5 Spring Garden Preparation Tasks!

Spring is officially here!  Spring's arrival means it is really time to be thinking about the garden (as if we haven't been since fall).  It's always important to get the spring gardening season off to a great start.  Today let's look at a few garden tasks that need done to help get your garden going. 5 Garden Preparation Chores and Tasks Check your garden hoses! Each spring you should check your garden hoses.  Put a hose nozzle on one end and hook it up to the faucet. If there is a leak at either end check the gasket on the inside.  You can buy replacement gaskets very cheaply.  If it's not just a missing or worn out gasket you may have to replace a hose end.  Repair kits are cheap and easy to install. Maintain your power equipment Go ahead and get out the mowers and trimmers and give them…

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5 Natural Weed Killing Tips

Weeds are one of the most troubling elements of gardening that gardeners face.  A gardener's definition of a a weed is simply a plant you don't want in a place you don't want it!  Which means that even desirable plants can become a weed pest in the wrong place.  Gardener's want simple and easy ways to remove weeds from the garden and there are a few methods to deal with weed effectively. The Natural Approach I believe that the best approach with any garden is to kill weeds naturally if at all possible.  What does killing weed naturally mean?  No synthetic chemicals. Which even after you eliminate all the store bought chemicals the gardener still has a variety of methods available.  The number one method for effectively removing weeds is to do so mechanically.  Pulling the weeds roots and all prevents them from coming back.  Sometimes that is easier said…

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5 Situations that Call for Raised Beds

If you've followed Growing The Home Garden for any length of time you probably know that I'm a proponent of raised bed gardening.  Raised beds can be made of all sorts of materials and have all kinds of advantages for growing a garden.  Raised beds are great solution for many tricky situations in the garden. Here are a few ways that raised beds can help a garden that may have some issues! 5 Situations that Call for Raised Beds Poor soil.  Very few gardeners are lucky enough to have perfect soil for gardening.  You may have hard clay, very sandy soil, or even no soil!  Raised beds help in each of these situations by allowing the gardener to have control over the soil conditions.  The soil can be just right from the very beginning.  It can be filled with a combinations of soil, compost, and other materials to be exactly…

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5 Reasons to Love Your Leaves

The number one thing people think of when the fall season comes is the leaves.  Thoughts of harvests, festivals, and cooler weather come too but when the fall season comes to mind its the leaves that get the attention.  Everybody loves the leaves!  Here's why: 5 Reasons to Love Your Leaves The colors.  Mother nature gives us a spectacular color display every year.  As the days grow shorter the leaves begin to change color to bright oranges, yellows, and reds with all kinds of variations in between.  Leaves emerge with bright and fresh colors in the spring, become mature, then burst open with color in the fall like a painting. Leaves make great compost!  Leaves are perfect for the compost bin.  If you have ever hiked in a heavily wooded area and admired the dark loamy soil you have observed the benefit of leaves.  Take advantage of that potential leaf…

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5 Fallish Things To Do!

The weather is changing, the shadows are getting longer, and of course the leaves are beginning to become more colorful which opens the door to a new season of gardening.  Every season has it's own specific chores and things to do.  Winter is for planning, spring is for starting, summer is for maintenance and harvesting, and fall is for harvesting! Of all the seasons fall is probably my favorite time of the year.  The days are refreshingly cool, the leaves are bright and colorful, and it is a joy to be out accomplishing garden chores in that kind of weather.  So let's plan ahead and see what we have to look forward to this fall! 5 Fall Garden Things to Do! Take care of all those leaves.  Leaves are an awesome resource.  When they change, drop, and decay they enrich the soil. Leaves can sometimes go where you don't want…

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5 Common Garden Insect Pests

Every garden experiences pest issues form time to time.  Insect pest can be frustrating and sometimes when you discover what is damaging your plants it's already too late to do anything about it.  Here are five common insect pests that you may see in your garden for today's Friday Five post!   Pest #1: Flea beetles You'll first notice flea beetle damage when you start to see tiny holes in the foliage.  Mature plants can resist flea beetle damage but younger ones are very susceptible to it.  In my garden they target eggplants more than any other type of plant.  I'll see them on tomatoes and potatoes but the damage is not nearly so dramatic. To deal with flea beetles try using neem oil, insecticidal soap, or diatemaceous earth (Amazon Aff).  A combination of those treatments may be necessary! For companion planting consider planting catnip. Just don't let the catnip…

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5 Garden Things to Do This Weekend (Zone 6-7)

Our garden sits precariously between zone 6b and 7.  We're in a very borderline area with multiple micro-climates within the 1.3 acres of land we have around us.  We're far enough into the warm season now that the frosts should not happen again until fall, but then we thought we were done with frosts over a month ago! This weekend there is a whole lot to do in the garden to play catch-up.  Here's a little of what I'm looking at for my garden! Plant more tomatoes! If you haven't already done so go ahead and get those tomatoes in the ground.  I'm behind on this with only 5-6 plants so far but there is still plenty of time to get them growing and have a great harvest.  I always plant my tomatoes deeply leaving only the top few leaves above the soil.  The tomato grows roots along the stem…

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5 Things to Do to Prepare Your Garden Soil Before You Plant

Planting time is here, but before you plant there are a few things you should do to prepare your garden beds.  Here are a few things you should do to get the soil prepared before planting out your garden. Weed - This one is pretty obvious but it has to be done!  Weeding the garden removes competition for valuable nutrients, opens up the area to better air flow, and gives your plants some room to grow.  Take the weeds and drop them in your compost bin to break down.  Weeds have a knock for growing in places where other plants don't like.  That means they are able to pull nutrients from those areas into themselves.  When you compost those weeds (hopefully before they have gone to seed) the nutrients end up in your compost which then ends up in your garden. Soil Test - I've gotten by in my garden…

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5 Favorite Perennials for the Garden

Perennials are the work horse of just about every garden.  Trees and shrubs provide structure, but perennials provide a consistent impact.  Annuals are great for an instant punch but perennials give you a repeat performance year after year.  Some perennials bloom consistently through the season while others give a nice show for a short period of time.  Narrowing down the list of perennials to a few favorites is extremely difficult.  There are so many and each plant has traits that make it unique and useful in the garden. I've attempted in this post to list 5 favorite perennials but please realize that these favorites are just 5 of many! 5 Favorite Perennials For Shade: Heuchera Heucheras or coral bells are really great plants for dry shady areas.  I just recently experienced root rot on on of mine due to a semi-wet location but generally heuchera are extremely trouble free.  They…

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5 Great Companion Plants for Tomatoes

Tomatoes are what I think about when I think of my summer garden. I can't help it. They are the number one crop I like to grow in the summer.  To help my tomatoes prosper I use companion planting techniques to combat insects and help my plants grow better.  Since we're still a couple weeks away from tomato planting time in Tennessee I thought going over a few companion plants for tomatoes might help you to plan out your garden this year. Basil Basil is my number one favorite companion plant in the garden.  It's useful in flavoring sauces, salads, and delicious in pesto but is also a great deterrent for insects in the garden.  Basil attracts beneficial insects when in flower (the flowers are edible too) and requires next to nothing to care for it. Chives Chives and tomatoes seem like a good fit since since they taste great…

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