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The big question is though, should you prune your tomato plants, and if so, how should you do it? We'll show you how to prune tomato plants for maximum yield and also why you should prune them so you have a better understanding. Pruning tomato plants is actually an optional technique. Some gardeners swear by it, while others choose not to do it. One very important thing to keep in mind though, is the variety of tomato you're growing – this will determine whether or not you should prune your tomato plants. You should only prune indeterminate varieties. These produce new leaves and flowers constantly throughout the growing season. Determinate varieties, on the other hand, should not be pruned, as you may reduce their yield. Let's take a quick look at what the difference between determinate and indeterminate varieties is. INDETERMINATE TOMATO VARIETIES: DO PRUNE Simply put, indeterminate tomato varieties will continue to produce fruit all throughout the growing season. This means that they will continuously throw off shoots, which need to be pruned for maximum growth and health. Additionally, indeterminate varieties will also need a trellis or some sort of support. DO I HAVE TO PRUNE MY TOMATO PLANT?…



Have you ever heard of the pomato plant? In these uncertain times, people are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to sustain themselves and their families. That's why a pomato plant is a perfect vegetable to plant this season: it's a tomato plant on top and a potato plant on the bottom. The half potato half tomato plant aka pomato is simply a graft of a potato and a tomato plant. Basically, it's a two for one – you get two completely different vegetables in one plant. The great thing about a pomato plant is that it's actually easy to grow, and best of all, helps you save space in your garden. Keep reading to learn how to grow pomato in your garden! HOW TO GROW POMATO PLANTS There are three different ways you can grow pomato plants: from actual pomato seeds, purchasing an already grown pomato plant, or grafting your own potato and tomato plants together. GROW POMATO PLANTS FROM SEED: You can choose to purchase pomato seeds online, but a lot of times they can be out of stock and are particularly hard to find. Simply follow the instructions on the package to grow pomato plants from seed. PURCHASE A GROWN POMATO PLANT: Alternatively,…


What Is Compost And Why Should You Care

What is compost? Ever ask yourself what is compost, anyways? Well, compost is essentially organic materials that have decayed and are weakened by living organisms. This process continuously occurs in nature when leaves and other organic matter collects on the ground. Composting in your own backyard helps accelerate this process.  The resulting substance is rich in nutrients and feeds plants, improves soil quality and even helps prevent weeds. Why compost? You may also ask yourself, “Why compost, just for some free fertilizer?”.  But there is so much more to composting and so many great benefits: It reduces the amount of trash that goes to the landfill not to mention the amount you have to lug to the curb on trash day. By composting food & garden waste and recycling we’ve reduced the amount of trash we throw away down to only one bag per week. Your garbage will smell less. Composting a large portion of the food scraps you would normally throw in the trash also reduces the amount of rotting food in your trash. Which would otherwise stink and attract roaches. You feel good because you’re helping the environment, less methane is produced in landfills (a powerful greenhouse gas). It’s great for your soil,…

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DIY Root Barrel Cellar

This year we grew potatoes in our garden for the first time. We were really surprised at how big the potato plants grew. What we didn’t realize until too late, was that we were alleged to pile more soil on top of the young plants. You get more potatoes that way. Despite our not adding extra soil, we still got a pretty good harvest. About 38 pounds. We don’t eat potatoes a day, although we'll be eating more now. So the question now is how to preserve those potatoes to make them last as long as possible. Eric found (sorry I’m not sure where) someone who made a root barrel (instead of a root cellar). What a cool idea! So, we are going to try it out too. The theory is simple, the labor is hard work. First you buy a barrel. We bought a metal barrel, but plastic would work well too.  Dig a hole big enough for the barrel to fit into. This is the hard part. I’m so glad I didn’t have to do it. This project would have never gotten done if it was up to me. We have rock and clay and Eric dug through it in 100 degree heat.…

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How To Propagate Hydrangeas

Today I wanted to show you a trick for easily propagating hydrangeas. This is the time of year hydrangeas are getting trimmed back, so perfect timing to get cuttings to propagate!The first step is to get a cutting of a hydrangea. In our current place we don’t have a hydrangea, but our neighbor does and she lays the cuttings out in a branch pile so I scoop those up anytime I see them. Now, the cuttings I used had been laying out for a couple days, so they look a little sad and wilty. The great thing about hydrangeas is they will bounce right back, they are very vocal about if they want water and once you give it to them, they perk right back. If you are working off scraps from a fall trim up, you will want to section down those bigger branches into a couple smaller ones.I always cut right above a leaf segment, then pull off any lower leaves, leaving just the top ones. So one of my typical cutting would be about this size. Then my next trick I’ve learned, that seems bad, is cutting all the leaves in half or even smaller if they…

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How To Determine The Function Or Purpose For My Small Garden

In order to work out your small garden’s function you would like to think about three things: 1 How you will use your small garden This will set the stage for your small garden design. You should begin by asking yourself, “What is my vision for this garden?Do you want to be able to go outside and pick your own vegetables and herbs? Do you want a fragrant rose garden? Or, do you just want a little getaway that you can enjoy by yourself or with family and friends. This is totally up to you; it is completely a personal preference. 2 How much space you have Once you know what you want to use your small garden for, you’ll need to look at how much space you actually have to work with. This will determine if all the ideas you have for your garden are possible. At this stage start picturing in your mind where you would place elements that you may want to use. Think about where you'd put a chair, table, bench, fountain, containers, etc. 3 What is your budget How much do you want to spend? This will determine how large or small your project will…

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How To Make Self Watering Planters

I’ve been wanting to make these for a long time. Since I don’t often have plastic pop bottles lying around the house, it took a while to gather enough supplies. I made three or four of these a week ago and they are a definite success. The soil stays moist without any extra watering from me. The basic idea is that you fill the bottom part of the planter with water, have one side of the yarn resting in the water, while the other reaches up into the soil. You won’t need to water them every day, simply refill the reservoir when it gets low. Supplies you will need in addition to a medium-sized plastic pop bottle: hammerscrewdriverscissorsyarn Instructions: Start by cutting the pop bottle in half. I like to keep the top half (the one with the cap) longer than the bottom so there is a lot of room for growth.Poke a hole in the cap of the bottle with a screwdriver and hammer. This is the most difficult part. As you can see in the above photo, my screwdriver is stuck to the PopCap.Thread a piece of yarn through the pop bottle cap so that there is an…

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Organic Weed Control In Your Small Garden

Figuring out what plants grow best in your area is a very important part of the small garden landscape design process because it would be very disappointing if you plant your garden and then half of it dies at first frost. A simple and mostly reliable way to figure this out when shopping for plants is by using the USDA Hardiness Zone Map. This map divides the United States into 11 different zones based on average minimum winter temperatures. This index rates plant hardiness per area and can be used as a guideline when choosing plants for your small garden. Keep in mind though, that this is not foolproof because temperatures may go well below the minimum temperatures for the area. And it doesn’t account for heat, humidity, and regional climate fluctuations.  Also, there are temperature fluctuations within the garden itself – for example, a shaded garden will have lower temperatures than a full-sun garden. Photo by Arbor Day Foundation When deciding on plants you have to also take into consideration the amount of shade and sun, the wind circulation, and the direction your small garden faces. A southern-facing garden will get much more sun than a northern-facing one. You should also consider…

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How Far Apart Do I Space My Plants?

Something that most people overlook, even the professionals, is mature plant size and plant spacing. I see this much too often in private yards as well as in public areas. I see plants that are so crowded together that you can’t even tell what type of plants you’re looking at. I also see a lot of layered planting with the taller plants in the front hiding the ones in the back. But I understand why people do this. They want their new garden or their landscaping to look mature without having to wait the necessary time for that to happen naturally. Unfortunately, in the long run, the garden just looks cluttered and out of control. As you can tell this is one of my pet peeves. The old saying is true – patience is a virtue. It’s best to let your plants grow and evolve into their mature selves. An easy way to avoid clutter is to just read up on the plants you’re considering before you plant them. You’ll want to determine the mature width and height of each different plant you’re going to use in your small garden. And the recommended plant spacing measure.  Savings-tip: once you know the mature…

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Preparing Your Small Garden Soil For Planting

Before planting it’s important to consider some factors that determine the type of garden soil you have. Soil Structure Garden Soil is basically made up of three components; solid material (organic matter & minerals), water and air. The minerals in the soil determine its texture (clay, silt and sand). Each of these has varying characteristics. Sandy soil tends to have larger particles and holds less water, which in turn makes it less fertile. Clay soils have the opposite characteristic; clay is made up of very fine particles, which holds water too well. The mix of these types determines the soil’s structure. Loam being most desirable type. A quick test to determine what type of soil structure you have; grab a small amount of wet soil in your hand and try to roll it. If It crumbles easily it’s sand, if it stays together very well it’s clay. The desired result would be a soil that rolls up easily but falls apart when rolled thinly this is loam. Soil PH and Salinity PH and salinity are two other factors to consider before planting. The PH (acidity-less than 7 /alkalinity higher than 7) and salinity of the soil will determine what plants will thrive…

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Growing Herbs That Boost Your Immune System

As we deal with the new concepts of quarantine and self-isolation while trying to avoid the Coronavirus, many of us are fortunate that it’s time to get the garden growing. Tilling, planting and tending the garden helps me work off the boredom and frustration I’m feeling, so it’s sure to be just as useful to others. One thing I’ve decided to do while waiting it out is growing more immune boosting herbs in the garden. A healthy immune system helps avoid the virus, and many herbs are useful to boost immunities. Even once this Covid pandemic ends, there are still plenty of reasons to improve immunity. Which herbs work best? Here are my favorite herbs for boosting a healthy immune system. Echinacea – Commonly known as purple coneflower, this is a versatile plant when used for medicinal purposes, and you may already have it growing in your garden. There are more than 40 types of coneflowers, with Echinacea purpurea being most used. Flower petals, leaves and roots can be used medicinally. Make a tincture or tea with these parts to prevent infections and awaken and stimulate the immune system. Turmeric – Turmeric, or Curcuma longa, is a beautiful flowering plant filled with Curcumin, vitamin C, magnesium, and…

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Learning to be an Orchardist with Gilmour
Learning to be an Orchardist with Gilmour

Learning to be an Orchardist with Gilmour

It’s now or never. Or at least, now or who knows when. Or if I’d followed that Chinese proverb, I should have done it 20 years ago, but since I didn’t, then I should do it now.  I am, obviously, talking about planting trees.  A home orchard, specifically. Point is, I finally finished planting all the fruit trees that I hoped to plant 15 years ago when I moved into this house.  I didn’t get it done then, but I at least I made it the second best time – now.  The first half of the orchard went in about 6 years ago and included two persimmon trees (that are still smaller than your average 1 gallon perennial). Also, a peach tree that actually has 8 peaches on it this year (yes, I counted) and two cherries that are so pathetic that I need to remove them (or maybe just move, if I am feeling hopeful). There is a Cortland Apple tree that is epic and amazing and just wow, and another apple that is good – but needs some help.   But now, I also have a pear tree and two new cherries (one sweet and one tart) that hopefully…

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Walking Gardens, Blowing Snow, and Winter Paths

If I had closer neighbors, I am pretty sure they’d be looking out their bedroom windows into my garden and thinking I’d lost my mind. I’ve been using my snow blower to make paths in the grass.  Is that weird? It is just that if I make a path, I am more likely to walk out in the garden on these cold winter days. Because, as much as my head and my heart know that walking out in the garden is good for me, my feet really don’t like to trudge.  My calves don’t like the snow that comes over my boots and jams itself up against the back of my legs and my lower back really doesn’t like the nagging threat that I might slip and fall. The paths help. They do draw me out. I had a Garden Design Boot Camp student last fall who loves to walk and she has a really really long driveway and a huge piece of land.  Her whole design project focussed on the idea of creating the longest possible garden path (with interesting things along the way) for her to traverse. She needs her steps and she is creating a place to…

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If you are looking to find out the way to grow lime trees from seeds, indoors, or simply in your garden, you've come to the proper place! Lime trees can be grown in many different ways as well as in different climates, and this guide will give you step by step instructions that will make growing lime trees a breeze! Lime trees are super fun to grow, and, once you see the tiny little limes on your tree, you'll be over the moon! HOW TO GROW LIME TREES PLANTING LIME TREES: You can choose to grow lime trees from seeds or you can also purchase a small tree from a nursery, but growing them from seed is actually very easy and much more rewarding!Plant your lime tree or your lime seed in a location where it will get the most sun (this goes the same for whether you're planting directly outdoors or in a pot)Plant in well draining soil and if planting in a pot, be sure your pot has good drainage holes as well.When backfilling, make sure that the soil around the seed or the root ball is tapped firmly down.Water immediately after planting. LIME TREE CARE: Water regularly. If your lime tree isn't getting enough water,…


How to Grow Vinca | Growing Periwinkle in pots | Periwinkle

Growing Vinca (Periwinkle) These are attractive flowers covering the ground. Vinca has known by three names, Vinca, Periwinkle, or and Myrtle. These plants are native to China, North America, Europe, and India. Vinca contains annual plants that are drought tolerant and grow very well in hot, dry areas. If you develop it in one place, it keeps improving automatically. This plant known by three names, Vinca, Periwinkle, and Myrtle. Vinca plants are native to America, Europe, India, and China. Learn How to Grow Vinca, Growing Periwinkle in pots in this article. These plants are popular due to their attractive colors and bright leaves. These plants bloom in summer and keep on thriving in the cold. The color of these flowers is usually white, red, and pink. Periwinkle overview Scientific name                                                 Catharanthus roseus Common name                                                 Vinca, Periwinkle, Rosy periwinkle, Sadabahar Plant type                                           Flowering plant Sun required                                      Partial Sun to full shade Flower colors                                     Blue, Purple, White, and lavender Blooming time                                   May-June Soil                                                         Normal sandy or clay, well-drained Soil pH                                                  5.0 -8.0 Zone                                                      2- 11 How to grow Vinca Soil and location Vinca plants require good drainage. These plants grow well in fertile soil, but they also tolerate ordinary soil. Vinca plant…

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