Saturday, February 19, 2011

Did you know, you should pick your cherry/grape tomatoes before it rains?

So, I posted below the FREE eVersion of the Garden Fresh garden mag from's not an eBook, an eVersion is totally different in that when you click on it, it opens on a webpage rather than a pdf to have to deal with.  You turn the pages just like a real book and click the  +  at the top to zoom in.  Well anyhoo, there's some super great info this eVersion of Garden Fresh, I didn't know for sure if I'd like it or not, but I DO!

Gardening tips to remember:

First off, did you know that you should pick your cherry and grape tomatoes that are ripe or almost ripe right before it rains?  This is because they're so small and ripe to almost-ripe, their skins are so much thinner, that when it rains, it's too much moisture for them and they'll spit.  Now I know why my cherry and grape 'mators always split!  and now I know how to keep it from happening again!

Next, I didn't know that peppers, all varieties basically, LOVE bonemeal.  I never really know this...did ya'll??  Plus, you should always let your tomatoes come to room temperature before serving with meals or on a sandwich for maximum flavor, as the cold from refrigerations reduces the flavor and fragrant chemicals within them, however they'll begin to run to their orig. strength as they warm, eh?

Pepper plants...this tip may have been my problem last year, as I only received 3 tiny bell peppers from a total of 9 plants, grrr.  Don't over fertilize!  Peppers are very fickle, if you over fertilize, they'll grow beautiful, green and full foliage...but you're likely NOT to get very good fruit, either in size or at all.  And you should never work in the pepper part of your garden after a rain or watering, as the moisture and water aids in the spread of plant disease among them and makes them more prone to it...I told ya, they're fickle little things.

Cucumbers....this isn't from the Burpee, but from me.  MY idea for cucumbers works beautifully....tomato cages upside down!  Plant your cukes in a mound, of course, then once the sprouts are a few inches, place an upturned tomato cage over the mound and keep in place with ground carpet secure staples (they're like reg. staples, but thicker gauge and longer pronged).  As they grow, guide them up the cage and over the top.  Doing this not only aids in support of the cucumbers, it allows oxygen and air to flow between them, decreasing rot and helping the plant grow larger produce.  It also helps to keep the plant from crawling all over the ground, latching onto other plants or in the walkways.  Believe me, it works perfectly.  My cucumbers last year were just the basic type, but grew to over 12 to 13 inches long!  This will also take care of most of any cuke mildew problems that may occur, I didn't have a problem with that at all.

Beans, pole and bush:  work with them only when they're dry.  They are prone to rust, which is HORRIBLE to deal with if you've never had to, trust me.  Rust can spread when they're wet, so work with them, pick, trellis, or do other things to them ONLY when they're dry!  and, of course, don't forget to pick them.  Picking them regularly encourages them to grow more...they can't grow another in it's place until the one before it is gone, ya know  ;)


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