Pawpaws (Asimina triloba)

Recently while out exploring I noticed a butterfly floating about. It was a zebra swallowtail butterfly which is the Tennessee state butterfly. I've seen them before and so I knew a little about them including one fact in particular, their favorite host plant is the pawpaw tree (Asimina triloba). I've never grown a pawpaw tree but I've heard all kinds of raving comments about pawpaws. Knowing that a zebra swallowtail was present I thought I should continue my exploration and see if I could locate a pawpaw tree. Pawpaws enjoy shady locations in woodland areas that offer good moisture so I went exploring through the woods. Before the leaves had fully emerged this spring I cut a pathway through the woods with my mower. As this was a path of least resistance I journeyed into the woods to see what I could find. I pulled up leaf images of the…

Continue Reading

Planting Bareroot Grape Vines

Grape vines area great edible plant to add to the garden. Grape vines can be used in many ways and have the attributes of an ornamental plant with high value as an edible plant. As an edible plant grapes can be used to make wine, juice, and their leaves are edible making them an interesting choice for wrapping food inside to create stuffed grape leaves. As an ornamental grapes can cover arbors, decorate pergolas, or dress up trellises. When planting grapes you want to give them every chance at a great start so in this post you can see how I planted a bareroot 'Marquette' grape vine in the garden. Grape vines are usually shipped bareroot. Bareroot simply means there isn't any soil material. This saves on shipping costs and prevents the transfer of insects or disease through the soil. Usually they will be packed in plastic with a moist…

Continue Reading

Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden

With all the edible choices of plants to add to your garden blueberries are at the top of most lists.  They taste good, come back every year, and highly nutritious, and aren't hard to grow if you do the right things for them. What do you need to do to grow a bumper crop of blueberries every year? Here are things you might find useful for growing blueberries in your home garden! The soil is the number one thing to work on before planting.  Use acidic fertilizers to help improve the soil acidity and amend with compost and peat moss.  Coffee grounds make a good amendment to add but only adjust the pH a little bit at a time so additional fertilizers maybe necessary.  By adjusting the pH you are setting the soil to a pH that allows the plant to achieve the ideal transfer of nutrients from the soil.…

Continue Reading

Just Feedin’ the Birds!

Want to do something nice for the birds?  Feed them!  Here's an easy way to do it! Get a grapefruit (any suitable citrus will work). Cut it in half. Eat the grapefruit. (Important step) Fill grapefruit halves with bird seed. Set grapefruit halves on a deck rail Enjoy watching the birds! Piece of cake - or rather a piece of fruit!

Continue Reading

Propagating Grape Vines with Greenwood Cuttings

I'm always looking for new plants to experiment on to see if I can get them to root.  Yesterday I took some cuttings from a grape vine at my mom's house.  Grape vines are pretty popular with home gardeners who want to grow their own food in the backyard so I thought I'd give them a try.  I haven't successfully rooted grape vines before so these cuttings are somewhat of an experiment! These are most likely from a Concord grape. How to Root Greenwood Grape Vine Cuttings First I trimmed off a few branches that needed removed.  Grapes need frequent maintenance pruning to get them to grow in a form that will maximize their fruiting!  From those trimmings I selected several 3 node sections. On the top node of the grape cutting I retained one leaf and because of its size I cut it back significantly to reduce water loss.…

Continue Reading

Bargain Blueberries

'Bluecrop' Blueberry Bush As I indicated in my last post about the two camellias in one pot I'm always looking for ways to garden cheap.  Imagine my excitement when I stumbled across some 'Bluecrop' blueberries that are normally over $20 marked down to $5 each!  Of course I snatched two up (I might have gotten more had they had a second variety) for planting in my garden.  My kids love eating blueberries but they can get expensive in the stores, especially if you prefer the organic ones. The cheapest price I've seen blueberries for in the store was about $2 for an 8oz. package.  With a potential yield at maturity of 10-20 lbs. these two plants will pay for themselves many, many times over. Blueberries typically enjoy acidic soil and if the soil isn't ideal it will need amended.  Getting a soil test to find out what the soil is…

Continue Reading

‘Old Time Tennessee’ Melon

This was definitely the year for trying new melons, at least here at The Home Garden. Yesterday I showed you the 'Tigger' melon we grew and tasted, today let's welcome 'Old Time Tennessee' to the blog! Where the 'Tigger' melon is small, compact, and tasty 'Old Time Tennessee' is large, football shaped (perfect for football season), and tasty.  You will notice that both of these have one thing in common - tasty! 'Old Time Tennessee' is much more like the traditional musk melon (what most people call cantaloupe) in taste than little 'Tigger'. 'Old Time Tennessee' melon   The flesh is orange (also good for football time in Tennessee) and the rind is a soft brown color. Don't pick 'OTT' when green, it tastes like a cucumber (I accidentally did that, my eagerness got the best of me).  The rind is thin and easy to cut through which can be…

Continue Reading

‘Tigger’ Melon – Light and Sweet

Every year I try something new in the vegetable garden. When I was selecting seeds back in the dormant season I ran across this small melon called 'Tigger'.  Of course as a parent with three children anything with the name 'Tigger' catches my attention. The 'Tigger' melon was described in the Baker Creek catalog as "vibrant yellow with brilliant fire-red, zigzag stripes."  It's appearance is a little less fancy than hyped in the catalog but that could be due to different growing conditions or a variety of other factors. But it is an orange and yellowish (or maybe orange-yellow) striped melon.  According to the description the seed was found in an Armenian Market.  It's always neat to learn a little about the history around the seeds. I have my 'Tigger' melons growing on one of our cucumber and melon trellises. When the fruit is ripe the melons simply drop from…

Continue Reading

Propagating Blueberries through Cuttings – My First Attempt

Last week I acquired three blueberry bushes in a secret deal from my local big blue box store. OK it really wasn't a secret since they were offering them for half off to anyone. But what they don't know is that those three blueberries bushes I bought for $15.00 (Total) might become 50 one day, that is if I can get the plants to root from the cuttings I made over the weekend.  There are two big advantages to taking greenwood cuttings of blueberries. First, and most obvious, you might be able to make a few extra blueberry bushes. Second, each new cut will spur new growth and since blueberries flower and produce fruit on the previous season's growth it should encourage a higher yield. Here's how I made my blueberry bush cuttings: I took 4-6 inch greenwood stem tip cuttings from two of the same variety of blueberry bushes.…

Continue Reading

Bunnies in the Garden

What do you do when cute little furry bunnies that eat your strawberries? Good question! I'm not sure I have the best answer and maybe you have some suggestions for this issue but over the weekend I found a solution that so far seems to have worked.  First let me share with you how I found bunnies in my garden. On Saturday I was out in the vegetable garden filling a few raised beds (including the Greenland Gardener bed I mentioned a few weeks ago - more on that later this week) and picked up the hose to water a few plants. I looked to the strawberry plants and though "they could use a drink" and began to spray at the base of the strawberry plants as best as I could when something ran out - the first little bunny! It was soaking wet from the hose but otherwise unharmed. …

Continue Reading
  • 1
  • 2
Close Menu