Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Spring is Here – Time to Garden!

January 13th, 2009
Cocus Flowers in the Snow - Carmelite Monastery Chapel Bettendorf, Iowa

Cocus Flowers in the Snow - Carmelite Monastery Chapel - Bettendorf, Iowa

OK, Spring isn’t here yet, but it is time to take some action. I know, there’s a blizzard blowing down today, but in just a few weeks (around February 15 in zone 6) it will be time to plant spinach out in the garden – and by the end of February it will be time to plant early potatoes. Not to mention anything that you are planning to start indoors.  So, this is just a heads up.

If you’re hoping to plant any varieties that aren’t available off the shelf it’s time to place your seed order pretty soon.  No catalogs?  Just Google for garden seeds and place your order online.

In just a few weeks it WILL be spring with birds singing and buttercups blooming – and you’re going to want to get your hands in the dirt.   An early start really helps you to get the most out of your garden – and will make your garden the envy of the neighborhood.  Act now so you can be ready!

January in the Garden

January 3rd, 2009
One of the first harbingers of Spring is the first glimpse of crocuses, and daffodils peaking through.  But, in January?

One of the first harbingers of Spring is a glimpse of crocuses or daffodils peeking through. But in January?

So far in middle TN we haven’t really had very much cold weather yet, and we’ve had highs in the upper 60s several times in the last couple of weeks – thus the daffodils peeking through the mulch.  Actually they weren’t really peeking through – I uncovered them by accident while grubbing out chick weed yesterday – New Years Day.  Anyway, they’ll be fine – I covered them back after taking that picture.  BTW fear not, although it might be a bit early those bulbs will be fine.  Just sprinkle a bit of loose mulch over them if you must – or not. » Read more: January in the Garden

December in the Garden

November 29th, 2008

photo by Michael Smith - New Windsor, Maryland

What to do in the garden in December? The truth is, even here in the sunny south there isn’t a  lot of excitement garden wise going on in the month of December – which isn’t an entirely bad thing of course.  At the very least it’s a chance to look forward to next season.

Nonetheless, there are a few things that need to be done.

  • If you are an on-the-ball fall gardener you don’t need to be told that you have cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, greens of all kinds, carots, jerusalem artichokes, celery, radish, spinach and all manner of good stuff  to deal with.  The rest of us need to remember this next August when we should be planting instead of lounging by the pool.
  • If you haven’t already done so it’s high time to get rid of any crop residue that’s left – mummified fruits are very likely to harbor disease or pests – remove or burn anything like this.
  • As ground becomes available it can be dug and left rough – compost, manure, and other amendments can be spread and left for winter weather to work on for a while.  The freeze thaw cycles will do a lot of the work for you. » Read more: December in the Garden

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

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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