Beginner Gardens

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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Chokeberry: The Next Superfood?

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

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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Juneberry

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

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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Rooting Strawberry Runners in In-Ground Cells

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

  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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Straw (wo)Man

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

While I was on a walk yesterday I made the discovery of an intact bale of straw put out for curb collection. Naturally I hurried home to get the station wagon to pick up my new friend. I stopped the car and got out, ready to grab him and run. When I bent down to […]

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Dirt Cheap Date

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

I don’t know if this would have been true of me as a young single, but nowadays all it takes to make my heart go pitter patter is to say the words compost + sifter.  Actually, just compost will do. Especially finished compost. Smelling salts, please, and a fan. This weekend I got together with […]

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Got To Be Starting Something

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

When I was growing up in the country we had pit bull dogs. They were good dogs and they loved to play tug o’ war. I would get a stout piece of rope with a knot on each end and the pup would take one knot and I’d take the other and he would nearly […]

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Olive’s First Winter

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

  After seeing an olive tree at the local botanic garden, I bought a small tree of my own and gave her a place of honor at the center of the main garden. I picked an Arbequina olive tree, a Spanish variety that is self-fertile, fruits early (2-4 years), and is considered cold-hardy. It has […]

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Backyard Orchard Culture

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

This year, like every year, I caved in to the desire to buy more plants, edible plants. I believed that between the time I ordered them and the time they arrived for their dormant season planting, new sunny places in my yard would appear to welcome them. There would be a special dimension, a wrinkle […]

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I May Have Grown & Eaten a Parsnip

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

It’s also possible I grew and ate something else, in which case it has been great knowing all of you. You may ask how I could do such a thing? How could I grow something and not know what it is AND how could I eat something without knowing what it was? The answer to […]

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