5 Tips to Grow Big Broccoli Heads

5 Tips to Grow Big Broccoli Heads, plus general broccoli growing requirements, broccoli companion plants, and troubleshooting tips for broccoli problems.

After sharing some photos of my broccoli harvest on Facebook, I received the following request. “An article with tips to get big broccoli would be most appreciated! I have big beautiful plants and itty bitty broccoli.” After growing broccoli for many years, I’ve probably made every broccoli growing mistake in the book, so I may now qualify for Broccoli Growing Expert Status.  😉 We’ll start off with some broccoli growing basics, share some tips to get nice, big broccoli heads, and finally wrap up with troubleshooting tips for misbehaving broccoli.
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5 Tips for a Bee Friendly Yard

5 Tips for a Bee Friendly Yard - Turn your landscape into a bee safe oasis to protect our honeybees and native bees, plus beehive adoption info. #SaveTheBees #BeehiveAdoption

Bees, bees, bees! Whether it’s honey bees, bumblebees, mason bees or other native bees, we need our bees. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has taken a terrible toll on honeybees. The USDA Agricultural Research Service states that as of May 2015:

Total annual losses were 42.1 percent for April 2014 through April 2015.  The new figure is up from 34.2 percent for 2013-2014.

You don’t have to be a math whiz to know that those percentages spell trouble. So far as I know, there’s no consensus on whether the problem is due to one or more causes – mites, pesticides, Rudolf Steiner’s prediction of a weakened bee genome due to artificial queening, limited varieties of pollen for commercial hives – they just can’t say for sure.

So what can you do to help the bees? You can create a bee friendly yard and garden; support responsible apiaries by buying honey, beeswax and other bee products from trusted sources; and join an Adopt a Hive program. Let’s start with a bee friendly landscape. [Read more…]

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4 Reasons Your Tomatoes Are Not Ripening

Tomatoes not ripening? Here are the four main reasons why your tomatoes aren't turning red, and what you can do (if anything) to help ripen your tomatoes.

Tomatoes not ripening? Here are the four main reasons why your tomatoes aren’t turning red, and what you can do (if anything) to help ripen your tomatoes. [Read more…]

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How to Make Currant Jelly with No Added Pectin

How to Make Currant Jelly with No Added Pectin. This easy homemade jelly recipe has just two ingredients and is perfect for beginning canners.

I think God has a funny sense of humor. I was thinking last weekend, “Hmmm, I wonder if my neighbor will have any extra currants this year since she didn’t have much of a harvest last year. It wouldn’t be too bad if she didn’t as I am quite busy enough already.” Said neighbor called later the same day to let me know she has a bumper crop of currants, and would I like to come over and pick some? Never one to turn away something free or waste food, of course I said “Yes”. So Tuesday morning was spent picking currants, and over the course of the day we cleaned them (picked out debris), washed them and made them into currant jelly. [Read more…]

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5 Reasons the Vine Spine is the Best Garden Trellis

Learn how the Vine Spine™ Garden Trellis can make your vertical gardening easier with long lasting, American made quality and 5 different shapes in one trellis.

This year I’ve been experimenting with tomatoes in containers in the greenhouse, and was wondering how to build a tomato trellis that I could move with the containers. My standard tomato trellis option using pounded in posts was not going to work. While I was thinking, I got an email from Dominic of Better Bilt Products, offering to send me some of their Vine Spine™ garden trellises to try out in the garden – plus a set for a lucky reader. Here’s my take on why the Vine Spine™ is the best all-purpose garden trellis I’ve seen to date. [Read more…]

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