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Will They Live?

November 28th, 2017

For the past few years I’ve been growing artichokes. Since we live in a cold climate, I grow the varieties that produce in one season. This means I only get one large choke per plants, sometimes the season is long enough for them to produce a few smaller chokes.

This year, I planted 6 plants. Two of them didn’t produce chokes this summer, but the plants are lush and look very healthy. I decided to try to overwinter them to see if they will produce next summer.

After much thought of how to do it, I decided a fiber cement pot turned upside would be the best option. I was going to buy straw to stuff them with, but realized I have a ready supply of oak leaves. I also used this method to protect my acanthus in hopes that it will bloom in a few years.

What frost/freeze protection methods do you utilize in your garden for tender plants?

Magnesium for Roses

November 17th, 2017

As I mentioned yesterday, I use epsom salts in the garden in a few different places. One of the places I discovered where it is very effective is on roses. I have always read that roses like a foliar spray of magnesium, but I never got around to doing it until this summer.

I mixed 1 Tablespoon of magnesium in gallon of water. I transferred it to a spray bottle and sprayed the leave of my rose bushes every three weeks. The results were amazing. I started spraying in early August and afterwards all of my roses produced a small second flush of blooms. They also put on lots of lush green growth and looked much healthier than they have the past few summers.

For being such an inexpensive thing, epsom salts are really a valuable addition to the garden. I use Ancient Minerals brand because I trust them. This winter I’ll be researching to see if there are any other plants that appreciate a foliar magnesium feed. Next year I’m going to start feeding the roses when I see new growth.

Do you use epsom salts in the garden?

Using Magnesium in the Garden

November 15th, 2017

My mom always used epsom salts in the garden, she would use them on her tomatoes and peppers. Last year, I started to do the same. It made quite a difference in the amount of fruit and health of the plants. There was zero blossom end rot with a monthly magnesium drink.

I use Ancient Minerals brand, which is the same brand I use for myself when I’m soaking my feet.

I simply add one quarter of a cup to my three gallon watering can, stir to dissolve, then water the leaves and soil of my tomatoes & peppers. Check back tomorrow and I’ll tell you about another way to use magnesium in the garden.

Do you have any gardening tips/tricks to share?

Oh Celery

November 13th, 2017

I’ve been growing celery for years as it’s a main ingredient in my home canned tomato soup. Each year it gets better and better and this year was the best year yet. Most often, my celery is OK for cooking, not so great to eat raw. Celery can be a picky crop, it’s greedy to be sure. Lots of water and lots of food is what makes it thrive. If it’s not provided with the perfect conditions, it’s hollow, tough, and only fit for stock. This variety is ‘Tango’ which was sourced from Johnny’s Seeds.

I’ve been harvesting stalks from my plants for a few months now, we like them sliced on top of salads. When the weather decided to dip down below freezing every night, I decided it was time to harvest all these lovely plants (10 in total).  They will be paired with a few roosters from the coop to make a wonderfully rich chicken stock for the freezer. It’s quite exciting to finally master growing something and to find your homegrown product is leaps and bounds over what you can buy.

What crop have you struggled to grow in the past?

Fall Crops

November 9th, 2017

Our temperatures are finally getting down in to the twenties, this Friday night it’s supposed to be in the teens. With the persephone period at hand, crops aren’t growing any more, just sustaining. That means it’s time to harvest various crops that can be affected by the cold weathers. The day before yesterday I harvested lots of things: cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, and fennel. The lemongrass will be harvested today, along with a few other greens.


I’m amazed at how well my fall crops produced this year. If I had planted them a month before I did, they would have done much better, but overall I’m quite pleased. The cauliflower is the size of a small cantaloupe, the broccoli has headed up nicely. The fennel is small, but tender. The butterhead lettuces produced nice small heads, the spinach is perfect for harvest. Overall, I’m very happy with my fall harvest. Each year I get better and better with gardening throughout the seasons. Succession planting is becoming easier and easier.

What are you harvesting this week from the garden?

Seeds and Sundries
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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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