Did I Plant Enough? Canning Secrets Revealed! Shhhh!

It’s not too late…since most of the country is finally able to set seedlings in their soil, it’s not too late to add a few more.

Are you planning on canning any of your garden treasures? Here’s a secret: if you want to make pickles, a good rule of thumb is to plant as many plants as you want pickles in a jar. If you plant just 3 plants and wait until you have enough either on the vine or in your fridge waiting for more to make a full batch, you’ll end up with bitter and overgrown cucs on the vine, and wilted ones in your crisper. Believe me! I’ve learned this the hard way. The last 3 years I’ve ended up driving to my local vegetable stand to buy bags of pickling cucs. Keep in mind not all of your plants will produce at the same rate or volume, so plant more than expected and always know one of your plants will go to the bugs. It happens. That’s something I’ve come to terms with too.

If you’re going to plant Pumpkins for the fall- expect one per vine.

Planning on having Corn?- Most breeds of corn produce 1-2 ears per stalk (and you need to plant them in a group…most people say it needs to be in a 4×4 manner…it doesn’t ….we planted ours in a right angle and only had 10 plants and they all germinated well. Example 4, 3, 2, 1 so each side we looked at had a row of 4.) This is a good secret.

Dreams of Sugar Snap Peas– you’ll want at least 6 plants to get a good amount to snack on and if you’re a hungry garden snacker, plant 10. The plant is skinny and grows tall, you’ll have plenty of room for a few more. 😉 Oh! And give them something cool to grab onto. They don’t like metal. It’s too hot.

Strawberries– depending on the kind you choose, some send shooters off the main plant and will multiply faster than rabbits (tic). Make certain you snip the lifeline between the mama plant and the baby once it’s established or it’ll drain the mama.

Watermelon– expect the same as the pumpkin, one per vine. Funny story: I watched the most perfect baby seedless watermelon grow in my garden. It was perfectly round. The skin was perfect in color. It was looking nice and ripe and when I notice it had stopped growing and the flower fell off the end, I knew it was time to pick. Someone else had a better idea. I picked up my watermelon only to watch dirt fall out of it. Our neighbor’s friendly gopher (I wasn’t so friendly because he wasn’t wanted in my yard) tunneled over to the exact spot of the only watermelon in our entire yard and helped himself to it and backfilled it with soil. And if you have a great recipe for canned watermelon rind, please share it with me.

Oh! Real quick and a bit off topic but bear with me…plant pairing. Very important. Here’s a photo of my corn and beans growing together. The corn will pull the nitrogen from the soil and the beans put it back. Most say to rotate your crops but who has time for that when you want beans and corn in the same season?! I plant mine together and they live happily together. In fact, the beans use the stalks as a trellis. Success all around. Plant EnoughPlant enough 1


Make it a great day!

Your homegrown friend,


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