Monday, July 30, 2012


Today's Tip ....  Bees needed to achieve fruit !!!

Some of my radishes have grown about 3 feet tall and are flowering. Adds some beauty to the garden plot AND  BEES !   The little tiny critters are buzzing around those radish flowers and my tomatoes are creating fruit.  This is not a coincidence because it has been very rainy outside and the toms are producing regardless.  Other years I have tried many tricks to get tomatoes to set but this year, with those tiny white flowers, we have success.

The best to gardening to you.

Don't forget that free Garden E-book.  It cost me BIG BUCKS but now it can be yours FR++EE.
Just email me at and request the free Garden Book.  I will email it to you as quick as possible.

Enjoy Gardening !

Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 2012

Regardless of the inclement weather,  every thing from fierce wind storms, the month of May the wettest month on record and then days of unusually hot weather, my garden is really producing a beautiful crop. Their is corn of course, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, scarlet beans, strawberries, melons, etc.  For just a whim I planted some flowers including nasturtiums.


Monday, February 13, 2012

2012 - A New Gardener Year

A New Gardener Year is upon us...2012.
Tree that was removed
 Basic layout of bricks for Garden
 Various views during 2011
 Rhubarb, Beans, Strawberries
 Corn, DayLily 
 From Road looking Opposite Direction
O how I miss that beautiful tree !!!  Of course I was told that my first year would be a waste of time as the soil was full of contamination from the 50 or so year old evergreen tree. Here in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada, we call these majestic trees Pine trees and Fir trees and Spruce trees. 

So I followed the advice given in my eBook, using the soil acid test and general tips for success. While digging the soil by hand to remove the huge quantity of roots, the gravel mixture that was used by the developer was very evident. Not to be discouraged, and after a lot of spreading and digging and spreading, an almost reasonable soil mix was managed.

The asparagus was a failure...too dry I think. The beans and corn flourished! My hope is that the strawberries will be better this year. 

At first it was impossible to find worms but by the end of the year there were lots of them. It pays to work the soil with compost.  

The effort to water efficiently sure paid off for the tomatoes. I put a small water trickle seeper at the base of the plants. No water on the leaves and lots of pruning back.

The ebook author really knows her stuff !!  Gave me a base or foundation of ideas to get started with and made it easy to ad my own ideas. After all, my life profession has been fixing cars!   Give me an email if you would like the eBook ...Fre*e 'cause I think you would like it tooo!
(ask for the book and I will email it to you)
Kelowna, BC, Canada

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cut lilies

Cut lilies

Whether you grow your own or purchase them,  lilies make great cut flowers to use in a vase or floral arrangements.

When cutting fresh lilies from your garden to enjoy indoors,  leave 1/2 to 2/3 of the stem of the plant so it will not harm the plant for future bloom.
For maximum enjoyment, cut them early in the morning,  when they
are just about to open. Use a sharp knife or shears for a clean cut. Remove lower leaves that may be underwater and place your cut flowers in tepid water with floral preservative.
When the buds start to open,  remove the anthers (male part of the plant with the yellow pollen). This will lenghten the life span of the flowers and avoid petal stain.
Take care not to get pollen on your clothes as it will also stain. If you do, brush it off with a dry paper towel, that should remove most of  it.
Store your lilies in a cool room away from direct sun, cold drafts and heating vents.
Tight budsIf the buds are tight and you need opened flowers, here’s something you can do to coax them to open.
Recut the stems and place them in lukewarm water with cut flower food. Warmer water will open them faster.   Another trick is to place a plastic bag over the whole bucket of stems to increase the humidity and temperature. The cut lilies should start to open in a day or so. Keep the bucket away from direct sun until you remove the plastic cover. When the buds start to open, remove the pollen from the stamens. This will prolong freshness and avoid any pollen stains. 
If the buds don’t open, they may have been damaged from poor storage such as ethylene gas exposure. If the lilies start to open too fast, place them in a cooler environment away from light.
Optimally, cut lily* stems should last 7-14 days.  Individual flowers last 4-7 days.
*depends on variety

Monday, July 25, 2011

2011 July ... Results

So, what do you think?  The soil left by the removal of the huge Spruce tree was not conducive to a good garden. I just followed the guidelines available in my ebook.  Next year will be exciting as the soil gets rid of the detriments, gravel, or whatever that was under that beautiful Spruce tree. I really miss the tree but this small garden is another attractive addition to my the neighbors say.

The rhubarb is even better than last year. Maybe you know or maybe not but adding a handful of strawberries into the pot when you prepare the rhubarb, along with a little honey, really creates an awesome desert. I love the tart taste so I don't add much honey.

The beans are delicious when prepared with a little margarine or butter.
Maybe next year the asparagus will satisfy. We used to pick a lot of wild asparagus in our apple orchards. It was always fat. Mom would just remove the upper part, breaking it off just where it became crisp and would easily snap when bent. I know it takes at least three years to become a quality plant. Have to learn to be patient.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2011 May -- New Season

A beautiful and precious site !  50 year old trees ... but planted in the wrong place ... under the power lines.  So when the branches started to hinder the power lines and trimming was no longer practical, my Spruce Tree at 60 feet tall, had to be cut down.
Not all is lost. I decided to create a garden. A much larger task than expected.
The first thing was to remove the massive stump ... a stump grinder did that , leaving roots meandering all over the place, just under the surface of the soil.
Then finding out that the land developer had used huge amounts of gravel to fill the undulating ground was a bit disconcerting.

As you see in the photo I decided to frame in the garden area with about 300 patio bricks. This is what was really satisfying. Creating something of artistic pleasure with practical ideas just simply gives one some Soul Satisfaction. Fortunately the bricks were a gift from the next door neighbor.

It will take a little time to arrive at a satisfactory soil mix over the complete plot. So, here is the excellent time to use my eBook  There is so much very useful information in this almost 100 page manual. Everything from when to plant, to what to to test the soil and how to make the soil correct for good growth.
My Rhubarb is an indicator of how well this Gardener Guide works. So far this year I have had 4 great feeds from this wonderful plant. I reminisce.  Back to my new garden.

First thing was to establish a good watering system as we live in a near desert area.
Then wait patiently for the soil to warm up so the seeds will germinate properly. My bean seeds, after some good soaking over night, came up quickly and proudly but I was too early with the corn.
The excitement that always happens is when one finds something unexpected jump out of the soil. Some wonderful forest ferns found their way into the garden. Came from the other flower garden that you may have noticed in an earlier blog post.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Cottage or Kitchen Garden

The cottage or kitchen garden is a distinct style of garden that uses an informal design, traditional materials, dense plantings, and a mixture of ornamental and edible plants. English in origin, the cottage garden depends on grace and charm rather than grandeur and formal structure. Homely and functional gardens connected to working-class cottages go back several centuries, but their reinvention in stylized versions grew in 1870s England, in reaction to the more structured and rigorously maintained English estate gardens that used formal designs and mass plantings of brilliant greenhouse annuals.

The earliest cottage gardens were more practical than their modern descendants — with an emphasis on vegetables and herbs, along with some fruit trees, perhaps a beehive, and even livestock. Flowers were used to fill any spaces in between. Over time, flowers became more dominant. The traditional cottage garden was usually enclosed, perhaps with a rose-bowered gateway. Flowers common to early cottage gardens included hollyhocks, pansies and delphinium, all three essentially nineteenth-century flowers. Others were the old-fashioned roses that bloomed once a year with rich scents, simple flowers like daisies, and flowering herbs. A well-tended topiary of traditional form, perhaps a cone-shape in tiers, or a conventionalised peacock, would be part of the repertory, to which the leisured creators of "cottage gardens" would add a sun-dial, crazy paving on paths with thyme in the interstices, and a rustic seat, generally missing in the earlier cottage gardens. Over time, even large estate gardens had sections they called "cottage or kitchen gardens".

Modern-day cottage gardens include countless regional and personal variations of the more traditional English cottage garden, and embrace plant materials, such as ornamental grasses or native plants, that were never seen in the rural gardens of cottagers. Traditional roses, with their full fragrance and lush foliage, continue to be a cottage garden mainstay — along with modern disease-resistant varieties that keep the traditional attributes. Informal climbing plants, whether traditional or modern hybrids, are also a common cottage garden plant. Self-sowing annuals and freely spreading perennials continue to find a place in the modern cottage garden, just as they did in the traditional cottager's garden.

Potager garden

A potager is a French term for an ornamental vegetable or kitchen garden. The historical design precedent is from the Gardens of the French Renaissance and Baroque Garden à la française eras. Often flowers (edible and non-edible) and herbs are planted with the vegetables to enhance the garden's beauty. The goal is to make the function of providing food aesthetically pleasing.

Plants are chosen as much for their functionality as for their color and form. Many are trained to grow upward. A well-designed potager can provide food, cut flowers and herbs for the home with very little maintenance. Potagers can disguise their function of providing for a home in a wide array of forms—from the carefree style of the cottage garden to the formality of a knot garden.

A vegetable garden (also known as a vegetable patch or vegetable plot) is a garden that exists to grow vegetables and other plants useful for human consumption, in contrast to a flower garden that exists for aesthetic purposes. It is a small-scale form of vegetable growing. A vegetable garden typically includes a compost heap, and several plots or divided areas of land, intended to grow one or two types of plant in each plot. It is usually located to the rear of a property in the back garden or back yard. Many families have home kitchen and vegetable gardens that they use to produce food. In World War II, many people had a garden called a 'victory garden' which provided food to families and thus freed up resources for the war effort.

With worsening economic conditions and increased interest in organic and sustainable living, many people are turning to vegetable gardening as a supplement to their family's diet. Food grown in the back yard consumes little if any fuel for shipping or maintenance, and the grower can be sure of what exactly was used to grow it. Organic horticulture, or organic gardening, has become increasingly popular for the modern home kitchen gardener.

There are many types of vegetable gardens. The potager, a garden in which vegetables, herbs and flowers are grown together, has become more popular than the more traditional rows or blocks.

The herb garden is often a separate space in the garden, devoted to growing a specific group of plants known as herbs. These gardens may be informal patches of plants, or they may be carefully designed, even to the point of arranging and clipping the plants to form specific patterns, as in a knot garden.

Herb gardens may be purely functional, or they may include a blend of functional and ornamental plants. The herbs are usually used to flavour food in cooking, though they may also be used in other ways, such as discouraging pests, providing pleasant scents, or serving medicinal purposes (e.g., a physic garden), among others.

A kitchen garden can be created by planting different herbs in pots or containers, with the added benefit of mobility. Although not all herbs thrive in pots or containers, some herbs do better than others. Mint, is an example of herb that is advisable to keep in a container or it will take over the whole garden.

The culinary use of herbs may result in positive medical side-effects. In addition, plants grown within the garden are sometimes specifically targeted to cure common illnesses or maladies such as colds, headaches, or anxiety. During the medieval period, monks and nuns developed specialist medical knowledge and grew the necessary herbs in specialist gardens. Now, especially due to the increase in popularity of alternative medicine, this usage is heavily increasing. Making a medicinal garden however, requires a great number of plants, one for each malady.

Herbs grown in herb gardens are also sometimes used to make herbal teas .
Borage is commonly grown in herb gardens; its flowers can be used as a garnish

Some popular culinary herbs in temperate climates are to a large extent still the same as in the medieval period.

Examples of herbs used for specific purposes (lists are examples only, and not intended to be complete):

* Annual culinary herbs: basil, dill, summer savory
* Perennial culinary herbs: mint, rosemary, thyme, tarragon
* Herbs used for potpourri: lavender, lemon verbena
* Herbs used for tea: mint, lemon verbena, chamomile, bergamot, Hibiscus sabdariffa (for making karkade).
* Herbs used for other purposes: stevia for sweetening, feverfew for pest control in the garden.

However, herbs often have multiple purposes. For example, mint may be used for cooking, tea, and pest control.     courtesy  Barry Patterson          my Kitchen Gardener

Ease the Transition between Home and Garden

   "I treat nurseries like showrooms," says Patricia Wheeler, president of an interior design firm in Orlando, Florida, USA.
   "I show clients plants and pots. I ask what colors please them. What shapes and textures. I like to get a sense of their exterior style, just like I do with interiors."
   The disconnect between interior and exterior spaces in many homes has always bothered Wheeler.
   "I do beautiful interiors. Landscapers do beautiful exteriors. but between them I see decks, patios, pool areas that are quite bare." she says.
   To soften the harsh transition between home and garden she has been experimenting with container gardens, using potted plants as small accent pieces and major design components on porches, pool decks and terraces, and as a welcoming statement at the front door.
   The placement of the correct plant in the right container, incorporating color, size and style, can make a powerful design statement, she says.
   And container gardens are especially suited to areas with a climate like that of Florida, where plants can be selected to produce blooms or colorful foliage year around.
   The daughter of a Minnesota grain farmer and a mother who loved to garden, Wheeler grew up with what she calls a "gardening habit."  She planted trees and flowers, in the yard of her first Florida home in 1983. But it wasn't until 10 years ago, when she and her family moved into a house with a large back deck overlooking a lake that she discovered container gardening.
   "I soon found it was a lot of hard work," she says. "In the summer it was so hot, the pots would dry out in a day. I was forever watering. And in winter, the frost could do more damage than I ever imagined possible in Florida."  There also were tropical storms and  hurricanes to contend with. Because plant containers can become dangerous missiles in high winds, smashing through windows and pool screens, they must be carried and stowed indoors for the duration of each storm.
   But with research and experimentation, Wheeler found solutions to these problems. Drip irrigation, controlled manually or with an automatic timer, keeps container gardens properly hydrated. Arbors and pergolas provide partial shade in summer, but allow warming rays to reach a deck in the winter.
   By adding misters, fans and fountains to your container-plant decor, she says, "You can transform a deck into a paradise, with butterflies and hummingbirds."

Bokashicycle | Anaerobic Compost

   Recently a process came to my attention regarding a new composting concept in a sealed five gallon pail. This is composting without oxygen, which is the opposite of what we normally do in our compost bins in the garden.
   This is a sealed process consisting of a pair of five-gallon buckets that take very little space. Once the first bucket is filled it is sealed tight so no oxygen can enter and the process to "pickle" anything from vegetable matter to meat and bones takes as little as a week's time.
   Meanwhile, you start filling the second bucket and mix the processed contents of the first with your garden soil and watch it disappear in short order.
   A tea can be drained off the spigot at the bottom of the bucket for use as a fertilizer for garden and container plants.
   The system is called Bokashicycle  and along with the kitchen waste process they have a separate system for pet waste. This system for recycling pet waste takes the pooh and turns it into a wonderful nutrient blend for the flower and shrub beds.
   For more information on the two systems go to
Thank you Don Burnett

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gardener Failure?

This is NOT my garden!
In May things looked very good
but now the middle of June
it is a different story.

RAIN.   We have had so much rain that my tomatoes are getting tired hanging on to the vines for dear life.  They are numerous but greener than grass. How discouraging for the Kitchen Gardener.

What a varied weather and growing pattern in our area of the world.

West of us, along the Pacific coast, May was early and the daffodils matured almost 3 weeks too soon. So those growers lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because the plants were past bloom before Easter.

Now the Kitchen Gardener industry is discouraged because we have not had enough sun shine to warm the soil and get those seeds to sprout and grow normally.

It has been good for the hothouses  but not for open planting. I was out driving in the cherrie tree area on Sunday, looking for good cherries.  Normally there would be lots of ripe fruit but not this year. And the rain will soon split them now.

Did you know that old newspapers can be used in the Kitchen Gardener's plans?
Take a look here ...... newspapers   Just leave your email address, put newspapers in the subject line,  and I will send this and some other tips to you!  Just  my way of getting to know you. 

Barrymor      My web page here  and another here   Toll Free North America

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Your Kitchen Gardener - May Frost

May Frost ... well it stepped aside this year ... just barely!

I put this sign up just for fun.

You see, every year my plants have to be sheltered and
coddled, covered with blankets or whatever is handy
because I plant them too soon.

One year I  even set up a tent over the tomatoes and put a hot light bulb inside to try to save them. What a struggle. That time the fruit did not  appear until middle summer as the plants had to re establish themselves after being treated so unkindly.
   This year it appears we will eating fresh tomatoes in a couple of weeks.
    If you have been creating healthy starters in a sheltered environment please be careful to harden them before transplanting them outside for good. The plants need a gradual change from their limited light place to the out of doors. Put an umbrella over them or maybe even my black plastic tent that helped keep the frost off my plants a few years ago.
   This year the sun was so hot for a week that some of the leaves of the plant withered and crumbled.
   My next door neighbor has just planted their tomato babies. The weather conditions this year are very favorable. So they should have a good crop for canning this fall.

        This eBook is sure being a big help.

We will continue to post tips as the season goes on. It is such a delight to have the opportunity to work with the soil. One does not need a huge plot of land to be happy ... but those of my neighbors who have lots of room also appreciate that wonderful fact.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

If this interests you ... send me your email address and I will provide much more information by return email

ask for Fre*e ebook !!!

Spring GrowGuide

Your Last Spring Frost Date: March 24
Your First Fall Frost Date: November 24
Tasks calculated for week of March 24, 2010 (week of last spring frost)


leaf lettuce
bush beans
lima beans
pole beans
sweet corn
summer squash
winter squash
swiss chard


cucumbers (3/3 - 3/9)
eggplant (1/20 - 1/26)
leaf lettuce (3/3 - 3/9)
melons (3/3 - 3/9)
okra (2/24 - 3/2)
peppers (1/20 - 1/26)
pumpkins (3/3 - 3/9)
summer squash (3/3 - 3/9)
winter squash (3/3 - 3/9)
early tomatoes (2/3 - 2/9)
late tomatoes (2/3 - 2/9)

TRANSPLANT cucumbers (2/24 - 3/2)
eggplant (1/13 - 1/19)
melons (2/24 - 3/2)
okra (2/17 - 2/23)
peppers (1/13 - 1/19)
pumpkins (2/24 - 3/2)
summer squash (2/24 - 3/2)
winter squash (2/24 - 3/2)
early tomatoes (1/27 - 2/2)
late tomatoes (1/27 - 2/2)
leaf lettuce (2/24 - 3/2)

Spring GrowGuide

Your Last Spring Frost Date: May 24
Your First Fall Frost Date: October 24
Tasks calculated for week of May 17, 2010 (1 week before last spring frost)


leaf lettuce cucumbers
summer squash
winter squash

swiss chard
cucumbers (4/26 - 5/2)
eggplant (3/15 - 3/21)
melons (4/26 - 5/2)
okra (4/19 - 4/25)
peppers (3/15 - 3/21)
pumpkins (4/26 - 5/2)
summer squash (4/26 - 5/2)
winter squash (4/26 - 5/2)
early tomatoes (3/29 - 4/4)
late tomatoes (3/29 - 4/4)
leaf lettuce (4/26 - 5/2)
TRANSPLANT leaf lettuce (4/19 - 4/25)
brussles sprouts (3/29 - 4/4)
Total Blog Directory

Small Kitchen Gardener | Your Kitchen Gardener

Is there such a
thing as too
small a garden,
either flower,
vegetable, for

"the kitchen gardener"?
This little spot of color is so welcome by the neighbors. I have marigolds, petunias, geraniums, lilies, hydrangea, snapdragons, ferns, blue spruce. Every year,other than the hydrangea, the planting is different. This year (now just started) there is a new climbing clematis  at the base of the spruce that will have fun draping itself over the tree's limbs.

I think of those in the cities that place raised boxes or flower pots in casual or special spots.
How wonderful!

If all who enjoy living plants would simply grow something anywhere, we would all feel happier.

One of the fellow gardeners grows sprouts in a mason jar in the window at the kitchen sink.

What are you doing for your kitchen gardener who is anxious to get out and cultivate your garden?

For ideas take a look here:    htttp://

Beautiful Ferns | Your Kitchen Gardener

Thought you would like to see my fern. It is almost 4 feet tall! Picture taken by my kitchen gardener

Got to thinking why it is so happy.  Well my underground water seepers have been very generous to the roots of this gorgeous specimen and also I have been using sheep manure fertilizer for the past few years. This baby is only three weeks old ... obviously very happy in my garden.

You will see other ferns starting to grow just to the left of the geraniums. We had a very dry winter with little snow and not much cold weather. The plants are all showing the result of the lack of moisture with some of them dying as a result. My prize climbing rose simply gave up and had to be pruned back to the ground. Looks like I have lost it.

The ferns will continue to sprout and grow at their own pace. The roots travel every direction from the mother plant. So the babies pop up everywhere ... and keep doing so for another month usually in my  garden.

I transplanted a couple from the wild a few years ago and at times simply have to pull them out when the appearance gets too cluttered. My home is in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia.

This Valley runs north and south from our area right down into Washington. A wonderful place to live!

No matter what happens each year, it is so wonderful to cultivate and encourage in "my garden"


Tomatoes and Your Kitchen Gardener

So, what do you think of my tomato plants? This picture was taken today, 19th of May 2010 by my kitchen gardener.

After so many years of dreaming of juicy, delicious tomatoes off my own plants, the last few years it has become a reality!

Now I purchase plants in pots from a nursery.

Our growing season is not long enough to wait 90 days for the fruit to ripen.  These plants have blossoms and within a month of setting them outside, beautiful servings or stealings of the fruit is right on my kitchen counter.

Of interest to others, I do not transplant them any more. The process is difficult for the plants to handle and sets the time of harvest back quite a bit.

The bottom is cut off the container and lots of bone-meal and fertilizer is added ... carefully I may add.

Purchased in the beginning or so of April, then kept inside during the nights and chilly weather, set outside in the warmer periods for the sunlight until the second week of May.

Try it if you like. Then maybe you would appreciate some very popular and helpful advice here.

My Garden and the Kitchen Gardener

Worm Castings | Your Kitchen Gardener

Worm's vegetable Reincarnation!

Worm's vegetable Reincarnation!
StrumeliaWritten by Strumelia
Sun, 05/16/2010 - 8:20pm
I keep a bin of red wriggler (Eisenia fetida) composting worms in my basement.  All the very choicest discarded tidbits from the kitchen such as fruit and vegetable peelings and scraps, egg shells, tea bags, banana peels, and used coffee grounds with filters, and shredded brown paper, all go to the worms, and the rest of the kitchen and garden scraps just go into our regular outdoor compost bins. In return, every few months I get a nice big 10 or 15 pound tray full of pure black earthworm castings for my garden.  For free.
I hadn't harvested from my worm bin since the Fall, and today I refreshed their bedding and rotated out about 25 lbs. of wonderful rich castings.
I purposely harvested today because today I prepared the tomato patch.  After deep digging the whole bed, I pounded in the stakes.  Into the ground around each tomato stake, I hoed in about 12 cups of earthworm castings.  Tomorrow I am going to buy the 16 tomato plants at my favorite local growers' stand.  Tomatos are the one vegetable I buy already potted as plants....everthing else I direct seed into the ground in my veggie garden.  I just don't want to get involved with starting seed indoors under lights, and our short growing season doesn't really give enough time to start tomatos from seed outdoors. I've already put in the stakes and planted my cucumber seeds. So now the tomato bed is ready as well.
I like to think about how so much of what we used to throw into the garbage to eventually wind up in landfills now instead gets re-cycled back through our two simple home composting systems and helps us grow our vegetables. And how amazing to think that some of the scraps from those vegetables will yet again go back to the worms to travel another cycle.  It's vegetable reincarnation!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kitchen Gardener | Rock Ground Cover

   One needs to  be very careful when using rocks for ground cover in your kitchen gardener.

   There is a need to replace water sucking lawn in unused areas. However, consider other types of ground cover such as drought tolerant shrubs, ornamental grasses,etc.

    Just like pavement and sidewalks, rocks will absorb and reflect a tremendous amount of heat, making it hotter in adjacent buildings and homes as well as stressing any plants planted in them unless they are dry heat lovers such as sagebrush and lavender. It is also hard to clean fallen plant debris out of rocks and to weed out of them when the inevitable weeds begin growing. The kitchen gardener of course will be wise to this fact.

   Even if you liv  in a semi desert, one can have beautiful lush gardens that use very little supplemental water. Please consider a more successful way to garden ... 

   Just another word of help for those of you looking for that perfect kitchen garden courtesy of

Preserving Water for Your Kitchen Gardener 2

   For the past 10 years Gwen Steele has been teaching ways to garden using less water. This method is called xeriscaping and consists of seven sensible principles to guide you to garden with the environment you live in rather than fighting the natural Nature. A natural for the efficient kitchen gardener. These are:
  1. Planning
  2. Design
  3. Soil Preparation
  4. Practical Turf Areas
  5. Efficient Irrigation
  6. Appropriate Plant Selection
  7. Mulching

   You will have the added bonus of reducing maintenance time and costs as well as pest and disease problems.
   Irrigating lawns is where the majority of domestic outdoor water is used. Watering less often for a longer period of time promotes deep roots that are more drought resistant. On clay soil it is possible to keep a lawn green with only seven inches of water added in a whole season. This can be done in one inch applications.  Eg: One inch in May, June and September and one inch two weeks apart in both July and August. This illustrates how little water is needed on clay or water retentive soils. The good gardener understands this.
   Growing lawn on sand is a major waste of water. A minimum of six inches of good topsoil is needed before planting a lawn in this situation.
   There are several drought resistant grass seed mixes available such as Enviro-Turf and Enviro-Lawn that look like a regular lawn but are low/water low/grow  mow. Another option is to remove lawn from areas where it is not needed for activities and replace it with drought tolerant ground covers, shrubs, ornamental grasses, etc. A kitchen gardener needs to pay attention to new or established recommendations.

My Garden | Preserving Water 1

   We live in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada. Only 41/2 hours drive east of the Pacific Ocean 
A portion of our Valley is desert, with a native dry land bush being the prominent plant.
The main part of our Valley outside of the desert area is wetter. Including the snow season, we have a precipitation average of 11 inches per year. This past winter season the snow did not come while on the Atlantic Ocean coast there was an overabundance of winter snow and cold. This will really affect the Garden

   For some time the focus of  maintaining one's yard with the least amount of water possible, has been at the forefront. With water demands from a rapidly increasing population and the increasing frequency of dry hot summers, we need to err on the side of caution in our water use.
   Water meter data indicates there is a huge increase in domestic water use during the gardening season. In 2009 the average single family use was 217 litres/day/person in winter.  And in summer, 670 l/d/p. The simplest way to conserve water is to reduce landscape irrigation.
   The most sustainable and successful way to garden is to create landscapes that use very little water so that when water restrictions come, you and your landscape are prepared. That is how we become the efficient Gardener.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Kitchen Gardener | Travel to Vietnam

Just something to make you hungry!   I do think you could make buns that stay fresh and various foods from your Kitchen.  Being a Kitchen Gardener has the delight of creating awesome creations from your own Home.

Your Kitchen Gardener-Naturalized

Hello again,  here is an example of a naturalized kitchen garden that some of you may have the exact place for.    Remember to come back to these articles often 'cause as information of interest is found, I will continue to make lots available for you.
See you at  Your Kitchen Gardener!

Your Kitchen Gardener-Rain Garden

For the Kitchen Rain Gardener

Sorry ,  the link corrupted my computer so I did not want to pass the problems on to you.
Hope you liked what we could show. There a lots of us with land that this could apply to.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Your Kitchen Gardener-Pond Kits | Canadian Tire

Pond Kits | Canadian Tire

While you are dreaming about that special spot in your garden, you may want to look at what is available for a feature water fall, fountain or gold fish pond.

Over the years it has been such a joy for myself and friends as we watch the birds flock to our bird splash pond. Keep up and realize your dream . Don't put it on the back shelf for too long.

Not this year? Why not? Do in right away so your enjoyment time starts now, not later!

Thinking of you .... Barry for "Your Garden"

Grub Busters for Your Gardener

Exciting FR*EE Gardener Resource! Look at PERFECT GARDENER TIPS.  Fill in the necessary information and immediately receive awesome GARDENER guides. No Kidding! These are high quality tips for the gardener and kitchen food preparation.  Delicious Video Examples!

     "Nematodes have been around commercially for a long time, however, they have always been scarce in the retail scene."
    To learn more about nematodes and Grub Busters for Your Garden, be sure to read the rest of this article

Asparagus and Your Kitchen Gardener

"Here  is an article regarding ASPARAGUS, sent to me without identification of the source. 
My reason for passing this on as requested, is that my study of the positive effects of Glutathione is outstanding. Glutathione is our own natural built in antioxidant. Everyone needs more replenishment of this on a regular basis. Glutathione pills do not work because our digestive system neutralizes it before it reaches our Liver.

Asparagus - a real blockbuster revelation!    An Important Natural Source of Glutathione."

To learn more about Glutathione, Asparagus and Your Kitchen Gardener, be sure to read the rest of this article!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Kitchen Gardener

Hello Reader,

     This morning I noticed the April rain gently covering my lawn and garden with such a thorough almost mist. If this had been two months ago we would have welcomed what we often see in this area of the World.  That is what is called powder snow. Such a delightful layer of white on the ground, giving those who like winter sports the best of the best to ski and snow board on (and in).
     This past winter has been very hard on my yard. Not enough moisture. The temperature was above normal and the snow was not sufficient to provide the winter wetness that is so important to the survival of my roses.
     One beautiful climbing rose called it quits.  So it was necessary to prune it back right to the earth this spring. We will have to wait to see if it will come back.
     Also my very precious hydrangea has part of the basic form showing the same problems.
     Our trees, shrubs, plants etc. all need a real winter experience to continue successfully in their growth. Not so this winter. Because we did not have enough reasonable cold weather, the complete growing system will experience difficulties this year.
     For awhile pruning, feeding and lots of water is about all we can do.

     There is knowledge of what can help in this Gardener's Manual contained in the Kitchen Gardener. I hope you like it!          The Kitchen Gardener 
Your Gardening Friend ... Mr Barrymor

My Garden from the Kitchen Gardener

My Garden

This is a blog referring to "My Garden", one of 27 other posts that I have made over the creation of this course focused on BeBiz and iContact support staff.

For the interest of the viewer, if you wish top notch training in the internet industry, these two professional companies would be my first recommendation.

Just enter BeBiz or iContact in your browser bar and carry on from there.

"The Kitchen Gardener" is the result of this training and I personally invite you to see what my last few months of training has done for me ....

Just click here " My Garden"

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Your Kitchen Gardener-Bulb Planting Depths

Greetings.     As  most of us can use all the information possible as we try to be good gardeners, I thought you would like a chart that recommends planting depths for various bulbs.  You will note they all like good drainage and porous soil with some bone meal and humus.  Sharp sand mixed in your preparation is great.
Mr Barrymor   (The Kitchen Gardener)

Planting Trees for the Kitchen Gardener

     When you are planning your special plot of precious garden area, whether it be a small vegetable garden or the overall larger area that includes your home, yard, outbuildings etc., be careful of what effect your dream will have 50 years from now.
      I am presently living in a private area of 134 homes that was established about 45 years ago.
     The original owner has passed on, leaving the park in the care of his son.

     What brought me here is the beautiful layout of the homes,  nestled in amongst the towering fir, pine and other evergreens with poplar or what have you trees sprinkled here and there.
     At the present time the beauty of the plantings like blue spruce, is being criticized because of the immense size they have grown to. Only a few are causing real problems. Those being under power lines.

      So what I want to conclude here is, project your mind into the future when planting. Visualize as best you can what your plantings will be like 50 years from now.

The Kitchen Gardener-Grub Busters | Nematodes

     Nematodes have been around commercially for a long time, however, they have always been scarce in the retail scene. These beneficial microscopic worm-like cretures attack all sorts of ground dwelling garden pests including white grubs, the larvae or the European chafer, Japanese beetle and June beetle.
     Nematodes also control leather jackets. But what is most exciting is they control fungus gnats, onion maggots and cutworms.  It's been a while since we've had a product that gets these damaging pests.
     The commercial product now available is called   Grub Busters

     Credit for this information to my friend  Don Burnett

Dandelion Control in Your Garden/Lawn

     Sometime ago an article appeared regarding a fungus that was discovered to control dandelions in the lawns. At the time it was being tested for it's safety and effectiveness. The article stated it would hit the market in the near future. Well it is here now.
     T he name of the product is  "Serritor", the first biological weed killer.
     When to apply is controlled by season and the weather quality in that season. It needs to be applied in moderate temperature weather,  warm of course. Watering needs to be done within 24 hours of application.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Garden Tools for the Kitchen Gardener

Ever take note, how it is that with our modern times and fast-paced lives, living spaces, these days, most of us do not have full time, dedicated gardeners, so we do the next best thing. WE BECOME BACKYARD VEGETABLE GROWERS OF EXCELLENCE! We will focus in today specifically on the tools of the trade for backyard gardening and how they help us in and around our patch, in our preparation, soil-enriching, cultivating, seeding, and planting as well as care and maintenance.
Gardening and backyard vegetable patches are not to be left merely up to commercial and professionals! It is feasible and attainable for anyone and everyone! You can even get the family and kids involved.
Moving from concept to reality will require some stamina and hard work, but it will be worth its weight in produce when the crops start rolling in. You do not have to be on your knees, stooped the whole time, to participate in this rewarding activity. There are a variety of quality tools and aides available to you to assist you in these tasks. They do not have to be backbreaking or tough on your joints and knees. Various modern tools of the trade enable and facilitate our gardening today, regardless of the size, shape or scope of your veggie garden. Garden tools are also pretty affordable and of robust manufacturing that will probably end up lasting you a lifetime, getting you good value for your investment over time. It saves time, effort and labor down the line too, if you pick the best and most appropriate tools for the different tasks. Making your job/tasks at hand easier is what this is all about. You are focused on results, NOT THE MECHANICS OF the process alone or at all for that matter.
Building up you arsenal of garden tools over time is the best way to do it too, adding annually to grow your collection so to speak, will not leave a too big hole in your pocket.
Some tools have surprisingly also remained similar and true to their roots, origin and original intended purpose, withstanding time and change. The simplest tools can make the world of difference. Try to familiarize yourself with as much of the functionality of these tools that you can.
Whether the tools are for preparing the soil, feeding and cultivating the ground, planting the seed, or protecting crops from insects and disease, even picking and harvesting your crop, there are numerous utilities at your disposal, like the plans, schedules, checklists and records mentioned before, that can make your veggie gardening life a lot easier!

Hydroponics | Laura Fox | My Kitchen Gardener

Hydroponics gardening is the growing of plants without soil, in other words, "dirtless gardening". There are many methods of Hydroponics gardening, most of which work better than regular soil gardening because it is easier to give the plant exactly what it needs when it needs it. Plants will only receive what you give them; therefore you will be able to regulate the pH, nutrients, nutrient strength, water amount, and light amount. This makes it imperative that you research the kind of plants you will be growing so you know what they need to survive.
Hydroponics gardening is only as difficult as you make it. It can be complicated if computers with sensors are used to control water cycles, nutrients, and light for the plants. However, it can also be as simple as a hand watered bucket with a single plant. The normal home Hydroponics system is usually made up of a few basic things: a growing tray, light (natural or artificial), a reservoir, a water controlled pump for watering (or some type of watering equipment), and some form of air pump to give oxygen to the nutrients.
The growing medium used in Hydroponics gardening can be any number of things, such as Rockwool, perlite, coconut fiber, gravel, sand, vermiculite, or even air. You can get instructions from a gardening store or online or buy separate parts and build your own. There are also kits already assembled for sale in gardening supply stores.
There are certain micro-nutrients that are necessary for healthy plant growth including magnesium, sulfur, calcium, cobalt, boron, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc. These nutrients are absolutely essential to plants and if missing could cause the food to not be as healthy and in some cases even cause health problems for those who eat it. It is very important that you use a quality fertilizer when Hydroponics gardening.
Another important aspect of Hydroponics gardening that must be closely regulated is the pH balance. When the pH balance varies the plants will lose the ability to absorb nutrients that it needs. The ease with which the pH in Hydroponics gardening is tested and controlled give it a huge advantage over regular dirt gardening.
Even though there are hundreds of different variations, Wick, Water Culture, Ebb and Flow, Drip, N.F.T., and Aeroponic are the six most basic types of Hydroponics gardening systems. Hydroponics gardening is easy, affordable, and you can have fresh produce, flowers, herbs & spices all year long!

Kitchen Gardener | Heirloom Seeds

Heirloom seeds are a great way to add a personal touch to your garden. Heirloom seeds are open-pollinated, which means that they produce the same plants year after year, if the seeds are harvested and reused. The seed varieties are almost always at least 50 years old and generally have some historical or cultural story that accompanies them.
Most gardeners who choose to grow heirloom vegetables do so in order to expand the availability of crops which are no longer grown on a large scale. More commonly found today, hybrid seeds and plants are the result of genetic manipulation which takes the best features of several different plants and combines them to form a new variety. Hybrids are usually higher-yielding, as well as disease- and drought-tolerant.
Most common to gardeners are heirloom tomatoes. There are literally thousands of heirloom tomato seed varieties found throughout the world. You can grow black tomatoes, orange tomatoes, purple tomatoes, and even multi-colored tomatoes. Some examples of heirloom tomatoes are the Japanese Black Truffle, the Black Krim Tomato, the Cherokee Purple, and the Green Zebra tomato.
Other vegetables, including eggplant, watermelon, and some peppers have heirloom seed varieties available to the public. The Moon and Stars watermelon has markings that resemble the night sky on its rind, while the Rosa Bianca has a beautiful light purple coloration.
Heirloom vegetables are prized not only for their historical value, but their taste and appearance as well. Heirloom varieties are usually the cream of the crop for their taste. The seeds have been passed from generation to generation for a reason.
Some heirloom varieties are quite rare. Many older flower varieties are hard to find and may be flowers you have never seen. Adding these to your landscape create interest and great conversation pieces. Baby’s breath, delphinium, and foxglove are all available in heirloom seed varieties. Their inclusion in your garden will give it a very nostalgic feel.
Seeds are generally less expensive than full grown plants. Vegetable and flower seeds can be as inexpensive as just a few dollars and once the plants are grown, you can generally harvest the seeds and use those the following year.
Many online retailers offer both heirloom flower and vegetable seeds; offers a very comprehensive selection. There are even online retailers whose sites are devoted entirely to heirloom tomato seeds, including and
You may even be able to find some varieties of heirloom seeds at your local garden supply store. More commonly found in specialty garden supply stores, heirloom plants tend to be more expensive and sometimes harder to care for than their genetically altered hybrid kinfolk.
While hybrid seeds continue to be developed and dozens of new varieties are introduced every year, heirloom varieties have always been around. Think of heirloom seeds as the pure breeds of the gardening world, untainted by modern meddling. Heirloom seeds can even be handed down through the generations of your family, helping to keep alive varieties of flowers.

Lady Bugs Yeeaaaa! (says Kitchen Gardener)

Insects can be the bane of many a gardener’s existence. Gardeners are constantly finding themselves trying to combat ordinary pests with products bought at the store or a wide variety of homemade insecticides. However, many of these insects can be quite beneficial for gardeners to have around.
Beneficial insects can be divided into roughly three categories: predators, pollinators, and parasites. Pollinators aid in the pollination of flowers in the garden; an essential task in the production of fruits and vegetables. Predators eat other insects, and parasites live on the bodies of or inside other insects or pests, eventually causing death.
The most commonly found insect, and one which some gardeners claim to be the most beneficial, is the ladybug. Ladybugs have a voracious appetite for aphids and some even go for mites and other scaled insects. Ladybugs, if not overly abundant in your garden, can be purchased, sometimes at garden supply stores or over the Internet.
Also commonly found in the garden is the praying mantis. These gardener-friendly insects lie in wait for other unsuspecting insects and grab them with their front legs. Ground beetles also prove to be very beneficial in the garden as they prey on a variety of insects, while robber flies are deadly foes to grasshoppers and wasps.
Flies, such as the tachinid fly, are parasites to other insects. They lay their eggs on the bodies of other insects. When the eggs hatch the larvae burrow inside the bodies of the insects and devour the internal organs.
Lacewings are also a predatory insect. Many gardeners use lacewings to control a variety of pestilential insects. Caterpillars, mealy bugs, aphids, spider mites, and some moths are all a very tasty treat for lacewings.
Many of these predatory insects can also help with mosquito control. These insects not only feed on the insects themselves, but the larvae as well.
Pollinators, such as bees and wasps, fly around the garden and distribute pollen. In order for fruit and vegetable as well as flower production to occur, your garden must contain some pollinators.
If planning to use some form of insect control (a chemical pesticide or home-brewed product) remember that these do not differentiate between harmful and beneficial insects.
If you wish to purchase beneficial insects for your garden, allows you to choose the insect you wish to control, and gives you options of insects to purchase which will help you control the unwelcome invaders. 4,500 ladybugs start at around $30.00 and can cover up to an acre, making them very cost effective.
When purchasing these insects to release into your garden there are some key points to remember. You should wait about three weeks after you have used any chemical form of insect control in your garden before releasing the insects. It is also a good idea to release the insects at night as they are more sedentary in the evening. Before you release the insects, water your plants. The insects are more likely to stick around your garden if they have something to drink. Why have them fly away and help out someone else’s garden?     Thanks  Laura Fox

Laura's Spring Fever | Your Kitchen Gardener

Around the end of February, all gardeners suffer from a common ailment...Spring Fever. You may find them poking at the ground protected from the elements in their parkas, or raking back the mulch to see if their daffodils have started to come up through the once-frozen ground. But when is the right time to plant?
The beginning of Spring usually signals the beginning of the growing season for most gardeners. However, it is important to plant at the right time of the year, and that isn’t always Spring. Depending upon where you live, planting times for your garden can differ by as much as one to two months. In parts of the South, planting can sometimes begin as early as late February, but in the North may not be able to begin until April.
Certain plants also require that you plant them at certain times of the year. Many vegetable seeds can be planted in the Spring as well as many flower varieties. Flowering bulbs can be planted in late Fall as well as early Spring.
Trees and shrubs can generally be planted in the Fall, before it gets too cold; no later than October. Planting during the Summer is generally not recommended in many parts of the country due to the extreme heat. Your plants will not have time to establish themselves and excess care may be required to keep them from languishing.
The last practical planting date for most crops is August 1. This may seem like a late start, but if you desire a late Fall harvest, this might be the right time for you. Vegetables such as carrots, beans, and turnips can be planted this late. Other vegetables take longer to mature. Squash, cucumber, and melons all require a longer growing season and usually need to be planted no later then the end of June.
Plant hardiness zones are also important to take into consideration when planting your garden. The plant hardiness zones were developed by the USDA to aid gardeners and farmers. Some plant varieties do not survive in the extreme zones. The zones are numbered 1 through 11 and are directly correlated to the average minimum temperatures in the various zones. Extreme South Florida falls into Zone 10, while Maine and the Northeastern United States fall primarily into Zones 3 and 4. One great example is rhubarb. Rhubarb requires a cold winter to produce properly and its growth is stunted by temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Planting rhubarb in Miami does not make sense.
Many gardeners also rely on time-honored traditions that tell them when to plant. The Old Farmer’s Almanac is one such source for time-honored growing and planting tips. Some gardeners even use superstition as a basis for planting times, such as planting with the phases of the moon and that certain vegetables will cross pollinate and therefore should be planted separate from each other and at different times.
For the best results in your garden, make sure you know what plants will survive in the zone in which you live and when is the latest you can plant them to ensure a bountiful harvest.

How to Water for Your Kitchen Gardener

As with all living things, plants require water to live. How much water they require, however, depends on a number of factors. Knowing when to water and how much water each plant receives is an essential part of gardening. Proper watering of your plants promotes healthy growth and better yield. Too little water and your plants may die from dehydration and too much water can lead to disease.
You should water your plants deeply, causing the water to actually reach deep down into the soil. This technique allows your plants to develop deep, healthy root systems that will allow them to survive better in drought conditions. You may want to create a well around the base of your plants by mounding soil and forming a ring where the water can go and then soak into the ground. Watering your entire garden uniformly will also promote even growth and prevent the unnecessary use of water.
Some plants only require water for one growing season. These types of plants usually develop deep root systems and can receive all the water they need from rainfall or from deep within the earth.
Using mulch in your landscape can also help. Mulch retains moisture and prevents your garden from drying out. If watered properly, even in the middle of summer the bottom layer of mulch near the soil should remain moist. Pine bark, grass clippings, and straw are all great mulches to use in your garden.
Efficient watering is very important, especially if your community is observing watering restrictions. If you have an irrigation system, ensure that you also have a timer. This will let you water when you want to and for a specific amount of time. Grouping plants that need the same amount of water together will make your watering more efficient. You may also want to use soaker hoses which place the water right at the soil level.
Watering in the early morning is also very important. Early watering allows the water to get into the soil before evaporation due to higher temperatures occurs. You also do not want to water in the evening, because evaporation may not occur at all and the excess moisture can lead to disease problems.
You can also help your soil retain moisture by using the appropriate soil amendments. You can use peat moss, leaves, and manure to enhance the richness of your soil. If you live in a drought-prone area, you should also choose plants that require less watering.
Keeping your garden properly weeded will also reduce the amount of watering needed. Weeds compete with your plants for water. By eliminating them regularly, the plants you want no longer have to fight the weeds.
Wind can also play an important factor in how much you need to water. Wind causes water to evaporate more quickly and doesn’t allow the water to get to the places it needs to go. If gardening in a wind-prone area, you may consider planting a row of trees or tall shrubs to act as a wind barrier to your garden.

Composting for the Kitchen Gardener | according to Laura

Composting is usually the easiest and least expensive way to fertilize your garden. It is also a great way to garden organically. Homemade compost is generally comprised of household food waste, organic matter from your garden - such as leaves and grass clippings - and possibly recyclable paper products and no chemicals. Once these items decompose, they create compost which can then be added to your garden soil and used as a fertilizer.
Creating a compost heap at home can be anywhere from relatively simple to very involved. You should first start by building or buying a container to hold your compost. Some gardeners choose to create an area at the back of their garden comprised of simple posts and fencing, while others purchase ready-made compost bins at their local garden supply center or over the Internet.
Where you place your compost pile should also be taken into consideration. If you will be using a lot of household waste, don’t put it at the back of the shed, over the river and through the woods! You will probably also want to take your neighbors into consideration. Compost piles can be unsightly and, depending on the materials you select to use, can be very smelly.
A basic rule of thumb to use is "if it will rot, I can use it." However, some things should be avoided. Meat, fish, and cooked food rot too quickly and can cause bad enzymes to develop in your compost. It is also a good idea to avoid cat litter and dog excrement as these can contain disease.
You should be aware that all organic matter does not decompose at the same rate. To make the best compost you should use a combination of slower and faster decomposing items. Things such as grass clippings and weeds, along with chicken or bird manure are fast decomposing and are good to get your compost started. Other items, such as leaves, hedge clippings, and anything woody, decompose at a slower rate, but the result is much richer compost. Other items you can include are fruit and vegetable scraps, tea bags, coffee grounds, and old flowers.
To get started you should already have the location and container selected. Collect all the material you wish to include. Spread them evenly along the bottom of the selected container, making sure to get a nice mix of quickly- and slowly-decomposing items. At this point you should add water to the mix to add moisture; this will help with decomposition.
Continue adding to the pile over time. As the bottom layers decompose, turn the mixture and begin to use this on the garden. You can continue the same compost heap for as long as you like. The more time the scraps have to decompose, the richer the compost that comes out.
If turning the compost by hand every few weeks doesn’t appeal to you, you can also use a multiple bin system and transfer the compost from bin to bin every few months. While almost as labor-intensive as turning the compost with a fork or shovel, the multi-bin method can be more efficient.
Finer soil caused by over-tilling becomes compacted and is not able to hold enough oxygen or water. Good soil should contain about 25% air, 25% water, and 50% soil particles and organic matter. Compacted soil can be helped by adding mulch to help the soil absorb water and promote the growth of beneficial organisms in the soil by increasing and maintaining a higher soil temperature. You can also prevent soil from becoming impacted by spreading gravel over the areas in your garden that are used as pathways for machinery. The gravel helps to distribute the weight of the machinery and lessens the potential for impaction. Tilling impacted soil is certainly not the answer and may even be nearly impossible depending upon the severity.
Certain areas of the garden, however, can benefit from frequent tilling. If you are trying to control a pesky plant problem, such as poison ivy or kudzu, frequent tilling can disrupt seedlings and starve existing weeds of nutrients.
You can develop a strategy to reconcile these two ways of tilling. Areas of your garden where planting occurs should really only be tilled twice a year - before and after harvest. Other areas, such as pathways, can be tilled more frequently. You can also combat the effects of over-tilling by being sure to add plenty of organic matter to your garden. Compost that has not been completely broken down can also help add texture back into overly-tilled soil.

Kitchen Gardener Soil Maintenance Thanks Laura

The start of spring means it's time to start your garden. Most of us begin the planting season by tilling our garden. Tilling breaks up the soil, helps eliminate weeds, and aerates the soil. The aeration caused by tilling exposes the soil to the air, which in turn activates microbes in the soils which, along with the addition of organic matter, help to make the soil fertile.
How often you should till, however, is often a frequent question. Frequent tilling - more than three or four times a year - can damage the soil’s texture. The more soil is tilled, the further it breaks down, eventually turning into the equivalent of sand. Frequent tilling can also cause the soil to become glazed. Once this happens, you should use a pitch fork or spade to break up the layer of soil that is just beyond the reach of the tines or blade of your tiller.
You should also avoid tilling the soil in your garden while it is wet. Tilling wet soil destroys the texture of the soil, which should be comprised of different sizes of dirt and matter. Once wet tilled soil has dried, clods of dirt dry and can become as hard as rocks and recovery can be hard and time consuming.
Frequent tilling has also been shown to reduce the amount of small creatures living in the soil. Creatures, such as earthworms, help to turn and rejuvenate the soil. Reducing the effects these creatures have on the soil can have long-term ecological effects.

Start your own Plants | Kitchen Gardener Thanks - Laura Fox

Rather than buy ready to grow plants from a nursery or garden supply store, many gardeners choose to grow their own seedlings. By doing this, they can control not only the specific varieties they wish to grow but the plant quality as well.
By visiting your local garden supply center or surfing the Internet, you can find literally hundreds of flower and vegetable seed varieties. If you have done the proper research, you may even know which varieties are best suited for organic gardening.
You should first make sure you read the seed package, or if you have received the seeds from a fellow gardener, follow their recommendations. Every seed may have different soil or water requirements and may not be able to be started at the same time.
You may choose to plant them in small containers inside or in a greenhouse. Be sure to keep the soil moist until the seeds sprout and once growth appears, continue to water, being careful not to drown your new babies. After the second set of growth appears on the new plant, you may need to transplant the seedlings to a larger container until they are ready to be planted in the garden. Some plants which you wish to grow in your garden may be easier and cheaper to start from seed. Lettuce is one vegetable that is just as easy to grow from seed as it is from a plant. Most varieties of lettuce found at nurseries or garden supply stores are not really that big and spending the extra money on such small plants may not be worth it.
You may choose to purchase a seed starter kit from your garden supply store. Some of these are made from organic materials which can be planted directly in the ground when your seedling is ready to plant and will decompose and add organic matter to your soil. You can also choose to use a soil-less potting mixture to start your seedlings. These can provide better drainage than conventional soil and are usually very nutrient-rich.
If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse, seedlings can even be started in late winter. This is a great way to get a jump on your gardening and by the time spring has arrived, you seedlings will be ready to plant. You can even make your own mini-greenhouse out of a box frame, a couple of hinges and an old window. The window is attached to the box frame with the hinges and soil or planting mixture is placed inside. Once placed in a nice sunny spot, or even indoors, the window can be lowered to help keep the soil warm and retain moisture. Simply use a wooden stick to prop the window open when you need to conduct maintenance.
Starting seedlings is also a great experience for young children. Having them help you select the plants you want to grow and showing them the proper way to plant and care for them, makes them feel invested in the garden itself. Nothing is more satisfying than being able to eat vegetables or arrange flowers that you have grown yourself, and children feel the same way.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kitchen Gardener and Organic Fertilizer (2)

Many organic fertilizers can be found at your local garden supply store or on the internet. But you can make it at home! Some organic fertilizer recipes require you to buy some items from garden supply or feed stores. One recipe uses 4 parts seed, 1 part lime, 1 part bone meal, and 1 part kelp meal. This mixture is then added to the soil or spread around plants.
Another great organic fertilizer recipe for houseplants mixes 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon household ammonia, 1 teaspoon Epsom salt, 1 teaspoon salt, and one gallon of water. It is recommended to use once a month.
How often you should fertilize will depend on what plants or vegetables you have in your garden. Most gardeners will fertilize their gardens once when planting and then once every month or two. Lawn fertilization is generally less frequent, occurring usually at the beginning of the growing season and once or twice throughout the growing season.
You can generally feel free to experiment with organic fertilizers to see which is best for your garden as organic fertilizers usually cause little or no harm to your plants and soil. Over time you will develop a favorite method of fertilization and even your own recipes. If you are feeling ambitious, keep a gardening journal and try experimenting on the same types of plants using different organic fertilizers. By controlling the things you put in your garden, you can control what you get out of your garden. Using organic fertilizers can satisfy your craving for getting your hands dirty and help save the environment at the same time!

Kitchen Gardener | Organic Fertilizer (1)

"Mary, Mary, quite contrary. How does your garden grow?" She uses organic matter and fertilizers to supplement her soil, what else? Organic fertilizers, although not specifically regulated related to their composition, are essentially any organic matter that can be used as a fertilizer or soil amendment.
Organic gardeners prefer organic fertilizers to inorganic ones (those manufactured) because they are less harmful to the environment and are far less expensive. Most organic matter used to make organic fertilizer can be found in your home, thus repurposing something you would otherwise throw out.
There are almost as many recipes for making organic fertilizer as there are gardeners who use them. Many have been developed over time, and each gardener will swear by their results. One of the commonly used fertilizers is animal manure, specifically from cows or chickens. Another commonly used fertilizer is compost, which requires you to create a pile of leaves and household food scraps (like banana peels and egg shells). This pile is continually turned and mixed as it decomposes until ready to use.
People prefer organic fertilizers also because they are not adding potentially harmful chemicals to their food supply. By using materials that come from the earth naturally, they are continuing the earth’s cycle of sustaining itself.
By using organic fertilizers, you can create a better soil structure and one that has better water retention capabilities. By activating the enzymes that occur in soil naturally, nutrients from the fertilizers are absorbed more easily and your plants are better able to adapt.