It’s June! Mid to Late Summer Vegetable Gardening

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summer vegetable gardening

Even the most avid gardeners have a bad year! Any number of things can keep you out of the garden in April and May, weather problems, work commitments, family problems . . . we’ve all been there. But don’t give up on your summer vegetable garden just yet. There are still plenty of yummy veggies you can get planted now (in mid to late June) and get a nice harvest before the summer ends.

Let’s talk about what you can still get planted now and also talk about a few things that you can wait on and plant in about 5 or 6 weeks (Around August 1st for most of us).

Summer/Warm Season Veggies in Your Summer Vegetable Garden

Tomatoes

No summer garden is complete without a few tomato plants and you can still get some in. Tomatoes are an important part of a food storage pantry. Hurry on this one! Most nurseries will still have a few tomato plants hanging around but they wont last much longer. (Don’t try to plant tomatoes by seed this time of year.)

IMG_9950This late in the year you want to be thinking about smaller, quicker maturing varieties. Try some type of cherry tomato (varieties to look for include Sun Sugar, and Sweet 100). They are relatively fast growers and should still give you a good harvest in September and early October.

You can also try some of the tomatoes that produce small to medium sized fruit. Think varieties like Early Girl, possibly Celebrity, or many of the Roma tomatoes. Try to find tomatoes that grow on determinate vines (vs indeterminate) as these will spent less time growing vines and more time growing fruit.

The 6 weeks you have lost in growing time means you won’t have a huge harvest this year, but if you get them in soon you should still have plenty for fresh eating and, hopefully, canning!

Summer Squashes

Zucchini and yellow crook neck squash are actually quite fast growing. Look for varieties that have a maturity date of around 60 to 70 days and you should still have lots of time to grow more zucchini than you can eat! You could also look for a patty pan squash with a short maturity date.

Green beans

Most bush type green beans have a maturity date of around 60 to 70 days, so there is plenty of summer left for beans. In fact, I don’t make my last planting of green beans until mid July and still have a great harvest, incuding plenty to can following these easy instructions.

Melons

If you would still like to plant a melon, you have a little bit of time left, but choose the small “ice box” types as those take much less time to mature. You can also get cantaloupe planted now. Again, don’t expect a huge harvest this year, but you will still have a few melons that will be ready before the frost comes.

Potatoes

If you can find the seed still around at your local nurseries, there is time to grow a nice crop of potatoes. In fact, you could continue to plant potatoes until mid July in most areas of the country and still get a nice harvest of small roasting potatoes. This time of the year I would stay away from the big “baking” potatoes, like russets. You are running short of time to get them to maturity.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are a good late season planter. Again, you may not get the huge yields you are used to, but by planting seeds now, you can still have a fairly respectable crop.

Onions

If you can still find a package of onion sets at your local nursery, they will do okay this time of year. You won’t get a lot of large onions but you will have plenty of smaller onions and green onions. Don’t try growing onions from seed or starts this late in the year.

Herbs

Many herbs will still do well if planted this time of year. It would be best to plant starts instead of trying to plant seeds.

Cool Weather Veggies

You can still have an awesome harvest of cool weather veggies by planning now to get them planted in late summer and early fall. Nearly anything you would normally plant in the spring time, you can also plant in the fall. A good, solid summer vegetable garden can extend into the cooler months, if you jump on it now!

Fall LettuceCole crops

These plants are broccoli, cabbage, kale, and kohlrabi. If you grow your own seedlings, mid June is a good time to start a fall crop of all these yummy cool season veggies. If you plant any of the cole crops indoors now, they will be ready for planting out in the garden in about 6 to 8 weeks.

That means you will be planting them around mid-August, and they will mature in October when the weather has cooled back to those temperatures that cole crops love so much! You may find many of these veggies are even tastier in the fall because a night or two of frost helps to sweeten the flavor. If you end up with a lot of extras, try dehydrating them for quick meals, as in these instructions for dehydrating cabbage.

Lettuce

You can start replanting lettuce about 6 to 8 weeks before your first frost (for us that’s August 1 – 15). Fall planted lettuce can last unprotected in your garden until early December, depending on where you live.

Spinach

Most people see spinach as a spring only crop, but it does very well in thCover Photoe fall! Again look at planting about 6 weeks before your first frost and you will be able to start harvesting in late October. Then cover those plants with a cold frame or hoop house and they will grow over the winter for an extra early spring crop.

Root crops

Carrots, turnips, beets and radishes all do well in the fall and you can start replanting them around 6 weeks before your last frost.

So as you can see, all is not lost for your summer garden! Get out there this weekend to put some seeds and plants in your garden so you can still have an awesome harvest this year!

Guest Post by Rick Stone of www.ourstoneyacres.com.

 

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Grow Your Own: Winter Lettuce and Microgreens

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Grow Your Own: Winter Lettuce and Microgreens Winter is a tough time to grow food, we all know that. This article shows us how to grow winter lettuce and micro greens inside over the winter months. If SHTF this may be all we can gather, especially if you get a lot of snow and freezing …

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Book: Homegrown Whole Grains

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A backyard field of grains? Yes, absolutely! Wheat and corn are rapidly replacing grass in the yards of dedicated locavores across the country. For adventurous homeowners who want to get in on the movement, Homegrown Whole Grains is the place to begin. Growing whole grains is simpler and more rewarding than most people imagine. With […]

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Growing Mushrooms In A Laundry Basket

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Growing Mushrooms In A Laundry Basket Grow mushrooms with a basket and some straw and have them literally coming out of your ears. Thought you might like to see a great way to grow mushrooms outdoors if you have a shady place that gets watered regularly… Great for an emergency food source or just save money at …

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How To Build A Small-Scale, Backyard Aquaponics System For Less Than $100

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aquaponics

Every homestead can benefit from a small scale aquaponics system. Let’s examine some of the reasons you might want to try one this year:

Enjoyment. It’s fun to watch fish grow and swim (even under ice in the winter). It’s also fascinating that you can grow healthy plants without soil.

Fresh produce. So many plants can be grown in aquaponics systems. The main consideration is the temperature if you plan on keeping the plants in the system. Example: scallions and strawberries can be kept year-round. Tomatoes, peppers and such are only growable in the warmer months, unless you have the system in a heated area.

Fresh fish. Even in a small system, you can raise edible fish. Catfish, perch and tilapia are all good, edible fish. You can even raise minnows or Koi to sell!

Natural fertilizer. I love using my fish water for fertilizer. A cup of fish water diluted into 5 gallons of water will be a nice light fertilizer for your garden or house plants.

Building a small aquaponics system is flexible. You can be as low tech as using a heavy tarp for a small pond liner, or you can purchase an aquaponics tank setup. I will explain how I have my system, which cost under $100 and has been running over a year.

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I used an old recycled 12-foot pool. This is one of the pools you can buy at just about any general store with an inflating ring on top. The pump will not be any good, but you can buy a small fish pond pump for about $25. The plant container I used was the top of a plastic drum, so it had the two bung holes in the bottom. Along with these supplies, I used some stone that I had in the driveway to serve as growing media.

How To Build A Small-Scale, Backyard Aquaponics System For Less Than $100

Image source: Pixabay.com

To summarize, the important components included only the following:

1. Old recycled 12-foot pool.

2. 1 plastic drum.

3. Stone (small driveway stone).

To assemble:

1. Dig a hole in the ground, 4 feet by 4 feet by 4 feet (saves money and keeps the pond cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter).

2. Place some sand in the bottom of the hole.

3. Use some old tarp and rugs to line the hole (to prevent puncturing the pool liner).

4. Put in the pool liner.

5. Fill the pond, but don’t drain your well! (You could use collected rain water.)

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6. Pull out creases in the pond liner as you fill it. (So cleaning the walls in the future won’t be a hassle.)

Now that you have a small in-ground pool, it’s time to work on the growing container.

1. Cut the top of the drum. (I used a jigsaw, but you can use a circular saw carefully).

2. If using the top of the drum, cut it about 12 to 18 inches deep and use the end with the bungs.

3. Put a couple of treated 4x4s across your pond to rest the “drum top” on. Obviously, the bung holes will be facing down and keep the bung holes from draining on the treated lumber.

Time to fill the container

1. Place large stones over the bung holes so that small stones won’t fall through.

2. Fill container with stone (river rock, driveway stone, etc.).

3. Place your pond pump in the pond and the hose in the center of the growing container.I put a 6-inch terracotta planter bottom on top of my planter, and I have my hose pouring into that so it helps distribute the water.

4. I put a 6-inch terracotta planter bottom on top of my planter, and I have my hose pouring into that so it helps distribute the water.

This system works well and allows you even to take onion bottoms you cut and grow them into onion tops. Get creative and enjoy your own small aquaponics system. One last tip: Get some barley straw and toss it into your pond (it will naturally kill the algae that will grow in a pond).

Do you have any aquaponics tips? Share your advice in the section below:

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Grow Your Own Off-Grid, Heal-Anything Herbal Medicine Chest

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Grow Your Own Off-Grid, Heal-Anything Herbal Medicine Chest

Chamomile. Image source: Pixabay.com

 

Long before penicillin and other antibiotics, herbal remedies were a standard prescription for a variety of ailments. Here, I’m going to discuss some of the most well-known herbal medicines and highlight the ones you can grow in your own backyard or as potted plants in your home. I’ll also cover basic preparations, administrations and conditions.

The availability of herbs in your garden can vary depending on the seasons, but most can be grown as potted plants on a kitchen windowsill or anywhere in the house where you have regular sunshine. You also can dry herbs or preserve them, but make sure you refrigerate or process any herb that you store as a paste or solution for any period of time.

The herbs we have listed here are in no particular order related to effectiveness. (It’s not like there’s one “super herb” that works for everything.) Their effectiveness varies. Some offer immediate relief, while others need to be taken regularly over a period of time to present results.

You should always check with your doctor before using herbal remedies, especially if you are taking prescription medications. Some herbs diminish or contradict the effectiveness of some pharmaceuticals.

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Here’s what you should have in your herbal medicine chest:

1. Garlic

Grow Your Own Off-Grid, Heal-Anything Herbal Medicine Chest

Image source: Pixabay.com

Garlic is a natural blood thinner and stimulates circulation. It has been shown to reduce blood pressure when used regularly, and has both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It can be eaten as an ingredient in a meal, chewed raw if you can stand it, or roasted and spread on bread like butter. It’s a perennial plant, and the bulbs can be easily divided and replanted to deliver a steady supply. It also grows easily as a houseplant and the flowers are actually quite sweet smelling.

2. Peppermint

Peppermint is used as a remedy for sore throat and congestion when taken as a tea (you can steep both fresh and dried leaves in hot water). It also can relieve canker sores as a tea or a gargle. When pulverized and spread on the skin, it can soothe muscle aches. It also relieves indigestion and cramping. It’s a perennial but be careful; it truly spreads like a weed. If you don’t have a large and distant patch of property for a peppermint patch, it’s best raised as a potted plant, even outdoors. If it flowers, trim the blooms or the leaves will become bitter.

3. Calendula

Calendula is sometimes referred to as a pot marigold. Historically, it has been used as an antiseptic and anti-fungal treatment both internally and especially externally as a wound-healing and skin-soothing agent. When made into a paste, it was often used as a diaper cream and remedy for other skin irritations. It’s a self-seeding annual that grows well as a potted plant indoors. The yellow/orange petals are the primary source of healing agents.

4. Lemon Balm

A member of the mint family, lemon balm is known for its antispasmodic effects on the stomach, as a remedy for irritable bowel syndrome, and for its relaxing effects on the nervous system. It’s also a topical skin reliever and in one study done by the NYU Medical Center, it was found to relieve and diminish the effects of herpes simplex. It makes an excellent tea – served hot or cold – when steeped in hot water. It’s a perennial but does not spread like its mint cousins and can easily be grown as a potted plant.

5. Rosemary

A member of the pine family, rosemary has long been used as both a culinary and medicinal herb. Its primary benefit, according to the Georgetown University Medical Center, is its stimulant properties related to circulation and oxygenation to the brain. Some people see this as an alternative to the stimulant properties of coffee. It’s a perennial in southern climates but must be potted and taken indoors in northern latitudes in North America.  Keep it well-watered and replant outdoors in late spring.

6. Mullein

Grow Your Own Off-Grid, Heal-Anything Herbal Medicine Chest

Image source: Pixabay.com

Mullein is an ancient herb used by the Romans for coughs and colds. It is usually taken as an infusion or tea from the steeped flowers. Some pharmaceutical companies also add a mullein extract to their cough formulas. It is a perennial plant and often grows wild. It’s easy to spot in a meadow or field because its stalk stands six feet tall above the grass and weeds. The tall stalk and flowers are the parts of the plant you harvest.

7. Chamomile

There are a lot of opinions about natural sedatives and natural anti-depressants like St. John’s Wort. One that is often underappreciated is chamomile. The National Institute of Health reports that chamomile is one of the best herbs for treating colic, nervous stress, infections and stomach disorders in children. It’s an annual plant but reseeds prolifically. The small flowers are the prime ingredient often infused in a tea.

There are many other herbal remedies, from gingko to ginseng. All can be grown in your yard and garden. The key is to know you have options.

What would you add to this list? Share your advice in the section below:

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Aquaponics!

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Aquaponics!
Brett Bauma “Makers On Acres

AquaponicsOk, so Aquaponics is becoming a buzz word, and rightfully so. Aquaponics is one of the greatest ways to grow food on a homestead or even in an apartment! Aquaponics is a very versatile system that can be scaled to fit any person’s needs.

1-16-16 download (3)So what is it exactly? Well if you tune in to the show, we will discuss what aquaponics is, and we will also discuss what many don’t know, and what it is NOT. Many in the circle around this system think it is a solution to all the worlds hunger problems, and in some ways it is, but also in some ways it is not.

1-16-16 download (2)How can we start with an aquaponic system for ourselves and how much is it going to cost me?

Well we can build a system for $40 or $40,000! The key is you need to know what you are going to get in return, and also what you are NOT going to get in return. Aquaponic systems can cost quite a bit to get started, but if done right the first time it will be worth it.

Make sure you tune in to hear an un-biased view and see if it is right for you and your situation.
Visit Makers on Acres website http://makersonacres.com/

Join us for Makers On Acres “LIVE SHOW” every Saturday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

Listen to this broadcast or download “Aquaponics” in player below!

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16 Foods You Can Regrow From Scraps

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16 Foods You Can Regrow From Scraps Become self sufficient and save a lot of cash by regrowing food from your scraps today! I do this all year round. I have literally saved thousands over the 3 years I have been doing this! I have tried this with garlic and have enjoyed free garlic now …

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Highlander visits Makers on Acres

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Highlander visits Makers on Acres
Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps

Makers on Acres 160x160In this episode we talk with Brett Bauma about his upcoming show Makers On Acres Tech, Build and Grow. Brett will go over the basics of what his show is all about.

12-21-15-8f2cd116f1f4cda0c8b03e59d379e9bc-300x200Brett Bauma, the host of the Makers On Acres Tech, Build and Grow show is going to talk to us about his upcoming shows, and where they are headed. Brett started Makers On Acres with his 8 year old son about 6 months ago with a vision of coupling homesteading and technology to bring their audience a new perspective on efficient paths to self reliance. Brett comes from a background of being a Journeyman level carpenter, and many years in the automation, process control and electrical fields where he still works as an electrician.

12-21-15-1-300x225Combining his knowledge and experience in electrical and automation with his passion for gardening and homesteading, Brett will be bringing some wonderful projects to the DIY world that will help all create a more productive and efficient life.

Many of the technologies that Makers On Acres focus’ on in their projects are open source platforms designed for the DIY maker/inventor. Some of the platforms include the Arduino, Rasberry PI, Orange PI and many others. These systems can be easily customized and programmed to do a multitude of tasks autonomously.  These systems are easily programmed and are adaptable to a large selection of sensors and add on’s (Shields). The development boards have a large number of open forums and coding that is available to help the entry level user hit the ground running with their new projects.

Brett hopes that through his show he will be able to inspire new projects, educate the DIY enthusiast and teach new users so that they can start building their creations and making their own dreams realities.
Join us for Survival & Tech Preps “LIVE SHOW” every Monday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

Listen to this broadcast or download “Highlander visits Makers on Acres” in player below!

Get the 24/7 app for your smart phone HERE! 
Put the 24/7 player on your web site HERE
Listen to archived shows of all our hosts . Schedule tabs at top left of page!

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