Archive for the ‘How To’ category

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Find Accurate Gardening Information – Fast

November 9th, 2008

While I’ve recently been hard at work on some new gardening stuff for your enjoyment, I don’t quite have any of that ready to post just yet. So, instead I’m going to reveal an extremely useful tidbit of top secret garden blogger information.

How to find Authoritative, Accurate Gardening Information – Fast

The problem with the internet is that anyone can post anything about any subject (me for example) whether they know what they are talking about or not.  For example if you Google for “Home Garden” you get 151 million results – most of which are trying to sell you something.  Finding the really good stuff is like looking for the proverbial needle.

Fortunately if you know how to ask, » Read more: Find Accurate Gardening Information – Fast

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How to build My 50 Dollar Greenhouse

October 27th, 2008
  • First off – you really can build this thing very cheaply, but to do so you have to recycle, freecycle, and scrounge.  If you just go out and buy new everything it will probably cost over $200 – still not bad all in all.
  • This Article is featured in Jan 2010 issue of Birds and Blooms Magazine!
  • Want to find out if this thing works before you read all this?  Read 6 months in the Greenhouse first.
  • Want to see what happens when a few inches of wet snow accumulates on this?  Collapse!
  • Building the Greenhouse Doors is addressed in a separate article – isn’t this enough for one weekend?
My $50 Greenhouse

My $50 Greenhouse

Welcome Stumbleupon Gardeners! How about a Thumb up if you like this article?

Materials list

Construction Steps

Hind Sight – What I would do differently

The planning is over and construction on my hoop house greenhouse has begun.  I’ve rounded up all of the materials and it looks like I’m going to end up with about $50 in a 165 square ft. green house. Granted I already had most of the materials because I’m an incorrigible pack rat, but even if I had bought everything new just for this polytunnel It would still only come to about $120 $150 – less than a dollar per square ft.  Due to the fact that we are in the midst of a global economic meltdown, and the future is a bit uncertain keeping the cost of this project as low as possible is an important consideration. » Read more: How to build My 50 Dollar Greenhouse

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Ask Donna

September 7th, 2008

Ask Donna questions about gardening, landscape design, lillies, daughters, etc.  A little coffee, a little talk, no big whoop.

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Starting Pansies from Seed

August 16th, 2008
Growing these pansies from seed was easy, and saved money!

Growing these pansies from seed was easy, and saved money!

Pansies are my favorite annual of the year. They bloom all fall and winter, and then really crank up for spring. I love them!

We had about 50% success rate our first time growing pansies from seed.  Not too bad, but well do better next time.

We had about a 50% success rate our first time growing pansies from seed. Not too bad, but we'll do better next time.

They’re also the most expensive annuals I plant, because I plant eight plants per square foot in my beds. Yep. I put two plants in each hole and plant each pair six inches apart. Try it one time and you’ll never want to plant them any other way. They completely cover the bed with mounds of gorgeous color for months.

So, I start my pansies from seed. Pansy seed is on the pricey side too. But, if you plant alot of pansies like me (20 flats or so a year), you can buy them in bulk. I got my seed this year from Hazzard’s Seed. It is a wholesale seed company that will sell to anyone. They have seeds in packages of 250 and 1000. » Read more: Starting Pansies from Seed

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Hoop House – Greenhouse

July 6th, 2008
My $50 Hoop House

I’ve been kicking around the idea of building some kind of greenhouse for several years, but I think that I’ve finally decided that in my case the most practical way to take that plunge is going to be with a small hoop house. The main thing that I think I want to do with a green house is to be able to grow salad greens through the winter, get a head start on spring without having to worry about the occasional late frost that we get here in middle Tennessee, and maybe extend tomato season for a few weeks in the fall.

My garden has two central beds which are 3 feet wide, about 50 feet long, and have a 5 foot wide path between them. I think that I’m going to build my hoop house over these existing beds and the path between them, and design the end walls so that I can still run my lawnmower and rotor tiller through the beds even after the greenhouse is in place. This will make my green house eleven feet wide and probably about 24 feet long. I’m still kind of in the planning/brainstorming stage at this point, but I’ve run across a couple of sites which shows how to economically build a hoop house about this size using common building materials, and this article from Washington State University.

Update: I’ve actually built my greenhouse now and writen a post with lots of pictures about the whole process. My 50 Dollar Hoop House Greenhouse.

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One Season of Square Foot Gardening

October 8th, 2007

a square ft garden

Last year I read Mel Bartholomew’s book “Square Foot Gardening – a new way to garden in less space with less work”. And was inspired to give it try. So bright and early this past spring I built 3 raised beds more or less like Mel recommends in his book and got off to an early start with Square Foot Gardening.

» Read more: One Season of Square Foot Gardening

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Taking Cuttings

October 5th, 2007

Plant Propagation by Softwood Cuttings

It’s been such a wonderful gardening season! I have tried several new plants this year that turned out to be real stunners! As it happens, I got my three favorites from garden centers in a large city almost two hours away from my home. There is absolutely no guarantee I will be able to find these plants locally next year, but I certainly do want to grow them again, and I know that two, possibly three of them,

» Read more: Taking Cuttings

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Easy Organic Compost

October 4th, 2007
  • Compost is the best way to improve your soil
  • If you use compost you probably won’t need to use fertilizer
  • Compost doesn’t harm beneficial organisms like earthworms (chemicals do)
  • If you have a yard, you are already doing most of the work to make compost
  • Compost is free, easy, and saves energy
  • You can start a compost pile any time you have material for it

» Read more: Easy Organic Compost