Check out this new episode of "Finding Kindness" that features my Cosmic Doodles deck. It is in the second part where she has her friends cut her hair! Dang it - those cards always know the right message to tell a person. . .https://youtu.be/o-FFFYQnXhA
Wait for warmer weather – beans hate the cold . . .about a month after the last spring frost or around Memorial Day in Western NY. First of all – you plant the seed - Plant beans in rows (against a fence structure if they are pole beans – they need to climb), with 4-6 inches between each seed. Plant the seeds 1-2 inches deep and be sure to water the soil immediately and regularly, until it sprouts. Keep them watered and help pole beans wrap around the fence at first (Just be gentle and guide with your fingers so they grow around the fence – no need to tie with anything) Once they get big enough to pick – keep picking them and they will keep producing. Don’t wait for them to get too large or they will be tough. If you miss a few and they get too big – keep them on the vine until they yellow – then pick and dry for seed saving. Last year my whole raised bed of green beans was not thriving and turning yellow – so I added a sprinkle of Epsom salts over the plants(then watered to sink in) It worked and in a week they were greener and much stronger.
Green beans are super easy to freeze. In fact I like the taste much better than canning. Just wash and cut(or snap) the ends off. Blanch – by boiling/steaming in hot water for 3-4 minutes until a brighter green – than place in ice cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well and stick in freezer bags. I put enough in one bag for a meal. We eat delicious and fresh tasting beans all winter!
You can have your berry bushes brimming with new fruit on them one day and the next they can be all gone from some hungry birds. You can put netting over the plants but the easiest and cheapest way is to get an old computer disc/CD – tie a string or fish line on – and hang on the tree like an ornament. When the wind blows – it turns the disc – creating a reflection. Birds see that and think it’s a predator and stay away. Your neighbors may think you are weird but you will have fresh berries to eat!
Tomatoes come in all shapes and sizes. I usually plant a larger variety for canning(love Roma for sauce) and smaller ones for eating earlier – especially in salads – like the cherry tomatoes. I like to sow seed directly outside after Mother's Day/Memorial Day in Western NY area but you can also buy plants from the nursery if needed. Try to get heirloom so you can save the seed next year and plant your own on a warm and sunny windowsill in your home early or directly plant outside.
If needed - begin hardening the plants to the outdoors if they were indoors only. Simply – just take them outside daily to get them used to the weather – then bring them in at night. Before planting outside in pots or garden - I like to pull off (very gently) all but a few leaves on the top and plant most of the seedling in the ground. This increases their root system and makes them a sturdier plant in the long run. You want tomatoes with sturdy stems – not tall and lanky – because one good wind storm and they will break. Plant only one tomato per pot(it will get big) or space at least a foot apart from others. I use tomato cages and place around each plant after I put them in soil. As they grow you can tie (with old panty hose strips or fabric) for extra support. If you don’t want to invest in tomato cages – you can use three sticks and form a teepee around the plant for support.
I plant my tomatoes with broken eggs shells for added nutrients and to keep slugs away. Raw eggshells can be broken down – but it is easier to use hard boiled egg shells. Just break down and place right on top of the soil. The next time you make hardboiled eggs – keep the egg water – cool down – and water your tomatoes with it. They love that calcium filled water! Coffee grounds on your tomatoes give it a boost of nitrogen that they love too. No need to buy any chemicals to feed your tomatoes - just get in the kitchen. Starbucks also save coffee grounds for you if asked - and many times I see bags waiting at the pick up area labeled for gardeners!!
Prune tomato suckers as they grow to get a stronger stem, more fruit, and less branches.Tomato suckers, or side shoots, are the growth that appears in the crotch between the stem and a branch.