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June 2018

How to Build a inexperienced Garden in five straightforward Steps

A project of any important size is likely progressing to would like quite one step to finish. something the smallest amount bit sophisticated needs preparation, power and perseverance through many steps throughout a amount of your time. All that’s additionally true concerning something like selecting to make a inexperienced garden. Building a inexperienced garden simply is not one step project either. however here’s a way to reach that goal in 5 easy steps.

Step 1. Prepare the site. This is important because without a properly prepared site, you will have a much more difficult time killing weeds that grow from underneath. In the event you skip or ignore this step, weeds can get a foot hold on your garden, and you will have a constant uphill battle with them.

Step 2. Compost everything. This step can be skipped, but I wouldn’t recommend it. You will save a lot of money using a compost pile as your fertilizer instead of going and getting chemicals from the nearest super market.

Step 3. Know your growing seasons. What you need to know is specifically when you should plant your produce. Furthermore, it’s to know when you should start your harvest.

Step 4. Water per guide. To elaborate on that a little bit, 90% of seed packets (vegetables, fruits, flowers, etc) will come with a growing guide that helps you properly care for your produce. While you don’t have to be scientific, approximately correct measurements are key. Too much water, and like us, your plants will drown; too little, and they die of thirst.

Step 5. Harvest Time. Within 5-10 weeks most small fruits and vegetables will ripen and ready themselves for picking.

In the end, when you have stuck with the above tips all the way, you should have succeeded and now can settle-back and enjoy the benefits of your green garden.

For those who didn’t keep to the 5 step tips above, shame on you! You must have decided that building a green garden just wasn’t worth the effort.

Learning to Right-Size Your Garden

Learning to Right-Size Your GardenFond memories of plump juicy red tomatoes, crispy green beans, and the snap of popping open the pods of plump, sweet green peas fill my mind when I think of my first exposure to gardening. Grandma grew an abundance of produce in her massive weed-free garden each summer, and her orchard was just as prolific. Having raised a family of nine children (seven of them boys), Grandma was well versed in growing, preserving, and preparing large meals for her hungry farming family during the depression. Her garden consisted of rows and rows of potatoes, beets, tomatoes, beans, peas, carrots, onions, sweet corn, cabbage, lettuce, watermelon, cantaloupe and she always saved room for Zinnias and Marigolds. She was an organic gardener long before it was the “green” thing to do, relying on composted manure to build up the soil. Her vegetable garden consisted of at least ½ -acre of rich Minnesota black soil and was located right next to an orchard that covered a full acre. Crab-apple, plum, and an assortment of hardy apple trees filled the orchard.

From early spring through late fall, Grandma weeded, hoed and harvested vegetables and fruit from her backyard. She spent countless hours laboring over the sink, paring and peeling and slicing. Her pressure cooker had a semi-permanent home on the stove during the hottest days of summer as she processed and canned beets, beans, peas, corn, and carrots preserving them for the long, cold winter months. She supplemented her home grown produce with cherries, peaches and pears bought from the small town grocery store, and preserved them in quart- and pint-sized Mason jars to be used later for ice-cream topping, pies, or dessert sauce.

Grandma also helped provide fresh produce to my four brothers, three sisters and myself. I have fond memories of sitting at the picnic table on the front porch of our turn-of-the century farm home, with piles of beans and peas laid out in front of my siblings and me, as we methodically shelled and trimmed them, dropping each of the green gems with the sound of a ping into the stainless steel bowls, until the piles slowly disappeared from the table. It required many shelled pea pods to fill a serving dish large enough to feed my family of 10.

The first year after I married, I finally had my own garden plot which was a 30′ x 30′ section in my backyard. I made a list of vegetables that I would grow, and purchased seeds for peas, beans, squash, cucumbers, kohlrabi, lettuce, onions, and sweet corn.  I planted sets of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, four rows of beans, three rows of peas, 30 tomato plants (heirloom no less), radishes, onions, sweet corn, and lettuce. My father-in-law, who was maintaining the rest of the large garden plot in my backyard, would chuckle as he watched me hoeing, and weeding the tiny rows of seedlings. Occasionally he would ask me what I was going to do with all of the vegetables that I was going to be harvesting, once the plants matured. I’d shrug and reply that we would eat them fresh from the garden and I would either can or freeze whatever was left over. He would knowingly smile, and go about tending his portion of the gigantic garden.

It was a perfect year for gardening, and my harvest was abundant. So much so that after canning 100 quarts of tomatoes, and tomato juice; and filling the freezer with blanched, quart-sized Ziploc bags of peas, beans, corn, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and carrots, I was stumped with what to do with the continuous growth of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and zucchini. Thankfully, my neighbor who was a cook at the small-town private high school was more than willing to take the extra produce to school to feed the hungry teenagers. I filled 5-gallon pails with the produce and hauled the overflowing buckets across the driveway to her house. My father-in-law was impressed with my green thumb, and was satisfied with my solution for disposing of the extra produce.

The following year, my garden plan was adjusted (downsized) and the extra space was given back to my father-in-law to maintain since he was still contributing vegetables to his 11 grown children and their families.

If you are new to vegetable gardening and are wondering how much to plant, my advice is to start small – perhaps a raised bed garden to begin with – and adjust accordingly – unless you have a local food shelf to donate excess produce to, or perhaps family and friends that are willing to take them off your hands. Be especially wary of zucchini – one or two plants is likely more than enough of those. The same can be said for tomatoes, peppers, squash and green beans. You can always expand your garden plot, once you’ve determined what the right amount of sets and seeds to plant is. It’s great to have such an abundance of fresh produce, but you may get overwhelmed with the amount of work involved in maintaining, harvesting, and preserving all of it, and you don’t want to get discouraged the first year.

Keeping a journal and photos of your garden is an effective way to keep track of what vegetables you plant year-to-year and also aids in rotating crops, which is beneficial for both soil and vegetation. Canning, freezing, and drying are all excellent ways to preserve your harvest so that you can enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor during the winter months, until the growing season comes ’round again.

Greening Your Yard – Make Your Yard Look Great Without the Carbon Footprint

The best place to start in making your yard more eco-friendly is to rethink the landscaping. The good news is that spring is just around the corner and rethinking your landscaping at this time means you don’t have to sacrifice the attractiveness of your lawn. The first step of rethinking your lawn is to evaluate how much grass you really need. Most people can replace a significant amount of grassy area with border gardens, which can use mulch and compost. Increasing garden areas also reduces the amount of time and gas spent mowing the lawn, which in turn reduces greenhouse emissions. By reducing the amount of grassy areas around your home, you can also decrease the amount of water you use on your lawn. Most homeowners already use too much potable drinking water on their lawns and also over-water planting beds, both of which are unnecessary. Today, irrigation system technology exists that can detect when the yard actually needs water in order to avoid misusing resources.

The next step to greening your yard is doing away with exotic plants that require a great deal of watering. Replace these plants with ones that do not require a lot of water such as trees, shrubs, ground cover or flowers. Once these plants make it through the initial transplant shock and growing season, they won’t require frequent watering. Wildflowers are also a great choice for large areas that you don’t want to mow or maintain. Wildflowers come in many different mixes that pertain to various soil types or moisture collection. If you must include exotic plants in your landscaping, attempt to group them together in a single area in order to maximize water usage. Also, consider installing a drip irrigation system, which releases slow and small amounts of water directly onto the soil’s surface and decreases the amount of water lost to evaporation.

Beyond the simple water requirements, using native plant species in your landscaping has a variety of other benefits. Plants that are native to the area tend to be hardier in the natural climate. These plants also provide a natural habitat and food supply to insects and birds, which not only saves money on bird feed but also gives your garden a Zen feeling. For example, shade trees can provide a wonderful home for birds, the native flowers will product nectar for pollination and the animals will not get sick from pesticide laden plants.

For areas of your lawn that are covered with grass, there are a number of options for maintaining a healthy lawn without applying chemicals. One of the most viable options is to dethatch (remove the woody parts of the grass) or aerate (remove plugs of soil) your lawn. Both options keep your lawn healthy without broadcasting chemicals across the lawn. In order to fertilize your lawn, rely on natural fertilizers such as compost, bone meal and blood meal, all of which are available at garden centers.

Being earth friendly in your garden is one trend that is catching on in all stages of agriculture and horticulture. Whether working around a large farm or a small home, more people are turning their backs to harsh chemicals and resource-depleting treatment methods. As a result of this trend, retailers are stocking their shelves with organic fertilizers, weed control product and other tools that provide environmentally friendly ways to work in your garden.

Green Life in the Garden City

Singapore, known as the Garden City, is recognized for its wealth of green spaces, gardens and parks and the way it preserves natural areas right in the city for Singaporeans and visitors alike to get away to some green.

Besides Sinagpore’s impressive natural reserves, there are plenty of lovely, well-kept gardens all over the city. Some of the most fun to visit are the Botanic Gardens and Orchidville. The orchid is Singapore’s national flower and Orchidville has over 2 million varieties of the colorful blossom. Orchidville, however, has much more than flowers. The Forrest Restaurant, rainforest-themed and covered in sumptuous green and growing decor, is well known in the city for both its ecological atmosphere and cuisine. Experience its flowering trees and flowering canopies to the background music of flowing water arrangements. Some specialties are the Dragon Beard King Prawns and Fragrant Lotus Rice. Forrest has extensive banquet menus and is well-equipped to handle any kind of parties or corporate events. Orchidville has also developed several edu-tourism initiatives and holds regular classes and workshops with themes like crafting with orchids, orchid cultivation and aquatic plants.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens were first opened in 1859 and today cover 74 hectares. The Gardens have always had intricate ties with the city’s history and other local green spaces. In the mid-1960s the Botanic Gardens staff was responsible for many of Singapore’s greening initiatives and supplied plant material and plant education to businesses all over the city. In recent years, new attractions like the Ginger Garden, Evolution Garden, Coolhouse and a Children’s Garden have been added. Kids will love the Children’s Garden’s Water Play area, tree houses and playground. The Evolution Garden tells the story of the evolution of plant life on Earth. More interesting sights include the Library of Botany and Horticulture and the Singapore Herbarium. Palm Valley is a park-like spot that is an attractive area for picnics. In case you haven’t seen enough of the national flowers in Orchidville, there is also an Orchidarium that displays the plants in a tropical setting.

The Botanic Gardens are a major research institution as well as a touristic one, and have been responsible for many botanical studies breakthroughs and the development of new varieties of orchids. They also host many lecture series and educational workshops. There are lots of events always going on at the Botanic Gardens, including frequent Rainforest Tours and Edible and Medicinal Plant Tours. Visit the impressive Heritage Tree section, containing fourteen mature tree species from around the island. There are three lake areas in the gardens: Eco-Lake, Swan Lake and Symphony Lake where there are often free weekend concerts. Most of the Botanic Gardens are still free to visit and, unlike any other botanic gardens in the world, they are open every day of the year from 5am until midnight. There are several gift shops on the premises as well as two French restaurants, Au Jardin Les Amis and Café Les Amis, as well as the Halia Restaurant in the Ginger Garden.

Help Nature With Organic husbandry

If you’re inquisitive regarding whether or not or to not begin organic husbandry please keep puzzling over it. Go and gather all the knowledge you wish to form a wise call for yourself. Organic husbandry are some things which will not solely be of nice price to you and your family, however also will facilitate the world family and our planet. By everybody pitching in mere a touch it’ll go a protracted thanks to serving to out the planetary challenges we tend to square measure presently facing.

While organic gardening can be a lot of fun and very rewarding there is no doubt some significant effort required. This means it is pretty simple to do, but perhaps not so easy. And remember everything of value does require some work to realize the benefits. The main difficulty with organic gardening is that you cannot use many if any of the commercially available products in your gardening effort. Commercial products for the most part contain chemicals which are not part of the organic experience.

The bottom line is that everything you use in your garden must be natural, organic, it must come from nature and not from artificial, or chemical means. Now this does not mean you cannot find organic products commercially available for your use. Organic products are typically harder to find and a bit more expensive in some cases than the artificial ones. But do not let that deter you. You can actually find and prepare your own natural products from the environment around you.

For example you can make your own compost. There are many books and articles out there to help you in starting your own composting. In composting you will be helping nature by re-using materials that some people would throw in the garbage. Some examples are dried leaves, grass clippings, scraps from your kitchen, (but you need to be careful, not everything can go into a compost heap). By making your own compost you will actually be doing several things:

  • Help the environment
  • Clean up your surroundings
  • Reduce planetary waste
  • Create fertilizer to use in your organic garden
  • Give you an opportunity to get outside and back into nature
  • Help you reduce your stress
  • Getting to know new people who may help you in your endeavor

So as you can see going organic has many advantages that really are worth the effort in doing the work. Also if you find someone who is an expert in organic gardening they will be able to help you with some short cuts, and lessons learned to help you get going much quicker. I have listed just a few of the benefits, as you get more involved I am sure you will find many more.