Category Gardening

Rotate Your Home Garden

Have you ever known a gardener that just never seems to have a successful crop of anything? Ask them what they plant and where- there’s a good chance they plant the same thing in the same place, over and over.
They’re not bad gardeners- they’re just missing a step. Suggest they begin to rotate crops from one are to the next, and with a little work, they’ll enjoy harvesting their own food.

Why Rotate Crops in a Home Garden?

Bugs get used to the same crops in the same place. You might as well set plates out when you plant the same thing in the same spot- or in the same container, for that matter.

Diseases that affect one plant will often affect plants in the same botanical family, but not in another...

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Organic Fertilizers for Your Home

Organic garden fertilizers consist of decomposed plant and animal compounds that are broken down by microbes into a form that living plants can use, usually dissolved in water and taken up through the roots. They are naturally occurring chemical compounds, unlike chemical fertilizers that are compounds created in a lab. Some organic fertilizers contain mostly one main nutrient, for example bat guano has high nitrogen content and very small amounts of phosphorus and potassium. Organic fertilizers also contain other nutrients and trace elements. When you select an organic fertilizer, you need to know where it falls on the N-P-K range so you know on what plants it should be used and when in the plant’s life cycle it will offer the most benefit.

What makes good fertilizer?

“N” = Nitrogen, “P” ...

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Trees – Spring Planting Tips

Spring means that the garden centers are packed with people, and car trunks are packed with plants. Everybody has dirt on their knees, dirt under their nails, and is excited about gardening. To make certain that this excitement yields positive results, let’s discuss the basics in this article of spring planting tips.

Installing new plants and having them grow successfully is not difficult, nor is it as complicated as some would have you think. Is it as easy as just digging a hole and setting the plant in? Yes, it certainly can be. I won’t get into bed preparation, as I have covered that in other articles.

Let’s start with B&B plants. B&B is short for balled in burlap. Closely examine the ball on the plant that you have purchased...

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How to Save Your Own Set of Seeds

Saving seeds doesn’t have to be a frightening task and can even be absolutely easy, according to Fred Bove of the San Francisco Permaculture Guild. Instead of waiting for the last riffraff plants to flower, he instructs to look for the biggest, most colorful specimens that were among the first few plants to become ripe.

He urges to resist harvesting the first beautiful flower, vegetable or herb of any one planting, and allow full maturity.

“You want to save the best characteristics (of any plant) and pass them on,” explained Bove. Depending on the plant, you may want to select for size, flavor or how quickly it takes for the crop to reach maturity. “That way, you’re promoting the desired characteristics in the next generation of seeds.”

The next important challenging task is identifying a ...

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Advantages to Community Gardening: With limited gardening space, consider a community garden.

You might live in a townhouse with a postage stamp-sized yard. Perhaps you live in an apartment building without a balcony or access to green space. Perhaps you have a large yard, but it is completely shaded by large trees, or the soil in your yard is not hospitable to growing edible plants such as tomatoes, herbs and peppers. If this is the case, a community garden plot may be just the solution.

Advantages of Community Gardening

Good Soil and Sun Exposure

Community gardening allows individuals and families to cultivate plants and grow food when otherwise they may not be able to due to conditions at their own home. Many community gardens are located in areas with mostly sunny exposure, perfect for growing vegetables and many varieties of perennial and annual flowers.

Tools and Storage are ...

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Organic Edible Gardening With Kids

Teach Kids to Grow Vegetables and Herbs Without Chemicals

Composting

You can start an organic garden with your child any time of year by composting. Playing in the dirt is elementally satisfying to children, so give them children’s garden tools to help you hack away at your mound, introducing oxygen and hastening the breakdown of your scraps.

If you live in an apartment, consider a small vermiculture station in the kitchen where red wiggler worms turn vegetable scraps into rich garden soil. Red worms appreciate paper bedding, so the child can shred old homework and tests to get the bin started.

Seed Starting

The smallest toddler can get in on the gardening game when you start a flat of vegetable seeds at home...

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Possibilities With Pumpkins: The Life Cycle of a Squash Enhances the Family Circle

Picking a pumpkin is one of the joys of childhood. In autumn pumpkins are ubiquitous at grocery stores, garden centers, and farmers markets. The most fun place is the pumpkin patch where children can see the fruit as part of the life cycle of a living vine.

Within the life cycle of the seasons in a garden the pumpkin goes full circle. Seeds sown in spring produce a flowering vine throughout the summer. Fruits harvested in autumn become decorations, food for wildlife and humans, residence for rodents, and seeds for snacks and next year’s garden. Winter remnants of the plant become organic nutrients in soil supporting seeds sown in spring.

Pumpkins prompt possibilities which link generations together in the family circle...

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Fall Gardening Chores: Prepare the Organic Garden for Winter

The onset of autumn is bittersweet for many gardeners, as we say goodbye to our tender annuals and vegetables but welcome the respite from intense gardening chores. Note your successes and failures in your garden journal, and make plans for next year’s growing season.

Fall Gardening Chores

Clean Up Autumn Leaves

Organic gardeners with deciduous trees face a mixed blessing in the fall. Dead leaves are an unparalleled source of carbon in the compost pile, and gardeners should keep a ratio of four parts carbon to one part nitrogen in the compost bin. However, gathering all this free fertilizer is laborious, and it’s tempting to neglect raking chores.

Fallen leaves quickly mat together and form a suffocating blanket on the lawn...

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Harvest and Store Garden Vegetables

learn how to harvest and store garden vegetables

Vegetables gathered at just the right time can be stored naturally or, in many cases, by deep freezing, for use months later in the kitchen. Nature, however, makes its own provision for over- winter storage and the survival of the species, which involves either the production of seed (peas, beans, etc.) or roots to remain in the ground to produce seed heads the following season (parsnips, carrots, etc.). Vegetables in this latter group store much better if left in the ground and lifted as required, or stored in clamps.

parsnips can be left in the ground throughout the winter

parsnips can be left in the ground throughout the winter

Root crops should never be stored in plastic bags, for they will invariably rot...

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What Changes Can I Make to My Garden to Be More Natural?

Gardening has changed a bit in recent years as people’s philosophy of gardening is starting to change to go back to more natural and organic methods. For those who have been gardening for a number of years, these new practices might be a bit hard to understand at first since the traditional ways of doing things is adding chemicals to the soil or plants to take care of problems and grow larger plants. Organic methods work a bit differently.

Traditional methods use chemical fertilizers to add nutrients to the soil. Organic methods use compost. This is organic matter and carbon matter mixed together. This would be things like fruit peels, vegetables, grass, hay, leaves, and other types of waste mixed together. Over time it breaks down into rich soil that doesn’t need any fertilizer at all...

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