Original recipe published as Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing in Taste of Home April/May 2012, p59 The original Taste Of Home Poppyseed dressing.
At home in the garden and on the road
Original recipe published as Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing in Taste of Home April/May 2012, p59 The original Taste Of Home Poppyseed dressing.
People are paying premium prices for squash blossoms at Farmers Markets. If you grow zucchini, (or any summer squash) you have access to one of the most popular summer food trends anywhere.
Stuffed, fried squash blossoms are a gourmet delight. It also solves the problem of too many zucchini. Eat those gorgeous flowers before they become a squash problem.
I have a gazillion recipes for zucchini on Pinterest. My favorite is chocolate zucchini cake. I sprinkle the top of the cake with mini chocolate chips before baking. I make two cakes in 8” square foil pans. One to eat as soon as it is cooled. When the second cake is completely cooled, cover it with foil and put it in the freezer. It’s a no-frosting-needed kind of cake. Perfect for picnics, the foil pan makes it very easy to bake and take.
For all the joking about squash gone wild, I honestly have never had too many zucchini. I love it and only plant what I and the neighbors will eat. Then there are the squash vine borers that will suddenly end the steady supply of zucchini.
Save any extra seed by taping the packet closed or put it in a ziplock. Keep it in a cool, dry, dark place until next year.
Renee’s Garden has a little bush variety that can grow in a container. They have a quick return when you order seeds. There’s still time to grow a zucchini or two.
I have good news, and I have bad news.
One day two zucchinis, were walking together down the road. They stepped off the curb and a speeding car came around the corner and ran one of them over. The uninjured zucchini called 911 and helped his injured friend as best he could.
The injured zucchini was taken to emergency at the hospital and rushed into surgery. After a long and agonizing wait, the doctor finally appeared. He told the uninjured zucchini, “I have good news, and I have bad news. The good news is that your friend is going to pull through.” “The bad news is that he’s going to be a vegetable for the rest of his life.”
DYING PLANT ALERT
Why are my superbells dying? I water them every other day…they always seem to be dry?
They are in a hanging container that lets them drain well.
I live in California and they receive full sun all day.
My gardening friend, this is what I think.
Of course, I can’t see the problem, but my guess is that your container is too small or you should add some organic matter to the soil. Something like peat moss, core, grass clippings, shredded news paper. In CA, you should not have to water every other day.
The soil does not seem to have much water holding capacity. If, when you water, the water goes straight through the hanging basket, the water is not being absorbed by the soil or basket liner. That’s good, it tells us that the problem is:
A. Too many plants in too small of a space.
B. poor quality soil mix.
C. You need a better and probably a bigger basket.
So, decide if you want fewer plants in your basket or, buy a bigger basket for all the flowers (Or divide the flowers making two baskets.)
Don’t give up on the Superbells, I have some that have overwintered and lived to bloom another year. They serve me well when other flowers are suffering the summer heat.
Soil quality it is important to give your plants the best season- home. So invest in a good soiless potting mix. I usually mix my own. But some times it’s just easier to buy
Organic Container Mix from Gardeners Supply loaded with peat moss, perlite. They also have a self watering variety that might solve your problem.
I am a great believer in starting with a good base of moisture holding, well draining potting soil.In my gardens I’m replacing peat with core. It’s cheaper, more readily available and a good environmental choice.
My advice is to start all over. Using the plants you have. Giving then a better or bigger root space will allow them to thrive.
Please let me know of your success and how you solved the problem.
Getting these reliable Superbell bloomers off to a good start and you will have summer-long success. Patsy Bell Hobson in SE Missouri. email: Patsy64068@yahoo.com
So many neighbors unknowingly donate flowers to teachers. Walking to school creates all manner of good character and thoughtfulness. For example during the peak of bloom season, Mrs Adams recieved bouquests from me all the time.
It didn’t improve my grades, although I had high hopes. Mrs Adams was well prepared to receive fistfulls of roses. And she had a variety of coffee mugs in her desk drawer. Each mug could hold a number of roses at various heights.
Lilacs came and went to quickly, I barely got a sniff. But now, the roses are about to explode into bloom. For a little while, they will be lovely. Then the Japanese Beetles will move in.
I have a trap to try this year. A trap laced with beetle pheremones. You will get the report as so as I know if it is worth it.
When cutting Hydrangeas. Follow a few simple guides.
Spontaneous gift: When you are presented with a bouquet, from the LBND (the Little Boy Next Door) Recut the stem under running water and trim at a 45 degee angle. Remove all greenery that would be under water,
Cutting your own bouguet.
Take sharp scissors or pruners out to the garden when you plan to cut Hydrangeas. Also bring a bucket of cool water to plunge your flowers in as soon as they have been cut. Cut stems at a 45 degree angle.
Remove any greenery that will be underwater. Change to water every few days. Your Hydrangeas will last up to 2 weeks.
And remember Never waste a day of May.
To me, May 1st is a the beginning of the growing season, the get outside season. The mantra is “Never Waste a Day of May”.
We’ve had several meals with asparagus so far this year. The purple asparagus are producing more and bigger stalks. They are big, tender stalks that turn green when cooked. Infact, I am planting a few more crowns this year.
I paid for 2-year roots, Jersey Knights, but I don’t believe that is what I received. There are several female plants and the stalks are skinny. They have been growing for three years.
The chives are about in full bloom. That means get the vinegar bottles washed and ready. Take advantage of the earliest herb garden offering, make several containers of chive vinegar.
Mixed Herb Vinegar – Put the pink chive blossoms in a quart jar and fill with white vinegar. I use white wine vinegar. Top the jar with a piece of plastic wrap to keep the lid from coming directly in contact with the metal lid.
In two weeks, taste and see if it has the right flavor. If it is too mild, cover and wait for another week. Strain out blossoms, cap and store. Chives are flavor layer number one. We will add more herbs as the season progresses.
Make more than you think you will need. The delicate pink colored vinegar is very good on it’s own. I use a lot of this right away on tender young salad greens. You get just a hint of chive flavor mixed into a light salad dressing.
Keep a few small, decorative bottles on had for gourmet gifts. Include a salad dressing recipe card.
• Tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets:
♥ Gold Medal (75 days indet) Bicolor, yellow with streaks of red inside. Winner of several tomato taste contests. Early for a big tomato, sweet, low acid, 1 pound).
Pineapple (85 days indet) Bicolor yellow with red streaks produces big beefsteak type 1 and 2 pound tomatoes.
Omar’s Lebanese (80 days indet) Whileit has won size records, I’ve never got those giants in my garden, though it is prolific.
Hillbilly or Flame (80-85 days indet)
are planted in water saver 5 gallon buckets. All four of the above tomatoes promise 1 pound tomatoes. Read more: Best Home Garden Tomatoes: Hillbilly or Flame Tomato.
Bison (65-77 days det) tomato is in a 5 gallon bucket over at Neighbor Dorothy’s house. Promises to be a heavy producer.
Though, bucket tomatoes usually under produce in size and quantity. The taste is true in flavor, tasting like the ones grown in the garden or in a container.
• Tomatoes in containers (giant planters)
Great White is in a container along the patio wall.
80-85 days. Large, 1-lb giant, creamy white fruit, this tomato is superbly wonderful. The flesh is so good and deliciously fruity, it reminds one of a mixture of fresh-cut pineapple, melon and guava. One of our favorite fresh-eating tomatoes! Fruit are smoother than most large beefsteak types, and yields can be very high. Introduced by Gleckler’s Seedsmen. – This description from Baker Creek.
• Raised beds in garden soil
All are heirlooms requiring sturdy support or staking. Good ole’ garden soil tends to produce the biggest and most tomatoes of the 3 locations.
Black Krim (80 days indet) is one of the most popular black tomatoes.
Heirloom whose big leafy vines produce lots of slightly lobed deep purple/”black” fruits whose juicy, rich red flesh offers sweet and delicious flavor. Described by Renee’s Garden.
♥ Carbon (80 days indet) is my favorite black tomato. The fruit are beautiful, lightly lobed and blemish free, heavy producer of 8-10 ounce tomatoes.
Persimmon (80 days indet) is new to me. 1 pound tomatoes are promised, meaty texture and mild flavored. Orange.
Costoluto Genovese ( 80 days indet) looks like an old fashioned, deep red Italian tomato because it is. Beautifully lobed rich, deep tomatoey flavor, great for canning, pasta sauces, and lovely on a plate of sliced heirloom tomatoes. Been around since the 19th century.
♥ = my favorites
Tomato seeds from:
It seems like the welcoming daffodils of spring came early and stayed late this year. I have at least six varieties of daffodils that I photographed. But I missed a few of the earliest blooms.
Some are known for early bloom and others known as late season bloomers. Several are fragrant. Daffodils have a very mild, gentle sent.
↑Daffodils in the front yards, circle garden, iris bed outside circle garden
↓Thalia Nodding pure white flowers, usually 2 per stem, with narrow petals and a delicate cup. Thalia is excellent for massing at the edge of woods or in a shrub border.
↑Thalia is nearly 100 years old. It has proved to be an excellent perennializer. The bright white flowers are tough to photograph. Those brillant double blooms always seem to be overexposed. It combines very nicely with with other dafs.
The above flowers are the standard issue big yellow daffodil. Probably Dutch Master of Marieke. There wer lots of them here when moved in and I’ve purchased quiet a few. Because you can never have too many daffodils.
↑Dutch Master Dutch Master is the most widely grown of the yellow trumpets. Like King Alfred before it, it has become the standard early yellow daffodil. In fact, many suppliers still list King Alfred, but they almost always ship Dutch Master.
↑Marieke Here is a golden yellow daffodil that is sure to replace many older varieties. Its large flowers are beautifully proportioned, graceful despite their size, nicely scented and very long lasting. The name is pronounced mar-EE-keh.
↑Ice Follies Very large, silvery white flowers with a wide lemon-yellow cup that turns white as the flowers mature. Ice Follies is one of the strongest-growiing daffodils ever and great for naturalizing, North and South.
↑Butter and Eggs Authentic Southern heirloom – hardy north to zone 5 – that’s been a folk favorite and passalong plant for centuries. Its yellow petals are interspersed with shorter ones of gold to almost orange, and even snooty William Robinson in The English Flower Garden praised it, as “handsome and abundant.”
Actaea Sweetly scented, snow-white flowers with scalloped petals and a small flat eye of yellow, edged bright red. Actaea is one of the last daffodils to flower and one of the best for naturalizing. It has brightened spring landscapes for almost a century. As the daffodil show slowsdown, the tulips, wild tulips, grape hyacinth and a number of early spring bulbs take center stage.
I didn’t plant as many tulips as usual because the dafs a quickly naturalizing those garden spaces. But the Iris are just starting to bloom. The first ones up, are the old fashioned purple iris.
Oh, yes, the Lilac are just beginning to bloom. As you can see, my favorite flower is what ever is blooming and my favorite season is what ever is next.
Cipollini Onions (pronounced chip-ohh-lee-nee) are just the cutest little onion. I never heard of these Italian onions until Mario Batali added them to some recipes.
Cipollini are small sweet onions, that grow flat. They are 2 or 2 1/2 inches wide and about 1 inch thick. These onions are sweet and can not be stored more than 2 months. No problem, Cipollini are so good, that you will want to eat them right away.
Mario’s Pasta with Sun Gold Tomatoes is a great, light summer meal.
Pasta with Sun Gold Tomato originally published in Bon Appétit, May 2011, by Mario Batali, photo by Tom Schierlitz
Pasta with Sun Gold Tomatoes
I bought Cipollini Onions Territorial Seed
and Sun Gold cherry tomatoes from Renee’s Garden
If you have room for just two tomato plants, make one a regular and the second one a cherry tomato. Skip the giant tomato and choose a 6-8 ounce tomato that is a heavy producer. Those giant, 2 or 3 pound tomatoes are few and far between.
My new favorite cherry tomato is the yellow Sun Gold. They are a sweet little tomato.
Here is it’s baby picture: it is the one in the middle.
Indeterminate, with long vines. This may be the first and the last tomato to come out of your garden this year.
Unlike heirloom tomatoes, an (F1) tomato will not reproduce the same Sun Gold tomato that came from the seed packet.
You can’t save seed from the Hybrid F1 (first generation) plants are the result of a cross between two varieties. To learn more about F1 tomatoes go to – What is an F-1 Tomato?
Every spring, dozens of little volunteer tomatoes show up in the garden. Usually they grow up to be cherry tomatoes.
Include a cherry tomato in you garden this summer. Cherries are the first to ripen and continue producing all summer and until frost.
Cherry tomatoes are the first taste of home grown, vine-ripened tomato we get every year. As the big full sized tomatoes begin to ripen, the little cherry tomatoes are still heavily producing. I cut these tomatoes in half and put them in the food dehydrater.
These little cherries become the high priced, rich and red sun dried tomatoes you see in gourmet shops..
Please see my tomato growing tips, tricks, reviews on HubPages. Subscribe to get my garden HubPages and get the news first.
When my favorite Canadian cousin asked for advice and gardening suggestions, I thought about NicholsGarden Nusery. I’ve been ordering from Nichols for 20 years.
Cousin Sheila wanted to know what seeds would be good for her friend, a new gardener in Alaska.
They raise cabbage in Alaska that make my Missouri crop look like Brussels Sprouts. The first people I would turn to if I wanted to know about gardening in Canada are her parents, my Uncle and Aunt.
Nobody knows Alaska gardening better than Jeff Lowenfels. His column in the Anchorage Daily News is helpful for all gardeners, especially Alaskans.
I was going to suggest some of the best catalogs for colder climates, but Jeff’s suggestions are exactly what I was going to suggest. Seed Catalogs for Alaska gardeners.
Rose Marie sent seed, and I grew little blue tomatoes last summer. So, I grew beautiful little saladette Indigo Rose tomatoes.
If I was a new gardener, I’d buy a couple of tomato plants and a pepper plant. Then, I would grow leafy greens from seed. Lettuces to start, then chard, kale, and/or spinach.
Garden 1. Salad, tomato, squash. cucumber
Start with salad greens, radish and spinach
Why? Because you get a lot of different salad greens, all in one packet.
Why? Because there a several colors and all taste the same (not hot).
Why? – Fresh spinach salad with hot bacon dressing
Garden 2. Tomatoes, squash and green beans
Another choice for a first garden: Tomatoes, squash and green beans are a good starter garden. I’ve gown these plants in my garden, and they will do well in Alaska too. These seeds are from Renee’s Garden.
Join Renee’s Comunity Garden. Find fellow gardeners and get your garden questions answered here. I’ll see you at Renee’s Community Garden.
This historic heirloom was grown by Thomas Jefferson in 1794. It was offered commercially in the USA in 1824, and it was illustrated in color in France in 1854 in the Vilmorin Igot.
I’m not a fan of grocery store cantalope. Don’t judge melons by the melons in grocery stores. It may be why folks think of this as a blah fruit.
From the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Catalog