Crop Rotation Problem Solving for Tomatoes and other Nightshades

Crop Rotation Problem Solving for Tomatoes and other Nightshades

I talked all about the basics of crop rotation in the home garden in THIS article. I wanted to go beyond the basics and address an issue that often comes up with crop rotation. The problem is growing a lot of one crop family, resulting in an uneven rotation of crops. In most cases this is the nightshade family (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, etc.)

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Vegetable Gardening On a budget - 15 Tips to Save Big!

Vegetable Gardening On a budget - 15 Tips to Save Big!

I’ve never been naturally thrifty. It takes a conscious and consistent effort for me to be frugal.  However, it is something that I find important to because we have a budget that we need to stick to and I want to keep our homestead garden profitable. And by profitable, I refer to the money I “make” by saving money at the grocery store. I like to keep a tally of garden expenses vs. garden returns.

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Crop Rotation Ideas for an Organic Vegetable Garden

Crop Rotation Ideas for an Organic Vegetable Garden

If you are growing an organic garden, prevention of diseases and pests is so important. We have several preventative tools to use. In last weeks post, I talked about the importance of cover crops in the home garden. The next step in maintaining a healthy garden is crop rotation. Crop Rotation means moving different crops around the garden in set time intervals. A common practice is to rotate crops yearly. However, if you have a long enough season to do some succession planting, rotating crops may happen more often.

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How to Prevent and Get Rid of Cabbage Worms Organically

How to Prevent and Get Rid of Cabbage Worms Organically

The first time I experienced cabbage worms was on my kale plants. I planted them in May right after my last frost date and by June I was finding holes riddled throughout the leaves.

If you’ve had cabbage worms on curly kale before, you know the crop is pretty much done for. Finding those worms in the folds is about impossible and the idea of accidentally eating one never really appealed to me. My husband often says “it’s extra protein” and while he’s right, I just can't do it. At least not on purpose.

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5 Tips and Tricks to Growing Strawberries Organically

5 Tips and Tricks to Growing Strawberries Organically

I’ve been trying to grow strawberries organically for the last ten years. Eight of those ten years have been complete failures. I had one good year, my second year where I was taking in bowls of healthy strawberries but every year after that I was dealing with major diseases.

I finally had a BIG breakthrough this year! I did all these things on my list and it worked! Where we live in Arkansas there is a multitude of diseases because the heat, humidity, and rain. If you are struggling with healthy strawberries just follow these tips and you will have success.

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The Ultimate Guide to Growing More Food in a Small Space

The Ultimate Guide to Growing More Food in a Small Space

When it comes to growing a lot of food in a small area, I have so many tricks and tips to share with you! My own garden is 5000 square feet right now but it wasn’t always that way.

And to tell you the truth, since we are growing a year’s worth of food for six people, I still constantly employ all my methods for growing a large amount of food in a small space. If you check out my Guide on How Much to Plant Per Person for a Year’s Worth of Food, you will see that you need to be creative to make that happen with the space you have.

Want to know the first BIG secret to growing more food in a small area?

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7 Must Have Garden Tools to Make Your Life Easier

7 Must Have Garden Tools to Make Your Life Easier

I’m a huge believer in having the right tools for the job. When you put a lot of effort into something like a garden it can be so frustrating to fail because you didn’t have the right supplies.

To be honest, I wish I would have found these tools years ago. I could have saved hundreds of hours of back breaking labor. I’m not kidding you. A great garden tool is like a shortcut to your best garden ever!

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11 Common Seed Starting Mistakes and Tips to Avoid Them

11 Common Seed Starting Mistakes and Tips to Avoid Them
  1. Overwatering. My kids recently experienced this one. They get so excited for starting their seeds and want to take the best care of them. It’s kind of like smothering a pet, you love it so much it hurts the pet. Don’t do that with your seeds. Wait until the soil is beginning to feel almost dry to water. And I mean almost dry, not completely dry. There should still be a bit of moisture in the soil. Your little seedling babies will be ok, I promise.

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5 Tips for Growing Broccoli with Success

5 Tips for Growing Broccoli with Success

Tip #1 Plant at the right time of year.

This is a major key in growing broccoli successfully. During head formation broccoli plants need cool days and cool nights. In most of the United States they can be grown either in the fall or in the spring.

Spring planting: Start seed indoors before 8 to 10 weeks before the average last frost.  Transplant into the garden 3-4 weeks before the average last frost.

Fall planting: Start seed indoors 15 to 17 weeks before average first frost of fall. Transplant outdoors 10-12 weeks before average first frost of fall…

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What You Need to Know BEFORE You Plant Apple Trees

What You Need to Know BEFORE You Plant Apple Trees

A few weeks ago, some of our good friends were planting apple trees and were asking me the basics you need to know for planting apple trees. In responding to their questions, I realized it’s not quite as simple as it seems. The act of planting apple trees is not complicated. But if you want apples in years to come there are some important things you need to know before the tree goes in the ground.

I’m going to cover several points.

  1. Selecting a variety that works for your area and how you want to grow. (Organic or Conventional)

  2. Where to buy quality trees.

  3. Selecting the correct pollinators for your tree.

  4. When to plant.

  5. Where to plant. (Spacing and Location)

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How to Prune Blackberries

How to Prune Blackberries

In order to understand how to prune blackberries it’s important to understand the basics of how blackberries grow. Blackberries are perennials. This means that the root system will live for many years. The root system produces new canes yearly. Canes produced are biennial and die after two years.

The first year of growth on a blackberry is called a primocane. For many varieties of blackberries (though not all) this is primarily a vegetative year of growth and will not produce fruit.

The second year of growth on a blackberry is called a floricane. Floricanes will bear fruit.

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