August 27, 2014

August 1, 2014

What to do with all that squash you grew

Are you in the middle of a squash bonanza like me? I've eaten it fried, dried, in casseroles and stir fried! I wanted to share a simple way to preserve squash by dehydrating and also this good recipe for dried squash chips that I made this week.

First how to dry squash:
I use a purchased dehydrator. It was not expensive and there are lots of choices for these on line. There are also instructions for making your own solar dehydrator too. I like the one I have. It has served me well for several years and is plenty big for what I need to dry. The photos below are a step-by-step on drying zucchini. The same method works for any summer squash. If the squash was extra large I cut the round slices into two sections.
1. Slice 1/8 in. thick


2. Layer slices on rack 

3. Ready to remove and store in baggies

Seasoned Squash Chips:
Using the same method as above except before layering slices on your racks, put the squash slices into a gallon sized baggie and add 1-2 teaspoons each of dried oregano, dried basil and garlic salt plus about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Zip up the baggie and shake to coat all the slices. You can use purchased Italian seasoning mix if you don't have dried basil and oregano. If you do that use less salt. Now put on the racks and dry as above. These make a great healthy snack

seasoned chips ready for drying

Next week I will post my Zucchini Lasagna experiment. The photo below shows that it was a hit!

Tad slurped it up!

July 25, 2014

Fun Gardening, Cooking and Craft videos!

OK I'm guilty. I spent way too much time today on Youube. But  it is a Saturday morning after all - or was when I started! LOL!

Here are a few awesome tips I found there.

and one more...these girls are sort of silly but it's a cute idea.

July 18, 2014

Step by Step Propagating Lesson

I posted this little lesson on the Gardening Forum I belong to and figure there are folks out there who can also benefit from it.

Nearly all the plants I sell in my little nursery are propagated from cuttings that I take from my own plants. I have a mist system set up in my greenhouse where they are rooted and potted up for sale.

The following pictures show how I cut, trimmed and prepared an Oak Leaf  Hydrangea for the mist bed.

1. Here is where I made the cut on my plant. It is below 2 leaf nodes (where the leaves come out of the stem)

2. Here is what the stem looked like before I trimmed off the excess foliage: trimming is important so the plant does not waste energy trying to keep all those leaves alive. It will use it's energy to make roots!

4.Here are all the leaves I cut off . I was able to make two cutting to propagate from that one stem.

5. Now I "wound" the stem by cutting a small amount of the bark away. This helps the plant form roots.
6. Dip the end into rooting hormone. I use Hormodin #2 rooting powder but any hormone you can buy at a garden store will work.
7. Here are the cuttings in my mist system. They should have enough roots to survive in a pot in about 45 days.
 Try it yourself and make lots of free plants! Be sure you don't root any patented plants or the plant police will get you! Seriously, if you get caught there could be fines. Not worth the price of a plant.