Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Harvesting and storing Winter Squash

Harvest winter squash when the skin is hard and will not break under
thumbnail pressure. Appearance tends to be dull, rather than bright like
the summer squash at harvest-time. Spaghetti squash should be a golden
yellow. Always harvest before the heavy frosts. Hazards of leaving the
fruit on the vine too long include foot-traffic damage, theft, bug, and
disease damage.

Leave a 2" stem on the fruit. Cure at room temperature (70-85 degrees F)
for 10+ days before long-term storing begins.

Only put squash that is firm, heavy, and free of blemishes in long-term
storage. Store at temperatures from 45-45 degrees, with 50-70% humidity.

Small squashes, like Butternut and Spaghetti will only store 2-3 months.
Banana and Hubbard squash will store as long as 5-6 months under ideal

Good Harvesting!

Sorry. Storage should be at temparatures from 45 to 55 degrees farenheit,
and humidity of 50-75%.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Cost of Fertilizers

Availability and relative value of Nitrogen sources

The cost of fertilizers has increased almost 50% in the past year, and some things have gone up more than that. We have not passed on all of the increase to the distributors, because we want people to be able to afford the fertilizers, but one of these days you may treasure your garden seeds and fertilizers much more that you do now. My advice is to always buy enough for a couple of years.

If it's cold, you may have plants suffering nitrogen starvation, even while you are feeding them nitrogen. The
reason for this is that the only forms of nitrogen we can buy any more are not immediately available to the plants in cold weather.

Ammonium Nitrate (34-0-0) is the only one that really does a good job of feeding plants in cold weather, and it can't be purchased most places in the USA because of fears someone will use itto make a bomb.

Protecting your plants and warming the soil with hoops and clear plastic will help, but I recommend you write your congressman and senator and tell them to make this essential nutrient available to the 99.9% of Americans who need it.

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

When, Where, and How Close to Grow Plants

Cricket asked about planting Okra. Do you all know how, when, and where to grow
this popular vegetable??

She said she couldn't find anything about it in the Gardening Library. That's
because the best place to find this kind of information is in either the Garden
Wizard or Garden Master CD's.

Following is the information about Okra that's contained in the Preview Plants
section of the Garden Designer in each CD. This kind of information is there
for about 60 plants! I haven't counted, so don't know the exact number, but
most of what you ever grow is included. I highly recommend you get one of these
excellent software tools to help you learn all you need to know about your
favorite vegetables.

Very tender, warm season plant. Transplant seedlings 2 to 3 weeks after the
last frost of spring, in 2 rows per bed, 12" apart. Seeds can be planted
indoors 4 weeks before the last frost of spring. Time to harvest is 70 days.
Pick or cut pods daily when they are still small and soft, 4 days after the
flowers wilt.

Apply Pre-plant fertilizer (32 oz. Per 30' row) during bed preparation. Apply
Weekly Feed (16 oz. per 30' row) 14 days after planting and for 4 more weeks

Water at each feeding, and daily if after last spring frost, no more than 1".

Weed near last spring frost, and for 3 more weeks thereafter, or as needed.

GERMINATION: Plant crowns when soil reaches 50 degrees (F).

NUTRITION: Good source of vitamin C, Folic Acid, and Potassium.

STORAGE: Refrigerate and use quickly. Preserve by freezing or canning. .


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