"Teach more people more truth, and they will improve their own lives."

(Abr. 3:25)

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strengthining families

Our Thoughts Become the Seeds of our Actions

By on Jul 06 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Our Thoughts Become the Seeds of our Actions

Our Thoughts Become the Seeds of our Actions

the family


“You become what you think about.” It’s a choice!

I think that great day when Jesus Christ once again returns
to rule and reign in righteousness is just ahead of us!

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of
the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”
Malachi 4:5

On the third day of April, 1836,
Elijah appeared in The House of the Lord in Kirtland, Ohio
and there bestowed his keys to bring to pass the very things
for which the Jews, assembled in their homes, were seeking. 

Alan Osmond

For The Family

“The Best Anti-Obama Video Ever Made” הסרטון הטוב ביותר נגד אובמה

By on Sep 13 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “The Best Anti-Obama Video Ever Made” הסרטון הטוב ביותר נגד אובמה

“The Best Anti-Obama Video Ever Made”

הסרטון הטוב ביותר נגד אובמה

“But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man. Wo unto such, for mine anger is kindled against them.”  D&C 60:2

John 8:32

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”



the family

 The Future
For The Family 


Grafting Tomatoes – By Master Gardener Dennis Adamson

By on Jun 05 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Grafting Tomatoes – By Master Gardener Dennis Adamson

Week 60:  Grafting Tomatoes

I am going to delay the overall propagation article until the next week.  In last week’s article I talked about Dr. Larry A. Ruff’s description of grafting heirloom tomatoes onto more vigorous, disease-resistant tomato rootstalk.  This was part of one of our Advanced Master Gardener lectures at Thanksgiving Point Gardens Lehi, UT. 

the family

I looked on the Internet for the grafting clips and found a seller that had 15 for $10.  I checked with one of the seed companies and found that for an additional 50% cost I could get 200.   I have already received them and included was 6-page information sheet on the correct tomato grafting procedure.  I thought that those who want to try this would enjoy a full description of the process.

They recommend starting the seeds for grafted tomatoes 6-8 weeks before transplant.  If one is faster growing than the other then start the slower growing ones a day or two before the faster growing ones so that the stalks will be nearly the same diameter at grafting.  (Later, in the article, will be a description of a way to get around this.)  Also, grafted tomatoes stop growing during the healing process so they will take one to two weeks longer to get to the transplant stage.  They also recommended over-seeding by 25% so that you will have plenty of plants to attempt the grafting. 

The plants are usually ready to graft 2 ½ to 3 weeks after sowing.  The easiest way check, if they are ready to graft, is to take a 2mm grafting clip and make sure the stalk fits snuggly into it.

They recommend the soil temperature be 80°F (27°C).  This can be obtained by using with a soil heating mat and a soil temperature probe.  After germination reduce the temperature to 64-66°F (18-19°C) to encourage a stockier plant.  They will also need sunlight or grow lights at this point.

Be as sterile as possible in the grafting process.  They recommend washing the work area with a bleach solution.  Thoroughly clean your hands or use surgical type gloves and don’t smoke in the grafting area.  It is best to do it indoors where there is a constant temperature, out of the sunlight and with no fan or draft present.  Always use new razor blades and clips. the family You can even heat sterilize the blade by holding it over an open flame.

The grafting procedure starts by taking the rootstock and cutting the stem with the  razor blade at a 45° angle just below the cotyledons.  The cotyledons are the embryonic first leaves of the plant and usually have a different appearance than the later leaves.   They will be the bottom leaves when the plant forms other leaves.  The scion is the portion of the plant that contains the desired leaves, flowers or fruiting portion that carries the genetic portion of the plant that you wish to duplicate.  Find a scion whose stem matches the diameter of the rootstock stem and sever it, again just below the cotyledons at a 45° angle.   If the stalk is too large on the scion at this point, then move above the cotyledon to where the stem matches the diameter.  The same technique can be used if the rootstalk is too large in diameter.  If this is done then the rootstock may re-sprout from latent buds.  These can be removed later.  Some people will remove all but the leaf at the growing point to decrease respiration and the number of leave for the plant to support. Experiment to see which works best in your hands.  Put the grafting clip ½ way over the rootstalk half and then put the scion half in place, matching up the angled ends.  If the temperature is hotter than desired, mist the plants before grafting.  You can continue to re-mist in the healing chamber or go high tech and use a cool mist humidifier in the chamber.  Another tip is to put the scions in sterile water to keep them moist if you want to do more than one at a time.  If you do multiple sessions of grafting, change the razor blade and re-sterilize the area and your hands.

They recommend a ‘healing chamber’, near the grafting station, to minimize the movement of the grafted plants.  the familyThe healing chamber keeps the plants at high humidity (80-95%) and in indirect low light to diminish their respiration and drying while the new vascular components reconnect at the graft site.  The soil should be kept at 71-74°F (22-23°C).  Water the plants the day before planting, but not on the day of grafting.  Too much water in the soil will send water up the stalk and push the scion off the graft junction.  Try to keep the chamber closed for 3 days while monitoring them from the outside.  If they appear to be wilting, you should raise the humidity level.  On the 4th day open the chamber and check the moisture level, preferably using a soil moisture probe. the family If you need to, water the plants using a bottom watering method and then reclose the chamber.  On the 5th day allow the humidity to slowly decrease by opening the chamber a small amount.  If wilting occurs, close again and retry each subsequent day.  Eventually you will get the plants to where they are thriving without the cover on.  The plan is to gradually getting them to normal greenhouse temperature and humidity.  After a few days in the greenhouse or similar conditions they are ready to be handled.  The silicone clips should fall off by themselves as the stem increases in diameter.  They claim that the spring-loaded clips have a greater potential to constrict the growth of the stem.

When you plant the grafted tomatoes, be sure that the graft site is about the soil level or the scion will send out roots and negate the whole grafting process.   Also prune any suckers as they develop since these will grow into a rootstock plant.  At this point treat a grafted tomato the just as you would a normal tomato.

The following site is the source of most of the information in their article and also has step-by-step photos of the process.

This will give you their grower’s library and you can click on: Grafting Tomatoes for Increased Vigor and Disease Resistance.

Another positive factor with grafting is that the yield appears to increase.  In 2010 Johnny’s research farm in Albion, Maine used 3 plants from 5 different tomato varieties and grafted them onto a hardy rootstock.  They also grew 3 plants on their own rootstock.  They showed an average of over 40% greater yield on the grafted plants with one, Geronimo being 66%.  The full data can be found by going to the above site and then to: Grafted Tomato Yield Data.

Another site that has step-by-step photos and instructions is:

Alma 16: 17 but that they might receive the word with joy, and as a branch be grafted into the true vine, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord their God.”

Next week: Propagation

Dennis Adamson – Master Gardener
For The Family = Send any questions to me!

Introduction To Propagatiion – Master Gardening

By on Mar 14 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Introduction To Propagatiion – Master Gardening

Week 62 Introduction to PropagationOlson’s Nursery 

On Monday March 5th our Advanced Master Gardener class had a lab at Olson’s Nursery in Santaquin, UT.  Chas Olson, a 4th generation member of the family owned company, gave us a tour around the facility.  the family  It is a huge facility made up of interconnecting buildings and greenhouses that provide plants to many of the large box stores in the Intermountain West.  the familyMuch of it is automated.  The photo shows a machine taking several plant plugs and putting them in the pots that will be sold in the stores.   the family  They still rely on human resources to assist in the process.   I found it interesting that they were using bicycle riders to take seeds and other small packages to the far-flung greenhouses on the propertythe family to get from building to building.  He told us that they grow the plants from either seeds or cuttings.  Most of the cuttings come from Central and South America.  They are cut on the weekend and shipped by overnight air express.  They receive them on Monday and place the cuttings in the growing mixture.  This one process that is all done by hand.  They use a soilless mix of peat and perlite, usually in a 70:30 ratio and will add fertilizer and lime as needed.  Each type of plant has its own ‘recipe’ that they program into a computer that will then tell the machinery to provide the proper mix and for the containers.  the family  In the greenhouses the plants are usually automatically watered and fertilized as needed.  The temperatures in the greenhouses are also automatically monitored by sensors and controlled by computers.  the family


This lab was a great lead-in to our introduction to propagation.  The information for this topic comes from a chapter on Plant Propagation by Dr. Larry Rupp and Larry Sagers, Extension Horticulturalist Specialists, Utah State University Extension Service, in the Utah Master Gardener Manual.  the family

Plant propagation is broadly divided into sexual methods: those coming from seeds and having the next generation of plants being genetically different from the parent plant;

and asexual propagation: either naturally occurring, such as with tubers or by artificially cloning plants.

The asexual (vegetative) method uses somatic cell division from the vegetative portion of the plant and not from the sex cells.  The somatic cells that can divide and grow are called meristems.  Several parts of the plant can be used to provide the meristem material: root tips, vascular cambrium and buds.  Even non-meristem cells can change to meristem.  With this process there is no recombination of material from the parent plants.  These plants have the same genetic material as the mother plant.  There are however, seeds that are produced asexually, called apomictic seeds.  Dandelions are an example of an apomictic seed and the new plants will have the same genetics are the mother plant.

During subsequent weeks I will discuss propagation from seeds, cuttings, layering, special structures such as: bulbs, corms, rhizomes, tubers and tuberous roots, propagation by woody plant cuttings, grafting & budding, and by tissue culture (micropropagation).

Plant propagation is a means of providing a large number of plants less expensively than buying plants that are already growing.  However, we need to be aware that there often has been a time consuming and expensive process behind the development of a unique plant.  Because of this the United States and other countries have enacted laws to help protect the rights of plant breeders and nurserymen.  An example of this, in the USA, is plant patent laws.  They can be applied for “any distinct and new variety of plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other than a tuber-propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state”.  Such things as: a new color, disease resistance, drought tolerance, flavor, storage quality or other measurable trait can be patented.  Most patents are granted to plants that are asexually produced.  The patent will last for 20 years from the date of filing.  You may not propagate a patented plant unless you have the specific permission of the patent holder.  They will usually require a royalty from you to allow you to propagate the plant.

The US also has a Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA).  The PVPA gives patent protection for those patented plants that are propagated from seeds.  The developer will be given a plant-breeding certificate.  The cultivars must be “novel, distinctive and stable” to get the certificate.  This law also covers potatoes and other tuber-propagated plants.  The certificate covers 20 years for most plants and 25 years for shrubs, trees and vines.  The PVPA certificates are transferable.

Trademarks: this is a less expensive process than patenting a plant.  This is more of a marketing technique.  Most people will choose to buy a trademarked plant because they know the famous cultivar.  A person can still cultivate the cultivar, but they can’t use the trademarked name.  A plant can be trademarked in the US for 10 years.  These can be trademarked over and over again.

The chapter also lists other means of protection, such as contract laws, the International Union for Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), trade secrets, and sometimes utility patents: patents issued for the invention of a new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or a new and useful improvement.

Reference for the chapter in the manual is: Kester, D.E., F.T. Davies, Jr., & R.L. Geneve.  (2002) Jarmann and Kester’s plant propagation: principles and practices.  (7th Ed.)  Prentice Hall

There is an interesting account of what appears to be taking a cutting and propagating it.  This is found in the Old Testament, Numbers 17:

“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man’s name upon his rod.  And thou shalt write Aaron’s name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers.  And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you.

 And it shall come to pass, that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom …  And Moses laid up the rods before the Lord in the tabernacle of witness.  And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.”

Next week: Providing the Proper Conditions for Propagation

the family

Dennis Adamson
Master Gardener
For The Family = Send Dennis any of your questions!


Growing Onions – Master Gardner Dennis Adamson

By on Sep 14 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Growing Onions – Master Gardner Dennis Adamson

Week 36 Growing Onions

Onions have been eaten for millennia.  Traces of onions have been found in excavations of Bronze Age villages from 5000 B.C.  Whether these were wild or cultivated is not known, but they have certainly been cultivated since the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. (see this weeks scripture)  The common or bulb onion is the Alium cepa.  They come in three colors: brown, red and yellow.  

Scallions often called salad or green onions come from either the Welsh onions, A. fistulosum, or from young A. cepa.  They look similar, but the foliage of the A. fistulosum is circular and the A. cepa is flat.  They are both used the same way.

Shallots, A. cepa var. aggregatum,  are onions that form more like a garlic.  They are milder in flavor and are used like the common onion.

The Egyptian onion, once thought to be A. cepa var. proliferum, is now known to be a hybrid of the fistulosum.  It is also called the tree onion.  It forms bulblets in the place of flowers at the end of the stalk.  These bulblets are usually treated as sets and are planted the next year.  They are very hardy and they can be eaten as green onions or the bulblets can be used in recipes like pearl onions.

.I’ll let you look up pearl onions, leeks and other specialized varieties. Onions  are used by nearly every culture around the world.

Last year I decided to grow onions for the first time.  We had found a good fresh salsa recipe and I wanted to grow everything fresh myself for the recipe.  I went out and bought onion sets at a local nursery.

They didn’t have labels on any of the sets and the person at the counter had no idea which were which.  I picked out a few (not knowing what to look for) and proceeded to plant them.  They came up wonderfully and then quickly flowered.  I kept looking for large round onions and never got them.  I did get lots of seeds, but didn’t know what to do with these.  I was very disappointed and decided not to grow them this year.

In last week’s article on Farmer Mel he explained about the onion being biennial.  This means they grow vegetatively the first year and then flower the second year.  He always stars them from seed so that he gets the first year vegetative growth. He then proceeded to pick one out of his garden.   It was just what I had wanted to grow.  In that article I also quoted Beth Jarvis, writing on onions in Yard & Garden where she said the same thing that Mel did.  “Though planting onion sets is the most popular way to grow them, you’ll have better results transplanting seedlings you start indoors ahead of time.”

Another site put out by the Santa Clara County Master Gardeners said, “seed for home grown transplants allows for the greatest variety for the home gardener and has less chance of bolting prematurely than sets”.

I then went to a favorite gardening site,’s Gardening section, and found a lot of information in an article:  Onion Growing Tips, ‘Growing Great, Problem Free Onions in Your Garden’ by Marie Iannotti.  She says that if you are going to plant them from seed start 8-12 weeks before you plan to transplant them outdoors.  Plant them 1/4-1/2” deep.  The transplants need to be hardened off and shouldn’t be planted until after the last frost day in the Spring.    Plant them on the surface of the soil about 4” apart.  She recommends that as they grow, keep the tops trimmed to 4”.  They need regular watering to make the bulbs swell.  If you don’t have the facilities to start them from seed then you can get transplants from your local nursery.   If you want to do them from sets you need to pick out those that are about the size of a marble, firm, healthy looking and with no green sprouts.

Sets are tiny onion bulbs that were grown from seed the year before.

If you plan on direct seeding them you need to know the growing season in your area.  This is where the knowledge of which types you are planting.  Most articles talk about short and long day varieties, but there are also some that list medium day varieties.  If you are talking about just short and long day varieties, you can decide which you should plant by drawing a line between Washington, D. C. and San Francisco.  If you are north of that line you will want to plant long day varieties because you get longer days in the summer.  South of the line, plant short day varieties.  If you are near the line then plant medium day varieties or hedge your bet like Farmer Mel and plant all 3.   If you go to you will find an excellent map on where the 3 day length varieties grow best and a comparison chart below the map on each variety.  You can also click on the left side panel for each type to get a more detailed description as well as the names of varieties in each category.  A synopsis of the types from their site is as follows:

  • The short-day varieties are best planted when the daylight length is 10-12 hours. They take about 110 days to mature in the south and just 75 days in the north. The earlier you plant them, the larger they get, but they won’t get very big in the northern states.

  • Intermediate-day varieties require 12-14 hours of sunlight before beginning to form bulbs. Unless you live in far south Florida or south Texas you should have enough daytime hours for nice-sized bulbs. When planted at the proper time, all varieties mature in approximately 100 days.
  • Long-day sweet and storage varieties need between 14-16 hours of daylight. Sweet varieties generally mature a few weeks before storage varieties and will keep from one to four months. These varieties will do best from the Midwest to the Canadian border. If planted early, they will do well in the northern half of the intermediate-day areas.

A second site is: and will give different varieties and tips on planting.  A third site is: and also talks about growing shallots.

When to plant

This is going to be quite variable depending on where you live.  Mother Earth News gives a good overall description of when to plant:  In late winter, start seeds of all types of onions, bulb onions, leeks, scallions and shallots, indoors under bright fluorescent lights. Don’t do additional sowings until early spring.

Set out bulb onion seedlings three weeks before your last frost, and set out seedlings of non-bulbing onions six weeks before your last frost.  In spring you can also plant sets. In fall, short-day varieties can be planted in many mild winter areas. Seedlings should be ready to set out in mid-October.

While looking at this site I also came across a great resource on when to start other types of plants and when to plant based on each area of the US and southern Canada at:

Where to plant

They need to be in a sunny place with well drained soil prepared to 12”.  A good 1” layer of rich compost will be beneficial.  They should be planted 3-6” apart depending on the size of the mature onion.  Water well until they are getting near the time of harvesting.

When to harvest the bulb types

Most state that when 1/2 of the tops have bent over.  Some will then bend the rest of them over gently, so as not to break the neck and wait until the foliage starts to yellow.  It is not uncommon for onion farms to roll a barrel over the tops at this time.  The process is called barreling.  Harvest them gently, some say like they are eggs, by pulling them up from the neck if your soil is loose or by digging them.    Gently shake off additional soil then prepare them for curing by air drying them in a warm sunny place.

At this point they can be cleaned up better to facilitate the curing process.  Some like to leave the tops on and others cut them off.    If you cut the tops off make sure that you leave at least 1” from the top of the bulb so the neck can dry out, otherwise the bulb may rot during storage.  It will be beneficial to rotate the onions to ensure uniform drying during this time.

Curing the onions

Cure only the ones that you are going to store long term.  If they are soft, thick necked or young ones they should be used first.  They need to cured out of direct sunlight in a warm dry area where they will get air circulation.  If you don’t have a covered porch or other shady area, you can cover them with a cotton sheet.  Don’t use a tarp or plastic as moisture will be retained underneath them.  Keep the onions separate and rotate them a few times during the curing period.  Onions often need up to a month to cure.  You will know when they are cured if the skins rattle and the the roots are dry and wiry.  Generally the longer you cure them the longer they will store.

Storage of onions

Once cured it is often best to put them in a mesh bag or old panty hose and let them dry some more in your garage, if you have one, before placing them in a root cellar or a cool dark dry room.  If you leave the tops on and let them dry you can also use an old technique of braiding the onion leaves.  

A trick to use when you store them in panty hose is to put one in the leg and tie it off and then put another one in and continue to tie them off.  When you need an onion just cut below the knot of the lowest one. The ideal storage temperature is between 40 and 50F.  If the onion begins to sprout you can still use them.  Just cut into the onion and remove the green part and the sprout.  Never use one that is discolored or slimy.

Lastly, what you have just been dying to know.

Why do I cry when cutting onions?

When onions are cut the cell walls are broken and enzymes break down the amino acids and the process eventually forms a gas called onion lachrymatory factor.  This volatile gas stimulates sensory neurons in the eye that irritates it.  This in turn stimulates the tear glands  to produce tears to dilute and flush out the irritating gas.

I was interested by this picture  posted by Erica about her attempt to stop the crying.  Since it direct contact of the irritant with the eyes, and not inhaling the vapors through the nose that causes the tearing, stuffing tissues up your nostrils won’t work.  There are reported ways to minimize the effect.  Use a sharp knife to minimize the crushing of the cells, chill the onion in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes prior to cutting (said to be the most effective by the TV show Food Detectives) and cut near a fume hood or fan.

Some of the unusual tips were:

  • wear contacts (does anyone out there have some that I could borrow?),

  • cut the onion underwater or near steam from a boiling kettle,

  • wear a gas mask (I’m sure that a nearby Army facility would be glad to lend you one),

  • stick your tongue out and breathe through your mouth,

  • light a candle near the onion,

  • put vinegar on the chopping board,

  • soak the onion in salt water

  • and lastly chew bread or gum while cutting the onion.

I learned another little know fact this week.  Last Saturday I taught a couple of classes at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, UT.  One of the power point presentations starts with the  picture of me posed like the farmer in the painting American Gothic.  the familyA teaching assistant there asked me if I knew what the profession of the male model in the painting was.  I told her no.  She said that she learned, from the game show Jeopardy, that he was a dentist.   She laughed when I told her I was aretired Oral Surgeon!

“We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic.” Num. 11: 5




Next week: A visit to an Advanced Master Gardener’s farm.

Dennis Adamson
Master Gardner =  Send Dennis any of your questions!
For The Family


Faith is a Hope In That Which Is Not Seen Which Is True.

By on Jun 05 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Faith is a Hope In That Which Is Not Seen Which Is True.

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the familyDear Friends,

Suzanne and I read the scriptures every night before retiring to bed.  Last night we read this chapter of Alma 32 about humility and faith which I love.

This talk is about faith –  A great lesson.

It also likens truth as to the fruit of a tree.  If it is good fruit, then the tree is good also. This is how one can tell wheter something or someone is true or not.  If what someone does is good, then he is a good person.  If not, then the person is not good either.

A scripture discussion on Faith:

21 And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are cnot seen, which are true.

22 And now, behold, I say unto you, and I would that ye should remember, that God is merciful unto all who believe on his name; therefore he desireth, in the first place, that ye should believe, yea, even on his word.

23 And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned.

24 And now, my beloved brethren, as ye have desired to know of me what ye shall do because ye are afflicted and cast out—now I do not desire that ye should suppose that I mean to judge you only according to that which is true—

25 For I do not mean that ye all of you have been compelled to humble yourselves; for I verily believe that there are some among you who would humble themselves, let them be in whatsoever circumstances they might.

26 Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.

26 Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.

28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

29 Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.

30 But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.

31 And now, behold, are ye sure that this is a good seed? I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto its own likeness.

32 Therefore, if a seed groweth it is good, but if it groweth not, behold it is not good, therefore it is cast away.

33 And now, behold, because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed, and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good.

34 And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant; and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your mind doth begin to expand.

35 O then, is not this real? I say unto you, Yea, because it is light; and whatsoever is light, is good, because it is discernible, therefore ye must know that it is good; and now behold, after ye have tasted this light is your knowledge perfect?

36 Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither must ye lay aside your faith, for ye have only exercised your faith to plant the seed that ye might try the experiment to know if the seed was good.

37 And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit.

38 But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out.

39 Now, this is not because the seed was not good, neither is it because the fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your ground is barren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof.

40 And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life.

41 But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.

42 And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.

43 Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you.

the family


To those who are reading The Book of Mormon or are studying some of the things that I have said, or something that is new to you, if you apply the principle of the seed and the tree, I know that the truth and the good fruit will be made known to you and if it is bad then it will be known, also.

Remember that if you do not nurish the soil of the tree, or read and keep studying and searching, then the tree or truth, will wither and die.  Just like a tree, you can not know of it’s truthfulness if you don’t nurish the thought.

May you search with your heart and confirm in your mind all truths that the Lord is leading you and showing you The Way!

Alan Osmond
For The Family

Get Started With Your Garden Right Now, Even If It Is In A Container!

By on Apr 14 in Blog tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Get Started With Your Garden Right Now, Even If It Is In A Container!

The Family Garden – Week 14:

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.

Container Gardening

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






























By on Feb 12 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on SAVING AND STORING SEEDS – By Dennis Adamson

There are national and world organizations that are maintaining seeds to secure biological diversity, protect against regional or global catastrophes..

The mission of the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP) in Ft. Collins, Colorado is to acquire, evaluate, preserve, and provide a national collection of genetic resources to secure the biological diversity that underpins a sustainable U.S. agricultural economy through diligent stewardship, research, and communication.

Seed in the NPGS base collection comes from USDA-ARS-NPGS regional or crop specific field sites. This consolidated collection of all of NPGS holdings is stored at the NCGRP in secure freezers at -18°C.  The viability of stored seeds is periodically monitored using standard germination assays.  A fresh sample of seed is obtained if seed supply is too low or germination percent decreases below about 60%.  Seed longevity depends on storage conditions and seed quality. They expect most undamaged seeds that are properly dried to survive about a hundred years in conventional storage (-18C) and about a thousand years under cryogenic (liquid nitrogen) conditions.  Approximately 10 to 20% of angiosperm species produce seeds that do not survive complete desiccation. These so-called “recalcitrant” seeds (Examples are oak seeds, wild rice, and citrus) also do not survive conventional storage conditions used in gene banks. However, seeds from many of these species are amenable to cryopreservation.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault represents a global effort to safeguard plant genetic resources for future generations.  This vault is located about half way between the North Pole and the coast of Norway, near the town of Longyearbyen (population 1900), in the remote arctic island archipelago of Svalbard. Constructing the vault required drilling a 390 feet tunnel into permafrost on the side of a mountain on Spitsbergen Island.  The vault consists of three large concrete chambers that collectively have the capacity to hold 3.5 million seed samples.  Seed of crops important for food and agriculture will be safely stored for hundreds to thousands of years, protected from global or regional catastrophes.  Participation in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault endeavor gave the United States a visible presence in the worldwide effort to safeguard the genetic diversity that underpins our food supply.  The worldwide effort to preserve seeds is consistent with the philosophy that genetic resources are global assets. The historic opening of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault was celebrated 26 February 2008.  Over 11,000 NPGS samples were included in the initial shipments of seeds from all over the world.

Of course we don’t have the possibility of storing seeds under these conditions.  There are factors that we can control to prolong the viability of our seeds.

  1. Humidity: Susan Stieve, curator of the Ohio State University Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center, said that too much moisture is the biggest contributing factor behind seed deterioration.  The higher the seed moisture content, the quicker the seed quality will degrade.  The most important thing is to keep the seed as dry as possible.  Every 1 percent decrease in seed moisture content doubles seed storage life.
  2. Temperature: Stieve said that growers and seed companies can also follow a few basic rules of thumb when keeping temperature in check. Every 10 degrees Fahrenheit decrease in storage temperature doubles the seed storage life at temperatures above freezing.
  3. Light: Seeds should be stored in a dark environment.  Light degrades the viability of stored seeds.
  4. Rate of seed degradation: this depends on the type of seed that you have and the overall storage life of the plant, said Stieve. Understanding what type of seed you have and its relative storage life is the first step to effective seed storage.  She added that seeds represent only 5 percent of production costs, so growers should consider the risk of planting stored seed as opposed to purchasing new seed.  Old seed loses strength. Germination tests will not indicate seed strength, which is sometimes called “vigor.”  Use of good seed is very important. Buy only from dealers who have a reputation for handling good seed.  Many vegetable diseases are transmitted through seed and planting diseased seed often results in severe losses,  according to the University of Alabama Division of Agriculture.

The following chart can help you determine how long you should try to store your seeds at home.

Virginia Cooperative Extension: Virginia Tech

Viability of Vegetable Seeds
(Average number of years seeds may be saved)
Vegetable Years
Asparagus 3
Bean 3
Beet 4
Broccoli 3
Brussels sprouts 4
Cabbage 4
Carrot 3
Cauliflower 4
Celery 3
Chinese cabbage 3
Collard 5
Corn, sweet 2
Cress, water 5
Cucumber 5
Eggplant 4
Endive 5
Kale 4
Kohlrabi 3
Leek 2
Lettuce 6
Muskmelon 5
Mustard 4
Okra 2
Onion 1
Parsley 1
Parsnip 1
Pea 3
Pepper 2
Pumpkin 4
Radish 5
Rutabaga 4
Spinach 3
Squash 4
Tomato 4
Turnip 4
Watermelon 4

A more generalized rule of thumb is: Store peppers, onions and corn for no more than two years. Beans, peas, squash and cabbage seeds remain viable for up to four years. Cucumbers, melons, and some green, leafy vegetable seeds still germinate and develop well after as long as six years of storage, according to Washington State University Extension.

Once you have decided to store seeds the NCGPR says the best way to store them is to dry seeds to about 20 % RH and store in vapor-proof containers in a cold place like a home freezer (the crisper tray of the refrigerator is the 2nd best and a cool dry place in a basement would the the 3rd best).  Those seeds left from a packet purchased at a store should be kept in these conditions until you plant the seeds, those remaining should go right back into the storage.

When saving seeds from plants grown in the garden, the following should be followed:  Always pick your most desirable, hardy and flavorful plants.  Make sure they are not hybrids or that they haven’t cross pollinated with other varieties.  You will have to decided if the time it takes to process the seeds is worth the effort especially with tomato and eggplant seeds.

Certain vegetables, such as beans, peas, peppers and tomatoes, make saving vegetable seeds simple: These have self-pollinating flowers, meaning they pollinate automatically before the flowers open.  The most difficult seeds to save include beets and carrots because they need two growing seasons to make the seeds. Use 1/2 cup dried powdered milk or silica gel with the seeds to absorb moisture. You can purchase silica gel from craft stores or the Internet.  Either of these should be left in the container that you will be used for storage for 11 days for small seeds or up to 15 days for larger seeds and then removed.  The containers, which should have airtight seals, can then be put in storage.

Peppers and tomatoes should be harvested at the point when the fruit are perfectly ripe. This means you need to know what color the final product should be: waiting for something like the Green Grape tomato to turn scarlet will mean you never save a seed, as that fruit turns a sort of gooseberry green at maturity. Pepper varieties can be even more confusing, as some will go to their graves green, while for others red or brown indicates the final stage of ripeness.

When your selected pepper reaches maturity, pick it and slice in half. Scoop out the seeds and sprinkle them out on a plate, taking care to keep them from ending up in pairs or clumps. Don’t put them on paper or a paper plate as the seed stick fast to both.  Set the plates someplace dry and somewhat cool–temperatures over about 90 degrees can kill off many seed varieties. Check them frequently, mixing them a bit to insure good air circulation. Stop the drying process when the seeds are no longer supple.

Tomato seeds are also easy to save once you do the following technique. Select, pick and slice, just as with the peppers. Then squeeze the contents of the tomato out into a bowl.  Add enough water so that the volume of the bowl increases by half again. Set this mixture aside for three days, in a place to ferment. Stir once in the morning and again at night. How quickly the top mold caused by the fermenting will develop depends on the temperature, but in a house temperature of 70 degrees three days should do it.  When the mold is clearly visible add about the same amount of water as you did three days ago. Stir well and then skim or pour off what stays on top. What floats to the bottom are the viable seeds. Rinse these seeds and then air dry them. Again, avoid extreme heat. If your seeds begin sprouting, it means the drying process has been too slow. Throw that batch away and try again. Use a screen instead of a plate, or a fan to improve air circulation. Don’t use use any added heat to try to speed things up.  This will destroy the seeds.

With eggplants, cucumbers and summer squash, wait until they are well beyond the edible stage or the seeds will be immature. The eggplants should have lost their gleam and changed their hue, the cucumbers turned soft and off-color, and the summer squash toughened.

Eggplant seeds are tiny and difficult to separated from the flesh. If you have waited long enough, the pulp can sometimes be teased away from the seeds by hand. If that doesn’t work, pulverize it with a potato masher or with a small food processor, so that the maximum number of seeds are exposed. Then, put the entire mess in a pail of tepid water and leave it there until the seeds have settled to the bottom. Skim the top off, and pour the remains through cheesecloth or a fine strainer. Sometimes you have to do several rinses to achieve a state of marginal cleanliness, but don’t feel that the final product must look as sparkling as the original seeds in the packet.

Your over-ripe cucumbers should be split in half and hollowed out. The gelatinous covering on each seed will disappear if they are soaked in warm water overnight. You can rub off any additional coating that is left in the morning.

Summer squash are treated much the same as cucumbers. All you have to do is wash the seeds enough to clean off any meaty remains or slimy remains.

The following link has several seed harvesting techniques, to include some fruits:

Saving Your Own Vegetable Seeds (PDF file)

Leave the plates in a dry place where the temperatures will stay even and below 90 degrees. A day or two should be enough, especially if you stir the seeds a couple of time a day and/or have a fan blowing on them.  Stop when the seeds are dry, but not completely dried out.  Be sure to write the names and date of the seeds on the packets that you are storing them in.

Place the seeds in something like a baggie and then they can be layered into a plastic storage container that is suitable for the freezer or refrigerator.  Once you are ready to plant in the spring, bring them out of storage and let them get to room temperature before planting.  Plant just as you would those seeds you purchase from a store.

If you are planting seeds that are more than a year old you can test for germination (the seeds that will sprout).  Germination rates decrease when using older vegetable seeds. Test germination by pre-sprouting about 10 seeds on damp paper towels to see if at least 50 to 55 percent still germinate. If so, the seeds are still viable. If less than 85 percent sprout, sow the seeds thicker than instructed on the seed package for best results.  The general health, or vigor, is also reduced as the seeds age according to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.  Germination rate doesn’t test for vigor and there is no test for this that home growers can use.  The following is a step by step way to test for germination.

  1. Place 10 seeds on one side of a moistened paper towel (just damp, not soaking wet) and then fold the other half over the seeds.  Do this for each type of seed you are testing.
  2. Place the paper towels in a zip lock bag and seal it.  Label the bag with the date and seed type.
  3. Place the zip lock bag in a room where the temperature remains constant until the seeds begin to sprout, usually seven to 10 days. Parsley, carrot and celery seeds may require a longer time.
  4. Conclude how viable the seeds are by counting the number of seeds that sprout. If eight to 10 seeds from the bag sprout, the seeds are viable enough to plant according to the seed coverage directions on the package. If six or seven seeds sprout, sow 25 percent more seeds than indicated on the package directions. If five seeds or less sprout, discard the seeds.

Saving your own vegetable seed is a pleasurable activity. It offers a sense of self-sufficiency and can save money. You can maintain a variety that is not available commercially or old-time varieties (heirloom), that often have disease and pest resistance or cold hardiness. Participation in a seed-saver’s exchange can also be a rewarding experience. Extra seeds may be traded for unusual types that are not available through other sources.

There are several excellent books out on the market.  The one most often recommended is “Seed to Seed,” by Suzanne Ashworth

As I was researching this subject I came across several survival seed kits.  I also found the following statement: Survival kits often cost over $100.  The same variety of heirloom seeds can be bought for around $30 if bought individually from a gardening shop or a mail order seed catalog.  Since different varieties of seeds remain viable and vigorous for different lengths of time all the seeds in the kits will need to be rotated at different time intervals.  Also, since they often come in large cans it may not be as easy to store these in the freezer or the refrigerator to maximize the storage times.  An old seed that has been stored too long will lose its vigor and will produce weaker plants.  These then will provide less produce, be more susceptible to insects and disease, if they germinate at all.

According to the NCGRP, answers to questions site:

What is the oldest living seed? The most reliable studies show some seeds in soil at archeological sites surviving for 100 to 1,700 years. (e.g. Odum 1965. Germination of ancient seeds: floristical observations and experiments with archaeological dated soil samples. Dan. Bot, Arkiv 24(2):1-70; Shen-Miller, J., Mudgett, M.B., Schopf, J.W., Clarke, S., and Berger, R. 1995. Exceptional seed longevity and robust growth: Ancient sacred lotus from China. American Journal of Botany).

Unfortunately, I was not able to access the actual article.  I don’t know if there were any seeds other than the ancient sacred lotus from China listed in the above sited article.  It is referenced by several articles just as shown above. Having done research and having published in both national and international journals, when doing a literature search, there are often articles sited that when read in the complete form aren’t properly sited and mislead and bolster statements that are incorrect. I also know there is some controversy about seeds found at archeological sites.  A USU horticultural specialist has stated that there has never been a documented source where seeds such as ancient Indian corn has been found, planted and the seed has germinated.  The only one that he knows about is a coconut that was dated to about 1,700 years old that germinated.

2 Corinthians 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;

Next week:  When and how to start your seeds

Dennis Adamson
For The Family

Gardening In Small Spaces. (Are You Following Dennis?)

By on Jan 28 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment on Gardening In Small Spaces. (Are You Following Dennis?)

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:


  1. 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”

Dennis Adamson
For The Family  (Any Questions?)


Are You Planting Good Seeds? You Will Reap The Seeds You Sew.

By on Jan 25 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments on Are You Planting Good Seeds? You Will Reap The Seeds You Sew.

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.

Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.

He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you. “The young executives were Shocked, but the boss continued. “I am going to give each one of you a SEED today – one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you.
I will then
judge the plants that you bring, and the one
I choose will be
the next CEO.”

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.

Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still

By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by — still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however, he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil – He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection.

Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful — in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives.

Jim just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO. “Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!”

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!”

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed – Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, “Behold your next Chief Executive Officer!

His name is Jim!” Jim couldn’t believe it. Jim couldn’t even grow his seed.

“How could he be the new CEO?” the others said.

Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow.

All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!”

* If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.

* If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.

* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.

* If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.

* If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.

* If you plant hard work, you will reap success.

* If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.

Marie Osmond
For The Family