May Garden Calendar

Flower Gardening, Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Year Round Gardening
Wow... May already. Where did the time go? The gardening calendar for May provides a list of recommended food growing tips and <sigh>gardening chores. As I mentioned in the last calendar update, April and May, about 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. Okay, okay, I said all that last month, I realize, but if you are far north, you are still waiting.... I realize.  So you northerners (I'm in zone…
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Soil pH Preferences for Trees

Soil & Compost
How to use the information in the chart. To make the best of the lists, group plants with similar soil requirements. Also, avoid planting trees, shrubs, vegetables, flowers and herbs in an unsuitable pH. For example, lilac bushes won't do much if their feet are sitting in acid soil, while potatoes will be dotted with scab if the soil is too sweet. (Note: Don't use them as your only guide because other factors may lead to poor performance.) Plants are listed here in columns according to the pH level they prefer. Note that some are very sensitive to pH levels outside their tolerant range, in which case they will appear in more than one column even though they are colored yellow as being "sensitive". This green background means that this…
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How To Landscape To Attract Birds

How To Landscape To Attract Birds

Sustainable Landscaping
Many of us enjoy the sounds of birds singing and chirping in our gardens or yards. Not only are birds beautiful to look at, they also provide many with a real appreciation of nature. There are clearly many benefits associated with attracting birds to the landscape, however in order to experience these benefits, we first need to attract the birds to our gardens! It is quite easy to attract birds to your property by following a few simple design principles, and by choosing plants for your landscape that naturally attract birds. Bird feeders are old staples for those who wish to see birds in their yards. When using feeders, they should be placed conveniently, and they should also be large enough to hold two to three days worth of food.…
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Become an Urban Farmer

Community, Organic Gardening, Small Scale Farming, Sustainable Living
Anyone can be a farmer. Growing plants can be done almost anywhere. You don't have to have large fields and hundreds of acres. You have to have imagination. People who grow dope do it in cellars and in caves. Select plants to raise that that you see being sold in quantity by local nurseries or garden centers. In our area arborvitae are in hot demand. These plants can be started from cuttings or you can buy rooted cuttings. Thousands can be grown in a 20'x20' area in small containers. Arborvitae are not the only plants that you can choose. Dwarf conifers and bonsai are other avenues to consider. The first thing to consider is what plants you like. They make a nice starting point. I like arborvitae. Plus they are…
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Planting Properly

Planting Properly

Organic Gardening
Healthy Beginnings No amount of watering or fertilizer will compensate for improper planting. On many occasions I have puzzled over the problems of plants only to discover they were planted six inches too deep or with their roots bound tightly. There isn't any mystery to good planting, just some common sense techniques. Dig the Hole First Before you un-pot your plant, prepare a hole fifty to a hundred percent larger than the plant's root ball. Work some compost, peat moss or other soil conditioners into the soil you've removed. When planting smaller perennials or bedding plants, rather than preparing individual holes, it may be simpler to amend a larger area and use a trowel to place the individual plants. In the case of large trees, it is generally best not…
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