2012 Garden Project Review

It's that time of year again!  The end of the old and the beginning of the new.  It's at this time of year that I like to review my project list to see how well I accomplished my goals.  Every year I come up with a list of projects I hope to complete in my garden then review it at the end!  My 2012 garden projects are listed below followed by my analysis and evaluation. 2012 Garden Project Review Continue the reorganization of the vegetable garden.  I adjust things every year and I've decided that expansion is not the way to go, better organization is.  The parterre style is where the design is going because of the ability to organize crop rotation and the attractiveness of the formal style. It seems my vegetable garden will never be done! It will continue changing and evolving as I garden. I have some new ideas for…

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Easy to grow, Low Maintenance Plants for the Garden

Over Christmas we traveled a little.  Not much, we never go very far.  We just visited with family.  One evening a family member asked me if I knew of some attractive, easy to grow, low maintenance plants she could put in the front of her house.  She wanted something she could plant that wouldn't require a whole lot of time to maintain since she has a young baby and a busy work schedule.  Low-maintenance plantings shouldn't need much pruning, supplemental watering, and should continue to re-bloom without deadheading if at all possible.  Essentially low maintenance plants should thrive on neglect! The list of plants below includes the three I suggested as well as several others that several gardeners on Facebook suggested! Easy to grow, Low-Maintenance Plant Suggestions for Home Gardeners 'Homestead Purple' Verbena Verbena - annual or perennial verbena forms either a nice mound or a sprawling groundcover.  'Homestead Purple' verbena is…

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What Is The Least Favorite Plant in Your Garden?

For a long time now I have denigrated my Bradford pear tree.  It's smelly in the spring, although it looks nice.  It produces loads of inedible fruit that spawns offspring in my garden and everywhere else the birds decide to fly.  Bradford pear trees are generally weak trees that split because of their "V" shaped branch unions that cluster with more branches than a hydra has heads.  There are many, many, many reasons why you shouldn't plant these invasive ornamental Callery pear trees but they get planted anyway in gardens and landscapes by builders and homeowners looking for a cheap, fast growing tree that has an attractive and uniform appearance.  Remember looks aren't everything when planting a tree. Obviously the Bradford pear tree is a good candidate for my least favorite plant in my garden.  I haven't brought myself to slaughter it yet, however that has never been far from my mind.  The…

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The Warm Weather Needs to Chill

I like warm weather, don't get me wrong. I like the warm spring sunshine that bathes everything in light and encourages the flowers to grow. I like the summer days - when it isn't above 90 degrees and 65% humidity - I'm not picky. I love the warm fall days where the sun trickles through the falling leaves. I even like the warm winter days, but we need a change in the air to bring us some cooler temperatures.   The warm weather isn't giving the plants the necessary hours before spring to chill out. Dandelion It's also not going to kill off enough of the insect population - which means we'll probably end up with a bad mosquito, tick, and chigger season next spring. Not to mention squash bugs, squash vine borers and other vegetable garden pests.  I've seen cherry trees flowering - months early.  If the sap begins to…

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5 Seed Starting Techniques a Gardener Should Know!

Seed starting time is just around the corner!  OK it may be a little more than around the corner for some gardeners but while we are planning our holiday gatherings those seed catalogs are coming in, enticing us to get started!  Today lets look at several seed starting techniques and methods that you can use to effectively get good germination and get our gardens off to an awesome start. Winter Sowing Winter sowing is a really cool technique! Forgive the pun (that was a bad one) but when winter sowing the gardener creates mini-greenhouses that protect the seed from some elements (like critters and wind) while allowing them to be exposed to others like temperature fluctuations! Just take a used plastic container.  Milk jugs, juice containers, butter containers, or even yogurt cups will work.    clean it out - important step here. add some drainage - also important  cut around the container to…

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Gift Options for the Plant Propagator!

As you know I'm a huge fan of plant propagation.  I would bet that many of you reading this are too, or if you not a huge fan you are at least interested!  It's a fascinating area and can be an amazing benefit for growing your garden.  Just think of all the free plants you can make from cuttings, or how you can expand your garden with seeds, divisions, and layered branches.  You don't have to spend a fortune to plant your garden when you know how to propagate plants.  Today I'm going to share a few gift ideas for those of us who enjoy propagating plants. Books on Plant Propagation Books are a fantastic gift idea for any gardener.  I reference my gardening library frequently and as you can expect the books I utilize the most are the ones on plant propagation.  My most frequently reference resource is Plant…

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A Frosty December Morning

Over the last couple weeks the weather has been much warmer than it should be, but now we're getting back to a much more normal December weather pattern.  There was even the mention of snow in the forecast for next week.  We'll see.  I won't count my chickens but a little snow would make a nice scenery change!  For now though we'll have to enjoy watching the ice crystals form on the vegetation.  Here's a few pictures from this morning's heavy frost. The blueberry plants that still have leaves are well frosted! Catmint with frosted white leaf edges. Even the grass looks cool - well of course it does - it's frost it has to be cool! Shadows on the frosted grass.  There's the blue shed!  There frost and shadows here too.  Yes it's December, it should be thyme for frost! Is it cold where you are yet?

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Indoor Hanging Wall Planter Garden

I finally managed to get my Indoor Hanging Wall Planter Project up on the wall!  I ran out of screws so I'll have to run to the store to pick up a couple more and make sure it stays up securely.  It's fine for now but I definitely need those screws attached before adding pots and soil for plants.  I picked several seed packets with different varieties of basil as well as one packet of lavender seed to plant. The LED light rope does a good job of creating ambient light around the wall planter but does make enough to serve as an actual plant light.  Since it's energy efficient it will make a good light in the evenings when it gets dark to help find our way through the room.  Our bonus room can be a minefield of children's toys that can invoke dire consequences to the barefoot parent!…

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What Was the Most Unique Wildlife Encounter in Your Garden? (A Friday Free For All!)

This Friday I thought I'd try something new...an open post!  I'd like to hear what you think about the garden, gardening ideas, projects, or just your thoughts on various issues.  So here's what I'm going to do.  Every couple weeks I'll host a Friday Free for All Post where you can comment on a subject and share what you think about it.  It could a type of plant, a project idea, a method of planting, or any other gardening related subject.  If you feel so moved by the subject that you want to write a whole post on the matter feel free to take it back to your blog and tell us how you feel about it.  Just leave a link in the comments so we can read what you think! So without further ado let's get started with our first Friday Free for All Post! Today's Friday Free for…

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