Growing Annuals in Pots: Follow These Tips for Beautiful Flowers

After a late freeze and some very chilly rain, the sun is finally out again and I think spring has actually arrived. I have started buying some herbs and a few seed packets and am looking forward to getting my hands dirty.  Since I want to add a pop of color to my porch and patio, I am growing annuals in pots.  There are a wide variety of flower types to choose from at the nursery this year.  I chose a few edible pansies but am also planning on adding a few more as the weather warms up.  If you want to start growing annuals, here are a few tips … [Read more...]

How to Grow Potatoes in the Garden

Many years ago I decided to learn how to grow potatoes in the garden mainly because it sounded like a unique thing to do and I stumbled across them at the nursery one spring. Potatoes are incredibly versatile and cheap so they are a fairly common kitchen staple in my house.  You can grow a wide variety of potatoes depending on what you come across at the right time.    If you want to learn to grow potatoes in your own garden, here are a few simple step! How to Grow Potatoes in the GardenStep One:  Find Seed Potatoes!  For your first … [Read more...]

Indoor Seed Starting Tips for Home Gardening

I have learned over the years that there are some plants that I can grow from seed and others that I just can't.  Starting your home gardening experience from seed has a lot of benefits.  I decided to start researching a few indoor seed starting tips to get a head start on planting season. It is MUCH cheaper to start growing your own food from seed than it is to have to buy your plants as seedlings from the nursery.  You also have a much greater variety to choose from, including many heirloom and organic seed types.  When you buy plants from … [Read more...]

What to Plant in November, both inside AND outside!

Wondering what to plant in November?  Or are you convinced that these cold, dreary days mean the end to your gardening addiction?  While it is true that most gardening comes to an abrupt halt once the chilly days and near freezing nights of fall roll around, there are still a few things you can plant.  Some of these items should be grown inside but others can be sowed out in the ground to ensure an early spring crop of food as soon as the snow starts to melt.  Here are just a few things to plant in November, both in the house and out in the … [Read more...]

How to Prepare Your Garden for Winter

Wondering how to prepare your garden for winter? If your garden has been under as much stress this summer as mine has been, it's ready for a long nap!  Bugs, heat, drought and an assortment of other things have really stressed out my garden this year.  By pampering my garden beds this winter, I am hoping that next spring I will have soil that is raring to go and ready to provide me with a few delicious ingredients for my kitchen.  If you are done with your last growing season (we still have another month to go here in the south!) here are a few … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Preserve Hot Peppers for Spicy Meals All Year Long!

As we move into late August, the heat loving plants are thriving and I am looking for ways to preserve hot peppers.  In late spring I planted many different varieties of these spicy little buggers...jalapenos, habaneros, seranos and many more.  Of course, I couldn't just plane ONE of each of these varieties...oh no!  I had to plant at least two of everything I bought.  Which means that as we head into late summer and early fall I now have so many hot peppers I don't even know what to do with them all.  For months I have been giving them to … [Read more...]

Creative Uses for Eucalyptus Leaves for Home and Health

I have a serious problem.  One that has me looking for uses for eucalyptus leaves and considering buying a koala bear.  What is this problem I speak of?  Well, I can't seem to go into a garden nursery without buying every weird plant that I come across!  Seriously.  One year I bought tarragon even though we had never used tarragon before. And apparently it is a perennial and now I have enough tarragon to outfit a small nation.  Well, last year I bought a eucalyptus plant and now I am wondering what to do with eucalyptus leaves.  Because … [Read more...]

How to Attract Toads to the Garden and Why You Want Them There!

I bet you are asking yourself why in the world you want to attract toads to the garden, right?  If you love growing your own food, you really need to keep reading to find out!  We have a TON of toads in the garden and I am thrilled that they call my back yard home.  I remember a day not too long ago that my teenage son was mowing the back lawn.  I listened to the sound of the mower running for a few minutes, then it would stop.  A few minutes it would start again and run for a bit and then stop again.  I wondered if maybe he was having lawn … [Read more...]

Tips for Using Diatomaceous Earth in the Garden

Have you ever tried using diatomaceous earth in the garden? This weekend I spent hours out in the backyard planting a few seeds and plants from the nursery.  Then, I came inside and ordered a bag of diatomaceous earth so I can start using it in the garden as soon as possible.  You know why?  Because every year I lose my zucchini plants to squash bugs! I generally stick to organic gardening and use absolutely nothing on my garden plants.  However, that often means that my hard work is ruined by squash bugs and tomato hornworm caterpillars. This … [Read more...]

How to Preserve Fresh Herbs for Maximum Flavor

If you are wondering how to preserve fresh herbs, you have probably figured out that they taste SO much better than the stuff you get in your grocery store.  Not to mention that preserving fresh herbs saves you a TON of money.  When I went to the nursery 2 weeks ago, I picked up several fresh herbs for the garden.  Each plant cost me about $3.00, give or take a little based on variety and size.  That one tiny pot will not only provide fresh herbs to use this summer but will also provide so much extra that I will need to start preserving herbs … [Read more...]

Eco Friendly Garden Ideas to Help Save the Planet

With the onset of warm weather, I am finally able to get out into the back yard and do a bit of planting. I am always looking for eco friendly garden ideas while I browse through my local nursery.   This weekend I hit the garden center and bought a ton of plants, some fertilizer and a few new pots.  I chose plants not treated with neonicotinoids to help protect the bees, organic fertilizers made from natural substances and clay pots rather than plastic.  Gardening can be fun but the way you choose to do it plays a huge part in your carbon … [Read more...]

DIY Mason Bee House to Help Save the Pollinators!

This DIY mason bee house is my attempt at attracting more pollinators to my yard and providing them a save place to feed and reproduce.  I had never heard the term 'mason bee' before, but once I checked them out on Wikipedia I knew what they were.  They are named from their habit of making compartments of mud in their nests, which are made in hollow reeds or holes in wood made by an assortment of bugs.  Basically, instead of hives, like traditional honey bees, mason bees lay their eggs in hollow twigs.  This diy mason bee house was incredibly … [Read more...]

Spring Gardening Tips: Preparing Your Garden for Planting

I realize that it's barely March, but here in Georgia spring comes early.  I already see dandelions popping up and my crocuses have been blooming for weeks.  I have been searching the web for some spring gardening tips to ensure that I have at least a little bit of success with this season's plantings.  I am a GREAT planter but not always such a good grower so I need all the help I can get.  I spent an hour or two outside last week preparing my garden beds for a new crop and thought I would share a few of my spring gardening tips with you.  I … [Read more...]

How to Grow Lettuce in the Garden

If you love a delicious salad or enjoy some greenery on your sandwich, you need to learn how to grow lettuce in the garden.  Sure, you may think it's still winter but spring will be here before you know it.  Lettuce loves cool weather and if you wait too long to plant lettuce in the garden, the weather will be too hot once the plant reaches maturity.  Hot days mean wilted lettuce and that is not tasty at all.  Lettuce is incredibly versatile and can be used in a lot of different ways.  Unfortunately, when I buy lettuce from the grocery store, … [Read more...]

Winter Bird Feeding Tips for Happy and Healthy Backyard Birds

Winter bird feeding can be a bit more work than just throwing out a bit of seed for them like you do in the spring.  Winter is hard for all backyard birds and providing them with winter bird seed can help make their lives a tad bit easier.  Backyard bird feeding during the fall and winter will usually attract a whole different variety of birds to your yard than you do during the spring.  Since most birds fly south during the colder weather, you may very well get to see migrating birds that you have never seen before. If you enjoy backyard bird … [Read more...]

8 Plants that Bloom in Winter

In most areas of the country, winter is rather dreary.  A look out your window usually shows a collection of greys, browns, tans and other drab colors.  Maybe your yard is blanketed with white snow and the sun is hidden by a thick blanket of clouds.  It's a far cry from the reds, yellows and greens that we see during the spring and summer.  However, winter doesn't have to be completely without color.  There are many plants that bloom in winter that can add vibrant colors to your back yard. Winter plants can perk up your spirits on an otherwise … [Read more...]

Fall Vegetable Gardening: 5 Things To Plant Now

You probably look outside and see an abundance of tomatoes and cucumbers in your summer garden. However, August is fast approaching and we need to start thinking about fall vegetable gardening in the next few weeks.  A fall garden needs to be prepared just like any other season.  You need to clean out dead plants, fertilize the soil, and decide what to plant for maximum yield. Check out the Farmers Almanac for the last plant dates for each item in your fall garden and then start planning!  Here are a few things to plant if you would like to … [Read more...]

10 Summer Garden Projects You Need to do NOW!

This summer garden project post has been sponsored by Mode but all opinions expressed here are my own.One of the things I love most about living in the south is that the garden season lasts so long.  We begin planting in March and can actually harvest produce all the way through late October and sometimes even later.  With essentially 3 seasons in which to garden, I spend a lot of time outside!  Each season has it's own garden chores to tackle.  Spring means getting the soil ready and planting.  Fall is the season to harvest the last of the … [Read more...]

Tips to Improve Your Garden Photography for Instagram

Gardening in an interesting combination of exercise, food growing, and phycological cleansing.  There is something almost therapeutic about digging in the dirt with the sun shining on your face. Yes, there are bugs. Yes, you get dirty and sweaty. And yes, the day after you plant,  your entire body aches like you went 10 rounds with a sumo wrestler. But when you see those beautiful flowers blooming, your cucumber vines winding up the trellis, and the dew glistening on the tips of your basil plant, you will realize your hard work has paid off a … [Read more...]