Summer Heat and Organic Gardening

Summer Heat and Organic Gardening

Organic Gardening, Soil & Compost, Weather, Year Round Gardening
It was nice while it lasted. The spring, I mean. If I had been one step ahead, I would have had everything planted sooner. Who could have known that it was actually May in March? I mean... really. I really didn't want to tell you all the drivel you can find on a zillion other websites about how to "Beat the Heat" of summer in your organic garden. We all know, mulch is our friend. Period. Water deeply and less often. "Easy." Water in the morning. "We know." I hear you all chime. My friend Theresa Roman had an interesting twist this year... umbrellas for shade. If it is wilted, water? There are two schools of thought. During high heat watering must be thorough and deep. If you can't water…
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Blossoms falling off bean plants

Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Organic Pest & Disease Control
Bean blossom drop can occur when temperatures stay consistently over 90 degrees and/or if the plants are stressed. There's not much you can do about the heat except wait it out. It may help to put a breezy row cover over them to provide some shade. The plants may start producing again when the weather cools down. Blossoms can also drop off if the plants are stressed from drought, wind, or low humidity. In addition to green beans, tomatoes, peppers, and squash , too, can suffer from blossom drop once the temperatures exceed 85 degrees. "High temperature interferes with pollination, resulting in blossom drop, crooked or deformed pods due to the lack of ovule development", writes Henry G. Taber, Iowa State University Extension Service vegetable specialist, in the article, "Green…
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Organic Gardening and Bugs

Organic Pest & Disease Control, Soil & Compost
I have focused on the soil for the last (large) number of years always hoping to get it just right, to have an exceptional year. Truth is, as I re-examine this idea, I have begun to realize that I want to validate something; many things. Time spent. Composting. Hauling off every single bag of leaves and grass clippings I have found on every curb I drive by. Tediously pulling and fighting bermuda grass. Reading and studying. Hours spent poking through every single inch of the many gardens' soil I have started, nurtured and left behind. Perhaps a better mulch would be the secret. Maybe crop rotation would prove to be the secret ingredient, even for the home garden. While you won't fool the insect pests for one minute, the soil…
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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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Winter Vegetables

Growing Food, Healthy Eating, Organic Gardening, Year Round Gardening
We often see different vegetables at Thanksgiving dinners like the root vegetables rutabagas and parsnips and Brussels sprouts. If you have grown root vegetables in your garden this year, you can leave them in the ground and harvest them as you need them throughout the winter. To protect them from freezing, mulch them with at least an eight inch layer of hay or straw. Potatoes should be stored in the dark under moderately moist conditions to prevent them from drying out and turning green, 40 to 45 F is a good temperature. Store onions in cooler, dryer conditions. October Gardening Calendar Watering - keep plants, trees, shrubs and lawn watered to help them prepare for winter; pay special attention to new plantings Cleanup remove and dispose of weeds and diseased…
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5 Easy Steps to Sustainable Gardening

5 Easy Steps to Sustainable Gardening

Organic Gardening, Sustainable Landscaping
1) Observe your space Where is the sun / shade? (watch the patterns during the growing season throughout the day) How is the land sloped? (south faces warmer & sunnier than north - use to your advantage!) Is it windy? (plant some trees or shrubs to act as a windbreak!) 2) Think about what you like to eat and see! plant some of your favorites! choose varieties that are suited for your climate (local garden stores usually specialize in these!) plan plantings that compliment each other (grow sunflowers as a trellis for pole beans!) 3) Soil is the start work soil in spring only when it begins to dry (not when soggy you'll lose important soil structure!) add Organic Matter! add Organic Matter! add Organic Matter! (in the form of…
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Beat High Prices by Growing Your Own Tomatoes

Growing Food, Organic Gardening
It's easy,very inexpensive and they taste better too so lets get started! STEP 1: Which tomatoes should I grow? If you have a long growing season then you would want to go with an indeterminate variety which grows all summer long. If your growing season is short then you would go with a determinate variety which produces its fruit quickly (in as little as 85 days or less) and ripens all at once. Step 2: Now that I have bought my seeds what do I do with them? Six to eight weeks for the end of winter I line up little paper cups filled with peat moss and put one seed in each cup. I then place them in a sunny window sill and water almost daily as peat tends…
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