Tips for a Vegetable Gardening At Home Get Ready Now
Spring Gardening Tips-Ready for vegetable gardening
Tips for a Vegetable Gardening A Vegetable garden in the deep south is a bit different in my region but vegetable gardening is the same.. Where I live we have 2, yes 2 planting seasons. We plant spring gardens with all those wonderful veggies we all love. Then in the fall we have the opportunity once again to plant another crop a real bonus.
Many people freeze or can their vegetable gardening crops to eat during the winter. I have friend who has a special shed her husband built her to store these precious veggies. You can see this in the picture above. It is truly amazing to see what Mother Nature will give you if you just give her a chance. A few seed a little time and you can avoid the grocery shopping details a good part of the winter months.
In the photo above you are seeing the shed that my friends husband built for her canned veggies. She has veggies for the entire winter. Look at how beautifully made this shed is, since it rarely get below the 60 degree mark here, it makes it possible to store these canned good outside. She has been growing tomatoes since early March and will replant again in June.
What to Plant
Broccoli sprinkled down with salt and ready for pickling.
Each year people try to decide what to plant in their vegetable garden. Before you decide it's important to decide what types of vegetables grow well in your part of the country. The second consideration is to determine what you need, what your family likes and how you are going to store your crop after it ripens.
Starting your plants from seed can be less expensive as well as give you a greater variety of choices. Most nursery carry popular plants for your area and it may be difficult to find certain varieties. I have discovered that e-bay has many seller that specialize in seed from some very hard to get plants.
If you are going to start you plants indoors it doesn't have to be a fancy process. If you happened to read one of my other lenses you probably saw my seedlings started in yogurt containers. I also start some in Styrofoam cup which can be recycled to take up space in your large planters. If you live in a cooler climate they can also be recycled using them to cover small plants during freeze warning that happen after planting is done.
Green Beans & Greens Ready for the Pickin"
Can Your Crops
Stocking Up for the Winter
Check out you old recipe books and find a good salsa. Salsa can be canned just make sure to follow the directions carefully when preparing it. My mother once misread her recipe and we were forced to eat salsa that had a cup of cinnamon instead just a teaspoon. Not a good year for us kids, we used to put big portions on our plate so we could have the one that was made properly.
As a vegetarian I eat salsa every chance I get. I love it on nacho chips, burritos, and it serves a good condiment on many different foods. Sometimes I add a little to chili or soup for that extra little burst of flavor. My husband also says, " it makes his mouth happy!"
Salsa is an excellent way to use all the hot pepper, onions, tomatoes and fruits and vegetable you don't need to can. I know that sometimes when you get a bumper crop of tomatoes, it is difficult to give them away. So don't let them go to waste make salsa.
Fresh Hot Pepper
Canned Hot Pepper Jelly Great on Cream Cheese as Dip
Cook It Up and Eat It Fresh
Cookin' with Greens
Starting a vegetable garden
In the south anything green is fair game to be cooked and eaten. Greens are no different, the two main types of greens usually chosen are Collard Greens and Turnip Greens. These are fairly easy to cook, but you need to know a few of the "tricks".
To make true southern style greens you will need the following:
a few ham hocks
a few rashers of bacon
lots of greens
Since cooking greens has been passed down through the generation there usually isn't a recipe written down on paper in most peoples homes. It is done by just knowing what you are doing. So let me tell you the way we do it. First, get your green and wash them well and wash them again and again. There is nothing worse than biting down on a bit of dirt or grit. Second, don't spare the cholesterol or course unless your vegetarian like me. I'll tell you how to fix that problem in a while.
1. In a skillet cook the ham hocks and bacon until the bacon is crispy and crumble easily. Crumble the bacon and keep the grease. Put this aside.
2. For easy no fail cooking fill a large electric CROCK POT with water and the greens. Cook on low about 7 hours. Greens are tough and the slow cooking make them tender.
3. When the green are cooked through, drain any excess water and save it as it contains lot of vitamins and mineral it can be added to stock and many other foods.
4. Pour the drained greens into a bowl and mix in the ham hocks, crumbled bacon, and lot of black pepper.
Instead of the ham hocks and bacon and grease, substitute crumble veggie bacon, veggie ham, and olive oil. Cook, drain your greens and mix just like the southern recipe.
Start a Garden
Lovin' Those Greens
Do you love cooked greens?
A Garden for My Elderly Neighbor
This is what his little garden looks like this year.
This is a little garden I plant and tend every year for my elderly neighbor. I put it on the side of my house between our two houses. This way he has the opportunity not only to pick the fresh vegetables I grow, but he can also enjoy watching and waiting for them to ripen. He gets a real kick out of it.
I usually put some zucchini, pepper, tomatoes, garlic, onion, dill, spearmint, and anything else I have extra. I know he has good fresh veggies all summer and it's worth it to see his smile when he makes his harvests. I sure hope someone does this for me when I get that old,
It's not a large garden and it doesn't require a lot of tending. If you have a neighbor like I do that can't plant a garden for themselves. Be a good neighbor and give him the gift of a garden.
UPDATE Here we are after 5 weeks of growth. We sure have a great climate.
Planting a Garden 9 Weeks Ago - Planting Tomatoes
Who would have thought that just 9 weeks ago this area of my garden was just an empty space. I have to warn you about planting tomatoes again you may end up with more than you planned. It's time to start harvesting today. I think that I will be bagging some of these up and taking them to the food pantry in town. Since Katrina there are many people here that ate still struggling with the effects of hunger and employment. The food shelter is always looking for donations, so once I pick my tomatoes, I will keep some, give some away, and take the rest to the pantry.
I also have quite a few green peppers and it looks like there will be a bumper crop of zucchini this year. This garden is pretty self-sufficient during the summer on the coast we are blessed with a nightly rain, making watering the vegetable garden unnecessary.
The squash, eggplant, pickles and other vegetable are still growing and will most likely be ready in a few more weeks. I always try to pick as many of the tomatoes as possible every time I harvest since it promotes more growth on the tomato plants.
Sometimes we get the men folk to clean the fresh potatoes to get them ready for canning or storing. The haze you see in the photo is the extreme humidity we experience during the summer. It's something you get use to after a few summers down in Mississippi.
Potatoes are a root vegetable, most of us use them in our daily cooking. Canned potatoes are a good choice for a quick mean, they are already cooked since they are canned. Another way to preserve potatoes is to wrap them with newspaper and store them in a cool dark place. Unfortunately, here on the coast we don't have the luxury of root cellars or basement. We have a flooding problem that prevents us from digging too far. Many of our home are on piling or stilts, far above the flood level.