Checking pH for successful vegetable gardening.

Checking pH for Successful Vegetable Gardening

Soil pH in the vegetable garden

Checking your Soil pH in the vegetable garden

Checking the pH of your vegetable garden is one of the most important parts of growing a successful garden. Normally for grass and shrubs we don’t have to spend too much time worrying about pH levels, they are not that sensitive and will not show signs of distress from being a bit too far in either direction.  In the vegetable garden, it can make a very big difference and will actually prevent your plants from taking up nutrients which allow them to grow, sometimes stunting their growth or even killing young tender plants.

Soil Test Kit

These Soil Test Kits let you know if you need lime or gypsum added to your garden soil to correct your pH as well as the NPK content of your soil.

It is always a good idea to check your pH before you plant your garden and even better is to check it in the fall or early winter so you can add Lime or Gypsum to correct pH well before you plant anything.  Here is a great article on soil pH in the vegetable garden and best methods for correcting it.

Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC: Raising and Lowering the pH Levels of Your Soil

These simple test kits can help you to determine the pH of your garden beds and even how much to feed your plants. Tomatoes need to have the soil pH between 5.5-7.0 in order to produce good fruit. With these simple to use kits you can test your soil up to 10 times.

Compost is the best soil additive

Adding compost to your garden every season is really the best way to keep your soil pH in the neutral range.  If you can do it regularly, it will keep your soil happy and in the perfect range for your vegetable plants.

Lime and Gypsum what do they do?

These two products, Lime and Gypsum primarily, help you with correcting soil pH to bring it back to neutral.  Generally if you are in an area that gets lots of rainfall (or snowfall), your soil will eventually go more acidic over the years and require Lime to bring it back up, in dry climates, your soil will generally be more alkaline as years go by and will require Gypsum to flush the alkaline from the soil.

Lime and Gypsum

Lime and Gypsum are great for soil correction

Cherry Tomato recipe-Small fruit with powerful punch.

Why are there so many cherry type tomato varieties? They are great in any recipe but especially the one below!

Sugary cherry tomato

A cherry tomato sweet as sugar called Sugary!

Because they are so sweet, very easy to grow and so fast to mature, you can eat some every time you go out to the garden!   This one is called Sugary and we have 9 more varieties in our catalog for you to grow.  Sun Gold, one of the sweetest, is bright orange and so prolific!  You can even grow “mini” Roma types such as Juliet and Blush, best for holding up to cooking and are perfect for roasting or drying. Order our combo of tomato plants called Bowl of Cherries for a treat of 6 different varieties!

Here is a great recipe for a quick pasta with these lovely treats:

1 lb.  pasta such as Bow Ties, Penne or other fun shape
1 lb. cherry “Roma” type tomatoes, sliced in half
2-3 cloves of garlic
3-4 large leaves of Basil
1 cup of Fresh Mozzarella Ciliegine ( the fresh little balls in water) drained or cut larger size pieces to bite size.
good extra virgin olive oil
Spinach, broccoli florets, asparagus, zucchini or any type of vegetable you like and have on hand.  Quick cook to just tender, fresh spinach can be added without cooking.

In a large pot of salted, boiling water cook your green vegetables until just tender, drain and set aside.  Bring water to a boil again and add pasta to cook according to package time.

Black Cherry Tomato

Black cherry has the flavor richness of larger Black tomatoes

While cooking pasta, mince garlic cloves and add to olive oil in a large skillet over low heat for 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes, vegetables, basil, fresh ground pepper and sea or kosher salt and toss together gently until tomatoes just begin to get very hot and juices come out.

Add a large spoonful of pasta water and cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes.  Drain pasta and add to skillet cooking a minute or two more.  Pour into a large pasta bowl along with the cheese balls and toss well.  Serve with Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top and good bread for soaking up the juices of those sweet tomatoes!

New Season! Tomato plants for 2014 available for pre-ordering now!

Our Tomato plants for 2014 are available for pre-ordering now!

Pink Berkeley Tie Dye Tomato plant
With over 200 plant selections and 55 tomato varieties this year we have the best selection of plants on the web! We had a blast choosing our new varieties this year with some really fun ones for you to try. Check out the Pink Berkeley Tie Dye which is striped on the outside, luscious pink on the inside and so tasty. Continue reading

Tomato Seedlings Online Early Ordering Now

Ordering Tomato Seedlings before Christmas??? Seeds startingWe know it can seem like a strange thing to do but there are a lot of good reasons to start your spring garden shopping online early! By ordering your tomato seedlings online with us early, not only does it help us pay for our seeds, heat and supplies, it also helps us make sure we have enough plants for everyone at the perfect time for planting. Continue reading

The Importance of Vegetable Gardening

The Importance of Vegetable Gardening

Vegetable Gardening

The Tasteful Garden

Vegetable Gardening is such an important part of our lives and it used to mean survival for families who lived before us.  Without the food they grew in the garden and the few animals they kept, they literally would have starved to death.  Of course we don’t starve in this country anymore because we don’t have a garden but it does make you think about the hardship families went through in seasons with poor crop results.

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Good Bugs or Bad Bugs in your Garden

Good Bugs or Bad Bugs in your Garden!

lady bugs in the garden There are both Good Bugs and Bad Bugs in your Garden so here at The Tasteful Garden we promote natural pest control methods such as keeping your garden clean and weeded, using mulches and good compost in the soil, and using organically made pesticides only when absolutely necessary.

There are many bugs in the garden but some of them are good bugs, or beneficial insects and others are bad bugs that really need to be chased out of the vegetable garden to insure you get a good crop.

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Don’t forget to Fertilize your Garden Organically

Don’t forget to fertilize your garden, organically!

_gardentools.jpgJust like us, healthy plants need food, in regular amounts and it is necessary to provide them with almost everything they need. Fertilize your garden Organically which is the most healthy way for plants to eat, and just like us, they will be happier eating healthy. Our backyard soils have some minerals and calcium but it is always a good idea to supplement them so they have a complete source of all of the ingredients they need. Continue reading

Watering in the Garden

Watering in the garden

garden 010a.jpg

How Much Water Does My Garden Need? Watering in the garden can be difficult to decide during the time of year when summer rains are sporadic. Knowing exactly how much is needed for each plant can be tricky but as a rule of thumb water the garden only if there has been less than 1″ of rainfall per week. Continue reading

When should I plant my vegetables and herbs?

When should I plant my vegetables and herbs? The best time to plant Is not the same for everyone.

Planting vegetablesEach person has to decide at what point their garden is ready for certain types of herb and vegetable plants. Perennial Herbs can be planted just about anytime it is beginning to get warm but Annual herbs such as Basil and Dill need to wait until night temperatures are well above freezing every night. Tomatoes and other “warm season” vegetables are frost tender and will be severely damaged by even a light frost which can happen when temperatures are as low as 36-38 degrees. “Cool season” vegetables like lettuce and broccoli like a bit of frost but a light freeze can cause damage and hard freezes will kill them completely.

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Knowing the right time to plant in your area is crucial to success

Tomatoes GrowingTiming is everything. Knowing the right time to plant in your area is crucial to success. If you plant too early or too late, your plants will not reach certain growth stages at the right time, and may not get fruits produced. Tomatoes and other vegetables grow according to temperatures and day length so the planting time must take that into account. Fortunately for most vegetables, this is shortly after your average last frost date which can be checked on our website by simply entering your zip code. Continue reading