Urban Gardening Ideas for Small Spaces

I am always wishing I had more space in my backyard for gardening. In reality, the 1/3 of an acre that we own could do so much more for me than it actually does. People living in urban areas have it tougher than me! Outdoor space is typically very limited for those living in the city, but there are many urban gardening ideas for small spaces that will allow you to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh, healthy, organic and delicious produce can be grown even in the smallest of spaces with these plant growing tips. I will include a few … [Read more...]

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 Garden Step One:  Find Seed Potatoes!  For your first attempt … [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 the … [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...]

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. Toads eat garden pests like the dreaded hornworm caterpillar and squash beetles that like to attack my garden. Learn how to attract toads and you will have significantly fewer garden pests! But, can you just stick out a toad house with a for rent sign and hope they show up? Not … [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 for … [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 would … [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, it … [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...]

How to Keep Animals Out of the Garden

Last week I was thrilled to discover a bunny in the backyard. The dog was LESS than thrilled but I think they are adorable! After almost a month of living with the bunny, however, I am ready for him to move on to the neighbor's yard! He has eaten half of every snow pea he can reach, has cleared the blackberries from the lower half of the bushes and is eating my hot pepper plants. Not the peppers...the actual PLANTS! Took me a while to figure out why the darn things weren't getting any bigger despite all the rain and sun! I love my little bunny … [Read more...]

5 Edible Flowers for Your Backyard Garden

Edible flowers are a great way to add a burst of color to your food. A bright yellow blossom in your salad or a soft purple bud on your soup can really make your meal visually appealing. What do flowers taste like? Well, they all taste just a tad bit different, depending on what you plant and when you pick it. Primarily I find that a soft, earthy flavor predominates, sometimes with a touch of spiciness to it. You are really just adding a visual pop to your dish, not a ton of flavor. Edible flowers are not always appealing to dinner guests but … [Read more...]

Use These 10 Foods in Your Organic Garden!

I have had my plants and seeds in the ground for a month now and I am already beyond frustrated with this years organic garden. Two weeks of rain has the basil looking spotty, the leaves falling off the pepper plants and holes in the rhubarb leaves where the slugs have been feasting. Organic gardening is healthy for us and the environment but it is not always easy. Mother's Day will be spent out in the back yard weeding, replanting, and attempting some natural pest control. Yes, I plan on spending Mother's Day in the garden....my favorite spot … [Read more...]

Save the Pollinators with a Honeybee Watering Station in the Garden!

The honeybee population is declining at an alarming rate. This does not bode well for people who like to eat food. In order for farmers to grow food and for that food to end up on store shelves, we need bees. There are lots of ways to help save the pollinators. One of the best ideas is to plant things in your yard. Whether you enjoy planting bright flowers or tasty vegetables, plant something this spring and do your part to save the pollinators (and ourselves!) from extinction! Plant bee-friendly flowers and avoid chemical pesticides. Honeybees … [Read more...]

Easy DIY Garden Markers Spoons

A few months ago I went on a bit of a thrift store shopping spree and found a package of about 30 metal spoons for only $3. Who could resist such a deal, right? I could stop worrying about my kids losing the spoons I put in their lunchbox and have plenty of them left over for a few spoon crafts. I decided that with spring coming I would make these DIY garden markers spoons to keep track of the things I plant in the garden. I have a horrible memory and I find that those little plastic markers that come in the pots from the nursery always seem to … [Read more...]

How to Grow Thyme in a Backyard Herb Garden and What to do with it!

One of the things I love most about spring is planting my backyard herb garden. Yes, gardening is a lot of work. Yes, there are bugs, dirt and sweat involved. And yes, you will probably break at least one nail. But there is honestly nothing more satisfying than going outside and picking a few edible things right from your yard. A backyard herb garden is an incredibly frugal way to improve your cooking! Honestly, the little packages of fresh herbs in the produce section are ridiculously priced and dried herbs just don't taste or look the same as … [Read more...]