Posts Tagged ‘Vegetable Garden’

A Beginner’s Guide To Saving Seeds From Your Favorite Vegetables

Many gardeners like to save seeds they have collected from their own gardens.  It’s easy to save seeds especially to those fruits and vegetables that we eat. After eating them we can save those seeds, dry them up and plant them for the next season.

If left to them their own devices, fleshy fruits naturally fall to the earth, where some of their seeds sprout when spring arrives again. Saving seeds from these plants mimics nature’s way—and it’s not at all difficult to do. But remember that only seeds from open-pollinated, not hybrid, plants will produce the same crop next year. (The packet that the original seeds arrived in will tell you whether the variety is open-pollinated or hybrid.) And, except for tomatoes, the plants shouldn’t be cross-pollinated by insects (which would happen if several varieties grew in the same area).

(C) The Cookful


Peppers are the easiest. The seeds are mature after the peppers have changed color, indicating final ripeness. Cut the peppers open, scrape out the seeds onto a plate—reserving the flesh for eating—and let the seeds dry in a nonhumid, shaded place, testing them occasionally until they break rather than bend. What could be simpler?

(Note: Dry all wet seeds on a glass or ceramic plate. Spread the seeds evenly over the surface of the plate and stir twice daily to ensure even drying and to keep them from clumping together. Don’t dry seeds on paper plates or paper towels—they’ll stick like glue. A food dehydrator set at 85 degrees works well, but don’t dry them in a warm oven or any place the temperature exceeds 95 degrees.)

Melons And Squash

Muskmelons, watermelons, and winter squash? Super easy. Cut muskmelons open, scoop the seeds into a strainer, rinse, and set out to dry. Watermelons are almost as easy. Put the seeds in a strainer and add a dash of dishwashing liquid to remove any sugar left on the seeds. Rinse and dry.


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11 Pro Secrets for Growing the World’s Sweetest, Tastiest Tomatoes

“Tomato is love! I wouldn’t let my pantry run out of tomatoes even just for a day. If you are a tomato lover like me, I recommend growing your tomatoes at home.”


11 Pro Secrets for Growing the World's Sweetest, Tastiest Tomatoes

What says summer better than a big, ripe and very juicy tomato? Gardeners have been growing there delicious fruits and enjoying their goodness for a very, very long time.

Tomatoes are a garden staple; it is hard for one to even imagine a garden without at least a few tomato plants. Although growing tomatoes isn’t overly difficult, there are some ways to ensure you have the biggest and best tomatoes possible.

A lot of factors such as the quality of the seed, fertility of the soil, and the amount of sunlight and water the plants receive go into the making of a great tomato. Here are some little secrets to help you grow delicious tomatoes that all of your friends will be super jealous of.

Select flavorful varieties

You are spoilt for choice when selecting tomato varieties for your garden, but one thing you have to remember is that every type of tomato is not as red, juicy, plump or flavorful as another. In fact, the original tomatoes that grew wild in South America were much smaller than what we have today, probably as small as the cherry tomatoes. They were very light in color as well, perhaps yellowish orange at the best. Mutations along the way, and selective breeding, and later hybridizations have given us fleshy and juicy tomatoes of eye-catching color and large size.

The myriad colors and odd shapes of heirloom tomatoes aside, there exists plenty of variation among the tomato varieties today. Many of the commercially cultivated tomatoes that we find in the supermarket shelves are thick-skinned, with a waxy feel and bland taste. They have been especially developed to withstand the rigors of mechanical picking, sorting, and transportation. They need to have a long shelf life too.

When you grow your own tomatoes, you are not restricted by such considerations. Go for the sweetest and juiciest ones you can find or grow different varieties for different purposes, acidic ones for salsa, sweet ones for salads, and fleshy ones for slicing and grilling. Some of the heirloom varieties with best flavor are Aunt Ginny’s Purple, Burpee’s Globe, McClintock’s Big Pink, Big Ben, African Queen and Brandywine. In hybrids, you can look out for Glacier, Crimson Fancy, Beefy Boy, celebrity, Jet Star, Red Sun, Dona, and Scarlet Red.

Grow varieties suitable for your area

It’s not enough that you have mail-ordered the best varieties of tomatoes according to your needs and personal liking. They should be right for your climatic and soil conditions. Some heirloom varieties that produce excellent fruit in some areas may perform poorly in others. Some People carry the seeds of their favorite varieties along when they relocate, only to find that they don’t taste the same in the new place. It is not just a problem with shifting between different USDA Zones; differences in soil pH, amount of rainfall, humidity, and wind conditions can also have a big impact on fruit quality.

Scout for varieties that do well in your area. It doesn’t hurt to experiment, but you can learn a lot from fellow gardeners in your area. Try to find out …


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