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Saturday, September 23, 2017

How to Identify and Treat Aphids on Your Tomato and Vegetable Plants: No Chemicals Needed

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How to Identify and Treat Aphids on Your Tomato and Vegetable Plants:
No Chemicals Needed


Many pests and diseases come to our garden. Not all of them need to be managed by stronger chemicals. Aphids are soft bodied insects that can be managed using any of these three spray methods.

1) Spray with a jet of water. Spray every other day for 3 rounds of spraying.
2) Make a soapy water spray. Spray every other day for 2-3 rounds of spraying.
3) Make a smothering oil and soap spray. Spray every other day for 2-3  rounds of spraying


Start with water spray. The aphids are weak and once knocked to the ground they don't return. They stay typically in the area from which they hatch. You want to manage aphids with several rounds of interventions as to control newly hatching aphids. By using water spray, you remove 90% of the aphids and do no harm to good insects. The good insects will come in and eat what is left.

You can add in soap and oil as you wish to increase the strength of the spray method. Soap damages the soft bodied insect and they die. Oil covers them and they smother. You may or may not need the stronger intervention but in the case of aphids no strong garden chemicals are needed. The video discuss all the mixes and how to make them. 

Good Luck in Your Gardens,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)



Monday, September 11, 2017

A Complete Guide on How to Oven Dry & Store Hot Peppers: Cayenne, Facing Heaven and Jalapenos

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A Complete Guide on How to Oven Dry and Store Hot Peppers:
Cayenne, Facing Heaven and Jalapenos

I show you how to oven dry hot peppers. I dry Red Cayenne, Facing Heaven and Jalapeno peppers. General setting for the oven is 180 degrees F or less. It will take 4 - 8 hours to dry your peppers depending on several factors. I found this to be the best way to quickly process and dry your peppers. If you want more flavor and less oil evaporation... drop the temperature down.



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Understanding Bagged Garden Soil Products: What They Are & My Container Mix Recipe

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Understanding Bagged Garden Soil Products: 
What They Are & My Container Mix Recipe

What exactly is the difference between topsoil, garden soil, raised bed soil and potting mix? The bottom line is usually peat moss. The increase in peat moss with the addition of (in smaller amounts) coco coir, perlite and vermiculite is what typically changes the name on the bag. In addition to these amendments a lot of products have wood added to them under the name forestry product found under the ingredients label. You don't want excess would in your products.



This video explains the different labels and I show you what you find in the bag and discuss where you would use that bagged product. I also cover amendments; peat moss, leaf gro and humus & manure. It is important you know what you are buying and where you would use it in your garden. I also show you how I make my basic container soil that is cheaper than the bagged products.


Good Luck,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)


Growing Cherry Tomatoes from Start to Finish: Planting, Feeding, Staking, Pruning & More!

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Growing Cherry Tomatoes from Start to Finish: 
Planting, Feeding, Staking, Pruning & More!


This video is a compilation of 5 videos that teach you how to grow cherry tomatoes. I start with planting the seed in the the ground. You get to watch the plant grow from a seedling through full maturity and harvesting. The star of the video is a tomato variety called 'Midnight Snack.' It is an All-America Selections Winner for 2017.



If you are just starting to grow your own vegetables, cherry tomatoes are an outstanding addition. They grow quickly and really produce a lot of tomatoes. I recommend try two cherry tomato varieties in your garden. Pick up a transplant from your local stores and go with one of the sweet hybrid varieties. For the second tomato, find a variety that really looks interesting to you and order a pack of seeds. Two cherry type tomato plants will ensure you get a regular supply of tomatoes for your table.


Enjoy
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Complete Guide to Growing Container Eggplant & How to Fry Your Harvest: Grow It Cook It Eat It!

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A Complete Guide to Growing Container Eggplant & How to Fry Your Harvest: 
Grow It Cook It Eat It!


Eggplant is an outstanding container vegetable. It is extremely productive. I show you everything you need to do to maintain them in containers, once planted and growing. 

Eggplant is the “meat” of the garden and Stacy Lyn will show you how to fry and make breaded garden fresh eggplant. A perfect golden fry that can be used with all kinds of sauces & preparations. Her cookbook, Harvest, contains this delicious recipe as well as many more!



Stacy Lyn's 'Harvest' Cookbook a perfect companion for Grow It Cook It Eat It
Stacy Lyn's Website Game and Garden
Stacy Lyn's YT Channel

Come Join Stacy and I in Grow It Cook it Eat it's FB group


Friday, August 25, 2017

How Well Do All-America Selections Winners Grow? Extremely Prolific Vegetable Plants for Your Gardens

How Well Do All-America Selections Winners Grow? 
Extremely Prolific Vegetable Plants for Your Gardens



I had a great time growing All-America Selections Winners in my garden this year. I highly recommend going to their site and finding the new winners as well as some past winner from the last 85 years. Yes, they have doing this for 85 years! The 2018 AAS Winners have just been released and I will be growing some of them next year. Why not get something new and be the first in your area to grow it, show it off and of course eat it.




So... are the winners truly winners? Do they just have a stamp on them or do they offer something that merits the title of a winner?  What makes a vegetable or flower an AAS Winner? Well I have the answers for you in my garden tour video.

I grow and test before I recommend. Here is my most recent video with some wonderful, fully  'The Rusted Garden' tested,  All American Selections Winners. They one word I use, in the video, often is prolific. They really produce and produce and produce. I show off 8 mature vegetable varieties and 1 flower variety I grew this year.  And check out the production!

They were easy to grow, highly productive, great tasting and seemed to have some extra disease resistance (some varieties) compared to like vegetables.  I believe they have the qualities of winners. Check out my most recent video A Tour of My All-America Selection Winner's Garden: 9 Prolific Varieties for the Ground & Containers and decide for yourself.




I had a great time growing new found varieties I haven't grown before. I will be growing an All-America Selections garden next year. I encourage you to join me by following my YT Channel The Rusted Garden. Here are the vegetables in the videos.  All-America Selections doesn't sell the seeds, they only declare winners every year. You can find seed distributors that sell them by going to the AAS website or search the variety name to find sellers.


Find these All-America Selections Winners a: http://all-americaselections.org/buy-...

Candle Fire Okra
Sweet Banana Pepper
Fantastico Tomato
Seyshelles Pole Bean
Cornito Gaillo Sweet Pepper
Patio Choice Yellow Tomato
Midnight Snack Tomato
Patio Baby Eggplant 
Pretty N Sweet Pepper


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Over 800 Garden Videos Designed to Quickly Present Information!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mental Health and The Vegetable Garden Part One: Positively Changing Your Structure & Routine



Mental Health and The Vegetable Garden
Part One: Positively Changing Your Structure and Routine
by Gary Pilarchik (The Rusted Garden) 

I have been working in the field of mental health for nearly 30 years and have been a Clinical Mental Heath Therapist for the last 15 years. My grandfather introduced me to world of vegetable gardening when I was in elementary school. He came over one day with tomato transplants and dug a garden. He taught me how to plant and grow my own tomato plants. My memories of him, in the garden with me, continue today. What he taught me that day ignited a passion and that passion continues to influences my daily life.

Mental heath is really about life quality. We perceive the world. We feel the world. We interact with the world. We are social beings that interact with family, friends and the communities in which we live. Life quality is often influenced by our daily structures and weekly routines. They vary greatly person to person. Sometimes our structures and routines are defined, in part, by things outside of our control. What is within our control, the things we can change, is how we can begin to improve our mental health and the quality of our lives.


Early Spring Container Garden

Think about your daily structure and weekly routine. They really are about activity, and far to often, the lack of activity or negative activity. Hobbies, like growing a vegetable garden, can change the way you interact with the world, at many levels. Positive activity additions to your life will greatly benefit your sense of wellbeing and mental health. Small changes in your daily life can make large changes in the quality of your life. The key is breaking your routine and trying something new. Change will never knock at your door. You literally have to go outside and dig around for it. This video explains some of the concepts in the article and teaches you how to start a small container garden. Please share you experience in the video comments. I think it will help others.




The keyword is enjoy. Planting, tending and harvesting vegetables from your own garden is a wonderful way to bring more enjoyment to your life. Too often we look at career, income, possessions and status as ways to become happier. While these things are important, you can make changes on a smaller scale. You can find an improved sense of well-being by finding and adding activities that you, not only enjoy, but can also share with family and friends. Gardening is both a solitary and social activity. As much as you may enjoy time alone, social interaction is also needed in life. Sharing a passion with like people will improve your mental health.

Gardening is a wonderful hobby because Nature designed the plants to grow and produce in all types of conditions. You can make mistakes and still get vegetables. You will learn life lessons in the garden and can teach life lessons to your children. You don't need formal training to have a garden. You only need to get started.


My Tomato Garden

You will need earth, sunshine, water and a space. You can dig a small garden in your yard or start on your deck or patio with containers. If you don't have land or enough sun, you can find family and friends that do and start gardening with them. There is a good chance there are community gardens in your area where you can rent a space at a very low price. The biggest barrier to positive change is putting out the effort to break your routine and add something different to it. If you don't want to start alone or need some help, find some family members or friends that want to give gardening a try. Have fun, share the experience and most importantly just get started.

Gardening will improve your mental health in many ways. I think the most important thing it does is it occupies your mind in healthy way for a period of time. You begin to focus on and get lost in the activity. You notice the smell of the soil, feel the shovel digging into the earth and hear the sounds of birds chirping around you. You begin to create, shape and transform your garden, completing the day's task. People stop worrying about the past, present and future and become totally absorb in the care of their garden. This process is called mindfulness.

When we lack positive or constructive daily activity and sit, we often dwell on the negative aspects of our lives. Caring for a vegetable garden takes you away from being sedentary and alone with unstructured time. It gets you out and interacting with your world. The outdoors, sunshine and plants will always beat staying indoors. Your are not only changing what you do but are changing how you think and perceive the world around you. This type of change may seem small but the impact on how you begin to feel is quite large.




Gardening will also reward you with a sense of accomplishment over and over again. The feeling of accomplishment leads to an improvement in self esteem. Taking a space and turning the ground over will be rewarding. Planting your first seeds and seeing them germinate will be rewarding. Picking your first radish will be rewarding. Tasting the herbs you grew in a meal will be rewarding. Remembering when you first turned the ground, planted a tiny tomato seed only to be standing next to a six foot tall plant full of red cherry tomatoes... will be deeply rewarding. Taking those cherry tomatoes to your family and friends and hearing how sweet they are will bring you a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Making changes to your life is not always easy. Gardening can be hard work. But if you start today, you and your garden will be better tomorrow. The second year gardener always does better than their first year. The third year gardener wants more land and new seed varieties to plant. The fourth year gardener now has a daily structure and weekly routine they love and enjoy and will never give up. If you are interested in gardening, start small, start with a friend, join some FaceBook gardening groups and start watching videos. You'll find the motivation to get started and begin to notice how getting lost in your garden helps you find a way to improve your mental health, life quality and overall well being.

Good Luck and Give It a Try,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

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Over 800 Garden Videos Designed to Quickly Present Information!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Grow an All America Selections Tomato & Vegetable Garden with Me: Pictures of My AAS Winners!

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Over 800 Garden Videos Designed to Quickly Present Information!


Grow an All America Selections Tomato and Vegetable Garden with Me 
Pictures of My AAS Winners!

This year I dedicated a section of my garden for growing vegetables that were recent All-America Selections Winners. The winning vegetables have been impressive. Next year I plan to turn my community garden into an exclusive All-America Selections Winners garden. The reason I'm doing this is because AAS Winners grow extremely well and I am having fun finding new and even old vegetable varieties for my garden. All these pictures are from my 2017 garden and I took them 30 minutes ago!

All-America Selections has been around for 85 years. They are a nonprofit organization that really does one thing and that is conduct yearly trials to find the best new vegetables and flowers for our gardens. They don’t sell the seeds or plants; they just trial, announce and promote the winners. Which I love, as they are doing the hard work and I am adding exciting new varieties to my garden. I am doing a whole video series on 'Midnight Snack' showing you how to plant cherry tomatoes from start to finish. They are just about ready to ripen!


'Midnight Snack' Cherry Tomato: 2017 AAS Winner

I mentioned I really enjoy finding new and old plant varieties for my garden. Both you and I are already growing AAS Winners in our garden. I call these the heritage winners for instance the ‘Sweet Banana’ was a winner in 1941. You can find that pepper in just about everyone’s garden. Many past AAS Winners can be considered heirlooms. Many of the new winners are hybrids. I have found having a combination of heirlooms and hybrids makes for a bountiful, delicious and productive garden.

'Patio Choice Yellow' Cherry Tomato: 2017 AAS Winner

Other Heritage AAS Winners are: ‘Pepper Bell Boy’ Pepper 1967, ‘Champion’ Radish 1957, ‘Cherry Belle’ Radish 1949, ‘Jubilee’ Tomato 1943, ‘Buttercrunch’ Lettuce 1963, ‘Red Sails’ 1985, ‘Salad Bowl’ 1952, ‘Cherokee Wax’ Bean 1948, ‘Dark Opal’ Basil 1962, ‘Sugar Ann’ Pea 1984, ‘Sugar Snap’ Pea 1979, ‘Straight 8’ Cucumber 1935, ‘Black Beauty’ Squash/Zucchini 1957 and so many more! Like I said you probably are already growing AAS Winners in your garden. You can search their database here: All-America Selections Website.

My experience is that the All America Selections Winners get high marks in the areas of ease of growth, high yield, great taste and in some cases, uniqueness. In addition to these marks, many new varieties do well resisting diseases. I really encourage you to check out their website. You can search their database of AAS Winners and find seed companies that sell the award 


winning vegetables and flowers. I hope you decide to grow an AAS Garden along with me. I plan to do a video series on my AAS Garden through 2018. It should be a lot of fun and I would love to have your comments and experience show up in the series. You can follow me on Instagram under The Rusted Garden and not only see the AAS Winners I am growing but also see my garden harvests.

I really encourage you to add some All-America Selections to your garden as I have visited the seed trials and met the people that not only hold the trials but actually breed and create the new varieties. It can take 10 years to come up with a perfect cross that brings a variety to market with great taste, better production and an improved ease of growing. They have an amazing passion for gardening as we do.

'Pretty N Sweet' Pepper: 2015 AAS Winner

'Seyshelles' Pole Beans: 2017 AAS Winner

Tips for Growing Pole Beans in Containers: 'Seychelles' Pole Beans 2017 AAS Winner


Now if I haven't convinced you to check out the AAS Winners let me say two more things. They also have award winning flowers that will help bring pollinators and beneficial insects to your garden I highly recommend mixing your garden with old heirlooms, new hybrids and other varieties of flower and vegetables you haven't grown before as a best practice. Keep a journal of what thrives in your area and you will find your own winning vegetables through All-America Selections that really raise the quality of your gardening experience.

'Fantastico' Grape Tomato: 2015 AAS Winner

'Interpecific Supra Pink' Dianthuis and 'Profusion Red' Zinnia: 2017 AAS Winners


Monday, July 31, 2017

How to Bury Mid-Season Tomato Stems to Revitalize Diseased and Battered Plants

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How to Bury Mid-Season Tomato Stems to Revitalize Diseased and Battered Plants

Indeterminate tomatoes often get beat up come mid-season from diseases, extreme weather or a combination of both. What they have going for them is a well established root system and a vine that loves to root itself.

Remove the damaged and diseased leave from you tomato plant and cut it from its stake. Let it fall naturally and bury as much as the stem that lays on the ground 4 to 6 inches deep. Don't add granular fertilizer to the planting trench. Water it in with your choice of water soluble fertilizer.

If you have a good 45-60 days worth of warm temperatures, your plants will bounce back and produce till the frost rolls in. Check out my 2 videos that fully demonstrate the process. The first video shows you the basic principle and the second video shows you how I am applying to my 1-2 pounder tomato plants.

Basic Principle for Tomato Stem Burying:
Revitalize Your Beat Up Mid-Season Tomatoes!



How to Grow Large 1-2+  Pound Tomatoes (4of5): 
Weigh In, Stem Burying, Don't Quit!





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 is running a flash sale for limited period of 12 hours starting today (30th July 2017) starting at 9.00AM Eastern Time. We are giving a 50% discount for a limited period of time, what we have to offer is high standard stuff. Register @ xquiziteonline.com to grab one for yourself!

HURRY UP.. !!! Offer is only till Stocks Last !!"


we are running a flash sale for limited period of 12 hours starting today [30th July 2017] @ 9.00AM Eastern Time. We are giving 50% discount for a limited period of time, what we have to offer is high standard stuff.. Register @ xquiziteonline.com to grab one for yourself!




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.


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.




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

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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

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