"In the end, color combinations come down to our personal preferences, which we must discover through observation and experiment."
~ Montagu Don
LATE BLIGHT TIP SHEET
Using Actinovate and Actino-Iron on Tomatoes and Potatoes
Late blight is a fungal disease that is devastating to plants, particularly tomatoes and potatoes. It will enter via lesions on the plant and move to the vascular system, where it wreaks havoc and quickly kills the plant. Its spores are either blown in by wind, or are inherent in the soil living on the potato tubers or remnants of tomato plants infected the previous season.
Actinovate and Actino-Iron can help prevent late blight if the following precautionary steps are taken.
Step 1: Prepare Your Garden Bed
If your garden suffered from late blight the previous season, you will need to blend Actino-Iron into the top layer of the prepared garden bed (see Step 3).
Before applying Actino-Iron, be sure to remove all potato tubers or tomato roots/plant parts buried in the soil.
These pieces of plant are potential incubators for late blight spores from the previous season and will infect any new plantings in the bed.
Add aged compost or other growing media designed for growing vegetables to the top soil.
This fresh, disease-free soil will put you ahead of the game when dealing with late blight.
If starting your vegetables from seed indoors, go to step 2.
If planting vegetables from seed or transplant, go to step 3.
Step 2: Start Seeds Indoors With Actinovate
Dissolve 1 tsp (4 gr.) of Actinovate into 1 gallon of water to create solution.
Water seeded trays or plant plugs with solution until soil is saturated without creating run-off.
Apply as soon as plants are sown.
Repeat application every week until transplanted to garden beds.
Step 3: Blend in Actino-Iron Into Your Top Soil
To prepare garden beds for seeds or vegetable transplants, use Actino-Iron to blend into top soil, compost or other growing media being used.
To apply Actino-Iron evenly, rake in 10-lbs of Actino-Iron per 1,000 sq.
of garden bed to a depth of 3-5 inches.
Step 4: Seeding Or Transplanting To The Garden Bed
Create solution by dissolving 1 tsp.
of Actinovate into 1 gallon of water.
Apply solution to sown seeds or transplant plugs.
Water entire area around seed or plug until soil is saturated without creating run off.
Reapply as a soil application at 1/2 tsp (2 gr) per gallon every 4 weeks.
Step 5: Foliar Spray Application Throughout Growing Season
To create the solution, dissolve 1/2 tsp of Actinovate into a gallon of water.
With a hand-held bottle or backpack sprayer, mist solution onto entire foliage of the plants, as well as the first 1/4 inch of top soil.
Reapply every 2-4 weeks.
Increase frequency if disease pressure increases.
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Onions are among the easiest vegetables to grow in your garden.
Onions are one of the most useful vegetables you have in your kitchen and if you grow them yourself, you will not believe the flavor difference compared to supermarket onions.
Your kitchen would not be complete without onions to flavor most everything you cook.
This vegetable can be used in your salads, soups, stews, stuffing, sandwiches, and side dishes, and even eaten raw or cooked on your hamburger.
The onion originated in Asia and was grown in all parts of the world by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and today you in your kitchen.
The onion comes in yellow, white and red.
The shape will vary from round, oval, long, thin and will grow as a single bulb or come in clusters; some even grow out of the ground.
Select a spot in your garden that has sun all day long.
Your soil should be rich in organic matter, so add plenty of compost or animal manure before planting every year.
A soil that is loose and well drained without clay will grow the best plants.
Never plant onions in the same place every year.
Rotating crops in your garden will keep them healthier, especially if you keep onions away from same area for 3 years or more.
Soil pH should be between 6 and 7.5.
If soil is acidic, add lime.
If you have a wood stove, sprinkle the wood ash on the ground before you till the soil to plant your onions.
Onions have a terrible root system and have a tough time finding food far away from the plant.
The same goes for moisture in the soil; it must be there, but not in large quantities.
Water onions weekly, and keep the soil moist to a depth of 6 inches.
If you use a fertilizer with Mycorrhizal fungi added to it, your plants will be able to grow a root system double the normal size and that means "BIGGER" and "BETTER" onions.
Use Bio-Tone, Dr.
Earth Vegetable food with Pro-Biotic, or the new Plant Thrive Microbial Fertilizer.
Use at the time of planting in early May and repeat 2 times more 4 weeks apart.
A couple application of Miracle-Gro will also help to push the onion plant to grow faster and larger.
I will catch "Hell" for this statement, but the best onion plants come from seedlings, not "BULBS".
Onion Sets are small onion bulbs grown in Holland and shipped to the Garden Center in a dormant state.
These small onion bulbs are grown in a different climate and usually produce smaller onions in your garden because of climate change.
I will guarantee you bigger onions, leeks, bunching onions, etc., when you plant seedlings.
Some garden centers sell seedlings in flats or trays, or you can buy them in bunches of 100 plants out of the soil.
If you choose bunches, prune roots by 1/4 inch and let them set in water for a hour or two before planting.
Plant onions 6 inches apart, and they will do best in wide rows of 6 to 10 plants in a row, rather than a single plant to a row.
Weeds have always been a problem during the summer and if you are not careful, you will pull up the young seedlings with the weeds.
This year look for a new product called "Weed Guard Plus" planting paper.
Just roll it out on the soil and water it down.
Now take a screwdriver and punch a hole in the paper to insert the seedling.
Set the seedlings in the soil shallow and pinch the paper to move the soil around the plant.
Once all your seedlings are planted, throw a little soil on the edges of the paper to help hold it down and water the paper down again.
Once the paper gets wet it will stick to the soil and keep out ALL WEEDS.
When your crop is ready to harvest, the paper will have already begun to decay into the soil.
When the top of the onions begin to fall over, they are ready to harvest.
Just pull them out of the ground and let them sit in the sun for a few days, or until the tops turn brown and dry up.
Or you can also leave the onions in the garden until the top is brown and dried up.
Store onions in your basement for the winter where it is cool but where they will not freeze.
The Norway Spruce is my favorite spruce tree and on my top 5 evergreen trees list.
Once you see this tree and come to know it, you will never forget it because it is so unique and stands out among all other evergreen trees.
The Norway Spruce is a native tree of Central Northern Europe and the most common tree in the forests there.
Used mostly for lumber today, it was once an important wood for ship building in the early days of sailing.
The tree grows large and made wide boards that were very strong due to the high amount of pitch in them--perfect for the sides of the ship.
In the 1700's and 1800's, the White Pine tree was heavily cut for lumber here and was replaced in the forest with seedlings of the Norway Spruce because it grew faster-- almost 2 feet per year.
The White Pine tree grows 12 to 18 inches per year.
Reforestation projects in Eastern Canada and Northeast United States changed the forest forever.
The tree grew to 100 feet tall and 40 feet wide in just 50 y ears.
In Europe, the climate is a bit milder and the tree can grow twice the height.
The mix of White Pine and Norway Spruce has helped to produce a better forest and the two trees grow well together.
In the landscape, the Norway Spruce is the most common tree used today.
The tree grows in a pyramidal shape, and its outline in the sky is very noticeable.
The tree has a strong single central trunk with evenly spaced horizontal branches running up the trunk that turn up on the tips of the branches and secondary branches that grow weeping down or pendulous.
All the new growth that develops grows down from the main stems, often giving the tree a weeping appearance from those strong horizontal branches.
The needles are dark green on both sides and grow 1/2 to 1 in long.
The dark green color will stay dark all year long unlike most evergreens, that tend to fade during the winter months.
In the spring, the Norway Spruce will make cones for seed; this is unusual because it will develop a cone that is purple-violet to greenish-purple when young.
The cone will grow 4 to 6 inches long; when it matures the color will change to brown like all other trees.
The cones develop on the tips of the weeping branches and look like ornaments on your Christmas tree.
The cones usually come in groups and are very noticeable when young with the unique color, but are just as beautiful when older and brown.
The cones will grow 3/4 to 1 inch wide and up to 9 inches long.
Plant the Norway in a well-drained soil kept moderately moist at all times.
Like the White Pine Tree, it does prefer an acidic soil, so keep the limestone away from the plant when you treat the lawn.
This tree will make a fantastic wind-break, sound barrier, or privacy plant.
In your yard, the tree will be perfect as a background plant for lower growing evergreen plants like rhododendrons, hollies and zaaleas or smaller flowering trees like dogwood, crabapples or cherries.
Tall growing perennials are also perfect around this plant.
Plant this tree where you can also look at it while on your patio or deck so you can enjoy the unusual branching structure.
On a windy day the swaying branches are fun to watch.
When it snows, the tree is beautiful to look at, and it is strong so do not worry that the horizontal branches will break with the weight of the snow.
Newly planted trees should be watered 2 times a week and fertilized with Holly-Tone or Acid Adoring fertilizer spring and fall until it reaches 10 feet tall.
Place a blanket of bark mulch 3 inches thick around the plant to help cool the roots during the summer and help hold moisture in the ground.
Insect and disease problems are few.
This is a tree with character and you will enjoy all of its qualities.
The frost is out of the ground now and it is time for the gardens to begin to wake up and start growing.
Here are a few tips for you to get your garden off to a good start.
The first garden chore is to clean them of winter debris and any dead plant parts we left there from last fall.
Cut to the ground all dead plant stems that remain in the garden.
Pull all weeds, moss and grasses that survived the winter between plants.
Think "Spring Cleaning for a Better Summer Garden." Once all cleaned, it is time to cut a new edge around the garden.
Why?, you may ask-- because it will make the edge of the garden look better, it will be easier to mow the grass, and most important, the edge will keep the grass from your lawn out of the garden.
Spreading grasses like common blue grass spread with underground rhizomes and stems; if you have an edge, the grass from the lawn is less likely to move into the garden.
A clean garden soil will warm up faster with the sun and that means earlier plant growth.
Now sprinkle Weed and Grass Stopper granules from Fertilome Lawn and Garden evenly on the soil of the garden.
This is a pre-emergence weed control; once the granular product dissolves with rain, it will form a skin or barrier on the soil preventing weeds from growing for the entire season.
Think about that: no weeds to pull all summer long.
Also, apply your garden fertilizer now and sprinkle evenly like you apply salt to an icy walk way during the winter.
Use Bio-Tone, Dr.
Earth Flower Fertilizer 4.8.4., or Milorganite.
If you see moss growing in the lawn you may want to lime the garden to counter the acidity.
I love Jonathan Green Mag-I-Cal lime substitute, as one 40 pound bag will do the same as ten fifty pound bags of lime and it works in 2 weeks instead of 6 months.
If the soil is wet or has standing water, spray the garden soil and lawn area with garden gypsum to improve drainage and prevent root rot.
Most nurseries carry "Soil Logic", a liquid form of Gypsum that will break up clay in just 2 weeks.
To help cut back on watering of the garden I always add 2 inches of compost or bark mulch over the weed preventer.
If you do this now, you can just dump the mulch or compost right on top of the garden and rake it evenly over the entire garden.
All the plants are dormant and raking will not hurt them.
You can even walk on the garden and not hurt anything planted.
If you wait until May to add mulch or compost, you will have to do this work by hand, so as not to damage newly sprouting plants emerging from the ground.
Doing it now will save you many hours of labor later.
If you are planning to divide perennials, wait until they are just poking through the compost or mulch.
It will be easier to divide plants properly when young, and without damaging the root system.
Remember some plants are not ready until early May, so be patient.
This is also the best time to move hybrid lilies, but dig deep as the bulb should be at least 6 inches deep in the ground.
Do not add new plants to the garden until you are sure all existing plants are up and visible.
If you have spring flowering bulbs, do not move them until they have finished flowering and the foliage has turned brown.
That is usually 6 to 8 weeks after blooming.
Early sprouting perennial plants have a greater chance of rabbits and deer damage than later sprouting plants.
Be prepared to treat the garden with Bobbex Deer and Rabbit repellent or Deer Scram.
Fresh green plants make a tasty meal for these animals and they're not "SHY" or "FUSSY", so get ready!
Of all the berries you have to choose from to plant in your garden this spring, think about the raspberries.
Think of the aroma and the flavor of this summer time berry: sweet but not too sweet, stimulating to your palate and truly a fruit sent by the Gods.
I hope that all of you have raspberries in your garden or are considering planting them this year.
A 10 to 20 foot long row of these berries will give the average family enough fruit to enjoy for several weeks during the summer.
Plan ahead this year and place extra berries on a cookie sheet and freeze them.
Once frozen, place them in a freezer bag and hide them in the freezer for a cold morning when you can mix them with blueberries and make a wonderful dessert, muffin, or jam.
Begin by selecting a location that is sunny all day.
The soil must be rich and well drained.
Raspberries will respond to a soil conditioned with a lot of compost, animal manure or peat moss.
If you can spread compost or animal manure around your plants every spring, your plants will give you more fruit and taste sweeter.
Water is also important, but not too much.
I water every week by hand or use a soaker hose.
Overhead irrigation will wet fruit and flowers, encouraging fungus to rot the fruiting parts.
In the spring as the growth begins use 1 to 2 inches of water a week, during the summer 2 to 3 inches of water to help form juicy berries.
The ground should be kept moist 6 inches deep at all times.
I use fresh STRAW, never HAY, around my plants to help hold moisture in the ground during the summer.
Apply it about 3 to 4 inches thick and make it fluffy, not packed down.
This is also great for keeping weeds out of the garden.
By next spring, the straw has rotted and turned into rich organic matter.
Now repeat compost spring and straw during the summer every year.
Do not use bark mulch around plants, as it is too dense and heavy and will slow down shoot development.
Set plants 2 feet apart in a row and make the planting bed 3 to 4 feet wide.
This will allow room for new shoots to develop.
Raspberries can grow tall and are best if staked so they do not take over your garden.
Besides saving space in the garden, it will be easier for you to pick the berries.
Use a metal fence post every 10 feet down the row of plants.
I use a 6 feet tall post hammered a foot into the ground, as this will give me 5 feet to tie plants up.
Because raspberries are a permanent plant in the garden, I use aluminum wire to run between posts and it will last forever.
Run wires at 3 feet and 5 feet above the ground from post to post.
Use garden string to tie up plants and keep them straight.
Summer and fall raspberries are pruned differently, so be sure you know what type of plant you have.
Both types need to be pruned only once a year; pruning them at the wrong time could mean little to no fruit.
Summer-fruiting raspberries will make fruit on shoots that grew at the base of the plants the year before.
This growth is known as old wood.
Last year's new canes will produce fruit this year.
When you finish picking the fruit, cut the stems to the ground to make room for new plants for the following year.
Leave the new shoots alone, as they will make fruit during next summer.
In early spring if your canes are taller than 6 feet you can cut them back to 5 feet and the fruit will not bend over canes.
Fall-fruiting raspberries fruit on the new canes that develop this year.
When the season ends, cut everything to the ground and it will restart the next spring with new canes and fruit in the fall of the year.
Fertilize in the spring with the new garden fertilizer such as Espoma Biotone, Dr Earth Fruit Tree Food with pro biotic, or the new Plant Thrive with mycorrhizal fungi.
One last thing, be sure to cover the plant when the fruit comes if you have birds--or they will beat you to the harvest.
The soil pH should be 5.5 to 6.5 and you will have to test soil yearly so it does not get too acidic.
This Week's Question:
TRUE or FALSE: Garden snails have no hearing and are nearly blind.
This Week's Prize:
One bottle of Vacation.
Last Week's Question:
What is the origin of the plant name "lilac"?
Last Week's Prize:
One bottle of Vacation.
Last Week's Winner:
Last Week's Answer:
Lilac came from the color of the plant; we can at least solve that mystery. The plant acquired the common name, lilac, because of its purple flowers. Lilac can be traced far back to the Sanskrit word for purple, "nila," which became the Persian "nilak," and then the Arabic " lilak" (English transliterations of these words may vary in spelling).
One winner per question - we choose winners from the list of those who answer correctly. Winners must be newsletter subscribers. We'll ship you your prize, so be sure to put your address in the form in case you win!
What You'll Need:
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
- 1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can beef broth
- 1 (7 ounce) can salsa
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or coarsely chopped tomatoes packed in puree
- 1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chili peppers
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Step by Step:
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.
- Crumble turkey into the pot, stirring with a wooden spoon to break apart as much as possible.
- Season with taco seasoning mix, coriander, oregano, chili flakes, and tomato paste, and mix until meat is evenly coated with seasonings.
- Continue cooking, reducing heat if necessary, until turkey is well browned.
- Pour in beef broth, and simmer to reduce liquid slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Add salsa, tomatoes, and green chilies, and continue cooking at a moderate simmer for ten minutes. Adjust the thickness at any time by adding water.
- While chili is still cooking, heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cook onion and green bell pepper, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and bell pepper is lightly browned.
- Add onion and bell pepper to the chili, and continue cooking at a very low simmer.
- In the same skillet in which you cooked the onion and bell pepper, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the zucchini, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Add the zucchini to the chili, reduce heat, and continue cooking 15 minutes more. Again, adjust the consistency by adding water as needed.
- Ladle chili into serving bowls.
- Top with sour cream, green onion, and cheddar cheese, and serve.