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Squash Flowers

Edible Squash Flowers
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Since pumpkin is a winter squash we decided to share this video with you. As you know we have several flowers in bloom on our Pumpkin plant. Come by our neighborhood garden and pick up a few and try some of the recipes mentioned in this article! We plan on adding them to a salad soon. Do you have some edible flower recipes? Share them with the community in a post! What are some of your favorite edible flower? Never had one? Are you sure? What is your favorite tea? Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Air Flow

Oregano

As we shared with all of you, we moved some diseased plants and plants that never sprouted outside near our back porch to segregate them from the other healthier plants. So far this coupled with the fresh air we have been allowing to circulate in the garage (aka mini green house) has seemed to help. Not to mention the fresh air the struggling plants get now that they are outside near the back porch. Plants need a flow of fresh air also. This is how some plants pollinate. It is also contributes to plant health and discourages disease. Since we have moved the struggling plants about 4 of the plants have made surprising come backs. 

It is so interesting to continue to watch a plant and to continue to nourish it. Just when you think the plant is done and you are ready to give up on it, it makes a surprising come back. We were recently asked about our Oregano plant by someone, you guessed it, who loves Oregano. Oregano was one of those plants that was really struggling. It sprouted and looked just fine. But, its leaves were very small and the sprouts were no taller than an eighth of an inch. Since we have been clearing the transplants out of the garage. Moving the diseased and struggling plants completely out of the garage and increased the air flow in the garage, plants like Oregano have seen positive results. 

The Three Benefits of Air Flow

  • it is how some plants pollinate
  • promotes plant health
  • discourages disease
Swiss Chard, Cilantro, Dill & Eggplant

We are really focusing on plant health and the health conditions of the environment we put our plants in. For those plants that struggle and experience disease we remove the plants from the healthy plants environment quick and isolate them. We are also trying to create an environment in which the plants can thrive such as discouraging predators that feed off struggling plants. And bringing in all sorts of plants and plant products (such as Neem Oil) that plant predators just do not like. We want to give our plants a fighting chance since in many ways we are also learning. So far, the biggest lesson is to nip any issues or trouble in the bud. When you first see a plant in trouble immediately identify and address the issue. It could take weeks if not months for an Organic Remedy to take effect. You may also have to try some other things that work better for you. In the mean time your plants may struggle or not survive.

What lessons have you learned? What are some of your favorite plants that you would like to know about? Ok, maybe we should have said food instead of plant. What is the difference between Organic Remedies and Chemical Pesticides? What difference does it make to you which one is used on your foods? Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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The Birds & the Bees

Like the saying goes, “let me tell you about the birds and the bees”. Well, the birds and the bees have a lot to do with plant pollination. There are a few ways plants are pollinated. Let’s look at those ways:

  • Birds
  • Bees
  • Butterflies
  • Wind
  • Perfect Plants (self pollinating plants)
  • Man

If you are saving seeds or you are growing your own plants, it is important to note the different ways that plants pollinate. When you know how plants pollinate you can help to facilitate this natural process. At the very least you do not want to hinder it but rather encourage it. It also helps to know how and where your seeds will come from so you know how to locate and save them. If you decide to pollinate the plants yourself, then you will want to learn more about the reproductive parts of the plants. The stamen is the male part of the plant and the stigma is the female part of the plant. This is where Jim Ulager book came in very handy. I picked up “Beginning seed saving for the home gardener” by Jim Ulager at my local library. It was a topic I was curious about, so I decided to check out the book. The book is highly informative and very well written. Pick up this book for more details about pollination and propagation.

We found this book extremely helpful in identifying which insects and animals are helpful to our garden and which ones are not. We also learned a lot about seed saving in addition to plant pollination and propagation. Propagation requires more man intervention rather than allowing nature to simply take its course. Propagation is often used to reproduce the same plant rather than getting a variety of a plant. Seeds from a Roma Tomato plant will still be Roma but they will be the children of the original Roma plant and thus not the original plant. This can produce a different tasting fruit than the parent. To avoid this and to get the exact same plant, people propagate. What are the forms of propagation? Let’s look at them:

  • layering
    • layering the branch
    • air layering
    • trench layering
    • tip layering
    • mound layering
  • stem or root cuttings
  • soft and hardwood cuttings
  • budding
  • grafting
  • micropropagation (mass-produce or clones)

There is a lot to discuss when talking about pollination and propagation. What questions do you have? Almost everyone knows the story about how insects and birds carry pollen to pollinate plants. What did you learn that you do not already know? What can you share with all of us about what you know about plant pollination? As always you are the best part of what we do. We look forward to hearing more about what you know about the birds and bees and the other topics we discuss. Or suggest your own topic. Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.