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Front Garden
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Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Geranium Plants From Cuttings

Do you ever get sticker shock going to your garden center in the Spring to buy your garden flowers?
I do. One of my favorite flowers is geraniums. I bought them for my hanging baskets during my first year of gardening. After paying full retail prices, I decided to find a less expensive, but same quality, option.

I taught myself how to use geranium cuttings from existing plants to grow new plants. I am now on my fifth generation of plants.

Here's how to do it !

Here is a dug up and repotted, 1 full season old, geranium brought indoors for the winter. I haven't trimmed off the dead leaves yet. My priority was to get it indoors before the first hard frost. I have about 20, full-sized plants spending the winter near upstairs windows.
Take the plant, rotate it around, and look or a good "branch" or stem. I look for the one's that are sticking out to the side. I get to make a new plant and shape the larger plant at the same time.
Cut the stem right above the "v". Try to make a sharp,  even, cut.
The cut is made! You want to plant the cutting soon after so have your pot with soil ready.
Now get yourself a small green pot and fill it with garden soil. I use green pots that other people throw out in the trash. The garden soil should be moist but have no water freely dripping from it.
Stick your finger in the soil and make a hole about 2" deep.
Place the cutting in the hole. Make sure you keep small leaves exposed if the are sticking out of the stem.
Tamp the soil around the stem so the cutting is firmly placed in the soil.
And here it is ! Don't worry about making it perfectly upright. Nature will take care of itself.
Here are some previous transplanted cuttings. See how their new, rich, green leaves are growing in nicely?

These are about 2 months old. I have about 2 dozen cuttings growing,
This one is ready to be re-potted. The roots are showing. It must be happy.

Follow this method and you can save a lot of money making your own geraniums from cuttings!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

From Garden to Pressure Canned Pickled Carrots 2

The final tally is in for pressure canned pickled carrots. the balance of the carrots will be frozen.

The pressure canner in action. It's making my last batch:

The total batch for the year. Ill try to control myself and start eating them on the first day of 2013.

I have some leftover carrots. I'll cut them up, put them in salads, or freeze them. Next year, I'll plant more carrots!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Flowers From The 2012 Garden 4 And Picture Of A Frequent Special Guest To The Garden

Some pictures from the past years:

Here is a picture of a frequent guest to the garden for the past couple of years. I first saw her as a little Bambi with her spots. Now she is all grown up and has a couple fawns of her own.  She always gives me the same look.

Lettuce and Bulls Blood:

Somewhere under the snow is a garden and a hoophouse:


Zinnias with raspberries in the background:

Buttercrunch lettuce:


Mesclun mix:

Sunday, November 25, 2012

From Garden to Pressure Canned Pickled Carrots 2

Here is a quick update.

It snowed last night. The temperature during harvest was 30F. The carrots are in the unfrozen bed. I remove the plastic and dig the carrots up.

I try to eye-ball-it and harvest enough carrots to do 4 jars.

A photo of finished pickled carrot jars. I also have 4 more cooling down in the pressure canner. I do 4 jar batches.

The cold ground keeps the carrots crisp and fresh until they are processed!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Flowers From The 2012 Garden 3

More pictures by popular demand !! I seed save all of these flowers and re-grow them every year.

Zinnia after a little frost:

Coleus, zinnia, cosmos:



Rudbeckia Goldilocks:

Bright Jewel Cactus Zinnia:


Lime Zinnia:


Bright Jewels Cactus Zinnia:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Flowers From The 2012 Garden 2

Here are more pictures of flowers from the garden. I think I identified them correctly. Meanwhile, I continue to pressure can pickled carrots.

If it rains, mushrooms pop up:

Purple coneflower on its way to full bloom:

Padilla coneflower getting a visit:

Every now and then I get a purple coneflower that does this:

I now grow hops:

Fragrant lilies:

Stargazer lily:

You never have enough purple coneflowers:

Purple coneflowers, Denver daisy, and Rudbeckia Goldi-locks:

Beginnings of a purple coneflower:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

From Garden to Pressure Canned Pickled Carrots

I planted a 30 foot by 3 foot raised bed of carrots. I am harvesting the carrots and have to get them out of the ground before the ground freezes. I plant the seeds around June 1st. We are getting below freezing temperatures at night for a week so he clock is ticking!

I use 4 mil plastic cover over the bed at night to keep the frost out and retain heat in the soil. I didn't water the carrots a lot this summer. The bed acts like a refrigerator until I am ready to pick them. The bed is 12 inches deep. I use 2 layers of 2X6 inch planks to form the bed.  I also cover the bed with deer fencing to keep squirrels, possum, and raccoons out of the bed.

Carrot ready for harvest:
Typical carrot:
Carrots ready to be processed;
The carrots are cleaned, washed, greens removed, ends cut, and outer skin shaved. All carrot waste is put into my indoor worm composting bins. They are in my office. They make great foot rests.
I use of-the-shelf  Mrs. Wages Pickle juice pack to mass produce the pickled carrots. I usually buy the packs at a deep discount when they are on sale after the normal canned goods season.  I will, in the future, make-up some recipes but my priority is to get the crop out of the ground and into the jars for now. It's an availability thing.

Mixing the batch. One packet makes enough for 4 jars.
Carrots, sliced and going into the jar:
Here is a batch ready to be canned.  I use an All American canner. I can make 4 jars at a time. You will buy one for life. Just follow the instructions in the booklet. I also use the Ball Canning Handbook. FOLLOW SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS.
Always make sure the canner rests on the burner, not on the edge of the stove. This will help prevent heat transfer to the stove surface. You can get burned and damage your stove !!!!
I always wear these during the canning operation. SAFETY FIRST !!!
After processing. So many carrots, so little time. I will post a picture of all of the jars later.