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Tomatoes Wintered Over

I pulled all my green tomatoes in Mid October right before it frosted real hard. I put them in a box wrapped in newspaper and put them in the basement. I have done this for several years now and this method works pretty good for preserving and saving the green tomatoes for use later.

This photo is of a few of my tomatoes that I am still pulling out of the box this week for use. Some are a bit wrinkled but they sure taste much better than those store-bought plastic tasting tomatoes that you get at the store this time of year.

A few tips if you try this wintering over idea. Check the tomatoes frequently to remove any overripe or spoiling tomatoes from your storage box or bag. I normally just cut off the bad part if any and use the remaining tomato in making sauces or condiments. Also make sure you keep the box or bag in a cool, dry and dark basement or area for storage. I found this works best. This year I used long, low boxes which I found worked out very well for the tomatoes to be stored. If you stack tomatoes on top of each other they tend to spoil faster in my opinion. Use newspaper to wrap them separately as this helps extend the wintering over process.

It truly is enjoyable to eat my own fresh tomatoes in January from last year’s garden. I plan to expand on this wintered over tomato idea again this year.

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Harvesting Radish Seeds

Have you ever wondered how to harvest radish seeds from your radish plants? Many times my radishes bolt and go to seed but I had never tried to harvest the seeds for future use. This year I had several radish plants that bolted so I set out to harvest the seeds for next year’s radish plantings.

Radishes Gone to Seed with Pods

After the radish plants go to seed, they later develop these green pods which is where the radish seeds form. You have to let the pods grow and then dry them out to be able to harvest the little seeds inside. Here is a photo of a big bunch of radishes with the pods drying. It works well to cut the vines with the pods attached and leave them out in the sun to dry out.

The pods turn white in color and are hard when ready to harvest the seeds as shown in this next photo.
Radish Seeds in Pods

Here is a photo of just some of the seeds I collected from the radish pods I harvested.
Harvested Radish Seeds

It is a slow process to open the pods and collect the seeds. I found it works well to put the vines and pods on a Continue Reading →

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Garden Netting

I want to share a great tip for protecting your strawberries and other garden plants from birds and critters. Last year something keep eating all my strawberries just as they were ripening. It was so frustrating to see a strawberry just about ripe one day and gone the next. So here is my solution.
Garden Netting

It’s called garden netting. I found that you can buy a large sheet of it fairly reasonable. It is very fine netting similar to bridal netting. It’s light enough that you can water through it and your plants still get sun too. The best part is that it keeps birds, most bugs and other critters away from your fruit.

As shown, I just cut a big piece and placed it over my plants. I tucked in the netting under the sides of my raised boxes to protect my strawberries. It works and so far I haven’t lost any ripen strawberries this year.

So if you have been experiencing similar problems with something eating your fruits or veggies, check out this useful idea and save yourself a lot of heartache and lost harvest items.

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Roasted Tomatoes

I had many green tomatoes still when it was time to pull up the tomatoes plants for the season. Just like last year, I saved all the green tomatoes and wrapped them in newspaper for ripening. You can read about those tips here. This idea works well and given a little time, the green tomatoes turn red while stored in a bag.

But on with this post and how I roasted some tomatoes that were ripe and needing processed. I have frozen tomatoes, made salsa and tomato sauce and used many of my tomatoes already this year. But I hadn’t tried roasting in the oven yet.

First I washed and cut up the tomatoes in about quarters. I placed them on a baking sheet that had just a bit of olive oil spread over it. I sprinkled the tomatoes with a dash of garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano. You can use any spices that you like to season your roasted tomatoes. I dribble a little more olive oil over the tomatoes and tossed them a bit to cover them with all the seasoning and oil.

Here is my pan ready for the oven.
Roasted Tomatoes Ready for the Oven

Bake at 400 F degrees for about 30-40 minutes. Just check them at 30 to make sure them aren’t burning or overdone. I think mine took Continue Reading →

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Wild Cantaloupe Harvest

A few months ago I shared about my wild cantaloupes that started growing in an old wheelbarrow. Well I nurtured the vines and they took over the whole wheelbarrow. After a while I did cut back new blooms to keep the energy going to the 7-8 actual cantaloupe melons growing. Just short of three months, I started harvesting my melons. Here is a photo of the largest one I grew.

Wild Cantaloupe

It is just so sweet and juicy! It sat on my counter for a week as it was a bit green and hard, but it ripened up as seen in this photo. Here is another photo of it ripening on my counter. It is 13 inches around which is small but oh so tasty.

Cantaloupe Ripening

As I mentioned before, I have never planted cantaloupe before and had no idea how to grow them. I did do some reading and I know they love lots of water and heat. But they do not like to have their feet wet according to an old gardening book. By feet they mean, don’t let them sit in over-moist dirt too long. Good idea to use a sandy top soil or I sat them on top of a vine to keep them out of puddled water in the wheelbarrow.

I hope you have enjoy reading about my wild cantaloupe melons and find these tips useful. Here is one final picture of my cantaloupe cut and ready to enjoy. Continue Reading →

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Garden Update

I haven’t posted in awhile and thought I’d share a garden update. It has been a challenging year with many of my seeds not wanting to grow very well. I had trouble with green onion seeds from two different companies that did not sprout. Then my tomato seedlings did not want to grow much after about an inch or two of development.
Zucchini 2021

But I am having success with my zucchini plants. See photo above of the big one which I have already harvested several zucchinis from already. There is another little one on the upper right which is hidden somewhat. I planted this one later so to stagger my crop. I love zucchini and what to be able to have an on-going crop so I planted one early and another seed was started recently.

Next I want to share an interesting development that happened in a old wheelbarrow that I keep for composting in the garden. I just throw all sorts of composting material like coffee grounds, egg shells, veggie trimmings, and whatever else I might have to toss. Well about a month ago I threw in some cantaloupe rinds and seed pulp into this wheelbarrow. Guess what, I have several wild cantaloupes growing now. I cleaned up the area around the plants and have been watering them faithfully. Check out the photo below.

Cantaloupe growing from seed pulp

I have never grown cantaloupe and not sure if it’s very conducive to growing in our climate but I’m giving it a go. I can’t wait to see how this experiment turns out.

Here are a few more photos of my tomato plants. The one tomato plant in the distance was started from some later seeds so it is smaller. I hope it will have enough time to development. But the big one closest to the camera already has many green tomatoes on it. Continue Reading →

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