7 Steps to Propagate Tame Blackberries

7 Steps to Propagate Tame Blackberries

7 Steps to Propagate Tame Blackberries

We grow tame or thornless blackberries and can make some extra money from them. Well, did you know that you can propagate these blackberries to basically double your crop? Here are the steps we took to propagate these blackberries.

Step 1

Backing up, blackberries (tame or wild) spread by once a long stem touches the ground, and gets in contact with the soil it roots and then starts a new plant.

The first thing to do is find where a new plant has started from the old one. You will see one of the stems from the old plant touching the ground and then usually a single long stem is coming up from the ground.

Step 2

From the old plant clip off the stem close to the ground. You should have just the new stem left of the new plant.

Step 3

Dig up the new plant left in the ground. Be sure to leave a pretty good sized root ball intact.

Step 4

Dig a new hole a little larger than the one you just dug up. Add any soil amendments.

Step 5

Plant the new plant in the hole and backfill making sure their are no air pockets.

Step 6

Water well, add root stimulator according to the directions, and mulch. (We use straw)

Step 7

(optional but will make your life a lot easier when it comes to harvesting)

Make a trellis out of two by fours and wire for the blackberries to climb on.

That’s All

You did it! If you’re like us, you were able to just double your plants and in the next couple of years double your crop! Blackberries don’t usually produce unless the canes are two years old. People around here pay quite a bit of money for blackberries and they’re pretty easy to grow. I personally don’t think the tame ones are as sweet as wild blackberries but they still taste good and you don’t have to mess with thorns.

Seeds or Plants: Which Should You Choose?

Seeds or Plants: Which Should You Choose?

You may wonder whether or not you should choose seeds to plant or just purchase plants already started when planning your garden.  We do a combination of both and I will tell you which ones do well.

*this post contains affiliate links which means I get a small commission if you make a purchase through these links at no additional cost to you. However, I only recommend products I love and use!

From Seeds

We always have a fairly large garden–between a large garden and a truck patch–over the years we have learned what works best for us regarding whether or not we buy plants already started or seed packets.

1. Lettuce

Any lettuce we plant always comes from seeds. In our area, Valentine’s Day is when everyone usually plants their lettuce seed.

However, we have a low garden spot that always takes a while to dry out after the spring rains so we wait until a lot later (around Mother’s Day) before we plant our lettuce. I love buttercrunch lettuce.

Basically, we plant our whole garden around the same time. Our lettuce always does well even thought we plant it that late.

2. Carrots

Carrots are one of those things we always plant directly in our garden with seeds. Once the seedlings emerge, you do have to go in and thin those puppies out to produce good carrots. Get organic seeds here.

3. Green Beans

Green beans are one of our largest crops. They are one of the few green vegetables my whole family eats! We can a lot of green beans.

Also, we always plant bush beans so I can’t give any recommendations on pole beans. Bush beans do fantastic planted directly into the garden.

4. Zucchini

When you plant zucchini, you hill up a mound of dirt and plant three seeds. One hill will about feed a county, so unless you have a plan for getting rid of all that zucchini, plant one hill!

If not, you might find yourself eating things such as zucchini pizza, zucchini apple pie, zucchini anything you name it.

5. Okra

Okra is another one of those plentiful producers. A few plants will do you. So you probably won’t need the whole seed packet unless you have a plan.

However, okra should be harvested when it is small. If you let it get too big, it gets tough. We freeze it instead of canning it. If you like gumbo and all that jazz, you may use it more than we do. We basically just like it fried.

6. Potatoes

While these are not “seeds” per se, they are grown from the eyes of the potato. We always plant these in a hilled up row in our garden and when they start to vine, my hubby keeps adding dirt on top of the row until it’s a foot or more high. We’ve never had the problem of having vines only and no potatoes.

7. Sweet Corn

We love to grow sweet corn. Usually, we just grow enough to eat on through the summer. If you want to have enough to freeze for the winter, you need to grow a lot! Always plant at least two rows for pollination. These do great from seed. We love Peaches and Cream.

Seedlings

1. Onions

We usually buy candy onions which come in a small six pack and take a lot of separation because there are multiples in one pack, but those are the only sweet onions that do the best here in the Ohio Valley. Plant them far enough apart to allow them room to get big.

2. Tomatoes

We always buy these as small plants to transplant, although they can be grown from seed, these just have a head start. We plant a few different varieties and always can a lot of tomato juice and sauce. Last year, we had around 100 tomato plants! I like to killed my husband when it came time to can lol!

3. Herbs

I always buy plants for my herbs rather than trying to get those seeds to survive or produce, but I’m sure you could. Read my post on herb container gardening.

4. Peppers

I always buy pepper plants rather than starting from seeds most of the time, although my husband started some Carolina Reapers from seed and they did pretty well but they took a long time to mature.

All other pepper plants like green, red, yellow bell peppers, banana peppers, jalapenos, habaneros, and the like we’ve all done from plants.

Also, you may need at least two pepper plants to help with pollination. Even if they are self-pollinating having more than one seems to help them bear more fruit.

 

Warning

Now if you plant hot peppers close to sweet peppers there is the possibility that some of the sweet peppers could have some heat. Depends on how much on the wild side you like to live!

Seeds

  1. Lettuce
  2. Carrots
  3. Green Beans
  4. Zucchini
  5. Okra
  6. Corn 

Plants

  1. Onions
  2. Tomatoes
  3. Herbs
  4. Peppers
Got any other plants you like to start from seed or plants?

 

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Vintage Ford Tractor Makeover

Vintage Ford Tractor Makeover

My husband Brian is an extremely creative person. He loves to come up with inventive ideas for just about anything and our vintage Ford tractor is no exception! See below for the amazing before-and-after of this tractor. Trust me you’ve never seen anything like it!

*This contains affiliate links which means I get a small commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you*

As you can see the tractor is pretty rust and greasy. My hubby wire brushed and degreased everything before priming. He likes to use Awesome degreaser.  Then he got it all cleaned up. Next was time to prime. He uses Rustoleum spray primer.

Here are some pictures of the in progress tractor.

After priming it is time to paint. He used Rustoleum engine primer for the engine before painting that. Also, he likes to paint with Rustoleum spray paint (red, white, and blue).

We searched and searched for a place to get a new Logo and finally found one on ebay I think. He found the perfect blue seat at Rural King. He replaced One of the large tires for now and will replace the others as we can afford it.

Side note: He got all of this done and it was up and running for about a day! Now we’re waiting on the carburetor to be rebuilt to get it going again.

Well, are you ready for the big reveal! Here comes, let me know what you think of this vintage Ford tractor makeover in the comments below!

I call it the Patriotic tractor! Pretty cool, I had to get the pictures taken because this is probably the cleanest it’s going to be lol! Let me know what you think about this tractor in the comments below!

Want to learn more about homesteading? 

See my post  Small Homesteading: The Beginner’s Guide.

 

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Small Homesteading: The Beginner’s Guide

Small Homesteading: The Beginner’s Guide

Small Homesteading: The Beginner’s Guide

  • Small homesteading is a great place to begin the homesteading experience. With all the concerns regarding food quality, it is important to know where your food comes from.
  • My husband and I both grew up growing, preserving, and enjoying our own food. We now have a small homestead of around five acres. Since we’ve been married (almost 20 years now!), we consistently have a garden, raise some animals, and attempt to learn from the older generation. Homesteading comes with a lot of trial and error, and I hope to share some tips we’ve learned along the way. One property we had was just a very small yard but were able to raise enough to feed our family pretty well for an entire year! It requires some hard work and dedication, but the joys of knowing that you have contributed to caring for your own family in such a personal way make it all worth it.

What is homesteading?

  • Homesteading nowadays is not the traditional definition of the government giving away land in exchange for people working the land to earn it. Homesteading means many different things to different people. In my mind, small homesteading is making a home while trying to be more self-sufficient.
  • Some common misconceptions people have about homesteading are that you need a large acreage to be successful. While that can be true if you are planning to raise large animals and you want to feed your animals with your own land, it is not necessary. If you have a windowsill that you can place a planter on, you can get started!

How to get started

 

  • Start SMALL! I can’t stress this enough. If you are brand new and have never grown anything, start with one thing in a container. Herbs in containers are a fantastic way to get started. They take up a small space and can be placed on a balcony or just outside somewhere. You’ll be surprised that even one herb plant can produce more than you can use. Learn about caring for it and preserving it.
  • If you have space for animals, again start with just one or two to learn how to care for them before branching out. I highly recommend beginning with plants and produce before branching out to animals. You can have animals even on a small homestead.

Tips for Success in Homesteading

 

  • Start small.
  • Be patient with yourself. You will make mistakes along the way. Some years are just better for some crops than others. It’s all part of the process.
  • Don’t give up. the crop that didn’t do well this time may be your best one next time.

Common Questions/FAQ

 

What is the first thing I should do?

  • The first thing you should do is plan. Plan the size of your project and research what you want to begin with.

Do I have to have a large acreage?

  • It depends is the most concise answer. You can homestead anywhere! An apartment, balcony, small yard, five acres or less, or hundreds of acres can all be the right size for homesteading.

 

    What are the best animals to have?

    • The first animals I would try would be chickens. Depending on the breed, chickens can be very docile and good layers. If you are looking just to have eggs for your own family and are not looking to sell them, three or four would be plenty.

     

      What do I need to do to prepare the ground?

      • Preparing the ground needs to start in the fall. If you till that is the time to do it and add any natural fertilizer. If you apply natural fertilizer (aka manure) in the spring, you could burn up your crops.

       

        What is the easiest thing to grow?

        • I find the easiest things to grow in our area are peppers of all kinds.

         

          What is the easiest thing to preserve?

          •  Preserving onions, garlic, and potatoes are pretty straightforward.

           

            The Last Thing You Need to Know about Homesteading

             

            • The main thing to know about small homesteading is that it can be accomplished in a very small space, even a windowsill can get you started. You decide what works for you. Starting small and being patient are key when beginning.
            • If you liked this post, please share/comment/subscribe!

             

            vegetable plants for homesteading

             

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            Herb Container Gardening

            Herb Container Gardening

            I love herb container gardening. After several years of trial and error, this is the easiest way I’ve found to grow herbs. Bonus: I have the perfect spot outside my kitchen door where I can easily access these for cooking! There are some herbs that do really well in the regular garden. However, some will completely take over if planted there and ruin your garden.

            Mint

            I love me some mint! My favorite thing to do in the summer is to take a sprig of fresh mint and put in my glass of ice water. So refreshing. However, mint of any variety is one of those plants that will completely take over the garden if left to its own devices. For my needs, I buy ONE plant and plant it in a medium-sized container and have plenty.

            Basil

            Basil is one of those herbs that do grow well in the garden. However, I love having it in the container right outside my kitchen door for convenience. This is one herb that needs a little larger container. I planted mine in a large (not extra-large) container. Again, one plant is enough for my family as long as I make sure to keep the blooms pinched or snipped off.

            Rosemary

            I love to use rosemary, especially when cooking with poultry. It adds such great flavor! This one does well when planted in the garden or even in your landscaping. It becomes almost like a small bush. Also, this one requires a large pot. One plant does my family well. I usually treat most of these herbs as annuals when container planting, however, this one came back in my container this year! I will need to add fertilizer and some additional new potting soil. And hopefully, it will make it!

            Sage

            Sage is an herb that is pretty pronounced. My husband is a wonderful cook and he uses sage more than I do. It did great in the container. I just planted this one in a medium-sized container. He likes to dry sage and then crush it. One plant was enough for us but if you want to dry and crush a lot of sage, you might want more than one plant.

            Chives

            My chives came back in the container this year also! I use chives all the time when I’m cooking so I was thrilled that they came back. Hopefully, they continue to do well. One plant in a medium-sized container worked well. You want to give chives a “haircut” periodically during the season and they will do well.

            Thyme

            I have never tried planting thyme in a regular garden, but in my container, it tended to grow and spread out. I’m not sure the exact variety of thyme I purchased. My bad! But if it was creeping thyme, that would probably also have a tendency to take over in the garden. I planted this a smaller container.

            Cilantro

            I’ve grown cilantro both in the regular garden and in containers. And it’s done well in both places.For cilantro, it is very important that you harvest and prune often. It tends to want to flower and go to seed fairly quickly if not attended to. I also love the flavor of cilantro in many dishes. If you want the cilantro to come back the following year in your regular garden, just let it flower and go to seed at the end of the season. Next spring you’ll see little sprouts coming back.

            Oregano

            Like mint, oregano seems to be an aggressive grower. I have not planted this in my regular garden because of this. You don’t want to have to fight a plant that wants to take over. However, this did great in my medium-sized container. It does well being dried and crushed also. We’ve grown a couple of different varieties in containers and enjoyed both of them.

            What You Need to Know About Growing Herbs in Containers

            Never use soil from the ground in containers. It will not do your plants any favors. Soil from the ground tends to not drain as well and then when it does begin to dry it just becomes a big clump of dirt. Use potting soil, as it is made for that purpose, and save yourself a huge headache. Make sure there are drain holes in the bottom of the container so your plants won’t drown. Most containers–especially in the heat of summer–require frequent watering. Sometimes morning and evening as the containers dry out quickly. If you see yellow leaves on your herbs, it’s usually a sign of overwatering. Always check the soil by checking about an inch deep and then water well if it’s dry. Every couple of weeks I use a water-soluble fertilizer.

            Harvest your herbs when they have around 3 inches of growth and cut just above a set of leaves. Harvest often to keep them under control and to prevent them from getting leggy or flowering. Flowers are pretty, but the plant will give all of its energy to the flowering process rather than providing you with the edible foliage you want. If you want them to come back the following year it’s ok to let them flower and go to seed at the end of the season! Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

             

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