Wednesday, March 16, 2011

UPDATE: to add pic of my 'mators! Free-Standing Tomato Trellises

I'm just fed up with fighting with my tomatoes.  Last year most of my 12 plants grew to 6 feet you know how hard it is to find and make appropriate stakes to accommodate a 6 foot tomato plant? lol not so easy.  So then I came up with the idea of using a modified version of a cucumber trellis that is slanted.  But I don't know about that.  Then, I came across this plan for free standing tomato trellises, and I vaguely remember hearing about them, but never really studied on how to do them.  I think I may talk to the hubs and have a 'discussion' with him about this idea, lol.  The site that I got it from was the Vegetable Gardener, and in the article, it has a link that you can click to download the .pdf file of the plans.

(photo courtesy of Vegetable Garden .pdf)
 The plan is simple enough.  I don't usually grow my tomatoes in a row like this, but would consider it for this trellis idea if it's a solution for my 'mator growing woes! and HOPEfully, I'll be able to plant and grow them this years.

This was my tomato patch just a few weeks after I planted them...not producting at this size yet.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Check out some great FREE gardening and outdoors stuff I've 'dug' up!

We all love FREE, right?  How about some gardening, outdoorsy, or 'urban farming' type of freebies?
Well, here ya go!!

Lowe’s Outdoor Ideas mag, as well as other Lowe’s Creative mags. to choose from, 3 paper form and 10 email newsletters to choose from

FREE pedometer (this does come, I got mine) challenge yourself and see how many steps you take in a normal gardening week

FREE pr of ear plugs (choose from 3) they give 5,000 away per day…(these DO come, I got mine), they’re GREAT for when you’re using loud machinery and equipment like tillers and such

FREE pr of scissors.  GREAT to keep in your gardening kit

Sign up for Tomato Heirloom’s Newsletter and they’ll send you a FREE Basil Seed Pack, containing 1 each of Classic Genovese, Dark Purple Opal, and Lemon Basil (the newsletter signup box is over at the right)
(I don't know if these come, I just found it, thought I'd share)

FREE 3 yr mag. Sub. To ‘Living the Country Life’ has farming, gardening, chicken and other animal raising info and more. (this DOES come, I get it and I usually find at least one thing in the short mag. that I like or that applies to the type of 'outdoorsy' person I am, gardening, etc.)

Nuclear Meltdowns...this will effect if I garden veggies this year or not

With all that's happening around the world already, the natural disaster in Japan hits hard.  So many lives are lost, with more feared to be confirmed.  Then, to add to the horrible devastation, there's already 2 of the nuclear containment units in meltdown.  How it occurs, can effect many lives....including us, way over here in the US (and we're in the Midwest).  If it reacts to the meltdown by allowing too much nuclear contamination out into the atmosphere, it can be devastating for the entire planet.  If too much nuclear fallout gets into the atmosphere, it WILL 'go with the flow,' so to speak, and circulate, eventually making its way to continents near and far to them.  I'm watching the coverage of it with deep interest.  If too much is released, escapes, rather, it can effect the moisture and rain we'll be getting in the coming months, with potential contamination (even if in mild amounts), of our soil, and yes, our newly sown garden plants.  If it seems that it will be getting to an immeasurable amount, I'll choose not to plant edible items this year...which is not sitting well with me!  I love my gardens, veggie and floral, but not to the point that I want to potentially harm my family, which can cause stomach problems, long-term problems if too much is consumed, bowel issues, and so much more.  It will take away the 'organic' meaning of our gardens completely.

Of course, what I'm discussing is an extreme possibility...they're working frantically to keep the majority of the nuclear contaminates contained.  What I'm discussing above is a worst-case-scenario that I know we ALL do not want to witness happen for our lovely planet Earth.

Does anyone want to weigh in on my thoughts and fears regarding this issue?

FREE Gardener's Idea Book from Proven Winners

I always like looking at Proven Winners idea books.  They are great for just that, ideas.  Request their latest Gardener's Idea book for FREE!

Monday, March 7, 2011

FREE pkg of tomato seeds from Red Robin

Head over to Red Robin and sign up (requires parent's and child's name) for a FREE pk of tomato seeds from Heinz...comes in the mail in 4-6 weeks.  Note: it's in the first pic of the rotating banner!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My dogs helped in the garden the other day...and was truly helpful!

Here's a little story that I just HAD to share about my two dogs, Angel (aka Booger) and Sienna!

Sienna...if she's not sleeping, she's following me around or begging SOMEone to throw SOMEthing for her, lol

Booger's standing ON Tiger (the cat) because Tiger is laying on her blankie, which also happens to be on 'her' spot on the back of the loveseat...and Booger wants him OFF of it, lol
btw, Tiger has stopped letting Booger bully him LONG ago, so no, he didn't get off the blankie or Booger's 'spot', lol

My garden is currently 4 raised beds (4X8) in a 'corner turn' type of layout.  The one box against the side of the fence near the large tree/bush thing, was growing new trees out of it that germinated and such through winter, sprouted, etc.  Well, ONE in particular, was as big around as a nickle!  I was in a frustrated mood the other midmorning (don't get me goin' on the reasons), so I took the dogs out and we went into the garden...they LOVE going in the garden with the mama, lol, there's all sorts of mischief for them to get into, and dogs love mischief, especially ornery ones.  I had my 'claw' tool and was turning the soil (it's no longer frozen), so when it would rain, it would help push more rocks to the surface so I could clear'em out.  Well, I decided to take the claw to this tree thing, and the rat terrier (Angel a.k.a. Booger) noticed and started digging around where the claw was digging.  THEN, the golden retriever (Sienna), noticed that Booger was digging, came over to see what it was, and realized it was (in her blonde head, lol) a stick (and sticks get thrown for her to catch, ya know lol), and got a good grip on the 'stick' with her mouth, and started yanking on it.  So, I stopped with the claw, and Booger and Sienna kept going with much enthusiasm, I might add, until Booger got the roots loose enough for Sienna to yank the 'stick' out of the ground and then she shook it to get the dirt out (that's right, the dirt needs to stay IN the garden).  Peeps, I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  Seriously!  Now, Rat Terriers were bread to hunt, and well, to get rats in the barn (we let cats do that now, but in olden' days, rat terriers were the ones that use to live in barns and get the rats and snakes, to their demise at times).  Then they used rat terriers for hunting fox and subsequently to dig truffles (the root, not the yummy chocolate drops, unfortunately lol).  So, I guess Booger's inbedded instincts kicked in and she saw her mama digging (she likes to dig, usually it's for a rock or something she THINKS she smells), and just dug around the root.  Sienna, being the blonde that she is, probably just saw the potential of a stick, lol...and if she got it loose, that maybe I'd throw it for her, lol.  After this, I pointed to another one that was a bit smaller and said, 'dig it, Booger,' and they did the very same thing!!  In the end, they dug up 9 small trees out of that bed for their mama that day!  They got extra treats when we got into the house...and then, alas, they got into and ate cat food and had to spend an hour in 'jail,' lol but the point is this, they were being good doggies for their mama, and was helping her (good thing, cuz I can't root dig very well these days).  I had them dig up a few more yesterday, as well.  I so need to get that on video to post on YouTube, or at least a pic to post on here for ya''d get a kick out of seeing it.

FREE Garden Designer and Planner

I've yet to find the perfect CAD type planner that I'm in search for, but Gardener's Select, which I believe I've talked about before, as well as given this link, but thought I'd share again, has a FREE version of a garden designer and planner!  Although this program is a basic program, it's a GREAT program for 'urban gardeners,' as well as those that only like to plant a few tomato plants, or someone planning a simple herb garden.  Give it a try and see if you like just may be the program for YOU!
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