A Garden in 30 Minutes

Today was beautiful. The sun was out and the temperature was in the low to mid 60's. That's what I call perfect garden weather! I didn't have much time to garden but needed to do a little something and was able to spend about 30 minutes on a small project. Back in the fall I used my black tarp technique to cover an existing bed and the results were great! The black tarp technique helps to kill off vegetation underneath it. It triggers seed germination, growth, then kills the plants off leaving a nearly weed free environment. I learned this technique after reading The Market Gardener (Amazon Aff Link) and it really works. It took me less than 30 minutes today to move the tarp to a new location in the garden, rake the dead weeds out, level the soil, and sow new seeds! It's really very simple. I didn't…

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Gardeners 2017

The holiday season is in full swing and the good news is that gardeners are very easy to shop for! Whether your gardener likes gardening with vegetables, herbs, or ornamental plants there is something for everyone. Today here are some Christmas gift ideas for gardeners to help you find just the right thing! (Disclaimer: The links in this post are affiliate links that help support this website. Thank you for reading!) Gift Ideas For Vegetable and Herb Gardeners Raised Beds Gardening in raised beds is an awesome way to grow your vegetables and herbs. Raised beds have a number of advantages. Raised beds are simple to build but if you don't have the time or the materials you can find some options for purchase available.   Elevated Raised Beds Elevated raised beds are great for those with space or mobility issues. They bring the garden to a more accessible height.…

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Fiskars Hatchet and Billhook Review

It isn't often I have a product to test in my garden where I actually say "Holy crap, this is awesome!" when no one else is around. Really. Products that good are really hard to come by because I'm fairly picky. A few weeks ago I was sent two items from Fiskars to try out. For disclaimer purposes I was not paid to try these tools out but was sent the tools to keep and use. The two tools Fiskars sent me were the Hatchet and the Billhook.               I was pretty excited to try out the hatchet. After all it's an ax and what isn't cool about that? I went around the garden eliminating weedy saplings at the root crown everywhere. It easily took out hackberry, Bradford pear seedlings, tulip poplar seedlings, and anything else I ran across. I tried it out on…

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Planning Your Next Garden: Evaluate the Garden

The calendar hasn't said so yet officially, but winter weather is already here. As I write this post sleet is spitting through the air outside. Fortunately I have a pot of hot coffee available to offset the cold. What should a gardener be doing on these cold "winter" days when the garden isn't suitable for enjoyment? Cold winter days mean that it is time to plan the next garden. It's time to take what you learned from this year and plan how you want to do next year's garden better, bigger, and more efficient. Today I thought I would tell you about my thought processes for planning the next round of gardens. I'm mainly talking about the vegetable garden but you can adapt the thoughts in this post to herb gardens, cutting gardens, native gardens, or any other type of garden. Planning a garden begins with evaluating the current and…

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10 Most Visited Garden Posts in 2013

It's always fun to go back and look at the year.  It helps to examine what went well or what didn't.  Usually I end the year with a post on how my garden projects went but this year I thought I would mention what the top posts on Growing The Home Garden were for 2013.  Once our newest arrival came along my project time became very limited and I just didn't accomplish that much!  Below you will find the top ten garden posts visited in 2013 on this blog.  While many of these posts were written before 2013 they contain content that seems to remain popular over the years.  I hope you enjoy looking back at these posts! Designing a Raised Bed Vegetable Garden: 11 Things to Think About In this post I wrote some tips to designing a raised bed garden.  There are things I learned over the first…

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5 Garden Things to Do More of in 2014

I don't make many New Year's resolutions.  I make goals instead.  I put together ideas of things I would like to accomplish and set out to do them.  I usually don't get through every goal I set but by setting a few goals that are attainable I accomplish more than I would have otherwise! I'll post my garden goals for 2014 in a future post next week but I thought for today I would list a few ideas that other gardeners may want to add to their gardening goal list. Grow more edibles from the backyard. Imagine what could be done if everyone increased their backyard production to cover at least 10% of their grocery needs?  Fewer trucks would be on the roads, lower grocery bills, and more people would be eating healthier.  Pick one area of your grocery budget that you would like to decrease then find a viable…

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Mid-June Garden To Do List

Here is a quick list of things that need done in our June garden.  Keep in mind that we're located in Spring Hill, TN in a zone 6b-7 area and these chores may not correspond with the growing season in your area.  You'll need to do many of these tasks too but at different times. Sucker those tomatoes!  Removing the suckers focuses growth on the other stems which allows for larger fruiting.   Pinch the tip growth on basil to keep a bushy plant growing.  Every pinch of the leaves at the growing tip will send growth hormones down into the stems to encourage other branches to grow. (See more on growing basil here.) Sequentially plant squash and zucchini.  My crop of zucchini has been nibbled on by deer.  I've covered them but the damage was done and our crop will be delayed.  Starting new seeds will ensure a second…

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A Quick Update from the Garden

This week has been eventful. I haven't been able to post much about the garden due to the happenings here but I did want to catch everyone up on how things are growing.  Here's a quick update on the garden. The beans are climbing the bamboo trellis I put together.  I gathered it up from a roadside where someone had left it for the city to come by and remove.  I figured I could make good use of them as a bean tee-pee.  It will look more impressive as the beans climb their way to the top. Our lavender is having its best show ever this year.  The honeybees are happy to have it around.  I would bet that the honey they make would be very good from lavender flowers.  I have noticed a drop off in the amount of bees in my garden this year although perhaps their number…

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Spring Around the Garden

It is full fledged spring around our Middle Tennessee garden.  There is no shortage of work that needs to be done in the form of weeding and mulching on top of a myriad of miscellaneous projects.  For now though let's just take a few pictures of the garden and we'll think of that monster spring to-do list a little later. This Japanese maple is called 'Beni Schichihenge'.  I have to confess that I have to look up how to spell that almost every time! I may have finally gotten it though...  The new foliage is rimmed in pink which eventually changes to a creamy white variegation. My 'Walker's Low' catmint is always a standout performer.  It smells great and is easily manageable.  Once it starts to bloom it won't quit! (also it is very easy to propagate catmint!) I haven't gotten an avocado from my potted avocado tree yet so…

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5 Essential Things to Know About Vegetable Gardening for Beginners

Everyone starts somewhere with a vegetable garden.  You can't instantly have the garden of your dreams. That dream garden has to come together bit by bit, a little each day.  That goes for experienced gardeners as well as those just starting their first vegetable garden.  It's just the nature of gardening.  You don't receive instant gratification but each day you will see something that keeps you growing that garden. When you look back it feels pretty good. If you are just beginning your first vegetable garden you may not know where to start.  You may not know what you need to learn. here are a few things you need to know to grow your garden to its maximum potential. The Soil Learn what kind of soil you have in your vegetable garden.  The soil can make a huge difference in having a successful garden or not.  Rich compost-like soil is…

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