How To Improve the Soil in Your Garden With Sheet Mulching

How To Improve the Soil in Your Garden With Sheet Mulching

Soil & Compost
Would you like to learn how to improve your garden's soil? Sheet mulching may be the answer for you! Is your garden typically riddled with weeds by mid-summer? Are you looking for an organic method for improving the fertility of your soil? Interested in learning inexpensive techniques for maximizing your garden's water retaining properties? Master organic gardener Eric Toensmeier, author of Perennial Vegetables and coauthor of Edible Forest Gardens, has the perfect solution for you: sheet mulching! Sheet mulching combines soil improvement, weed removal, and long-term mulching in one fell swoop. This technique, also known as lasagna gardening, builds organic material and smothers weeds at the same time, so they never get a chance to grow!. [caption id="attachment_815" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Perennial Vegetables: From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro, a Gardener's Guide…
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April Gardening Calendar

Flower Gardening, Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Year Round Gardening
The gardening calendar for April provides a list of recommended food growing tips and <sigh>gardening chores. If you haven't started your organic gardening adventure yet, it is HIGH time! April is a wonderful time for growing organic food. More people garden in April and May than any other time of the year. Winter is over, the hot months of July and August are not pounding you.... it is just a fabulous time to be outside. The date of last expected frost has come and gone (for most). Consult the growing zone maps to determine your garden's date of expected last frost. Early in the month there is still time to plant the cool season vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, lettuces, greens and onions. (if you haven't already!) Corn and beans…
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March Gardening Calendar

Flower Gardening, Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Organic Pest & Disease Control, Soil & Compost, Year Round Gardening
The gardening calendar for March provides a list of recommended food growing and gardening chores and tips. It is time to venture outdoors for some serious organic gardening! The biggest focus this month is, "When can I DO something?" If you have been asking yourself this question, the answer is a LOT! March is the month to really get started growing organic food. First thing you really need to know is the last date you can expect frost in your area. Consult the growing zone maps to determine your garden's date of expected last frost. To prepare soil for spring planting you need to know some things about your garden's soil. Do you know your soil type? Your soil's pH? Need to identify your soil type? You can also learn…
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Why Garden Organically?

Organic Gardening
As recent as 25 years ago, the idea of organic gardening was considered quite a radical concept.  How in the world were gardeners expected to control the weeds, the bugs, and the animals that could threaten a thriving garden without the use of man-made chemicals?  When you think about it, organic gardening is a really simply theory.  For years, people have been growing things without the use of chemicals. The early settlers of our country didn’t have Miracle-Gro or Sevin Dust and they made out just fine.  It only makes sense that we should be able to apply the same techniques and get the same results as they did today.  We should grow food using Mother Nature's ingredients rather than concoctions born in a chemist's laboratory for the good of…
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7 Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Own Food

7 Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Own Food

Healthy Eating, Organic Gardening
Not that being part of a trend is ever a good reason to start or learn something new, but if it helps you move forward by being part of the "in" crowd, then you really need to plant your own edible garden this year. That's right, having your own vegetable garden is now trendy. In fact according to the 2009 Edibles Gardening Trends Research Report conducted by the Garden Writer's Association (GWA) Foundation, over 41 million U.S. households, or 38 percent planted a vegetable garden in 2009. And, more than 19.5 million households (18 percent) grew an herb garden and 16.5 million households (15 percent) grew fruits during the same period. The study found that there was a growth in edible gardening from both experienced gardeners and from an influx…
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Harvesting and Drying Sunflowers

Harvesting and Drying Sunflowers

Flower Gardening, Growing Food, Seed Saving
There's more to harvesting and drying sunflowers than many growers realize. How soon you decide to harvest them will depend largely on energy costs, temperatures, and whether you prefer them to dry naturally. Ideally, your sunflowers won't be exposed to insects and diseases, and the temperature will be warm enough to allow them to dry on the stem. However, those circumstances are rare. In reality, most crops will be vulnerable to some level of pests and diseases. And depending upon where you live, the temperature can cause your sunflowers to freeze. In this article, I'll explain some of the benefits of harvesting your sunflowers early. I'll also describe how they're dried and why the moisture in the air can affect your crops. Benefits Of Harvesting Early With energy expenses escalating,…
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Storage Tips For Sunflower Seeds

Storage Tips For Sunflower Seeds

Flower Gardening, Seed Saving
The manner in which you store your sunflowers can play an important role in the preservation of your seeds. For example, if there is excess moisture during storage, it's possible for the moisture to freeze the seeds, causing breakage. This happens often when they're harvested early and stored without proper drying. Harvesting them early can help limit the potential for bird damage and shattering, but the seeds must be dried before storage. In this article, I'll provide a few tips for storing your sunflowers properly to prevent them from being damaged. Tip #1: Measure Moisture Accurately Because storing your seeds when they contain too much moisture can cause problems, you'll need to use a moisture meter. However, if your seeds are less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the meter will not…
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A Serenity Garden For Your Home

Outdoor Living, Sustainable Landscaping
Most people think about their backyard garden as a place to provide them peace and quiet, a place to relax after a busy day, or maybe a place to draw closer to God. Whether you rise early, to enjoy your garden before heading off to work, or come home from work and retreat to your garden to unwind, a serenity garden can help to induce a state of calmness. A serenity garden does take some planning, and some care. There is no real format in how this type of garden should be structured. You need to think about what serenity means to you. The design of the garden should reflect your ideas on peace and tranquility. It can include your favorite colors, and comforting landscapes. You may want to jot…
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Easy To Grow Summer Flowers

Flower Gardening
Late spring is the perfect time to plant seeds for easy to grow summer flowers. The soil needs to be warm enough for germination and the spring rains will help the seedlings get going. Summer annual flowers include zinnias, sunflowers, cosmos, petunias, bachelor buttons, balsam, alyssum, marigolds, vinca, poertuluca, lobelia to name just a few. Flowers need at least six hours of full sun to bloom profusely. In very hot areas such as the Southwest and desert areas, afternoon shade is appreciated. Prepare the soil by digging down at least six inches. Turn the soil over with a shovel. Add compost or well rotten manure and a time release fertilizer per the package directions. Turn the soil over again to mix in your ingredients. If your flower bed is up…
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Tips For Growing Strawberries: Easy Garden Care

Growing Food
Imagine eating luscious red strawberries fresh from your garden still warm from the sun. What a treat and that treat can be yours. Here are easy tips for growing strawberries. Strawberries need at least six hours of sun a day to flower and set fruit. Keep that in mind when selecting a site for your berries. Strawberry pots, those big pots with little holes in the sides are not ideal for strawberries because they dry out too fast. Strawberries prefer rich soil. Dig down about six inches with a sturdy shovel and turn the dirt over. Remove rocks and twigs and sprinkle in a slow release fertilizer per package directions. Add a bag of compost or well rotted manure for every 8 square feet of your strawberry patch. For example…
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