This year I’ve been experimenting with tomatoes in containers in the greenhouse, and was wondering how to build a tomato trellis that I could move with the containers. My standard tomato trellis option using pounded in posts was not going to work. While I was thinking, I got an email from Dominic of Better Bilt Products, offering to send me some of their Vine Spine™ garden trellises to try out in the garden – plus a set for a lucky reader. Here’s my take on why the Vine Spine™ is the best all-purpose garden trellis I’ve seen to date. [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“.) I’m not a weed hater – 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.
That said, I do manage my weeds so they don’t go completely bugnuts and 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.) There are ways to 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…]
Our homestead permaculture project officially began this spring. I’ve been nibbling at the edges of the idea for some some now, primarily since reading Restoration Agriculture: Real World Permaculture for Farmers.
I’ve always liked the idea of working with nature instead of battling against it, and Mark Shephard’s comment (in Restoration Agriculture) that we really need to “stop trying to grow things that don’t want to grow and killing things that do want to grow” really struck a cord with me. When we were stuck in limbo not knowing if we were going to have to sell this place or not because August couldn’t get a job closer to home (more on that on the About page), it didn’t make sense to invest in long term plantings. [Read more…]
Small space gardening has seen big growth in recent year. From rooftop gardens to urban homesteads, people are taking back the control of their food supply by planting gardens. Through creative gardening techniques, people are growing enough food to sustain their families and have enough left over to sell and generate an income on less than 1/10 of an acre, producing high yields in small spaces.
If you are like me, you don’t have the luxury of living on a farm or owning acreage, but that shouldn’t stop you from growing your own food.
Here are ten tips to help you grow more food in less space. [Read more…]
Often when people start talking about integrating a garden or other food crops into the landscape, the design ideas still tend to focus on two dimensional diagrams. How many fruit or veggie plants can I fit per square foot? While there’s nothing wrong with this per se, it means you’re missing out on some great opportunities to optimize growing space you might not even realize that you have.
If you haven’t tried vertical gardening, hopefully this post will win you over. Yes, growing up instead of out takes a little more work initially, but the end result is well worth it. I use trellises throughout my garden to make plants easier to care for, reduce disease and predation, and produce a larger crop in less space. In the flower garden, vertical elements add visual interest and focal points – and can be just plain gorgeous.