Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow: Big, Small or Italian, Tomatoes Are The Way To Go

The Baby Grows Green garden planting day was followed by a day of drizzle to soak those little roots. This gray Monday called for a soak under the Happy Lamp, but the dreary weather was great for the veggie patch.

Our tomatoes loved the rain the most. As mentioned in the inaugural garden post, we put down two kinds of tomatoes - Roma and Sweet 100, a juicy little delicacy that we grew heartily last year. Aside from being adorable and delicious, ounce for ounce, tomatoes are a super food for everyone.

With their bright red features, tomatoes boast lycopene, an antioxidant, and beta carotene, the same good stuff found in carrots. What's more is the incredible concentration of Vitamins C and A and their helpful dash of potassium and iron.

To get the most from these little gems when planting, consider investing in a $3-5 dollar tomato stand or circular 'trellis' to get them up off the ground and producing right away. We staked and strung our tomatoes last year, which worked 'okay', but we sadly sacrificed some of them to the slugs et al. This year we're doing it right!

Monday, May 10, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow? Easy, Organic Veggie Planting

Mother's day was a beautiful day in the northwest! The weather was perfect for planting a modest, but abundant selection of veggies to start the season. We hope to share our bounty with you, dear readers, and show how easy and cost effective organic gardening can be.

At the Baby Grows Green veggie patch we started with a raised bed approximately 4'x8' (32 sq feet), tilled up the soil with our metal rake, amended it with a $10 bag of 15% chicken manure mulch and went to town.

Here's what we bought, planted and spent.

- 4 plants - Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes
- 2 tomato stands

- 1 bag onion sets (approx 50 set) These are little gems! They're already seeded and sprouted onions that when harvested early make nice scallions and held a little later a nice small scale onion for salads and sauteing.

- 4 small spinach plants

- 3 Roma tomato plants

- 8 mesculun mix lettuce plants - great salad starts with a mix of green and purple lettuces

- 8 Paris lettuce plants - bright green, soft leaves - think mix of butter with romaine leaves

Grand total = $50 at our local nursery

We can't wait to share our harvest with you!

Monday, May 3, 2010

All Natural Window Cleaner: Really Streak Free

I've tried nearly every home-made, kitchen concocted all natural cleaner out there, but have never done glass cleaner. Maybe it's because I never clean the windows or could be I'm more counter and frig handle obsessed.

Either way, this morning I got fed up with the little streaky mits on our back door and set to work. I used my trusty mix of 1 part water, 1 part distilled white vinegar (apple cider vinegar works great too and smells a bit nicer), and a few dashes of tea tree oil for its naturally antibacterial properties.

I spritzed a little of this over the window panes and wiped away with a sheet of yesterday's newspaper to fabulous results. Really!

I'm convinced and won't it be nice to see through those windows for once?

Happy Monday from Satsuma Designs!