Last year I dug up my pepper plants and overwintered them in a greenhouse. I like being the first among my garden neighbors to have big healthy tomatoes and peppers in the garden AND I can also say I started them from seed. I plan on overwintering these peppers again, but there has to be an easier way -- a way that can keep them happy all spring and summer but doesn't hurt my back in fall. So I had an idea and I'm feeling pretty positive about it.
Given any length of time spent in garden forums, YouTube, or social media, certainly you have drooled over documented mounds of brightly-colored, fall garden harvests or splendid spring baskets spilling nasturtiums and zucchini, but that's NEVER how harvest happens for me and my "plodding" garden.
Many of us are familiar with rooting cuttings of ornamental sweet potatoes to make more vines, but why let the end of summer be the end of your vines? Use this easy method to harvest sweet potatoes (made by your own ornamental vines) to propagate next season's plants, and save money by turning this annual into a perennial.
There are subtle things in nature we overlook when cultivating our own gardens. We know what we want and what we want to grow but a garden based solely on desire will have its flaws. To grow a healthy ecosystem, we have to take a few notes from the wild. Incorporating knowledge in a desire makes dreams a reality.
I thought I would share one way of building some type of pergola structure for use in your yard/garden. For this application, I'm making a swing out of an outdoor papasan chair for my wifes upcoming birthday. I have also used this same building technique for a large privacy panel near the fence. This is very adaptable to most projects, so follow along if you'd like.
The majority of us are well aware that distilled white vinegar has more uses than we can fathom, right? After all, there are plenty of books written on the subject. Well, in the summer of 2011, I discovered a new, brilliant (even if I do say so myself) use for distilled white vinegar that will save you a little more time for your backyard R&R. So what is my, best-thing-since-sliced-bread-and-insect-screens new use for distilled white vinegar?
Spring is here, which means summer is right around the corner. Last year our region suffered a record breaking drought, and in areas where water is limited, one has to get creative when it comes to keeping potted plants from drying out in the harsh winds and baking temperatures of the season. A little bit of planning ahead can save you time and water in the future.
Most DIY handymen spend a long winter looking through garden catalogues and the entire spring bringing outdoor spaces to life, while the summer is finally the time you get to actually enjoy the fruits of all handy work. Whether you use your garden as your private spot for relaxation, a playground for children, or the neighbourhood party venue, it is always refreshing to add various small to not-so-small home improvements that let you, your family, and your guests enjoy the warm summer days and breezy evenings. Here I’ve set up a list of simple handyman DIY projects every garden could really use in the hot summer months.
For a N.E. gardener, winter is certainly a time to plan, but I still like to enjoy my gardens and share them with others. The ground is frozen, but with clippings from perennials, herbs, and common houseplants, I can make small arrangements that please me and often surprise guests.
Living in a condo, I don't have a lot of space, so I sometimes need to get creative with my gardening. I can't imagine a garden without compost, but did not have a large permanent place for a compost pile, so I took a large black pot that had once held a tree and I started using it for composting. The idea worked very well -- with added benefits. I had placed the pot in my rose bed. Earthworms quickly found their way up into the pot from the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. They delighted in the constant supply of fresh kitchen and yard waste that I kept putting into the pot, especially my coffee grounds, banana peels, and egg shells. Soon, I had an entire nursery of baby wrigglers, and my kitchen/yard waste was rapidly composted and became full of earthworm castings. Then, I had another idea: I had a rose bush that was not doing very well, so I moved my compost pot next to the rose bush during the rainy season. Nutrients must have drained out of the bottom of the pot, and baby earthworms made their way back out of the bucket and into my rose bed. Soon I noticed a great improvement in the rose bush, and a definite increase in the number of earthworms. It seems that this was a win-win situation: I was breeding earthworms, composting, and improving my soil -- all at the same time! This summer my composting pot is moving again. I have another bed that needs some soil improvement and is lacking in earthworms. What an easy way to improve my soil!
Not long ago NGA member WARYR1 posted a query in the Ask A Question Forum: "What is an organic way to get rid of Virginia Creeper?" The question received many excellent replies. To date, there are 23 replies. One suggestion involved pouring herbicide into a trash can and stuffing the vines into the can. The purpose of that method was to contain the herbicide and reduce the risk of damage to desirable plants.
We were all taught to remove the lateral shoots when growing tomato plants. This is the shoot that appears in the axis between the stem and leaf, also known as axial shoot, sucker, etc. The removal of these shoots would enable the plant to put all of its energy into fruit production. We were advised to pick out and discard, but not anymore!
This article was written with the home greenhouse gardener in mind and especially the Harbor Freight Greenhouse projects https://garden.org/thread/view/21716/Harbor-Freight-Greenhouse-projects/?offset=940#end_of_thread (HFGH) thread, but would actually be adaptable to almost anyone with a similar frame greenhouse.
I have battled mowing a hill for years, I finally decided to plant flowers and do landscaping where it was hard to stand up. Putting in railroad ties for steps on a hill is great. Now I can actually walk up and down the hill without rolling down. You can also see in the pictures that I put flowerbeds on either side of the steps. An arbor, simply made out of pressure-treated posts, with long bolts holding them together and then set in concrete, gives the wisteria plenty of support. When planting on a steep hill, you have to make sure everything gets watered well until established as rain runs off a hill so fast it doesn't give the plants the water it needs. I also have juniper shrubs on another hillside that help with erosion and that's another area I don't have to worry about mowing. I actually have raised beds on some of my slopes.
Annual poppies, such as Shirley poppies and breadseed poppies, are fleeting and ephemeral bloomers. Compared to other annuals, the flowers last only a short while, but in that relatively short time period, their beauty can and will steal your heart forever. This article offers hope to those who live in areas with warm and humid springs (such as the American Southeast) and who want to grow annual poppy varieties, such as the Shirley poppy or breadseed poppy.