"Plants To Grow Old With" or "The Constant Battle"

Written by S. Johnson

Following are a few paragraphs aboutrepparttar on going battle I had with some of my plants! Way back when I was just starting to garden I excitedly gathered starts from here and there, and several times, when I asked people for a particular start, they, with raised eyebrow, would ask me if I was sure I wanted that plant as it could be invasive. Naively, and just so thrilled to get a new start (I had garden fever bad Ha!), I said that wasn't a problem. Wow! Was I ever clueless! I had a lot to learn as to just how INVASIVE some plants could be and how hard some were to kill out. Following are a few short tales ofrepparttar 151113 battles I waged with those wonderful starts I collected years ago.

Horseradish will berepparttar 151114 first I'll mention, as it was one ofrepparttar 151115 first starts I acquired. I found it to be a very worthy opponent. In some book about companion planting I read that horseradish was good to raise by potatoes, so I rushed out and found a start of it! Well, I’ve long since quit raising potatoes, but I still have a thriving supply of horseradish. Slow spreading, but, as far as I'm concerned, impossible to get rid of. When you dig it up any tiny pieces of root that remain will start new plants. I tried covering it with black plastic for two years and it just sent out shoots to come up in other places. I guess we will grow old together. Wild Blackberry isrepparttar 151116 next opponent. I love blackberries, so I asked a friend who lives inrepparttar 151117 country for a start of hers. With raised eyebrow she asked me "Are you sure you want this?” I assured her, "Oh yes, I'm going to train it to a trellis.” she just said ok with more raised eyebrows. (Are you laughing yet?) Train wild blackberry to a trellis, no such thing for me. For two years I had delicious berries but repparttar 151118 thorns (from Hades) ripped me to shreds, andrepparttar 151119 underground runners were sending up new shoots in my tomato patch, my carrot patch, and in my neighbors yard, to their delight and mine. NOT! The more I cut them downrepparttar 151120 more they ran. It finally took cutting them torepparttar 151121 ground (with ripped up body parts to accomplish this) and covering them with black plastic for four years to finally kill them out.This is one battle I won!! Mint, of which I have three varieties, is sure to be another plant that I'll grow old with. I gotrepparttar 151122 Apple mint and Lemon mint fromrepparttar 151123 same friend that gave merepparttar 151124 start of blackberry, with an even stronger reaction. She warned me how aggressive and invasive mint could be. I purchasedrepparttar 151125 Peppermint from a retailer. I was sure I could containrepparttar 151126 mint with some mulch and some of those four-inch barriers. I planted it byrepparttar 151127 walkways in my flower and herb gardens, as I thoughtrepparttar 151128 fragrance that would be released, as people brushed against it would be

Secrets of Growing Killer Tomatoes

Written by K.D. Wiseman

Tomatoes have always been my favorite garden vegetable to grow and to eat. I have had success withrepparttar other standard garden vegetables, such as cucumbers, bell peppers, cauliflower etc. but tomatoes became my specialty overrepparttar 151112 years.

I start my seeds indoors approximately 5-6 weeks beforerepparttar 151113 last expected frost date. I use a commercially available starting flat that will hold 72 seedlings. I prefer plant repparttar 151114 Tomato Park's Whopper™ Cr Improved, VFFNT Hybrid which can be ordered from Park Seed Co. . This is a large, luscious, disease resistant tomato that I have seen grow to excess of 3lbs.+. It makes for an awesome BLT since a slice of one of these beauties will hang offrepparttar 151115 toast at least one inch or more allrepparttar 151116 way around!!!!!

Forrepparttar 151117 potting mixture, I use equal parts of a good quality potting soil and vermiculite that makesrepparttar 151118 soil light enough so thatrepparttar 151119 seeds will not have difficulty sprouting and growing. I know your probably saying to yourself right now, WOW, 72 tomato plants, I don’t need that many, well look at it like this…out ofrepparttar 151120 72 that you start, some will not develop for whatever reason, and once they are planted, some will die,repparttar 151121 birds will get some,repparttar 151122 animals will get some and yes,repparttar 151123 bugs will get some regardless of how hard your try to keep them out. So out of that 72 plants, you could wind up with justrepparttar 151124 right number inrepparttar 151125 end for your garden. Of course it is possible to wind up with 72 very healthy, untouched by animals, disease or bugs, tomato plants, as happened to me one season, then you will have more tomatoes than you can possibly eat, can, sell or give away!!!! But that is a whole 'nother story!!!

I have grown tomatoes in all types of soil, from rocky, hard packed clay to rich dark loam so loose you could push your arm elbow deep intorepparttar 151126 soil with no effort. It has been my experience that almost any soil will work with most only requiring minor amendments.

If you need to add amendments to your soil to loosen it, I recommend a mixture of aged sawdust and sand in equal parts. The sand can be obtained in bulk from your local concrete company for a small fee or you can buy it in bags from your local hardware store. One note aboutrepparttar 151127 sawdust, DO NOT use fresh sawdust, as this is much to hot due torepparttar 151128 nitrogen being released duringrepparttar 151129 breakdown process. Plants placed in this sawdust; even withrepparttar 151130 mix of sand and soil are much to tender to withstandrepparttar 151131 high concentration of nitrogen.

If fresh sawdust is all that you can obtain, pile it in one corner of your garden and let it age for new season.

Your local sawmill, if you have one close by, should have a good supply of old sawdust on hand that they will let you load up and haul away for free. If you do not have a sawmill or any type of manufacturing facility close by, such asrepparttar 151132 Ames Co., that makes wooden handles etc. you can check with your local county extension agent and he or she can tell you where you may acquirerepparttar 151133 sawdust. Speaking ofrepparttar 151134 county extension agent, when you go to consult withrepparttar 151135 agent, take along some soil samples from different places in your garden and ask that they be tested forrepparttar 151136 proper nutrients. This is a free service provided by some counties while others may charge a nominal fee, regardless, you can haverepparttar 151137 results back in just a few days.

Once you haverepparttar 151138 sawdust and sand, spread equal parts over your garden until it reaches a depth of about one inch or more depending onrepparttar 151139 type of soil. Too much andrepparttar 151140 soil will be too loose andrepparttar 151141 water will drain away to quickly, not enough andrepparttar 151142 sun will bake it to a hardpan duringrepparttar 151143 dog days of summer.

Work this mixture into your soil as deep as possible using your rotary tiller orrepparttar 151144 old fashioned way, by using a spading fork or shovel Once this mixture is worked in properly then it is time to consider what type of fertilizer is needed.

Armed with your soil test results, you will have a good indication of what kind of fertilizer is best for your particular garden. In most cases, a good all purpose fertilizer known as Triple 10 or 10-10-10 will dorepparttar 151145 job very well. Your soil test results will give specifics of any additional nutrients that you may need and should also include coverage rates.

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use