Garden

Bug Defense Cage From Old Window Screens

by Daisy Garden

I know it’s late in the season for squash, but I just had to give it one last try. My inability to win the squash bug, squash beetle, and, particularly, squash BORER battle is a sore spot with me. This may not work either, but like Charlie Brown and that football, I can’t resist. I […]

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Culantro

by Daisy Garden

  Culantro, Eryngium foetidum, is very distinct from cilantro, in spite of having a similar name. It does have a similar flavor and scent. Close your nose, though, and from its appearance, you would never confuse the two plants. In the same family as cilantro, Apiacaea, culantro looks a lot more like its cousin, parsley, […]

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I Didn’t Know I Could Grow: Pomegranates

by Daisy Garden

Somewhere along the line I was brainwashed into thinking there was a list of certain plants I could grow. Frustratingly, that list included things I can’t grow: European pears, sweet cherries, and most stone fruits; at least not without a lot of fuss and spraying and disappointment. However, over the years as I’ve whittled down […]

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No-Dig Sunflower Fort Step-By-Step

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

I’m disorganized at everything, and gardening is no exception. Most of the time when I remember to do something at the right time, it’s by accident. I’ve seen examples of sunflower forts for years, but never, apparently, at the right time to plant them. Somehow this year was the exception, and I finally planted one. […]

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Passion Butterfly

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

Up until this year, the usual lineup of flutterers has included the tiger swallowtail, the black swallowtail, and the occasional monarch butterfly. But this year, all of a sudden it seemed, I had a new butterfly in the garden I’d never noticed before. This new one, it was everywhere I went. I did wonder what […]

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Reishi Mushrooms, Gut Bugs & Weight Control

by Daisy Garden

Yesterday this popped up in my BBC World Latest Headlines feed: Mushroom Used in Chinese Medicine “slows weight gain.” Yep. It was reishi. Reishi is about to get a lot more press than usual. Anything having to do with weight loss is a sure thing to get peoples’ attention. You’d think something that was used […]

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How to Harvest Milk Thistle Seeds

by Daisy Garden

Make sure all your affairs are in order. Call 911 and get them en route to your location. Don protective gear. Carefully approach the milk thistle. While it isn’t quite that dire, it is almost that dire. Milk thistle has the most aggressive thistles, and they’re everywhere–on the stem, under the base of the flower, […]

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Reishi Mushrooms

by Daisy Garden

Reishi mushrooms, Ganoderma lucidum, have been used for centuries to promote health and longevity and are known as” the mushrooms of immortality.” I inoculated several oak logs over a year ago and put them in a shady spot behind my compost bin, partially nestled into the soil. They just began to fruit this spring. They’re […]

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More Trench Composting And An Update

by Daisy Garden

The first time I tried trench composting, I couldn’t dig down very deep because of the hugelkulture logs I buried. All was well for a couple of days, then I woke to find the buried compost in the trench had been discovered by some critters. They dug around and brought out some choice pieces of […]

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Trench Composting

by Daisy Garden

With the encouragement of commenters, I decided to go ahead and use the trench composting method for the latest delivery of restaurant compost. Trench composting is a way to compost in which the compost is buried directly into the garden beds. First, I dug a trench. The recommended depth for trench composting is 12 inches. […]

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Building Mulch Basins for Water Retention

by Daisy Garden

I’ve been reading Art Ludwig’s book Create an Oasis with Greywater and decided to use his “mulch basin” technique to plant a trio of blueberry bushes. The concept is to make a basin around a plant such as a tree or a shrub to catch and hold runoff or greywater so it has time to […]

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Mushroom Inoculation Day

by Daisy Garden

Sometimes when bloggers don’t post it’s because they haven’t been doing anything worth blogging about. Sometimes it’s because they’ve been doing so much they don’t have time to blog about it; things happen faster than they can photograph them and there isn’t time in-between tasks to sit down and write down what they’ve been doing. […]

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Yahooo! Oyster Mushrooms!

by Daisy Garden

Again, THRILLED. I went out this morning to see how much the shiitakes had grown overnight and was amazed to see one of the logs of oyster mushrooms had also fruited. I may have done a mushroom dance. Look at those delicate gills, the soft, felty caps, the blush of brownish gray. These are called […]

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I’m Plotzing!

by Daisy Garden

I can barely contain myself. Something I’ve been waiting for years to happen has happened. In fact, it’s something that helped bring about the formation of this blog six years ago. Deanna and I had been friends for ten years at that point, but somehow we never fully realized we shared a certain passion for […]

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Make Your Own Cheap and Easy Plant Propagation Box

by Daisy Garden

When I was going through our local Master Gardener course, we went on a field trip to Memphis Botanic Gardens, where the resident garden manager, Chris Cosby, led a brief course in propagation techniques. One of the methods he described was using a modified styrofoam cooler to make a propagation box for cuttings. I built […]

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Making Lemon Balm Tincture

by Daisy Body Care

If I were stranded on a desert island one of the first plants I’d go looking for is lemon balm. It would help keep me calm, and considering I was stranded on a desert island I would be in need of a heaping helping of calm. It would also help me sleep which would be […]

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Chicken Of The Woods

by Daisy Garden

It sounds like a (bad) joke: What kind of mushroom grows in a chicken run? Answer: Chicken Of The Woods! When I posted this photo to our Facebook page asking for help identifying the mushroom that sprung up overnight on a cherry log next to the chicken coop, I got several immediate responses. The verdict, […]

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Bumblebee Moth

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

When we first saw this huge moth feeding on the butterfly bush, my first thought was, “It looks like a cross between a hummingbird and a bumblebee!” It’s actually a Bumblebee Moth (Hemaris diffinis), also known as a Snowberry Clearwing Moth, to the best of my bug-identifying ability. The wings, which are partially clear, can […]

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How-To: Passionflower Tincture

by Daisy Body Care

Besides being appreciated for its fantastical blooms, passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is used medicinally to calm anxiety and improve sleep. It’s thought to increase levels of GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid). GABA regulates the excitability of neurons in the brain. GABA is also suspected to regulate the production of melatonin, which is related to healthy sleep. And, since […]

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Easy Blueberry Bush Bird Protection

by Daisy Garden

Many years ago I tried draping deer netting over my blueberry bushes. It was a complete failure. I didn’t secure the netting at ground level so the birds got up under the net, it was a pain to crawl under there to pick, and the birds could sit on the outside and pick berries through […]

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Chokeberry: The Next Superfood?

by Daisy Garden

With three times the antioxidants of that other superfood, the blueberry, Aronia melanocarpa, or chokeberry, may be poised to become one of the next superfood sweethearts of the nutrifood industry. Why wait, though, when you can have a chokeberry in your own backyard? If you’ve never heard of chokeberry, you’re in the majority. Not to […]

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Broad-Headed Skink

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

I was pleased to get this photo of a broad-headed skink sunning himself on a flagstone in my garden recently. By his coloration (the red head) I could identify it as a male. They have that bright noggin in the spring to attract the ladies. The female broad-headed skink doesn’t have the red head. It’s […]

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Persimmon Attack

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

When I was a kid, persimmon attacks were common, particularly among the brothers in my family. Actually, exclusively among the brothers in my family. I’m under a different kind of persimmon attack now. And while the attack of yesteryear (being pelted with persimmons) is unpleasant, this new kind is bad in a different way. My […]

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Juneberry

by Daisy Garden

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s almost June. If you don’t believe it either, the proof is in the ripening Juneberries. I planted three Juneberry (Amelanchier) bushes three years ago. They’ve had a slow start not being in full sun, but they’re finally looking like they’re established and poised to give more than […]

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Harvesting Madder Root

by Daisy Garden

Back in, hm, let’s check the date stamp on the photos . . . the latter days of March, I decided to dig up the madder plants that had begun to sprout and harvest the root for dyeing. The madder is some I started from seed I bought from Fedco Seeds three years ago.  The […]

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Guilding the Pear

by Daisy Garden

The more I guild, the more lonely the unguilded trees seem to me. In particular, my Asian pear was looking very bare. Selecting plants for a guild can be pretty simple or pretty involved, whichever way you lean. I can go either way depending on what free resources I have available. When I guilded the […]

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Rooting Strawberry Runners in In-Ground Cells

by Daisy Garden

  The Sweet Charlie strawberries I planted in October have grown steadily since I put them in the ground. The started blooming several weeks ago. Now they have nice, big, green berries. Sweet Charlies are supposed to be especially sweet, so sweet they’re often described as tasting like they have been dipped in sugar and […]

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Guilding the Plum

by Daisy Garden

In permaculture, fruit tree guilds are a way of creating a miniature sustainable ecosystem in your yard. Instead of sticking a fruit tree in the ground in the middle of a field and watering and fertilizing and spraying it conventionally, a guild is humans mimicking nature’s way of doing these things. After all, in natural […]

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Cold Winter vs. Insects

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

Does a hard winter kill off insect pests? Every time there is a particularly cold winter with a lot of below-freezing temperatures, one comment I hear is from folks hoping at least it will kill off the bad bugs. By the same token, when the winter is especially mild, people are heard to say they […]

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Tulsi (Sacred Basil)

by Daisy Garden

My master gardener training this year included sessions at the Memphis Botanic Gardens led by garden employees/experts. At the end of a tour of the new herb garden, the leader shared her favorite if-she-could-only-have-one herb: tulsi, or sacred basil. Back home, with my copy of Horizon Herbs’ catalog, I wasn’t going to quibble with the […]

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How to Plant Bearded Irises

by Daisy Garden

In my last post, I gave the steps to digging and dividing and getting bearded iris rhizomes into shape for replanting. Now it’s time to plant them. Make a planting hole about 3 inches deep and six inches around. Place a mound of soil in the center, high enough so the rhizome will sit with […]

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How to Divide Bearded Irises

by Daisy Garden

One of the many benefits of volunteering is learning new things. I volunteered at the Memphis Botanic Gardens Iris Garden this summer and took away more than I contributed. Learning to divide and replant bearded irises has been on my list for a long time and I had a lesson from Carmen Cooley, President of […]

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Cicada Moult

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

Never having seen a cicada in mid-moult, I was fascinated to find this one in my yard this weekend. Their sounds are the background music for nearly every summer (“Can you say that again!? I can’t hear you over the cicadas!”) and I’ve often seen their exuvia (the cast-off exoskeletons), but never witnessed how they […]

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Tiger Swallowtail

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

  The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is the state butterfly of many states, especially in the southeastern US. They seem abundant this year. Or maybe I’ve been seeing the same pair over and over again. Either way, they’re welcome here. They float high over the trees, swoop through our garden, and they’re off again. They seem […]

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Black Swallowtail

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

I’ve been wondering for some time whether or not the single clump of bronze fennel I grow in my garden has been earning its keep. I don’t really cook with it, and it has grown so large, stretching over six feet tall and several feet wide, at one end of the asparagus bed.  Was it […]

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How I Kill Voles

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

I thought of titling this post How I Catch Voles, to avoid the use of the word kill, but the truth is, I don’t capture them and release them to the wild. I don’t enjoy vole-icide, but when, the other day, I went into the garden and saw practically an entire row of almost-ready-to-be-picked, extremely […]

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Cucumber Beetles

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

Year before last, I had so many cucumbers I didn’t know what to do with them.   I collected baskets and baskets and made dozens of jars of relish, pickles, and jelly.  Just kidding, I didn’t make cucumber jelly. But I was tempted. Then last year, I blithely planted cucumbers again without a worry in the […]

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Milk Thistle

by Daisy Garden

The seed of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) contains silymarin, thought to be useful in treating diseases of the liver such as cirrhosis, jaundice, and hepatitis.  It has also shown promise in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, and it may be helpful reducing the toxicity of poisonous mushrooms. I grow it because it looks very […]

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Hairy Bittercress

by Daisy Garden

I visited my sister last week and she invited me to look over a bare garden bed in her backyard in which she had sown several kinds of seeds.  Being a normal sort of person who doesn’t research seedling identification, she didn’t know if what was sprouting was “anything,” or if it was just weeds. […]

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Leafhoppers

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

The other day I was hanging out in my potato patch, just watching lady beetle larvae crawl all over the place.  I turned over a leaf and saw this: The photo isn’t very good, and it’s hard to describe what’s going on in it, but it seemed like there were ants crawling all over a […]

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Transformation

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

Our yard and garden has been crawling with these tiny, alligator-y, black and orange critters. Do you know what they are? How about this? How about now? The first photo is the larval stage of the lady beetle. The second pic shows the pupa of the same. Of course, in the third shot, we all […]

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Click Beetles

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

This is the Big Eyed Click Beetle, of the family Elateridae. Handsome.  Unfortunately its larvae, wireworms, can be devastating to a potato crop and root crops like carrots.  Following the carbon dioxide released by the target plant it bores into them.  They’re very tough to get rid of, pesticide resistant, and provide a starter hole […]

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Henbit

by Daisy Garden

Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule), also known as Greater Henbit or Henbit Deadnettle, is a member of the mint family.  Like many in that family, it does not taste mint-y. Henbit is still edible, fresh or cooked.  Nutritionally, it’s tough to find information on henbit.  Many sources simply quote, “iron, vitamins, and fiber,” which is pretty vague, […]

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Catchweed Bedstraw

by Daisy Garden

Catchweed Bedstraw (Galium aparine) is a member of the madder family. I grow Red Madder (Rubia tinctorum) so I was familiar with the velcro-like teeth covering the leaves of members of this clan.  You can see them somewhat in this photo: Those little fibers are tenacious grabbers.  No wonder the name catchweed.  It’s also called […]

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Chickweed

by Daisy Garden

Like most gardeners, I’ve picked my share of chickweed (Stellaria media) out of my garden beds. I’ve done it without even knowing what it was called or anything about it.  Never tasted it, either. My curiosity eventually kicked in, though, so I identified it, found out it’s edible, and started eating it. It’s quite nice, […]

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Discouraging Voles the Pretty Way

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

I wish I could say controlling voles, or getting rid of voles, but I can’t.  The best I can manage is politely discouraging them. But it isn’t bad because the method I’m using has other benefits, flowers, for one. I’m planting narcissus (daffodil) bulbs along the perimeter of the garden.  Voles dislike narcissus, I like […]

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Why Buy Organic Seeds?

by Daisy Garden

One of the reasons I grow vegetables is to save money. SO–why should I plunk down the extra money to buy organic seeds instead of conventional seeds? I will be growing the plant itself organically, isn’t that all that really matters? There’s no way the tiny bit of agri-chem which is on that little seed […]

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Propagating From Cuttings

by Daisy Garden

This is the first year I planted pineapple sage (above).  I didn’t know what to expect, except I heard it was a great “tea” herb, and who doesn’t love making her own herbal tea? Not me, certainly. I watched the thing grow all Spring and Summer.  And grow.  And grow.  And grow.  It got HUGE. […]

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Making Rosemary Tincture

by Daisy Body Care

Continuing my tincture-making spree, I made rosemary tincture. Rosemary is an herbal powerhouse.  It contains antioxidants, known to combat free radicals. I’d heard about free radicals and antioxidants forever, but never knew quite what they were so I looked it up.  Free radicals are molecules with unstable outer layers caused by unpaired electrons.  These unstable […]

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Wonderberries

by Daisy Garden

I like novelty in the garden.  Weird stuff, in other words.  If the seed catalog makes it sound odd enough, it goes in my cart. Last year I planted wonderberries, and this year they planted themselves. Wonderberries are small, pea-sized berries grown on short, tender shrubs.  A tomato relative, they’re reminiscent in flavor of tiny, […]

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Fall Garden Planner

by Ivory Soap Garden

(EDIT 8/12/12:  The download is corrected and no longer has a year on it.) Why, oh, why did I put 2009 on that planner?  The truth is that you can use it every year.  The year doesn’t matter.  The frost date never changes.  But, the program I used to make this planner, I no longer […]

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Tomato Suckers And How NOT To Make A Video

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

Most mainstream advice on tomato care includes the recommendation to prune out tomato suckers.  Suckers are those little leaf growths (little in the beginning, anyway–they can get huge) in the axil of the tomato plant. The axil is the name for the joint where the branch meets the stem. Here’s a pic of a tomato […]

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Twelve Tips For Terrific Tomatoes

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

I know my friends up north are still getting freezing weather, but it’s tomato time here and it soon will be everywhere.  Take heart! Here’s some tomato talk to get you in the mood and ready to tom. Twelve Tips For Terrific Tomatoes 1. The royal treatment. Ever see a period piece where a chambermaid […]

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Ginseng 2012

by Daisy Garden

  In March of last year, I wrote a post about the first growth of ginseng from that winter’s planting of ginseng rootlets and seeds.  It was my first attempt to grow ginseng, and I was thrilled that the rootlets had come to life. It was a hot, dry summer, and the rootlets made a […]

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Making Motherwort Tincture

by Daisy Body Care

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) is a heavy-hitter in the medicinal plants game.  It is used, among other things, for the heart, for anxiety, and for women’s health.  You can read more about it here. I planted motherwort seeds last Spring.  They germinated and produced a few plants, which flowered and went to seed. This year, I […]

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Building a Mandala Garden

by Daisy Garden

After I started reading Toby Hemenway’s book, Gaia’s Garden, I decided I had to have a mandala garden. A mandala garden is a form of keyhole garden, which you may be more familiar with.  For those of you completely new to the concept, let me explain. A keyhole garden is a round garden bed with […]

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Planting a Cover Crop

by Daisy Garden

This is the tail end of the season to sow cover crops.  I planted the mandala garden in a mixed cover crop at the beginning of November, and a last ditch second crop on top of my hugelkultur bed last weekend. On top of all the reasons to grow cover crops, I have a secret […]

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Building a Hugelkultur Bed

by Daisy Garden

First, of course, what in the world am I talking about? Hugelkultur (from the German, hill culture) is a method of building a garden bed.  It hails from the permaculture world and means building a bed either by piling up wood and branches on the surface of the soil or digging a hole (or trench) […]

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Bacillus Thuringiensis

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

I love cole crops.  Brassicas. Of course I’m not alone.  Brassicas are considered the most important edible species out there.  Broccoli, turnips, rutabagas, mustard greens, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage.  Yum. And also of course, bugs love ’em, too.  Lepidoptera, unfortunately.  Pretty bugs.  Moths and butterflies lay eggs on the leaves of brassicas, and the […]

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Gardening with Straw Bales

by Ivory Soap Garden

Homesteader’s Supply got such a rush of questions about straw bale gardening, that they wrote us a tutorial! Something to keep in mind when considering gardening with straw bales, make sure you purchase straw and not hay bales… hay will get too hot in the composting process and will kill your plants. You can plant […]

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Make Your Own Nifty Seed Tape

by Daisy Garden

Seed tape is one of those things people have a strong opinion about.  Either you love it and think it sounds very useful, or you think:  Seriously?  Seed tape? I was one of the latter until recently when I realized how easily I could make my own seed tape, particularly for tiny, fiddly seeds.  By […]

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Summer Gardening for Everyone!

by Ivory Soap Beginner Gardens

The following is a guest post from this week’s giveaway vendor, Homesteader’s Supply! The folks at Homesteader’s Supply often work with people struggling to be more self sufficient yet constrained by job, location, physical ability and so much more. One way that many can begin this quest in self sufficiency is simply by growing some […]

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Raising Your Own Seedlings

by Ivory Soap Garden

The following is a guest post by Nev and Linda Sweeney from the wonderfully informative site Under the Choko Tree. Why bother? There are a whole stack of reasons why it is worth raising your own seedlings rather than just buying them – It’s very satisfying and fun to raise seedlings – if you like […]

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Plant a Fairy Garden

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

One of my favorite early childhood memories is searching for acorn cups for the little creatures who inhabited the imaginary world in the woods behind my house.  I dug caves for them under the moss and built “log” cabins and fences out of twigs. I won’t say how long ago that was, but I’m still […]

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How To Make a Patio Pond in a Day

by Ivory Soap Beginner Gardens

Have you had your eye on an expensive water feature for your back yard patio? Water features are a great way to add visual interest to your back yard, and can help provide a calming oasis for you and your family to relax next to after a long day. Water features, however, don’t have to […]

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How to Prune Blackberries

by Daisy Garden

Pruning holds a mystique for me.  It’s the purview of the elite, experienced horticulturist, not a bush-leaguer like me; a craft bordering on art in its extreme forms, and it scares me. My first experience with pruning, other than hacking away at overgrown hedges, was with roses.  I read all about forming a bowl shape, […]

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Harvesting Basil

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

Next to tomatoes and peppers, fresh basil is arguably the best thing about the summer garden.  We’ve been luxuriating in it.  Everything tastes better with basil in it, even dessert.  I spread some basil butter on zucchini bread and almost fell out of my chair. I planted LOTS this year and it’s time to go […]

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How to Plant an Outdoor Potted Herb Garden

by Ivory Soap Beginner Gardens

 Committing to plant placement gives me the willies.  Thankfully, my neighbor had the solution.  A potted herb garden! 1.  Gather a selection of interesting pots. 2.  Fill them almost to the top (about 4 inches shy) with potting soil. 3.  Place one perennial herb in each pot:  oregano, thyme, rosemary, chives, french tarragon, and mint are […]

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Elderberries

by Daisy Garden

Years ago, like most college students, I lived by myself in a cabin at the edge of a big woods. Let’s try again. Years ago, like most college students, I spent my summers walking along fencerows picking elderberries for homemade jam. No? Maybe that’s why none of the sororities were falling over themselves to get […]

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Potatoes Are In

by Daisy Garden

A couple of years ago I tried the potatoes in a bin method, but had no luck with it.  The plants grew fine, even blossomed well, but when I dumped them out once the plants had withered, I had only a few pitiful little potatoes to show for it.  It was a complete failure after […]

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Garden Planner for Notebooks

by Ivory Soap Beginner Gardens

I promised that I would get a Garden Journal going for my Home Management Notebook, so here it is. Garden Journal Year XLS : Calculates the dates if you enter your area frost date and tells you what to plant.  Sheet one is Spring, sheet two is Fall. Garden Journal Year PDF:  Print out of […]

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Making Lasagna Beds

by Daisy Garden

This is what I’ve let one of the best spots in my yard become.  A real shame because sun is at a real premium around here and this is one of the sunniest areas. The real reason for this neglect (besides laziness) is the soil is puny.  Gravelly, dead, sandy, weak soil. I decided the […]

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Heirloom Red Okra

by Daisy Garden

I ran into a neighbor friend at the market early this summer and she offered to bring me some red okra seeds. Of course I agreed. She walked over one day soon thereafter with an envelope with over a dozen nice round seeds.  To help them germinate I put them in ice cube trays, filled […]

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Easy as Mesclun: How to Grow Leaf Lettuce

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

I decided to do a little tutorial on how I grow salad greens after the following conversation with my husband: Me:  How much do you think this would cost in the store, a huge bowl of fresh organic mixed salad greens? Husband:  Oh, about four dollars.  But that’s without e. coli.  The e. coli will […]

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How to Grow Microgreens

by Daisy Garden

How does a crop that goes from seed to harvest in only ten days sound? If you’re an impatient gardener like me and you check your garden the day after you sow it in the secret hope that your plants have grown, oh, knee-high, then this could be just your thing. It’s microgreens.  I first […]

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FREE Spring Planting Planner!

by Ivory Soap Beginner Gardens

It’s that time again, folks!  When do I plant my beans?  When do I set out the tomatoes?  How come my spinach didn’t grow in July? I’m starting to hear those perennial questions and our FREE Spring Planner will work out all of the details for you.  It tells you when to plant each type […]

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How to Mower-Mulch Leaves

by Daisy Garden

The leaves on the lawn in my yard don’t satisfy my leaf craving, so I go trolling the curb for bags and bags of my neighbors’ leaves, too.  I’m sure I raise some eyebrows, like when I raid their cardboard on recycle day, but I can’t help it. I could (and do) put them as […]

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Marigold Insect Spray

by Daisy Garden

I can’t bring myself to pull up the giant marigold that’s hogging a good one-third of one of my best raised beds so I’m determined to get the most benefit out of it.  One of the uses for this plant is in a spray which is said to combat tomato hornworms, other leaf-cutting insects, plus […]

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Weed Killing!

by Ivory Soap Garden

We played this game last week.  Are you ready?  What do you think this is? Are you sure? You know I don’t play fair, so I’ll just tell you… It’s an herbicide drift eliminator!  Ever try to kill something lame and accidentally injure your awesome stuff?  If you’ve ever had a dog that wasn’t supposed […]

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Harvesting Coriander

by Daisy Garden

If you grow cilantro for its leaves and have never let any of it go to seed, you are missing out on Chapter 2 of this herb. Cilantro will flower (with a fragrance only its mother could love, maybe) then form seed pods. After the seeds pods have dried (in situ is recommended) gather them […]

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Quick Cucumber Supports

by Ivory Soap Garden

The friend who’s garden I’ve fluttered over for the past week really only wanted me to go do one thing.  Support her baby cukes, living almost smack dab in the middle of her bed.   So, after some thought, this is what I came up with. (Please forgive the fuzzy pic, my silly camera kept going […]

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Garlic Braiding

by Daisy Garden

It’s been a while since I harvested the garlic and the bulbs have been curing spread out on a large table on the screened porch. Today was braiding day.  Some directions say to braid right away while the leaves are still green and flexible. Some say to wait until the garlic is cured. I like […]

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Free Garden Plan: Fall/Spring Garden

by Daisy Garden

Here’s the last garden plan, for the last plantings of the season. (If you don’t know when that is for you, print out our Fall Garden Planner. Yes, it’s already time!)  This plan is still worked out according to companion planting rules, but it has more flexibility than previous plans because of the cooler weather: […]

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Free Garden Plan: Root Veggies

by Daisy Garden

The cool thing about this plan, other than the companion planting and spacing, is the use of our “tater boxes” which temporarily deepen any raised bed–allowing your to do this in a new bed next year. You will need: 1 electric drill or hammer 4 – 2×8 boards, 4ft long each 12 deck screws or […]

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Interplanting for Maximum Harvest

by Ivory Soap Garden

picture by Julie Interplanting sounds fancy, but it just means planting different things together. Like, instead of planting only corn, you planted spinach in between the corn stalks. And the corn shades heat-hating spinach from the hot summer sun. That would be the planned version. Mine and TL’s version of interplanting is better categorized as […]

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How to Grow Healthy Tomatoes

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

Start reading about tomato pests and diseases and you begin to wonder how any tomato ever makes it at all. After weeks of episodic rain my tomato plants are growing like kudzu, but I noticed something this morning that sent me looking for fungicide recipes: yellowing around large brown spots on the lower leaves of […]

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Succession Planting Planner

by Daisy Garden

SUCCESSION PLANTING is the term gardeners use to refer to planting something else in place when a previous crop is all finished. To pull this off effectively, you need a few things: 1. A diagram of your garden with zones marked off and numbered/lettered/named for old boyfriends, whatever…The one above is of four of my […]

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Easy Organic Garden Plant Food

by Daisy Garden

picture from Tomatocasual.com Sometimes our plants go yellow. Or brown on the leaf edges. Or just generally unhappy in a well-watered, pest-free, yet-some-how-still-unhappy way. The plant is probably hungry. You can go CRAZY trying to figure out if it’s missing calcium, magnesium, nitrogen, what-have you, OR you can just use this: Veggie Plant Food (Enough […]

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Easy Organic Garden Bug Repellant

by Daisy Garden

See those aphids? They killed that plant. But I mixed up some voodoo and I haven’t seen one since. Allium Tea 6 cloves garlic 1 onion 1qt warm water 3T liquid soap* (not detergent) Buzz first three in blender. Add soap. Steep overnight and strain. Spray directly on bugs as a killer or use in […]

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Free Garden Plan: Squash Garden

by Daisy Garden

Gourds (squash, cucumbers, zucchini) are one of the few families that play well with other members of their own family. However, squash get the worst bugs imaginable: Squash Vine Borers and Squash Beetles. (That’s why they’re not in my Beginner Garden Plan at all.) So, placement of beneficial plants is VERY IMPORTANT. I don’t care […]

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Free Garden Plan: Beginner Garden in a Day

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

When I first started gardening, I had no idea what to plant, where to plant it, or what grew well with what! So, for you beginners, we’re going to skip all that and just give you a recipe. It’s all worked out for maximizing your companion plants and all that good stuff, so relax and […]

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Companion Planting Made Easy-ish: Part 3 of 3

by Daisy Garden

As we’ve said before, companion planting is like seating your guests at the wedding reception. 1. Members of the same family shouldn’t be seated together. 2. Hatfields and McCoys must be kept across the room from each other. Today, we cover Rule 3: Sometimes, somebody dated someone else’s sister and it ended very badly, so […]

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Companion Planting Made Easy-ish: Part 2 of 3

by Daisy Garden

We’ve already covered Rule One: Separate Family Members. If you missed that one, you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention a particular plant family. So go back now. Learning this stuff for each and every species will make your ears bleed. Seriously. In this part we cover Rule Two: Separate Hatfields […]

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Companion Planting Made Easy-ish: Part 1 of 3

by Daisy Garden

When I was describing all of this to TL, she made a wise remark. Companion planting is just like planning the seating at your wedding reception. 1. Too many members of the same family shouldn’t be seated together. 2. Hatfields and McCoys must be kept across the room from each other. 3. Sometimes somebody dated […]

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How to Hide Edibles in Your Front Yard

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

Edible Landscaping, when you have a homeowners association, is all about distraction. When you look at the above picture, do you see my crops? Would you notice them if I hadn’t told you? That’s what I’m talking about. Behind my pansies, behind the fence, is fifty strawberry plants and five asparagus in a mulch bed […]

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Super Bloomer Mini Shade Garden

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

Meet Johnny Jump Up. He’s an old fashioned favorite viola-family-type thing. But I like him because he’s the first face I see in the spring and he self-seeds like a maniac. He has my front door looking uber-cute about five minutes before spring officially even starts. Which is important because none of the plants at […]

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How to Plant Blueberry Bushes

by Daisy Garden

The blueberry plants arrived! I wanted to get them in the ground ASAP so I followed the planting instructions and here’s what they told me to do: 1. Dig a 2-foot by 2-foot hole. I admit I fudged a little and the holes were more like 18″X18″. A 2-foot hole is a LOT of dirt […]

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Ever-Blooming Flower Beds

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

I have developed my own formula for year-round flower bed gorgeousness. 1. Bedding plants up front. LOTS. You can buy them(expensive) or start them indoors from seed, but two shifts of annual bedding plants are the cornerstone of a ‘showy from outer space’ flower bed. I like pansies blooming from October to May and I […]

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Pickles and Printable: Stretching Your Seed Stash

by Daisy Garden

Some folks collect and store their own seeds. Some folks buy and store their seeds. But, what you do not want to do is buy new seed every year if you don’t have to, right? And most of the seed you buy this season can be kept for 3-5 years! Materials Needed: TBSP dry milk […]

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How to Grow Happy Seedlings

by Daisy Garden

You have your seeds. You start them indoors in little pots under a grow light at the right time. Seeds are germinating. Everything’s going great. Then for some unknown and awful reason precious seedlings start to keel over at soil level and die like a tiny logger has gone to work on your future garden. […]

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