Make a seed box

seed-box2

I have my saved seeds everywhere. I had them in cardboard boxes which have seen better days. Some got wet, some got chewed by mice where I keep them in a shed. I needed to get better organized and wanted better protection from the elements and mice so I found some boxes with lids with clasps.

seed-box1

After that, I got some cardboard dividers for the different varieties of vegetable seeds. I had to trim them down to fit in the box and I had to fold over some of the seed packages so they would fit inside. I also made some labels for each box like Cold Season varieties, Warm Season varieties and many other categories. So far I have 6 boxes done. Nice project for winter.

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Tomato Hornworms – finding them with UV light at night

tomato-hornworm1

I read that you can see tomato hornworms with a UV (ultraviolet) light. Two nights ago we went out to see if we could spot them. I had gotten a UV flashlight last year but didn’t receive it till after the first freeze so there wasn’t much to see. But not that night!  In the daylight I could only see the chewed up leaves on 2 plants but could not find the hornworms. But at night they are easy to spot with the UV light. We found many small ones as well as big ones that we would have missed if not for the UV light.

tomato-hornworm-bitemarks

Also we noticed that there seem to be either fluorescent bite marks or trails where they had been so if we saw these we would see if any were hiding. We probably got 30 tomato hornworms in all. What a great way to find them.

How to use my gardening website

apricot blossoms

Many people have contacted me about what’s going on in their vegetable and fruit gardens in the high desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico or in Zone 6a throughout the seasons and have particular questions. Feel free to write me but I want to go over how to use this website to your greatest advantage. Every few days I post something interesting to me or want to share. One way is to just go backwards (scroll down) and read them. But let’s say you have a question about growing tomatoes. You could go backwards which would take you forever as I have over 650 posts on various subjects (so far) but another faster way would be go over to the right hand column of this blog. From there:

Go down to ‘GARDEN TOPICS’ and scroll down to whatever interests you (in this case tomatoes) from starting tomatoes from seed, to garden hints, or all the way down to tomatoes in the vegetable section. That way you can cut out subjects that aren’t interesting for you. (What?)

Another thing I like in the right column is the ‘ARCHIVES’  section where you can read my posts for a particular month and even for a particular year. I use this a lot for myself as I look up when I planted something in previous years, or other info I want to review again for a particular month.

Another section is called, ‘PAGES’ which you can access from the right column or on the top menus on the blog. I think this is a great resource as you can look up the page for catalogs I like to get, my garden plans for each year, my seed lists of what I’m planting that year (and where I get them), classes I may offer,  films I enjoy, Santa Fe Master Gardener’s radio show, ‘The Garden Journal’ where I talk about what to do in the vegetable garden for the following month. and even the about me page with info about me and this website (if you care to know!)

So next time it’s snowing or cold and windy outside this winter, take some time to catch up on what’s going on. I know I do.

Use fencing wire for cages over vegetables

fence cage done

Fence cage covered with row cover for protecting vegetables. Shown with Tom-Tom the great packrat hunter!

The other day some of my followers on my blog asked what was under that row cover that was holding it up and I thought it was a great question. I’d like to say it was my idea but it wasn’t. A friend of mine, Tom (who helped me build the greenhouse) gave me those structures. It’s an ingenious idea.

fence cage ready

fence cage ready to go over vegetables

He took a 5′ tall roll of fencing wire (the holes were 2 inches by 4 inches but the hole size doesn’t really matter) and cut it into pieces that when bent in half would be about 15 inches high. You could make taller ones as well. I use to make hoops from 9 gauge wire but this is easier and supports the row cover better especially if it hails. I use them for low growing vegetables, vegetables that may need some shade, vegetables that I need to protect from insects and for transplants that need to acclimate to our harsh climate when I first put them out. The pokey ends get pushed into the ground. Then you put a piece of row cover over it big enough to cover both sides and the ends. The wind won’t pick up the row cover if you put rocks around the edges of the row cover. If you have longer rows, just over lap the cages to extend them.

closeup of fence cage

Closeup of fence cage covering kale and chard. Drip system in place.

I water with a drip system so I don’t have to get under them that much but they are easy enough to lift up on one side and tip back to get to the plants underneath to water. He originally bought the wire to make his tomato cages but found that you can’t get your hands through the holes to harvest and if you cut out some of the wire to make the holes bigger, the sharp edges shred your hands where you cut the wire so he used the wire this way. He had to move so he gave me the wire structures. What a great gift!

Lookee What I Found!

Yesterday I found all kinds of things!  Now I’m not the greatest at putting my tools away after I’m done with them. In fact it’s like leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for anyone to see where I’ve been. So I decided to walk around the gardens here at the house before the Arctic Blast comes in this weekend to see what tools I could still find outside. I wanted to do #9 in my earlier post of 10 Things to Do for December’.

found _lopers

First I found one of my lopers (my best one) hanging on a chair on the deck—and it was in plain sight. I’ve must have walked by it a hundred times and never saw it before!

found _leaf rakeI was wondering where that leaf rake went! Here it is leaning on the arbor in the shadows!

found_rake and apple pickerAnd on the other side of the arbor is a fence and I found an extension cord,  mini leaf rake and apple picker leaning on it (what’s that apple picker doing there? There are no apple trees up by the house!)

found_coffee cupAnd lookee what else I found! My favorite coffee cup still filled with coffee!  Yes that is a cup (the handle is on the other side). I was wondering where I left it cause it’s been MIA for a while. That will be fun to scrub out!

found_sawAnd then when I went to the shop I found the circular saw that I had at the house that mysteriously disappeared.  I took it back to the house so I can finish the greenhouse!

Roo Apron

Roo apron

Got this nifty gift for Christmas-a ‘Roo Apron‘. It fits all and has a large kangaroo pocket where you put your harvest instead of putting it in a basket you lug around. Then you can easily empty it in whatever you want. Also has some handy pockets to hold your cutting tools. I see using it for harvesting my apples when I’m up on a ladder. I can see using it for potatoes, eggplants, peppers, corn and just about anything that won’t crack in the big pocket. When full the bottom opens up to release your produce. Can’t wait to use it next year. So many times I go into the garden and just take a few things and then before you know it my hands are full. Not anymore!

This was purchased at Peaceful Garden Grow Organic website:

http://www.groworganic.com/catalogsearch/result/?order=relevance&dir=desc&q=the+Roo+apron&x=0&y=0