Archives for Home gardening tips category

Happy Soil is Alive Soil

Home gardening tips | No Comment

Soil Before and AfterBacteria, protozoa, fungi – while the wrong kind can make you sick, what a lot of people don’t realize is that not having enough of the right kind can make your plants very unhappy.  

Soil isn’t just made up of dirt.  It’s a blend of organic and inorganic materials and living organisms that provide your garden with the nutrients it needs.  Most plants can’t just use the components in fertilizers straight from the ground.  For the bulk of trees, flowers and vegetables, microbes and other friendly helpers in the dirt are needed to convert the vitamins, minerals and even water into a usable form.  Without those little critters, plants do poorly.

So what does this mean for your garden?  Have you ever tilled the garden until you got the dirt to be nice and loose?  Then you dumped in some fertilizer and planted, only you didn’t get the amazing results you’d hoped for?  What you don’t realize is, that by tilling heavily, you may have actually disturbed/destroyed what good bacteria, microbes, and other living organisms and soil structure those plants actually needed to thrive. Read the rest of this entry »

Turn Your Black Thumb to Green

Gardening Tools, Home gardening advice, Home gardening tips | No Comment

Do you have trouble figuring out where you should put your plants? Do you put them in the garden and just hope for the best, which, if you’re like me, is practically a death sentence for each poor plant? 

While surfing , I came across this nifty little gadget that looks like it was created with just me in mind: THE EASYBLOOM. Check it out:

How It Works

1. Set It
Plug the EasyBloom Plant Sensor into a USB port–you will be brought to your My EasyBloom Dashboard page. Put the sensor into Recommend or Monitor mode.

2. Place Sensor
Place the sensor in a spot where you would like to grow a plant, or adjacent to the plant that needs monitoring. Let the EasyBloom Plant Sensor gather a ‘plant’s eye’ view of that location.

  Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s Sweet Cherry Time Again!

Cherries, Fruits, Gardening By Season, Home gardening advice, Home gardening tips, Summer | No Comment

Every year, I can’t wait for the end of June, beginning of July, as that’s when our sweet cherry tree goes to town.

When we moved into our house, it was the dead of winter, with snow on the ground, and not a tree in sight had leaves, so we had no idea what kind of fruiting or flowering we could look forward to come spring.

Imagine our surprise the first summer to see that we had a sweet cherry tree! (My absolute favorite fruit!  Give me a bing cherry or 300, and I’m a happy – and bloated – puppy. I also adore blueberries, raspberries, Thompson green grapes and raw English snap peas, but if I could only have one, it would be the cherries hands-down.)

And given the prices of cherries these days, up to $8 or $9 a lb., having my very own tree is heaven!

Read the rest of this entry »

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Japanese Garden Ideas – Building Your Own

Garden Decorations, Home gardening advice, Home gardening tips | No Comment

Japanese Garden

I don’t know about you, but I love Japanese gardens, both the rock garden style and the more lush traditional type.  The simplicity and tranquility of Japanese gardens help me still my mind after a busy day.  With just a few simple items and plants, strategically placed, you can have an area of beauty and restfullness and it doesn’t take a lot of space to achieve it.

Japanese Rock GardenJapanese rock gardens (karesansui) can go  on a desk, in a small space in a corner of a yard, or can be created to take advantage of a large lot.  It’s up to you how much space you want to devote to yours. They vary anywhere from very austere (rocks and sand only) to ones with a few plants added in. The traditional Japanese garden adds water features, decorations and many more plants.  Whichever type you choose is only limited by your imagination (and budget). Read the rest of this entry »

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Is It a Killer Bee?

Bees, Home gardening advice, Home gardening tips, Insects | No Comment

Now that the weather is warming up again, our friendly neighborhood bees are starting to wander by our yards, helping to pollinate our plants. 

Or is it a friendly neighborhood bee?  What if it’s a killer bee?  How do you tell? Read the rest of this entry »

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Get Fit Through Gardening

Home gardening advice, Home gardening tips | No Comment

Now that’s one way to combine two things I need to do: get both me and my garden in shape!

This book focuses on keeping the gardener fit and flexible, which can only help improve our garden. I mean, how great do your plants grow when your back is too out of whack to bend over to get those pesky weeds out of their way?

The GET FIT THROUGH GARDENING book gives you all sorts of great exercises you can do while working on your garden, whether it’s a small kitchen garden or a whole acre or more.  Even if you just cut the grass regularly, you can pick up some great tips on making sure your knees, neck and back don’t suffer any more than they have to to have a great garden or landscape.

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California Wine – Buy or Grow Your Own?

Fruits, Grapes, Home gardening tips | No Comment

If you love a good California wine, you’re not alone.  Enough people enjoy California wine that there are over 1100 vineyards producing it!  (They grew over 3 million tons of wine grapes just in 2008 alone…)  In fact, California, if it were a country, would be the 4th largest one producing wines in the world, just after France, Italy and Spain.

While most people think of California wines as coming from the Napa or Sonoma Counties up near San Francisco, in reality, the bulk of the grapes are grown in the Central Valley (reaching from Sacramento to San Joaquin.)  This area produces over 75% of the grapes grown to make California’s wines each year. Read the rest of this entry »

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