Thursday, May 22, 2014

How To Plant and Grow Strawberry

               Welcome back here today on Garden The Easy Way. This is Ken and Marilou and we both are so happy that you have joined us today.

                Today we are going to be talking about one of Americas Favorite Fruits, Strawberries, and how you can plant and grow your very own strawberries.

                 Well it is Spring and all the grocery stores are selling strawberry, and they are so good eating and the health benefits from eating strawberries will shock you if you don't already know, strawberries are very very good for us all.

                  What a lot of people don't know, strawberry are very easy to grow, they will just about grow anywhere, very easy to have your very own strawberry patch.

                   Another thing about gardening, your garden fresh fruit and vegetables always taste a lot better, because you harvest out of your garden when it is ready to be picked, when you buy fruits and vegetables from your local store most of them are picked too early and shipped to the stores green.

                   OK, back to strawberries they are so delicious, my wife Marilou and I decided to plant more strawberries this year. You will say "WOW" when you go to pick out your strawberry plants, they are so many different kinds of strawberry plant to choose from, that is why grocery stores are selling a lot of strawberry in the spring and none in the summer, because the company that sold the strawberries to the store did not plant everbearing strawberry, a lot of varieties of strawberry plants will only produce strawberries from May to June only.

                    Marilou and I like to plant Everbearing Strawberry because we get to eat fresh garden strawberry, from May to October. We plant Albion Everbearing Strawberry, they have a sweet delicious taste and definitely our favorite to plant. OK, I know what you are thinking why don't the company that are selling to the stores, plant and ship everbearing strawberry? the answer is easy, I am thinking it is because the everbearing strawberry just don't get as big as some of the other brands and the stores like the bigger strawberries for selling. The choice is up to you, do you want big strawberries, just in the spring or do you want a smaller strawberry from spring to October.

                     How To Plant and Grow Strawberries? You can plant strawberry in pots, back yard, wood or rock form raise garden or just on the ground out of your way. What ever strawberry plant you decide on planting remember this and it will save you some money. When you buy your strawberry plants, they come in a small container, six strawberry plants in one container. Six strawberry plant should be enough and no need to buy more, unless you have big family or you want to freeze a lot of strawberries.

                     Why I say 6-Strawberry plants should be enough? Is because strawberry plants will grow  runners, some people call runner vines but the true name is ( Runners ). About every 6-8 inches the runner will stop and plant it self in the soil where it plants it self that is called a crown, the crown will grow roots down in the soil and now you have a new strawberry plant.

                      By the end of the summer your six strawberry plants you started with could be closed to 100 or more. You can cut the runner off and transplant them somewhere else if you want. So many people that raise their own strawberries will cut the runner off and give them away to their neighbors and friends.

                       When it comes to planting strawberries, I like to do it the quick and easy way. Marilou and I like to use Miracle Gro Garden Soil Mix, it come ready to go, all you have to do is add to the plant you are planting, but you can grow strawberry plants in just about any kind of soil, as long as you add a little compost, so that the soil will not pack down too hard, loose soil helps your plants to get more oxygen and grow stronger roots.

                        It is very important to work up your soil well before planting, like I said strawberry plants are easy to grow, and they will not die out in the winter, from ice, snow and cold weather the plant will die down to the crown,but the crown and the roots do not die, the vine and runners will come back in early spring.

                        There is one very important thing you have to remember about planting strawberries, you never cover the strawberry plant crown, it must set on top of the soil, only the roots go under the soil.

                         Never let your strawberry dry out too long, when it get hot in the summer, water every 2-days or a little everyday depending how hot and dry it is and how long it has been since your plants have had any rain.

                         I know this probably sounds like too much work for a lot of people but it truly is not, gardening is so good for the soul, gardening is truly good therapy for us and it is fun working in your garden, also you are getting some exercise that most all of us need. If you have never grow your own garden you will be very surprised, you will be happy and you will grow a bigger and better garden next year.

                          There are so many great benefits when you grow your own garden fresh fruits and vegetables, the taste is 100 times better than store bought, and it is just like getting all of your fruit and vegetables for FREE.

                           Well that is it for today here on Garden The Easy Way, Marilou and I hope you like us and share our garden blog with your friends. We have lots of gardening tips, pictures and a lot of good fresh out of the garden recipes.

Thank you all until next time, Good Gardening To You All.




Monday, May 5, 2014

Planting Tomato Plants, What To Do And What Not To Do

         Hello and good day to you all, and welcome back here today on Garden The Easy Way. This is Ken and Marilou Elliott from Rogersville, Missouri.

          Gardening looks like a lot of work, well it is work but most of us could use the exercise, including my self for sure.  But let me tell you this, gardening is truly fun and the best therapy a person can get, also the joy from watching your plants grow, and when it comes to harvest your fresh garden vegetables, you will not able to keep from tasting them before you get them in the house.

           Fresh garden vegetables out of your garden taste about 100% times better than store bought. Most people do not know store bought vegetables are pick green ( too early ) and shipped to the store.  A big plus when you have your own garden, it is just like getting ( FREE Vegetables ).

           " WOW " what a long cold winter, we thought it would never end, and now it is so hot 91 degrees here today, we went from winter to summer with no spring.  Today we are planting tomatoes and we have lots of pictures to show you how we plant a garden. We will share some very important thing you need to know about planting tomatoes and vegetables in your garden.

            Probably the most important thing to remember about planting tomatoes is do not plant too early never plant until all danger of frost has past, we live in central Missouri so we wait till the first week of May. By doing this it could keep you from having to replant new tomato plant.

             When you planting a garden it is so very important to till or plow up your soil about 7-10 inches, where you intend to plant, by tilling or plowing the ground deep will give your plants more oxygen and help them get more food and nutrition from the soil, which helps your plants have a longer and healthier life and your plants will produce a lot more tomatoes. We think it is very important to fertilize your garden with natural organic fertilizer such as cow manure or horse, and some people use chicken manure.

              We use cow manure, what I do is I will till the garden first, and after I till it all up, I rake the garden with a hand held rake, I pick out all rock and break up all dirt clods and level it all out, and then I take a pickup truck and I go to our local dairy farmer and ask him if I could get some cow manure for our vegetable garden. All natural fertilizer is always the best fertilizer to use in your garden.

               The local farmer down the road always gives us the cow manure for ( FREE ), If you ask your local farmer for cow manure, he will probably just give it to you. You will find most all of our farmer are so kind and always willing to help out someone, we not only get the manure for (FREE) our farmer will go get out his tracker with a big scoop  shovel on it and load up our pickup for us.

                All natural fertilizer is always the best and if you do what we do you can get it for (FREE). I take pickup load of cow manure back to our garden and I use a pointed garden shovel and scattered the cow manure all over the garden. After I have put the cow manure all over the garden, I will get out the garden tiller and I will till the whole garden one more time, it is very important to till the garden so you will have the cow manure mixed up good with the soil so that plants roots can get it.

                I would like to tell you one more very important thing about using any kind of manure whether it is cow, horse, chicken, pig, always make sure to use old dry out manure, never use fresh  ( wet ) manure, it get so hot, it could kill your plants.

                 As you can see from the picture, I dig out a hole where I want to plant my tomato plant, I use my little hand held shovel. Very Important to plant tomatoes deep, plant 2/3 of the plant and should be covered, you may ask me why so deep? Because the plant will have a better, stronger root and you will have a lot more tomatoes, better roots mean more tomatoes.

                 I dig out a big hole about 9 inch deep and the file in back in  about 6 inch with some fine loose soil no rock,  always make sure there is no rocks or sticks or roots in the hole where you are planting. I always fill the hole up with water and then I will set the tomato plant down in the hole and leave it set there for about 10-15 minutes so that the roots will pull up a lot of water for the plant, so very important to do it this way so that your your plant will not be stress out looking for water, if you do not put water in the hole your plant could die.

                 As you can see from the picture on this blog, the water is blue color, that is because I like to use Miracle Gro Plant Food when I'm setting out plants, you do not have too, but I do because it give the plant a healthier start.

                 Well we hope that we have been some help here today on Garden The Easy Way, we hope you like our blog and share us with your friend. So until next time, good gardening always to you all from Ken & Marilou