Dettering Rabbits

Rabbits will nibble most tender seedlings, so if you want to keep them away from your plants your best bet is to fence your garden. A fence of 1-inch chicken wire should be 2 feet high and buried at least 6 inches deep. Inter planting your flowers with garlic, onions, Mexican marigold or dusty miller deters bunnies. Another option is to spray plants with repellents. Read the label to be sure the repellent is labeled for the plants in your garden. For example, you may not want to spray something foul-tasting on your lettuce!


Vegetables For Shade

In general, leafy vegetables and herbs such as chives and parsley are the most shade-tolerant. Shade tolerant vegetables include lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, endive and radiccio. Broccoli (and its relatives-kale, kohlrabi, turnips, mustard and cabbage-also grow in partial shade.

Leafy vegetables display another advantage: they can be picked and enjoyed at any stage of maturity, unlike sun-loving vegetables that must ripen. Yet another advantage to these shade-tolerant plants is their conduciveness to successive plantings. Planted early in the spring, they are ready to enjoy before the intense heat of mid-summer. Planted in mid-to-late summer, they thrive in the cooler days of early fall. Accordingly, they can be used to fill in gaps where summer-harvested vegetables have been picked, or even planted to take advantage of shade created by adjacent larger plants. One leafy vegetable, spinach, can be planted in mid-September, allowed to overwinter, and harvested earlier in the spring than if it were spring-seeded.


Start Sweet Peas

I borrowed picture from here.

Before planting nick sweet pea seeds with a nail file, soak them in warm water overnight, and then plant seeds five inches deep. As seedlings grow, hill up soil around them for support.

From ArnaMax Publishing.


Companion Flowers to Attract Beneficial Insects

Besides making the garden more attractive, flowers also attract beneficial insects and bees. Just about any flower will do, as long as it doesn't grow so tall as to shade other plants. Dill, caraway, anise, and alyssum have flowers that attract many beneficial insects. Marigolds are reputed to repel certain insects, and make a nice border plant. Other good choices include zinnias, calendula, and nasturtium. Whatever you plant, be sure that you are very cautious with pesticide use on your crops. You don't want to attract all those beneficial insects and bees, only to kill them off with a pesticide spray.


Nutrients For Tomatoes

Phosphate and potash increase fruit yield on tomatoes?

It really depends on the state of your soil. If the pH is off, the plants don't get the right amount of moisture, or the soil is compact or low in organic matter, extra fertilizer may increase yields, but then, it might not. The only way to know for sure is to have your soil tested once a year before you add fertilizer. That way you can avoid nutrient imbalances that can interfere with growth and yields, and can actually save yourself the trouble of buying, hauling, and applying fertilizer that your plants already have plenty of in the soil.

Generally, though, tomatoes require quite a large food supply over the season. You are on the right track thinking that potassium and phosphorous will help with fruit set and fruit health; steer clear of fertilizers with a very high nitrogen content. Too much nitrogen results in tall, dark green plants with few tomatoes. Tomatoes can benefit from a side dressing of fertilizer a few times throughout the growing season.

Generally, this side dressing is applied when the first tomatoes have just formed and every three weeks after that. When side dressing apply the fertilizer by making a circular furrow approximately 5 to 6 inches away from the main stem of the tomato, or in a trough alongside a row of plants. Work the fertilizer into the top 1 to 2 inches of the soil. The next rain or watering will carry the fertilizer to the root zone of the tomatoes. Consult your soil test and the fertilizer label to determine how much to apply.

From ArcaMax Publishing Home and Garden.