Sunday, June 28, 2009

How To Know When to Pick Green Beans

My first batch of green beans for the year are almost ready to pick. It is one of my favorite vegetables to plant in the Celtic Ozark Garden. My family loves them also. It also happens to be very easy to grow green beans.

One of the questions I am frequently asked is, "how do you know when to start expecting green beans to pick?" So, I decided to shoot a video this month of the subject. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Get Some Great Tomoatoes

It will soon be time to pick the first of The Celtic Ozark Garden Tomatoes for the year. What a treat. It is, without a doubt, on of my family's favorite vegetables.

I have had questions lately about how to get some great tomatoes from the garden. There can be many answers to that question. However, I find two things typcially make the difference between lack luster and bumper crops.

Overfeeding tomatoes is one of the things that gardeners often do that contributes to a lack of tomato growth. You can almost see the Miracle Gro Containers attached every weekend, sometimes. If you have fertilized well before planting in the spring, and again before the summer crop goes in, that is probably all you need. One exception to that can be fertilizing when you have yellowed or stunted tomatoes. In cases like that, use a good general purpose vegetable fertilizer with lots of nitrogen. Apply the fertilizer at 1/3 the amount recommended. If it is a powder or granular type, make sure you water well, so the fertilizer does not burn the plants.

The other issue is overwatering tomatoes. I like to water the tomatoes with a hose, down on the ground. Don't spray the plants, as the water can cause blossom rot on your tomatoes. One good watering a week is usually enough. If you water too much, you end up with lots of green leafs that the Luna Moths will praise you for later in the year! You want the plant to get down to the business of making fruit.

Paying attention to these two simple things can help you grow some great tomatoes. Good luck to you and your Celtic Ozark Garden.

Ray Province
The Celtic Ozark Garden

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Turnips Are the Best


It has been a while since I took time to update the progress of my garden. The Spring was successful, except for snap peas. We just received too much rain in the Ozarks. We have eaten Spinach and lettuce until we are as green as our Irish pride. That helps to make up for the loss of some snap peas.

Turnips are one of my favorite Spring time plants. I grow a Purple Globe Heirloom turnip from the Baker Creek Seed Company. They are easy to grow, and very hardy.

Plant them from seed in Mid to late March. As the turnips begin to grow, you want to thin them so 4" of room exists between each of your plants. I must admit, however, that I do not always do that well. I so enjoy the greens! So, I each my way to the proper distance between the turnips.

After my turnips get around 2" in diameter, I break off the tops. This will cause the turnips to grow larger. It won't kill the plant.

I like big turnips. The strong flavor tends to moderate in larger ones. You do have to watch for plant rot, however. I have included a picture for you to see.

Til next time, happy gardening,

Ray Province

Ray Province is a retired minister and owner of the Celtic Ozarkian, a website dedicated to creating a chronicle of life in the Ozarks. You can reach him at or @celticozarkian on Twitter.