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5 Must Know Tips for Transplanting Tomato Plants

Homegrown tomatoes are the best!! And it’s not that hard to grow them, but you can do a few things that make a big difference in growing successful tomatoes from the very beginning. To get your tomato seedlings off to the best possible start, you must know these five tips for transplanting tomatoes! It all starts with the transplanting.Must know tips for planting tomato seedlings

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Welcome back to Tuesdays in the Garden! Today, you’re in for a treat. Not only do we have lots of great gardening tips to help you get your spring planting right, but we also have a few homemade gifts you can quickly put together, just in time for Mother’s Day! Make sure to read to the end of the post and check out all the great ideas from my dear gardening friends.

5 Must Know Tips for Transplanting Tomato Plants

Have you planted your tomatoes yet? It’s generally safe to plant them around your frost free date.  Our official frost free date (May 15) is right around the corner, but I always check the long range weather forecast before deciding when to tansplant my tomato plants. Fro the last three years, we have had a killing frost after May 15, so quite often, transplanting tomato plants has to wait. If you’re looking forward to transplanting tomato plants, too, make sure you read these must know tips!

pinch off bottom leaves
1 .Dig a deep hole and pinch off the tomato plants’ lower leaves.

I like to plant my tomatoes deep for a couple reasons. First, it’s super windy out here in the Iowa Prairie and planting them deeply gives them better support from the wind. It  allows roots to develop all along the tomato stem which helps make the plant stronger. So, dig a hole deep enough that only the top leaves will be showing on the ground. Pinching off the lower leaves also encourages roots to develop too, so carefully pinch off the leaves before you put the seedling in the hole.

Make sure to support the stem as you cover it with dirt. Be careful when you’re covering the plant with dirt so you don’t accidentally harm the little seedling. I like to support the stem with one had and fill the hole with dirt with the other hand. You don’t want to break the stem as you cover it – I’ve done it and it makes me very sad. Make sure you cover the seedling up to the top leaves.

2. Wondering how far apart to plant tomatoes?

Make sure you give your tomatoes enough space to grow.

  1. Dwarf tomato varieties only need to be about 1′ apart, with 2′ – 3′ between rows.
  2. If you’re staking your tomato plants, they’ll need about 2′ of separation to grow, with 2′ – 3′ between rows.
  3. Using large cages? They’ll need to be about 3′ apart, and probably 4′-5′ between rows.
  4. Want to let your tomatoes grow without support? You’ll need a lot of room! About 3-4′ between plants, and 4′-5′ between rows.

water the tomatoes after planting

3. Water tomato plants generously after planting.

Newly planted seedlings need a nice drink of water immediately after planting so make sure you water right away. I like to make an indent in the dirt around the plant so the water stays near the seedling instead of running away. You’ll want to continue watering for a few days if you don’t get a rain pretty quickly after planting.

mulch tomatoes

4. Mulch right away.

Since you’ve gone through the effort of planting tomatoes, just go ahead and mulch them right away. I’m often tempting to skip this step and get to it later, but I’ve found later sometimes never comes. Mulching right away is a great way to keep down the weeds and it also helps keep them moist. I used old hay we got for free in this picture, but a better mulch is straw because it’s weed free. My hay is very, very old, so I hope nothing will sprout from it. I could be wrong though, and end up seriously regretting the use of this old hay. I’ll let you know if that’s the case!

support tomatoes with homemade tomato cages

5. Add a support trellis or basket immediately.

Another key to tomato success,  is to add support right away. Tomatoes like to be supported and I know from experience that if I don’t support them right after planting, I won’t ever get back to it. Pretty soon I end up with a huge tomato jungle – and while I don’t think that’s a terrible thing, it does make picking the beautiful fruits more difficult and a lot of them end of smashed by my big feet. In years past, I used these homemade tomato baskets last year. They are easy to make and easy to use, but they take up a lot of space so you need a large growing area if you want to use homemade tomato baskets.

tomato trellis from moss mountain farm

This year I am hoping to use these homemade support systems I saw a Moss Mountain Farms. I love that this tomato system takes up less room than my huge cages and I think it’s awfully pretty too! Also, it’s a way to grow more tomatoes in less space since you don’t have to set the tomatoes so far apart. Do you have a favorite tomato trellis you like to use?

And that’s the start to a successful tomato season! Have you planted your tomatoes yet? I’d love to hear your ideas for success too. 

tuesdays in the garden

Tuesdays in the Garden

Want more garden tips from my friends from around the web. Make sure you click over to everyone’s posts and check out what’s going on in different parts of the country! We’ve got a couple homemade gift ideas that might be perfect for Mother’s Day this weekend, as well as growing tips too!

frugal family home

Shelly from Frugal Family Home is sharing a mini green house idea for small spaces!

hearth and vine

Patti from Hearth and Vine is sharing a cute DIY Gazing Ball – what a great gift is this?

an oregon cottageJami at An Oregon Cottage is sharing her homemade Salad Dressing Gift Basket

homemade food junkie

Diane from Homemade Food Junkie is sharing tips for growing strawberries in DIY towers

angie freckled rose

Angie the Freckled Rose is sharing tips for adding visual interest in your garden!

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How to grow a three sisters garden

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5 Useful Tips for Grooming Great Pyrenees Puppies

It doesn’t have to be hard to groom your dog, but it’s best to get off on the right foot. Here are the most useful tips I’ve found for grooming Great Pyrenees puppies so they’re more tolerant as adults!5 Useful Tips for Grooming Great Pyrenees Puppies #BayerExpertCare from SimplifyLiveLove.com

*This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission on your purchase.*

One reason I love Great Pyrenees Puppies beyond the practical usefulness of this working breed, is that they are relatively easy to care for. Their beautiful fluffy white fur looks like it may take hours and hours of care each day, but it really doesn’t. Overall, Great Pyrenees Puppies are pretty easy to groom, but there are a few tips and tricks to taking the best care of these lovely dogs so keep reading for tips on taking care of ears, eyes, teeth, nails, and coat.

5 Useful Tips for Grooming Great Pyrenees Puppies

5 Useful Tips for Grooming Great Pyrenees Puppies #BayerExpertCare #ad

Your Great Pyrenees puppy will be easier to groom if you start grooming her from a young age to condition her to love the attention. I have found Great Pyrenees puppies to be very easy going and accepting of grooming – much easier to care for than other breeds we have raised such as Labs & Goldens.

I recommend starting a Puppy Kindergarten of sorts when you first get your puppy. Take a few minutes each week to sit with your puppy and speak kindly to her while gently petting and touching her teeth, ears, and nails. Get her used to the grooming tools by touching her with them, and if she’s skittish at all, just touch her – don’t actually use them. If you start when your puppy is young, she will get used to the grooming you will need to do as she ages. We used to raise puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind and Puppy Kindergarten was a weekly ritual that both handlers and puppies really looked forward to! It was a time to connect with the puppies and relax a bit. See if you can’t implement something like this into your dog training regimen – it’s a really helpful tip for easy grooming.

Clean Great Pyr’s Ears

5 Useful Tips for Grooming Great Pyrenees Puppies #BayerExpertCare from SimplifyLiveLove.com #ad

Great Pyrenees Puppies should have their ears washed once a month to help avoid problems. Using an ear solution like will help your dog avoid wax build up and maintain a pleasant odor. If you notice a strong or foul odor while cleaning her ears, your Great Pyr might have ear mites or an infection and might need to see the vet. To clean your Great Pyrenees Puppies’ ears – simply pour a small amount of Ear Rinse on a cotton ball and wipe around inside her ear being careful not to go too far into the ear canal.

Must-Know Grooming Tips for Great Pyrenees Dogs!

Take care of their eyes

Sometimes Great Pyrenees Puppies can get weepy eyes with a reddish discharge that can stain their coat. If this happens, simply clean your dog’s fur with dog tear remover. Keep cleaning until his fur is lovely white again.

Here’s how to brush pyrs’ teeth

I know you want to hear this, but you should brush your Great Pyrenees’ teeth. Like in humans, overall good dental care is indicative of health and well being, so once a month, get out the doggie toothbrush and the meat flavored toothpaste and give your dog’s teeth a good scrub. If you notice lots of yellow on the teeth or puffy gums, you might want to have him checked out by a vet.

That fur though!

Grooming a Great Pyrenees Dog

So many people ask me if my Great Pyrenees’ fur is hard to care for. And honestly, it’s not. Granted, Nora is a working, outdoor dog, but she blows her coat only once a year in late summer and that’s pretty much it. We do brush her once a month and remove any burrs or other offensive things we might find in her coat, but overall, she sheds so much less than other breeds we’ve had and we very rarely find our black clothes covered in offensive dog hair! We have a variety of brushes, but our favorite is the rake pictured above.


Great Pyrenees puppies actually require very little bathing as their coat is naturally resistant to dirt – but that doesn’t mean they don’t love the dirt!! We bathe Nora only rarely, when her coat naturally takes on a bit of yellow color or she comes in contact with something super smelly. It’s recommend that you bathe your Great Pyrenees only once a month or less, because more often bathing removes some of the natural oils that make their fur so wonderfully resistant to most yuck.

Make sure to clip your Great Pyrenees’ nails & claws

Great Pyrenees Puppies double dew claw from SimplifyLiveLove.com

Great Pyrenees Puppies are unique for a lot of reasons, but one big difference between them and other breeds is their double dew claw on back paws. Great Pyrenees were originally mountain dogs and this double dew claw  helped them climb. Since it rarely comes in contact with the ground, it needs a good clip at least every few months or it can grow backwards and get stuck in their paws. NO good! We like clippers like these because they have a guard to help you clip only a small amount. Make sure you do have styptic powder on hand to stop any bleeding you may accidentally cause. Bleeding dog nails are no fun.

Clipping a Great Pyrenees Double Dew Claw from SimplifyLiveLove.com

Your vet may try to get you to remove the dew claws, but every reputable Great Pyrenees owner I’ve ever talked to says DON’T DO IT!! Our dog still has her dew claws and they cause zero issues. If there ever is a problem with Nora’s dew claws, we will deal with it. For now, we just clip them every few months and all is well. I do recommend that you find a sturdy pair of nail clippers for dogs, and as I said previously, getting your Great Pyr puppy used to having his nails clipped early on will insure that he doesn’t fight you on this process.

While these tips are specifically written for Great Pyrenees Puppies and Dogs, they can be adapted to work with most any dog breed! The key here is to start your grooming your puppies when they’re young so they will be receptive to this important care as they age.

If you liked this post on grooming Great Pyrenees, you might like these too:

 I’d love to hear about any dog grooming tips you may have!

These 5 Easy Tips will Help You Keep Fall Mums Alive All Season

Fall mums are an awesome addition to your fall decor! If you’d like to keep your mums alive and beautiful all season, you need to know how to care for mums in the fall. These five tips are all you need to know for beautiful, long lasting mums this fall.
fall mums and pumpkins

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I love decorating with fall mums – available in many colors and varieties, mums are a great addition to your outdoor fall decorating scheme. The have long lasting blooms and look great in pots and landscape as well! Check out all of these pretty ways to decorate with mums from Midwest Family Living! Like most things in life, a little effort will keep your mums looking their best all season long!

How to Care for Mums in the Fall

Re-pot fall mums after you get home

repot fall mums after buying if they are root bound in the pot

It’s important to give your mums room to grow.  Most mums you buy at the store are totally root-bound so make sure to check your mums and put them in a pot at least twice their current size if you want them to keep growing all season.

Place your fall mums in an good location

how to keep your fall mums alive

Mums need at least six hours of sunlight a day, so skip shady locations and make sure to place mums in spots that get plenty of sun! Remember that as the days become shorter the position of the sun changes. A spot that was sunny in the summer may no longer be sunny. Just be mindful of the changing sun position during the fall. If you get your fall mums early in the season, you may need to move them to a new location as fall progresses.

Make sure your fall mums get enough water

make sure to water your fall mums enough to keep them alive all season - Copy

It’s very important not to let your mums dry out or they might just die on you like the one above. Then again, it’s also important not to over water them either. How much water is enough but not too much? That’s the million dollar question. Just make sure the dirt stays moist, but not drenched. 😉

Don’t forget to deadhead to keep fall mums alive

deadhead mums to keep them alive longer - Copy

I know deadheading is no fun, but if you want your mum to re-flower – you have to get rid of the dead ones first. Grab a trusty pair of snips and cut away while listening to your favorite music or chatting with a dear friend. Or just use your fingers. Honestly, I think the easiest way to deahead mums is just to pinch off the dead flowers with my fingers. You have to be careful or you will kill the baby buds that might be lurking under the dead flowers, waiting for their chance to shine!

Cover or bring them inside if it’s going to freeze overnight.

Continued cold weather will kill your mums so watch the forecast. If a freak frost is in the forecast, either cover your mums or bring them inside over night. This practice doesn’t work long term, but it can help your mums last a few more weeks if you want to prolong their lives!

tips for keeping your fall mums beautiful


More posts on fall gardening & plant care you may like:

Tips for decorating for fall

How to start a fall vegetable garden now

How to cover a raised garden bed to extend your growing season

15 Fall gardening tasks 

Types of heirloom garlic to plant this fall

Fun ways to decorate pumpkins without carving

Want to know how to keep fall mums alive all season long? These five easy tips will help you keep your lovely fall mums beautiful for as long as possible!

5 Homemade Gourmet Vinegar Flavors to Make Easily at Home

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SKSHarvest #SeasonalSolutions #CollectiveBias

These 5 Homemade Gourmet Vinegar Flavors to make easily at home are a great way to use up the fresh herb bounty you may have growing in your garden. Not only are they delicious and beautiful, but they’re also super easy to make and are great gifts as well! Get a jump start on the gift giving season with this easy DIY!

Look at these beautiful gourmet vinegar flavors you can make easily at home! I have seen them for sale in so many gourmet stores for outrageous price tags, but you don’t need to spend the money! Made with just about any type of vinegar you can buy at the store and fresh herbs from your garden, they’re SO easy to make! They keep for 4- 6 months on your counter top or in your fridge – but they won’t last long because they are delicious!

Be sure to click the image above to shop the jars that I used for my delicious homemade gourmet vinegar!

Jars of Gourmet Vinegars to Make Easily at Home

The flavor varieties for homemade gourmet vinegar are endless. Use whatever herbs and edible flowers you have growing in your garden and a high quality vinegar. Think apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar (although it’s hard to see the herbs in the dark vinegar), and champagne vinegar. Then head out to your garden if you have one, or the store if not, and grab some fresh herbs and spices. I combined everything in SKS Clear Glass Beverage Bottles and closed them up with the included White Metal Plastisol Lined Lug Caps.  ingredients for homemade gourmet vinegar

5 Homemade Gourmet Vinegar Flavors to Make Easily at Home

Homemade gourmet vinegar can be used to liven up so many dishes. Use them in homemade salad dressings, to marinate meat, in fruit salads and other desserts, and in veggie dishes too. The options are endless. Here are the five different vinegar varieties I made to get your creative juices flowing!!

1. Gourmet Greek Garlic Herb Vinegar – 

Fabulous for meat marinades and homemade salad dressings (like this creamy roasted garlic salad dressing) and delicious on roasted veggies too!. Combine two sprigs fresh oregano, one sprig fresh basil and one garlic bulb (separated into cloves and peeled) in two cups red wine vinegar.

Gourmet Apple Cinnamon Vinegar

2. Gourmet Apple Cinnamon Vinegar – 

Great for fruit salad and salad dressings. Combine 1 chopped apple with a handful of cloves and two cinnamon sticks in two cups apple cider vinegar.

3. Gourmet Marigold Vinegar – 

Did you know marigolds are edible flowers? They are! Marigolds have a spicy, citrusy flavor and a marigold vinegar is nice addition to meat marinades and homemade salad dressings. Combine one cup marigold flowers with two cups champagne vinegar.

homemade Gourmet Hot Pepper Vinegar

4. Gourmet Hot Pepper Vinegar – 

Great for dipping sauce, homemade salad dressings, and meat marinades too! Combine one tablespoon peppercorns with five or six jalapeno peppers. Make sure to slit the peppers before adding them to the jar to really release their juices. Combine with two cups white wine vinegar for a delicious combination.

Gourmet Citrus Mint Vinegar

5. Gourmet Citrus Mint Vinegar – 

Another great vinegar for fruit salads or as a meat marinade (especially for lamb). Combine two springs fresh mint with zest of one lemon (spirals if you can! And hats off to you!) plus several lemon slices in two cups apple cider vinegar.
how to make herbed vinegar easily at home

In addition to vinegar and herbs, you’ll also need these supplies for your homemade gourmet vinegar:

I mentioned already that I used SKS Clear Glass Beverage Bottles. SKS Bottle and Packaging was founded in 1986 and sells over 6,000 different types of containers and closures online in fun colors like blue, amber and clear. Most SKS glass jars are made in the USA and are 100% recyclable. You can find the SKS clear glass beverage bottles that I used here. These bottles are great for my gourmet vinegars, homemade sauces, dressings, drinks, and more.

SKS Bottle shopping cart

You’ll also need a funnel to assist in getting the vinegar in the jars. Because of the acidity of the vinegar, you will need to put a layer of wax paper between the vinegar and the lid if you use a  metal lid.

Printable instructions for the gourmet vinegars to make easily at home

Nutrition

Calories

500 cal

Carbs

80 g

Protein

40 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info
5 Gourmet Vinegars to Make Easily at Home

Easy to make herbed gourmet vinegars make great homemade gifts and are a wonderful way to use up your garden bounty of fresh herbs!

10 minPrep Time

10 minTotal Time

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Recipe Image

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vinegar of choice: red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or champagne vinegar
  • Several springs fresh herbs, fruits, edible flowers, garlic, and or spices

Instructions

  1. Sterilize glass containers by boiling for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat vinegar to just below boiling.
  3. Add herbs, fruits, spices, etc to jar.
  4. Pour heated vinegar into the jar. Shake to combine.
  5. Store jars in cool, dark spot for 3-4 weeks, gently shaking the jar every week to help the flavors meld.
  6. After the desired flavor is reached, strain the vinegar to remove add-ins. Discard the herbs, vegetables or fruit. Pour strained vinegar into clean sterilized jars and cap tightly. A few sprigs of fresh herbs, fruit or spices can be added for a decorative touch.
  7. Store in the fridge for 4-6 months.

Notes

NOTE: If flavored vinegar molds or shows signs of fermentation such as bubbling, cloudiness or sliminess, it should be discarded immediately.

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https://simplifylivelove.com/homemade-gourmet-vinegar/

Now that you see how easy it is to make your own gourmet vinegars at home, what varieties will you make?

These 5 homemade gourmet vinegar flavors make the perfect edible gifts. They are beautiful and easy, perfect for marinades, salad dressings, & more!