Monday, November 24, 2008

Tomato Varieties for 2009

I have settled on next seasons tomato varieties to try.

Tangerine Tomato - Seems the lycopene in this variety is better absorbed. Click the link to read the Science Daily article.

Tommy Toe - This is a cherry tomato. I'll be replacing the Chadwick Cherries with this variety this year. I just renewed my Chadwick Cherry seed supply last season so I can skip a season or two and still have viable seed.

San Marzano - This will be the sauce variety next season. I had some Romas and Amish Paste last season. I really didn't like the growth habits of the Amish Paste tomatoes, too weedy. It was a bad year for tomatoes here. Too much heat early then too cool. The flavor never developed.

Early Girls and Fouth of July will again be the early varieties.

And by April I'll usually find a few more tomato varieties to try. Then there's the extra plants donated by fellow gardeners.

Here's the link to Cornell's Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners resource too. You'll find rating on many garden vegetable and sources for seeds on the site. Very useful!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Positive Benefits of Tending Your Garden.

More people are thinking about about growing their own food. Our cultural climate has shifted. Emphasis on food quality and ethical growing practices are increasing. More people want to buy locally grown food. They see the benefits that gardens, especially food-growing gardens, can bring. But you don't necessarily have to eat good food to receive its healing benefits.

Consider one benefit of gardening that is rarely considered.


Gardeners tend to take the physical therapeutic aspects and benefits of gardening for granted. In addition to creating a myriad of emotional and social benefits, the health benefits of being outdoors, breathing fresh air and doing physical work cannot be overlooked.

As you probably know, health professionals say you should perform some form of aerobic activity on a daily basis. As a healthy lifestyle activity, gardening can offer significant health benefits to people of all ages. So start to take advantage of the positive benefits of gardening.

It's time to get yourself outside in the garden and get started. Start planning now!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hey Gardening Ain't Easy

It's time to explain the title of this blog, Easy Home Gardens. Many people who have or had a garden will try to tell you, "It's not so easy!"

Ive come to believe it's as hard as you make it. It's true there is work involved. But if you enjoy what you are doing, its fun, satisfying, pleasant, invigorating, or any positive word you choose to describe your gardening activity.

As the seasons pass and you improve the soil, it does get "easier". As you learn to work with nature and stop resisting, it does get easier.

Some folks with a more agressive mindset will lead you to believe "It's a war out there". You must arm yourself with expensive, smelly, noisy power euipment. Insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides are your weapons of choice.

You can believe that or decide to garden by co-operating with natural processes. Simple hand tools, mulch, compost, and the ability to observe how the natural world works, are the only tools a peaceful gardener needs.

So keep you gardening simple and natural and you will find out gardening is easy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

These Gardeners Don't Need A Government Bailout.

As you watch this urban farming video notice that no government bailout was necessary. Just a whole bunch of caring people working together to do something good.
This is a demonstration of community building as it should be.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dry Farming

The weather doesn't always co-operate by raining when our gardens need water.

I have a few old books on dry-farming saved in my Google Library. These books were written over 100 years ago. They contain ideas you can use today to grow vegetables if you live in a dry climate or are growing under drought conditions.

Here's an excerpt from "Dry Farming" by John A. Widtsoe...

DRY-FARMING, as at present understood, is the
profitable production of useful crops, without irrigation,
on lands that receive annually a rainfall of
20 inches or less.

In districts of torrential rains,
high winds, unfavorable distribution of the rainfall,
or other water-dissipating factors, the term "
dry-farming " is also properly applied to farming
without irrigation under an annual precipitation of
25 or even 30 inches.

There is no sharp demarkation between dry- and humid-farming.
When the annual precipitation is under 20
inches, the methods of dry-farming are usually
indispensable. When it is over 30 inches, the
methods of humid-farming are employed; in places
where the annual precipitation is between 20 and .
30 inches, the methods to be used depend chiefly
on local conditions affecting the conservation of
soil moisture.

Here's a link to the Dry Farming Books in my Google Library. These are the complete books readable online or downloadable as a PDF.

Gardening When It Counts

Winter is the perfect time to catch up on your reading. I know it's not officially winter yet. But the ground outside my window is covered with an inch or so of white fluff... so it's close enough.

I just finished reading Steve Solomon's "Gardening When It Counts". When I first picked it up I wasn't too sure it would be of any value to me. After all, I have been gardening for nearly a half century now. I quickly found out you can teach an old gardener new tricks.

Everything a beginner gardener needs to know is in "Gardening When It Counts". From preparing the soil to what to grow, and everything in between. Mr. Solomon lays it out simple and straightforward.

I can't wait till next growing season to assemble and try his natural fertilizer formula. And his technique for sowing tiny seeds is genius. I never would have thought to try that one.

Who is Steve Solomon? He started Territorial Seed Company years ago and made it a success. He knows what he is talking about and it shows in this book.

I give this gardening book "10 green thumbs up".

Here's a link to the book...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Resource for Vegetable Gardeners

Do you want to find new (and old) vegetable varieties to try? Looking for something different?

Cornell University has a great resource for home gardeners. The site is called Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners.

You can use it to find out about just about any vegetable. There are also links to the places to buy the seeds and plants.

Any serious gardener will bookmark this site.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Six Ways Mushrooms Can Save The World

It's the dark season for most gardeners in the Northern Hemisphere. That makes it the perfect time for mushrooms.

I've never tried to grow mushrooms in my garden. Next season will definitely have a mushroom bed.

Here's a fascinating video talk by Paul Stamets, mushroom expert...

Here's a link to Paul's new book... Mycelium Running. It's a beautiful book, full of great information about fungus and stuff. I'm about half way through my copy. Watch for my review of the book in a future post.

City Gardens in the Philipines

Monday, November 3, 2008