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From the Farm Hop – May 22, 2015

Well it’s Friday again.  Time for the from the farm hop!!

It’s time for another round of From The Farm where we love to see your ideas on how to garden, homestead, or any DIY tips and tricks. Last Week’s Top 5 Favorites, as chosen by YOU:

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Warmly,Your From the Farm Blog Hop Co-Hosts: The Homesteading Hippy | Lil’ Suburban Homestead | The Homestead Lady | Once Upon A Time in A Bed of Wildflowers | Lone Star Farmstead |Stony Acres
|Lady and The Carpenter

 

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10 Growing Tips for Tomatoes

10 Growing tips for tomatoes

This post was originally featured as a guest post on Bakerette.com.

Tomato Season is almost here, if you haven’t done so already it’s time to get serious about your tomato crop!!  Here are my top 10 growing tips for tomatoes to get your season started off right this year!

1. Try an heirloom variety

Many people, like me, get locked in to our favorite varieties of tomatoes. Year after year we grow the same old tomatoes because it’s tried and true. There is nothing wrong with growing the varieties that have been successful for you, but you also need to expand your horizons a bit. This year try leaving space for some thing different and make it an heirloom tomato!  Heirloom tomatoes offer so many delicious and colorful options. Don’t give up your standard tomatoes but try an heirloom this year and you may open up a whole new world of flavor in your garden.

2. Use Epsom salts for more and tastier tomatoes.

Epsom salt is actually not really salt its magnesium sulfate and using it with your tomatoes (and peppers) will improve the flavor of your tomatoes and help them produce more fruit. Add a tablespoon to the hole when you plant and then side dress every 6 weeks by mixing 1 tablespoon into the soil around the roots.  You can also mix one gallon of water with one tablespoon of Epsom salt and spray it on the leaves when  flowering starts to increase fruit set.

10 Growing tips for tomatoes wall o waters

3. Use wall of waters to get an early start

Planting your tomatoes out in these simple water filled cloches allows you to plant 4 to 6 weeks sooner than you could otherwise.  No better way to get tomatoes by the 4 th of July.

10 Growing tips for tomatoes cages

4. Spend the extra money to get strong cages to support your plants.

Don’t be tempted to buy small cheap tomato cages.  They will never support your plants.  Instead spend the extra cash to get good quality, well built cages that will last for years and keep that growing fruit off the ground.

5. Bury the stems

Tomatoes will actually grow roots from any part of the stem that is buried. So remove the bottom leaves on the stems of your seedlings and bury them deeper in the soil. This will add a bunch more roots to the plant making it stronger and more drought tolerant.

6. Water deep but infrequently

Tomatoes like to be watered deeply but not too often.  Try to water your tomatoes only every 5 to 7 days. This will promote a deep root system with less foliage on the plant and more fruit. Also use a drip irrigation system that waters just the roots. Tomatoes don’t like water on their leaves or fruit. Remember to be consistent and watch it close, if you let them get too dry then you will have problems with blossom end rot and cracking.  So find the happy medium for your garden.

7. Choose smaller compact transplants from your local nursery

Avoid transplants that are over grown, leggy, flowering or that already have fruit set. All of these signs are symptoms of the plants being stressed or not cared for properly.  Instead buy smaller compact plants that have roots that are not crowded in the pot.  Although smaller now, they will quickly surpass their stressed out counterparts.

10 Growing tips for tomatoes sunshine

8. Rotate where you plant

Most of the diseases that affect tomatoes are soil borne. And even some of the pests.  By rotating where you plant your tomatoes you prevent pests and diseases from building up in the soil.  Never plant tomatoes in the same spot in consecutive years. Try to rotate away from a bed for at least 3 years. Also avoid spots where potatoes, peppers, and egg plants have been as they are in the same family and carry the same diseases.
9. Look for a sunny spot

Tomatoes love sunny, airy spots with rich well drained soil.  I reserve the best spots in my garden for my tomatoes.  Give them the best you have and they will reward you with tons of tasty fruit!

10 Growing tips for tomatoes suckers

10. Prune/pinch those suckers

Often little “sucker” branches will start growing in the crotch between branches. Pinch these little suckers off because they don’t produce fruit and end up robbing energy from the plant and growing fruit.

Be sure to visit my website, Stoney Acres, for more great gardening advice.  Now is the time to get your tomatoes in, so get out there and get growing!

From the Farm Hop – May 8, 2015

Finally we have had some rain!!  We have had some type of rain storm every day this week and a couple of them were very good ones.  And the rain is forecast to continue through the weekend.  That made it tough for me to get out and get some of the planting I had planned done, but it has been awesome for the garden.  Every day I go out and look at things and it seems like everything grew two inches over night!!

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Here’s my favorite part.  This sun sugar tomato that I planted out in a wall of water about 4 weeks ago burst it’s way out of the wall mid week.  And look!! Blossoms!!  Tomatoes are on the way!!

 

 

It’s time for another round of From The Farm where we love to see your ideas on how to garden, homestead, or any DIY tips and tricks. Last Week’s Top 5 Favorites, as chosen by YOU:

Congratulations! Grab your button and display it on your blog!

 


   

			
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Warmly,Your From the Farm Blog Hop Co-Hosts: The Homesteading Hippy | Lil’ Suburban Homestead | The Homestead Lady | Once Upon A Time in A Bed of Wildflowers | Lone Star Farmstead |Stony Acres
|Lady and The Carpenter

 

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Monday Harvest report and garden progress- May 4th 2015

Hi guys, it’s been a whole month since I’ve done a Monday harvest report!  I’ve been so busy with other projects that I haven’t really had much of a chance to post about the garden.  The weather has been beautiful but dry!  I’m really starting to worry about watering restrictions this summer!

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The first of the spring planted crops are starting to get ready for harvest.  I pulled the first radishes on Saturday.  I never plant many radishes.  Only my daughter and I really like them so I just plant a few for us.

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Of course we are still harvesting spinach like crazy.  You can see though that the bed is winding down.  The plants are thinking pretty hard about bolting and we also have a massive infestation of leaf miners.  So I think we will harvest the rest of this bed this week and freeze it.  Then we will dig up the bed and plant a bunch of beans!!

I was out in the garden on Saturday evening with the camera, so how about I take you all on a quick tour of our mid spring garden so you can see how things are growing!

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I love the look of chive blossoms.  We are very glad to have chives back on the menu this year.  We have had almost 3 years without chives because of the move.

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We are excited to see the first new leaves on the bare root strawberries that we planted two weeks ago.  We put in 25 new plants in a new bed we put in on the north side of the garden.

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The main strawberry patch is already covered in blossoms.  Only about 4 week and we will have fresh strawberries again!!

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And look at the raspberry patch.  This is just the patches second year but it is filling in very nicely!  We will have a much better harvest this year!  Now I need to figure out a trellis system for this patch before they get too big.

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Valerie was very excited to see that our hardy kiwi plants survived the winter.  It will at least 4 more years before this plant starts to bare fruit but it should put on a lot of growth in its second year, so this plant will need a trellis also.  Any of my readers have a hardy kiwi?  I’d love to see how you have trellised them.

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And speaking of trellis, here’s another I need to get built right away.  Our grapes are now on there second year and are starting to take off so this trellis needs to go up soon as well.  That’s three trellis’ that I need to get in ASAP!

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Can you see the broccoli growing inside this row cover?

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Here’s a closer shot.  These plants have been out for 3 weeks now and have added a lot of growth in that time.

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The peas look fantastic despite the massive amounts of weird weather we have been having.  These peas have survived frost, wind and even 4 inches of snow.  We are on target for having peas ready about mid June.

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And along with the peas we will have plenty of fresh potatoes for Valerie’s famous Cream Peas and Potatoes.  This early planting of spuds are getting pretty close to flowering.

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The onions are slowly starting to grow.  They too had to deal with being covered in 4 inches of snow.

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And the garlic is thriving.  The mild winter got the garlic crop off to an early start.  We planted more that twice as much this year but I’m still worried it won’t be enough.

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The tomatoes in the walls of water are coming along well.  This sun sugar plant is even blooming.  Another couple of weeks and the walls of water can come off.

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Our spring lettuce harvest really got set back this year when we had an aphid break out in the cold frame with the over wintered lettuce.  We ended up pulling out all of those plants to try and keep the aphids from spreading.  So we are patiently waiting for these plants to mature so we can have lettuce again.  Just a couple more weeks and we should be good!

Our updated harvest totals for the last 4 weeks are as follows:

Swiss Chard – 1 lb

Spinach – 6 lbs

Total – 7 lbs

That makes our annual total 22 pounds from the home garden.

Thanks for stopping by this week.  Be sure to come back later in the week Valerie and I both have a couple of great posts ready for you!  I will be sharing this post on several blog hops this week including the following:

The Monday Harvest Report

The Tuesday Garden Party

Good Morning Mondays

Misadventures Monday

From the Farm Hop – May 1, 2015

Another week has come and gone and here we are on May 1st already!! The garden is loving the super warm weather we are having. But it also loved the two days of rain we got at the first of the week. The strawberries are especially loving the nice weather and they have started blooming!! That means we are only about 30 days away from fresh berries!!

Blooming Strawberries

 

 

It’s time for another addition of the From the Farm Hop:

 

It’s time for another round of From The Farm where we love to see your ideas on how to garden, homestead, or any DIY tips and tricks. Last Week’s Top 5 Favorites, as chosen by YOU:

Congratulations! Grab your button and display it on your blog!

 

   

			
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Scroll Down for this week’s Party!

 

Warmly,Your From the Farm Blog Hop Co-Hosts: The Homesteading Hippy | Lil’ Suburban Homestead | The Homestead Lady | Once Upon A Time in A Bed of Wildflowers | Lone Star Farmstead |Stony Acres
|Lady and The Carpenter

 

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From the Farm Hop – April 24, 2015

We have had a great week here at Stoney Acres.  Some blogging friends of mine were kind enough to share one of my posts on FaceBook and that post really took off!  We had over 2500 visitors in just two day!!  Very cool!  That meant lots of new FaceBook likes, Pinterest followers and newsletter subscribers!!

Year Round Garden Video Course

After 3 long weeks of work I finish up the first phase of our Year Round Gardening course!  It’s on sale now on Udemy.com.  If you use the code below you can buy it for 50% off, only $15 for almost 4 hours of in-depth instruction on growing a 365 day garden!!  This special price is just for Stoney Acres readers and is only good till May 31, 2015.

https://www.udemy.com/year-round-gardening/?couponCode=YearRoundEarlyBird

I also had the great privilege of speaking on a webinar for The Survival Mom.  My topic there was season extension.  If you would like to hear that 1 hour class it’s free just follow this link!!  I had a ton of fun doing it, thanks Lisa for asking!!

Now let’s move on to the blog hop!!

It’s time for another round of From The Farm where we love to see your ideas on how to garden, homestead, or any DIY tips and tricks. Last Week’s Top 5 Favorites, as chosen by YOU:

Congratulations! Grab your button and display it on your blog!

 

   

			
<a href="http://www.thehomesteadinghippy/" target="_blank">
<img src="http://thehomesteadinghippy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/ftf-feature-new.jpg">
</a>
			



 

Scroll Down for this week’s Party!

 

Warmly,Your From the Farm Blog Hop Co-Hosts: The Homesteading Hippy | Lil’ Suburban Homestead | The Homestead Lady | Once Upon A Time in A Bed of Wildflowers | Lone Star Farmstead |Stony Acres
|Lady and The Carpenter

 

Grab the Badge

 

   

			
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</a>
			

Year Round Gardening Video Course

Hey guys, I’m very excited to announce that I have just completed my second video course and published it on Udemy.com!!

Year Round Garden Video Course

It is currently 3.5 hours broken into 36 easy to watch lectures on how to extend your garden harvest.  Over the next 30 days I will be adding another 8 or so lectures that cover Spring and Fall gardening as well.  So the total course will be about 4.5 hours of content!!  It is a really in depth look at season extension and what you need to do to make your garden a 365 day a year garden!!

Normally the course will be priced at $30.00.  But for the next 38 days (till May 31st) I’m offering an early bird special for my Stoney Acres readers.  You can get the course for 50% off.  Only $15.00 for a ton of info!!  To get the special price follow the link below and be sure to use the coupon code: YearRoundEarlyBird

Here’s the link:  https://www.udemy.com/year-round-gardening/?couponCode=YearRoundEarlyBird

 

 

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