It’s spring, and for many gardeners around the country, it is time to prepare garden beds and start planting. One of the best things you can do for your plants is to supercharge your soil with rich, nutrient-dense compost. Don’t have time for composting? Don’t fret; there is one really neat compost trick that takes little time and effort but pays off big – building up the soil and making nutrients available to hungry plants and beneficial critters deep inside the soil.
Did you know that cultivating the right combination of plants close to each other can make your garden blossom from mediocre to outstanding? Companion planting is an ancient gardening practice that has been making a comeback for one simple reason… it works. Planting a diverse mixture of plants, including annuals, perennials, flowers, and veggies, makes for a much healthier garden and, often, a tastier harvest. On the flip side, planting the wrong combination of plants can result in an unhealthy garden and a mediocre or even poor harvest.
Every year there are 136 million pounds of pesticides used on North American gardens and lawns. Surprisingly, homeowners are reported to use about three times the amount of pesticides as farmers. In fact, the majority of wildlife poisoning and water contamination is not from farms or other large organizations — it’s from single-family homes.
The best gardeners in the world have learned from their mistakes, but there’s no reason to repeat them. Learn from the mistakes of others if you’re just getting started in gardening. You can avoid a lot of problems, save time, and prevent the sad death of plants by learning some common and easy-to-make gardening errors before you make them.
Are you busy at work, busy with kids, busy with school, and just plain busy all the time? If so, you are not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from over-business, which leads to…you got it. Stress. There is nothing fun about being busy and feeling stressed about being busy. Quite simply, this is a recipe for disaster. Although it is important to slow down, on those days when you just can’t seem to catch a break, two easy-to-grow plants come to the rescue.
Yes, I get it; pests can be a problem. In just a few hours, pests gone wild can destroy your beautiful cabbage crop, annihilate your cucumbers, and leave your lettuce looking like it went through a war. All of this is heartbreaking, and I have had it happen to me more than once. There is a solution to this problem, and it is not to pour a vat of toxic chemicals into your garden either. Once I got the formula down – the best method to repel nasty pests – my garden has never been so beautiful. If I can do it, so can you.
Extending your indoor living space into the great outdoors is not only healthy but also fun. There is nothing quite so cozy as sitting with your favorite book on your outdoor sofa listening to the birds chirping. Or, what about entertaining under the starry sky? Either way, an outdoor living room takes personal space and entertaining to a whole new level.
Why would you want to sprout an avocado seed? Well, the most simple answer: because you can! There are not many fruits and vegetables that are near as fun to grow from seeds as avocados. Some seeds are a real pain to get started. For instance, seeds of peaches, plums, and apricots need to be either subjected to cold stratification or their hard pits broken mechanically before planting.
Stevia is well known today as a nonnutritive sweetener, a sugar substitute. You can buy powdered stevia products to add sweetness to foods and drinks without adding calories. These products contain rebaudioside A, an extract made from stevia leaves. A more natural way to sweeten foods without calories is to use the whole leaves of stevia.
If you live in a part of the country where the bulbs are just starting to show their pretty heads and the ground is beginning to soak up the warm rays from the sun, it is time to start preparing your garden.