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Build Your Garden With Lumber Leftovers

Serious and amateur gardeners alike have needs for some structures in their gardens. Sure you can go out and buy what you need, but where's the fun in that? Scrap wood you have laying around might work perfectly well. One easy project, a coldframe, can be built with bales of hay and scrap lumber. Enclose the outside areas with bales of hay. Fill the center with dirt, leaving room for your plants to grow. Put together a clear top with old, framed windows or scrap lumber and glass to let the sunlight in. Now you have a working coldframe that will extend your growing season. Birds and bunnies, as cute as they are, will dig up your seeds or chomp on your leaves and vegetables. Scrap wood and some netting will work nicely as a screen to protect your fruit and vegetables while still letting the sun in. Peas and beans need support and a trellis built out of wood posts or bamboo sticks will support either of them. A wood trellis or tepee in your garden also looks nice and certainly more natural that what you can ...

 


How to Choose the Best Greenhouse

The mere thought of a greenhouse puts a smile on many a face. Greenhouses mean warmth and green growing vegetables, herbs or flowers. Being in a greenhouse makes us want to just putter around and relax. We’re watching healthy plant life grow and it’s very satisfying. When considering adding a greenhouse to your garden, the first question you should ask yourself is why? Why do you want one? Explore your reasons and decide if they’re enough to go ahead and make it a reality. What do you want to do with the greenhouse? Do you have a single purpose or multi-purpose? Is it strictly for starting seeds or do you wish to winter-over tropical fruit trees? Do you also want to have an area to relax and look at seed catalogs in the winter? How about extending the growing season of your crops? Or do you want to grow things year round? Keep in mind some uses don’t work together due to either space requirements or climate needs. You might need a “hot” greenhouse or a “cold...

 


Garden-Grown Herbal Remedies

It’s no secret that herbal supplements can be great for your health. They’ve been used for centuries to heal the human body both inside and out. In fact, you may be growing herbs in your garden and not even realize the power they hold. If you’re thinking of planting a healing herb garden, there are a few easy-to-start-with herbs to consider planting: Dandelion. The flowers and roots can be used for many ailments and overall better health. The flowers are generally eaten or made into tea. You can add them to salad, soups or eat raw. They are tasty and contain potassium, beta-carotene and vitamins A and C. Roots and stems contain a creamy substance that can be squeezed out and used for skin issues. Rub it over a bee sting to take away the pain as well as cuts and scrapes. It is a natural acne treatment and can remove warts when applied directly to the affected area several times a day until gone. While dandelion is generally considered safe, you should be aware that some peopl are ...

 


The Master Gardener Program

Gardening is a very popular hobby in both the United States and Canada. The Master Gardner program offers intense home horticulture training to people who love gardening and are willing to use their expertise to teach others how to create gardens and grow flowers or vegetables. Most states provide regionally-specific advice to help new gardeners with their decorative gardens or help gardeners who are intent on growing fresh vegetables for the family dinner table. The Master Gardener program is a volunteer program administered by each state’s land grant college. There is a wide variation in the opportunities and rules for enrollment in the Master Gardener program. Each state runs different programs and is supposed to be supervised by the local Extension Agent, if there is one. Often there isn’t an agent to supervise and there is a large difference in content, price and agent involvement. Each agent runs the Master Gardening program differently, some are very involved, others aren't. Some Mast...

 


Getting New Plants? Consider These Tips

Spring fever hits and when you look around your garden, you decide it’s sorely lacking. What do you do? Take your garden dreams and your pocketbook over to your local nursery, of course. But before you fall in love with and adopt a new plant, there are some things to consider first. Have you seen this plant in yards around where you live? Just because the nursery carries it doesn’t mean it’s ideally suited for your climate. The easiest way to check is to look around. If you’ve seen it thriving around town, it might be a good fit for your yard too. If the plant has passed the first test, the next should be whether the plant is a perennial or annual. Perennials stay put and annuals only last a year (or season). If you live in a warm climate year round, some annuals might last over the winter and into another year. Otherwise, consider the life cycle of the plant along with your needs and desires. Assuming we’re dealing with perennials, it’s time to consider the siz...

 


How to Include More Stone in Your Landscaping

Landscaping with stone, or stonescaping, has many uses. Not only can using stone for your hardscapes serve a practical purpose, it can also add much beauty and interest to your yard. Dry stacked or mortared, real stone or faux rocks, here are some ideas for you to implement: Path - This is one of the most obvious uses when you think of stone, but you're not limited to one stone after the other. Patterns and colors can all come into play to make it original. Bench - One solid slab on a strong base gives you an instant bench. Tuck it in the trees for an element of surprise. Outdoor Kitchen - This can be built with stacked flagstone or perhaps river stone on the face of it. However it's done, the beauty will be as pleasing as the kitchen's function. Patio Area - Again, you can choose from many designs and stone to make your patio interesting. Have fun with it. Retaining Wall - Create a half wall for your needs and have the added benefit of another area for people to sit. Fireplace - Fireplaces are not just...

 


10 (Funny) Rules of Gardening

Spring is just on the horizon and many of you are reading gardening magazines and dreaming of building a garden that will make the neighbors believe you know what you are doing. The forces of nature are your true enemies, regardless of how you carefully build your flower and vegetable beds. As much as you care about your seedlings and baby plants, you will start believing an evil force is plotting against you. Gardening Rule #1... No matter what you do, it will be wrong! It's not your fault though. How were you to know it would snow in May? Or that a drought would stricken the land this summer while your sprinkler is busted? Gardening is about woulda, coulda, shoulda… in hindsight. Gardening Rule #2... Plant your seeds in the spring. And watch them get washed three houses down the street when the 10-year downpour settles in. Try it again, with the same results. Third time is a charm. Maybe. Gardening Rule #3... Plant your corn inside a chain link fence to keep the deer from eating the corn faster ...

 


The Benefits of Keeping a Garden Journal

Every gardener knows each year's garden is not like the last. Sometimes it's incredibly better and sometimes - not so much. But it's always different. It seems as if you and your garden are on a journey. So why not record the adventure? Not only does journaling give you information on what you've done each season so you don't have to try and remember what you planted when and how much, it's like a diary that tells your story. It also gives you something to look at other than seed catalogs during the long winter months. So what should go in your journal? Anything you want. Start off with pencil sketching a diagram of what you're planting this season. Then next year you can refer back to your sketch and change things around so you don't plant the same things in the same spots. Rotation planting is good for your soil. However you want to do it, spreadsheet or otherwise, record what you've planted, seedlings or seeds, how many, the date, where you planted them, etc. I like to make my journal more visual an...

 


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