Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekly Challenge and Assignment (Week of March 20th)

Hi Carson Ward Family,

Today I learned about two great websites for the California coast line and Los Angeles areas regarding Emergency Preparedness. They are really great and have a lot of information. I must say I am very impressed, and looks like they are ready and trained for natural disasters the best anyone could be. I learned that the HOAA is well prepared to worn the people in this area about Tsunamis and there are many Tsunami detectors placed in the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to along the Pacific Coast line. They have just put up Tsunami evacuation signs in areas that could be hit by a Tsunami, Ventura, Marina Del Rey, the Harbor area and in Orange County. We just noticed one a few days ago on the corner of Anaheim and Figueroa showing to go up onto the 110 Freeway (Harbor Freeway).

Check them out and take advantage of the information there. The websites are:

1) NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration)


"We feel the need to empathize with greater clarity the obligation for members of the Church to become more independent and self reliant." (Gordon B. Hinckley, General Conference, April 1983)

"We encourage you to follow this counsel with the assurance that a people prepared through obedience to the commandments of God need not fear." (First Presidency letter, June 24, 1988)

As the days have gone by we have watched and listended to the events unfolding in Japan due to the 9.1 earthquake, huge Tsunami and Nuclear Plant issues that hit Japan over a week ago. Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Japan and their loves ones who live here in the United States. Their cries fill the air as they hear about their loved ones who are lost and the devastation they see of their homes, towns and county. Their unbelievable patience and kindness, though going through a horrible tragedy, is amazing!

This is a county who is prepared more than any other county in the world, but no one could prepare for the devastation we have witnessed. Because of their preparations, they are able to work though some of the loss and pull together to help each other.


We procrastinate, give excuses, and delay putting together a backpack for each family member in our house hold. All you need is some food for 3 days, water, maybe a change of clothes and a family first-aid kit. Go to a thrift store to purchase the backpacks to save money. The other items in the "72 Hour Emergency Kit" listed on this blog would make life a little bit easier, but at least have food, water, a change of clothing and a first-aid kit. Add the other items as you can.

Also, continue to add food to your 3 Months and Year's Supply of food storage. All it takes is a little at a time, and before you know it, you will have it. I am hearing on the news channels we should have at least 3 Months Supply of food and water stored. If there was a major earthquake, like they are predicting, it could take weeks, months before food and water can be brought in and water restored.

I know many of you are really frightened right now. But remember the scripture, "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." I believe this will all my heart. If we stay close to the Spirit of the Holy Ghost and stay in tune with His voice, He will guide us. Yes, I am really afraid of earthquakes like most of us, but I know I have the things I will need to take care of me and my family, this gives me great peace of mind.

The counsel given to us by our church leaders, in the quotes above, is as true today as it was then! Let us all strive as best as we can to be as prepared as we can!

Weekly Assignment:

With rain on it's way this weekend it is not a good time to plant our gardens. So we are going to set a goal to plant them next weekend. Even if you just plant one tomato plant in a large pot, or a small herb garden in small clay pots on your window sill, it is better than not planting anything.

Yesterday my husband and I finished digging up our garden area. And to our surprise, we found lettuce seeds I planted last year, which did not germinate, growing. What a wonderful surprise!

This week I will discuss fertilizing your vegetables. As I mentioned I have a great book, "Garden Way's, Joy of Gardening" by Dick Raymond that I love and simplifies gardening. You can purchase it online at different websites between $15-$25, get the $15 one.

Fertilizing your vegetables:

I must confess, the only fertilizer I have ever used is "Scott's Miracle Grow for Vegetables" and it has worked well for me. But this year I think I am going to follow my great vegetable garden book and see if it makes a difference.

1) Carrots and Radishes: Make rows about 12 inches wide and about 5-6 high of soil. To coax the best root crops add a little phosphors fertilizer to the seedbeds before planting. Broadcast a common commercial fertilizer such as 5-10-10 over the soil and mix it in the top 2 or 3 inches of soil. Then sprinkle some bone meal or super phosphate (marked 0-20-2 on the bag) over the seedbed. .Mix all this into the soil. Put down the seeds you have let dry on the paper towel (see last weeks posting for carrots), place on the seedbed and cover with about 1-2 inches of soil. There is no need to side dress root crops later in the season. The reason to plant radishes with the carrots is that the radishes grow faster, as they mature and you pull them out it aerates the soil for the carrots and gives them more room to grow.

2) Celery: One of the harder vegetables to grow because they need cool weather. Best to plant them early in the spring, but plant small plants, not seeds. Mix in about 1 cup of 5-10-10 per 10 feet of row, and dig a trench 4-5 inches deep. Plant the celery in the bottom of the trench, spacing the plants 8-10 inches apart, and set them half an inch deeper than they were in their pots. As they grow, fill in the trench with a little sand, soil, or mulch or compost. This keeps the roots cool and closer to water. They like a lot of water. Add a side dressing of 5-10-10 fertilizer as they get bigger.

3) Onions: Plant the onion bulbs about 2-3 inches apart in a wide row (you can plant several across the wide row and continue down the row). To get big onions you will need to side dress the onions 3-4 times throughout the growing seasons with a fertilizer. First when they are about 6-8 inches tall and then again about 3-4 weeks. Use a balanced fertilizer 10-10-10. For at least one of the side dressings add a little bone meal or superphosphate. Sprinkle the fertilizer close to the ground so as to not hit the tops (will burn them). Use dehydrated manure to fertilize onions, sprinkle it liberally over the wide rows, it will not hurt the green tops.

4) Bell Peppers: Dig a whole for each plant a little deeper than you will plant the plants, rip off about half of the book of matches and place them in the hole, cover with about 2-3 inches of soil, put in the bell pepper plants and cover the rest of the hole. They love the sulfur in the matches, which lowers soil pH. Do not let the plants comes in contact with the matches. At blossom time, use only a small amount of 5-10-10 fertilizer, 1 tablespoon per plant. Spray your plants with Epsom salts when they start to blossom, good source of magnesium. Mix a teaspoonful of Epsom salts in a Windex spray bottle filled with lukewarm water, shake well and spray on the leaves and blossoms with the plants first blossom and again in 10 days. To get red bell peppers, leave them on the plant longer and they will turn red.

5) Tomatoes: If you planted tomatoes in your vegetable garden last year, this year, plant them in a different place to avoid disease. Plant on a cloudy day or late in the afternoon or evening. If a windy day, place plastic around the tomato cage, they do not like hot sun or wind when first planted. To fertilize, dig a hole about 5-6 inches deep, add a handful or two of good compost or a tablespoon of 5-10-10 fertilizer, mix with the soil at the bottom of the hole, cover with an inch or two of soil, plant your tomato plant (but remember to wrap a 2 inch piece of paper bag around the stem with half below the soil and half above to prevent cutworms), cover the rest of the hole. Tomatoes require a lot of water, but best to water the ground and not the plant so the water gets to the roots. Place the tomato cage or stakes around the plant. If windy, place plastic around it until the wind stops. To side dress, wait until you see the first blossom or small green tomatoes, add 1-2 tablespoons of 5-10-10 fertilizer per plant.

6) Vine crops like cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon and pumpkins, and winter squash, summer squash and zucchini: Fertilize when you plant the seeds by sprinkling in compost or other natural fertilizers, or place a thin band of 5-10-10 fertilizer in the bottom. Vine crops like fertilizer, put it where the roots will find it. Plant the seeds about 1-2 inches below the ground, about 10-12 inches apart or more. Plant 3-6 seeds in each hole and thin as needed when they germinate or in case some do not come up. Fertilize the vine crops when the blossom appear, about 1-2 tablespoon of 5-10-10 in a trench 3-4 inches from the stems of the plants and cover. It is important to cover the 5-10-10 with soil so that the leaves don't touch the fertilizer and get burned. Remember, vine crops take a lot of room, you can grow them on a trellises. If the vegetable gets to heavy, secure with netting around the vegetable, tied to the tresllis.

Note: Someone had a question about end rot on squash (zuchini, summer and winter squash). This can also affect tomatoes. End rot is a brown area that forms where the blossom was on the vegetable. It is usually cause by not end water, the ground needs to be kept moist. With squash it can be due to calcium deficiency in the soil and/or lack of water. Other possibility is insufficient natural pollination by insects. Go to "How to prevent end rot in squash" on Goggle and it will tell you how to do this.

7) Broccoli and Cauliflower: When the head begins to form, side dress the plant by digging a trench along side the plants, place 1-2 tablespoons per plant of 5-10-10 fertilizer and cove the trench.

8) Corn: Because corn takes more plant food than most other crops, you need to side dress it twice. First when it is about knee-high, second time when it starts to tassel and silk forms on the the stalks. Use about 1 tablespoon complete fertilizer or 5-10-10 ferilizer per plant. Make sure to cover the 5-10-10 fertilizer.

9) Pole Beans: Make a tepee out of dowels, about 5-6 dowels, tie them with strong string. Push the dowels into the soil making a tepee. Place 4-5 beans around each pole about 1 inch below the soil. Pole Beans do not need fertilizer as a rule. Watch them spiral around the poles.

Side-dressing and equivalents:

In stead of using 1 tablespoon of complete commercial 5-10-10 fertilizer you can substitute the following:

1) 2 handfuls good compost or
2) 2 handfuls dehydrated manure or
3) 1-2 tablespoons alfalfa meal

Weekly Challenge:

If you have not started or completed your 72 Hour Emergency Backpack(s) and 72 Hour Family Pack/Bag, then start or continue by following the blog posting starting with August 1 Weekly Challenge and Assignment and continue to follow through the weeks following until complete.

Continue to add items to your 3 Months Food Supply and Year's Food Supply. Also store water.

Important/Remember: Post your name at the end of this posting to have your name entered into the March 27th FREE Monthly Giveaway Drawing. I will not be posting a "Weekly Challenge or Assignment" next week due to being on vacation. Please plant your garden and continue to add items to your food storage.


  1. I love all the work that you do and your information is great. I'm sorry but I just freeze and stand still because it seems so difficult in places. I'm just unable to grasp what I need to about the side dressing. Lg

  2. Threesa Cummings
    We have had terrible trouble with end rot on our squash. Can you address this? Thank you

  3. annoymous;
    Sally Salcido

  4. Thank you for all your great ideas I hope you have a great vacation, Sally Salcido

  5. Nancy says---

    End rot, where the blossom is and the bottom of the vegetable turns bronw, on your tomatoes and squash means they are not getting enough water. You need to keep the ground moist. With squash you may need calcium in the soil. Nancy Cuppett