Beginner Gardens

Fruit Bagging Experiment Results

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

A while back, I decided to try bagging one of the three Asian pears my tree successfully produced this year. I wanted to see if it made any difference in pest damage prevention. Here are the results: This is the unbagged pear: There’s no internal damage, no worms burrowing, but I see some superficial damage, […]

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Bagging For Bug-Free Fruit

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

Did you know you could keep the birds and the bees and still have no spots on your apples? Fruit bagging is an age-old practice in Japanese orchards. After the fruit clusters have been thinned, bags are carefully placed around the remaining fruit as soon as they are big enough to resemble fruit, when they’re […]

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Bug Defense Cage From Old Window Screens

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

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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Gearing Up For Fall, Fingers Crossed

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

I’m very insecure about my fall gardening game. Whenever I’ve had a good fall/winter garden, it’s been largely by accident. Yay! I’m eating spinach in December! How did that happen? The trouble with accidental success is that it’s very hard to recreate. I often think what I really needed to become a confident gardener was […]

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I’m Being Overtaken By Weeds

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

Great garden weather and all. But it also means great weed weather. When the phone repairman was here, he briefly considered digging a trench to put in a whole new underground line all the way to the house and looked down a long bed between the back fence and a row of espalier where the […]

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Sunflower Fort Update

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

It seems like yesterday when I planted this sunflower fort, but it was really only mid April. Less than 2 months later, the sunflowers have grown up over my head. With the tropical-like rains we’ve had, interspersed with plenty of sun, all the plants in the garden have taken off like rockets. In the sunflower […]

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Lately Around the Farm

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

  It’s been a practically perfect spring for gardening. Plenty of rain, but not too much rain except for about a week there when we wondered if we should start looking for a source for gopher wood. Everything is blooming or fruiting, so I took some pictures of the garden with the glow of spring […]

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Carrot Woes and Wins

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

First for the win: I have delicious carrots! I have dozens of beautiful carrots, all in a row. I used seed tape, store-bought this time, although you can make your own. I kept them watered, almost daily, which I think is the secret, along with loose, rich soil and a relatively cool, long spring growing […]

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I Didn’t Know I Could Grow: Pomegranates

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

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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Fall Gardening Follies

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

I readily confess to mixed success with fall/winter gardening. In fact, most of my successes have been accidental. One winter we had greens such as lettuce, mache, and spinach practically year-round. Thing is, I’m not quite sure how I did it. A garden journal would help, surely, but I stink at journaling, garden or otherwise. […]

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New Potato Harvest

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

For pure, childlike, visceral pleasure, no garden task beats digging potatoes. You stick a fork in loamy soil and tight-skinned, waxy nuggets of red and tan and gold and maybe even blue pop out and spill onto the surface. They dangle like baubles when lifted by the plants and roll onto the soft dirt. I […]

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Trench Composting: I’m Sold, See What You Think

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

When I first tried trench composting; that is, digging a trench, filling it with compostables, and covering it up, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if I would have trouble with varmints. I did have some minor digging, but that was solved by planting a little deeper. I also didn’t know if […]

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More Trench Composting And An Update

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

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 Beginner Gardens

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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Spring Garden Plans

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

With the recent snow all but completely melted, I hope to be back in the actual garden very soon. It’s been a very wet March so far, over 2.5 inches in the first week, so the soil is completely saturated. Once it’s adequately dried out so I can dig into it, I have plans to […]

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Scary

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

Boo. In an attempt to prevent the loss of the peach and plum buds which were just starting to swell, I inadvertently created a couple of ridiculous ghosts in the backyard yesterday. In what can only be described as a random act of horticultural cruelty it went down to 9 degrees FOR ONE NIGHT. It’s […]

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New Strawberry Bed

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

Of all the typical calamities that befall strawberry beds: birds, squirrels, slugs, drought (and I’ve had all of those), it was unexpected to say the least when an electrical transformer exploded over mine and doused it with dielectric fluid just as the strawberries were getting ready to pick. But I was more determined than ever […]

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Yahooo! Oyster Mushrooms!

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

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 Beginner Gardens

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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Easy Blueberry Bush Bird Protection

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

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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