Here is what I talked about on the radio show. Using a bag of miracle grow dirt for a salad growing table.
It's a simple, weed-free way to grow lettuce, spinach and even radishes. Take a 2 cubic feet bag of potting soil ( used Miracle Grow), rumple it around quite a bit to loose the soil, poke quite a few holes in the back side for drainage, then lay the bag on a smooth surface that will allow drainage and not get too hot, and cut out the top, leaving about a 4 or 5 inch border all around. Lightly rake through the soil to even it out and loosen it even more, then carefully, and evenly sprinkle the seeds around. Put the salad green seeds in an old spice bottle with large shaker holes, added some cornmeal, shook it all up to mix well and sprinkled them out of it. You can put the cornmeal in there to allow to see that you had covered the soil evenly. If doing radish seeds or spinach, just make lines the depth mentioned on the seed pack, plant the seeds and cover appropriately. For salad greens you can sprinkled a lite covering of soil over the cornmeal and seeds and then spray-misted to water them in. It is suggested to put your bags on metal sawhorses and grates to make them waist level. This kept the bags off the hot concrete or cold wet ground and then you didn't have to bend over when cutting your salad. When harvesting, just use a pair of scissors and cut what you need - don't pull the plants out. Same goes for spinach. I will be planting this in the greenhouse this week. So I will post pictures on how I did it. Then post pictures of it growing. HOPE you enjoy. Spring is coming I promise.
Happy Valentine’s Day 2015
Better late than never!!!! I have had some of you ask when the holiday letter is coming. So here it is. Valentine holiday…. For the Christmas card, we were waiting for wedding pictures as Jennifer and Oscar’s wedding was Nov. 28th, day after Thanksgiving. It was a lovely wedding. Josh and his family, Amy and her family and us rented a house for the week of the wedding and it was awesome. The 4 year olds have memories from that vacation that can’t be replaced. Jennifer and Oscar were married in Austin, Texas with many friends and family to celebrate. Outdoor wedding and reception and all went well for starting their life together.
2014 was a busy year. Celebrating the birth of a new grandson, Corbin Marcks. Papa and Corbin got to spend time together in Texas, and it is so much fun to see them together. Corbin now is telling grandpa all kinds of stories, which we can’t understand. Dylan Marcks is a fun 4 year old, learning lots, and asking lots of questions.
Josh has Leah who was 4 in Dec. She is always saying fun things. Like hands on hips and said “Grandma, you have to move all those plants (poinsettias that were to be delivered) so we can put up the Christmas tree. She can be that little princess at the same time, being the tomboy playing in the snow with no fear.
Being Grandparents is such a blessing and a joy.
As you can see we have made some mile markers in our lives. 40 years this last December that Larry bought the shop. I have been growing plants for 25 years. We plan on continuing doing what we do. What else would we do?
The first picture on the card is our Christmas at our church, West Fork United Methodist Church. A picture can show what it looks like, but it really does look awesome. Great way to celebrate the birth of our Lord,
The second picture is from the Franklin Co Fair which Larry is a fair board member working on Grandpa’s Farm. We always take potted containers to decorate the fair( 300 or more). I have a booth with plants to sell. Along with the businesses having celebrations, this next June we will be celebrating 40 years of marriage. Where has this time gone? So blessed.
We celebrated many things this year. But had a sad celebration of life, for our brother-in-law, Butch Winke. He and my sister have been married since I was 6 years old. So many of my growing up, was spent with this family. Butch had fought bladder cancer. He will be missed by many, as by the many people that came to the visitation and to the funeral. Rest in peace, dear Butch. We will always have you in our hearts.
To the family, friends that 2014 has been good. Looking forward to 2015, and see what will happen. As we live in an Irish Community, my ending thoughts are of
“May you always walk in sunshine. May you never want for more. May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door.” God Bless all of you. Larry and Becky
Yes, it really is fall.
I have been doing lots of canning and with canning and fresh vegetables and fruit we have FRUIT FLIES, so here is an hint to get rid of them... Got fruit flies? Ugh. All it takes is one piece of fruit , and you can find yourself with a maddening fruit fly infestation in your kitchen. Even if you throw out your produce the fruit flies may persist. The best way to control fruit flies at this point is to get rid of the breeding adults. You can make a simple vinegar trap to catch and kill fruit flies that just won't go away.
Fortunately, fruit flies aren't very bright. The adults spend all their time focused on two goals: mating and laying eggs on rotting fruit. They use their sense of smell to find fermenting produce, and will fly to their target with little regard for their own safety. That's why a vinegar trap is so effective. The trap is designed to lure the fruit flies in, and to prevent them from escaping.
To make a vinegar trap for fruit flies, you'll need just a few things (and you probably already have them in your home): a glass or cup, a plastic baggie large enough to fit over the glass, a rubber band, scissors, apple cider vinegar.
Pour a small amount – an inch or so – of apple cider vinegar into the glass. The cider vinegar has a nice, fruity aroma that fruit flies simply cannot resist. Using the scissors, snip the corner off the plastic baggie. This should created a hole just large enough for fruit flies to pass through, but not so large that it will be easy for them to escape.
Place the baggie over the glass, and position the hole you've cut over the center. Push the snipped corner down into the glass so the baggie forms a funnel in the glass, but doesn't touch the vinegar. Use the rubber band to secure the baggie to the glass.
Place your vinegar trap in the area where you see the most fruit flies – near your garbage, produce bins, or compost container. If you have a heavy fruit fly infestation, you might want to make several vinegar traps, and place them around your kitchen and in other rooms where fruit flies are present. Fruit flies will fly into the glass, pass through the hole in the baggie, and become trapped in the glass. Within a few days, you should notice an accumulation of dead fruit flies floating in the vinegar. Empty the trap as needed, and refill it with fresh apple cider vinegar.
Many questions like this, so thought I would answer on the website. It has to be completely weather related. Too cool, and too cool at night....it will not be a tomato crop like we had last year, but with the heat that we have had this week they should start to ripen. I know the pepper plants are the same way. Didn't get too big but did set on peppers. They are too weather related because of not much hot weather, and not many warm nights. I know it has been good for cucumbers, squash and of course the potatoes and the green beans. ENJOY them.
Right now I have 7 things to can and process. Have had some very generous gardeners because I don't have time to do the garden in the spring, I rely on gardeners to bring in their extra produce. Except this year, I did plant cucumbers and it was late when I planted. Almost the end of June, and I have lots out there to pick. I also used the lazanga method of planting. I will do that later as an article so you know what I mean. But basically it is laying grass clippings, mulch, dirt, cardboard, and then use mulch on the top before you plant. I haven't had to weed them at all. Notice the date of putting the cucumbers in....late June. I always tell gardeners that the squash, cucumbers, anything in the vine family doesn't like cool nights, so wait till June 15th and the cucumbers bugs are gone for the first time, and they will grow very well when the nights are warmer. Hope some of you have tried that and see that it does make a nice vine and grows lots of produce. Not everything needs to go in during the month of May. I hope to start the habit of posting more often so you can come and look at the website to see what I have written. Radio Show information can be written each week, what I talk about. So that is my goal. Add one more thing to the list.
We had an awesome season, so thanks to all of you that have used Becky's Greenhouse. Still have some perennials, trees and shrubs, so when you are looking for this fall. Give me a call. Till next time, Becky Litterer and the small crew here at Becky's Greenhouse....
1.When planting containers for gardening, it is a good rule of thumb to buy a container that is one or two sizes larger than the container the plant is in when you purchased it. This allows the plants plenty of room to grow and the roots to get really healthy in its' new home.
2. There is no wrong way to do container gardening, or in fact any gardening but just some ways are better for different things about gardening. JUST plant as experience is the best teacher when it comes to gardening.
3. The smaller the container just plant the same plants in them and add more containers together for design, color, texture as a grouping.
4. Thriller, Filler, Spiller marketing campaign by Proven Winners - a grower that has developed plants along with a great marketing plan.
5. When planting containers, pots and baskets please don't use your garden dirt as it is too heavy for the roots to take off. You need some media that will make the roots grow quickly. Also if the dirt is too heavy, water will not drain properly and it will sit in the container and be too hard on the roots. Good drainage is very important.
6. In gardening it is very important to know how much sun the container, basket or garden will get during the daytime. Then you will use plants that go according to that amount of sunlight. This is the most important element for the success of your garden and plants continuing to grow.
7. Container gardens are temporary, with most people using them for decorative, short lived displays (4-6 months). Since most people want quick results, plant as close as you can in your containers. And yes, they live and flourish. One mantra of experienced container gardens is "Jam them in", which is easy once you get the hang of it.
8. Biggest job you will have is the watering of your container or basket. It is so different than having plants in your garden with using rain water. Containers and baskets will dry out sooner than the garden, so you need to be checking them daily and in very hot weather might be twice a day. When the soil is dry to the first knuckle when you put your finger in, then it is time to water.
9. Deadheading down to the first set of leaves. So for example, geranium the bloom then you follow the stem down to the first set of leaves, that is to the plant, so take off the stem there.
So rain is done for a couple of days. It is cool out but still good for gardening. When the sun shines the gardeners will come. When the gardeners come they will see lots of color on the flower racks. Large variety of color and selection of plants. "Largest selection in North Iowa one gardener told me." I will take pictures of the color on the racks, but a pictures can't tell it all. Come and have a look.
Happy Mother's Day to all my gardeners. I work today but share Mother's Day with all my gardeners that are MOM'S. When the sun shines, the gardeners come, so looking forward to this weekend and hope the sun shines. When the gardeners come, they will see that the second load of perennials came. We are now up to 4 long trailers full of perennials. HAVE a good day....Happy Mother's Day.