Archive for the ‘How to Grow Guides’ category

Salad Every Day

January 12th, 2010

Lettuce growing in my cold frame.

When I built my 50 dollar greenhouse over a year ago one of my goals was to be able to have something fresh to eat out of the garden or greenhouse every day of the year.  Well, it’s been about a year now, and  it hasn’t even been very hard to do.

Here is what I’ve learned so far –

Despite what you might have read, lettuce spinach and other salad greens are not really  particularly quick crops.  Sure you can have a pretty little stand of plants in about 6 weeks or so under good conditions, but  in cool weather  they don’t really get productive until they are  almost 3 months old.  Yes you can harvest a few salads out of the thinnings, but the young plants » Read more: Salad Every Day

The Thing About Strawberries

April 2nd, 2009
Each of those flowers will soon be a sweet juicy strawberry.

Each flower will soon be a sweet juicy strawberry.

When you visit the nursery or garden center in the Spring you will probably see potted strawberry plants for sale – some already with berries starting to form.  The thing is, Spring is too late to grow any strawberries. However, it’s the perfect time to grow strawberry plants – then you can get lots of fresh sweet strawberries out of your garden next spring.

Go ahead and buy a few of those plants this spring, and set them out 16″-24″ apart in a more or less permanent location in your garden.  If you can bring yourself to do it pluck off those berries as soon as possible – they won’t amount to much anyway – let the plants concentrate on growing.  Keep them weeded and watered, and fertilized this summer, and by fall you will have lots and lots of these…

One strawberry Mother will spread by runners to form many daughter plants.  If not thinned in the fall, very few strawberries will form, but each of those daughter plants can be transplanted in the fall and will bear fruit the following spring.

One strawberry Mother will spread by runners to form many daughter plants. If not thinned in the fall, very few strawberries will form, but each of those daughter plants can be transplanted in September or October and will bear fruit the following spring.

In September, transplant those into your “real” strawberry patch.  You could easily get a dozen daughter plants from each of the originals that you purchased this spring.  Next spring you will be rewarded for your efforts.

Stevia – Zero Calorie Sweetener that you can Grow

March 14th, 2009

Stevia (stevia rebaudiana) is a new world herb that you might have only recently heard of.  Stevia leaves – while having zero calories – are claimed to be 30 times sweeter than sugar, and in fact one of the common names is “candy leaf” – the extract is supposedly 300 times sweeter than sugar!  Stevia is also reputed to have several health benefits including the  prevention of tooth decay and diabetes.  I don’t know about that, but I would guess that using less sugar probably would have those effects.

Is the idea of growing your own natural organic zero calorie sweetener intriguing to you? » Read more: Stevia – Zero Calorie Sweetener that you can Grow