Gardening in Late July

July can be a tricky month.  The weather is normally hot and very dry which brings with it challenges for irrigating the garden and keep plants alive to produce well throughout the fall.  This July in TN has bee a lot different.  Out hottest days so far this year were like normal days in previous years and our normal days this year seem more like late May or even September.  We're also getting rain more frequently than usual.  That has enable me to cut back on my vegetable garden watering significantly. So what does a gardener do in the garden in July? Here is a short list! Gardening in Late July Keep the plants maintained with good pruning techniques and watering as needed. Remove diseased plants from the gardens.  Various diseases like blight can be managed by remove the diseased material but will eventually end the life of the plant.…

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A Weekend Gardening To-Do List For Mid-April

It's Friday!  I think I may have heard you exclaim in glee from here...maybe that's just my imagination.  The weekend is approaching and you are eagerly anticipating being outdoors in the garden.  Have you planned out your chores and tasks yet?  If not here are a few things that I need to do in my garden that you may need to do as well. Late April Garden To-Do List Continue weeding all the garden beds.   Mulch the pathways in the vegetable garden. Mulch the ornamental gardens. String up lines for my sugar snap peas to climb. Propagate plants from cuttings: salvia, catmint, monarda Transplant and/or pot up: coneflowers - too many in one bed! Catnip too. Prune: Yew, butterfly bushes (way late on that one), honeysuckle (coral red) Mow - yep always have to mow. Inspect the fruit trees for any signs of pests.  Apple trees should be blooming…

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A Garden Preparation Plan for Spring

Spring will be here before you now it.  Which means all that fun garden time for us gardeners.  In order to maximize the productivity of your garden and minimize the maintenance required we need a plan.  We need a spring preparation garden plan.  We need a plan of attack to get all those chores done, all those projects mapped out, and all those plants growing right.  Gardening doesn't start on March 20th...it starts now!  Or maybe even yesterday!  A good plan will do two things for you: get your season off to a great start and give you that gardening fix to get you excited about the season! Where should you start with your plan?  First keep in mind there are tasks that can be completed periodically over the course of the next several weeks and there are those that have to be done at a certain time. The time…

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2013 Home Garden Project List

Every year I write down my ideas for gardening projects.  It helps me to put down some thoughts and map out where my garden needs to go throughout the season.  I won't be able to accomplish every project on the list but it does give me some direction.  At the end of the year I'll go back and see how well I achieved my project goals like I did in my last post for 2012.  Now, let's take a look what I'm planning for 2013! Dave's 2013 Garden Projects Install the garden fence.  Yep I still haven't gotten a fence built around the vegetable garden yet.  It's been years now since this project first appeared on my list.  Maybe by putting it at the top of this list I'll finally get it accomplished!  For fencing I'm leaning toward a wood frame with wire.  Each frame will fit between the posts to enclose…

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Over the Weekend

Mowed the lawn - check. Weeded the shed gardens - check. Weeded the sitting wall garden - check. Weeded and mulched the mailbox garden - check. Weeded the corner shade garden - check - kind of. Weeded the birdbath garden without a birdbath - check - kind of. Cut back a 'Powis Castle' artemisia that was long and leggy - check. Found out 'Powis Castle' artemisia was rotting at the crown - boo. Sadly removed 'Powis Castle' artemisia - check. Looked around and reassured myself that I had made several other backup artemisias through cuttings - check. Moved large sitting rock underneath a witchhazel to compensate for the expanding size of the witch hazel - check. Mulched the mum garden and grumbled about rabbits - check. Moved stepping stones near my plant holding bed - check. Cooked Chicken Parmesan for dinner - check. I enjoyed the weather this weekend!  How…

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5 Things I Need to Do In The Front Garden

This summer has been a tricky one in which to garden in here in Tennessee.  June was the driest month I can remember and hotter than any June on record. July was strange too - extra moisture and cooler temperatures made up some of the lost ground caused by the spring drought. Having strange weather has mixed the gardening season up. Weeds have been worse than ever with Johnson Grass, crabgrass, and ragweed being three of the worst weeds in my garden currently.  Those three get named often in my worst weed category!  In addition to all these challenges life is busy too with kids going back to school and all sorts of distractions to take the gardener away from the garden.  So today I'm going to share with you one area of my yard that needs work - the front yard!  Today for the Friday Fives you'll get to…

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My Vegetable Garden To-do List

Guess what?  June is here, we're even a week into it, and I still haven't gotten my vegetable garden completely ready!  It's frustrating to say the least.  I've been so busy making plants for other people, selling at a local farmer's market, and recovering from a nasty family sinus virus that I just haven't been able to get out there enough.  Hopefully things will start settling down after I recover from my cold (which is one reason I haven't posted much this week - I just haven't felt like writing).  I thought today I would try to inspire myself with a list of things I need to do in the vegetable garden. Weed the vegetable garden.  As you can see in this picture the weeds have gotten out of hand.  It's not bad at all around the tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, or potatoes.  The potatoes were weeded a week ago.  The…

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It’s December, Do You Know What That Means?

Today is December 1st, 2011.  The first day of the last month of the year, do you know what that means? Mockingbird on a Frosty Morning Only 137 days left until our last frost date here in Middle Tennessee!!!  WOOHOO! OK, I sound completely ridiculous here but think about all the stuff that has to get done before that planting date over the winter.  Seed catalogs need drooled over, new plant introductions need perused, seeds for planting in the garden need selected, garden beds need prepared, weeds need weeded, seeds need planted, mulch needs put out, plants need transplanted, hardwood cuttings need to be taken, and there are many, many more things I could list. Here are few things for the Winter Garden To-Do List: Finish moving plants around.  I have a red twig dogwood in a bad spot that needs a new home and several other plants that really…

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September Garden To Do List

It seems like I've blinked and it's gone from May to September!  This summer has been a complete blur to me, but that's how life is sometimes. Needless to say there are many garden chores that are coming up that will need done this month.  Here's my September garden chore list! Finish pruning trees and shrubs. Here in Tennessee we have until mid to late October before the first frost appears so we have about 6-8 weeks for any new growth to harden off before the frosts come which means if you are going to prune you should have either done it already or need to do it fast. Don't prune spring flowering trees and shrubs as they have already formed buds for spring flowers.  Also don't prune hydrangeas unless you don't care if they bloom next year. They form flower buds on this summers growth so anything you cut…

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August Garden: My Things To Do

I'm a little late on this list since we're already over a week into August but over weekend I've come up with a list of things that I need to accomplish in the garden this month. As is very easy to do the garden has gotten away from me and with the start of football season coming soon it's time for a garden blitz! Weed all the gardens and rediscover my lost plants!  The other day while weeding in the corner shade garden I almost pulled up a young hydrangea by mistake. I could have kicked myself (I'm not sure how that is physically possible) for not being more careful but that is one of the hazards of letting things go so wild. Be careful that you don't do the same but I guarantee that one day you'll pull something out of the garden you didn't want removed! Mulch.  Some…

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