a second fall crop in mid-July. These babies have just kept on truckin' since spring. The plants are indeterminate and have gotten big and a bit rangy over the growing season, but the fruit are fantastic. It's a saladette type fruit. These are planted in my front yard and I usually just end up eating the ripe fruit right off the vine. So tasty...

Falltomatoesripen 

I'll fill you in on this tomato next spring once OG publishes test results...*

What wood is best to use for raised beds?

Feb 16, 2010

Here is a question I received from Jocelyn:

"I have to start building my raised garden beds this week (mother-in-law in town to babysit while I build) – before I can get to the “Raised Beds” seminar this weekend at NHG.  I was hoping you could help with a build question today! I am thinking of going in one of four directions.  1 x 12:

1.      Cedar finished with AFM Safecoat Dynoseal (http://www.afmsafecoat.com/products.php?page=6#73)
2.      Cedar unfinished
3.      Regular lumber (the basic building lumber from Lowe’s) finished with AFM Safecoat Dynoseal

4.      Regular lumber unfinished

How fast would unfinished wood deteriorate in our DFW weather?  Is a sealer necessary?  What type of lumber do you use and has it held up?

Jocelyn,

Honestly, I would not personally use any sealer or treatment on the wood except perhaps Linseed Oil. Linseed oil is combustible so you you have to take care in using it, but it can be safely used on wood for veggie beds.

I built all of my beds with rough-cut untreated cedar. This is going to be the most naturally long lasting option. I also built my chicken coop out of the same material, untreated. I used 2 x 12’s instead of 1 x 12’s on my beds so they won’t bow as much and they’ll last much longer. About half of my beds are going on 6 years. They still look great and I wouldn’t expect that I’d need to replace any of these beds for another 5 or 6 years. Probably much longer to be honest. I used 4” coated deck screws to assemble them, with 4 x 4 corner posts for bracing. Here is how I build mine: raised beds

I would not use regular treated lumber, and unfinished regular lumber (pine) will disintegrate on you much more quickly.

Now, the rough-cut untreated cedar is going to cost you the most money. And the only place I’ve found it for the past few years was at Ivey Lumber in South Dallas. I’ve heard rumors that Lowes or Home Depot might be carrying it now, but they won’t do any cutting for you. Ivey will.

Second in longevity to the Cedar would be Redwood. FYI, we have Redwood raised bed kits at NHG right now in 3’x6’ and 4’ x 8’ (12” high). All you have to do is screw them together easy peasy. They’ll be a but less expensive than building the cedar beds, plus there’s very little labor involved. raised bed kits

For soil recommendations you can go here: Raised bed soil mix

Homemade Ginger Ale…mmmmmm

Feb 14, 2010

 
ZingiberThere aren't many opportunities for treats on my restrictive diet. So when I came across this recipe for homemade ginger ale, and I realized that all the ingredients were not only things I'm allowed to eat, but I'm allowed to eat them on the same day... I had just had to make it of course! It sure is yummy...

  • 2-3 tablespoons filtered water 
  • 1/3 cup peeled/chopped fresh ginger
  • ΒΌ-1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 
  • 3-5 table \spoons honey 
  • 2-3 tablespoons agave nectar 
  • one pinch sea salt
  • Club soda or sparkling water

First take the peeled chopped ginger and mix with 2-3 tablespoons filtered water in a blender or magic bullet type mixer. Pulse a few times and then blend on high speed until really smooth.

Then take some cheese cloth and place it over a strainer. Pour mixture onto cheesecloth/strainer into a small pitcher. Once the liquid has passed through, pull the corners of the cheesecloth together and press out all the juice into the pitcher.

Add the lemon juice, honey, nectar (or stevia) and salt together. Stir until completely mixed.

Pour about 1/4 of the mixture into a class with ice and fill glass with club soda or sparkling water. Top with lemon slice.

YUM...I can actually have some soda!

Happy Snow Day from Dallas!

Feb 12, 2010

Snowman

First signs of spring…now signs of winter…

Feb 11, 2010

Lol...I'm sure spring will be back next week!

Backyard1

The veggie garden in the snow...

Chickenshuddle 

The gals huddled together inside their coop...poor Phyllis and Einstein and their poor wet dirty hair!

Signs of Spring…

Feb 8, 2010

Whoohooo! The flower buds are swelling on the peach trees...

Peachbuds

Broccoli Buds…

Feb 7, 2010

Just a shot of some lovely broccoli coming on in the garden. Now's the time to harvest broccoli planted back in Nov/Dec. It's also the time to plant new transplants of broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts!

Broccolibuds


Back to top

Tips in your inbox

E-Newsletter

Sign up for the E-Newsletter for industry info, gardening trends & tips.