Jun 16, 2011
Published in Vegetable Gardening

We're well under way now with our spring garden and have been enjoying fresh squash, zucchini and cucumbers for a few weeks now.  This picture was taken about one month after our first planting.  We started the squash and zucchini on the right of the picture first, and the watermelon and cucumbers a week or two later.  A few of the squash and zucchini were started from seeds in pete pots, then transplanted to the garden.  The rest of the plants were started from seeds, directly in the garden.  

Dec 30, 2010
Published in Yardstead Blog

With 2011 right around the corner, We have spent some time reflecting upon the events of 2010.  This always leads us to making some resolutions for the new year to come. As yardsteaders, we tend to mark time by seasons and we began thinking of resolutions to match the seasons. We didn't want to just go with the typical resolution of "plant more next year".  All the vegetables we plant each year such as zuchinni, heirloom tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, onions, garlic and so on were all popular in my kitchen this year, and we intend to devote more space to these crops next spring. But to be honest, we haven't planned well in years past and we don't have something planted in our garden through each season.  I think in Florida with our climate and mild winters, this is probably almost gardening criminal.  So our New Year's gardening resolution? Plan, Plan, Plan a four-season garden and make more space in the garden to grow more unusual varieties of heirloom vegetables and fruit! 

The Yardstead wishes you much Happiness, Health, and Prosperity in the New Year.  As always Happy Yardsteading to you and your family in 2011!

Aug 11, 2010
Published in Vegetable Gardening

It seems that we have had a powdery mildew infection on our squash and zucchini plants every spring for the past 5 years.  Since I wrote this article last year about measures to take to prevent powder mildew ,  we have been powdery mildew free!  In reallity we were probably helped out this year by the weather, as well as our preventive measures.  We followed most of the guidelines already, but I wanted to share a couple of things that seem to make the biggest difference from my experience. 
     Here in Florida our sub-tropical (seems to be getting more tropical every year) climate makes a nice environment for many fungal infections.  Hot temperatures and high humidity combined with nice green cucurbits like zucchini, squash, pumpkins, and gourds,  make a very inviting environment for podwery mildew.   The spores travel on the wind, and when they land in such an ideal spot, they try to set up camp.  I believe that cucurbits have some natural resistance to fungal infections, but if the fungus gets even a slight advantage, it will win in the end. 

Mar 25, 2010
Published in Vegetable Gardening

Spring is Here!  We are so excited here at theYardstead, to be preparing our Spring garden.  The garden is tilled and has two fine patches of green already.  One of the green patches is garlic and the other is onions, both of which were planted in the late fall for harvest this summer.  We start most of our veggies from seed and sometimes supplement with plants from our local feed store.  We have a box of seeds which has accumulated seed packets over the last several seasons, some of which we will plant this year.  Kathleen, who is in charge of garden planning, will be ordering the rest from seed companies.

In the past we ordered a lot of seeds from Johnny's Seeds and Burpee, but this year we decided to go with all heirloom seeds.  Heirloom seeds are.....

Apr 27, 2008
Published in Yardstead Blog

We've had a busy week here at the yardstead.  The chicks that got soaked last Saturday are doing fine.  The baby chicks were back outside that same night, with a small shelter in case it rains again.  Unfortunately we've only had a couple of small drizzles since last saturday, so I will probably have to water the garden in the morning.  With the little bit of rainfall we've had though, I've only had to water the garden about once a week.  All the vegetables are thriving and I will probably get some current pictures posted in the gallery tommorrow.  I did manage to add a video of the buff orpington ducklings swimming and diving in their kiddie pool.  I have some more duckling videos to post tomorrow also. 
We have some blooms on the zuchinni plants in the garden.  Some tomatoes and some cucumbers are flowering also.  I am really happy so far with the .......