Beginner Gardens

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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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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