I have quite a few new gardeners ask me, “When should I start seeds?” It really depends on where you are and what you are planning to grow. Thankfully, most seed companies will label the packets with basic growing information, but seed starting charts can help keep your gardening a little more organized. In this article, I'll share charts that show when to plant vegetables inside and out, fall and spring, plus organization strategies and tips for happier transplants.
Tomatoes not ripening? Here are the four main reasons why your tomatoes aren't turning red, and what you can do (if anything) to help ripen your tomatoes.
This guide shares 5 tips to on how to keep deer out of your garden, including deer repellent sprays, solid deer repellents, tactics that scare deer away, deer fences and other barriers to deer. (A sturdy fence may work best, but if the local deer population isn't too aggressive, you can keep deer out of the garden without a fence.) After a mild winter and a gentle start to the growing season, our local deer population has increased. I'll also share some tips to help you tell if you have deer damage (versus rabbits), since deer often nibble at dusk, night or dawn when you might not see them.
The USDA Plant Hardiness Zones and Microclimate
When you're planning a garden or other plantings, you need to know both your Plant Hardiness Zone and your microclimate. Per the USDA, the zone maps “gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location”. The map divides North America into 11 separate zones, plus a and b sub-zones. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones. The USDA plant hardiness zones are a good starting point, but they don't give the full picture. Each location is also influenced by local elements, such as water and buildings, to create a microclimate. To be successful, you need to know your zone and you need to know your local microclimate. [Read more…] about Plant Hardiness Zones and Microclimate – Creating Your Best Garden
What is composting?
Composting breaks down organic material to rich, dark soil. If it rots, it can compost, although some materials require special handling, which we'll cover later in the post. The simplest way to compost is to stack everything in a pile and leave it for a couple of years, but there are methods you can use to keep things tidier and make compost faster. Composting does not have to be messy or stinky or too much work. In this article we'll cover how to compost, what to compost, compost bins and troubleshooting tips for common compost problems. [Read more…] about Composting 101 – Easy Compost Making and Troubleshooting Tips