March is potato month

 

Be sure to order your potatoes now for the Saint Patrick’s Day planting.

Check out some fun, space saving ideas to grow and harvest your potatoes in the,

It’s all about Potatoes” blog.

I have always ordered my potato seedlings from Ronnigers.   They are non-Gmo, and always produce wonderful tasting,  high yielding potatoes.  Try Purple or blue potatoes for a great French fry.

Click below for their catalog of Potatoes

http://www.potatogarden.com/index.html

When is it to wet to be out in your garden

If it has been raining or you have extensively watered your garden all over but you are wanting to get out there and pluck your ripe vegi’s off the vine can you do so without harming your garden?

Go to the edge of your garden.   Stick you hand into the soil.   If you can lift a hand full of soil in your hand and release it with most of the soil returning to the ground it is probably safe to enter your garden.

If on the other hand you release it and a good deal of wet soil sticks to your hand, it is to wet.

Entering your garden when the ground is too wet can cause the ground where you have stepped to become hard when it dries.   You can crush beneficial worms under the pressure of your step and damage plant roots.

Before Digging always call 811 (Ks. and Mo.)

You never know what can be buried under the grounds surrounding your home.

Power lines, cables, and gas lines are a few of the things that could be hiding right where you may want to dig.

By accidently puncturing one of these items with a till, or shovel etc.. you could cause harm to yourself and others around you.   It can also cost you money to repair your mistake.

Check with your local county extension to see what number to call to have someone come out and mark your lawn for each of the utilities and cable companies lines.

The service is free in Kansas and Missouri to homeowners and contractors alike.   I would imagine that every area has this service available to them.

Compost

Compost is decomposed plants, leaves and other organic matter.

It sounds rather yucky, but it is the greatest thing since…well…DIRT!

Compost adds nutrients, micro organisms, and makes your plants really, really  happy.

Compost can be used as a mulch, for feeding, and for planting your garden.

Compost can be easily made by following a few simple rules.

You will know when you have achieved compost by its sweet smell and  lovely texture.

If you would like to know more about “How to Make Compost” and all of its great benefits to your garden see my blog under   “Soil”

Pitchfork or Garden Fork

Pitchfork’s, made from hard woods, were used clear back in the middle ages to move loose material and to defend oneself.   Today, we use Pitchfork’s made of steel and a wooden handle in our garden to lift out big clumps of weeds without disturbing a lot of soil move hay or pitch it etc…

I use my pitchfork as a quick way to turn under compost in the garden before planting my plants.  It leaves some compost on top of the ground and turns some under so that it is distributed more evenly through out the first foot or so of the soil.

Easy way to preserve the life of your Garden Tools

January is a wonderful time to prepare for our spring gardens by first taking care of the tools we use.

The Fall is actually a better time to do this project but for those who ran out of time or just didn’t get around to it, this is your reminder.  It happens to the best of us.

By keeping your tools clean, sharpened and stored properly, you add years to the life your tools and keep your money in your pocket longer by not having to replace them so frequently.

If you don’t have a lot of time at one setting, do one tool daily, weekly etc.  otherwise do them all at once.

  • Take a large bucket and fill with sand.   You can buy a tube of sand at your local home repair store or

hardware store.

  • Wash each tool in hot soapy water and a rinse each tool in a  bucket filled with hot water and a

little bleach.   I use 2 tbsp. of bleach per gallon of water.    The bleach will kill any bacteria and or

fungi or virus’s that may have invaded your garden last year and attached themselves to your tools.

  •  Dry each tool well with a soft cloth.

For items such as shovels, clippers etc… dip them into the sand several times then hang them up

until  ready to use.  This gives them a sharper edge.   Keep the bucket of sand for the garden season

and be sure to dip your tools in it after each use.  It will clean off dirt residue and keep your tools

sharper, longer.

  • If your shovel etc… need sharpening do this now by running them over a grinding stone or use your

hand grinder carefully to sharpen the blades and forego the sand.

Finish by putting a light coat of mineral oil on the metal and wood  parts of your tools.  It nourishes the wood and will help to keep your metals from rusting.

Now your tools will be bright and shiny, sharpened and ready for you come spring.

And there is nothing better than being able to get into your garden in the Spring with clean and shiny tools.

IS IT Spring Yet???