Most summer gardens are in full swing by early July; the plants are growing like crazy and the harvest is finally coming in. The days are wonderful….and hot. While summer vegetable crops do love heat, there is only so much they can take. Understanding how heat affects you and your crops will make gardening in the heat more productive. [Read more…]
Rainwater is best for watering your garden, but too much rain is hard on your soil and your plants. I was watching the morning news the other day, and the weatherman said we had rain 15 days out of the last 16. It rained again that day.
My garden is soggy, but most of it is still in pretty good shape. In this article, we'll talk about wet garden solutions, including steps you can take to prevent damage, and what to do after heavy rains hit. Wet weather might slow plants down, but it doesn't have to end your gardening season. [Read more…]
Are you looking for natural pest control options for the garden? Like many home gardeners, I started growing my own fruits and vegetables in part to avoid the toxic chemicals used on most commercial produce. After all, why put in all that time and effort to eat poison? It didn't make sense to me.
Just walking down the chemical isle in the hardware store, i.e., the “garden helper area” or whatever they call it, gives me a headache. Sometimes I purchase certain organic pest control products, but often you can get rid of garden pests with what you have on hand. [Read more…]
Natural weed control has become a hot topic in recent years as more people are realizing that chemical weed poisons can harm more than weeds. (See “15 Health Problems Linked to Monsanto's Roundup“.) Sometimes you want a natural weed killer, sometimes organic weed control is enough.
Don't hate the weeds! Many weeds are edible and/or medicinal, or have other uses such as natural dye or cordage. They can also be used to diagnose soil health, as many weeds thrive in disturbed and damaged soils. They are part of nature's repair crew.
I use non-toxic weed control so weeds don't take over the walkways and garden areas. With a little observation and patience and a few simple tools, you can kill weeds naturally without poisons. (“Killing naturally” sounds like an oxymoron, but death and life are part of the natural cycle.) You can virtually eliminate quackgrass, crabgrass and other problem weeds, and enjoy a tidy yard and lush garden without hours and hours of pulling and tilling. [Read more…]
Good watermelon or bad watermelon? Growing conditions and storage make a huge difference in watermelon flavor and texture, but these tips will help you choose the best available watermelon. Some of these tips are for when to pick a watermelon from the vine, others apply to both vine watermelons and those at the grocery store or farmers market.
Ripe watermelons are a little trickier than muskmelons. Muskmelons slip right off the vine (i.e. come loose on their own) when ripe. Watermelons don't fall off the vine when ripe. Uncut watermelons are also less fragrant than muskmelons, because they don't have that open end where the vine was formerly attached. You will never find me sniffing watermelons in the grocery store, but you may find me sniffing cantaloupes. (I do my own stunts. 😉 ) [Read more…]