Growing a Vegetable Garden

Garden Vegetables

Side Dressing - Cherokee Purple Tomatoes

Cherokee Purple Tomatoes

This year I was able to transplant my Cherokee Purple tomatoes about 3 weeks earlier than usual because of the mild temperatures in March. Seeing little tomatoes this early is strange, for me at least. It’s recommended that tomato plants be side dressed with fertilizer at first fruit set and approx. once a month after that throughout the season. Since my soil test last fall indicated a high level of Phosphorus I’m going to try and avoid adding anymore. Water soluble Calcium Nitrate 15-0-0 will be used in place of my usual 20-20-20 balanced fertilizer.

In my video side dressing tomatoes you can see just how easy it’s done. Applying fertilizer approx. 4 square feet around the plants I determined that each plant needed 0.33 oz. Using a 2 gallon water can I mixed 0.66 oz. and gave each plant 1 gallon of the mix. The Calcium Nitrate, being water soluble, will go to work right away. This will be done about once a month throughout the season.

To determine the amount of fertilizer needed in the garden. Note: Best to apply a little less than to put too much

Cheerokee Purple Tomatoes

Update: A combination of early planting, cooler weather and side dressing is allowing the plant to really put on a good crop of tomatoes as you can see in the picture.  They’ll get another round of side dressing the first week of June.

Picked the first two of the season just the other day and letting them fully ripen on the cabinet.  Cut up with cucumbers they'll make a good salad.

Testing your soil

Soil Savvy Solil Test Kit

Soil Savvy Soil Test KIt by Unibest is an easy to use kit, just add your soil. Samples are mailed to Unibest in a postage paid envelope and tested in their lab.  Watch Video

Vegetables you can grow in the Fall / Winter Garden

CabbageCabbage - Copenhagen Market
Southern Giant CurledMustard Green - Southern Giant Curled
Broccoli - Packman HybridBroccoli - Packman Hybrid
Cauliflower - AmazingCauliflower - Amazing
Beets - Detroit Dark RedBeets - Detroit Dark Red
Lettuce - ButtercrunchLettuce - ButterCrunch
Kohlrabi - Purple ViennaKohlrabi - Purple Vienna
Carrots - Danvers 126Carrots - Danvers 126





My top picks for the vegetable garden

Over the years I've come to favor certain varieties that I'd like to share with you.  Flavor most often determines my choices but in some cases production is also a factor.

Beans, Snap, Bush … Contender (production) Blue Lake (flavor)

Beans, Snap, Pole … Blue Lake (flavor)

Beets … Detroit Dark Red and Bull’s Blood (flavor)

Broccoli … Packman (flavor and production)

Cabbage … Copenhagen Market (flavor and holds well)

Cantaloupe … Hales Best Jumbo (flavor and production)

Carrots … Danvers 126 (production)

Cauliflower … Amazing and Snowball self-blanching (flavor)

Corn, Sweet … Incredible (flavor and production)

Cucumber … Just about any Burpless (flavor)

Eggplant …. Black Beauty (flavor and production)

Lettuce … ButterCrunch (flavor and production)

Mustard Green … Southern Giant Curled and Tendergreen (flavor and production)

Okra … Cowhorn (flavor and production)

Onions, Bulb … Candy (flavor, production and they're huge)

Onions, Tops … Evergreen White Bunching (production)

Peas … “Top Pick” pink eye purple hull and Zipper Cream (flavor and production)

Peppers, Hot … Hungarian Hot Wax (mild flavor and production)

Peppers, Sweet … Bull Nose (flavor and production)

Potatoes, Irish … Red Lasorda (only kind we can get locally)

Spinach … Bloomsdale (flavor)

Squash, Summer … Early Straight Neck and the Crookneck (flavor and production)

Squash, Winter … Butter Cup (flavor and production)

Tomatoes … Cherokee Purple and Black Krim (flavor)

My Planting Guide


Zipper Cream Peas

Zipper Cream Peas

Cowhorn Okra

Cowhorn Okra

Incredible Sweet Corn

Incredible Sweet Corn

Candy Onion Transplant

Candy Onion Transplant

Latest video -  Saving Peppers Seeds - August 2017

Taylor's Little Sheller

Taylor's Little Sheller

Taylor Little Sheller Video of shelling "Top Pick" pink eye purple hull peas


Taylor's model 675

$459 + $40 shipping anywhere in the continental US

Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery




Hooke n' Crooke Hoes

Hooke n' Crooke Hoes

"Best hoe I ever had"

Hoss Tools My #1 choice for a walk behind planter. Makes planting easy with an innovative seed plate design that allows you to customize your planting to meet your exact needs. Made in the USA Hoss Tools


Pat's Easy Change System for your tractorPat's Easy Change System for your tractor


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