Extension Sustainability – Master Gardening
By Alan on Mar 09 in Blog tagged Blake Thomas, Dennis Adamson, Extension Sustainability, gardening, Master, Master Gardener, Orchid, Paige Gardner, protect, Roslynn Brain PhD, The Family, threatened | Comments Off
“… credible information and trainings fostering increased awareness and behavioral change to improve environmental, social, and economic conditions.”
By: Dennis Adamson
Recently Alan recently received an e-mail from our friend Roslynn Brain, PhD, the Utah State University Sustainable Communities Extension Specialist.
You might remember an article I did on a presentation of hers for the Utah Master Gardener Conference in the fall of 2011. Go to:
In her recent e-mail she said, “I thought you may want to explore and do a write up about my new statewide website and social media regarding Utah State University Extension Sustainability. I have lots of fact sheets out now – and you can see many of them on each of the sub pages (land, air, food, water, and energy) Lot’s of interesting, exciting stuff!” The website is:
I went to the site and was impressed by all of the work that she and graduate assistant, Blake Thomas, working on his MS in Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management in the Department of Environment and Society at USU
and undergraduate research assistant, Paige Gardner, majoring in Art Education and minoring in Sustainable Systems are doing.
Just what is Extension Sustainability? The site explains it as: “… credible information and trainings fostering increased awareness and behavioral change to improve environmental, social, and economic conditions.”
“[It] is the capacity to improve environmental, economic and social conditions.”
“To live sustainably is to follow an ethic, not a rigid set of rules … a human matter, not exclusively an environmental one … it must include successful problem solving and objective measurement … energy and natural resources serve as its core basis. The most common misconception about sustainability is that it has to involve sacrifice and, in relation, that its main focus is on recycling and consuming less.”
One of the articles found on their home page was, “Local Land Trust Purchases 30 acres to Protect Threatened Orchid”. This was particularly interesting to me since the area that I live in used to have hundreds of acres of fruit farms. Now there are few orchards left. My city was famous for its fields of strawberries and the annual city celebration is called Strawberry Days. There are no longer any commercially producing strawberry fields in the city. All of the strawberries used in the strawberries & cream cups sold during the celebration have to be imported from outside the state.
Another project that Roslynn is the director is Utah-Farm-Chef-Fork.
She states that it is, “ a USDA Specialty Crop grant we received to train farmers and chefs about effective communication regarding local food sourcing.” When I searched for information on this program I found, “Join us at a Utah Farm-Chef-Fork farmer or chef/owner training and learn benefits as well as ways to overcome common barriers with sourcing locally, and develop a local-sourcing game plan to help your business. Receive Utah State University accredited Utah Farm-Chef-Fork certification for your completed efforts”. It has a place where interested individuals can click to register for free training.” There is one at Thanksgiving Point, where I am an Advanced Master Gardener, in April. I will see if Roslynn would allow me to attend to report on this initiative in a later blog.
Deuteronomy 30:9 ”The Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand … in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the Lord will again rejoice over thee for good…”
Dennis Adamson – Master Gardener
For The Family
FATHERING – Like Father Like Son
By Alan on Feb 05 in Blog tagged Alan Osmond, ativities, caring and supportive, chores, creating bonds, daily, empathy, family home evening, farming, father work, father-child relationship, fathering, feelings, gardening, George V. Osmond, good times together, grandparents, hauling hay, hoeing sugar beets, irrigating, like father like son, memories increasing unity and love, milking a cow, mother, raising chickens, share love, siblings, study the gospel together, talk with one another, thoughts, work hard | Comments Off
FATHERING – Like Father Like Son
George V. Osmond and son, Alan Osmond
Fathering is not just a social role; it is the work fathers do every day. This work is different from a job or career, in that it stems from a moral obligation to meet children’s needs and actively build a caring and supportive father-child relationship..
To perform these critical duties, fathers can focus on seven specific categories of work:
and mentoring work.
I had a good relationship with my Father. He asked me lead our music group as well as to learn to work hard doing chores like milking a cow twice a day, gardening, raising chickens, hauling hay, hoeing sugar beets, irrigating and maintaining a small farm. This I did with 7 other brothers and one sister. But, my father was always there by our side working right with us and we had good times together.
Relationship work consists of the father’s ability and responsibility to commune (to share love, thoughts, and feelings with their child) and to comfort (to express empathy and understanding with the child). The desired result of relational work is loving fathers and caring children. Relationship work involves not only maintaining loving relationship with the child but also facilitating the child’s relationships with other family and community members, especially the child’s mother, siblings, and grandparents.
A father’s work is important in creating bonds between themselves and their children. Much like two people rowing a canoe, fathers and their children must learn how to work together. At times, the father will have to paddle stronger or lighter to compensate for their child’s paddling capacity, adjusting to their child’s social, emotions, and physical abilities. Just as those traveling the water in a canoe must communicate with each other to accomplish their goal, fathers and children must talk with one another in order for their relationship to take them across the waters of life.
There are times along the waters of life when you will encounter rough waters, but as you work together you will pass them by. As you talk with your children and establish good relationships with them, together you will enjoy your voyage and the many places which it takes you.
One thing that we did as a family that helped build unity and communication was to have one night a week set aside, Monday night, as “family home evening.” Our Father would close the office down a little early, Mother would cook a nice family dinner, and we brothers would practice a song during the week to sing at family night. This was also a time for our family to study the gospel together and to do other activities that strengthen the family spiritually, creating family memories, and increasing unity and love.
I grew up, met the dream of my life, Suzanne Pinegar, married her and became a Father myself. I hope that I can be as good a my Father. ”Like father, like son.” Suzanne and I have eight sons and yes, we also have family nights together! Our sons ’strengthen our family’ by lifting weights. Without a choice, we get picked up to be their dumbbells! We go along with it because a family that plays together, stays together!
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Prov. 22: 6
Gardening – What to do in Winter for the Next Growing Season
By Alan on Feb 02 in Blog tagged Cold Frame, Dennis Adamson, garden journal, gardening, guarantee their plants, harvest them now, in winter, Lettuce, next growing season, prunejournal, purchase from nursery, salad greens, Spinach, Tomatoes, what to do, your fruit trees | 1 Comment
What to do in Winter for the Next Growing Season
We might not think that there is anything to do in the winter, as far as gardening.
However, if you left carrots in the garden you can harvest them now. If you have a cold frame there are salad greens and other cool season crops to be picked.
I also planted more lettuce and spinach in my cold frame this week. If you brought tomatoes in to ripen you may still have some available. I brought some of mine up to the kitchen to complete their ripening this week. You should also be thinking about pruning your fruit trees the end of February into March while they are still dormant. Even if you don’t have any of these, there are many things you can do right now.
One of the things that I neglect every year is keeping a good garden journal. It can be as detailed as you desire or a fairly simple one. At a bare minimum, I would make a diagram of the garden and write down the seeds or transplants that you put in. I find this much better than putting plastic or other types of labels in the soil. For some reason, in my garden, they have a habit of disappearing. I suspect that the grandchildren collect them. Then I am left wondering which variety is coming up. Also keep a note on new varieties, how they grew and how you liked their flavor. This will aid you in deciding if you will plant them next season. For instance I have decided that arugula is just too bitter for my taste. I pulled up the remaining arugula in my cold frame and that is where I planted the extra lettuce and spinach that I talked about in the 1st paragraph. Since I do a lot of Square Foot Gardening, I write down how many I put in each square foot. I found that I had planted too many mustard greens and arugula in each space. The mustard greens have become more of a groundcover in the area where I planted them.
The following site has a lot of information on ways to keep a garden journal:
Some of their ideas that I liked were:
It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. You are probably going to be taking in into the garden where it can get dirty.
Add photos so you can see what the plants look like. (I would even recommend taking photos of the seedlings so you can tell which are seedlingsand which are weeds.)
Have a place where you can keep receipts so they can be easily retrieved if a plant dies that you purchased from a nursery with a guarantee on their plants.
They have grid sheets for both a spring and fall garden plots with space at the bottom for notes. Next is preparing the soil and a shopping list. Page 5 & 6 has an early indoor seed planting record. Transplants & planting directly into the soil record is found on page 7 & 8. A fertilizer application record and climate data worth recording is on page 9. Pages 10 & 11 are for insect and disease problems. Page 12 allows a summary of what worked and what didn’t. Page 13 is for next year’s dos and don’ts. Pages 14-25 are to write down what you did each month, January through December. These pages could be copied and placed in plastic sheet protectors and placed in a loose-leaf folder.
Garden Journal Templates has a sheet for soil analysis and a plant wish list among those that can be downloaded for free at:
If you are new to gardening, start building a collection of garden reference books. I usually go online and buy used books that are in good condition. Even with the shipping you can usually get them considerably cheaper than new ones. If I am going to frequently use them outdoors, I take to an office supply store and have them spiral bound. The following photograph is a book that I purchased this way and had spiral bound. The reference book that I am using today, to get some of the ideas, is ‘Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook’ by Ron & Jennifer Kujawski. I purchased it at a local bookstore with a discount coupon that could be used for any book in the store. It was already spiral bound.
If you already have seed packets, go through and do an inventory and check their dates. If you are concerned about a date like the one in the next photo, then do a seed viability test. Go to an earlier article that I wrote on Saving and Storing Seeds.
It will have a chart on how long seeds will normally be good for. Further down in the article is described how to do a germination rate test.
You can see from the dates written on the bag that all of the seeds were fairly old. The count of the radishes shown in the photo has at least a 70% germination rate, the peas and carrots had about the same rate. The watermelon was 30% and its packet was discarded.
If you store vegetables through canning, freezing or other methods: inventory what you have left and determine what you will need to plant to replenish your supply.
Make a list of those seeds that you will need or may want to purchase. A good way to do this is send off for seed catalogs or look at their Internet site where you can see details on the produce and order the seeds at the same time.
This website lists 48 seed catalogs that are free.
You can also go to your local nurseries; big box and farm supply stores to check on what seed packets they have in stock. If you need to order seeds, this is a good time to do it. This will allow plenty of time for them to arrive. This year I am going to plant some heirloom tomatoes for the first time. I need to get busy and order these seeds now.
Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself…” Ezek. 38: 7
Next week: Produce that can be Harvested in Wintertime
Dennis Adamson - Master Gardner
For The Family
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New Year’s Resolutions – GET NOI-Z Newsletter
By Alan on Dec 31 in Blog tagged advice, Alan & Suzanne Osmond, Believing is Seeing, blogs, Family History, gardening, Get NoiZ, health tips, isn't it about time., listen, music, New years resolutions, Newsletter, pictures, recipes, seeing is believing, sign up page, speak out, stand up, strengthen the family, The Family, videos, wisdom | Comments Off
GET NOI-Z FOR A GREAT NEW YEAR!
WELCOME to the GET NOI-Z NEWSLETTER Sign Up Page!
This is the place to be to get a Monthly Newsletter from TheFamily.com to help you and your family be a part of helping to ‘TURNI THE WORLD AROUND”. If you and your family want to become stronger and to make a difference in todays world, it requires you to make GOOD CHOICES! The Family is the best place to start and “ISN’T IT ABOUT TIME”?
You will recieve great advice on How To Strengthen The Family Physically, Mentally, Socially, Spiritually, and The Way to be IN THE WORLD but, NOT OF IT! You will have FUN as you enjoy great content from experts with Blogs, Videos, Music, Pictures, Recipes, Health Tips, Wisdom and Advice, Family History, Gardening, etc. with opportunities to STAND UP, SPEAK OUT, as well as to LISTEN and hear experts about The Family.
Suzanne and Alan Osmond host this Newsletter and hope that you, your family and friends will CHOOSE to give them permission to email you this NEWSLETTER each month. You will have FUN, be INSPIRED and UP TO DATE with several ways to make you and your family better, stronger, and happier with opportunities to GET NOI-Z for GOOD! Sign Up and SEE for Yourself! Remember that SEEING is BELIEVING . . . but, BELIEVING is SEEING!
We thank you for your TRUST and invite you to HANG ON and ENJOY THE RIDE!
LET’S GET NOI-Z!
SEE YOU SOON!
Teach The Family Personal and Family Preparedness
By Alan on Nov 03 in Blog tagged basic needs, canning, family needs, family orginization, first aid, food storage, gardening, homemaking, medical needs, nutrition, personal, preparedness, scriptures, sewing, skills, spiritual needs, ten virgins, The Family | Comments Off
Teach The Family Personal and Family Preparedness
A lesson on preparedness was taught by the Lord in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew. It tells about ten virgins awaiting a marriage celebration. Five were wise and prepared. Five were foolish and not prepared. The five wise virgins were welcomed into the marriage feast upon the arrival of the bridegroom. The five foolish virgins were off to the store buying supplies, and upon their return found the door closed. The cry to the Lord to open the door was met with the response, “I know you not.”
We need to bring an increased awarenessand to teach and to give basic training in personal and family preparedness to the family.
It is time to teach the basics and to make it the number one priority of our personal and family preparedness. We must prepare now so that in time of need families will be able to draw upon their own preparedness and not have to seek assistance from their Church.
There is a story of an old man in nineteenth-century New Hampshire who treasured his independence and self-reliance above all else in his life. He accounted it true Christianity that he cared for his own and helped others, and fiercely resisted the notion that he ought to accept help from any other mortal. When his aged wife died, he buried her himself, then dug his own grave and laid in it his open, homemade coffin. “When my time is coming,” he said, “I’ll climb in the box and fold my arms over my chest. Won’t be no bother to no one. They can just nail down the lid and push in the dirt.”
“No self-respecting person will voluntarily shift the responsibility for his own maintenance to another. Furthermore, a man not only has the responsibility to care for himself; he also has the responsibility to care for his family.”
The home must be the heart of the preparedness program. We must teach that every family should be headed by an executive committee comprised of a husband and wife who will set aside sufficient time to plan for their family needs. If it is a single-parent family or an individual living alone, there is still need to organize time and thought to establish goals for meeting needs.
Every family has different needs. I notice the difference in my own family now that my children are married. Father and mother are now alone. Their needs have changed. A daughter with her own home and family, a son renting in a student housing project with his family, and a newlywed daughter and her husband, still students at a university—each has different needs, and these needs are changing each year.
Personal and family preparedness planning must begin with the father and mother and planning must be tailored to fit the circumstances of the family. Consideration must be given to their unique requirements in career development, financial and resource management, education, physical health and first aid, home production and storage, and social, emotional, and spiritual strength.
Each family organization should include a family council comprised of all members of the family unit. Here the basic responsibilities of the family organization can be taught to the children. They can learn how to make decisions and act upon those decisions. Too many are growing to marriageable age unprepared for this responsibility. Work ethics and self-preparedness can be taught in a most effective way in a family council. ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,’ “But all play and no work makes Jack a useless boy.”
How grateful I am for a father who had the patience to teach me the art of gardening. How frustrating it must have been in this teaching process to find a neat row of weeds still in the ground and a pile of dead carrots on the ground after I’d completed one of my assignments. Our family was taught not only the art of stacking and rotating cans and bottles on shelves, but also how to grow and replace the fruits and vegetables necessary to fill the empty cans and bottles again.
Teach the principles of welfare—how to love, to give service, to recognize what his stewardship is, to work honestly and diligently for his family and for others, and to consecrate his time and talents to helping others.
Teach and develop the skills in all areas of personal and family preparedness.
The women are usually more effective in teaching. They teach and practice skills of sewing, canning, drying, and other food storage methods. They teach their families nutrition and physical fitness. They emphasize reading and cultural arts skills. Overall there is a permeating spirit of love and giving, and learning the skills of homemaking.
You may have read the story of a husband and father of a large family who was diagnosed as having terminal cancer. After the shock and fear were faced, the husband and wife counseled together and decided that the best thing they could do for their joy and peace of mind was to prepare themselves and their family for what was to come.
They chose to create family memories through shared experiences, to complete family histories, to have a year’s supply of food and other necessities to meet the financial emergencies that would come. A will was prepared and all insurance and legal papers were put in order. The children were taught to care for one another and to take responsibility in the home.
Just weeks before the death of that father and husband, their home was destroyed in a fire. With it went much of the food storage, but there was still the togetherness of a family that had learned to work together, to plan and prepare, and to face a difficulty head on. With his death, there was sorrow—but not grief. The family had developed the skills it takes to remain close and loving. They were prepared.
The father directs all preparedness needs in the home. He works with those who have special needs who are distressed. He coordinates the teaching of his children the laws of the gospel of Jesus Christ and why we fast. He helps those needing special assistance and gets specialists to assist.
Now, it may be that the old man in New Hampshire carried personal and family preparedness too far, with digging his own grave and all. But I would love to see all families moved by that same spirit of self-reliance and preparedness.
“I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” D&C 38: 30
Is It Too Late To Plant A Garden?
By Alan on Jul 06 in Blog tagged Dennis Adamson, gardening, Is it too late to plant a garden, master gardner, The Family, theFamily | Comments Off
Week 26 – Is It Too Late to Plant a Garden
If you recall an article written just after returning from our vacation, I had been asked how the fields in Montana and Wyoming were doing. I had replied that many of them were still partially underwater. Last week’s article on the Jail Industries Garden, Adrian Hinton told us about how far behind they were with their garden.
Much of the Rocky Mountain Region of the United States has had an unusually cold and wet spring. Many of my gardening friends have lamented about having problems getting their gardens started.
My mentor, Larry Sagers, Utah State University Extension Service Horticultural Specialist at Thanksgiving Point Lehi, Utah, addressed this in his weekly article for the Deseret News June 27, 2011. The title was , ‘Don’t give up on planting a vegetable garden just quite yet’. In this article he talks about what might be planted at this late date and still have enough growing time to produce vegetables before the first frost this fall.
If you decide not to plant this year you might want to remember what Larry Sagers said at the end of his article. “If you don’t plant [now]… nature will plant something and what grows naturally is not what I want to be eating.”
I have recently replanted radishes and planted my summer squash since returning from vacation the 1st part of June. I removed most of the remaining plants in my cold frame and planted bush beans in the west side and just planted more in the east side now that I have removed the remaining lettuce and spinach plants that grew through the winter and early spring.
Larry says that you can also still get some good quality transplants from most nurseries. Check to see that they aren’t too root bound or leggy. These transplants will hasten your time to picking. Many nurseries still have strawberry plants for sale. If they are everbearing then you can still enjoy some strawberries this summer.
I am thinking of getting more strawberry pots and moving the plants in my strawberry patch into them. Now that my small orchard is maturing my strawberry patch is getting too much shade.
Remember plants in containers, like strawberry pots, can be moved during the day to increase their time in the sun.
Larry also said if planting from seed you need to look at the dates on the seed package to see how long it takes for the plant to produce their yield. He then recommends that you separate the seeds into cool and warm season varieties. You could try starting some cool season crops now in hopes that the weather doesn’t warm up too rapidly and stay warm for long periods of time. However, another technique is planting some cool season crops later in summer as a fall crop that will mature as the days get cooler. I will address this in more detail at a later date nearer the appropriate time to sow these seeds.
The warm season crops will do well at this point if they have a short enough maturing time. If you don’t know when the average first frost of the season is normally in your area, call the local extension service. Local meteorologists will also be glad to provide you with this information.
Larry said there is still time to plant corn. He says that commercial growers keep planting corn and other produce that will grow into the fall. Most sweet corn requires 75 days to mature, You might not have it by Labor Day, but Larry says that he would “certainly eat and enjoy the tasty ears in late summer and early fall”. He also recommends cucumbers that have a 42-67 day maturity. Most summer squash have a 50 days to maturity and snap beans 50-55 days.
As for cool season crops he recommends that you get them in the soil right away. He says that beets will mature in a couple of months and those that are growing as the weather cools down will be sweet and tender. He says that radishes can be replanted up until the 1st of September and sometimes even later, and some cauliflower, broccoli and short season cabbage will add to the harvest. Those maturing as the temperatures start to cool down later in the season will be higher quality.
The biggest problem you might have is getting the cool season seeds to germinate in the hot weather. Lettuce, for instance, will have a near 100% germination rate if the seeds are viable and the soil temperature is between 32F and 77F. At 86F it drops to 12% and any higher temperatures drops the germination to 0% for lettuce. The following website has a chart on the germination rates at different soil temperatures for various seeds.
Even if you germinate the seeds inside in cooler temperatures, once cool season crops start growing in hot temperatures they have a tendency to bolt. Some of my lettuce and spinach varieties started to bolt in June.
Head lettuce grown in hot weather have a tendency not to form the head.
One technique that you might employ is the use of shade cloth over cool season crops both for those planted in the spring and again for those planted later in the summer for a fall crop. I finally put mine up, but I wish that I had done it sooner.
If you were lucky enough to get some of your crops in on time you are already reaping the benefits. We got our first picking of peas. My grandchildren were delighted to have something to pick and then and my wife were excited to be able to eat freshly picked peas.
They eat them so rapidly that I rarely get a chance to put them in my salads.
*An update on my container/sprouting class for the young adults. We moved our son, Matthew, into his University of Utah apartment on Monday.
One of those that helped him move was in that class. He isn’t doing much with sprouting, but he said that his mother has used the information sheet, seeds and the sprouting jar that he made and has turned their kitchen into a ‘sprouting garden’.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… ” Ecclesiastes. 3: 1
Next week: Urban Farms
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For The Family
Gardening – Making Hoops For Both High and Low Tunnels.
By Alan on Jun 17 in Blog tagged Dennis Adamson, gardening, Low Tunnels, Making Hoops, master gardner, The Family, theFamily | Comments Off
An engineers method of making hoops for both high & low tunnels.
We finished off our vacation with a little slice of Americana. Those out of the way places that have unique offerings if you take the time to look for them. You won’t be overrun with tourists or souvenir shops, but this is adds to their charm. After leaving Jackson, Wyoming we took back roads on the way to visit our oldest son, Austin, and his family in Preston, Idaho. The first stop was Star Valley, Wyoming. Alan says that some of his family came from there.
I had my first taste of Swiss cheese in Star Valley 50 years ago as a Boy Scout on my way to a campout. I fell in love with it and it has been one of my favorite cheeses ever since. We stopped at the Star Valley cheese factory and picked up some Swiss cheese at their outlet.
We headed out of Star Valley and found that a part of eastern Idaho is in part of the valley.
We drove to Soda Springs, Idaho. In 1937 they were drilling a well to find hot water for a swimming pool. When the drill hit 315 feet they entered a chamber that was under pressure from carbon dioxide mixed with water. They capped the the wellhead and put a timer on it and it goes off every hour on the hour. They claim it is the only man made geyser in the world.
The geyser is behind the Enders Hotel.
A friend of ours was one of the workers who restored this hotel to its former glory. They have a museum on the 2nd floor and still have guest rooms on part of the 2nd and the 3rd floors. We went in and enjoyed the museum and I sat in one of the rockers in the lobby. The lobby is filled with stuffed animals and mounted animal heads.
When we got home I was asked about the farms in Montana and Wyoming and had to tell the person that most of the fields still had standing water on them.
This leads into my topic about not waiting for Mother Nature to cooperate. One of the ways to do this is to build your own high tunnel (hoop house). When I was going through the old newspapers that our son had saved while we were on vacation I noted that Larry Sagers, Utah State University Extension Horticulturalist, Thanksgiving Point Lehi, Utah had written his May 30, 2011 article on the same topic that I had planned for this week.
Last September I attended the Master Gardener Conference at the Utah Botanical Garden in Farmington, Utah. Utah State University runs this garden. One of the stations was on building a high tunnel. Dr. Brent Black taught this station.
Utah State University has been using high tunnels for several years now to extend the growing season in the cold Cache Valley of northern Utah and southern Idaho. The USU campus is in this valley in the city of Logan, Utah. They have a pdf file of an article titled, ‘Constructing a Low-cost High Tunnel’ that gives you all of the information on how and where to construct your own high tunnel. This article can be accessed by going to: http://extension.usu.edu/?search=high+tunnels and clicking on the topic. There will also be several other articles on growing different vegetables and fruits in high tunnels on the same page as well as following pages.
Last winter I went to the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station at the Greenville Research Farm north of the USU campus.
I was graciously allowed to watch them compile data on plants they were growing in them and also take pictures in various other high tunnels that showed them using other season extending methods inside the high tunnel. This allows them to get even more protection against the cold without using supplemental heat most of the time.
Note that the one photo shows an angled brace to protect against the high piles of snow that they got on the sides last winter.
As you can see from the pictures and the article, most use PVC pipe for the skeleton of the high tunnels as well as the low tunnels.
Clarence Whetten, being the engineer he is, decided to improve on the design. He used 1” X 24′ square galvanized tubing in his high tunnel.
He then used stainless steel wiggle wire springs in aluminum poly latches attached to the galvanized tubing to attach the plastic to the high tunnel.
Use 6 mil greenhouse grade clear plastic sheeting that has UV inhibitors to protect against breakdown from the sunlight. .
When it gets hotter the clear plastic can be replaced by shade cloth. He uses special bending devices to bend the square tubing and other
benders for other wire tubes depending on sizes that he wishes to use.
These hoops store easily as can be seen from the photos and should last for a lifetime.
Isa. 66: 12 “For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace…”(just as the high tunnel extends protection in cold weather)
Next week: Getting the next generation interested in gardening!
Master Gardner – Week 23
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For The Family
Get Started With Your Garden Right Now, Even If It Is In A Container!
By Alan on Apr 14 in Blog tagged Dennis Adamson, gardening, pots, seeds, The Family, the family garden | Comments Off
I have put the final touches on my raised beds. This started a couple of weeks ago as I was preparing for a class that I taught on cold frames and other season extending techniques. Last year I had problems with leaf miners in my beets. This year I am trying low tunnels, sometimes called hoop frames, to keep the leaf miners off of the plants.
For the class I purchased some inexpensive salad greens from a few of the big box stores. These were all cool season crops. I then planted them in one of my raised beds and took pictures of them in the low tunnel. They survived a few nights of freezing temperatures, one night down to 23 degrees, without any problems. I harvested the first crops from these today. The seeds I planted in another raised bed at the same time are now coming up. Does this mean that if you haven’t started your garden by now you are too late. Not at all. With all of these plants I plant in 2-4 week intervals so that new plants will be coming up at later times to extend the season of these plants.
I then started more seeds this week in preparation for this article. When my wife buys eggs I have her get them in the pressed paper cartons.
When she has used all of the eggs I save the bottom to plant seeds in. I then purchased giant lasagna pans with clear lids in the 2 pack for $1.85. These become the mini-greenhouses for the egg cartons once the seeds are planted and then watered. I find using a water bottle with spray nozzle does the best job. I watch the sides of the egg carton and when about 1/2 is showing moisture I place it in the pan. These can be placed in a warm sunny spot. The clear lids keep the moisture and heat in and lets the sun get onto the growing plants.
Once the plants have sprouted they can be transferred to larger pots or into the garden if they are cool season plants. You will probably want to gently remove the bottom of each egg cell to allow the roots to grow into the soil. I found them coiling around the bottom of the cell last year. Also make sure that the top of each egg cell is below the surface of the soil that you transplant it into so as to not to have the moisture wick out of each cell into the atmosphere and dry the roots out. The same goes for coir and peat pots and other fiber or paper seed starting containers.
For those who want to get even fancier, build a frame for grow lights that can be raised as the plants get taller. I made mine out of PVC pipe. I then attached chains to both ends of the grow lights and made them so they can be lowered or raised as needed.
It was placed over a 20” X 20” heat accelerator mat. This warms whatever type of potting container and the soil that is place on it. It will raise the rooting area temperatures 10-20 degrees above the ambient room temperature.
These should only be used indoors. This size allowed me to place 3 – 16 container biodegradable ‘greenhouse’ kits with a tray and clear cover dome on the mat.
The individual pots are made from coir.
We talked about coir in an earlier article. I have found additional material on it and the peat that it replaces. Coir is the outer husk of the coconut. A healthy coconut palm can produce 50-100 coconuts per year. On the other hand it takes about 220 years to replace the peat removed from the land each year. Harvesting peat releases carbon dioxide.
Peat bogs acts as a filter to remove harmful impurities from water. They hold approximately 10% of the worlds fresh water. Parts of Europe has mandated that peat not be used in growing medium after 2010.
I am using this system for my warm season plants that I will transplant after the last frost. These include varieties of sweet and hot peppers, many varieties of winter squash and summer squash and melons.
Do you have limited space? This is where container gardening can work quite well. Containers come in various sizes and shapes from the very cheap to the very expensive. They can be jars, pots, planters and any other container that you can dream up. If you are using older pots, you need to thoroughly clean them out and then cleanse them with a mild bleach to prevent any diseases from old plants being transferred to the new ones. If they are porous terra cotta pots, you might want to seal them with a latex coat on the inner surface. Directions for doing these steps can be found at:
Self watering pots come in handy so you don’t have to water them by hand every day or two. There are kits that can convert pots that you already have or there are ways to turn a pot into a self watering one. The following site is an example.
All the containers that aren’t self watering should be able to drain. This might require you to make a drain hole in the bottom. Place a small irregular rock or broken pottery from a clay pot over the hole so the soil doesn’t plug it up or come out. I usually place a planter saucer under the pot to catch excess water.
If the containers are going to be on wood or deck material they should have feet to raise them up so any excess water can dry up rapidly.
If you don’t already have containers it is usually best to look for ones that will fit the style of the area where you are placing it. Any size opening can work, but look for containers at least 12 inches wide so more than one plant can be placed. Vegetables usually need at least 8 inches of soil depth. If you’re placing pots on a deck or a rooftop, look for lightweight materials. These and some glazed ceramic pots also have the advantage of being nonporous, so they keep soil moister. Terra-cotta allows soil to dry out more quickly.
Decide on which vegetables you are going to grow in your containers. Herbs and flowers will look good among the vegetables. Nasturtium is a flower with petals and leaves that can be eaten in garden salads.
Since ordinary garden soil is too heavy and can introduce disease, be sure to use a bagged planting mix or a homemade equivalent. Products labeled “potting soil” contain sterilized soil and other ingredients, while “soil-less mixes” consist mostly of peat moss or peat substitutes, compost, and perlite or vermiculite to keep it loose. Soil-less mixes weigh less but dry out faster, but some plants, such as succulents, prefer them. Use the compost, coir or peat moss and vermiculite or perlite combinations that I discussed in an earlier article.
If you are growing shallow-rooted specimens in tall pots, you might want to fill in the bottom half with lightweight materials such as Styrofoam blocks or packing peanuts. Old milk jugs or juice bottles can also be used. This promotes drainage and prevents waterlogged soil. If you are going to be using packing peanuts it is best to place them in plastic grocery bags and then tie the handles together. This way if you need to remove the soil at the end of the planting season the packing peanuts won’t have a chance to spill out and blow all over the yard and the neighborhood.
Start planting in the center or with the largest specimen and work outward, filling the soil to the same level the plants had in the original container. This should be 1 to 2 inches below the lip of the pot.
Water the plants using a watering can or a soft-spray nozzle on a hose. The soil will probably settle so add more if necessary. Keep watering whenever the soil is dry 2 to 3 inches below the surface. I prefer to use a moisture meter to determine when I need to water again.
Fertilize regularly, unless you used time-release beads, according to the package directions.
The following are some example of container vegetable gardening. I particularly like the portable car top model. This way if you have excess produce you can drive to the farmer’s market and sell directly from you garden plot.
Don’t think that by just doing container gardening that you aren’t accomplishing much. Everyone has to start somewhere.
Who knows where it will lead to:
.h is great.” Do
.“Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of
Season Extending Techniques – Master Gardening Continued
By Alan on Feb 25 in Blog tagged bell jars, Cloches, covers, Dennis Adamson, fabric, garden fabrics, gardening, master gardner, prepare, pvc pipe, stretch method, wall o' water | 2 Comments
I have talked about my greenhouse and cold frame during the last couple of months. These are more expensive and take time to construct. If you just want a few extra weeks of ripe tomatoes or other vegetables earlier in the season and later in the fall, or salads a couple of weeks earlier in the spring, the solutions can be easy and fairly inexpensive.
I have found the following 30 & 60 day stretch method on a few websites.
“The 30-day stretch: If you can provide a sheltered growing environment that protects your plants from hot sun, cold wind, frost and insects, your seedlings will get off to a much faster start. When transplanting, try to keep seedlings covered with garden fabric for the first couple of weeks. Garden fabrics made of spun polyester or polypropylene are sun-, air-, and water-permeable, which means excess heat can escape and rainwater can pass through. Checking your plants weekly, for water and weeds, is all the attention that’s required.
The 60-day stretch: Using garden fabrics in both spring and fall can add a full two months to your harvest season. Use them in the spring as described above, but plan to use a heavier fabric in the fall to retain soil heat and prevent frost from damaging the foliage.”
The heavier the fabric, the more frost protection. Lighter fabrics don’t trap as much heat inside in summer months and allow more sun and water to permeate. However, they are all light enough to not need support and are allowed to ‘float’ on top of plants. (See Row Covers, Floating Row Covers below)
The lighter covers are used primarily as an insect barrier during the warmer growing months. Heavier fabrics are used for frost protection. The heaviest fabrics are used only in the evenings and are removed during the day to allow more light and heat access.
Medium garden fabric: provides frost protection down to 28°F, allowing you to extend the growing season in both spring and fall. In cool weather areas, it can also be used as a summertime pest control. It has 70% light transmission, is good for preventing transplant shock, extends the growing season in both spring and fall and is ideal row cover material.
Heavy garden fabric: Provides frost and cold protection down to 24 degrees F. The thick, 1.25 oz fabric is ideal for season extending into the early spring and late fall, or for overwintering salad greens, strawberries and perennials. It has 60% light transmission and is ideal for use both in the spring and the fall. It is an excellent windbreak for young spring plants and lasts for several years.
Summer weight garden fabric: Ideal for summertime pest control, this garden cover effectively screens out Japanese beetles, potato beetles, cabbage worms, leaf miners, carrot flies and most vine borers. It transmits 85% of the light to your plants, without allowing heat build-up, and it provides frost protection down to 28° F.
Row Covers, sometimes referred to as Floating Row Covers, are placed over row crops to prevent insect problems, sun scald, or frost damage on vegetables and are made using the above synthetic fabrics that are laid over plants. They are light enough to rest on the plants and allow light, water and even liquid fertilizer to get through. They should be fastened down with some technique. I prefer earth staples.
The staples can be pushed through the fabric and into the soil. You can also secure the edges of the fabric with some type of heavy object like rocks or mounded soil. For low growing crops, you simply need to unfurl the cover over the row and secure the edges. Don’t stretch the cover tightly over the row. Allow some room for the cover to expand as the plants grow, by pleating or folding slightly as you lay it down. If the garden is in an especially windy spot, consider weighting down the center of the cover, to prevent billowing that could uplift your edges.
For taller plants, like tomatoes and eggplants, it’s sometimes easier to install row covers over hoops. The hoops can be heavy wire, 1” PVC pipe or bamboo hoops. The heavy wire or bamboo can be pushed directly into the soil. The PVC pipe are best threaded over small lengths of rebar placed into the soil on either side of the garden bed. The garden fabric can be placed over this hoops and secured with clothes pins or other types of clips. The ends can also be closed off. These are sometimes called hoop frames, barrel covers or low tunnels.
Cloches (Bell Jars) Garden Under Glass. The French developed the glass cloche, or bell jar, formed of a solid piece of glass shaped like a dome. The purpose was to protect an early garden plant from bleak cold and frost. This would hasten their crops to maturity. These have been modified over time so that they can be vented and made of plastic. If you want to do it cheaply, individual plants can also be covered with plastic milk jugs, large cans with both ends cut out, or tomato cages encircled with clear plastic. Just be sure that the cover is vented, and that you stay on the lookout for signs of overheating.
Wall O’ Water enable gardeners to start tomatoes, peppers, squash, or other plants 6-8 weeks earlier, without fear of freezing. Plants will be healthier and produce the fruit 30-40 days earlier. Protects down to 16º F. Each Wall O Water encircles an 18″ diameter area. Lasts 3-5 years.
1.) Set up where you will plant a full six to eight weeks before the last normal frost date for your area.
2.) Set up one week before transplanting to warm the soil. This is very important. Understand that if you transplant into cold soil you may easily stunt the plant’s development.
3.) When you first set them up fill them only two thirds full and they will fold together at the top like a little teepee. Leave them in the teepee night and day as long as the plant is small.
4.) Use small plants. Three to four inch plants usually have less trouble with transplant shock. This is especially true if you buy plants from a nursery and don’t grow them from seed.
5.) After several weeks the plants will start to push through the opening at the top. You can now completely fill the chambers and it will remain open. Leave it open, night and day, until it is time to take it off.
6.) Don’t get in a hurry to take them off. Keep them on until 30 – 45 days after the last normal frost date. They will never overheat the plant as long as you follow these steps. It is important to take advantage of the additional heat provided during this final month when you still have cool nights. Some gardeners keep them on the whole season with tomatoes.
The water will often freeze in the chambers at night. As water freezes it gives off heat and this is what protects the plants.
Deuteronomy 6:2 That thou mightest fear (reverence) the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments…all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
So too if we properly protect our plants their days may be prolonged to our benefit and the glory of God.
Next week: Time to prune our fruit trees and grape vines
By: Dennis Adamson
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For The Family
Gardening In Small Spaces. (Are You Following Dennis?)
By Alan on Jan 28 in Blog tagged at home, Bush, containers, dennis, dwarf, espalier, fruit, garden plot, gardening, in small places, intercroping, mobile, ornamental, Relay, seeds, square foot, Succession, trees, vertical | 1 Comment
When I was growing up in small town Utah in the late 40′s through the 60s, most families had large lots. My parents and grandparents had large gardens that I was often tasked with weeding. It wasn’t a problem growing crops that needed a lot of space. Corn, summer and winter squash, pumpkins and melons need quite a bit of space when grown horizontally. Most, with the exception of corn, can be grown vertically.
Now a large lot is usually 1/2 acre which includes the space taken up by the home, driveways, walks, etc. Most of us live on lots that are 1/3 acre or smaller. In the case of an apartment there is usually no green space at all. We are seeing more neighborhood or community garden plots.
When we lived in Germany we noticed that they had taken this to an art form with gartenplatz (garden plots) where most are rented. They are even covered by their federal laws.
The [German] Federal Garden Plot Law. From Section 3:
(1) A garden plot should not be larger than 400 square meters [4300 square feet]. During use and cultivation of the garden plot, all requirements relating to protection of the environment, the local habitat, and the landscape shall be taken into account.
(2) In the garden plot, it is permitted to construct a simply-furnished small house with a maximum of 24 square meters [258 square feet] of floor space, including any covered outdoor seating area. Sections 29 to 36 of the Building Code apply accordingly. The house’s overall design, and especially its furnishings and equipment, may not be suited to long-term residence.
The result are thousands of garden colonies on the outskirts of big cities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland that look more like miniature housing developments than peaceful nature retreats. In the summertime, they are packed with families enjoying the sunshine, crammed onto their tiny plots grilling, eating and relaxing.
Since most of us want to stay at home to do our gardening, I will talk about several ways that we can do this. One of the first things that I would have you do is look for a location that has adequate sunlight and preferably near a source of water. Look on the Internet for ideas and then plan out your garden space. Here are some ideas to think about:
- Square foot gardening: I have used this technique for years. It is surprising how much you can grow in one square foot areas. This trademarked technique was developed by Mel Bartholomew in 1975 after he retired from his consulting engineering business in New Jersey. Classes are often given in several parts of the country. Your extension service may do classes on home vegetable production in small spaces. Thanksgiving Point at Lehi, UT will be offering a 3 week Home Vegetable Production class in March that will include gardening in small space given by Larry Sagers the USU Horticultural Specialist at Thanksgiving Point.
2. Vertical gardening: This can be incorporated into your horizontal gardens. It is a great way to maximize your space as well as minimize rot, mold and some insects with your
plants being off the ground. I use steel electrical conduit for the frame. There are right angle connectors that allow you to make a 3 sided rigid frame from items easily purchased at any local hardware store. Nylon netting is then stretched across the conduit and secured with plastic tie-downs. This can then be secured to your boxes, if you use raised beds, or by hammering rebar (also found at hardware stores: many of them sell precut short pieces) into the ground and then sliding the open end of the 2 vertical supports over these. There are many vegetable that can be grown vertically. Peas, pole beans, summer and winter squash, tomatoes, watermelons, cantaloupe, cucumbers, pumpkins, etc. I have used this technique for several years. Some of these will need additional support once the fruit develops, such as cantaloupe. Trellises are another vertical technique. They have been used for centuries for grapes. Winter squash and cucumbers, gourds, melons, berries and even pumpkins can also be adapted to trellises. I have used a trellis for some of my grapes vines for years and last year I made one for my winter squash. I am going to change it this year so that it is anchored on the far sides of my raised beds instead of the inside. This made it easier to get to the plants in the raised beds.
3. Place vegetable among your ornamental plants. I have done this with peppers. There are now ornamental peppers that are edible. Herbs also work well in this setting. I have chives in my flower beds.
4. Containers: Any container: from glass jars, fabric grow bags, upside down bags, old nursery black plastic plant containers to the fanciest of pots can be used for growing vegetables. Some have water reservoirs in the bottom to minimize the watering requirements. I have my dwarf orange and lemon trees in 2 of these. There are specific ones for strawberries. This technique can be used in the house, on the deck or on the side of the house. There are now specific tomato varieties for the upside down containers.
5. Intercropping: Planting crops that mature early with crops that mature later in the year.
6. Relay Planting: Planting some plants one week and then planting the same variety a week or two later in different spots so that the production time will be prolonged.
7. Succession Planting: Once a crop, such as radishes are finished producing, planting another crop that does well in the hotter months.
8. Plant dwarf or bush varieties of vegetables and fruit trees. I use this technique grow my fruit trees closer together.
9. Espalier (i-spal-yey or -yer): This is for growing vines or trees in a 2 dimensional plane. Grape vines have been trained this way for millennium. Many fruit trees can also be trained to grow in this way. Apple, apricot, nectarine, peach and plum are among the fruit trees that you can espalier. This was used by George Washington at Mount Vernon and in gardens in Colonial Williamsburg. I have done this with 2 plum trees and plan to do it with some apples varieties. I use the dwarf or semi-dwarf varieties, but it can be done with standard sizes.
10. Mobile Garden: When you think that you have seen it all, you haven’t !!!
“Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end [garden produce] should greatly increase.” Job 8:7
“…but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass… “ Alma 37:6
Next week article: “Seeds”
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