Smoothie section of the garden is doing well

The Swiss chard and kale are both doing well in the garden, I like to call it the smoothie section of the garden.  A couple times a day I go out and clip some of each and take it right inside to the little blender to make one of my favorite smoothies.  It is getting ahead of me and is going to need pruning soon.   If I can’t find someone to take what we prune then it will go into the freezer.

Stringing up the tomatoes to grow vertically

We’ve got half a bed of tomatoes in the garden that needed twine to train them to grow vertically.  The tomatoes are planted 9 inches apart and alternate which direction they will be trained to grow.  Growing them this way ensures they will get adequate light and space when trimmed properly.  

We will also be growing other things vertically in this manner such as cucumbers, squash, pole beans and melons. 

Planting carrots in sand and sawdust 

  Our soil is has lots of clay and it makes any type of tuber grow funny.  This year I decided to try to grow carrots in a custom soil mix.  We are trying two heirloom varieties this year in a section of our 30 foot long grow box.  

We mix our carrot seeds in with dry sand and then pour the sand into the area we want the carrots to grow. The carrot seed is added into a mason jar at one part seeds to 100 parts of sand and mixed thoroughly.   For our purpose we added 1/2 a teaspoon of carrot seeds to 1 cup of sand.  

In the picture below you can see the sand that was applied in a row just over the top of the seed packs.  The one cup of sand and seeds ended up being 10 feet long once applied.   

Does it matter what direction your rows run

With a Mittleider garden and a little planning it doesn’t matter if your rows run north and south or east and west.  It’s more important to lay out your rows so they run with the contour of your land.  In a Mittleider garden your rows need to be level.  By orienting your rows with the contour of your property it will end up being less work for you to get the beds level.  

Upgrading to night sights on the Glocks

The Mrs and I have the same generation (gen 4) and model Glocks. When we bought them they both came with the standard sights that don’t offer any illumination in low light conditions.

We had a sight pushing tool already so just bought new night sights.  It’s an expensive tool now but cheaper ones can be bought for around $50.  If I were to start over and didn’t have the tool I’d likely save money and just have a gun smith provide and install the new sights for a fee. 

If you have one or can borrow one from a buddy it’s a simple process to push on a rear sight. The front sight does require a special tool to remove that can be bought for less than $10.  It too is an easy job to replace and there are tons of YouTube videos that show you how. 


Here is the rear sight removed and ready to install the new one. 

Pruning and transplanting tomatoes

Our average last day of frost has passed for the spring and we are full on in garden mode.  Today we pruned up a mess of the tomatoes we started from seeds and have begun transplanting them into the garden.  The next week is going to be busy for us

They get pruned fairly heavily before transplanting, here are some pictures before and after pruning.  When transplanting they go as deep as possible, each of those root hairs on the stem will become a new root to feed the plant and fruit. 

All these were started in sand and sawdust and will be grown in the same custom soil mix.  We will be putting more tomatoes in our native soil later. 


Here is another plant before and after pruning.  Look at that root system in the last picture.


The changes we made to our in garden green house

During our time with the Mittleider in garden green house I’ve changed a few things about it and added my own personalized touches to it.  I’ve outlined these things in this little video we shot today.  

We built the in garden green house from the instructions provided in the Mittleider Gardening Course book.  We don’t provide a supplemental heat source to it, but are able to increase our growing season by about 6 weeks.   It allows us to start planting hardy plants 3-4 weeks before our average last frost of the year.  After the first frost of the year it also allows us to continue growing and protecting our vegetables by simply closing it up and protecting the plants from the cold.  On a sunny day we can easily see temperatures inside the in garden green house rise 30 degrees above the outside temperatures.