Spring has Sprung! A Month Early!

p1040528

Garden peas and sugar snap peas were planted  a week ago! They should be up in about a week.

wp_20160131_13_15_19_pro

Bachelor Buttons, Shasta Daisy, Pansies, Snap Dragons, Marigolds, Foxglove and other flower seed were planted in cell trays. Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower were started as well.

Tomato and Pepper seed will be planted tomorrow.  Full production has started in earnest!

p1040535

Flowers have started to bloom. The Crocus and jonquils are showing their lovely blooms!

Watch for more gardening goodies!!!

Papa

Tomato Cuttings Made Easy!

P1040468

You desire to grow some late tomatoes, but you didn’t start more seed. What do you do?

Take an old shallow container, drill holes in the bottom and root tomato cuttings in vermiculite and water. It’s actually pretty simple. Tomato plants are actually very tough.

Find a container that will hold coarse vermiculite and water ( a plastic dishpan works great!!). Drill several 3/8 inch holes in the bottom of the container. By the way, you may use a large shallow nursery pot as well. Now place about 3 to 4 inches of coarse vermiculite in the container. Water the vermiculite to supply moisture to the cuttings. Allow excess water to drain prior to taking cuttings.P1040429

Carefully take cuttings from desired tomato plants using garden pruners. I have found, the larger the cutting, the easier to root! Place the cuttings in the moistened vermiculite about 3 inches apart. I place my rooting container in the shade to maintain proper hydration of the new cuttings. Usually it takes 10 to 14 days for proper rooting.

You may notice raised bumps or even small roots starting on the stem. These cuttings are the easiest to root.

Look at the results after just 10 days.

Now it is time to pot up your rooted cuttings in large containers to use for transplant in 10 days.

Water the newly potted cuttings and place in a lightly shaded area. Gradually move the pots into more sun light. Plant the potted plants as you would any transplant.

This an easy, effective way to start large, quick growing tomato plants.

Enjoy!

Papa

 

Heat Resistant Dahlias!!!

P1040442

Absolutely amazing! 110° (F) heat and my dahlias are thriving. Originally from Mexico, dahlias can take it to a sultry 120° (F). These two heirloom seed varieties (Double flowered & Cactus flowered) will grow to a height of 6 feet.

From this:

To this!!

I love the colors and shapes. Check out this collage!

These beauties will be great for cut flowers. Make sure you have 15 to 18 inches of stem. Immerse the flower stems in 160° (F) water until water cools off. Place the flowers in new water with a floral preservative and they will last for 4 – 6 days. I hope to have enough to sell by mid-August.

Zinnias are up next to sell in the Fall. Florists love the bright colors when you can’t get them!

See you soon!

Papa

Heritage Day Festival with Papa

IMG_2666

Sunday was a beautiful day for a festival. It was a wonderful day to meet and greet new people and the Bluegrass music from the Missouri Ozarks was amazing! What more could you ask from the day?

IMG_2666

My Miss Sunshine was a wonderful helper.

IMG_2687

Gardening questions included “How do you change the color of hydrangeas?”, “Why did my strawberry plants die?”and “You can grow lettuce during the hot summer months?” I plan to address these questions in future posts.

The booth was a stunning success. Heirloom Tomato and Hot/Sweet Pepper transplants in addition to potted June bearing Strawberry plants, Annual Phlox and Hollyhocks were for sale.

IMG_2681

IMG_2665

The lettuce bowls with Oak Leaf, Amish Deer Tongue and Red Romaine lettuces with edible Pansy’s were well received.

IMG_2671

Sweet Peas on the vine, Bachelor’s Buttons and Snowball Hydrangeas complimented the booth receiving surprised and rave reviews. People in this area are not familiar with cultivated Sweet Peas and were pleased with their knockout colors and fragrance.

IMG_2678

IMG_2670

IMG_2663

Thanks again for visiting the world of Papa’s Gardens.

Papa

 

 

See you Sunday!

IMG_0625

Sunday, June 5, I will have a vendor space during the Baker Creek* monthly Heritage Days festival.

13-IMG_3186

I will be selling tomato and hot/ sweet pepper transplants. In addition I will have potted June bearing strawberry plants, Hollyhocks, Annual Phlox and Lettuce bowls for sale.

WP_20150421_19_37_51_Pro

.

I will be featuring my Sweet Peas as cut flowers. They are colorful and fragrant.These may be purchased by the stem or in a bouquet.

IMG_0632

Come on out and say “Hey”.

Papa

IMG_2544-001

*Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co., 2278 Baker Creek Road, Mansfield, MO 65704

Festival hours: 10AM to 7PM

 

Thumping a Watermelon for Ripeness

watermelon2

You go to the store to pick out a watermelon, so what do you do?

watermelon1

Here is my method.

I start thumpin’ the melon with my thumb and index finger or rap it with my  knuckles.

watermelon2

If I hear a high pitch sound the watermelon is probably under ripe. Plink

If I hear a low pitch sound or dull thud the watermelon is probably over ripe. Plunk

If I hear a pitch between the two sounds the watermelon is probably ripe. Plank

Try this method and watch the other shoppers make amused faces.

Yes, it works.

Watermelon_seedless

Let me know how this method works for you.

Papa