West USA REalty Fun page

Gardening Tips

In some Areas of Arizona Planting season begins in February.
Click hyper-link below find out when to plant all your vegetable here in Arizona.  There are even instructions for each zone:  I Thought this would be helpful for anyone starting a garden.  Did you know a small garden (patio-small patch of ground- Potted) can actually feed a family of 2-4 people?  start planning your garden now and reduce your food bill. 
The link automatically loads zone 1-3 click link at top of page for zones 4-6 
(look for green link at top of page after you click here below)   
Here is the Link for Southern California Since so many of my friends and clients come from California, I even had a request so I added this for you too   Click here 

Money Saving Links:

Here is a link not only to products but company's too... I used Lowes just to show you... enjoy the savings.  http://dealspl.us/lowes-coupons
try typing in store names like Target, Michael's, etc. 

Join Home Depot for great savings  Click here   definetely sign up first and set up your account  then scrholl through savings coupons  in the Savings Center. 

Sign up for The Home Depot E-mails... More money savings... use link above and sign up.

Did you know that Kiwi Fruit is best when it is Ripe?  If you don't know how to ripen them, it often takes too long on their own, they get soft and mushy instead of just ripe.  So here is the Secret.  Place your Kiwi Fruit in a paper bag,  Then simply place an apple in the bag along with the Kiwi fruit.  The Pectin in the apple will quickly ripen the Kiwi fruit in 1-2 days.  If you don't like Kiwi Fruit, try this approach. It will change your mind about Kiwi fruit.  It's really delicious when ripened with this method.  I discovered this during one of my shopping spree's at a ranch market.  The seller had all his Kiwi fruit in bags with an apple. you got an apple in every bag. and boy does it make a difference.  Delicious.

It's time again to trim Rose bushes, shrubs, trees, etc.  did you know after trimming back your rose bushes, or smaller branches on trees, etc.  You can use white school glue on the cut ends to reduce infection to the plant.  Just pour the white glue (like elmer's) on the cut end allow to dry and it forms a seal that protects the cut end from fungus or infection.  check out helpful hints for more uses for white school glue. 

Easy solution to Pesky weeds:   Weeds pop up in your driveway, or in the cracks of the sidewalk, etc.  I don't like using weed killers because of the chemicals specially around children or pets.  here is my Grandmother Carbajal's Solution.... 
Boil water (make sure boiling hot)  then pour on the weed.  there you're done...
If it is a very pesky weed (and not near your prized roses, or begonias, etc)  add 2 tblspns of salt and vinegar each to the water.  then pour on the weed.... works like a charm and no poisons.  Try plain Boiling water first, sometimes may require a couple of applications.  

Remember to keep any leftover seeds from 2010, Most will grow for a couple of years.  If you were lucky enough to harvest a small garden, keep the seeds for next year.
I know you often read not to keep seeds and buy fresh and new each year. However with a little care you can keep seeds (more tips below) .  Just rinse and dry them for about 2 weeks in a paper bag, on a paper towel, or cloth bag then. 
  Store seeds in a dry place, I usually place my clean and dry seeds in home made paper envelopes.  I draw a picture of the fruit and write the name.  Then I store them in a paper bag and keep them in a cool dry place until next years planting season.  

When planting be sure to keep different squash, cucumber,  Red Watermelon, yellow watermelon etc planted separately.  I sometimes shield them with taller plants like corn. you can also use a fence and place plastic barriers around it to reduce the cross pollination.
if your lucky like I am and have a huge garden this method will work. Otherwise, in a smaller garden you can plant them apart and limit your variety. Or combine gardens, with neighbors, I'll plant cucumbers you plant pumpkin.  if you do you will find that your cucumbers don't pollinate the pumpkins and you will have good seeds for next years crop.  otherwise you end up with a mix of strange veggie seeds, sometimes ok, but mostly not ok.  Orange watermelons turned out good and sweet.  but others like the squash where not ok. plant different types of squash separately from each other or they mix and pollinate each other. summer, winter, Italian, patty pan, so they stay true and you can reuse the seeds. 
You’ll have more success with saving seeds if you save seeds from plants that pollinate themselves rather than those that are pollinated by bees or other insects. Self-pollinated vegetables include beans, peas, lettuce, tomatoes, and many herbs.
Sometimes just some care to keep next years seeds true can make a difference for rare, hard to find, or Heirloom plants. 

I find that when I shop from a farmer's Market, or a small mom and pop store with local vegetables I save the seeds.  I was suprised to find, most of these grow and provide great results. 

Have any fruit that is a little past it's prime in summer or fall,  LIke peaches, nectarines, etc. Just dig a hole and drop them in. Yes the entire fruit with the stem up (makes it easier for the tree to grow).  cover it up and then just wait, next spring when things begin to pop up.  many if not most of them will come up as a small sapling.  drop the fruit where you want the tree and avoid transplanting.   I have grown many trees at my ranch including, apples, peaches, nectarines, pears, using Uncle Gene's method.  

Remember to plant flowers near your garden.  They attract beneficial insects that eat the not so beneficial ones.  not to mention, nothing is nicer than fresh flowers in your home.
Without the bugs of course. tips on preparing your flowers later......
Click here for a list of plants and what insects they keep out, marigolds keep away aphids, here you will find a whole list. theres is also a list of vegetables and their ideal planting companions, plus combinations to avoid. 
Do you have a Willow tree?  Do you know someone with one? it doesn't matter, Weeping, Globe, Desert, Cork screw, to name a few. (above are shown Globe and Weeping left to right) Take some cuttings from their tree, larger branches are great but add a few short ones too.  Place them in water with the cut ends in the water, They will root and turn into new trees.  I keep a trash can (plastic) full of them each year.  I use the water while they are rooting, to stimulate root growth on other plants or starters.  It acts like a root stimulator for everything... Like Root tone or B1. When roots are about 4" long on the cuttings.  Take the branches and plant them.  you'll have full grown trees in about 2-3 years and big ones by 5 years just water them well the first 5 years. I have rooted rosemary using the water, ever heard of that? Rosemary is woody, yet this water worked, now I have a full grown plant.  I also find it helps start seeds faster, and even helps plants that are somehow lacking. By developing more roots the plants begin to thrive.   Try it, you'll find it really works. 
More tips and gardening ideas to follow.