Tag Archives: veggie gardening

Urban Columnar Apples Are Hot!

Are you looking for an apple tree that is perfect for that small space?  You can grow this tree on your patio, deck or even in your flower bed.   The new Urban™ Columnar Apples are your answer to the problem.  Introduced to the market in 2011 by Garden Debut® these trees grow 8-10 ft tall and only 2 ft wide.  They have short branches and grow straight up.  The flowers are pink in color.  They are USDA zone 4-9. 

There are 4 varieties of the Urban™ Columnar Apples:

Tasty Red™ -Bright red with sweet flavor

Blushing Delight™-Red green fruit with sweet flavor

Golden Treat™-green gold apples that are tart but get sweeter with age

Tangy Green™- Lime green fruit with crisp tart flavor

You will need two for cross-pollination.  Supplies will be limited this year so if you are looking for these please come early.  

I am trying these in my garden and so far I have been impressed.

For more information on these and other great new plants you can go to www.gardendebut.com.



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Filed under Landscaping, Plant of the Month, TimberPine

Growing Your Own Fresh Veggies

As a child, I remember walking through grandmother’s garden.  The whole thing was huge and ringed with marigolds to keep the bugs and rabbits out (not sure if that trick works or not).  The rows were neat and weed free and everything that the family would eat during the winter was growing there.  In my mother’s slightly smaller garden, I learned how to keep the rows weed free with a hoe and a lot of hard work in the hot summer sun.  As an adult, I live on a lot in the city where there is not enough space for a huge garden.   However, I still want to grow some of my own food.  Let’s be honest, it just tastes better than the produce you buy at the store.  I am going to give you some tips on how to grow your own veggies in a small space. 

Choose a good location for your garden.  This should be an area with 6-8 hours of sun light.  To prepare the soil remove the grass or sod growing in that area.  You can place this in your compost pile to break down for use in your garden next year.  Dig up the soil with a garden fork or tiller and add 2” of organic matter or compost.  Fluff the soil again until it is loose and crumbly.  Your “bed” is now ready.

When deciding which plants to grow you have two choices, either start them from seed or let someone else do the work and start with a small plant.  If you’re starting with a small plant, it is important to purchase your plants from a local nursery that you trust.  Though the box stores might have cheaper product you can never tell what diseases they might be selling as well. www.extension.org/…/Plant_Disease_Threatens_Tomatoes_and_Potatoes

Great plants for beginners would be tomatoes, bush beans, peppers, and cucumbers.  You can grow early spring crops of leaf lettuce and peas. 

Plant at least 2 but no more than 3 plants of every plant; unless you have a huge family or plan on canning or freezing the excess.  Plant the plants with enough space to grow, 2 to 3’ spacing for tomatoes.  3’ space for cucumber etc.  I let my cucumber vine trail through the tomatoes to keep the weeds down.  After planting, you should water carefully and soak the soil at least 1” deep.  I place newspaper in between the rows and cover them with grass clippings to reduce the weed growth .  After all, who has time to weed a garden these days?  This will break down over time and you can till the organic matter back into the garden in the spring.

Keep an eye out for insects and disease.  If you remove the insect by hand, you can reduce the need for chemical control.  If you have to spray you should use an organic product.   http://extension.agron.iastate.edu/organicag/supplpm.html

It is always good to remember that any chemical product will leave a residue which you will then consume, not a good thing if you want to live a long life.  For fertilizer you have several organic options.  Cow or poultry manure can be applied to the soil and worked in before planting or you can use topdressing of fish emulsion or bone meal. 

With these tips you can grow enough food for fresh salsa, BLT’s minus the B of course, or a cucumber salad in a space as small as 10’x10’.  Pick and enjoy!

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Filed under Community, I'll Grow It Myself!, Landscaping, TimberPine

I hate tedious work.

My cabin fever was overwhelming and the smell of soil was too appealing, so I have begun my Victory Garden.  Just in case I didn’t tell you….I found some of the Burpee seeds I’d been eying online, marked 40% off at a box store here in town.  I also managed to grab a 72 soil pellet pack for under $6 (online $8-10).  Needless to say, I was VERY excited with my find.  And alas…. that’s where my frustration began.

I hate….HATE with a passion tedious work.  It drives me crazy bonkers.  Makes me want to scream!  And distributing those dainty little seeds, into their respecting soil pods was TEDIOUS!  I only plugged in the peppers (as it’s too early for the others), however, when the time comes, I’m contemplating hiring my husband to do the sowing.  He’s gotta earn his keep around here anyway.

Soil pellets need to be saturated before setting the seed.

Pellets should expand approximately 1-2″ tall with the soil loose.  (weird sidenote: I love the smell of soil.  Something about it makes me feel good.  If someone knows of a “soil perfume” drop me a line)

It’s begun….tedious tedious tedious!  Keeping my hands steady enough to drop the seeds on the pellet, and NOT along side the pellet where my fat fingers could not rescue a seed=TEDIOUS

Call it frugal or that sowing these seeds was getting the best of me, but I packed 2 seeds in each pod.  In less than 10 minutes, I had had enough.  I’m fairly certain this is one of those moments, that I previously disclosed may happen, where I make up my own rules.  Two to three seeds in one soil pod is just fine guys!

Now, if I was really pinching my pennies, and had a little more patience in me, I would have possibly researched further the many ways I could have re-purposed some of the crap lying around my house.  So take it from the amateur and try following one or more of these frugal methods to starting seeds, I think I’ll be smarter on my next trial.

Happy Planting!

Author: Katie Ketelsen

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Filed under I'll Grow It Myself!, Rantings by Katie Ketelsen