Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall plantings doing well

It's been pretty quiet in the garden until recently. I was watching seeds sprout. Now my hard work has finally paid off. All the fall plants are doing well with the exception of two cucumber plants which I yanked in frustration. I have one nervous cucumber plant that despite its appearance, produced a cucumber to prove its worth. It's staying for now, but I have my eye on it. The cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, green beans, onions, carrots, and tomato are all looking productive. I actually have tomatoes on the plants and the beans will be ready to pick very shortly. Let's take a walk through the garden together...
Green beans are almost ready!

My cucumber plant will be in a "pickle"
if it doesn't start producing! 

Overload of Louisiana Satsumas will be ready shortly

Cabbage

broccoli plant

Green beans vining up and flowering nicely

closeup of vining green bean flower - Beautiful! 

Trying my hand at growing onions this season. So far, so good!


tomatoes are showing their fruit

Sweet peas are a family favorite. We often eat them right
off the vine while standing in the garden. 

Fennel gone wild! 

more flowers for the butterflies

Ah ha! Found these beauties yesterday. My eggplant got its second wind!

Gardens 6, 7 & 8


Look who is living on my fennel plant! Beautiful Black Swallowtail caterpillars!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pick a peck of pepper predicament

We have had batch after batch of peppers this summer. Now that the weather has started to cool just slightly, the peppers have gotten the message to produce like crazy! The pile to the left is just one morning's pickings. Needless to say, I am begging people to take peppers! The Habanero are the small orange ones and they are unbelievably hot! My husband cannot cut into them in the kitchen when I am around or I start choking and my airway closes up immediately. Yes, they are that hot! I have been using them for my garlic fire bug spray but I still have tons and tons leftover. Maybe I should dip them in chocolate and sell them on the internet as a "dare" item! One thing I tell people is that bellpeppers freeze extremely well. You need to remove the stem and seeds and chop them up and freeze in ziplock bags for easy recipe use. If you put just enough in the bag to pat them flat, they are easy to stack and freeze and even easier to remove just what you need for a recipe. Planting Tip: Learn from my mistake...DO NOT place pepper plants near each other or they will cross pollinate and you will have a frankenpepper. I got a few crossed peppers this year. Now, if you like weird peppers, then go for it. I like to get what I planted, so I will be careful to separate them next year.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Homemade Disinfecting General Purpose Cleaner

I've been testing out various recipes for general purpose cleaners. I really want a good one that I can use everywhere and doesn't smell gross. This one removes grease and makes my stainless shine. It also works well in the bathroom. This recipe doesn't smell like vinegar but has a very light lemon smell. It's a keeper! I use True Lemon because it mixes in easily and is convenient. You can order it by the shaker from the website or buy it by the box at your grocer. I use True Lemon for cooking and in my water. It is inexpensive and has lots of uses! Do not use this on granite or marble because the vinegar can etch the surface. 

Click to enlargeDISINFECTING GENERAL PURPOSE CLEANER

4 cups water
6 Tbls. white vinegar
3 tsp. Borax
1/4 tsp. True Lemon lemon powder 

Pour 4 cups of water into a glass measuring cup or other microwavable container. Heat for 3 minutes in your microwave. Add the vinegar, borax and lemon powder. Mix, cool and pour into a spray container. 



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