GARDEN TIPS AND FUN FACTS

March 20th was the first day of Spring and at my house it was heavily raining and it felt more like the middle of Winter.  The sun has now arrived and it is starting to feel more like Spring.  With the sun arriving, it is important to remember to care for our lawns, gardens, plants, etc. 

With more families planting gardens to save money at the grocery store I thought I would share some fun trick and facts about gardening:

  • Check with your local nursery for discarded planting trays, used disposable pots, etc.  You can recycle them and use them in your own garden.
  • When you buy produce in little baskets (like berries, cherry tomatoes, etc.), save the baskets & use them for organizing around the house or garden, or even for seed starting planters.
  • Use small laundry baskets for harvesting your produce. Poke a few small drain holes in the bottom of the basket, and you can hose off the produce outside. Let them drain in the baskets, and save yourself from having to do the clean-up in the kitchen!
  • Have plants that need extra irrigation?  Save your milk cartons.  Poke drainage holes in it, and bury it near a plant (or between plants) that need extra watering.  When making your watering rounds, fill the container with water.  Water then slowly leaks out directly into the soil at the level of the roots.  Using this method, you don’t lose so much water to evaporation, as if you were watering on the ground surface level.
  • Keep your melons from rotting as they ripen by placing a flat stone (or concrete) beneath the fruit.
  • Save that old empty parmesan cheese shaker – and fill it with a mixture of fine seeds and sand.  Then simply shake to spread the seeds as you’re planting.
  • When should you transplant trees and shrubs?  Any month that has a “R” in it….September, October, November, December, January, February, March and April.  Never May, June, July or August.
  • When your hands are badly stained from gardening, add a teaspoon of sugar to the soapy water the wash them.
  • Plant a few sprigs of dill near your tomato plants to prevent tomato worms on your plants.
  • Onions, apples and potatoes all have the same taste.  The difference in flavor is caused by their smell.  Pinch your nose and try it – they will all taste sweet.
  • Broccoli and cauliflower are the only vegetables that are also flowers.

FRUIT OR VEGETABLE?

A VEGETABLE is an edible part of a plant……The root (beet), the leaf (spinach), or the flower (broccoli)

A FRUIT is the edible ripened ovary of a seed-bearing plant

Sometimes your produce might be a fruit AND a vegetable…..for example, a tomato and a watermelon are both edible parts of a plant and they are also a ripened ovaries which contains seeds. Therefore they are a fruit AND a vegetable.

Tomatoes are the world’s most popular produce, more than 60 million tons are produced every year, more than banana’s.  There are at least 10,000 varieties of tomatoes, from small cherry ones to Ponderosa (which can weigh over three pounds)

Watermelons are very healthy, contain no fat or cholesterol and are high in fiber content, potassium and vitamins A and C.  The world record-holding watermelon was more than 260 lbs.