The perfect gift for your favorite gardener on Valentine's Day! Gardens require planning and cultivation, yielding beauty and joy. This garden journal helps make planning and organizing easy, and is autographed personally by Paul! The cover holds a 5x7 or 4x6 photo and a heavy-duty D-ring binder. Includes free delivery!

Also included:

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

Click To Order Here

                                         Valentine Day February 14 only 10 days away

The Paul Parent Garden Club, next trip is to Cuba


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*How to print articles at bottom of newsletter.                                                                          



If you're looking to grow the most luscious of all the berries that can be grown in your backyard garden, look no further than the strawberry. When ripe and freshly picked from your garden, there is no better tasting berry for its sweet flavor than this easy to grow plant--the strawberry. Like any other fruit or berry, the picking season is short, so be sure to save room in your freezer for those cold days of winter when you crave a sweet treat.

Strawberries will grow best in full sun in an area that is sheltered from harsh winds. The plants will still grow if they are in partial shade for a few hours but the production of fruit will be less. Avoid planting in low spots in your yard, like the bottom of a hill, to prevent frost pocket problems early in the season. One other tip--do not plant in the same area where you recently grew potatoes or tomatoes in the last 3 years; it will work against you.

Strawberries are not picky about the soil they grow in, as long as it is well drained. Wet soil during the spring can and will rot the roots of the plants. Wet spots that freeze during the winter, forming ice, will kill the plants over the winter. Soil preparation is the key to great strawberries. If you prepare the planting bed ahead of time, you will save a lot of problems later. Add plenty of organic matter like peat moss, composted or dehydrated animal manure, or rich compost to the garden and blend it 6 to10 inches deep. If your soil is heavy with clay, add coarse sharp sand, like what is used to build the base of a brick walkway.

I also suggest using a product like garden gypsum to help break up clay soils and apply garden lime to the soil as needed to keep the soil almost neutral--a pH of 6 to 6.5 is best. Remember the plants will be there for 3 to 4 years, so do it right the first time. Another tip for you is to plant strawberries in a raised bed. All you have to do is dig out the soil from the walkways 2 to 3 inches deep and add to the planting bed. If you get a lot of rain in the spring, the extra water will have someplace to go and not hurt the roots of the plant.

Strawberries can be planted two ways in the garden: as staggered rows that are allowed to fill in the entire planting bed or as evenly spaced plants to be grown as individual plants. Staggered rows that fill in the planting bed will give you more fruit, but in time the berries will get smaller because of competition with other plants. Plants grown on individual mounds will have much larger fruit but fewer berries. Each average strawberry plant should produce one half to one pound of berries per plant for the three years they are in your garden.

Spacing is 15 to 18 inches in between plants, 3 to 4 plants wide per planting bed; this will make it easier to harvest berries later. When you plant your strawberries, be sure to set plants in the ground at the same depth in the garden that they originally grew in the pot. Look for a green ring around the short stem of the plant and just barely cover it with soil. Spread the roots out in the garden soil to help them develop more easily, and make sure the leaves are not covered with soil.

I also like to spread straw on the ground around the plants to help choke out weeds, prevent slugs and snail problems and--best of all--keep the berries off the ground and clear of the soil. Place the straw around the plants and be sure to lift all foliage and berries off the soil; this will give you better air circulation and help prevent berry rot. Use barley or wheat straw--NEVER hay--and weeds will never be a problem.

New plants should be watered regularly until established, and during hot and dry growing periods. When the berries are ripening, keep water off them to prevent gray mold and other disease--water the soil, not the fruit. The best time to water is in the morning, so excess moisture can evaporate quickly off the berries with the morning sunshine. NEVER water strawberries late in the day or at night or you will have moldy berries.

Fertilize in the early spring as the foliage begins to develop and the flowers form. Use organic fertilizers,, as they feed slowly and last longer in the soil. Mycorrhizae added to the planting beds will produce stronger and more productive plants. If your soils are sandy be sure to add a pinch of Soil Moist Granules to the planting hole when you set the plants in the garden.

Your biggest problem will be BIRDS because they, like you, love strawberries. Just cover the berry plants with plastic netting at the first sign of the berries ripening and make sure the netting is raised above the plants so the birds cannot poke through the holes in the netting. Pick early in the day and pick often to keep them from eating your berries.

One last thing: strawberries come as June-bearing plants or ever-bearing plants. June-bearing plants produce all at once, usually in 3 to 4 weeks, while ever-bearing plants produce for a much longer period of 6 to 8 weeks. Both produce about the same amount of berries overall; it depends on how fast you want them for your table. Enjoy! 


Click this link to visit:      visit the strawberry variety review Cornell fruit
Deana Carter - Strawberry Wine
Deana Carter - Strawberry Wine

 

Of all the berries you have to choose from to plant in your garden this spring, think about the raspberries. Think of the aroma and the flavor of this summer time berry: sweet but not too sweet, stimulating to your palate and truly a fruit sent by the Gods. I hope that all of you have raspberries in your garden or are considering planting them this year. A 10 to 20 foot long row of these berries will give the average family enough fruit to enjoy for several weeks during the summer. Plan ahead this year and place extra berries on a cookie sheet and freeze them. Once frozen, place them in a freezer bag and hide them in the freezer for a cold morning when you can mix them with blueberries and make a wonderful dessert, muffin, or jam.

Begin by selecting a location that is sunny all day. The soil must be rich and well drained. Raspberries will respond to a soil conditioned with a lot of compost, animal manure or peat moss. If you can spread compost or animal manure around your plants every spring, your plants will give you more fruit and taste sweeter. Water is also important, but not too much. I water every week by hand or use a soaker hose. Overhead irrigation will wet fruit and flowers, encouraging fungus to rot the fruiting parts. In the spring as the growth begins use 1 to 2 inches of water a week, during the summer 2 to 3 inches of water to help form juicy berries. The ground should be kept moist 6 inches deep at all times.

I use fresh STRAW, never HAY, around my plants to help hold moisture in the ground during the summer. Apply it about 3 to 4 inches thick and make it fluffy, not packed down. This is also great for keeping weeds out of the garden. By next spring, the straw has rotted and turned into rich organic matter. Now repeat compost spring and straw during the summer every year. Do not use bark mulch around plants, as it is too dense and heavy and will slow down shoot development.

Set plants 2 feet apart in a row and make the planting bed 3 to 4 feet wide. This will allow room for new shoots to develop. Raspberries can grow tall and are best if staked so they do not take over your garden. Besides saving space in the garden, it will be easier for you to pick the berries.

Use a metal fence post every 10 feet down the row of plants. I use a 6 feet tall post hammered a foot into the ground, as this will give me 5 feet to tie plants up. Because raspberries are a permanent plant in the garden, I use aluminum wire to run between posts and it will last forever. Run wires at 3 feet and 5 feet above the ground from post to post. Use garden string to tie up plants and keep them straight.

Summer and fall raspberries are pruned differently, so be sure you know what type of plant you have. Both types need to be pruned only once a year; pruning them at the wrong time could mean little to no fruit. Summer-fruiting raspberries will make fruit on shoots that grew at the base of the plants the year before. This growth is known as old wood. Last year's new canes will produce fruit this year. When you finish picking the fruit, cut the stems to the ground to make room for new plants for the following year. Leave the new shoots alone, as they will make fruit during next summer. In early spring if your canes are taller than 6 feet you can cut them back to 5 feet and the fruit will not bend over canes.

Fall-fruiting raspberries fruit on the new canes that develop this year. When the season ends, cut everything to the ground and it will restart the next spring with new canes and fruit in the fall of the year.

Fertilize in the spring with the new garden fertilizer such as Espoma Biotone, Natural Alternative garden food with mycorrhizal fungi. One last thing, be sure to cover the plant when the fruit comes if you have birds--or they will beat you to the harvest. The soil pH should be 5.5 to 6.5 and you will have to test soil yearly so it does not get too acidic.

click link to review varieties of Raspberry variety review Cornell Fruit

click link to  learn how to grow raspberries How to grow raspberries



Vegetable Weeks from seeding to transplant outdoors Average days for seed germination Planting depth of the seed in soil

VegetableWeeks from seeding to transplant outdoorsAverage days for seed germinationPlanting depth of the seed in soilAverage days to maturityAverage yield per 25 ft. of row


Broccoli                    5-7                                     5-6                      1/4 "                      60-80                25 lbs                    

Brussels sprouts     5-7                                      5-6                      1/4"                       90-100               20 lbs.

Cauliflower             5-7                                       5-6                      1/4"                       70-90                25 lbs.

Cabbage                5-7                                       5-6                      1/4"                       60-90                40 lbs.

Celery                 10-12                                   10-14                    1/8"                       100+                 40 lbs.

Cucumbers          2-3                                        3-5                       1"                        50-70                 25 lbs.

Eggplant              6-8                                         6-8                     1/4"                       80-90                 25 lbs.

Leeks                  8-10                                       4-6                       1/4"                     125-125              25 lbs.

Lettuce                3-6                                         2-3                      1/8"                        70-80               15 lbs.

Onion                  6-8                                         4-6                      1/4"                       90-125              30 lbs.

Peppers              6-8                                         8-10                    1/4"                       60-90                 20 lbs.

Squash-summer 2-3                                        4-5                         1"                        50-60                30 lbs.

Squash-winter    2-3                                        4-5                         1"                        75-100              30 lbs.

Tomatoes          6-10                                       6-8                       1/4"                       70-90                20 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 BlackGold seed starter 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.

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!


Direct seeding in the ground for vegetables
Vegetable Average days for seed germination Average days to maturity and fruit Inches between seedlings Inches between rows

VegetableAverage days for seed germinationAverage days to maturity and fruitInches between seedlingsInches between rowsAverage yield per 25' of row


Bush beans              6-14                              45-60                      3-4                             24-30              30 lbs.

Pole beans               6-14                              60-70                      4-6                             36-48              40 lbs.

Beets                        7-10                              50-60                      2-3                             15-24             40 lbs.

Carrots                     10-14                            70-80                      2-3                             15-24             25 lbs.

Corn                          6-10                             70-90                     12-18                            24-36             2 to 3 dozen

Collard greens          4-10                             60-70                    10-12                            18-24             12-15 

heads Leaf lettuce    4-10                             40-50                      2-3                               15-18            15 lbs.

Onion sets               7-14                              80-120                  80-100                           15-24             25 lbs.

Okra                        7-14                              60-70                   12-15                              24-30            25 lbs.

Parsnips                 14-21                             120-150                3-4                                 18-30             25 lbs.

Peas                       7-14                                60-90                    1-2                                 18-36            10-20 lbs.

Potatoes                 7-14                               100-120                12-15                              30-36            25-30 lbs.

Radishes               3-10                                 30-40                   1-2                                 12-18             25 lbs.

Spinach                 7-14                                 40-60                   3-4                                15-24             10-20 lbs.

Sweet Potatoes      7-14                                100-120                12-15                             30-36             25 lbs.

Swiss chard           7-14                                50-60                     3-4                              15-24             15-25 lbs.

Turnips                  5-10                                40-60                      2-3                              15-24              25 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. Look for Evo-Organic weed block with a built in watering system for additional benefits. Go to www.evoorganic.com for more information. I use it, and everything grows faster and better!

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 Turf Turbo  or Lighting Lime 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. Keep notes and enjoy the season.!

The Kingston Trio - Raspberries, Strawberries
The Kingston Trio 
 Raspberries, Strawberries
 

"In seed-time learn, in harvest-time teach, in winter enjoy."

William Blake

                                         Super Bowl Sunday Honey Mustard Chicken Wings
 
Most of us are either going to or having friends over to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday.  Here is a great recipe to make in your Crock Pot to munch on during the game and you can make it in the morning while you're in church praying for your favorite team to win.  It's a bit different than the usual barbeque wings and a game changer and everyone will love them.

Ingredients:

3 to 4 pounds of chicken wings, with the tips removed and split at the joint, thawed not frozen.
1 teaspoon of salt or sea salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
cup of honey
cup of barbecue sauce
2 mounded tablespoons of spicy brown mustard like Dijon mustard
1 clove of minced garlic
3 to 4 thin lemon slices

Directions:

1)       Preheat your oven to Broil.  Season your chicken wings with salt and pepper.  Place in broil pan and place the pan 4 to 5 inches from the heat in your oven.  Cook for 5 minutes on each side, then transfer to Crock Pot.

2)      Combine honey, barbecue sauce, Spicy mustard, and minced garlic in a small bowl, and mix well.  Pour your sauce over the chicken wings.  Top with your lemon slices and cover.  Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.  Before serving, remove and discard the lemon slices.  Serve wings with some of your sauce over them for dipping.
  Enjoy!
 
 

Day to look forward to:


Valentine Day February 14 only 10 days away

President Day February 15 only 11 days away

Daylight Saving day March 13 only 38 days away

St. Patrick's Day March 17 only 42 days away

Spring arrives March 20 only 45 days away

Easter Sunday March 27 only 52 days away

 


      

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!        Supplies are now limited!

 



Don't forget to get ready for the stormy weather ahead of us.  Make sure to get your Ice Melt it is organic and safe for plants, pets and Children.
Mention Paul Parent Garden Club and save 10% and get free shipping. 

  Call 1-(888)-546-5941 don't forget to tell them Paul sent you.


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