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1/22/2010 07:00:00 PM

Powdery Mildew Spray

Got this from Gardner's Net.

1 gallon water
3 tablespoons baking soda
1 tablespoon bleach
1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid

  1. Snip and remove leaves that are worst affected.

  2. Mix ingredients with water.

  3. Spray remaining leaves top and undersides.

  4. Apply a heavier dose on leaves that have signs of infection and only lightly on unaffected leaves as bleach can actually harm and discolor the leaves.

Extremely important: Do not use too much bleach! Use no more than 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. We hesitate to recommend using bleach as it can harm your plants if too much is applied. Use it at your own risk and try to avoid spraying it on healthy leaves.

1/19/2010 08:20:00 PM

Hot Pepper Spray

This can be used to repel, deer, rabbits and other pests from your flowers and some vegetables. Note, use caution with vegetables as a peppery taste may remain on the fruit.

6 peppers, the hotter the better
2 cups water
1 quart water

  1. Put hot peppers and two cups of water into a blender.

  2. Mix at high speed for 1-2 minutes.

  3. Pour into a container and set aside for up to one day.

  4. Strain liquid through a cheese cloth.

  5. Add liquid into a one quart container. Fill container to top with water.

  6. Apply liberally to plants. Re-apply every week to two weeks or after a rain.

1/18/2010 02:01:00 PM

Insecticide Garlic Spray

I found this recipe and some others over at Gardeners Net.

The nice thing about it is you can use it inside, outside, in soil, out of soil. You don't have to worry about it poisoning you, your family, pets, or your plants but it certainly repel insects!

Insecticide Garlic Spray

1 garlic bulb
2 cups water
1 gallon water

  1. Take an entire garlic bulb and two cups of water and blend in blender.

  2. Mix at high speed for 1-2 minutes.

  3. Pour into a container and set aside for up to one day.

  4. Strain liquid through a cheese cloth.

  5. Mix liquid with one gallon of water.

  6. Apply liberally on top and bottom of leaves.

1/13/2010 11:44:00 PM

Oh Yea!

So I started a little earlier than I expected. Now that the world has calmed itself after the holidays and our move and a slew of other things, I'm wandering around the house aimlessly, picking at my newly sprouted herbs and fussing over the established orchard sitting in my dining room taking up entirely too much room for comfort. My little two liter method is actually viable and doing well, I'm just not producing enough light and any plans to build an indoor greenhouse against a huge bank of south facing windows in my living room has my husband twitching and putting up his dukes. So I wander, mumbling to myself under my breath and dodging pillows as they are launched by tha man because he knows I'm not so quietly cursing him under my breath for not allowing me to build a jungle in the house. *sigh*

So I'm shopping online instead. I placed my order for the delightful Pink Lemonade Blueberry plus a gaggle of multi-hued raspberries. A cheap order to be sure but my penny pinching is paying off (all tallied, I paid off 7K+ of our debt last year and have just a little more to go to get down to a car payment and mortgage only) and I'm starting to build my respectable orchard even as I have dreams of a yard full of vegetables and gorgeous flowers.

I have to remind myself that I still need to pick up speed slowly. Get a few things established this year, fight the problems with one or two different plants instead of fifteen. Easier to handle a crisis of raspberries than the entire lot of berries that I ultimately plan to have sprouting in all directions around the fence line of the house (yea, think twice about jumping my fence, there buddy).

While I'm not a newbie at gardening, I am not of a mind to tackle multiple problems my first year of major expansion from the previous couple of years of gardening. And the past couple of years have seen horrendous failure. I seem to manage to plant everything that is going to fail for everyone in my area that year. It's actually amazing that I have a knack for it. I paid especial attention to tomatoes last year and that was just a really shitty year for tomatoes and not just in my area from reading other blogs.

But I know better than to give up. I'll be worried about the little failures when the grocery stores stop carrying fresh produce and canned goods. For now, however, I have my place in line reserved for the new pink blueberry. The birds are going to love me. I wonder if I can get a fly swatter big enough for the birds I'm going to be fighting off my blueberry bush.

So the restless wandering is now aimed at how I'm going to handle this particular treat when (if!) I get it. I know the website had it up for grabs, but that doesn't mean I'll get it. Actually, it does mean that I'll be the first one on the "We're out of that for now, we'll ship it and bill you as soon as we have them in" song and dance like it was for my carmine jewel cherry last year even though I ordered it in plenty of time for them to give me a spring shipment as per the website (nameless company!) but yet I didn't get it until September.

Anyway, I think I have the perfect place to put the tophat that I already have in a container and it's pink counter part plus still have enough full sun for the raspberries on that side of the fence. We'll have to see. Now it's all about soil. I have a good bag of it, but I want to put together Mel's Mix so that I can be a little more worry free with it.

I'm very enthusiastic about the whole thing. I've been dying to get out there and do it and so now, I will.

1/13/2010 07:00:00 PM

Pink Lemonade Blueberry

The catalogs have been pouring in and I've been getting the budget ready for the plants that we're going to go with this year and this one seems to be close to the top of my list. It's

Vaccinium 'Pink Lemonade'

From what I've read on it, even the flowers have a pinkish color to them. It appears to be like a regular blueberry in all other respects liking acidic, well drained soil with lots of organic material.

I adore blueberries. They are one of my favorite fruits because they are just delicious! I am very much looking forward to these guys in a nice mix of fruits for a snack or in a compote with a good helping of home made ice cream.

1/02/2010 04:47:00 PM

Kitchen Garden

Happy New Year! As the new year has come, so has my little kitchen garden. I started cutting two liter bottles in half and making self watering containers. So far it has worked very well. I have sweet basil, lemon basil, thyme, marjoram, dill, garlic chives, parsley and summer savory all planted. The dill has yet to sprout, but everything else has popped up beautifully. I don't expect the dill to actually make an appearance for another few days. I'm using a compact fluorescent bulb in a regular floor lamp with no cover to give my plants light and it is working wonderfully.

My little orchard is also stacked behind my emerging garden. I nearly lost my bananas because I didn't get them in before the first frost which came on time this year around the 15th of October, much to my dismay. I forgot all about them so I had more than a couple of battered dying leaves but, the bananas have made a very serious come back. My blueberry bloomed shortly after coming in and has continued to do so. I did finally figure out why my poor lemon wasn't doing so well. It's an iron deficiency that was getting out of hand. I found a rusty nail to insert into the pot around the roots and about a week later I finally got the new growth I should have seen back in August but never got. I'm going to find a couple more rusty nails to insert into my orange and lime as well as their lower leaves started to yellow a couple of weeks ago so I'm thinking it is the same problem for them.

The mother of a good friend of mine is a professional horticulturist and I asked her about it and she agreed that it was either an iron deficiency or spider mites. I went home and checked it out to see if I had the mites and there were none, thankfully, it was just a simple iron deficiency and that is easier fixed than the bugs.

So all of the plants are healthy and doing well with my modesty lighting system. I was looking into a small LED lighting system and found them to be affordable at around $60 for a system that will cover about 3 square feet. I'm looking forward to getting something more set up so that I can start with some tomatoes and maybe some cucumbers which will require more light than my little compact can produce alone.

I've been saving up my two liters (and so have my friends) and I'm going to start experimenting with lettuces next to see what all I can grown in my little pots. I don't really need much, and baby greens are very quick to grow and then be devoured. I'm really quite excited about this and so are the kids, the enjoy planting and watching the plants grow.

It's a nice start and I'm certainly looking forward to have a good fresh salad whenever I want!

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