Garden Tips

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kids garden tools

Our kids love to help in the garden, and I love their help with yard work.  This year my in laws gave the kids REAL GARDEN TOOLS.  Let me tell you these ROCK, I planted the whole garden with them and also cleared an old flower bed with them as well.  My kids kept saying MOM can we have our tools back lol. kids garden tools4Toysmith Kid’s Big Tool Set

$29.99 shipped FREE just click the FREE super saver shipping link at check out.

  • Set includes: garden rake, spade, how and leaf rake
  • Real metal tools for little hand
  • 27.5-Inch solid wood handles
  • Leather strap for hanging
  • A great way for young gardeners to help in the yard

Or if you are looking for some smaller hand held garden tools that are sturdy high quality but at an inexpensive price, then here you go.
garden toolsToysmith 2296 Kid’s 3-Piece Garden Tool Set

Get the set of three for as low as $6.23 and free shipping

  • These sturdy hand tools in a gift box for easy display
  • These tools measure up to 8-1/2-Inch long

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Have you ever made the mistake of leaving a carrot on the counter or putting it in the refrigerator without a cover on it? Within 24 hours you will find a limp carrot that has lost it’s crunch!  No one wants to eat a chewy carrot, so here are a few tips on how to store carrots.

We have been picking carrots from our garden most the summer, but some days the kids are a little excited an pick  too many.  If you leave a fresh carrot with the green top on it will make the carrot wilt.  The carrot is the root of the plant and the green tops take its  moisture and nutrition from the root.  So chop those green tops off right away.

At this point you can keep them with the dirt on and store them in cool sand or sawdust in a root cellar, or even a bucket in a cool dark place.  BUT since I do not have one of those… I just wash them up and keep them in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator.   If the carrots have to much moister they will mold, so I poke some holes in the bag to allow them to vent.  Carrots can stay firm, and crisp for months at a time when stored properly.

 

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garden produce

 We planted a smaller garden this year… because last year we just were overwhelmed with all the veggies that needed picked everyday.  This year we cut back so we are picking every day, but able to eat most of what we pick the same day.  So photos this year are a little slim… because it tends to go in our belly before it goes on camera.  BUT here is an idea of what  a daily picking looks like.

 How is your garden doing this year?

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How to tell a female or Male bell pepperLearned something new today from my neighbor while picking the peppers from our garden.  He told me that that there are both male and female peppers (I looked it up on the internet to confirm it was true and if you find it on the internet it must be true LOL).  Did you know that there are two kinds of bell peppers?

The female peppers  and more round, they have 4 bumps on the bottom. They have more seeds on the inside and when eaten raw the female peppers are sweeter than the male peppers.  So these are better for salads, veggie trays and sandwiches.

The Male  peppers  are taller and thin, they only have 3 bumps.  They are not as sweet but hold up better in heat  and are better for cooking. These are perfect for stews, dips, and cooking.

So next time you are in your garden or in the grocery store, flip over the peppers and  see if your buying “boys or girls” :)

How to tell a female or Male bell pepper

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garden produce

Our garden had a little bit of a slow start this year, but it is in FULL swing now. We are enjoying fresh tomatoes everyday, a few strawberries (we have a  grey bunny that showed up out of no where and keeps eating all the berries :( )  We also have more squash than we know what to do with… So if you come to my door please know you will be sent home with a few squash weather you like it or not.  Mean while I am baking muffins and breads with the rest of them.

This year our broccoli was a total flop,it only had little tiny heads and it went right to seed.  Last year we were able to harvest HUGE heads of broccoli throughout the summer.  Oh well there is always next year. I think we should have cucumbers, pepers and green bean by next week….oh and more squash :)

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How to make a Compost Pile

Each year we grow a garden. The kids enjoy it the entire family spends time together to make it a fun day in the back yard. But what about other things you can do as a family to help the family unit thrive through out the year. Make it a family goal to work through out the year, not just in the summer on making your garden the best it can be. A simple compost pile can give vital nutrients to your garden and can keep the children focused on helping through out the entire year. Giving kids simple chores that they can help with like taking out the food scrapes, leaves and other organic material to the family compost pile will not only help your garden but will help your family learn. They kids will enjoy the process of collection, turning and prepping and watching how a banana peal can transform into healthy garden soil.

Compost ingredients:

  • Green – grass clippings, food waste like veggies, fruits, coffee grounds anything organic i the kitchen
  • Browns – twigs, branches, wood shavings, raked up leaves
  • Water – adding the top two ingredients with water to help the soil heat to the proper temp.

Mix any of the above into a pile in the backyard, out of the way. Find a shady area that you can reach with the hose. Once you begin to pile everything together place a tarp over it to all the heat and bacteria to grow. Keeping the compost moist helps the fungi and bacteria, naturally found in soil to build and helps worms and other insects to turn and process the soil. Once the compost is dark and a fine material similar to what you would see in a compost bag, or if it just looks like good dirt, it is ready. That normally takes a few months to a few years depending on the temperature you keep it at, the moisture and the bacteria that grows in it. A easy way to hurry up the process is to turn your compost heap. Pitchforks are the old way, but the barrels below are the new and easy way to hurry the process. It also saves you from having a gross mound of dirt in the back with bananas and food showing when you have the neighbors over for a backyard BBQ.

2Geobin Compost Bin As low as $27.99 and free shipping

  • 216 Gallon Capacity (Over 1 Cubic Yard). 36″ tall, adjusts from 1 – 3.5 foot diameter.
  • Easy to assemble with new closure keys. Easy to move, Easy to reassemble.
  • Made from 50% recycled post consumer plastic content.
  • The best value composting bin on the market.

1Yimby Tumbler Composter As low as $80.99 and free shipping

Tumbling composter.-Easy turn barrel with convenient built- in hand holds.-Adjustable air vents.-Rodent resistant.-Space efficient size with 5 cubic ft capacity.-Made in Canada. Includes: -Made from durable, u.v. resistant plastic with recycled content and includes a strong steel frame, which will last for many years. Dimensions: -Dimensions: 36″ H x 28″ W x 26″ D.

3Good Ideas EZCJR-BLK 7-Cubic-Foot Compost Wizard Jr. As low as $117.00 and free shipping

  • 7-cubic foot capacity, black
  • Made from 98% post industrial polyethylene
  • Recessed handles and wheeled base make turning almost effortless
  • Child and pet safe
  • Black color provides heat for quick compost

4Compost Thermometer As low as $24.10 and free shipping

  • 20-inch All Stainless Steel Stem!
  • Dial: 0/200 Fahrenheit with 3 Temperature Zones – Steady, Active and Hot
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty
  • Hermetically sealed (won’t fog up). Can be left in the compost pile over night.
  • Basic Composting Instructions! (printed on the back of the packaging)

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