Vegetable Gardening Made Easy

Vegetable Gardening Made Easy

Gardening Methods, Growing Food, Healthy Eating, Organic Gardening
Growing your own vegetables is both fun and rewarding. Lets break it down together and get the most food, enjoyment, and nutrition from our gardens! 1. feed the soil 2. efficient use of space 3. keep food moving 4. continuous harvest 5. good record keeping 6. resources feed the soil All you really need to get started is some decent soil and a few plants. But to be a really successful vegetable gardener, and to do it organically, you'll need to understand what it takes to keep your plants healthy and vigorous. Here are the basics. 'Feed the soil' is like a mantra for organic gardeners, and with good reason. In conventional chemical agriculture, crop plants are indeed "fed" directly using synthetic fertilizers. [caption id="attachment_2197" align="alignright" width="211"] observe your garden…
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Ideal Temperatures for Seed Germination

Ideal Temperatures for Seed Germination

Starting Seeds
Seeds germinate (begin to grow/develop) at different rates. Some need warmer temperatures than others. Some seeds actually need light to germinate (like lettuce). Use the chart below on ideal germination temperatures to achieve more success starting your garden seeds growing! Shown below are the ideal temperatures for germination of many of the most common seeds. Temperatures are in degrees F. Asparagus, 75° Beans (lima), 85° Beans (snap), 80° Beets, 85° Cabbage, 85° Carrots, 80° Cauliflower, 80° Celery, 70° Corn, 95° Cucumbers, 95° Eggplant, 85° Lettuce, 75° Muskmelon, 90° Okra, 95° Onions, 75° Parsley, 75° Parsnip, 65° Peas, 75° Peppers, 85° Pumpkins, 95° Radish, 85° Swiss Chard, 85° Spinach, 70° Squash, 95° Tomatoes, 85° Turnips, 85° Watermelon, 95°
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Cleavers – The Spring Tonic

Cleavers – The Spring Tonic

Using Herbs
What could be more invigorating, waking up from the winter doldrums and bursting into spring than a tonic to do that very thing! (wow, I rhymed) There's an herb for that! It goes by the name cleavers (or clivers or bedstraw). You can find a huge list of things that cleavers can be good for, but today let's focus on the word "herbal tonic". The earth that we live on is usually the best indicator for what to use, when, where herbal tonics are concerned, and the herbs that grow in every yard and in every open place they can find in the wild, this time of year, include cleavers, chickweed, henbit, dandelion, and dead nettle. History of Cleavers as a Spring Tonic Cleavers enjoys a wonderful history as a…
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Companion Plants Top 10 Best

Companion Plants Top 10 Best

Companion Planting, Gardening Methods, Organic Gardening, Organic Pest & Disease Control
Some plants do better when in the company of other plants for a variety of reasons...to repel harmful insects, to attract useful insects, or to enhance the growth rate and flavor of other plants. Companion plants help bring a balanced eco-system to your garden. Every garden is different with different problems. All problems will not be eliminated, but it is definitely worth experimenting with companion plants. Below are the top 10 plant companion combinations. Tomatoes & Basil Both greatly improve the other's growth and flavor. Basil also helps control the tomato hornworm. Garlic & Roses Pests, such as aphids, are repelled by the smell of garlic. [caption id="attachment_1625" align="alignright" width="300"] example of companion plants[/caption] Horseradish & Potatoes Horseradish repels the Colorado potato beetle and blister beetles. Spinach & Strawberries Corn,…
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Keep Plants Green with Gray Water

Keep Plants Green with Gray Water

Sustainable Landscaping
In times of drought, most organic home gardeners must ration their water usage, watering vegetables and favorite flowers while watching their lawns and other plants wither. But across the country some intrepid gardeners are foregoing the tap and turning to another source: gray water. Gray water is commonly defined as any household waste-water except for toilet water. (That's called black water.) In arid communities with annual water problems, such as California, Florida and the Southwest, gray water systems have been in use since the 1980s. But in many other parts of the country, using gray water is actually illegal. [caption id="attachment_1562" align="alignleft" width="300"] There are many benefits to using gray water in the garden[/caption] The main concern about gray water is the potential for adverse health effects. Gray water can…
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Experiencing Herbs with your Child

Experiencing Herbs with your Child

Herbs and Children, Using Herbs
[caption id="attachment_396" align="alignright" width="300"] Bash, processing thyme and lavender with Mom.[/caption] Here is a picture from last summer. Bash was helping me process thyme and lavender. Lavender is his FAVORITE herb. He loves the little purple flowers and the smell, I mean who doesn't? Well my weirdo herbalist of a mother isn't the hugest lavender (fragrance) fan...buuut...more for US! ;) Hello beautiful people! Relishing in this absolutely beautiful sunny day! Wandered around my garden barefoot this morning slowly soaking up that positive Sagittarius energy. I did not want the quiet morning to end. It lasted a good solid 3 minutes until I realized my bare feet were two inches away from a mound of dog poop left by my beloved blue heeler Winston. OH glorious morning!! I MUST say though,…
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Grow Lettuce in Containers

Grow Lettuce in Containers

Container Gardening
Why grow lettuce in a container? In my case it is because the snails and slugs will not let me enjoy fresh, tender lettuce, straight from the garden. For some reason, they have not yet discovered it when grown with this method. Another reason is that it is weed free, making a cut-and-come-again harvest a snap. Still another benefit is that you may move them around as the seasons change. More sun in the spring, more shade in the summer. In many areas lettuce may be grown most of the year this way. The cut-and-come-again harvest is really the key to this type of planting. Here is how you do it: [caption id="attachment_2252" align="alignright" width="300"] lettuce is easy to grow in continers[/caption] Step 1 Plant a blend of leaf lettuce…
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How to Use Violets

How to Use Violets

Using Herbs
[caption id="attachment_368" align="alignright" width="300"] violet blooms soaking up the spring sun[/caption] They are the color of spring. They are the taste of spring. They grow anywhere, everywhere. I have found them in the woods, in the shade and in full sun in our strawberry beds at the farm. VIOLETS! The entirety of the violet plant is useful in some way... the flowers, the leaves, and the roots. How to Use Violets To start with, try a leaf. Go ahead, pluck one off and chew on it. Taste it. Note the slipperiness of the leaves in your mouth. The way an herb tastes is a very good indicator of its medicinal value. To try a violet tea, put a large teaspoon of fresh chopped up violet leaves (and flowers and roots…
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Vegetable Garden Planting Chart

Vegetable Garden Planting Chart

Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Starting Seeds
Schedule your vegetable garden planting with this guide. As you plan which foods that you'd like to grow in your garden, remember that among other things, you must also take the following into account: Soil pH Requirements of Different Garden Vegetables Vegetable Gardening Basics (Planning, Preparing the soil, and Planting) Identifying Your Soil Type Note: This does not include plotting for Square Foot Gardening Food Vegetable Start Seed Indoors Plant in Garden S = SeedP = Plant Seed Spacing Distance Between Rows Seed Depth Days toMaturity YIELD PER100' ROW ArtichokesFeb-MarS - After FrostP - After Frost36"48"1/2"36535+ heads Asparagusn/aP - Mar-April8" between root tips34-36"1/4-1/2"365400+ spears Beans, Bush (snap)n/aS - After Frost4-6"18"1"60-6480 lbs Beans, bush (dry)n/aS - After Frost4-6"24"1"90-1008 lbs Beans, Polen/aS - After Frost8"36"1"70-85150 lbs Beans, Favan/aS - After Frost8"36"1"18020 lbs…
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How to Grow Lettuce

How to Grow Lettuce

Growing Food
Lettuce is a most poplar garden crop. Lettuce is easily grown and adds color and beauty to the home garden. One good reason for its popularity (aside from the fact that it tastes good!) is that lettuce is hardy and can be planted as early as the soil can be worked. So when you start getting the heebie jeebies because you have't had your fingers in the dirt for months, you can start lettuce as early as just about anything. It is a cool weather crop and makes its best growth at temperatures of 60-65°F (16-18°C). Careful variety selection is important for hot weather crops. Sow every 3 weeks for a continuous supply of fresh lettuce. There are four types of lettuce. Crisphead types form heads and include the popular…
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