How to Oven Roasted-Asparagus

Though you can cook asparagus in different ways but roasting them is considered as the most admired way to cook them. If you do not know how to oven-roasted asparagus, then you should read this write-up till the end as it will also introduce you to the mistakes commonly committed by people while cooking this vegetable.

Some Basic Things to Follow

Before proceeding towards the recipe for roasting asparagus you should know about some basic things like the ends of asparagus spears are normally impossible to cook as they are too hard to cook. So you should trim them before starting to cook them. Before oven roasting asparagus, you should season them generously with pepper and salt. Asparagus should be cooked in an oven in a single layer as they will not char if they have crowded your pan.

Recipe of Oven Roasted Asparagus

Roasted Asparagus Ingredients

Ingredients required to oven-roasted asparagus may include:

  • Trimmed stalks of asparagus (2 pounds)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (3 tbsp)
  • Black pepper
  • salt

Directions for Oven Roast Asparagus

Before starting to roast asparagus in the oven, you should preheat the oven up to 400 degrees. Now put a large baking sheet on a large baking sheet in the oven and place generously seasoned asparagus with olive oil on that sheet. Roast the asparagus sticks up to 25 minutes or until they tender.

Some of the Common Mistakes to Be Avoided

While roasting asparagus, people usually make some common mistakes, which can be avoided while roasting them a bit carefully. Some of these mistakes may include:

Use Of Too Big Or Too Small Asparagus Stalks

While roasting asparagus stalks, you should take them of the right size as too thin stalks can be overcooked easily, whereas thick stalks will be more fibrous and woodier. So, they should be medium in size when you are oven roasting them.

Peeling Asparagus Stalks

According to cooking experts, peeling asparagus before cooking is not necessary. Moreover, it will take much time to peel them. Instead of peeling the asparagus stalks, you should cut off their bottom part as the rest of them is edible.

Cut off Too Much Woody Portion

Some people bend the asparagus stalks to remove their woody portion, which is not the right method to remove their inedible part. According to experts, it is a time-consuming method. You should check them by pressing them with your fingers. The stalk will break up automatically, or you can slice it from that point to remove its woody part easily.

Avoiding Blanching of Asparagus

Most cooking experts blanch asparagus, regardless of the method they use for cooking them. It makes easier to start their cooking process. When you are roasting asparagus without blanching it them its outer surface will be charred, whereas from inside, it will remain raw. You should blanch asparagus in boiling highly salted water for 1-3 minutes, according to the size of its pieces. But you should not blanch it for a longer time as it will boil them, which may not be suitable for roasting them.

By avoiding these mistakes, you can easily oven roast perfect asparagus.

Easy Gardening – Garden Seed Tapes

What are Seed Tapes?

Seed tapes are products designed with seeds perfectly attached between narrow strips of biodegradable tissue layers, which are ready for planting in both the garden and house. They are ideal for sowing in containers, large empty garden plots, as well as fill-ins in tighter areas.

The seeds are applied at the correct distance along the tapes to reduce overcrowding of newly germinated seedlings. The tapes can consist of a single variety, custom mixtures, and multiple species of seeds. You can find products with flower, vegetable, and herb seeds embedded into them.

What are the Advantages of Seed Tapes?

  • Provide an easy and efficient way to plant tiny seeds quickly.
  • Seeds are planted at the same depth allowing for a more uniform germination rate.
  • Seed tapes enable you to space plants evenly and eliminate seed wastage. This helps avoid overcrowding that may call for thinning of young seedlings, which is a tedious and time-consuming task.
  • Less thinning also means less disturbance to the root of plants left in your garden. Otherwise, you risk delaying or inhibiting the growth and even performance of the plants.
  • Prevents birds from eating the fresh seeds that you sow.
  • Makes the sowed seeds less susceptible to wash away in a downpour and ruining the evenly spaced rows.
  • Almost all the seed tape products are biodegradable and considered to be environmental-friendly.
  • Very convenient for senior gardeners, particularly those suffering from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other mobility complications.

What are the types of Seed tapes?

Seed tapes

Seed tapes are one of the most common types, which are ideal for growing most vegetable seed varieties, salads, as well as flower seeds. They are usually available in different lengths, especially between one to six meters. However, it is possible to have the garden vegetable seed tapes produced in specific lengths to suit your unique gardening needs. Also, the seed tapes can come as a single track containing one variety of seeds or multiple tracks with different seed varieties.

Seed discs

Seed discs are designed in different sizes. You’ll find smaller and larger seed discs. With smaller seed discs, the diameter often ranges from 8cm to 12 cm, a size that easily fits most typical flowerpots. They are perfectly suited for sowing herbs indoor, such as in the kitchen or windowsills.

The larger discs, on the other hand, range from 14cm to 46cm in diameter. You can use them for sowing seeds in outdoor pots, as well as hanging containers or baskets.

Seed mats

If you want to sow seeds in big planters, garden borders or window boxes, then seeds mats are a great option. With seed mats, you can easily produce a great color display of stunning bedding plants. Well, good examples of such plants include marigolds and pansies.

The size of seed mats vary. Often than not, you’ll find mats available in the size of a small business card and up to 100cm in length.

Seed carpets

Seeds carpets are suitable for planting salads, mixed vegetables, and wildflower fusions in large borders or other large garden areas. They are simply ready-made “mini-gardens” or “allotments,” which are usually one meter or larger in length.

How to Use Seed Tapes

It’s an incredibly easy process. First off, you’ll need to prepare the soil for planting, just like you would with any new seedbed. Once you have a weed-free garden bed, it’s often recommended to follow the guidelines on the package of the seed tapes, discs, carpets, or mats.

In most cases though, you’ll be required to place the seed tapes in a straight line on the soil using the proper rowing space. After that, gently cover it with the top layer soil and then water the area. However, you should avoid prolonged watering after sowing.

If the soil has not been moistened by Mother Nature, consider watering it several hours before sowing. But don’t make the garden bed sopping wet.

Where to buy Seed tapes

You can find the different types of seed tapes we’ve discussed above at most local garden centers or nurseries, DIY stores, and grocery stores. Alternatively, you can just buy from reputable online garden retailers.

How to Freeze Green Beans at Home

Do you want to know how to freeze green beans? Are you looking for the best storage option to use green beans throughout the year? Green beans are healthy and can help you to boost your digestion. However, fresh green beans are not available in all seasons. But you can store them in your freezer and use whenever you want.

Storage is easy, and you can store frozen green beans for almost a year. You might be thinking about how. Here are a few tips that can help you to store green beans in your freezer. You will have to take care of every detail, such as to pick the beans at the right time as well as following the right storage method.

How to Choose the Best Green Bean for Freezing?

For the storage, you will have to be a little choosy while picking green beans. Picking is important since if you choose wrong beans or at the wrong time, then you might not store them for long. Also, beans might lose the freshness and flavor if not chosen properly. The peak season to store green beans is from May to October. You can choose any day between these months to ensure the best outcome. In the peak seasons, yummy and fresh green beans will be available in your local store. Visit your local store and choose blemish-free, crisp, and bright-colored beans. Take extra caution to avoid the green beans with shivered ends or limp.

Make sure that these beans do not have small beans inside. Though the small beans do not affect the quality and taste of the green beans, still, these are not considered good for the storage. The size signifies that the bean is past its prime.

You will have to choose the freshest possible bean and freeze soon after picking them from the store or your garden. It is suggested to freeze on the same day. If you want to wait for some obvious reason like a busy schedule, then keep them in the freeze in the meantime.

Prep Your Freezing Containers

Your freezing container does not need much preparation. You can use jars, bags, and a freezer container to store green beans. All you need is to clean those containers and then make it completely dry. Any moisture is not suggested since it can damage the beans. After keeping green beans in the container or bag, you can simply shake them to compact beans.

How to Prep the Green Bean for Freezing

Now you have the fresh green beans and freeze containers. The next is how to prepare the beans for storage. You can consider any with or without blanching. We will discuss both the methods. To start with, use cool tap water to wash green beans. After washing, take a small handful of green beans and line up their stem ends and use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the stems. Repeat the process with the remaining beans. If required, you can trim off its tapered tail ends. As a lot of recipes need cut green beans, you can cut your beans into one-inch pieces for easy storage. If you want, you can store whole green beans depending on your preference. Both ways will offer the same benefit.

Wash your beans with water again to get rid of any dirt and then dry beans completely. Proper drying up is important to ensure better storage. You can use a paper or cloth towel to dry green beans completely. The drying up process will not take more than half an hour.

Now pack the beans into the jars, bags, or container. Seal the container following the manufacturer instructions and press hard to get rid of all the possible air. You can also use a freezer tape around the container lid edges to get a tight seal.

The above method will enable you to freeze green beans with blanching. Some suggested blanching for more effective storage. Blanching will demand one more step. You will have to boil beans in water for a few minutes and then dunk them in ice water. It will help green beans to maintain the flavor and color during freezing.

For boiling, get water in a large pot and boil them. Place beans into the boiling water for two to four minutes depending on the size of beans. While using large beans, you can boil for four minutes and small beans, the time should not exceed two minutes. Soon after, you will have to cool the beans quickly in rice water. Once the beans are cooled down, drain them and follow the same process for the storage. Pack the drained green beans into containers, bags, or jars. Shake the container to compact green beans and add more beans while leaving 1-2 inch headspace.

Package and Label Your Green Bean

After packing the beans in the container by following the above instructions, the next step is to label those containers. You will have to label each container with the content name, packaging date, and amount. It is important to mention all the details in the labeling. Otherwise, you might forget the packaging date and might not use them at the right time.

How to Freeze Your Green Beans

If you are using bags, then rearrange your bags in such a way that you can lay them as flat as possible. This will ensure quick freezing and will preserve the original flavor and taste of your beans as well. Lay the containers or bag flat to the freezer in the batches. Besides, leave some space near the container so that air can easily circulate. Now, your beans are safe in the freezer. You can use them whenever you want for cooking.

How Long Can Frozen Green Beans Be Stored?

As stated earlier, frozen green beans can be stored for a long time up to a year if you follow the right freezing method or choose the right green beans. You can store frozen beans around nine months while using a conventional freezer. If you want to store even longer, then you can use a deep freeze appliance.

Advantages of eating in season

Advantages of eating in season are many, but If you are willing to harvest from your backyard orchard, and/or vegetable garden or visit your local u-pick farm and preserve your food you can save a great deal and eat better too. Even purchasing in season at your local grocer can save your family money.

Here is a quick list of some of the benefits:

  • Your produce will taste better.  Produce harvested when it’s naturally at its best will mean it will also taste its best and give you the optimum nutrients.
  • It will save you money. In-season produce is often on-sale produce and or less expensive for a quick sale. Especially, if you are willing to visit the local farmer’s market or visit the local u-pick farms and replace money with a little family work and exercise.
  • You’ll discover new, fruit and vegetable choices. The world of fruits, vegetables, and roots is a larger one than most of our shopping habits indicate. Eating in season will introduce you to new types of fruits, vegetables, and roots and give you more knowledge of nutritious choices. Many heirloom varieties do not ship or store well and therefore will not be in the supermarket.
  • Eating in season also tends to support local growers, which helps the local economy and reduces pollution. Also, as you get to know your local farmer and you will be helping to keep what remains of the local family famil alive for the future. In speaking and making friends with your local farmer you may find there are other opportunities to broaden your diet as many raise heritage livestock, which can make their way to your table. They can let you what crop will next be available and when.

When to harvest Yardlong beans

While (Asparagus) Yardlong beans can grow up to 36 inches long, however, it’s best to harvest Yardlong beans at 18 inches or less when Yardlong beans are at their most tender and flavorful.

Nasturtium

Genus:

  • Tropaeolum majus

LIFECYCLE:

  • Nasturtiums are annual

Height:

  • 12 inches for a bush, 72 inches for vines

Spread:

  • 18 inches for bush

Description:

  • Distinctive, blue-green circular leaves are held up on fleshy stems. These annuals come in a variety of types ranging from compact bushes to long-spreading vines. They make an eye-catching addition to any garden. In addition, they have large attractive blooms that range in color from palest yellows, pinks, and apricots to deep, rich yellows, oranges, and burgundy. The vining types are great in hanging planters, window boxes, or for use on trellises and fences.

Ease of care:

  • Easy

How to grow:

  • Plant in full sun to partial shade in average to poor, moist soil.

Propagation:

  • By seed in late spring. They’re large and can be planted individually where the plants are going to grow

Pests:

  • Aphids love nasturtiums, so be on the lookout for them.

Uses:

  • Fresh leaves and flowers-salads
  • Fresh flowers-floral arrangements
  • Unripe seeds and flower buds-pickled for salads

Preservation:

  • Pickle unripe seeds in vinegar and use them in salads.

How to Grow Tepary Beans In Your Garden

Tepary beans are native to the Americas and have been planted by the local people for thousands of years. Tepary beans are creamy and nutty in flavor, and they can be used in any dish. They are perfect for soups and stews. Though they are small in size, tepary beans are dense and meaty. They are easily grown in Sunset climate zones. They are rich in nutrients and grow from 1 to 3 feet tall with a foot spread of 3 to 4 foot. They are known as the most heat-tolerant crop in the world. They are mostly planted during summer and monsoon season which produces infrequent rains from July to August. Let’s see how to grow tepary beans?

Advantages Of Growing

Growing is one of the most popular hobbies in America these days. Growing and gardening are considered the best way to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Growing gives the gardener, the ability to experiments with new seeds and new varieties. Growing plants at your home can provide you more control over the quality and longevity of the plants. Growing plants is an art; one can use many different techniques.

Direct Sowing

Direct sowing is also known as direct seeding, which means that you directly start planting seeds in the garden than buying plants and transplanting the plants. Sowing seeds directly do not mean that you just plop some seeds in the ground and leave it for the results. You need to take care of some of the factors before sowing, make sure that the area is weed-free, though there is competition for water and nutrients; it’s quite easy to mistake sprouting weed seed for your flower or vegetables and accidentally pulling out them. Make sure you plant seeds 3 times deep as their circumference is. Some seeds require light to germinate. Then, what you need to do is gently press into the damp soil so that they can make good contact with light and air. Always mark the spot first where you want to sow the seed because you may think you remember, but you don’t so it’s better to mark the spot. Don’t wash the seeds away, water gently. It is crucial to keep the soil moist, but not soaking, until the seeds germinate. Once you have had good germination, continue to pamper the seedlings until they become mature plants.

Growing seedlings

A seedling is a young plant which develops from a plant embryo from a seed. Development of a seedling starts with the germination of the seeds.

  • Deciding the best time to plant your seeds: When you start your plants too late, it may not have enough time to get mature so start your plants a little early so that it gets enough time to get mature.
  • Gather all the supplements you need: Germinating healthy seeds require quite a few things. First of all, you need seeds, a seedling tray or a food storage container, a plastic wrap, a small fan, and a timer. If you have used the supplies before make sure to clean them before using them again.
  • Plant your seeds: Before you start planting your seeds, soak the Rockwool cubes for at least half an hour. Make sure to plant the appropriate number of seeds based on their crop types.
  • Ideal Conditions for germination: Once you are done with the planting of seeds, it’s time to provide them with ideal conditions for germination. Green leafy seeds and herbs germinate well in the range of 55-75degree F, whereas fruity crops require upper range. Also, make sure that you cover the seedling tray with a plastic wrap.
  • Keep your seedlings healthy: As soon as you see something green coming out of the seeds, make sure to give them proper light, especially in winter. If it’s too cold outside to place your plant outside, use fluorescent bulbs and keep it inches away from your plants.
  • Strong seeds: Make your seeds strong by performing some tasks such as set a small fan and gently blow on them, make sure they get proper sunlight.

Transplanting seedlings

Transplanting the seedlings should be done with a very gentle hand and not roughly. Use a blunt knife ease the seedlings without disturbing the preceding seedlings in the line or tearing out the seedlings.

To transplant, the seeds, loosen the soil and fill each container with planting mix. Handle seedling by their leaves and make sure that you do not damage the soft stems of the plants. Poke a hole into the planting mix and place the seedling over there. Water it right away and keep it out of direct sunlight for a few days. After 10-11 days the seedlings are ready to be kept outside.

Insect and pest control

Insect and pest control treatment for seeds includes the application of pesticide to the surface to reduce or control the pests. Apply a chemical barrier to the seed so that it can protect the young seedlings from getting damaged by the insects. You may use systematic pesticides.

Controlling Diseases and Problems

Tepary beans, in my experience, don’t have many problems and the few they have can be handled like any other garden bean.  However, there is one really important thing to remember, which is that tepary beans are a desert bean and are water misers, so, they need minimal water and certainly much less than other traditional garden beans.  Actually, tepary beans tends to be more productive and mature earlier if once established and flowering, if they experience some mild lack of water stress.

When are tepary beans ready to harvest ripe?

The days of maturity depends on the cultivator, but can range from 60 – 120 days to harvest as dry beans.  Tepary beans are harvested for their dry bean seeds, so don’t get in a hurry to harvest them and let them dry on the plant, if possible.

Harvesting

Begin harvesting of tepary beans seeds a the bean pods dry out.  Keep in mind that tepary beans are most a wild beans and will shatter and drop their seeds if left too long. Also, the bean pods will be brittle when dry, so, harvest gently to minimize your bean seed loss.  You will want to shuck the bean pods after allowing them to finish drying in a cool try environment to be sure they are completely dry.   The dry tepary bean seeds can be stored in a cool place and saved for cooking until the for food purposes for up to five years.

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