Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Window box gardens are an easy way for beginners to get started with gardening. They can offer easy maintenance right from a kitchen window. They are simple to maintain and much less work than preparing an entire backyard garden area. For more advanced gardeners they can become auxiliary specialty gardens.
Even starting them in the Fall you can produce a cornucopia of herbs and vegetables. Broccoli is a productive plant, and turnips will mature quickly. Dwarf variety tomato plants can be more of a pain, but may alternately be productive plants. Lettuces and salad greens, combined with herbs, such as compact basil, chives and oregano make for a beautiful edible display.
When considering a window box garden consider the following:
- Pair plants with similar cultural needs (i.e., watering needs, sun/shade preferences, etc.)
- One key to success is not putting too many plants in one box
- Consider plant heights and growth habits, such as spreading, upright and trailing
- For best growth, set box in an east or west-facing window outdoors, or a south-facing window indoors
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
4 large or 6 Roma tomatoes, chopped or diced (with or without seeds)
1 large green bell pepper
2 TBS fresh cilantro, chopped coarsely
1 medium or large white onion, chopped or diced
4 cloves fresh garlic, diced fine
1-2 jalapeno or serrano peppers, diced fine (with or without seeds - depending on desired level of heat
sea salt, to taste
juice of one lemon or two limes
According to Wikipedia, "In Mexican cuisine, Pico de gallo (Spanish for "rooster's beak) is a fresh condiment made from chopped tomato, onion and chilies (typically jalapenos or serranos). Other ingredients may also be added, such as lemon or lime juice, fresh cilantro (leaf of corriander), cucumber or radish."
I use pico in place of salsa because of its freshness and bold flavor, and because it has less liquid than typical salsas or chutneys, I use it in tacos and fajitas.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Today upon inspection of the tomato plants, I was surprised to find many ready for eating. I have actually been harvesting jalapenos for about a month, and they are truly hot. Spicy would be an understatement!
I shared tomatoes and peppers with my Mom and neighbors, and still had a handful to sprinkle over a fresh grilled chicken salad. I am literally salivating for more.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
These are some of the best salad-quality cucumbers that you can grow. They are seedless, not bitter, with tender skins so that you don't have to peel them. Diva is award-winning and is one of the tastiest cucumbers out there. They look like typical salad cucs, but with thin skin and crisper fruit.
Cucumbers need full sun, at least an inch of water per week, rich soil and pollinating insects to produce. Pick fruits regularly so that the vines will continue to produce. Bush varieties are suitable for containers, but if you have the space try vining types because they will produce more fruit. (via johnnyseeds.com)
My favorite variety of green bean --- sleek, tender and flavorful. This type of bean has to be picked when it's young and tender, in order to avoid toughness. This new variety is stringless! These seeds are organic, but nonorganic is available. They produce medium-sized, medium dark green plants. Get growing and bon appetit! (via johnnyseeds.com)