Monday, May 26, 2014

The Best Mojito Recipe

 Well, we have had one of the busiest weekends ever. It is my turn to write the blog this week, and this is the recipe that a lot of people have asked about. I think summer is just about here and this should get you ready.
The Best Mojito Recipe
Muddle 1/2 a lime with 16 mint leaves in a tall glass (spearmint works great).
Add 1 1/2 oz. Rum and 2 tbsp. Simple Syrup
Fill glass with ice cubes and top with club soda.
Garnish with a slice of lime and a mint sprig. 
Simple Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Boil on stove until dissolved. I keep mine in a jar in the fridge.
We have lots of varieties of mint at Jensen’s. Try them out and see which one you like best for your Mojito - Pineapple, Apple, Spearmint and Peppermint. I have also used Citrus Rum. 
See you soon,
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 2:15 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tomato School

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There are two kinds of tomato plants: determinate and indeterminate.  Determinate plants grow well in a cage and do not need pruning.  Indeterminate plants need to be pruned, staked and usually have heavier yields.  
Tomatoes are heavy feeders - a spike or granular fertilizer at the time of planting with a small amount of water soluble fertilizer at each watering.  The fertilizer should have a low first number - nitrogen.  You should provide consistent deep watering at the roots, rather than the foliage.  It is best to cage a tomato plant to allow for better ripening, use of space and to keep the plant off the ground.  
Only prune indeterminate plants by pinching small suckers above the leaf branch.  You will do this only once.  You can also pinch off some of the flowers to let the plant grow bigger, riper tomatoes.  
To ripen green tomatoes, layer singly between sheets of newspaper in a dark box or place inside a bag with an apple.  The apple releases ethylene gas which enhances ripening.
There can be some problems when growing tomatoes.  Cracking can be caused by fast growth and can be controlled by consistent watering.  Blossom end rot can be caused by irregular or inadequate watering and a calcium deficiency.  Use a low nitrogen fertilizer to help the plant absorb calcium.  Lots of nitrogen in the soil will draw the calcium away from the plant.
Lois Hole suggests the following tomatoes:  Big Beef, Super Fantastic and Early Girl (Indeterminate) and Celebrity and Tumbler (Determinate).
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 12:00 AM 0 Comments

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pruning Spring Flowering Shrubs

As the spring has finally arrived and your spring flowering shrubs start to bloom, you might start to wonder, when should I prune these shrubs.  Spring flowering Shrubs such as Forsythia, Double flowering Plum, Lilac, rhododendrons and Azaleas flower on old wood.  If you prune them in the fall or early spring you will be cutting off the flower buds, thus giving you very little show.  The best time to prune these shrubs is right after they flower.
When pruning you should remove approximately 1/3 of the shrub each year,   this will give you a healthy plant and the best show.  Start this process by removing dead or broken branches right to the ground.  Then you remove the oldest, thickest canes with to the ground.  At this point you may be close to the desired 1/3 removal.  The remaining branches you remove should be chosen to give you the desired shape and height you want.   Also remove any spent flowers, this will allow the plant to give its energy to growing rather than producing seed.
Occasionally you have a shrub that is very over grown and woody that flowers very little.  Normal pruning does not always fix the problem.  That is when I would suggest doing a rejuvenation pruning.  To do this you remove all the branches of the plant leaving only 2-4” of the shrub at the ground.  This is best done in early spring before the leaves come out.  Thus you will have to sacrifice the flowers for that season but it will be worth it in the end.
The following shrubs can handle this type of pruning.  Potentilla, Dogwood, Lilacs, Hydrangea, Honeysuckle, Mockorange, Weigelia, Viburnum (Cranberries), and Elders.
Pruning - Thinning - Picture 1
Pruning Rejuvenation - Picture 2

Pruning - thinningRejuvenation pruning
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 3:15 PM 0 Comments