Beginner Gardens

Tulsi (Sacred Basil)

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

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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Should I Let My Asparagus Form Seeds?

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

They’re pretty, but should I strip them off? I planted male hybrid asparagus but apparently some females crept in somehow and I have seeds.  Some sources say the seeds sap the strength from the plants and should be removed. Actually, they say the entire plant, having proven her femininity by bearing fruit, needs to be […]

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Row Cover Flop

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

I installed row covers over several beds because the seedlings of my fall/winter crops were getting eaten by bugs, dug up by cats, and stolen by fairies. I pounded 12″ segments of rebar into the ground and curved 1″ pvc plumbing pipe over them. Then I sewed rod pockets on either side of floating row […]

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Mulch Mountain II: PU

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

Just when the original mulch mountain was starting to look less mountainous, along came its successor: Mulch Mountain II. I drove by a tree trimmer doing work in the neighborhood and stopped to see if he wanted to get rid of a few chips. Soon after, this is what happened: “It’s a LOT,” he said. […]

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Summer’s Greatest Hits

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

As reluctant as I am to admit it, it’s almost time to start being nostalgic about summer and start pretending to enjoy the advent of fall. Can I live without spiced cider and cozy mittens? Yes. Yes, I can. There’s a reason for all those homey treats: to keep our fingers from falling off our […]

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How to Plant Bearded Irises

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

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 Beginner Gardens

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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New Garden Spot Progress

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

A few weeks ago I showed the new garden area made possible by a storm which took out a large tree. Since then, I removed two of three nandina bushes and severely trimmed back the winter honeysuckle. I added more grass clippings and leaves. More to come. And built up a center bed where I’ll […]

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Planting the Fall/Winter Garden

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

At the beginning of August I started sowing one row per week of beets, carrots, endive, and parsnips. I’ll continue with these through September, or until I run out of room, except for the carrots, which keep getting planted until the first week of November. In a week, I’ll start successive sowings of winter hardy […]

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New Garden Spot

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

You may remember when this happened:       A storm brought this tree down and it had to be removed.  The tree removal company shredded the tree (most of it) into chips and we asked them to dump them on site.  Mulch Mountain was born. The stump was ground up, too, leaving this on […]

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Hairy Bittercress

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

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 Beginner Gardens

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 Beginner Gardens

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 Beginner Gardens

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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Starting the Spring Garden

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

It’s raining today, a good excuse to stay inside and write. We probably needed this rain. I’ve planted carrots and beets and so of course the top surface of the soil needs to stay moist until they’ve germinated and sent down long roots. I’ve been watering them with rain barrel water carried in a watering […]

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Propagating From Cuttings

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

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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Compost-Along: Week 8

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

When I first started my compost for this compost-along, things got real smelly real fast.  I put so many activators in there my husband remarked it smelled like the circus was in town, IN our yard.  He was right.  It was rank.  I’ve never had a stinky compost pile before, but I’ve also never had […]

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Compost-Along: Week 7

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

This week, turn your compost. This is WORK! Why are we doing this again?? To revisit why we are going to all this trouble, I thought we’d take a look at some of the benefits of composting to keep our spirits up. Composting: Conditions and improves soil structure.  This means it turns imperfect soils (sandy, […]

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Compost-Along: Week 6

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

As you may have suspected by now, your task this week is again to TURN your compost. Add water as needed to the dry spots.  Remember: “wrung-out sponge.” It’s very hot here now, so I will only turn very early in the morning or after the sun has gone down, and with plenty of water […]

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Compost-Along: Week 4

by Daisy Beginner Gardens

To catch everyone up, so far we’ve made decisions about our bins and compostable materials, assembled the bins and materials, and layered our materials in our bins.  We’ve made sure every layer was well-moistened and tried our best to achieve a good balance between browns and greens. We may or may not have peed on […]

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