Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Apricot Trees ( How To Grow )

                  Hello and welcome back here today on Garden The Easy Way, this is Ken and Marilou.  

                  Today we will share with you, how to plant Apricot Trees. Apricots are a very delicious fruit, I just love eating fresh Apricots, and I think most anyone out there would love eating them too, but there is nothing like having your very own Garden Fresh Fruit and Vegetables. The taste is 10 times better than store bought, just try it and you  too will say " wow so delicious".  

                 We have some more good news, Apricot trees are easy to grow, they are just like most fruit trees, they like full sun. We like the Goldcot Apricot Tree, the best sweet golden fruit by mid July. Great for fresh eating and great for canning.  

                  Planting an apricot tree will provide you with fresh fruit for years to come. Apricot trees come in self-pollinating varieties and in varieties that require another tree for pollination. If you choose a variety that requires another tree for pollination, plant them close to each other. Apricot trees generally produce fruit by the third season after planting; trees that are dwarf varieties will produce less fruit than standard sized trees. Select your apricot tree size to fit your planting site.    

Things You'll Need  

* Spade
* Compost
* Stakes
* Twine  


1. Select your planting site. Apricot trees require full sun. Northern climates can be challenging growing environments for apricot trees because a late spring frost date can kill the blossoms and therefore keep the tree from producing fruit for that season. Planting the apricot tree in a sheltered spot on the northern side of a wall or home will slow the rate the tree warms in the spring and may keep it from blossoming too soon. Well-drained soil is important to prevent root rot.

2. Time your planting to coincide with early spring. Purchase an apricot tree that is still dormant, meaning no leaves have emerged yet on the branches. A younger tree with bare roots is ideal.  

3. Dig a hole deep enough and wide enough to accommodate the largest roots of the apricot tree. There should be adequate room to spread out the tree roots without crowding them.  

4. Make a small mound of dirt in the center of the hole and place the tree on the mound, then gently extend the roots out away from the center of the hole.  

5. Layer in the original soil with compost as you fill the hole. The compost will provide extra nutrients to your growing tree.

6. If your tree is young and your planting site is prone to wind, you may need to stake your tree. Use two or three strong stakes placed in the ground outside of the circle you dug for planting so as not to disturb the roots. use twine to tie the trunk of the apricot tree to the supporting stakes.  

Tips & Warnings:

* Standard apricot trees should be planted 25 feet apart; dwarf varieties should be planted 10-12 feet apart.  

* Diseases and insects native to your location could harm your apricot tree; contact a local arborist or gardening expert for advice specific to your region.  

                   Well that's it for today, we hope to talk here again on Garden The Easy Way. Until then, this is Ken & Marilou wishing you all Happy Gardening Always.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Plum Jelly Homemade ( How To Make )

                 Good day to you all and welcome back here today on Garden The Easy Way. This is Ken and Marilou.  

                 We shared with you how you can plant and grow your very own Plum Trees and have lots of delicious Plum. Today we would like to share a very delicious treat with you how to make homemade Plum Jelly.  

                 Homemade Plum Jelly is so much better than the store bought. Homemade is so delicious and it is so easy to make, and I promise you, everyone will want your home made recipe.   ( ENJOY !!!)    

                               Plum Jelly Homemade       ( How To Make )  


* 3 pounds of ripe plums  
* 1/2 cup of water  
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 7 1/2 cups sugar  
* 1 package commercial pectin


* Large, non-aluminum pot with lid
* 4 to 6 Pint canning jars and lids  


1. Cut the plums. Cut each plum fruit into eighths, and discard the pits.  Make sure the plums are ripe, or they will not cook correctly.  

2. Sterilizing the jars. Place the jars and lids into boiling water for 10 minutes. When done, leave the simmering water as you prepare the plum jelly.  

3. Cook the plums. Place the plum slices, water, and lemon juice in a large stockpot. Bring to a over medium-high heat, stirring often.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir occasionally until the fruit is soft. You should end up with about 4 1/2 cups of plum syrup. You want to pour it through a sieve or strainer get a smoother texture, but this is not necessary.

4. Add sugar. Now, stir in the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to help sugar dissolve. Once it has dissolved, add the pectin. Continue to stir and boil for a minute, and then remove from the heat. Let the mixture rest for a minute, and then skim off any foam or top. This is an important step of the plum recipe.

5. Canning the jelly. Carefully remove the jars and lids from the simmering water. Pour even and of the jelly into each jar, leaving 1/4" to 1/8" of space at the top of each rim. Wipe the rims to ensure a good seal, and screw on the lids. Then, place in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes so the jars will seal. Jelly recipes require the lids to be on securely.  

6. Storage and serving. Remove the jars from the boiling water and let sit for several hours without disturbing them. Be careful when removing them, as they will be quite hot. Special jar-holding made for canning come in handy for this task. Once the jars have sat undisturbed for an hours check the seals. As long as the lids do not pop up when you press down in the center, they be sealed correctly and you can store them on a shelf that is cool and dry for up to a year. One may not seal correctly; store these jars in the refrigerator and use the jelly soon.

** Tips **

Plum jelly is a delicious treat for bread, crackers, or toast. You can also use it to top pancakes waffles.  Easy to make, it is also an impressive gift. People who receive gifts like these always want a copy of the homemade jelly recipes so they can make the fruit recipes themselves.  

                 Well that's it for today, we hope to talk here again on Garden The Easy Way. Until then, this is Ken & Marilou wishing you all Happy Gardening Always.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Plum Trees ( How To Plant )

               Hello, and welcome back here today this is Ken and Marilou on Garden The Easy Way.    

               Today we would like to talk about a fruit that is loved all over the world, we are talking about Plums, and we will share with you how to plant and grow your very own sweet delicious Plums.

               Plums are native to China, America, and Europe. Today there are more than 200 cultivars being grown.  There are two main types of plums, European and Japanese, being marketed today. Generally, Japanese plums are larger than European plums. European plums have high sugar content so they are often dried and used for making prunes. European plums are generally late bloomers so they are well suited for areas with late frosts or cool springs. Japanese plums ripen earlier than European varieties.    

              Plum trees may or may not need pollinators. Some are self fruitful and some need another plum tree for pollination purposes. Most European plums will either benefit from or require cross-pollination from another European variety. Many Japanese plums require pollinators. Follow nursery recommendations for suitable pollinizers. Plum trees are fast growing and usually begin producing fruit in 3 to 5 years after planting.

             Plums are rich in dietary fiber that is effective in improving digestion. They are low in calories and contain ample amounts of vitamins C, calcium, potassium, and carbohydrates. Plums are excellent when eaten fresh and are great addition in salads. They are used for pies, desserts, jams and jellies.  

             The number #1 World Famous Plum is the Sweet Santa Rose Plum, the most popular plum tree for commercial use and home growing.  These trees produce a lot of sweet flavored dark purple fruit. The Santa Rosa tree takes up very little space, yet produces bushels of fruit.

             Plum Tree are just like most of the other fruit tree, they must be planted in full sun. When you go to your local nursery ask for a Dwarf Santa Rosa Plum, height: 5-7 ft.    

             Plums have three main needs, warmth ( especially important at pollination time, light and moisture. Plums flower earlier in the season than most other fruit trees, so they should not be planted in a frost-pocket. If your garden is in a cool area, avoid early flowering varieties good varieties to choose are Czar, Victoria or Marjorie's Seedling.  

             Plum trees prefer to be positioned in full sun, although some shade in the morning or afternoon will not affect them much.

            As far as moisture is concerned, do not plant in a water-logged area, but make sure the soil is unlikely to dry out. Don't plant them near other trees which will simply deprive them of the moisture they need.

                                                 (  How To Plant Plum Tree )  

            Technically, you can plant your plum tree any time from late Autumn to early Spring. The best time to plant is in October when the soil is moist but still retains some of the summer warmth.  

            Soil preparation is best done a month or more before planting so that the soil has time to settle. Dig a 60cm ( 2ft ) deep by 1.2m ( 4ft ) square hole, incorporating as much organic material as possible, aim to get the soil crumbly. Always water well after planting, and never let your new trees go dry to long without, the first year is so important for new trees !

            Well that's it for today, we hope to talk here again tomorrow on Garden The Easy Way. Until then, this is Ken and Marilou wishing you all Happy Gardening Always.



Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pear Trees ( How To Plant )

               Good day to you all and welcome back here today on Garden The Easy Way, this is Ken and Marilou.

               Today we have another delicious fruit. We would like to talk about pear and also how to plant Pear Trees. There are lots of different kind of Pears, and Pears are a delicious fruit, but not only that Pears are very good for our health, Pears contain Vitamins C and B complex, Fiber, Potassium and Carbohydrates. The most popular #1 Pear in the world wide is Bartlett Pear since its introduction in 1797. This multi-purpose Pear is a long standing favorite of orchard and home fruit enthusiasts alike.  

               The Bartlett look good growing just about anywhere in your front yard or back yard. Bartlett Pear trees are beautiful trees with dark green leaves in the spring. Bartlett pear trees are load with little white flowers, which will turn into golden yellow delicious pear. Excellent choice for both seasoned and first time fruit growers.    

Things You'll Need

* Pruning shears
* Garden shovel
* Knife  

Choosing a Pear Tree  

1. Go to a local nursery or home and garden shop to buy a pear tree.

2. Choose a 4 to 6 foot high tree with 5/8 inch or more diameter. A 1 to 2 year old tree contains stronger roots and has four or five branches.

3. Consider either trees that pollinate themselves (you need only one) or cross-pollination trees (you need at least two) for fruit. Cross-pollination pear trees need to bloom at the same time; check the tag for matching Pollination Code letters.    

Planting a Pear Tree  

1. Plant trees 20 to 25 feet apart after the last spring frost in an area with all or most of the day sun. Plant dwarf trees closer, 10 to 15 feet, and for small trees like Bartlett, space 15 feet.

2. snip off limbs below 18 inches from the ground with pruning shears.

3. Determine the root spread, then with a garden shovel dig a hole wider than the roots.  

4. Cut the sides of the fiber pot with a knife to plant with the tree, but remove a plastic pot.  

5. Set the tree in the ground and fill hole with dirt. Pack the soil around the trunk.  

6. Water the planting area well.  

7. add soil to build up depressions from the watering.  

8. Ripens in late August.  

***TIPS & WARNINGS***    

* Optimum growing soil is non-gravel, with a pH of 5.9 to 6.5.  

* Soak dry roots of a newly bought tree before planting.  

* Avoid planting Seckel and Bartlett trees together because they can't pollinate each other.  

* Don't plant Waite or Magness trees for pollen because they're sterile; however planting other varieties with the same Pollination Code ensure pollination for these two trees.  

             Well that's it for today, we hope to talk here again on Garden The Easy Way. Until then, this is Ken & Marilou wishing you all Happy Gardening Always.