Archive for October, 2007

Tomato Varieties – Mr. Stripey, Brandywine, Celebrity, Juliet

October 19th, 2007

I grew 3 tomato varieties this season one hybrid and two open pollinated heirloom varieties. This summer was very hot and dry in my area of middle Tennessee, and was not particularly good for tomatoes, but the stressful weather does tend to highlight the hardiness (or lack) of the varieties that one grows. » Read more: Tomato Varieties – Mr. Stripey, Brandywine, Celebrity, Juliet

Fall Means Daffodil Planting!

October 12th, 2007

Daffodils on the University of Nottingham campus

Finally! At last! Autumn has arrived in East Central Mississippi! I know my brother, David, is enjoying the spectacular fall color in his central Tennessee home. I try not to think about that too much, and just enjoy being able to get outside without worrying about heat stroke. Besides, our color will show up in about another month. For now, I am grateful for temps in the eighties.

So…I’m celebrating fall by thinking…spring. The early spring garden relies heavily on flowering shrubs (azaleas, especially), cool season annuals like pansies, and bulbs. There are very few perennials that get blooming much before April, at least not here in the deep south. This makes me even more aware of the importance of bulbs, not to mention how early some of them get going! I get very, very hungry for flowers once Christmas is over. And nothing satisfies that hunger like Daffodils. » Read more: Fall Means Daffodil Planting!

One Season of Square Foot Gardening

October 8th, 2007

a square ft garden

Last year I read Mel Bartholomew’s book “Square Foot Gardening – a new way to garden in less space with less work”. And was inspired to give it try. So bright and early this past spring I built 3 raised beds more or less like Mel recommends in his book and got off to an early start with Square Foot Gardening.

» Read more: One Season of Square Foot Gardening

Taking Cuttings

October 5th, 2007

Plant Propagation by Softwood Cuttings

It’s been such a wonderful gardening season! I have tried several new plants this year that turned out to be real stunners! As it happens, I got my three favorites from garden centers in a large city almost two hours away from my home. There is absolutely no guarantee I will be able to find these plants locally next year, but I certainly do want to grow them again, and I know that two, possibly three of them,

» Read more: Taking Cuttings

Easy Organic Compost

October 4th, 2007
  • Compost is the best way to improve your soil
  • If you use compost you probably won’t need to use fertilizer
  • Compost doesn’t harm beneficial organisms like earthworms (chemicals do)
  • If you have a yard, you are already doing most of the work to make compost
  • Compost is free, easy, and saves energy
  • You can start a compost pile any time you have material for it

» Read more: Easy Organic Compost

It’s Fall! The Weather’s Great!

October 1st, 2007

Here in East Central Mississippi, autumn is in the air (figuratively speaking.) Night temps have fallen into the mid fifties, daytime highs are in the low nineties, or even in the high eighties. Heaven! (You have to have been here for our three solid weeks of 100 degrees plus in August to fully appreciate this.)

So, what’s to do in the garden? Plenty! In the past week I have been digging and dividing daylilies. I grow primarily hybrids, and they benefit greatly from division about every three years. As I lift them, I dig in a half bag of composted manure into each hole, plus a sprinkling of Potash. I never seem to have any trouble finding eager hands for the extra daylily plants. This fall, I am planting a clump of daffodils midway between each daylily clump. That will give me lots of early spring color, but the spring daylily foliage will hide the unsightly daffodil foliage.

» Read more: It’s Fall! The Weather’s Great!