Sunday, 28 May 2017


LAVENDER: Choosing,Planting,Growing,Pruning,Harvesting and Using lavender plants:

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Fruit & Vegetable Growing Guide for June

Fruit & Vegetable Growing Guide for June:

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My honeyberry.

- Why honeyberries could be the next soft fruit to conquer the produce aisle:
The “honeyberry guru of the world” Lidia Delafield, of US-based Berries Unlimited, has developed many new honeyberry varieties, including the cultivars:
Happy Giant, Blue Moose, Blue Palm and Strawberry Sensation, which has a hint of strawberry flavour.

Stewart Arbuckle, one of the first British growers to plant honeyberry trees in the UK:
Happily, honeyberries grow best in temperate climates like the UK, which is why Arbuckle is keen for other domestic growers to invest in the variety - a new 'superberry' from Siberia and Japan.
Honeyberries are harvested around 10 to 14 days earlier than local native (outdoor-grown) strawberries.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Garden Insect Spray.

- Homemade Garlic-Mint Garden Insect Spray {that really works!!} - Page 2 of 2:
A DIY garden bug spray that is easy to make and use, and really works!
Author: Jami Boys - An Oregon Cottage
Recipe type: Organic Garden Bug Spray
Yield: 12 cups
2 whole heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
3 c. mint leaves (and stems, too - I just throw it all in now)
2 tsp. dry cayenne pepper
12 c. water
2 small squirts of biodegradable dishwashing liquid
Add the garlic and mint to a food processor and pulse for a few seconds.
Transfer mixture to a large pot and add the cayenne and 12c. water.
Bring to a boil; remove from heat and let sit overnight.
Strain into a couple spray bottles (or gallon garden sprayer) and add the two small squirts of dish soap.
To Use:
- shake well before each use
- this mainly repels bugs, though if they rub against it, it can kill them.
- spray all the leaves on affected plants, including the undersides - preferably on a cloudy day so as not to burn the plants.
- wait a few days to see the affect and then apply more if needed (many times I’ve only needed to do one application)
- This is like a pepper spray, so you can protect your skin and eyes like you would when using any hot peppers, although the potency is less because it only uses dried cayenne.
- Wait a few days to harvest after using so there isn't any spicy residuals (I only used 2 applications the whole summer, so there never was any taste to the produce).
- The scent keeps bugs away, but I still had ladybugs and bees, maybe because I only used the spray a few times.
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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

French Tarragon and the Russian Impostor.

French Tarragon and the Russian Impostor – Laidback Gardener:
There are, in fact, two tarragons on the market: French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus sativa) and Russian tarragon (A. dracunculus dracunculoides, sometimes simply written A. dracunculoides).
The two were derived from the same wild plant, but are definitely not equivalent, especially when it comes to cooking.
French tarragon is the aromatic herb made famous by French cuisine.
It is one of the four official “fines herbes” recommended by French chef Auguste Escoffier in the early 20th century for use in egg, fish, and chicken dishes, the other three being parsley (Petroselinum crispum), chives (Allium schoenoprasum) and chervil (Anthriscus cerfefolium), a quartet still promoted by chefs of the French persuasion worldwide.

French tarragon has a distinctive taste: a very intense mixture of anise and camphor with its own special touch.
It’s strong enough that you only need a pinch when cooking.
Its lanceolate leaves are medium green and borne on a shrubby-looking plant about 24 to 30 inches (60 to 80 cm) high.
You have to propagate French tarragon vegetatively, by stem cuttings, layering or division.
Over all, it’s a fairly short-lived plant: even under ideal conditions, you need to take cuttings every few years to keep it going.

Russian tarragon is an impostor.
It has little taste and is not considered of much use in cooking.

You’ll find seed packets of tarragon, for example, but they necessarily contain seeds of Russian tarragon, since French tarragon doesn’t produce viable seed.
Nursery shelves are sometimes filled with pots of Russian tarragon, because they can grow it inexpensively from seed, which makes it much more profitable than cutting-grown French tarragon.
Abundant flowers usually indicate Russian tarragon.
Pull off two or three small leaves and munch on them. If the taste is intense, in fact, out and out bitter, it’s French tarragon.
If they have little to no taste, it’s Russian tarragon.
And be forewarned: Russian tarragon can become invasive.
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Seeds to sow indoors in Early May.

Seeds to sow indoors in Early May – Laidback Gardener:
African Marigold (Tagetes erecta)
Ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum)
Annual Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila elegans)
Annual Flax (Linum grandiflorum, L. usitatissimum and others)
Annual Gaillardia (Gaillardia pulchella)
Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila spp.)
Balsamine (Impatiens balsamina)
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Batchelor’s Button (Centaurea cyanus and others)
Brussel Sprouts (Brassica oleracea gemmifera)
Castor Bean Plant (Ricinus communis)
Celosia (Celosia argentea and others)
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
Cleome or Spider Flower (Cleome hasslerana)
Cockscomb (Celosia argentea cristata)
Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus and C. sulphureus)
Felicia (Felicia bergeriana, F. heterophylla)
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Flowering Cabbage (Brassica olearcea acephala)
French Marigold (Tagetes patula, T. patula x erecta)
Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum)
Joseph’s Coat Amaranthus (Amaranthus tricolor)
Kingfisher Daisy (Felicia bergeriana, F. heterophylla)
Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate (Persicaria orientalis, syn. Polygonum orientale)
Kohlrabi (Brassica olearcea gongylode)
Lettuce (Lactuca sativus)
Love-Lies-Bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus)
Melon (Cucumis melo)
Morning Glory (Ipomoea spp.)
Mullein (Verbascum bombyciferum, V. olympicum, etc.)
Nolana (Nolana paradoxa, N. humifusa)
Perennial Flax (Linum perenne, L. flavum, etc.)
Phacelia (Phacelia campanularia, P. tanacetifolia and others)
Policeman’s Helmet (Impatiens glandulifera)
Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo)
Rodgersia (Rodgersia aesculifolia and others)
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)
Squash (Cucurbita pepo)
Statice (Limonium sinuatum and others)
Summer Savory (Satureja hortensis)
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
Swan River Daisy (Brachyscome iberidifolia)
Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)
Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus)
Watermelon (Citruillus lanatus)
Zinnia (Zinnia spp.)
Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo)
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How Many Vegetables per Person?

How Many Vegetables per Person? – Laidback Gardener:
Asparagus 5–10 plants
Bush bean 10–15 plants
Pole bean 10–15 plants
Beets 10–25 plants
Bok Choy 3–5 plants
Broccoli 3–5 plants
Brussels sprouts 2–5 plants
Cabbage 3–5 plants
Carrot 15 plants
Cauliflower 2–5 plants
Celery 2–8 plants
Corn 10–20 plants
Cucumber 1–2 plants
Eggplant 1–3 plants
Garlic 3–5 plants
Kale 2-7 plants
Leek 5–15 plants
Romaine lettuce 2–5 plants
Leaf lettuce 20–30 plants
Melon 1-3 plants
Mesclun 2-7 plants
Onion 10–25 plants
Peas 15–20 plants
Bell pepper 3–5 plants
Chili pepper 1–3 plants
Potato 5–10 plants
Radish 10–25 plants
Rhubarb 2 plants
Spinach 5–10 plants
Swiss chard 5–10 plants
Summer squash 1–3 plants
Winter squash 1–2 plants
Tomatoes 1–4 plants
Turnip 3–4 plants
Zucchini 1–3 plants
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The honeyberry.

Laidback Gardener – Welcome to Larry Hodgson’s world:
"The honeyberry mature very early: in May in warmer climates, June in colder ones.
That’s still well before any other northern fruit.
The plant flowers very early in the season too: in April or May, again depending on the climate.
Since early blooming is associated with a risk of frost, you’d normally be concerned about cold damage, but remember that this plant comes from a boreal climate and can cope with cold.
As a result, the flowers can handle temperatures down to 19°F (-7°C) even when in full bloom and thus readily resist spring frosts.

The plant begins to produce fruit starting in its second year and can continue to produce for 30 years and more.

Unlike blueberries, which have an absolute need for acid soils, haskaps are tolerant of both acid soils and alkaline ones (pH 4.5 to 8).
You need two different varieties to ensure pollination.
The haskap also prefers a relatively cool summer. "

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