Monthly Archives: May 2017

Big, Bold Tomato Flavor

For even fuller, brighter flavor, you can also feed tomatoes with kelp extract and a mild (5-5-5) organic fertilizer. If tomato stems break before the fruit has a chance to ripen fully, the problem may be linked to using inadequate water-soluble fertilizers, especially when tomatoes are grown in pots. Liquid seaweed extracts help strengthen weak stems by supporting steady plant growth even when cold nights follow warm days. Kelp combines micronutrients and trace elements with plant hormones and growth stimulants that promote root growth, improve stem and foliage density, and increase chlorophyll production. Kelp extracts also contain traces of sea salt. This turns out to be yet another key to amazing taste. In fact, a single dose of salty seawater (1 cup of seawater per quart of tap water) can improve tomato flavor in particular. Continue reading

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Recycle, Re-use, Re-Imagine

Local specialty nursery plant growers may be interested in reusing 4-inchers, quarts, and 1- and 2-gallon pots, especially in early spring. I often take a bag filled with clean, sorted pots to the local farmer’s market where some venders are happy to take them. Garden clubs, Master Gardener groups, and grassroots nonprofits such as land trusts and native plant societies often run seasonal plant sales as fund raisers and willingly take clean pots.
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Farewell To Orange Petunias?

GMO In The Garden Petunias are among the most popular of garden plants and no wonder. Prolific, long blooming and increasingly easy to please, these tropical belles are among the most reliable of basket fillers. In my young days, petunias … Continue reading

Posted in Annual Color, Genetic Engneering, Health & Wellbeing, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Learning To Love Our Neighbors

I often keep a stash of compost or dairy manure in my gardens, and over the years, I’ve often seen deer snuggle up into the relative warmth of the decaying material on chilly winter nights. I’ve also found deer “nests”, mashed down places where they clearly come to snooze in peace. It’s kind of endearing, and gives me a feeling of compassion for these innocent animals who get hated and harassed by people like me who want our gardens to remain undamaged.

So what would I plant if I wanted to make deer feel at home? It’s more a case of what would I not rip out, since deer feed mainly on native plants (really). Here’s a list of their preferred foods: notice that it does not include roses, lilies, clematis, daturas, or many a precious plant that they eat for novelty or perhaps even spite! Continue reading

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