Categories
As I See It Gardening Home&Garden

Container Gardening: Growing Tomatoes

Growing tomatoes in a container is a great way to have fresh tomatoes even if you live in a condo, an apartment, or just like having them on your patio for show. Frankly… I just love tomatoes no matter how or where there grown. Mmmmm! A red, ripe, juicy tomato… picked right off the vine and warmed by the sun. Nothing like it. And… of course…lots of salt. And…fresh tomato slices with cheese, basil, and vinegar is just the very best… my mouth is watering already… And… stuffed tomatoes… And… on and on.

Get busy and grow your own… they sure beat the one’s you buy in the store. Notice I have couple of tomatoes on my vine already… and I just planted it a week ago!

There are a few tomato growing tips for your container garden:

1. Find a nice size tomato plant! Down with those dinky little things…. start it out big. I found one that already had a tomato in the making. You can find container tomatoes… but I just found a regular tomato called “Celebrity”… nice flavor and it produces well.

2. Find a container with good drainage. You’ll need at least a 12 qt. size.

3. Pick up a bag of Miracle Grow Garden Soil (fertilizer included)…. Not Potting Soil. Because the vine bears heavy fruit… you’ll need the soil to be a little more firm than the potting soil can provide.

4. Mix a bit of perlite to the soil. This holds the moisture. (About 1 qt. perlite to 12 qts. of soil.)

5. Plant the tomato covering the bottom set of leaves. I know this seems strange but any stem below the soil line will root…. giving the vine a sturdy base.

6. Prune off sucker leaves… the small cluster of leaves in the crotch of the stems.

7. Water. Tomatoes like to be watered when the soil is dry. Important to be consistent.

8. You can stake your tomato with a rod..or a stick. (I just cut up an old nylon and tie the plant to the stake.) Oh by the way… if you want to pollinate the plant yourself… just tap the stake a few times and the pollen will fall.

9. Your tomato will need at least 8 hours of sun a day. No problem! Set your container on a rolling plant coaster and move it to the sun.

Hope you find the video helpful. Have a good time growing your tomato garden in a container. Happy harvest!

Categories
Organization

How To Organize Your Pantry

Organizing your kitchen pantry can be a challenge.  What do I keep? Where do I put things? What storage containers do I use?   My pantry was a mess!  My friend, Laura Lawrence, a professional organizer came to my rescue and helped me organize my food pantry using a method called STACKS.  The word means, Sort, Toss, Assign a home, Contain, Keep it up, Simplify.

I have a problem tossing anything away… (a pack rat problem.)  I’m one of those, "just in case I need it," kind of gals. You know…"Just in case I need it 15 years down the road…  that is… if I can find it under all this stuff."  Growing up, I must have picked up the 1930’s Great Depression attitude from my Mom and Grandma.   

I video taped this pantry make-over, hoping you can learn a few tips that will help you organize your kitchen pantry.  This video is so informative… you’ll want to tell a friend.

  

 

This kitchen pantry party has inspired me to organize the rest of my kitchen… my studio, and my office.  Now just finding the time… Oh my! 

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths
Insighful Nana

P.S.  I was not aware there was an organized group of professional organizers… but there is.  Laura can be contacted through her web site www.HarmonyWithin.com  She can help you or tell you how to find a professional organizer in your neck of the woods. 

P.S.S.  Now… do I dare venture down to the basement… other wise known as the "Black Hole Of Calcutta" or "Pack Rat Heaven?"

Help!  I’m behind this huge pile of Christmas Decorations… food storage… art supplies… scrapbooks, quilts… and….

Categories
As I See It Gardening Home&Garden

Planting A Container Herb Garden

Planting a container herb garden is simple and fun. Having an herb garden is not only useful in your cooking, but the fragrance of your lush green plants are a delightful addition to your patio or porch. For you who don’t have a porch or patio… I’ve seen a container of herbs placed in flower beds among the daisies and geraniums, soaking up all that good sunshine.

Go to your local garden nursery and select a nice variety of herbs that you will use in your cooking. I’m big on basil, chives, and oregano because I do a lot of cooking with tomatoes. However, I do pick up herbs I don’t frequently use… just because they’re colorful or they lend a nice texture to my container.

Locate a container that is suitable for your collection. There are all kinds of garden container options out there… a basket, an old wash tub, a slatted wood box… use your imagination. Last year I picked up a great metal container at an import store… drilled holes in the bottom… and was good to go.

Next, pick up some good potting soil. I use Miracle Grow potting soil because it’s convenient and the fertilizer is already in the mix.

Oh… one other little secret… pick yourself up a bag of “packing peanuts.” You know… those little white things you put in your packages so your valuables won’t get broken. You will need enough to fill the bottom of your herb container at least 1/4.

Once you’re planted… place your herb container in the sun. Herbs like plenty of sunshine and… water them only when dry.

I can hardly wait until I can slice fresh tomatoes on a plate, top them with slices of mozzerella cheese and sprinkle them with fresh chopped basil from my own herb garden. Sprinkle them with rich Balsamic Vinegar and watch them vanish by the quick hands of my children and grandkids. Hey… save one for me!

Hope you enjoyed the video!

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. Now don’t for get to pinch back your herbs all through the growing season so they will stay nice and full and continue to produce.