This article has a gardening tip to increase potato yield and names my two favorite fertilizers. Also, a great homemade vegetable soup recipe to enjoy the fruits of your labors! Vegetable soup on a cold day is one of the best comfort foods. A vegetable soup diet can help you lose weight fast. Vegetable soup is also chock full of vitamins to build strong bodies.
Gardening Tip #1: To increase Irish potato yields 25% or more, practice “hilling.” That means to add compost or soil to the planting bed by drawing it up with a hoe. This creates more space for developing tubers. Continue every few weeks; stop once the plants flower.
Gardening Tip #2: Bushel baskets are great containers to grow potatoes. Just cut out the bottoms of the baskets and set them over the potatoes. Then you place sand and compost on top of the plants every few weeks until the baskets are full.
Gardening Tip #3: Shhh! Don’t tell another soul about these secret weapons:
- A) Black Kow®
- B) Miracle-Gro®. I recommend both to fertilize soil and produce bigger, healthier vegetables!
Gardening Tip #4: If you sowed garden seeds thickly, you should thin (gently pull out) excess garden plants without disturbing roots of remaining garden plants. This ensures enough moisture and nutrients for those that remain. Use spacing on seed packets or in planting guides.
Gardening Tip #5: Water tomatoes regularly to avoid blossom-end rot (caused by under-watering).
Vegetable Soup Recipe:
Grandma was right! A vegetable soup recipe is not only healthy, but also trims your figure. (The vegetable soup diet must be used in conjunction with a sensible diet.)
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 cup of diced celery
- 1/2 medium cabbage
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1-1/2 cups sliced carrots
- 2 cups cut bell peppers
- 2 cups string beans
- 1 large jar of tomato juice (or stewed tomatoes)
- Dash of black pepper and salt
- 1 packet Lipton onion soup mix
Mix in a large pot; add enough water so vegetables are well covered. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook on low around 2 hours.
To make it a vegetable beef soup recipe, brown stew beef and drain fat. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes. Then add 1 cup water and tomatoes and cook until beef is tender. Add in all other ingredients above. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook on low around 2 hours.
My mother used to make huge pots of this homemade vegetable soup every summer. After it cooled, she would put it into freezer bags and we had vegetable soup all winter. It’s good for at least three months. If you’re not interested in the vegetable soup for diet purposes, add cut up, peeled Irish potatoes, butter beans and corn cut off the cob to your recipe. It really makes vegetable soup better, the more you put into it. To stack bags evenly in the freezer, just lay them on top of each other in a small cardboard box.
Caution: Adding beef adds calories! Adding potatoes adds carbohydrates, starch and calories.