garys-garden.jpg (60671 bytes)

Garys Garden Tips and more Blog

I may earn a commission when you buy through the links on this blog.
Bookmark and stop back soon. Share this blog with your friends. your email may be added to our blog.

Follow us on Facebook

Medicinal Garden Kit


Here is some of the garlic I pulled 7/9/24. The weather said it was going to rain for the next 5 days.

garlic-pulled.jpg (59665 bytes)

At this stage of growing you don’t want your garlic to get wet as the outer skin can start to rot. I would have liked to keep it in for another week or two. I will now put them in a dry place so they can dry. In a couple weeks I will clean them up some and cut the stems off. Then put them in a mesh bag and put them in a cool dry place to store them.

The pine chips I used last fall worked well. The only thing I learned was I need to remove them in the spring as the held a lot of moisture. Some of the plants started to show signs of rotting so I quickly removed the wood chips. I did lose a few plants that did rot.

We learn sometimes as we grow.

Bluetti Power Sale

Sweet Potato

Last year I showed you how to grow sweet potato slips. I tried to keep the plant growing till this summer. I was able to keep it going till now. Here are the slips I got. They are not very good looking but I will give it a try.

sweet-p.jpg (66492 bytes)

I planted the slips in my new raised bed garden on June 21 2024 I am not sure they will grow but here we go.

sweet-p1.jpg (54329 bytes)

We will have to see if I can get any sweet potatoes here in New York.

July Deals up to 50% off


This year I am going to retry growing potatoes in a box and a feed bag. Last year I didn’t get very many but found the dirt to be dry. Also I didn’t use any fertilizer. I saved a couple store bought potatoes back in January to let them sprout so I could use them. They didn’t sprout. I then found out that they spray something on the potatoes so they don’t sprout. I wonder what harm that might do to us as we eat them.

I got a late start planting the potatoes June 26th. I got a couple potatoes from a farmer that had sprouted and used them. This year I am going to use some fertilizer and try to give them more water.

potato24.jpg (50112 bytes)potato24a.jpg (43957 bytes)

I will let you know how they do this fall when I dig them up.

You can see how they did last year near the top of page 2

Become Self Sufficient on 1/2 Acre

Fresh Salad

This week 6/21/24 it has been very hot, so a nice fresh salad was on my table at super time. Tonight I am going to make a large salad topped with canned chicken and ranch dressing. I went out to the garden for the fresh vegetables. I planted Little Gem Romaine and Nevada Batavian lettuce this spring.

salad1.jpg (59313 bytes)

As you can see it is growing quite well and needs a little thinning. I had been thinning the lettuce every morning this week giving it more room to grow bigger. I pick it in the cooler morning time. I rinse it off in cold water to get most of the dirt off. I put the lettuce in the refrigerator. I find that it is much more crisp by doing that.

I pulled a few radishes as they are just starting to get big enough. I like English breakfast Radishes

salad2.jpg (64841 bytes)

I will cut up a garlic scape in little chunks and add that to my salad. I cut up the tender part of the scape for my salad.

Here is what I am going to use tonight.

salad3.jpg (33879 bytes)

What was that weed growing in the onions? As you might have noticed, My onions next to the radishes had a weed growing between them.

purslane.jpg (48998 bytes)

That weed is Purslane. But that weed is also edible. It is a highly nutritious plant. Look it up and you will find it to be loaded with nutrients. There is several ways you can eat this plant. I plan I picking some Purslane for my next salad.

Just one note:Due its content of oxalic acid, purslane should not be consumed by people with kidney disease or that have high uric acid

Tomato Plants

You planted your tomato plants in your garden. You had a few leftover. You keep these just in case of a late frost or something else happen to your plant. Well that is what I did. Then a few weeks later something dug up 4 of the 10 plants that I planted. By that time the plants I saved were big and leggy.

s-tomato.jpg (33303 bytes)

I took 4 of the plants to replace the ones that got destroyed. Moving them in to my van and taking them out to plant broke the stems of the plants. Only 1 of the smaller plants made it without braking.

Because tomato plants are easy to root. I took the 3 plants I had left and cut out the top part of the plant where I marked it here. Where the arrow is a sucker stem should grow.

s-tomato1.jpg (37529 bytes)

After I cut them off they had a nice long stem on the bottom.

s-tomato2.jpg (39751 bytes)

I put the stems of the tomato plants in a cup of water.

s-tomato3.jpg (43016 bytes)

After about 6 or 7 days they had grown some roots

s-tomato4.jpg (35178 bytes)

I then put them in some potting soil because I knew it would be a few days until I would be able to plant them in the garden.

s-tomato5.jpg (29581 bytes)

The tomato plants I used the top off can also be planted because the sucker branch will take off as the lead stem. Now I have 6 plants that I can use or give to someone.


I had some celery seeds so I planted several in some trays to see if they would grow. Several of the seeds did germinate in the tray.

celery.jpg (68717 bytes)

I planted them outside in bunches as they came out of the tray. Celery has very small roots and I am sure they will not all live. I placed them in rows and watered them.

celery1.jpg (61489 bytes)

In a few weeks I will see how they are doing. If several in each bunch are growing, I will thin them out at that time.

I do not have much experience in growing celery. I hear you need to cover the stalks so the sun does not get to them a bit before harvest.


I planted my peppers outside on 6/28/24 in my old raised bed garden.
The first row I planted the ones where I had saved seeds from a store pepper.
The second row was the Big Red Sweet peppers.
The third row was the Chinese Giant organic peppers.
I did get 4 of the king of the north to germinate but they took a long time and are a bit small to plant outside. I will give them a couple weeks then plant them in the fourth row.

peppers24c.jpg (58310 bytes)

The garlic I planted last year is up growing quite well so far.

garlic24.jpg (57723 bytes)

Quality power stations. A great Fathers Day gift.


I planted 2 rows of 5 plantes. One row Amish Paste and one rowJet Star.

tomato24a.jpg (36940 bytes)

I drilled a hole about 8 inches deep, added about 1/8 cup Happy frog vegetable fertilizer and bone meal, and some copper fungicide in the hole.I took off the lower branches, dropped the plants in the hole and covered them with dirt. I used a zip tie to support them to the post, and gave them a bit of water to settle the dirt around the plant.

tomato24b.jpg (54353 bytes)

If they do well, it should give many tomatoes to eat and can.

Quality power stations. Get yours before the Biden tariff on batteries.


Last year I planted fingerling eggplants. They did quite well in my straw bales. This year the straw bales have broken down a lot.

bales.jpg (63692 bytes)

I decided to plant the larger size eggplants in the straw bales this year. I hope they do as well as the eggplants did last year in the straw.

bale1.jpg (59654 bytes)

By next year I will use the straw as mulch.


As I was told, it is time to plant the onion seedlings outside. Plant the seeds inside on April 1. Plant the seedling between May first and the 15th outside. I planted them outside on May the 7th . I would have said they were to small but here they are.

onions.jpg (76768 bytes)

I dumped them out and separated them. They don’t look like much but the do have long thin roots. I placed them in a trench, covered the roots and gave them a bit of water. Only time will tell if they will survive.

onions1.jpg (78449 bytes)



When you get old, things happen that keeps you from doing some of the things you should do. The last couple weeks were like that for me. I made sure I watered my plants but put off putting some in larger containers. That is what happened to my Marigold plants. A couple got so big they were against the grow light. That is why you see a cricked neck near the top of a couple of them.

marigold.jpg (32578 bytes)

I also had some celery seeds planted in that flat of plants. They are about the right size to plant outside. I will plant them in the next few days. Celery can take a light frost and survive.

You need to do the best you can. Things do not always go as planned. You will have better success when you keep trying and not give up. This fall when you get a harvest you will be happy you did.

Transplanting Tomato Seedlings

The tomato seeds I planted are now ready to transplant. ( 4/24/24 )

I am going to use some Solo cups and yogurt contaners I have to transplant the tomato Seedlings into. The first thing I need to do is put some holes in the bottom of the cup. Some people use a soldering iron to do this.
You will notice that the tomato seedlings have some fine hairs on the stem. These hairs will become more roots.

tomato roots.jpg (35966 bytes)

When digging the seedlings out of your starter container try and take as much soil with it as you can. Then transplant the tomato seedlings, planting the stem is as deep as you can. That is so the hair will turn in to roots, making the plants grow bigger and better.

tomato-deep24.jpg (60726 bytes)

Lightly pack the potting soil down and water the plants. You are on your way to having them grow into plants ready plant in your garden or container.

Do you already see having Juice Tasty Tomatoes

Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherries.
I have been trying something new each year that I have heard of. This year I am going to try Aunt Mollys Tomatillio or called ground cherries. They are started indoors in early spring with bottom heat, and transplant out in warm weather about the same as tomatoes. I planted the small seeds about 2 weeks ago. They are up already.

tomatilli.jpg (31290 bytes)

The fruits growing inside a papery husk called a calyx. But fruits mature to a golden orange colour and drop to the ground when ripe. The sweet little fruits will store for up to three months if kept in their husks. You will want to eat them faster than that or to make jams, fruit salads, and sauces.

Tomatoes for 2024

This year I was asked if I would grow some tomato seedlings for a friend that was going to be away for a couple weeks right when he would plant his seeds. I decided to grow the 2 types he wanted along with one more for my garden. The first 2 was what he asked for Jet Star and Jelly Bean. I am going to also grow Amish Paste tomatoes.

Jet Star Tomatoes

Jet Star Tomatoes are crack-resistant and are popular in the northern states. They are also resistant to wilt. They produce large numbers of meaty low acid fruit. They are an indeterminate tomato. I planted 20 seeds of this type.

Jelly Bean Tomatoes

The jelly Bean Tomato is a Hybrid red grape size tomato. The fruit is perfect for snacking all summer long or adding to salads and raw vegetable trays. These clusters of tomatoes are resistance to cracks and disease making them a fun tomato to grow. It is an indeterminate tomato. I planted 10 seeds of this type.

tomato-1.jpg (32417 bytes)


Amish Paste Tomatoes Amish Paste Tomatoes are bright red fruits grow to 8-12 ounces. This heirloom tomato has a juicy - meaty flesh, excellent for sauce or fresh eating. It is an indeterminate tomato. I planted 12 seeds of this type.

I planted the seeds in potting soil and covered with 1/4 inch topsoil.


I have not had much luck with growing onions from seed in the past. I was talking to a friend and she said that she always grew onions from seed and said it was easy to do. She has given me some info on how to grow onions from seed along with seeds for the type onions she has been growing.

First plant the seeds on April 1. Plant the seeds in seed starting mix (not potting soil). Have the seed starting mix 3 to 4 inches deep as the roots grow deep. Keep the seed starting mix damp but not over soaked. Spread several seeds out and cover them up � to � inch deep over the seeds. Then give then a good spray of water to get them started. The Ailsa Craig Exhibition seeds are dark and hard to see in photo.

onion.jpg (30658 bytes)

Here are the type onion seed I am using.

Patterson Hybrid Onion This yellow early onion keeps for a long time. Medium-large bulbs have straw-colored skin and small necks that dry quickly. Much less sulfur than other varieties, resulting in that coveted sweet-onion flavor. Excellent raw on burgers and in salsa, and makes a wonderful French onion soup. A long-day onion that matures in 105 days

Ailsa Craig Exhibition Sweet Onion
This popular heirloom onion is renowned for producing exhibition size 2 pound globe shaped onions even in areas with shorter, cooler growing seasons. The huge bulbs have straw-colored yellow skin and sweet, firm white flesh. . Not recommended for long storage. A long-day onion that matures in 95 days

I did not know this but you get bigger and better onions from seeds than you do by using onion sets. I just thought I could save some money by growing them from seed. Here is what I found out.
Onions grow the first year to make big onion bulbs. The second year they grow to make seeds. When you use onion sets you are using onions in their second year. Yes, the onion sets will grow bulbs but then use a lot of the energy to grow seeds. In the center of the onion it will grow a scape to flower and make seeds. This scape in the onion can be hard to dry down and stay a bit green. This can shorten the storage time you can keep them for.

Now you know why it is better to grow them from seed.


Sugar cake for bees

In the late winter the weather can sometimes get quite warm. Just like many people get thinking we are having an early spring,the bees can also. The bees start flying and find some things and bring it back to the hive. The queen starts to lay more eggs. With them have low amounts of honey and the need for more food a hive can soon starve. This is when a bee keeper needs to give them more food.

That is when we need to add a sugar cake to the hive. A sugar cake is added right on top of the frames in the hive so the bees can get to it easily. When the weather gets back to cold temperature you cannot feed them sugar water in a feeder because it is too cold. That is why you need to use a sugar cake to feed the bees.

The last several days have had been as low as 11f and some days not getting above freezing. I want to do what I can to make the hive survive till spring.

This last week I made up a sugar cake to feed the bees. I put it on the have Tuesday when the temperature got above 55f. I hope this will give them enough food to get them in to spring. I will add the other half in about a week when it gets above 55f. A sugar cake is made by mixing sugar in water and heating it up to a temperature so it will turn hard like a big piece of hard candy.

sugarcake.jpg (23783 bytes)

I take a 4 pound bag of sugar and 14 ounces of water. Bring the water to a boil then slowly add the sugar until all the sugar is a mixture in the boiling pot. Using a candy thermometer keep boiling until the temperature reaches 250F. I then add 2 drops of tea tree oil and 1 drop of wintergreen oil to the mix. Then I pour it into an 11x16 inch cake pan lined with parchment paper. Let it harden then I break it in half and it is ready to add to the hive.

We will see if this keeps them going till spring.

Peppers Transplant

It is March 22, time to transplant the peppers in to a larger container.

peppers24a.jpg (42528 bytes)

The Chinese Giant had 8 of the 12 seeds grow.

The Big Red Sweet peppers had 9 of the 12 seeds grow.

The seeds I saved from the pepper I bought at the store had 3 of the 9 seeds I planted grow.

The King of The North did not have any come up but remember these were old seeds. Scroll down to where I planted the seeds to see how old they were.

The peppers grew faster than I had expected to this point. I think the light I posted earlier had a lot to do with how fast they got their true leafs.

The pepper plants are now big enough to be moved into a larger container. I used the solo cups from last year. ( you can see that on page 1 ) I put some potting soil in the bottom of the solo cups carefully dug out the peppers, placed it in the cup and added potting soil around the roots. I pressed the soil around the roots lightly and gave it a little water to help settle the soil around the roots.

peppers24b.jpg (44711 bytes)

I placed them in the window. They will be their until I plant them outside.


Some great gifts ideas for your gardener friends
Medicinal Garden Kit
Big Bat Box
Quality power stations.

Bee Swarm Trap

During the spring a colony of bees can grow massively, both in terms of number of worker bees and needed space. The available space becomes smaller and smaller. The bees split up and part of the bees leave to find a new place to live.

Swarming bees are on their way to find a new home. Dr Thomas Seeley did a study on the size space in trees that bees lived in. He found that the space was between 30 and 60 liters of space. You can find out more about Dr Thomas Seeley from Cornell University

Scout bees then go out looking for the new location to move into where it can begin its new colony of bees.
That is where a swarm trap comes in to play.

bee-trap1.jpg (32925 bytes)

I had found many places where people were talking about swarm traps and most are saying to build them at about 40 liters. I did the math and came up with about 2450 square inches. The swarm trap in the photo on the left was one I built a few years ago. I did catch one small swarm in it. It just was not doing as good of a job as I would have thought. Doing the math on the trap 9.5" X 7.5" X 18" I came up with 1282 sq in. Just a bit more than half the size they were saying for a good size.

I had a 1"x12"X4' left over and some plywood from a project and did the math on a box I could make a new trap out of it. The inside space would be 11.25" x 14"x 18" or 2835 sq in. That would make it larger than the minimum size for a swarm trap. With that info I built a new trap, the one on the right in the photo.

To help attract the bees to my new swarm trap I am going to place a bee frames with plastic and bees wax foundation in first.

bee-trap2.jpg (22891 bytes)

Next a bee hive frames with old comb so the queen can start laying eggs. The old comb will help the place smell like home.

bee-trap3.jpg (25160 bytes)

Then I will add 4 more frames with a starter strip to help the bees build come in the frames and not some place where it would make it harder when moving them in to a hive.

bee-trap4.jpg (29181 bytes)

I will add some bee propolis that I have to the bottom of the box. Then give it a spray of swarm commander (a swarm lure) in the box and at the entrance

Here where I live I have noticed that most of the swarms happen in late April or May when the temperature is above 85f. I went out last year on the first day when it was above 85f to see if I could spot any swarms. I sat down near my swarm trap and watch several bees checking it out. I thought a swarm might move in any day but none did. It must have just been too small for them.

Bees use landmarks to navigate, railroad tracks, roads, rivers and power lines. I live where all of these cross in less than one eighth of a mile making it a good place to put up a swarm trap. In less than one eighth of a mile I have 3 roads, a river, power line, and railroad tracks. I have seen as many as 6 swarms here in one year.

I will let you know how this new Swarm Trap works out. If you are thinking about keeping bees this is a way to save on buying your bees.

Basil and Eggplant

This week I planted some eggplant seeds.

eggplant24.jpg (29305 bytes)

I placed 12 seeds in the container and covered them with about � inch of potting soil, I water them and placed them on the heat mat with the peppers I planted last week. I will move them to a larger container when they get their first true leafs.

I also planted some Large Leaf Basil seeds.

basil.jpg (45469 bytes)

The basil seeds are small so I just sprinkled a few in each cell. Then I just ran my finger across the seeds to settle them in to the potting soil. I then sprayed them with water and added them In the tray with the heat mat.

Peppers for 2024

Peppers for 2024 It is February 24th and time to start planting pepper seeds for this year’s pepper seedlings.

peppers24.jpg (39096 bytes)

In the front row on the right I planted 12 seeds for Chinese Giant organic peppers.

Chinese Giant peppers are extremely large almost squared. The fruits can grow up to 6 inches tall and 4.5 inches in diameter. Medium-thick flesh that is sweet and mild. The fruits are green and can turn red when mature .

Seedlings should be planted 12 to 18 inches apart.

I am trying this pepper because most of the peppers that I have grown here in NY don’t get very big. Hoping these will do better than one in the past.

In the front row on the right I planted 12 seeds for Big Red Sweet peppers.

Big Red Sweet peppers are very sweet thick flesh. They turn from green to red and are 4 inch tall bell peppers. Excellent for fresh market or home gardens.

Seedlings should be planted 12 to 16 inches apart.

In the back row on the right I planted several King of The North. These seeds are from a package of 2017 that I tested for germination and only a few germinated. I had good luck growing them back then and hope a couple seeds will grow.

The King of the North is a good bell pepper for colder weather and short-season. This pepper has a thick flesh, mild and sweet.

The pepper seeds in the back row on the right. I planted 6 seeds I saved from a pepper I purchased at the store. It was a large green sweet pepper. When I tested the seeds for germination they did well so I only planted 6 seeds. I just wanted to see if I could get large peppers from the plants.

I planted the seeds in potting soil put about � inch potting soil over seeds. Moisten the soil and put them on a heat mat. I will transplant them into a larger pot when they have their first true leafs.

Potting soil and Garden Supplies


For more post from 10/27/23 to 2/23/24 go to
For more post from 7/7/23 to 10/27/23 go to
For more post from 12/9/22 to 6/30/23 go to

email garys blog, your email may be added to our blog.


I am 69 years old and have been doing websites for over 25 years. My first website is . I had a website business for about 22 years. I had to stop that business because of my health. I have to use a walker to get around so I am limited to what I can do. I am doing a blog on this site I am going to use this because I already own and going to use it as a blog. I use to do gardening, keep bees, building things and other things. This will give me something to do to keep my mind active. I hope this will give you insight to what older people like to do. 12/12/2022
Bookmark and stop back soon. Share this blog with your friends.

Notice: earns some money from the commercial links on this Blog.

Copyright 2022,2024

Hosted by omnis

WestNY Mall