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Saturday, July 22, 2017

A Garden Hose is an Essential Tool for Your Garden: A Light Weight Expandable Hose Makes Watering Easier


A Garden Hose is an Essential Tool for Your Garden: 
A Light Weight Expandable Hose Makes Watering Easier 


I want to introduce a company that I will be working with, at times, to help them develop ideas that meet the needs of gardeners. They started a company called Xquizite. The company focuses on bringing garden products to market that not only meet a need but also meet our needs without compromising on quality. Four words summarize the mission that drives their company… ‘Quality You Will Love’. We all use garden hoses and it is an essential tool. If you are looking for an expandable type hose I recommend this one.

Xquizite Deluxe Garden Hose

Their first product launches July 1st and I want to introduce it to you. It is a *Deluxe Expandable Garden Hose that met my standards for personally representing products. I look for quality, function and respect toward the consumer. The hose will store at 16 feet and expand up to 50 feet. They are 100% committed to offering quality products and satisfying their customers. They offer a 6 month return or replacement guarantee.

*This Deluxe Expandable Hose will soon launch on Amazon. Xquizite is running a promotional giveaway on their website now. Stand a chance to win a 95% off coupon for the Deluxe Expandable Hose by registering on www.xquiziteonline.com. All registering participants will get an assured 15% off code emailed to them.


Product Specifications

· Environmentally Safe CA 65 Certified Product
· 3 layer Hose (Dual Core Inner Latex Layer and Hard Polyester Outer Layer)
· Length (At storage 16 feet. Expands up to 50 feet)
· Diameter (3/4th of an Inch)
· Solid Brass Connectors to provide a leak proof experience


I am looking to replace this monstrosity of a hose that is currently in my garden as it is a bit of an eye sore and it kinks very easily. The nature of this hose is to twist and bend as I drag it around. I have to backtrack way to often to keep the water flowing by fixing kinks.




I had the opportunity to talk with them, in depth, about the design of their hose and wanted to highlight three main design points that I think are essential with any hose you choose to purchase. First, the solid brass connectors are a 100% must have for any hose, many are made of plastic that cracks or a softer metal that bends.


The second point which we often don’t realize is that many hoses we purchase have a diameter of ½ of an inch. Xquizite Deluxe Expandable Hose has a diameter of ¾ of an inch, which greatly speeds up the time it takes to water a garden.

Finally it has dual inner core and hard polyester, not vinyl, outer layer. A very sturdy, yet highly flexible hose that extremely light weight. Which I greatly appreciate as I have accidentally whipped my heavy vinyl hose into vegetable plants, causing great damage at times.



*This Deluxe Expandable Hose will soon launch on Amazon. Xquizite is running a promotional giveaway on their website now. Stand a chance to win a 95% off coupon for the Deluxe Expandable Hose by registering on www.xquiziteonline.com. All registering participants will get an assured 15% off code emailed to them.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Identifying and Treating Tomato Diseases and Problems: Blossom End Rot (BER), Early Blight, Leaf Spot


Identifying and Treating Tomato Diseases and Problems:
Blossom End Rot (BER), Early Blight, Leaf Spot




Tomato diseases hit most gardens. It is something I have to deal with yearly. While there is no 100% way to rid your tomato garden of diseases, you can greatly slow them down and reduce problems. Problem reduction will increase your yield and bring you greater success.


Before you can begin to manage tomato diseases like Leaf Spot, Early Blight and Blossom End Rot, you have to know what to look for in the way of signs. These problems are fungal, bacterial or a physiological or nutritional issue. They are not viral. There is very little, if any, you can do for viral problems besides remove infected plants.


Blossom End Rot or BER is either a physiological issue, nutritional issue or both. The video gives you examples of what it looks like. If your tomato plant can't access calcium in the soil, there is no calcium or it has a damaged root system from inconsistent watering, your plants can develop BER.


The best way to address BER is to put some (not a lot) calcium in the planting area at initial planting, water evenly and consistently and if you notice signs of BER, add some calcium into the planting area again. The video outlines how to manage Blossom End Rot. You can use BER sprays which typically contain calcium nitrate. A soluble form of calcium your plants can absorb through the leaves. I sell this at my garden shop in pure form. You can make your own sprays at a fraction of the cost of store bought sprays.


Early Blight, Leaf Spots and other fungal or bacterial issues are best managed by preventative leaf spraying. There are many products you can choose. The sprays essentially compete for leaf space with the diseases and prevent them from taking hold. I focus on leaf spot in this video so you can identify it. Once you notice these diseases select a spray and begin regular spraying and remove infected leaves.








Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Visit My Vegetable Garden Shop:The Rusted Garden Vegetable Seed & Product Shop

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

Join My FB Garden Group: Grow It Cook It Eat It:Grow It Cook It Eat It

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Introduction to Worm Castings & Worm Casting Tea for Your Vegetable Garden


Introduction to Worm Castings and Worm Casting Tea 
for Your Vegetable Garden

I have been using worm castings and worm casting tea in my garden this year. I like to see how new products work with my vegetable plants before I talk about them. I am greatly impressed so far. The products I am using are from VermisTerra and I plan to work with them over the year. Not all worm castings and teas are the same. Their products are certified organic and they manage their products from worms to packaging. Their products are 100% theirs and they love what they do. Two qualities I look for when I work with companies. The third, a great product.

Aging Worm Castings to Ensure Composting is Complete

Worm castings are literally the end product of worm composting. Worms, as they have been doing for millions of years, eat and digest organic matter. Their castings are the perfect organic fertilizer that acts, as both, a slow release and immediate release fertilizer. They add so much more to your soil than just the big three, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. The video and pictures are from my garden as of today. Look at the difference with the tomato's leaves, color and resistance to the disease issue that is going on. As mentioned, I am impressed.

Problematic Chemically Fertilized Tomato Plant

Worm casting and teas are packed full on beneficial bacteria and microbes that Nature meant to be in your garden soil. Worm castings are odorless and it will not attract cats or wild animals to your garden like other organic fertilizers. Other organic fertilizers contain fish, bone and blood meals and other ingredients in raw form. These ingredients have not been broken down into a usable form of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium that your plants can use immediately. They have to be broken down by soil life to become available to your plants. This takes time. Worm castings have already gone through that process.


Deeper Green, Healthier Worm Casting and Worm Tea Fertilized Tomato Plant

Many organic fertilizer often give off odors, as they are broken down, that can attract unwanted visitors. Animals smell a potential meal. There is a good chance your fish emulsion, bone meals and blood meals attract animals to your garden, They also feed bad fungi and bacteria that can contribute to plant diseases and they attract insects. VermisTerra worm castings are fully composted. Their worm castings sit and age for 7 to 10 years to ensure the process is completed. There is no 'food' left for the unwanted and castings don’t have an odor but for the sweet light smell of forest soil. 

I just wanted provide some introductory information about Worm Castings and Worm Tea. I will be doing several videos and blog posts on the products and how I use them in my garden. If you want to try them in your garden, I recommend buying them from VermisTerra. You can enter this coupon code: therustedgarden and save 10% on your purchase. A little of their products go a very long way. They also offer free shipping for purchase over $55. This video summarizes the initial benefits I am seeing. I compare both tomato plants. 





Here are some of the benefits of using worm casting and worm teas (*not to be confused with compost teas)

Improving Soil Structure and Soil Fertility

Beneficial bacteria and microbes create soil space for plant roots, improve water retention and provide oxygen for more vigorous biological activity.

Adding Beneficial Bacteria and Microbes


Castings contain micro-organisms that are added to the casting during digestion. Nature adds what is needed to create a healthy living soil. The digested organic matter is deodorized during digest too, leaving an odorless product.

Helping Regulate Soil Plant Nutrients

Worm casting contain humic acid that help make nutrients immediately available to your plants. The casting also release slowly over time providing a steady source of nutrients to your garden. Worm tea provides bacteria that breakdown organic components in the soil and make them available to your plant.

Support in Fighting Pests and Diseases

A steady flow of nutrient, microbes, healthy soil provide plants the essential needs to stay strong and fight off pests and disease. Worm tea helps add and multiply beneficial micro-organism. In addition, when it is applied to plant leaves, these micro-organisms, populate the surface to the plant leaves and crowd out the unwanted microbes.

This is how VermisTerra’s worm tea differs from compost tea. Understanding the aerobic properties of compost tea is important. The information below is from their website.

Unlike standard compost teas, VermisTerra Earthworm Casting Tea does not have a limited shelf life of a few days. Since the necessary micro-organisms require oxygen to live, compost tea begins to lose it’s effectiveness right after aeration is cut off. As a result, harmful pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella causes a concern as they feed on the bacteria that die off in the compost tea. VermisTerra Earthworm Casting Tea breaks down to even smaller forms of bacteria and contains a higher concentration of nutrients than compost tea, so it can be stored for later use.

Our worm tea is a microbial solution prepared by a proprietary technique. It is an excellent fertilizer that help increase the ecological diversity and vitality of the soil. As a byproduct of vermicompost, it contains all the benefits of earthworm castings and more. Viable plant health and production rely on their relationship with beneficial microbes the tea provides. Applying our high-quality Earthworm Casting Tea will make your plants more vigorous and more capable of withstanding diseases and pests.

Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Visit My Vegetable Garden Shop:The Rusted Garden Vegetable Seed and  Product Shop

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

Join My FB Garden Group: Grow It Cook It Eat It:Grow It Cook It Eat It

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Gardening Coast2Coast (2): Lettuce - Seed Starting & Planting to Harvesting, Bolting & Heat Tips

Gardening Coast2Coast (2): Lettuce
Seed Starting & Planting  to Harvesting, Bolting & Heat Tips



In our second Gardening Coast2Coast video I talk about general seed starting, planting and other tips. Kim cover's harvesting, feeding, bolting and growing lettuces in hot weather.  Information for every gardening zone!

Lettuces are cool weather crops that enjoy 44-50 degree nights and 60-70 degree days. Once the temperatures start getting hot it tends to bolt to flower and produce seeds. That is when your lettuces tend to turn bitter. So get them out early!

They can actually handle and frost and light freeze as their leaves can freeze through and thaw without damage.  They make great spring crops and don't forget the fall. This video gives you a lot of information plus other detailed links to help you grow lettuces in your garden!





Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Visit My Vegetable Garden Shop:The Rusted Garden Vegetable Seed & Product Shop

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

Join My FB Garden Group: Grow It Cook It Eat It:Grow It Cook It Eat It

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

All-America Selections (AAS) Winners: Pick Up the Newest Award Winning Vegetable Seeds on the Market and Grab a Piece of Garden History

All-America Selections (AAS) Winners: 
Pick Up the Newest Award Winning Vegetable Seeds on the Market 
and Grab a Piece of  Garden History


All-America Selections has been around for over 8 decades with one goal in mind. That goal is a yearly pursuit to find the best new seed varieties, from around the world, for your gardens. Only the best flowers and vegetables become AAS Winners. The 2017 winners have been selected. Be the first to grow a new trial proven variety winner in your garden.


You may not be familiar with All-America Selections but you know some of their past winners. You have probably grown some of their "Tested Nationally & Proven Locally” seed variety winners. You might even have some of them growing in your garden right now. I do.

After 85 years of holding seed trails and selecting yearly ‘AAS Winners’, they are everywhere. Why not grow the best varieties in your garden? Select winning varieties for your garden and start with seeds that have been tested and proven across North America. That is one way to have great success in your garden.





Do you love tomatoes? In 1943 a tomato by the name of ‘Jubilee’ won the coveted title of AAS Winner. Other tomatoes which have won that title are the tomato hybrids ‘Celebrity’ and ‘Juliet.’

There are so many other vegetables and flowers too, that you probably already know and grow. The peppers ‘Giant Marconi’, ‘Gypsy’ and ‘Super Cayenne’ are all past AAS Winners. If those names don’t ring a bell, how about the 1943 winner that goes by the name ‘Sweet Banana.’ The ‘Sweet Banana’ pepper is probably grown in every garden across North America. 

 

How about the 1935 AAS Winner ‘Straight 8’ cucumber? Love radishes? The ‘Cherry Belle’ was a winner in 1949. The ‘Champion’ was a winner in 1957. These are radish standards now, grown in most of our gardens. Squash winners include: 'Early Prolific Straightneck’ in 1938, ‘Black Beauty’ in 1957, ‘Fordhook Zucchini’ in 1942 and ‘Peter Pan’ in 1982.

So many of our old “tried and true” favorite garden varieties, were first introduced to us by All-America Selections. The past AAS Winners have become part of gardening history.

They have a complete database of over 800 winners and new winners are added to it yearly. Why not grow a piece of gardening history? And while you are looking over the past winners, pick up some of the newest winning 2017 varieties. Get the best varieties, from the past and present, for your garden.

You can find these award winning seeds, for your garden, by going to their website. They will link you to dozens of seed companies that sell AAS Winners. No they don’t sell them directly, they only have one goal and that is to find proven vegetable and flower varieties that will grow in your garden. Only the best varieties become AAS Winners.







Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Visit My Vegetable Garden Shop:The Rusted Garden Vegetable Seed and Garden Shop

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

Join My FB Garden Group: Grow It Cook It Eat It:Grow It Cook It Eat It

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Basics for Container Vegetable Gardening for Beginners & Shirley's Simple Shelving for Your Homes & Gardens

The Basics for Container Vegetable Gardening for Beginners: 
and Shirley's Simple Shelving for Your Homes and Gardens


Container vegetable gardening is a wonderful way to expand your gardens or to get started in the world of vegetable and flowering gardening. The three main keys to successful container gardening are:
  1. Consistent watering and daily watering when needed
  2. Potting mix that has a minimum of 50% water retaining organic matter in it
  3. At least 6 hours of direct sun


The video fully covers these main points and really shows you how to get started. If you let your plant's soil completely dry out it damages their root systems. And of course if you just don't get enough direct sun, your plants suffer. Learn the basics and you will have great success.

Another key is to have a peaceful and pleasing space to grow your plants where you can show them off to family and friends. This is what inspired Shirley to create the frames I used. She wanted a system that could be assembled and disassembled without tools. When the season ends your shelves can be quickly taken down and stored. She also wanted something solid and beautiful that added to the garden space.

Shirley's Simple Shelving

Pick a place for your container garden where you can enjoy it daily. A place that is a short walk from your house for easy care and maintenance. Also put some thought into the design. Tiered shelving is a really easy way to create space for a container garden. I used Shirley's Simple Shelving for the shelving in this video. I highly recommend it, as you can build your own custom shelves without tools. You purchase the frames from her and insert the boards you wish to use for your space.  I stained my boards red and created this space.

Shirley's Simple Shelving

This video shows you all the basics for starting your first container garden and I show you how I transformed my deck into a more functional container gardening space using Shirley's Simple Shelving.

They are currently offering free shipping for these solid welded steel frames. A huge discount to get any of her shelving frame designs to your garden. She has some that are small enough for tables in your home and large enough for holding 6 tiers of shelving in your garden.  You can view all the sizes and colors in the above video. I highly recommend visiting her website. You can also reach and follow her on Instagram Shirley's Simple Shelving.

In the video you will also see how I disassembled and assembled two framed shelving systems without tools. I did it in just over 2 minutes. I also cover basic set up ideas for a container garden, talk about the 3 key points, highlight plants that grow well in 5 gallon containers, discuss watering, show you how to make a drainage hole, how to make a cheap and effective starting mix and how to plant and organically fertilize. A lot of information for a basic introduction to container vegetable gardening. It is everything you need to know to get started.




Start small and get your hands dirty. You will find there is a little bit of a learning curve but if you just get started you will impress yourself with what you can grow. I recommend growing a mix of flowers, vegetables and herbs. A small space on you deck or balcony is all you need to get started. And I recommend using Shirley's Simple Shelving System. Please check out her site.


Shirley's Simple Shelving
Shirley's Simple Shelving

Shirley's Simple Shelving



Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Visit My Vegetable Garden Shop:The Rusted Garden Vegetable Seed and Garden Shop 

Join My FB Garden Group: Grow It Cook It Eat It:Grow It Cook It Eat It

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Tools of the Trade 360 Degree and Upside Down Garden Sprayers: Find Them at My Garden Shop!

Tools of the Trade 360 Degree and Upside Down Garden Sprayers:
 Find Them at My Garden Shop!


Two types of spray nozzles that can make gardening easier for you. They allow you to reach all angles when spraying your plants without struggling to keep the liquid at the end of the dip tube. Spraying under leaves is key for some insects, diseases and fungus. You can find this product on-line or at my garden shop.

Please Visit The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop: www.therustedgarden.com





Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Visit My Vegetable Garden Shop:The Rusted Garden Vegetable Seed & Product Shop

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

Join My FB Garden Group: Grow It Cook It Eat It:Grow It Cook It Eat It

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

We are Launching Our First Gardening Coast2Coast Video with a Seed Giveaway!

We are Launching Our First Gardening Coast2Coast Video with a Seed Giveaway! 
(WINNER WAS PICKED)

Kim and I thank you all for being part of #Gardeningcoast2coast. Our first video is all about peas. Check out how our zones differ greatly! You will learn about planting, tending and harvesting.

Come to our FB Group Gardening Coast2Coast to enter the giveaway. Just follow the pinned post instructions. Thanks! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1896995967235016/

We are giving away 20 random packs of seeds from my collection and Kim is adding in her gardening ebook and garden coloring book. The latter being a great way to introduce kids to the world of gardening. The rules are below.




This group is all about your gardening zone and we wanted to design something where you could easily find out what is going on in your zone. Just search the posts by zone #hashtag as described in the pinned group introduction and it will let you see what other gardeners are doing in your area.

The contest is simple. Share this group to you page and add your gardening friends as members.

Write in the comments below that you shared and you will get an entry into the prize package

drawling. You will also get an additional entry for each member you refer to the group! I can see who refers members. I will draw the winner Sunday April 2nd around 7 PM Eastern.

Thanks for Your Help & Good Luck with Your Gardens

Kim and Gary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxDcEVNrR6g


Visit My Vegetable Garden Shop:The Rusted Garden Vegetable Seed & Product Shop

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

Join My FB Garden Group: Grow It Cook It Eat It:Grow It Cook It Eat It

Sunday, March 26, 2017

No Room for a Vegetable Garden - Try a Community Garden: Containers, Planting Peas & Broccoli, Basic Tour


by Gary Pilarchik (The Rusted Gardener)
If you don't have room for a garden, try looking locally for a community garden. My plot, as seen in the video, is about 20' x 25' and costs me $40 a year. That is a bargain, as I get an endless supply of wood chips and water and the people there are wonderful. 
Community gardens have a beauty, I think on we gardeners can appreciate. The picture, to many, looks like a dump and the whole area of 60 plus plots looks like some strange post apocalyptic tent city. Through the gardener's eyes, we see trellises, planting space, creative ideas and an artist's canvas.  We can see what will be growing and blooming and the endless possibilities. It fills us with an energy and excitement many don't understands.
I will be doing a regular series about my community garden. It usually is a about 10-12 videos each year. The first one is a quick tour of my space and I cover many things. I don't go into depth with teaching but more cover gardening points. The goal is to show you a lot of things to stimulate ideas. 
In this video I show you basic container use, an easy way to amend raised bed soil to plant transplants, ways to plant peas in containers. trellising, greens planting and rabbit protection. Lots of ideas for your gardens!


Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Visit My Vegetable Garden Shop:The Rusted Garden Vegetable Seed & Garden shop

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

Join My FB Garden Group: Grow It Cook It Eat It:Grow It Cook It Eat It

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Seed Starting Basil Indoors: Starting Mixes, Light, Fertilizing & More - Grow as I Grow Series

Grow as I Grow Series
Seed Starting Basil Indoors: Starting Mixes, Light, Fertilizing & More 

Ill be doing a series for new gardeners  called Grow As I Grow for 2017. It will take you through the process of seed starting,  planting, tending and  harvesting many kinds of herbs and vegetables. Follow me and I will  help you have a successful garden.  My garden is in Zone 7. If you are close to that zone, you can do as I do in real time!

Please visit The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop: www.therustedgarden.com




Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Visit My Vegetable Garden Shop:The Rusted Garden Vegetable Seed & Garden Shop

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

Join My FB Garden Group: Grow It Cook It Eat It:Grow It Cook It Eat It

Saturday, March 18, 2017

5 Cucumber Garden Tips: Care, Feeding, Spraying, Transplants & Trellising

5 Cucumber Garden Tips: Care, Feeding, Spraying, Transplants & Trellising

by Gary Pilarchik (The Rusted Gardener)

Cucumbers love the warmth of summer  As the season goes on, your cucumbers can begin to look "beat up" and tired. It may be from the high summer temperatures, insects, diseases or all three.  A lot of times, here in Maryland Zone 7, I get great production from my cucumbers from late June until the end of July. But as August approaches, the plants just get beat down. That leads me to my first and most under utilized cucumber tip.




One key point that I want to stress is that cucumbers needed to be watered consistently from planting.  A well amended planting hole with compost and manures will set your cucumbers up for success. Consistent watering will be needed. At some point in the season, you will have to water daily. Any plant dealing with drought, won't be healthy.

Please visit The Rusted Garden Seed & Garden Shop: www.therustedgarden.com




Please visit The Rusted Garden Seed & Garden Shop: www.therustedgarden.com

Tip One
Start some new cucumber transplants mid July. Select a fast maturing variety and start the seeds outdoors in 16 ounce cups. Replace your old beat up plants with 2 week old transplants, come the end of July. They should be up producing by the end of August. It is easier to replace an insect plagued or diseased plant then to try and save the larger plant. Remove it and replace it.





The smaller plant can be treated much more easily with sprays to manage pests and diseases. Less foliage, means it is easier for you to spray the entire plant, top and bottom. The plant is also disease and insect free which means they sprays will provide maximum protection as the disease or insects try and take hold. You are also removing the older plant that often carries various stages of insect and disease growth.





Tip Two
Your cucumbers might be a bit weathered and worn come mid season. You can use Epsom Salts as a way to green them up and  give them a boost. One time, mid season for your heavy feeding plants, is all you need in the way of Epsom Salts. Despite what you might hear, Epsom Salts work. The key is to use it this way. It is not needed as a weekly ongoing feed.

This is also a great time to good give them a  liquid feeding with a balanced liquid fertilizer that covers N-P-K and micro-nutrients. This is true for both container and ground planted cucumbers. If you are growing cucumbers in containers, you should be feeding them at least 2x's a month when they are producing. However, come mid season, your plants would appreciate a bit more
.



Tips Three
Sometimes you get a lot of flowers and little cucumbers that seem to turn brown (starting at the tip) and die after growing briefly. That is because the female flower with the tiny cucumber wasn't fertilized by a male flower. You can actually hand pollinate cucumbers to increase production.



Learn the difference between male and female cucumber flowers and try your hand at hand pollination. This will help you get more mature cucumbers. A female flower actually bears a tiny cucumber but the cucumber won't grow to maturity if the female flower isn't pollinated. Once you see the difference between the flowers, it easy to... well, see the difference.




Tip Four
Grow your cucumbers vertically. It makes care so much easier! Cucumbers can take up a lot of space in the garden. Trellising cucumbers is a great way to save space and better manage pests and disease. It is a lot easy to spray cucumbers that are growing vertically. You are able to get both sides of the leaves much more easily as well as find mature cucumbers. You will be able to plant many other vegetables in the space the ground sprawling cucumbers once covered.





Tip Five
Start spraying 2 weeks before problems arise in your garden. I use Neem Oil for insects and baking soda at times as an anti-fungal. Make notes when diseases and insects show up in your garden. Make a plan for the following year, to spray early.

Cucumbers are often attacked by cucumber beetles and other insects.  I use Neem Oil and soap to make my spray. They also can get powdery mildew. For that, I use a baking soda spray. Spraying before problems arise is key. Know when problems show up in your garden. Write down the dates and start spraying 2 weeks before they arrive. I stressed this twice, because it is that important and makes a huge difference in managing pests and diseases.



AND.... ALWAYS test spray anytime you make a new spray, it is important to test a few leaves with the spray and wait 48 hours to see if any damage occurs. Don't spray in full sun or when temperatures cause leaves to droop or wilt. The leaf will be damaged.





Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Visit My Vegetable Garden Shop:The Rusted Garden Vegetable Seed & Product Shop

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

Join My FB Garden Group: Grow It Cook It Eat It:Grow It Cook It Eat It

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Frost Protection for Your Cool Weather Crops: Cups & Bags Make A Difference!

Frost Protection for Your Cool Weather Crops: 
In Maryland Zone 7 we get the four full seasons of temperatures. We often get a period of great weather in February or March and think the frost is gone and spring is here, only to be hit be a deep freeze. You would think I would learn but I don't and I try to get plants out early.



Your cool weather crops like; lettuces, spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower and peas can actually take a frost and a freeze into the upper 20's and survive. Now the cold can still damage them, so simple easy frost protection is always valuable. In this video,  I talk about 17 degree and 20 degree F nights that came back to back.  That is just too cold for newly planted transplants.

The freezes killed off my unprotected peas and lettuces but the plants that were covered by the rigid plastic cups survived nicely! I also used a large trash bag as a second layer of protection for one of my container planting of peas. Here is the method and proof it works. This is a quick and inexpensive way to protect your plants.






Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Visit My Vegetable Garden Shop:The Rusted Garden Vegetable Seed & Product Shop

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

Join My FB Garden Group: Grow It Cook It Eat It:Grow It Cook It Eat It

Saturday, March 4, 2017

A Complete Guide for Starting Peppers Indoors: 12 Points Covered!

A Complete Guide for Starting Peppers Indoors: See Description for All that is Covered! 
I cover just about everything from starting mix preparation to pinching off the peppers. I use 3 week old peppers, 5 week old peppers and 7 week old peppers for visuals. Great for beginners.  My hope is you get peppers like in the picture this season!



It is a 19 minute long video that covers all 12 of these aspects of starting peppers indoors. I wanted to create a video that answered a lot of questions, where you could fast forward through the parts you didn't want to watch but didn't have to go searching all over the place for questions your had about starting peppers indoors. Enjoy!

  • Seed Starting Mix (Preparation, Fungus, Insects)
  • Planting Cell Preparation
  • Planting Seeds
  • Germination and Heat Mats
  • When to Start Peppers Indoors 
  • When to Transplant Peppers Outdoors
  • Bottom Watering & When to Water
  • When & How to Fertilize 
  • Acclimation to the Outdoors
  • When & How to Transplant Them Up
  • Basic Lighting Guidelines
  • Pinching off Pepper Tops



Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Visit My Vegetable Garden Shop:The Rusted Garden Vegetable Seed & Garden Shop

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

Join My FB Garden Group: Grow It Cook It Eat It:Grow It Cook It Eat It

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Acclimating Your Vegetable Seed Starts to The Outdoors: 'Hardening-off ' Vegetable Plants

Acclimating Your Vegetable Seed Starts to The Outdoors: 
A lot of gardeners don't know their indoor seed starts are soft and not ready for the great outdoors. They need to go through a slow acclimation process to get use to the sun's ultraviolet rays, the wind and temperature fluctuations. The process is generally called 'hardening-off' and it is how it sounds. Your seed starts need a week's time to toughen up to the world in which they will be growing. They will actually be burned by the UV rays of the sun. They will be stressed by the wind and temperature changes.

When your seeds germinate indoors and break the surface they are ready for the outdoor elements but they lose that ability as they spend weeks growing 'oh so comfortably' indoors. They have to be reintroduced to Nature. I can't give you an exact way to do this but to say... slowly over a one week period. Too many factors come into play such as; plant variety, temperature, time of day, amount of sun that day, the wind and day night temperature fluctuations.

This video discusses two ways to acclimate your plants. The way I recommend is to give your seed starts time outside 2,3,4 times a week, during nonfreezing temperatures, for 15 to 30 minutes as soon as they germinate. This exposure will make for an easy transition outdoors. The benefit is they will already be 'hardened-off' and the exposure to the sun will benefit their growth.  The disadvantage to this is the possibility of insects hitching a ride back into your grow area. The second method is to transition them incrementally to the outdoors ,slowly over time, once the reach transplant size.



Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Farmer's Almanac: Chard Planting Guidelines

The Farmer's Almanac: Chard Planting Guidelines

Please Visit The Rusted Garden Vegetable Seed and Garden Shop

Below is the planting guide for chard from The Farmer's Almanac. I highly recommended it for a planting guide if you are just getting started. Here is the direct link to The Farmer's Almanac Planting Guides.

Chard is a member of the beet family that does well in both cool and warm temperatures. It can be cooked or used raw in salads and is high in vitamins A and C.

PLANTING

  • Plant chard seeds 2 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost date. Continue planting seeds at 10-day intervals for a month.
  • For a fall harvest, plant chard seeds again about 40 days before the first fall frost date.
  • Before planting, mix 1 cup of 5-10-10 fertilizer into the soil for every 20 feet of single row.
  • Plant the seeds ½ to ¾ of inch deep in well-drained, rich, light soil. Space the seeds about 18 inches apart in single rows or 10 to 18 inches apart in wide rows. Sow eight to ten seeds per foot of row.

CARE

  • When the plants are 3 to 4 inches tall, thin them out so that they are 4 to 6 inches apart or 9 to 12 inches apart if the plants are larger.
  • Water the plants evenly to help them grow better. Water often during dry spells in the summer. You can also mulch the plants to help conserve moisture.
  • For the best quality, cut the plants back when they are about 1 foot tall. If the chard plants become overgrown, they lose their flavor.

PESTS/DISEASES

HARVEST/STORAGE

  • You can start harvesting when the plants are 6 to 8 inches tall. Cut off the outer leaves 1-½ inches above the ground with a sharp knife.
  • If you harvest the leaves carefully, new leaves will grow and provide another harvest.
  • You can cut the ribs off the chard leaves and cook them like asparagus.
  • The rest of the leaves are eaten as greens. You can cook them like spinach or eat them raw.
  • You can store chard in the refrigerator in ventilated plastic bags.

Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

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The Farmer's Almanac: Beet Planting Guidelines

The Farmer's Almanac: Beet Planting Guidelines

Please Visit The Rusted Garden Vegetable Seed and Garden Shop

Below is the planting guide for beet from The Farmer's Almanac. I highly recommended it for a planting guide if you are just getting started. Here is the direct link to The Farmer's Almanac Planting Guides.

Beets are a cool season vegetable crop. This root veggie grows quickly and has many different varieties which showcase deep red, yellow or white bulbs of different shapes. They can survive frost and almost freezing temperatures, which makes them a good choice for northern gardeners and an excellent long-season crop.

PLANTING

  • A soil pH above 5.5–6 is best, otherwise growth will be stunted. Beets are a good indicator of soil pH.
  • Till in aged manure before planting. Beets require especially good nutrition and a high phosphorus level to germinate. Go easy on nitrogen however, an excess will cause sprawling greens and tiny bulbs beneath the soil.
  • Wait until soil reaches 50 degrees before planting.
  • Plant seeds ½ inch deep and 1-2 inches apart.
  • Make sure soil remains moist for germination.
  • In zones with low moisture and rainfall, soak the seeds for 24 hours before planting.
  • Early crop can be planted in March/April, and late crop anytime from June to September. Successive plantings are also possible as long as the weather doesn’t exceed 75 degrees F. Space plantings about 20 days apart.
  • Winter crops are a definite possibility in Zone 9 and above.

CARE

  • Thinning is necessary, as you may get more than one seedling out of each seed. Thin when they read about 2 inches high by pinching them off. Pulling them out of the ground may disturb the close surrounding roots of nearby seedlings.
  • Established plants should be thinned to 3–4 inches between plants.
  • Mulch and water well. Beets need to maintain plenty of moisture.
  • Any necessary cultivation should be gentle, beets have shallow roots that are easily disturbed.

PESTS/DISEASES

HARVEST/STORAGE

  • Days to maturity tend to be between 50 and 70 for most varieties, although they can be harvested at any time you see fit. If you like larger bulbs, wait longer, but understand they will be tougher and woody.
  • Don’t let greens grow above 6 inches before harvesting.
  • Don’t forget about the tops! Beet greens have a delicious and distinctive flavor, and hold more nutrition than the roots.
  • Fresh beets can be stored in the refrigerator for 5–7 days. Clipping the tops off beets will keep them fresher for longer. Leave about one inch of stem on each beet, and store the greens separately.
  • For root cellar type storage, make sure you brush off any soil clinging to these crops, then store them in a cool, dry place. An unheated closet might do, or put them in a cooler in your basement.
  • Beets can be frozen, canned and pickled.
  • Read more about a new way to store beets in the root cellar.


Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

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Saturday, January 14, 2017

My Garden Seed Shop is Now Open On Shopify. Neem Oil, Tomato Seeds, Vegetable Seeds


My Garden Seed Shop is Now Open On Shopify. 

Neem Oil, Tomato Seeds, Vegetable Seeds
My Garden Seed Shop is OPEN
The Rusted Garden Shopify Garden Seed Shop

I just opened my garden seed shop on Shopify. I am offering over 100 varieties of heirloom seeds. You can buy 100% cold pressed neem oil there as well as calcium nitrate for blossom end rot. If you want to attract butterflies, bees and beneficial insects to your garden, you can find a wildflower package and herbs for that purpose. The herb package is unique to my shop as I selected and mixed the seeds. More stuff will be added regularly. All kinds of discounted seed packages.

All proceeds get turned back into The Rusted Garden in some capacity.

If you have a chance, I could use a share to help let people know my shop is open. Thanks!

The Rusted Garden Shopify Garden Seed Shop
Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

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Saturday, January 7, 2017


Selected Herbs for Creating a 3 B's Garden:
Beneficial Insects, Butterflies and Bees
We all know the importance of honey bees to our gardens and the world. We also know that herbs have countless culinary and medicinal uses. Did you know herbs can also be grown to attract the three B’s to your garden: Beneficial Insects, Butterflies and Bees? 

Tomatoes and peppers tend to self-pollinate but if you are growing cucumbers, squash, zucchini and melons, you definitely want the buzzing of bees and beneficial insects flying throughout your garden. Butterflies are attracted to many types of herbs and will use some of them as an integral part of their life cycle. Insects that eat insects will come to your garden, like ladybugs and hoverflies, and help take care of aphids and other unwanted visitors. Honey bees and bumble bees love the flowers from this mix of herbs.



I put together a package of 6 specific herbs that will easily fill a 100 square feet.  Plant a large area or several small areas and leave them to flower and reseed year after year. Just water them in for 10 days and forget them. Sure you can sneak in and collect a few leaves for yourself but these herbs are for the three B’s.

Cilantro or Coriander is one of the best herbs for beneficial insects. The fragrant white flowers are a favorite of some of the smallest pollinators around. The flowers grow in a manner that makes their 'food' easily accessible to bees, beneficial insects and butterflies. It is an annual that can take the cold and heavily reseeds.

Borage
has bright blue star shaped flowers that are magnets for bees and other pollinators. They are full of nectar that the bees love and the flowers tend to bloom all season long. Borage is known as a honey plant and it is grown by many beekeepers near their apiaries. Even hummingbirds love it.

Anise
is another herb the produces masses of small white flowers and bees love them. Anise oil is used to attract bees. The fragrance has been proven to be a highly attractive scent for drawing in pollinators.

Fennel
is a preferred food source for butterflies. It is a delicacy for the Swallowtail. They will use the plant to host its eggs and you will see the life cycle of the butterfly. That is, you will see a lot of wildly colored caterpillars. Honey bees are also attracted to fennel and love their tiny yellow flowers. It has a wonderful anise licorice taste to its leaves and bulb. It is an annual in zones 3-9. It will reseed heavily.

Dill is very similar to fennel. It has white flowers that are loved by the 3 B’s. Dill and fennel have similar leaf structures which are favored by developing caterpillars that will turn into butterflies. Predatory insects like ladybugs are drawn to the flowers and leaf structure of  both dill and fennel. The gift of ladybugs is that they will take care of aphids in your garden. Dill is also a big favorite of hoverflies. Dill is an annual that will reseed heavily.

Hyssop produces masses of dark blue flowers on spires that bloom July through September. You can cut back spent flowers for more blooms. This is a favorite of bees. You will see bees crawling up and down the spike of beautifully colored flowers. The leaves have a mint licorice scent and it is a perennial in Zones 4-8.

The combination of these 6 herbs, planted in the corner of your garden, will bring in an army of beneficial predatory insects, honey bees, bumble bees, butterflies and even hummingbirds. The combined scents of the flowers and leaves will serve your garden well. Growing these herbs will provide a food source for honey bees, a home to the Swallowtail Caterpillars and a haven for all the good insects your gardens need. Hyssop is a perennial but will also seed heavily like the other five herbs. Your 3 B's garden will take care of itself year after year.

You can pick these herbs up as you find them in your travels or purchase them from me as a package that can be scattered throughout your garden. The seeds are quite distinctive and you can easily pick them out for you own personal needs too! The seed picture above holds the measure of seeds that come in the package which is approximately 1/2 ounce.

You can find this item and many more on my new Seed Shop and Garden Shop on Shopify at this link: The Rusted Garden Seed Shop.






A mix of Cilantro, Dill, Anise, Borage, Fennel,  an Hyssop. Approximately 1/2 ounce of herb seeds. No fillers!


Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

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Friday, January 6, 2017

The Rusted Garden Neem Oil, Calcium Nitrate, Tomato Seeds and Other Vegetable Seeds Sale: Things I am Selling for 2017

Over 40 Varieties of Tomatoes






Shipped Only in the US






Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Join My New YouTube Channel Just for NEW Gardeners: My First Vegetable Garden

Join My FB VIDEO Page - :The Rusted Garden FB Videos

Join My FB DISCUSSION Group - :The Rusted Garden: All About Vegetable Gardening