Nonno Joe’s tips for new gardeners:
– Compost everything! You can use it as a fertilizer in your soil in the springtime.
– When growing tomatoes, remove the suckers of tomato plants. They are the shoots that grow between the main branches and by pinching them off, you give more strength to the thicker and fruit bearing branches.
– A tinfoil pan hanging in the cherry tree is more effective than any scarecrow.
How to can the perfect tomato sauce, according to nonno Joe:
To make use of the many, many pounds of tomatoes he harvests, Joe cans jars of tomato sauce that last him all year. Here are his instructions:
1. Wash the tomatoes first, remove the stem core, then place in water and bring to a boil.
2. Remove the tomatoes and drain the excess water and tomato skin; crush the tomatoes and strain the seeds.
3. Place your tomatoes in clean jars and add one heaping teaspoon of salt and some fresh basil.
4. Boil the jar lids for approximately one minute to soften the rubber; place lid on jar and place the whole jar in boiling water and boil for fifteen minutes.
5. Remove jars from pot and place upside down on a towel on the counter to help seal the jars.