Let's forget about the snow and start thinking about your vegetable garden

Only 15 days until Spring!

*How to print article's at bottom of newsletter.
Growing vegetable plants indoors from seed





Vegetable Weeks from seeding to transplant outdoors Average days for seed germination Planting depth of the seed in soil Average days to maturity Average yield per 25 ft. of row
Broccoli5-75-61/4"60-8025 lbs.
Brussels sprouts5-75-61/4"90-10020 lbs.
Cabbage5-75-61/4"60-9040 lbs.
Celery10-1210-141/8"100+40 lbs.
Cucumbers2-33-51"50-7025 lbs.
Eggplant6-86-81/4"80-9025 lbs.
Leeks8-104-61/4"125-12525 lbs.
Lettuce3-62-31/8"70-8015 lbs.
Onion6-84-61/4"90-12530 lbs.
Peppers6-88-101/4"60-9020 lbs.
Squash-summer2-34-51"50-6030 lbs.
Squash-winter2-34-51"75-10030 lbs.
Tomatoes6-106-81/4"70-9020 lbs.

These plants should be started indoors at the times recommended by this chart, before transplant. You will have to

 decide when the planting time is safe where you live. Example: on Cape Cod you can plant outside, tender plants like tomatoes on May 1 to 15. In Maine, where I live, it would be May 15 to 30 and in a Northern Vermont town like St. Johnsbury, it would be May 30 to June 15.


Before you plant directly into the garden you must "harden- off" the plants to acclimate them to the outside weather

 and temperatures. This is done by moving plants outside into a garage or tool shed for the daytime, where they are protected from the wind and rain, for 3 to 4 days. Leave the door open so plants can get sunshine on them, but are sheltered from weather. By suppertime bring them back indoors for the evening for the first 3 to 4 days.


After this period, leave plants outside if the weather permits during the day for an additional week and back in the

 building at night time with no heat. This two week hardening off period will help thicken the walls of the plant and

make it easier for the plant to adjust when moved outside and planted in the garden.


When you start the seeds, be sure to use a sterilized potting mix designed for seed starting like Black Gold seed start soil or

Espoma Seed -Starter soil. This will eliminate possible fungus problems and prevent the seeds from rotting.

 When you transplant the seedlings into flats or individual pots, you can use a potting soil, but always use a

 seeding soil to start seeds in. Starting soils are very light so that seedlings can poke thru the soil easier and are

well-drained to prevent damping-off of seedlings.


To help the seed germinate faster you can provide bottom heat with heating cables placed under the seed trays.

Your local garden center will have these heating cables in various sizes, depending on how large on an area you are using. If you are just going to germinate a few seeds use a heating pad on LOW setting and wrap it in a bath towel to spread out the heat more evenly. Cover the towel with a plastic bag to prevent water spillage and damage to

 heating pad. this year when you plant your seeds use the new Protilizer seed and plant starter for quicker results.


Your local garden center will also sell a seed germination tray with a clear cover, like a mini greenhouse,

 for under $10.00. The cover will help to hold moisture around the seed for better germination and prevent drying

 out of the soil. Keep the seed tray warm, around 70 degrees, until plants germinate, then cool 5 degrees if possible.


 Once plants sprout, you can use grow-lights if you do not have a south facing window to help plants grow without stretching for the light. Run the lights for 12 hours during the day and then off at night, so the plant can rest.

 Plant lights should be 6 to 12 inches from plant. Try it if you have not before--it is fun! Enjoy!!!  


Barbra Streisand-You must believe in spring

Barbra Streisand- 

You must believe in spring

Direct seeding in the ground vegetables




Vegetable Average days for seed germinationAverage days to maturity and fruit Inches between seedlingsInches between rows Average yield per 25' of row
Bush beans6-1445-603-424-3030 lbs.
Pole beans6-1460-704-636-4840 lbs.
Beets7-1050-602-315-2440 lbs.
Corn6-1070-9012-1824-362 to 3 dozen
Collard greens4-1060-7010-1218-2412-15 heads
Leaf lettuce4-1040-502-315-1815 lbs.
Onion sets7-1480-12080-10015-2425 lbs.
Okra7-1460-7012-1524-3025 lbs.
Parsnips14-21120-1503-418-3025 lbs.
Peas7-1460-901-218-3610-20 lbs.
Potatoes7-14100-12012-1530-3625-30 lbs.
Radishes3-1030-401-212-1825 lbs.
Spinach7-1440-603-415-2410-20 lbs.
Sweet Potatoes7-14100-12012-1530-3625 lbs.
Swiss chard7-1450-603-415-2415-25 lbs.
Turnips5-1040-602-315-2425 lbs.

Placing seeds in the ground should be done when the ground has warmed up to temperatures of 60 degrees or above. Peas and spinach are the exception; they will germinate at 50 degrees. I place an old outside thermometer in the ground about 3 inches deep into the soil. When it's ready, I plant. If you use weed block over the soil, the soil will warm up much faster and it will keep weeds out all season long.


Your soil should be prepared before planting with compost, animal manure, or peat moss. If your soil is heavy, be sure to add liquid gypsum to break up the clay soil and add lime if your soil is acidic. Powered lime can be applied in the fall, but if you want a better garden and forgot to lime last fall, use  Bonide turf turbo because it will change the acidity in

 just 7 to 10 days. Most vegetables want a pH between 6 and 7 reading for better growth and to help make the fertilizer

 you apply work better.


If the weather is wet and air temperatures cold, hold off and plant your seeds a week later. Wet soil will rot the seeds and germination will be erratic with many misses in the row. If the weather pattern persists, plant your seeds closer together

 and thin the rows later as they develop. Spacing is very important with root crops and thinning the rows will help them produce more vegetables and better quality.


When planting in rows, I always cut a shallow trench with my garden hoe to plant seed into. This helps to keep the rows straight; you can see where they are planted, making it easier to water before and after they germinate and become

 visible. Use the soil on each side of the row to cover the seed and be sure to mark the front and back of the row so you

 will know what you planted there.


I always add Soil-Moist and fertilizer to this trench before planting and mix well. Blend the soil to a depth of 2 to 3 inches,

 as soft soil will encourage quick root development. Potatoes need to be planted in a trench 6 inches deep and just as

 wide to help young tubers to develop in soft soil. Fill in the trench slowly as the shoots begin to grow until the ground is level.


Water the garden daily, and keep the soil moist during the seed germination period. Side dress plants growing in the

 trench with a granular fertilizer; apply on both sides of the planting row 3 weeks after foliage forms in the trench. To help the plants to develop faster feed every other week with Rooting and Blooming fertilizer or Neptune harvest fish and sea fertilizer.


 Keep notes and enjoy the season. Enjoy!!




The many varieties of Basil


During the last couple of days, I asked several people: "When I mention the herb basil, what country do you think of first?" Italy and France were the top answers...what do you think? To my great surprise and to the surprise of all that I talk to, the native home of basil is India and the Middle East. Yes, sweet basil is native to countries that are known for hot and spicy foods, who would think that? So let me tell you how we got this wonderful herb into North America. Spice traders brought it 

 out of India in the 16th century while selling spices to the Mediterranean countries. It was brought to America with the early European settlers like the Pilgrims and those that followed to our shores.


Basil has a wonderful history and great lore. With this the start of Lent, you might like to know it was said to have grown around the tomb where Christ was placed after his death on the cross and started to grow after his resurrection.

Some Greek Orthodox churches use it to prepare their holy water and pots of basil are often seen at the base of their altars.

On the other extreme both Greeks and Romans believed that they should "curse" as they sowed basil seed in their gardens

to have better germination. (My father did that when he planted radishes, as they would not grow for him for some reason

  and only produced foliage--no radish globe roots ever developed. So, every Father's Day I always gave him a big bunch of fresh picked radishes from my garden and I can still see the big smile on his face.) Western Europe thought the basil belonged to the Devil and used it to keep witches from their homes. I just like it in fresh salads and use it often when I cook, the hell with the Devil. He can get his own--but not from my garden.


If you love basil as much as I do, always start the plant from seed indoors in pots and transplant to the garden when the soil warms up. I start my seedlings in mid-April to set out in mid-May. If you want to plant your seed directly into the garden, wait until the soil has warmed up or the cold soil will limit your seed germination. Unlike most other seedlings, basil has a taproot and does not transplant well as individual seedlings.


When you start seedlings indoors, use a sterile seed starter soil and keep the soil moist but never wet as basil will have problems with germination and has an additional problem called "damping-off," causing young seedlings to rot at the soil

line, fall over, and die. Also never water your seedling late in the day when in pots as wet feed at night will encourage

 root rot problems. In the garden it is OK to water late in the day because of good drainage but wet foliage will encourage

 leaf eating insects like slugs to feed on them, so get your watering done by mid-day so the foliage and the garden soil has had time to dry up.


Your garden soil should be well drained and never have standing water. It should be rich and fertile for the best plant growth, so be sure to condition the soil before planting seeds or setting out potted seedling into the garden. Basil loves animal manure, well-seasoned compost and if you can add seaweed kelp when planting, you will be in for all the basil leaves

 you can pick. Now select a location in your garden that get plenty of sunlight during the day and is sheltered from the wind. This will prevent the plant from having brown edges on the foliage if the weather gets hot and the soil dries out around it.

 Plant in-between peppers, rows of lettuce, or even in planters with other types of herbs.


The main thing to remember is to pick basil often and prevent it from flowering or the foliage will become bitter tasting

 and the plant will become woody and stop producing new foliage. Pinch your plant every time you go into the garden

  and eat the wonderful tasting foliage right there in the garden if you don't need it for cooking. I will say it again: flowering

 basil will spoil the taste of the plant and stop foliage production, so keep picking off those flower buds as they develop. All basil plants are annual and must be replanted in the spring.


Fertilize every other week with Rooting and Blooming fertilizer or Neptune harvest fish and sea fertilizer. If you want to stay organic, use compost tea made with your compost and water. One last thing: basil is the most popular and widely grown of the cooking herb both indoors and in the garden today. Basil comes in many heights, shapes, colors, and flavors so let me give you a few examples of what you will find in the seed rack or in the mail order catalogs.


Sweet Basil is number one! It will grow to 18 inches tall and just as wide. It has a wonderful strong sent to the leaves and is best used in salads, pesto, and of course in pasta sauce. The leaves are medium to deep green, smooth, shiny, oval in

 shape and the leaf will often curl under on the edges giving it a rounded appearance.


'Dark Opal' Basil has wonderful shiny purple foliage, is flavorful, and is a clean-looking plant. Grows 12 inches tall and

 just as wide. Great for salads and gives the salad great color along with taste. Gives the herb garden color with its

 foliage and it also has a bright cerise-pink flower--showy.


'Purple Ruffles' Basil: Another purple leaf variety but has larger leaves that are crinkled and ruffled looking--and add

 character. The leaf edge will curl and this plant will become bushier growing in your garden. Good eating and a wonderful garnish for all dishes you make. The foliage has more red in it and is not as dark purple as the 'Opal' basil.


'Cinnamon' Basil has a wonderful olive green leaf with tinges of purple on it. This variety is best known for the wonderful cinnamon-scented foliage when rubbed or crushed. The foliage is spicier tasting than sweet basil and is also great for spicy dishes and salads of fresh greens to bring out flavor. It will grow 18 inches tall and has clean-looking foliage.


'Green Ruffles' Basil has wonderful light green foliage that almost looks like mint. The plant has larger leaves than sweet

 basil and they are crinkled, curled and ruffled all at the same time--showy when planted with the other types of basil.

 It has a spicy taste and is wonderful in salads and all types of cooking.


Lemon Basil has smaller leaves that are lighter green in color, narrower, and sometimes almost yellow. The foliage has a wonderful smell and flavor of lemon when used in salads or cooking.


Greek Basil has the smallest leaves of all; there is no chopping needed, just add to your salads or cooking. It grows very compact and bushy--under 12 inches tall and wide, almost like a shrub. Great texture for your garden of assorted basil

 plants for all your cooking needs. Enjoy!


Frank Sinatra records Younger Than Springtime - 1967
Frank Sinatra records Younger Than Springtime - 1967



"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP"
Leonard Nimoy  - last tweet before his death





                                          Baked Smoked Ham Macaroni and Cheese


There is nothing better on a cold day than Macaroni and Cheese "supped up" for dinner. This will make you feel GOOD and READY for the next day of cold weather. It's still winter and we need something hardy after working outside all day fighting the Snow Devil. Will the snow and cold stop so we can enjoy a nice salad fresh from the garden? YES, so think positive it's just around the corner.




1 pound of uncooked corkscrew or elbows pasta

2 Tablespoons of butter

cup of all-purpose flower

3 cups of milk

1 (12 ounce) can of Pet evaporated milk

1 cup of shredded smoked Gouda cheese packed firm

1 cup of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese packed firm

4 ounces, half a package cream cheese, softened

teaspoon of sea salt

teaspoon of fresh ground pepper, divided

8 ounces of sliced smoked ham, chopped into 1 inch squares

Vegetable cooking spray

1 cups of corn flakes cereal crushed

1 tablespoon, melted




1} Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cook your pasta according to package, drain and put aside.


2} Now melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven, over medium heat. Gradually whisk in the flour, cook, and whisk constantly for about a minute. Slowly whisk in the evaporated milk until smooth, cook and whisk constantly for about 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Whisk in Gouda cheese, Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, salt, and pepper, until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the ham and pasta.


3} Pour the pasta mixture into a 13 by 9 inch baking dish that is coated with a cooking spray. Stir together the crushed cereal and 1 tablespoon of melted butter over the pasta mix, blend, and level in the baking dish.


4} Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. A nice crusty bread or garlic bread is great with this dish and a glass of white wine or bottle of your favorite beer. Enjoy!


Note: if you do not have smoked ham you can substitute a pound package of hot dogs sliced into inch pieces. I have had it that way many times and my kids love it as much as I do.



                       Our cabins are sold out but the Ship has two cabin available  -

                  don't miss out on this wonderful trip call today if you are interested




Monday July 27 - Boston, MA -
Depart on your overnight trans-Atlantic flight to Prague, Czech Republic.

Tuesday, July 28- Prague, Czech Republic
Settle into you hotel, Hilton Praguea,for the next two evenings. Explore Prague at your leisure.

Wednesday-July 29 -
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, and a free day to explore the city at your own pace. Perhaps visit the Communist Musem: sample the local plum dumplings and Pilsner; stroll along the Vltava River(B)

Thursday- July 30
After breakfast at the hotel, you will have time to discover Prague's treasures. You will depart your hotel in the early afternoon to embark on the Avalon Visionary in Nuremberg (approx.. 3 hour drive) Welcome Reception and Dinner onboard (B, D)

Friday - July 31 - Nuremberg
Today, choose from an included guided sightseeing tour and marvel at this 1,000-year-old city's medieval fortifications. Extraordinary gothic churches, and Kaiserburg(Imperial Castle) or join a more specialized Nuremberg Rally Grounds Tour. Enjoy a tranquil afternoon of cruising. Take in an interesting onboard lecture about the engineering marvel that is the Main Danube Canal (B,L,D)

Saturday, August 1- Regensburg
Some of today's highlights during your guided wall will include Altes Rathaus (old Time Hall), Porta Pretoria and 12th-century Steinerne Brucke (Stone Bridge). Enjoy an included snack at historische Wurskuche, one of the oldest restaurants. Before Dinner, join us for a beer tasting of some of Germany's most famous beers.(B,L,D)

Sunday, August 2 - Passau-Linz, Austria
This morning, dock in Passau uniquely located where the INN, Ilz and the Danube Rivers converge. Passau is a maze of cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses. St Stephen's Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian Baroque architecture, house one of the world's largest church organs with 17, 774 pipes. Take in the highlights on the included guided walk. Then sail to Linz, Austria's 3rd largest town, which lies on both banks of the Danube (B, L, D)

Monday, August 3 - Melk-Vienna
This morning enjoy a included guided visit of Melk's magnificent 11th century Benedictine Abbey, which houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. During lunchtime, cruise through Wachau Valley a UNESCO world Heritage site. Arrive in Vienna this evening.(B, L, D)/p>

Tuesday, August 4 - Vienna

Your included city tour with your local guide includes sites such as the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace Complex, the Neo-Renaissance Vienna Opera House, and St Stephen's Cathedral. Spend some time in the delightful pedestrian Karntnerstrasse to enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel Depart for Budapest. (B, L, D)

Wednesday, August 5 - Budapest, Hungary
On your guided sightseeing tour, see Heroes' Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen's Bastion & 11th century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian menarches. Be sure to take note of the city's 8 bridges - many famous sites in and of themselves which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with pest on left bank. You may even want to walk across Chain Bridgebuilt in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. (B, L, D)

Thursday August 6 - Budapest (disembarkation)
After breakfast you will be transferred to your hotel. The day is free to explore Budapest at your leisure (b).

Friday, August 7 - Budapest to Boston
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before you prepare for your transfer to the airport and you flight home.

For more information :
Largay Travel Inc.
625 Wolcott Street
Waterbury, CT 06705




Garden Journal

        Garden Journal - A garden is a friend you can visit any time. Gardens require planning and cultivation, yielding beauty and joy. This garden journal helps make planning and organizing easy. This book makes a great gift for gardeners, family, friends, birthdays, Christmas, new home or as a self purchase.

Cover holds a 5 x7 or 4x6 photo, Heavy-duty D-ring binder

1. 8 tabbed sections
2. 5 garden details sections with pockets for seeds, tags....
3. Weather records page
4. 6 three year journal pages
5. Insect & diseases page - 3 project pages
6. 3 annual checklist pages
7. Plant wish list page
8. 2 large pocket pages
9. Sheet of garden labels
10. 5 garden detail sheets
11. 5 graph paper pages for layouts
12. 5 photo pages holds - 4- 4x6 photos in landscape or portrait format

Journal, Planning, Inspirations. 

 To Order call 207-590-4887

Regular price $34.95  Special Price $31.95!  special!


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