DIY Root Barrel Cellar

This year we grew potatoes in our garden for the first time. We were really surprised at how big the potato plants grew. What we didn’t realize until too late, was that we were alleged to pile more soil on top of the young plants. You get more potatoes that way. Despite our not adding extra soil, we still got a pretty good harvest. About 38 pounds. We don’t eat potatoes a day, although we'll be eating more now. So the question now is how to preserve those potatoes to make them last as long as possible. Eric found (sorry I’m not sure where) someone who made a root barrel (instead of a root cellar). What a cool idea! So, we are going to try it out too. The theory is simple, the labor is hard work. First you buy a barrel. We bought a metal barrel, but plastic would work well too.  Dig a hole big enough for the barrel to fit into. This is the hard part. I’m so glad I didn’t have to do it. This project would have never gotten done if it was up to me. We have rock and clay and Eric dug through it in 100 degree heat.…

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How To Propagate Hydrangeas

Today I wanted to show you a trick for easily propagating hydrangeas. This is the time of year hydrangeas are getting trimmed back, so perfect timing to get cuttings to propagate!The first step is to get a cutting of a hydrangea. In our current place we don’t have a hydrangea, but our neighbor does and she lays the cuttings out in a branch pile so I scoop those up anytime I see them. Now, the cuttings I used had been laying out for a couple days, so they look a little sad and wilty. The great thing about hydrangeas is they will bounce right back, they are very vocal about if they want water and once you give it to them, they perk right back. If you are working off scraps from a fall trim up, you will want to section down those bigger branches into a couple smaller ones.I always cut right above a leaf segment, then pull off any lower leaves, leaving just the top ones. So one of my typical cutting would be about this size. Then my next trick I’ve learned, that seems bad, is cutting all the leaves in half or even smaller if they…

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How To Determine The Function Or Purpose For My Small Garden

In order to work out your small garden’s function you would like to think about three things: 1 How you will use your small garden This will set the stage for your small garden design. You should begin by asking yourself, “What is my vision for this garden?Do you want to be able to go outside and pick your own vegetables and herbs? Do you want a fragrant rose garden? Or, do you just want a little getaway that you can enjoy by yourself or with family and friends. This is totally up to you; it is completely a personal preference. 2 How much space you have Once you know what you want to use your small garden for, you’ll need to look at how much space you actually have to work with. This will determine if all the ideas you have for your garden are possible. At this stage start picturing in your mind where you would place elements that you may want to use. Think about where you'd put a chair, table, bench, fountain, containers, etc. 3 What is your budget How much do you want to spend? This will determine how large or small your project will…

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Organic Weed Control In Your Small Garden

Figuring out what plants grow best in your area is a very important part of the small garden landscape design process because it would be very disappointing if you plant your garden and then half of it dies at first frost. A simple and mostly reliable way to figure this out when shopping for plants is by using the USDA Hardiness Zone Map. This map divides the United States into 11 different zones based on average minimum winter temperatures. This index rates plant hardiness per area and can be used as a guideline when choosing plants for your small garden. Keep in mind though, that this is not foolproof because temperatures may go well below the minimum temperatures for the area. And it doesn’t account for heat, humidity, and regional climate fluctuations.  Also, there are temperature fluctuations within the garden itself – for example, a shaded garden will have lower temperatures than a full-sun garden. Photo by Arbor Day Foundation When deciding on plants you have to also take into consideration the amount of shade and sun, the wind circulation, and the direction your small garden faces. A southern-facing garden will get much more sun than a northern-facing one. You should also consider…

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How Far Apart Do I Space My Plants?

Something that most people overlook, even the professionals, is mature plant size and plant spacing. I see this much too often in private yards as well as in public areas. I see plants that are so crowded together that you can’t even tell what type of plants you’re looking at. I also see a lot of layered planting with the taller plants in the front hiding the ones in the back. But I understand why people do this. They want their new garden or their landscaping to look mature without having to wait the necessary time for that to happen naturally. Unfortunately, in the long run, the garden just looks cluttered and out of control. As you can tell this is one of my pet peeves. The old saying is true – patience is a virtue. It’s best to let your plants grow and evolve into their mature selves. An easy way to avoid clutter is to just read up on the plants you’re considering before you plant them. You’ll want to determine the mature width and height of each different plant you’re going to use in your small garden. And the recommended plant spacing measure.  Savings-tip: once you know the mature…

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Preparing Your Small Garden Soil For Planting

Before planting it’s important to consider some factors that determine the type of garden soil you have. Soil Structure Garden Soil is basically made up of three components; solid material (organic matter & minerals), water and air. The minerals in the soil determine its texture (clay, silt and sand). Each of these has varying characteristics. Sandy soil tends to have larger particles and holds less water, which in turn makes it less fertile. Clay soils have the opposite characteristic; clay is made up of very fine particles, which holds water too well. The mix of these types determines the soil’s structure. Loam being most desirable type. A quick test to determine what type of soil structure you have; grab a small amount of wet soil in your hand and try to roll it. If It crumbles easily it’s sand, if it stays together very well it’s clay. The desired result would be a soil that rolls up easily but falls apart when rolled thinly this is loam. Soil PH and Salinity PH and salinity are two other factors to consider before planting. The PH (acidity-less than 7 /alkalinity higher than 7) and salinity of the soil will determine what plants will thrive…

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Growing Herbs That Boost Your Immune System

As we deal with the new concepts of quarantine and self-isolation while trying to avoid the Coronavirus, many of us are fortunate that it’s time to get the garden growing. Tilling, planting and tending the garden helps me work off the boredom and frustration I’m feeling, so it’s sure to be just as useful to others. One thing I’ve decided to do while waiting it out is growing more immune boosting herbs in the garden. A healthy immune system helps avoid the virus, and many herbs are useful to boost immunities. Even once this Covid pandemic ends, there are still plenty of reasons to improve immunity. Which herbs work best? Here are my favorite herbs for boosting a healthy immune system. Echinacea – Commonly known as purple coneflower, this is a versatile plant when used for medicinal purposes, and you may already have it growing in your garden. There are more than 40 types of coneflowers, with Echinacea purpurea being most used. Flower petals, leaves and roots can be used medicinally. Make a tincture or tea with these parts to prevent infections and awaken and stimulate the immune system. Turmeric – Turmeric, or Curcuma longa, is a beautiful flowering plant filled with Curcumin, vitamin C, magnesium, and…

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Learning to be an Orchardist with Gilmour
Learning to be an Orchardist with Gilmour

Learning to be an Orchardist with Gilmour

It’s now or never. Or at least, now or who knows when. Or if I’d followed that Chinese proverb, I should have done it 20 years ago, but since I didn’t, then I should do it now.  I am, obviously, talking about planting trees.  A home orchard, specifically. Point is, I finally finished planting all the fruit trees that I hoped to plant 15 years ago when I moved into this house.  I didn’t get it done then, but I at least I made it the second best time – now.  The first half of the orchard went in about 6 years ago and included two persimmon trees (that are still smaller than your average 1 gallon perennial). Also, a peach tree that actually has 8 peaches on it this year (yes, I counted) and two cherries that are so pathetic that I need to remove them (or maybe just move, if I am feeling hopeful). There is a Cortland Apple tree that is epic and amazing and just wow, and another apple that is good – but needs some help.   But now, I also have a pear tree and two new cherries (one sweet and one tart) that hopefully…

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Walking Gardens, Blowing Snow, and Winter Paths

If I had closer neighbors, I am pretty sure they’d be looking out their bedroom windows into my garden and thinking I’d lost my mind. I’ve been using my snow blower to make paths in the grass.  Is that weird? It is just that if I make a path, I am more likely to walk out in the garden on these cold winter days. Because, as much as my head and my heart know that walking out in the garden is good for me, my feet really don’t like to trudge.  My calves don’t like the snow that comes over my boots and jams itself up against the back of my legs and my lower back really doesn’t like the nagging threat that I might slip and fall. The paths help. They do draw me out. I had a Garden Design Boot Camp student last fall who loves to walk and she has a really really long driveway and a huge piece of land.  Her whole design project focussed on the idea of creating the longest possible garden path (with interesting things along the way) for her to traverse. She needs her steps and she is creating a place to…

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HOW TO GROW LIME TREES FROM SEEDS

If you are looking to find out the way to grow lime trees from seeds, indoors, or simply in your garden, you've come to the proper place! Lime trees can be grown in many different ways as well as in different climates, and this guide will give you step by step instructions that will make growing lime trees a breeze! Lime trees are super fun to grow, and, once you see the tiny little limes on your tree, you'll be over the moon! HOW TO GROW LIME TREES PLANTING LIME TREES: You can choose to grow lime trees from seeds or you can also purchase a small tree from a nursery, but growing them from seed is actually very easy and much more rewarding!Plant your lime tree or your lime seed in a location where it will get the most sun (this goes the same for whether you're planting directly outdoors or in a pot)Plant in well draining soil and if planting in a pot, be sure your pot has good drainage holes as well.When backfilling, make sure that the soil around the seed or the root ball is tapped firmly down.Water immediately after planting. LIME TREE CARE: Water regularly. If your lime tree isn't getting enough water,…

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How to Grow Vinca | Growing Periwinkle in pots | Periwinkle

Growing Vinca (Periwinkle) These are attractive flowers covering the ground. Vinca has known by three names, Vinca, Periwinkle, or and Myrtle. These plants are native to China, North America, Europe, and India. Vinca contains annual plants that are drought tolerant and grow very well in hot, dry areas. If you develop it in one place, it keeps improving automatically. This plant known by three names, Vinca, Periwinkle, and Myrtle. Vinca plants are native to America, Europe, India, and China. Learn How to Grow Vinca, Growing Periwinkle in pots in this article. These plants are popular due to their attractive colors and bright leaves. These plants bloom in summer and keep on thriving in the cold. The color of these flowers is usually white, red, and pink. Periwinkle overview Scientific name                                                 Catharanthus roseus Common name                                                 Vinca, Periwinkle, Rosy periwinkle, Sadabahar Plant type                                           Flowering plant Sun required                                      Partial Sun to full shade Flower colors                                     Blue, Purple, White, and lavender Blooming time                                   May-June Soil                                                         Normal sandy or clay, well-drained Soil pH                                                  5.0 -8.0 Zone                                                      2- 11 How to grow Vinca Soil and location Vinca plants require good drainage. These plants grow well in fertile soil, but they also tolerate ordinary soil. Vinca plant…

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How To Grow Sacks Full Of Potatoes
How To Grow Sacks Full Of Potatoes

How To Grow Sacks Full Of Potatoes

1. 100 Pounds of Potatoes in only Four Square Feet All you need for this technique is some lumber, seed potatoes, gardening soil, and plenty of love and care. The recommended planting time is the early around April, and late around August 1st, and it takes about 3 months before harvest. A few tips for utilizing this technique include: Cut apart the larger seed potatoes, and make sure there are at least two eyes in each part you plant.Dust the cut pieces with first will help you seal the open ends from bacteria.Use 10-20-20 fertilizer and fertilize at planting and 2 other times during the season as well.Water in a way that you will keep the plants at an even level of moisture.Avoid planting in the same area in consecutive years.If you’re short on space, build a box and plant inside it. You can add sides to the box as it grows, and then fill in the new space with soil or mulch. This way, you’ll be able to remove the bottom boards from the box and reach in carefully to pull out new potatoes. 2. Trash Bag Potatoes Growing potatoes in a trash bag is practically a foolproof way to grow potatoes and it only…

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Flowers Grow in Your Vegetable Garden

Plant Flowers with Vegetables To Encourage Healthy Growth There are many plants out there that can improve the growth in your vegetable garden. Below is a list of flowers you should be adding to your garden, and how these flowers help promote healthy and prolific plants. Borage Borage is a Mediterranean herb that grows best in warm climates. This cucumber scented flower grows best with tomatoes, squash, and strawberries. It’s known for attracting bees and other pollinators, repelling hornworms and is said to improve the taste of tomatoes if planted nearby. Both the leaves and blooms of the Borage plant can be eaten and have a cucumber-like flavor. Calendula Calendula is a yellow flowering plant that grows best in cooler climates with low humidity. Plant this happy flower with peas, carrots, asparagus, and spring salad lettuces. Calendula will help repel aphids and attracting pollinators to the garden. This plant has edible leaves, and if you keep the flowers trimmed back, it will flower from spring until fall. Lastly, calendula has thick roots, and acts as a living mulch, protecting to soil from the sun and retaining moisture for your vegetable garden. Chamomile This cheerful, white flower is such a great plant to grow in the vegetable garden.…

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4 LOW MAINTENANCE FRUIT TREES ANYONE CAN GROW

Looking to grow your own fruit? Now is the time! Look no further than these 4 low maintenance fruit trees that anyone can grow! During these very hard and uncertain times, a lot of people are turning to self-relying ways. One of these ways is to grow your own food! In this article, we'll talk about the best low maintenance fruit trees anyone can grow. Is there a better feeling than growing your own food and then harvesting it? We think not! That's why these low maintenance fruit trees should be at the top of your list! Easy to grow vegetables aren't the only ones that matter – fruits should be a part of your garden as well. If you're going to grow your own fruit trees, be sure to save this article on how and when to harvest summer fruits. There is a large variety of fruit trees you can grow, and the ones you choose will depend on a few different things, such as your climate, how much space you have, and which fruits you enjoy consuming. Depending on the variety of fruit trees you choose to grow, they can be self-pollinating or may require a pollinator. Self-pollinating fruit trees include peaches, nectarines, apricots,…

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HOW TO KEEP CUT FLOWERS FRESH

Whether you grow flowers at home and sell them at the market, or, you just love cut flowers, learning how to keep cut flowers fresh IS important. Surprisingly, it's not just as easy as cutting the flowers and planting them in water, there is actually a science behind it. Having a fresh cut bouquet of flowers in your home brings a certain joy and brightness, but unfortunately, they just don't last that long! Today, we'll share some tips and tricks with you on how to keep cut flowers fresh for longer. HOW TO MAKE CUT FLOWERS LAST LONGER #1. CUT THE FLOWER STEMS THE RIGHT WAY If you just received a bouquet of freshly cut flowers, you may not realize that you actually need to cut a little bit of the stem off. Use gardening shears and trim about one or two inches of the stem, at an angle. By cutting the stem at an angle, you're ensuring that the stem can adequately take in water since they won't be sitting flat in a vase. This goes the same for cutting flowers straight from the garden – use gardening shears and cut an angle. Repeat the cutting every few days to ensure…

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