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.  You can still do a bit of November gardening but it is getting time to hunker down for a long cold snap!This … [Read more...]

Growing Your Own Garlic Starts in the Fall!

The last time I was at my local farmer's market, I noticed that there were huge heads of elephant garlic for sale.  I bought several of them since we use so much of it in our daily cooking.  The farmer said that the garlic was not only great for eating but also for growing your own garlic right in the garden.  I tried growing garlic a few years ago along with several other cool weather crops but never got it to grow very big.  I'm hoping that I can plant my own garlic again this year with better luck and save myself some money at the grocery … [Read more...]

10 Summer Garden Projects You Need to do NOW!

I know it's incredibly hot out there but there are a ton of summer garden projects that could be done this month!  Each season has its own garden chores to tackle.  Spring means getting the soil ready and planting.  Fall is the season to harvest the last of the summer produce and clean up the garden beds.  And summer...the summer garden offers a LOT of opportunities to get your hands dirty!  If you are wondering what sort of summer garden projects to tackle this month, here is a list of things to add to your to do list!This post contains … [Read more...]

Grass Cutting Tips for a Green and Healthy Lawn

With the heat of summer in full force and lots of regular rainfall, our grass is growing incredibly fast.  I have started looking for a few grass cutting tips to keep our lawn as healthy as possible. Without a healthy lawn, the constant downpours cause erosion in my backyard.  The grass also keeps the dog from tracking in dirt regularly so proper lawn care is essential.  I don't like to add a lot of chemicals to my lawn and always look for natural lawn care tips first to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals.  If you are passionate about having … [Read more...]

Mint Growing Tips and 5 Uses for Fresh Mint When it Takes Over the Garden

Many years ago, my husband and I started growing mint in the back yard.  I thought I would share a few mint growing tips with you because this stuff is incredibly useful to have around! Over the last few years, I have found some really creative uses for fresh mint to try to use it all up.   You really don't  need much of a green thumb to get started growing your own mint.  In fact, once you put the plant in the ground, you will probably find that it takes over the garden bed quite easily!  But, for those of you without a green thumb, I thought … [Read more...]

Square Foot Gardening Tips for Maximum Yield

Growing more food in less space is the wave of future gardening. Using the square foot gardening method is simple and allows for maximum produce yield in minimal space. This gardening technique also enhances produce flavor, reduces water usage and reduces the amount of work for the home gardener. Utilize these square foot gardening tips for maximum yield in your home garden this growing season and enjoy a bountiful harvest.This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through a link on this site, we receive a small … [Read more...]

Vine Growing Tips for Your Garden Landscape

My husband and I have some rather ambitious plans for the backyard next year.  There is a tree that needs to come down and in its place, we are considering some sort of wooden structure covered with vines to provide a shaded seating area.  I have started reading up on vine growing tips so that I know what I want to plant and how to ensure that they don't take over the rest of the yard. Have you considered adding vines into your landscaping?   They can be used in a variety of different ways throughout the yard and can help create a striking … [Read more...]

Best Natural Weed Control and a New Way to Look at Weeds!

I have been spending quite a bit of time out in the yard for the last few weeks now that spring is finally here. The grass is growing like gangbusters, the garden plants are in their beds and there are tons of projects that need tending to.  One thing that I absolutely HATE doing is dealing with weeds.  Of course, since I refuse to spray them all with chemicals,  I am left searching for the best natural weed control methods I can find. This usually involve pulling them out by hand and swearing a lot!  It's hard work but it does work!This … [Read more...]

How to Keep Snails out of the Garden

For years, I have grown rhubarb in my backyard.  And for just as long, I have been fighting a snail problem in my garden.  Seriously...I don't know what it is about rhubarb that seems to draw snails like flies to honey!    I have been trying to figure out how to keep snails out of the garden so that I can actually EAT the produce that I spend time growing.  If you are battling a snail problem in your own garden, here are a few simple ways to keep them under control this summer. How to Keep Snails out of the GardenThis post contains … [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 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 if you want to try fall gardening.  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, … [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...]

Creative Uses for Lemon Balm When it Takes Over Your Garden!

Several years ago I decided I wanted to grow lemon balm.  Great idea, right?  Well, now I am constantly looking for new uses for lemon balm because the stuff is growing like a weed and taking over the back of my house.  Seriously.  Why can't I get my cucumbers and squash to grow like this?   Growing lemon balm might have been a great idea but it requires near-daily maintenance to make sure it stays where I put it.  If you have a ton of lemon balm in your own yard, here are a few things I have found so far to do with it. Creative Uses for Lemon … [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...]

Mental Health Benefits of Gardening : Can playing in the dirt really make a girl happy?

Have you ever wondered if there are any mental health benefits of gardening?  Can growing a few tomatoes and herbs in the dirt provide anything more for you than a tasty dinner? The last couple of weeks I have been feeling a little bit BLAH.  Maybe it's the weather, could be hormones, or maybe it is just good old stress wreaking havoc on my emotional well being.  Whatever it is, my favorite place this week has been my recliner...preferably still wearing my pajamas or eating chocolate.  I know I need to snap out of this funk before my husband … [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...]