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Wild Lupine

Wild Lupine is blooming right now in the woods around us. It is just so beautiful and I love the smell. We are lucky enough that the blue Lupine grows wild and comes back each year.

The official name according to Wkikipedia is Lupinus. The flowering plant is in the legume family of Fabaceae. The seeds in various forms have been around for thousands of years.

First is appears with it’s pinwheel green leaves and then the spikes are formed that the pea-like flowers grow from. While some Lupine is edible with proper processing to remove isoflavones and alkaloids such as lupinine and sparteine from the seeds. It should also be noted the people who have peanut allergies should avoid Lupine Continue Reading →

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Harvest of Green Tomatoes Ripen

Here is my final harvest of green tomatoes that were picked October 19, 2014. I picked all my green tomatoes and kept them after my garden was pulled before the frost hit. I had a whole bag of green tomatoes that I wrapped in newspaper and stored in a large brown paper bag in my basement. I have used this process in the past and you can read the original storing green tomatoes post which works excellent for storing and ripening all those green tomatoes you have at the end of your gardening season.

Ripened Green Tomatoes

You just keep checking the tomatoes and pull them out as they ripen from the storage brown bag. This is the last of my tomatoes and as you can see, just one is still yellow. Continue Reading →

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Protecting Plants from Grasshoppers

I replanted my Elderberry bush in the back yard recently. I first wrote about growing this Elderberry bush from a small plant start back in April. Well the replanted Elderberry bush had been doing very well in its new location until the grasshoppers discovered it. Grasshoppers started eating the leaves and the bush was suffering terribly. So I set out to find a non-toxic, home recipe for protecting my plants and getting rid of the grasshoppers.

After doing some research I mixed up this grasshopper brew to repel and hopefully kill the grasshoppers around my back yard. So here is my pet friendly, homemade mix for getting rid of grasshoppers using supplies I had in my cupboard.

Materials Needed:

1 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon of grated Fels-Naptha laundry soap
1 gallon container (old juice jugs work well)
1 spray bottle
Water

Dissolve the grated soap flakes in one cup of warm water. Continue Reading →

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Storing Potatoes

Storing potatoes for long term use is very important. When potatoes go on sale, I like to buy a big bag and use it as needed but many times the potatoes spoil. So I set out to try a new method to successfully store potatoes in my basement.

The method for storing potatoes that I tried was very similar to the one I use for storing my tomatoes over the winter. It involves using newspaper to wrap and cover the produce for long term storage. For the potatoes, I used a plastic laundry basket that I had on hand and newspaper. The step I used are as follows:

First, cover the bottom of the laundry basket with a double sheet of newspaper as shown.

Next, put the potatoes on the newspaper and leave room between them for air flow and so they are not touching each other.

Next cover them with another double layer of newspaper. Continue Reading →

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Self-Watering Tomato Plant Containers

Here are my tomato plants that I am growing in my self-watering containers. I made these containers a few years ago and just reuse them each year. I did have to replace the tin water cans in the bottom of the buckets this year but other than that these can be used year after year.

Self-watering plant containers work well as the water is sucked up through the wicking can directly to the roots of your plants. Additionally you don’t have to water your plants every day as you have a reservoir of water inside the outside bucket for your plants to draw from.

All you need to make a self-watering plant container such as mine are two recycled plastic buckets, a tin can, and a piece of plastic tube or pipe. I used Urban Organic Gardener’s post and video to help me assemble my self-watering containers.

Here is a photo of a new can with the holes drilled in it to absorb the water from the bucket. Continue Reading →

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Recycled Glass Jar Planter

I found using a recycled glass jar works great for my Aloe Vera starts. Here is one that I planted in a large jam jar. This has been growing in the jar for several months now and it’s just thriving. The glass jar acts as a terrarium and the Aloe plant seems to really like the glass jar planter.

Here is another one I started in a recycled pickle jar. This one has not taken off yet but I’m hopeful with time, it will thrive just like the other one.
Aloe Vera Start in Jar

A few important tips. Don’t overwater plants you place in glass jars. Because it has no drainage in the glass jar, you must be careful not to overwater the plant. Continue Reading →

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