Designing Next Years Garden


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Now is the time to start planning and designing next years garden not while you’re standing in the nursery contemplating every new plant that tempts you.  Whether it be your whole yard or a pot you have been holding onto not knowing what to do with.  So lets spend some time looking at your garden now, viewing it objectively while your successes and failures make themselves known.  When your thinking of plants think first of heights so you can layer your plants, tallest in back and smallest in … [Read more...]

Garden Spot – Compost Tea


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  Did you know you can make compost tea to apply to your existing lawn and plants that is better than fertilizer?  Why? Spraying compost tea to the foliage of your lawn and plants not only helps suppress foliage disease yet also increases the available nutrients to the plant. The use of compost tea enhances microbes in the soil, and Microbes improve your soil structure by enhancing the decomposition of organic matter in the soil. Making your own compost fertilizer gives you peace of mind … [Read more...]

Garden Spot – Blossom-End Rot


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  Have you ever gotten around a group of people that grow tomatoes, pepper, eggplants among other vegetables and ask the question “Does anyone know what causes the bottom of  vegetables to have blossom-end rot? If you know the answer to this question, listening to the remedies is fun. Blossom-end rot is not a disease that can be spread by garden pests, or something that is transmitted through infected plants. It also isn’t a result of a poorly pollinated flower. The answer truly is … [Read more...]

Tomato Hornworm


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The tomato hornworm is not actually a worm, but a bright-green caterpillar with white and black markings. Hornworms are the larva of a huge moth called five-spotted hawk moth and lay eggs on the undersides of tomato leaves late spring.  Adult stages of tomato hornworms are heavy-bodied and can destroy a plant within hours.  If left to hatch within 6 to 8 days the larva mature in three to four weeks.  They burrow into the soil to pupate and can remain there all winter and emerge as a moth next … [Read more...]

How To Make Seed Tape


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School is out and kids are home complaining their bored, and keeping your kids busy through the summer can be a challenge especially doing things that are free.  You can make seed tape for fall/winter vegetables, as well as prepare next spring/summer flowers and vegetables. Make your seed tape ahead of time for all your plant needs, rolling the tape back onto the toilet paper roll and store in zip lock bag with the seed package telling you the plant name and growing conditions in a cool place … [Read more...]

Grow Vegetables From Kitchen Scraps


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Growing vegetables from kitchen scraps was utilized by our ancestors as they didn’t have the convenience of a local grocery store around the corner not to mention they recognized the savings by re-growing edibles from kitchen scraps.  Currently we live in an era of instant gratification, go to the grocery store or local farmers market and buy what ever we need.  However there is a shift, people are looking for ways to cut costs on vegetables that are easy enough to grow at home over and over and … [Read more...]

Tipsy Pot Planter


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There are days when I go outside and find  pots in my driveway that people just drop off when I'm not looking so it’s imperative that they’re placed in “like groupings" so I don’t look like the "unorganized crazy pot lady”.  One day while researching a different topic I came across the tipsy pot and became curious about it.  I decided to do more looking on this subject and every tipsy pot I saw was terracotta, I didn't want to use the terracotta I had for two reasons, a)I didn't want to look … [Read more...]

Its Not Your Black Thumb


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Do you think you have a black thumb? Regardless of the size of your yard choosing the location in your yard to plant is just as important as which plants you choose to put there. Most of us have a combination yard meaning we fall into a couple of the examples below if not all of them. Choosing a plant that requires 8+ hours of shade will usually struggle or die in a sunny location. Full sun Full shade Morning sun Afternoon sun Dry soil Moist soil Loose, clay, hard pack or sandy soil to … [Read more...]

Raised Planter Beds Using Sustainable Materials


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The Convenience of Raised Planter Beds Some conveniences of raised planter beds for a lot of people would consist of controlling gophers, ground hogs and other critters by allowing you to lay a barrier in the bed before adding the soil. They are also helpful if you don't like being on your hands and knees, they can be cost effective to build and will fit into any landscape regardless of the space you have to work with. I have been using raised beds for years, here in CA there are as many … [Read more...]

Vertical Gardens


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With our ever shrinking yards the current trend this summer happens to be vertical gardens and gardening in small spaces.  Check with your local garden club or local small nursery to find out what is in season in your area.  There are several ways to do a vertical garden, but when you talk to a professional at a good garden center there could be confusion about vertical gardens, vertical farms and living walls. “A vertical farm refers to vertical plantings that are used specifically for food … [Read more...]

Basic Plant Requirements


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Everyone I know interested in gardening calls me while they’re at the garden center to ask one question in mind while holding a plant:  Will it thrive in my garden or will I kill it?  They feel they have a black thumb but that’s not the case at all.  Mother Nature has its own conditions you must meet; we cannot make a plant be submissive unless of course we have an awesome greenhouse. When I go to a garden center I normally know what I’m looking for and I've done my home work on it, but there’s … [Read more...]

Mom's Personal Garden Retreat


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The perfect gift for Mom on Mother’s day is giving her her own personal garden retreat, a private sitting area under a tree where she can drink tea and read or have a glass of wine and watch the sun set.  I did mine over a weekend out front under the big oak tree.  I like socializing with the neighbors and one has a dog named Oli who loves playing ball in my yard (he thinks it’s a park), you may choose a more quite spot in the back yard.  I also have these squirrels that think that if they leave … [Read more...]

Gardening With Children


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Children are like sponges gathering and storing everything they see and things you do. They're curious, like to learn by doing, and love to play in the dirt. Working in a garden, a child can experience the satisfaction that comes from caring for something over time while observing the cycle of life firsthand. Gardening with children is also a great way to teach environmental awareness by exploring the workings of nature. Over the last couple of decades we've found it all too easy to buy … [Read more...]

Earth Day


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On April 22nd there will be a rally on the National Mall in Washington D.C. where more than tens of thousands environmentally-conscious people from all walks of life and all parts of the country joined by civic leaders and celebrities get together voicing appreciation of our planet.  For those who cannot attend the rally it is anticipated there will be up to a billion people through out the globe from of all nationalities demanding its protection. What can you do as an individual?  You can join … [Read more...]

Portable Gardening In Small Spaces


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  Have you ever done something on a temporary basis and discovered it solved an old age solution when it comes to gardening? My small space portable gardens are the perfect example of just that. I have always struggled with the weathers radical changes between winter, spring, and summer temperatures before its time. I either have early summer heat during the spring so vegetables get wilted, or vegetables get frozen from unexpected cold fronts moving through in spring or fall.  I know this … [Read more...]

Community Gardens, Seed & Plant Trading


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Community Gardens , we talk a lot about gardening and how to prepare your soil but what about those of you who don't have a yard, or you live in an apartment and feel left out from the joys of gardening. There’s been a trend called “Community Gardening” for quite some time now.  It allows those of you the needed resources a plot of land to work and grow your own garden. Some community gardens charge for a plot of land and the flexibility to grow small to large gardens. There are also local … [Read more...]

Karl the Caterpillar


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This caterpillar makes a fun first-time gardening project for kids while introducing them to gardening.  There are multiple themes you can use but I chose grass seeds because it grows fast and you're kids can have fun cutting the 'hair' on the catapiller. These also make fun gifts to give to the grandparents or even a teacher. Supplies needed: 4 cups potting soil 4 tablespoons quick-sprouting grass seed Small yogurt container or paper cup (bottom cut out) Knee-high nylon stocking Colorful … [Read more...]

Top 10 Best Growing Crops For Children


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It is gratifying to watch kids interest and self-esteem grow as the gardening efforts yielded good results. Although there are many crops suitable for the young gardeners, here are our "top 10"  which are relatively easy to grow, have short growing seasons and are fun to harvest. SUNFLOWERS A must for a child's garden. Plant just one or two, since they take a lot of room.  In 8 weeks, the buds will flower revealing hundreds of seed kernels. I had to laugh the first time my husband saw how you … [Read more...]

Little Johnny Jump Up Boots


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During Christmas I blogged on an inexpensive way to take little Johnny’s cowboy boots or little Sissy’s rain boots that they've outgrown and turn them into cute flower pot gifts for Grandma and Grandpa.  So what happened to little Johnny's cowboy boots since Christmas? They are transforming because of what I planted in them in December and will to continue to do so in the coming seasons . If you recall we drilled holes at the bottom of the boot close to the toes for drainage and put small stones … [Read more...]

How to Plant Your Easter Lilies Outside


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Just because Easter has come and gown and your lilies have begun to drop their flowers doesn't mean that you can't enjoy them for years to come!  While I am in Florida, I am going to give you instructions for how to plant your Easter Lilies outside so that you may preserve them. First, it's important to note that you should not cut any of the foliage from the lilies.  You may remove any of the dying blooms that have not yet dropped, but do not remove any of the stem or leaves.  Find a sunny … [Read more...]