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Showing posts from April, 2013

Raised Bed Gardening

Why would you want to do raised bed gardening? The main advantage I found is that the earth in the raised beds warms up earlier in the year. So earlier planting leads to an earlier harvest.

There are a number of ways to create raised beds. I have used both wood and cinder blocks. The cinder blocks take up a bit more space, but also give you little cubby holes to plant small plants. The other advantage of cinder blocks is that they absorb heat during the day and then release it over night, so keeping your plants in a warmer climate.

Raised bed gardens also lend themselves well to square foot gardening.

What is Square Foot Gardening?

When you're tight for space and still want to have a garden, that's when Square foot gardening comes into play.

Wikipedia explains it this way:
Square foot gardening is the practice of planning and creating small but intensively planted gardens. The practice combines concepts from other organic gardening methods, including a strong focus on compost, densely planted raised beds and biointensive attention to a small, clearly defined area. This method is particularly well-suited for areas with poor soil, beginner gardeners or as adaptive recreation for those with disabilities (Bartholomew, 2005).The phrase "square foot gardening" was popularized by Mel Bartholomew in a 1981 Rodale Press book and subsequent PBS television series. This is a chart that shows the basics - how many plants to plant in one square foot.

20161130 Update
I just came across a fantastic free online resource about square foot gardening that I just had to share ►Square Foot Gardening: The Ultimate “How …

Companion Planting Chart

Have you ever heard of companion planting? Wikipedia explains it very nicely:
Companion planting is the planting of different crops in proximity (in gardening and agriculture), on the theory that they assist each other in nutrient uptake, pest control, pollination, and other factors necessary to increasing crop productivity. Companion planting is a form of polyculture.

Companion planting is used by farmers and gardeners in both industrialized and developing countries for many reasons. Many of the modern principles of companion planting were present many centuries ago in cottage gardens in England and home gardens in Asia.
Check out this helpful chart to find the benefits of companion planting:

Let me know if you found this information helpful and write a comment.

Simple Homemade Weed Killer Recipe

Are you looking for a simple homemade weed killer that's safe for the environment, but also tough on weeds? Give this recipe a try.
Recipe1 gallon (4.5 liters) of white vinegar1/2 cup salt1/2 cup liquid dish soap (any brand)FunnelPour 1 cup of vinegar from gallon bottle, set aside to use in other things.Put salt in the gallon jug (funnel works great) and shake until all salt is dissolved, fill it with the dish soap simply shake up jug to mix well.Set aside and mark jug as weed killer.  How to UsePour in spray bottles and use as needed. This solution works best if you use it on a hot day. Spray it on the weeds in the morning, and as it heats up it will do its work. Let me know if you found this information helpful and write a comment.

When do you start planting your seeds?

When do you start planting your seeds? Some seeds germinate well in cooler temperatures and others need it warmer.

Check out this handy list below.
For the full size chart head to Roots Nursery.
Let me know if you found this information helpful and write a comment.

Which Veggies Need Sun and Which Don't?

This simple graphic helps you figure out if your veggies need full sun or if they can do well in the shade. If you are looking for more gardening tips I have put together a page that should be helpful.
Full Sun Plants grown in full sun need to be watered regularly or they will be parched. Fruit and roots: 
tomato, peppers and squash Partial Shade Plants grown in partial shade don't need that much water and will die if they get too much water.

Leaves, stems or sprouts: salad greens, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, beans, beets, Brussels sprouts, radishes, Swiss chard, spinach, mustard green, kale, collards. Let me know if you found this information helpful and write a comment.

Learn How to Test Your Garden Soil

Gardening season is just around the corner and your garden will grow much better if the soil has the correct PH level.

Here is a simple test you can do yourself:
Take two containers and put your garden soil in it to testAdd ½ cup of vinegar to one container and stirIf it fizzes our soil is alkaline
Add ½ cup plain water to the second container and stirNext add ½ cup baking soda and stirIf it fizzes you have acidic soil If neither of the containers has a reaction you soil is somewhat PH balanced.
Now that you have determined if your soil is acidic or alkaline, you can slowly make the necessary adjustments to the soil PH level. It takes time to change the soil PH levels so it is best to make gradual adjustments.
If your soil is acidic you can use wood ash or lime to make it more alkaline.If your soil is alkaline you can use pine needles to make it more acidic.
Let me know if you found this information helpful and write a comment.

Why I don't pay attention to the news media

This article just arrived in my inbox and boy, do I agree with it. I haven't watched any news since the turn of the century and tell my husband that I am not interested in watching bad news and propaganda.
Quote from the article:

"News media have become a competitive blood sport for our attention,” I said. “Their focus is on finding the half-dozen most violent, tragic, scandalous and ugly things that happened in a day and parade them morning and night. Their goal is to trigger our fear, worry, threat and distress responses so we keep tuning in."

“This barrage of negative input devastates our productive potential and creative capacity. What we see and hear is what we think about. Our thoughts become our expectations. Expectation leads to manifestation. It’s a dangerous and damaging downward spiral.” Sadly positive news is much less attractive than scandalous news. People have been turned in to "sheople" and follow blindly what they see on the TV. If the experts on…