Category: grow food not lawns

When it starts to warm up, usually over 75°F lettuce plants like…

When it starts to warm up, usually over 75°F lettuce plants like to bolt aka go to flower. Once it bolts the lettuce is typically more bitter and tough and not so great to eat, often times people will pull it out and use the space to replant. If you let the lettuce do its thing you have a chance to collect seeds for your next growing season. It will bloom flowers that pollinators love and then just like a dandelion it will close up and reopen with the little white fuzzies. As soon as they do this it is time to collect! You will be amazed at how many seeds each flower head contains. I just snipped off every little flower head with the fuzzies and brought them in side to seperate. You’ll want to make sure you spread them out and let then dry before long term storage. Store them in a cool dry place or in the freezer for a more extended “shelf life”.

I wanted to highlight a few of the GOOD bugs you will hopefully…

I wanted to highlight a few of the GOOD bugs you will hopefully see visit your garden. There are tons of bugs that are very helpful to your garden these are three of my favorites that I have been lucky enough to welcome to my own garden. All three have been vital in keeping the “bad” bugs at bay, they have been crucial players on my offensive team ?. Diatemacious Earth can be harmful to some of these good bugs (especially pollinators) but if your using Neem Oil you can rest assured it will not harm these guys, Neem Oil dries on the leaves and kills/deters the bugs who are eating the leaves not the bugs who eat other bugs.
The European Mantis or Mantis religiosa is a large hemimetabolic insect in the family of the Mantidae (‘mantids’). Females prefer to deposit their eggs on solid substrates at warm and sunny sites. Most eggs from one ootheca hatch at the same time along the entire convex site as worm-like pre-larva . The hatchings always occur in the mornings. Mantids are a carnivorous ambush predator that actively scans its environment and feeds on most insects that are not too large to be captured by rapid extension of its raptorial legs. Only living and moving prey is captured and consumed immediately using their powerful mandibles. Grasshoppers seem to be rather popular, probably maybe because of their type of movement (flying or leaping) but crickets and cockroaches are also frequently preyed upon.
Ladybugs are a Coccinellidae, a widespread family of small beetles ranging from 0.8 to 18 mm (0.03 to 0.71 inches). Ladybugs are considered useful insects, because they prey on herbivorous homopterans such as aphids or scale insects, which are agricultural pests. Many coccinellids lay their eggs directly in aphid and scale insect colonies in order to ensure their larvae have an immediate food source.
Green lacewings are insects in the large family Chrysopidae. They are very common in North America and Europe. They are often simply called “lacewings”. Eggs are deposited at night, singly or in small groups; one female produces some 100–200 eggs. Eggs are placed on plants, usually where aphids are present nearby in numbers. Each egg is hung on a slender stalk about 1 cm long, usually on the underside of a leaf. Immediately after hatching, the larvae moult, then ascend the egg stalk to feed. They are voracious predators, attacking most insects of suitable size, especially soft-bodied ones (aphids, caterpillars and other insect larvae, insect eggs, and at high population densities also each other). depending on species and environmental conditions, some green lacewings will eat only about 150 prey items in their entire life, in other cases 100 aphids will be eaten in a single week.

I had something plaguing my California Wonder Red Bell Pepper…

I had something plaguing my California Wonder Red Bell Pepper Plants, I wasnt sure if it was a fungus or a pest (I was leaning more toward pest after I found a small beetle of some sort residing under a leaf). Luckily there is this great organic product called Neem Oil. Neem Oil will treat for bugs and for fungus. It should be applied about once a week to once every two weeks however it is an oil so don’t apply it when the plant is getting direct sun, or it will get sun scorched. Applying in the evening is best. My bell peppers are doing much better since their treatment last week , their leaves have really gotten much larger and I’m not seeing any damage to the new growth. I also use Diatemacious earth but find it not as effective because when the elements (water or wind) wash it off the plant it needs to be reapplied, also Diatemacious Earth will kill the bees and other pollinators and we don’t want to do that.

Cilantro is a great easy to care for herb to add to your garden….

Cilantro is a great easy to care for herb to add to your garden. Like all herbs they thrive when they are picked regularly and they grow fast. Cilantro wants to bolt after temperatures reach 75°+ (fahrenheit), never fear, because after going to flower they then become Coriander seed which is a common kitchen spice. Collect and store them for cooking or you can let the plant reseed itself, it will continue to come back as long as the conditions are right!

Male blooms vs. female blooms on the Armenian Cucumber plants….

Male blooms vs. female blooms on the Armenian Cucumber plants. You can see the female bloom has a cucumber like bulb at its base, this will be the part that turns into the fruit. Like all squash and melon plants they require pollinators to transfer the pollen from the stamen of male flower to the pistil of the female flower. In it’s adolescent phase the cucumber plant often produce a bunch of male flowers with little to no female flowers, this is completely normal so focus on it’s leaves and watching to make sure they are a healthy green color with no signs of pests or fungus. Eventually the plant will balance out with male and female blooms.

My Sweet Million Tomato clones are thriving! So exciting to…

My Sweet Million Tomato clones are thriving! So exciting to start with 2 plants and end up with 10! See my earlier post about how to collect suckers from your tomato plants to more than double your crop, no need to buy seeds or starts when you can do it for free yourself!

Some now and thens of a couple of my crops, now pictures take…

Some now and thens of a couple of my crops, now pictures take July 7th. Then pictures: Russet Potatoes- June 7th Brussle Sprout- May 27th Bouquet Dill- May 03rd
The potatoes I started with Russets left too long from the grocery store and they seem to be doing really well.
I am battling Cabbage White Butterfly larave aka caterpillars on my Brussle sprout, I’ve been able to keep them from completely destroying my crop but the damage is constant and I hope I can at least keep them at bay long enough to get a harvest.
My dill has quite an ecosystem happening on it and I’ve decided not to fight it and let nature do its thing, its been pretty interesting watching the cycle of carnivorous bugs visit to feast on the aphids and caterpillars. My good bugs have included spiders, lady bugs and lacewings!

Successfully rooted daughter plants from my Strawberries, I now…

Successfully rooted daughter plants from my Strawberries, I now have 8 new plants for a total of 12 all together, my “mother plants are still producing fruit! It is rewarding to more than double your crop with out being a victim of the dollar.

After your Cilantro bolts and flowers, you can let it re-seed…

After your Cilantro bolts and flowers, you can let it re-seed itself and come back next year, or you can save the Coriander seeds and use it as spice in the kitchen. Plants are amazing.

Remember those tomato suckers I pulled off of my mature Sweet…

Remember those tomato suckers I pulled off of my mature Sweet Million plant? Well they successfully root and I ended up with 11 more plants! I gave 3 away and today I put my two larger ones into containers and my 6 smaller into the ground. I have never grown tomatoes in the ground so it will be interesting to see how they turn out! I never found them wilty in the process of rooting them and I was happy to find lots of healthy roots on all of them.