Weeds be Gone: Three Methods for Weeding Vegetable Gardens

weedsbegone

No one likes weeds. They are unsightly and can cause major damage to your vegetable garden. How? They act as tiny ropes that strangle the roots of your plants and soak up the water and nutrients your plants need. Tackling weeds in your vegetable garden is essential, or your garden simply won’t survive. However, the thought of getting on your knees and weeding each and every day can seem daunting. Instead, take a look at the three weeding methods below. Each is perfect for weeding vegetable gardens and is a different option then having to crawl around pulling them out.

Make your garden weed free. Take a look at these three methods to get started! [Read more...]

Growing Up: Types of Vertical Vegetable Gardens You Can Try!

vertical gardening methods

 

With so many people living in small spaces, vertical vegetable gardens are becoming all the rage! When you plant a vertical vegetable garden, you are still getting the vegetables you love but in a smaller amount of space. Your garden in this case will grow up vertically, instead of being spread out horizontally. Ideal plants for vertical gardening include tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, beans, squashes, and any other vegetable plants that have vines.

So how do you do this? There are a few ways to plant your own vertical vegetable garden and achieve some great results. Below, you will find some helpful information on how you can plant your own vertical vegetable garden. If you are limited on space or just want to try something different this growing season, take a look at how easy a vertical garden can be.

Types of Vertical Vegetable Gardens You Can Try This Weekend:

1. Trellis garden
You can find trellis in both wood and plastic materials online and at your local home improvement stores. It is rather inexpensive, especially if you opt for a plastic option. They come in a variety of colors and finishes as well. Simply plant your vegetable plant in a large pot or box and insert the trellis. As plants grow you can tie them to the trellis for more support.

2. Lattice garden.
Lattice is a lot like a trellis, but with a lattice you are getting support that is wider. Lattice can be wood or plastic, and is available for just a few dollars at your local home improvement store. You can easily have it cut to fit whatever space you need. When you use lattice, you insert it into your planting box and allow plants to use it as a climbing support.

3. Pallet garden.
Some people have found success hanging a wood pallet on a wall and attaching planting boxes or even bags to it to grow in. If you don’t have a lot of yard or floor space, a pallet garden hung on an outside garage wall works out well. Just hang your pallet, attach your vessel of choice, and plant as normal. Pallets can often be found for free at stores if you just ask! Nothing beats free, does it?

4. Cage garden.
Plant cages come in a variety of sizes and shapes. You typically see them in cone shapes for tomatoes but you can find them in a wide range of sizes allowing them to be used for other plants too. When you use a cage, you simply place it over the young plant and then train the plant to grow up the cage. You can do this by simply twisting any vines onto the cage as they grow. These are budget friendly as well, since they are typically just a few dollars each.

5. Teepee garden.
You can take three long dowel rods and tie them together in a teepee shape to use as support for plants. These are easy to assemble and all of the supplies (dowel rods, wire or rope) cost just a few dollars. Once assembled you can place over young plants and encourage them to grow upwards using the teepee as support.  You can also buy full kits here.

See how easy it is to grow your plants “up?” This season, give vertical gardening a try and see not only how simple it is, but how simple it is to do with limited space!

5 Ways to Repel Vegetable Garden Insects

ways to repel vegetable garden insects

If you have a vegetable garden, then you have pests licking their lips wanting in it! Pests love vegetable gardens and all of the tasty treats they have to offer. If you are not vigilant about keeping pests at bay, your garden can soon be overrun with nasty bugs and pests. If you are looking for ways to keep these pests out and your tasty vegetables in, take a look below at 5 ways to repel vegetable garden insects in a way that is easy and inexpensive.

5 Ways to Repel Vegetable Garden Insects:

1. Pour them some beer.
Slugs love beer. Place some in a shallow bowl and place the bowl in your garden. The slugs will want to crawl in and won’t be able to crawl out!

2. Sprinkle some pepper.
Sprinkle some hot pepper flakes along the perimeter of your garden and pests won’t want to cross it. Be liberal, and reapply after a heavy rain.

3. Spray with soap.
Add some dish soap to a bottle and mix well with water. Spray directly on your plants and veggies and bugs won’t want to touch them.

4. Pick by hand.
Take a few minutes a day to remove any pests you see by hand. Yes, it can be tedious but it is truly effective and will keep those pest numbers down.

5. Don’t over water.
Creating pools of water in your soil can attract pests. Be careful not to over water and only give your plants the amount of water they can absorb.

And if you don’t mind ladybugs - they make WONDERFUL little pest-killers!  They eat aphids, Moth eggs, Mites, Scales, Thrips, Leaf Hoppers, Mealybugs, Chinch Bugs, Asparagus Beetle larvae, Whitefly and other common garden pests.  We’d love to hear if you’ve tried anything that you would recommend!

See how simple it is to keep those plants of yours safe and bugs far away? Give these ways to repel vegetable garden insects a try and you can enjoy a pest free planting year!

Get Growing… In Containers!

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NOW is the time to get your plants in the ground.  If you’re following our series on getting started gardening, you should already have the following information:

1)  How will you plant?  In a container or in the ground or maybe an above ground bed?  (See this vegetable garden raised bed tutorial!)

2)  Where is the best place to plant your garden?  What part of your yard gets at least 6 hours of full sun?

3)  What do you want to plant?  What are your favorite veggies?  What does your family eat most?

Starting your garden isn’t rocket science, but you do need to know a few things.  Since everyone has different needs and plans, we’re going to break it up into Container Gardens, In Ground Beds, and Above Ground Beds.  We will break these into 3 different posts to make it easier to follow.

CONTAINER GARDENS

Having a container garden requires nothing more than 4 things:

[Read more...]

20 Best Patio Garden Plants

patio garden plants

When perusing the gardening center, you might be wondering which plants are *best* if all you are working with is a small space such as a patio.

Patio Gardens are really perfect places t0 try your hand at growing your own food, as they are typically sunny and allow you to get water to them easily via a watering can or water bucket. If you are debating about planning a patio garden, take a look below at the perfect plants. These plants are not only the ideal size to grow in patio planters, but easy to care for.

The Perfect Patio Garden Plants:

  1. Tomatos & Cherry Tomatoes
  2. Potatoes (with these cool potato planter bags!)
  3. Peppers
  4. Strawberry plants
  5. Blueberry bushes
  6. Miniature fruit tree varieties
  7. Zuchinni & Summer Squash
  8. Spinach
  9. Pickling cucumbers
  10. Radishes
  11. Mint
  12. Sage
  13. Oregano
  14. Basil
  15. Chives
  16. Parsley
  17. Cilantro
  18. Rosemary
  19. Chives
  20. Thyme

The herbs mentioned above often need little space and actually do very well in a stacked pot like this one.

wallplanter

For those with a tiny patio – go vertical to allow you to grow more plants!  Hanging wall planters like this one make it simple!

When you arrange small pots and even trellised varieties of these plants together, the end result is a lovely assortment of plants on your patio that offer color, convenience, and of course an abundance of food. All of these varieties are ideal for small spaces or to be grown in pots or by the use of trellis.

No matter what time of season it is, head to your local gardening center and see what varieties of these plants may be available. They are fool proof starter plants not only perfect for a garden patio, but perfect for a gardener who is just getting started out.

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If you’re looking for decorative patio plants – check out our post on making the perfect DIY Flower Planters!

Protecting Plants From Frost

protecting-plants-from-frost

Jamie here!  We’ve been having some weirdly coooold nights following a couple weeks of very warm Spring days, and it’s got me worried about my little plant babies.

My Nanny always said to never plant your garden till after Derby Day.  My mail lady says she never plants hers until after Good Friday.  It’s really dependant on where you live and what kind of crazy Spring you’re having – but this frost date chart is a good tool to give you an estimate of when it’s safe to plant.

Whenever you decide to plant your garden or set out your pretty planters full of Spring flowers – a late frost can easily sneak up on you and ruin all that hard work.

When temps dip even close to freezing, a light frost can develop on the leaves of plants.  If they go much lower, the water-filled cells will freeze and the cell walls will burst, destroying the leaves.

For some tips on how to protect plants from freezing, or getting damaged, by a late frost – keep reading!

[Read more...]

Garden Like the Pros | 10 of the Best Vegetable Garden Planting Tips

10 best gardening tips

Do you wish you could garden like the pros do? If you are wanting to plant a flourishing vegetable garden this year that looks like that of a master gardener, take a look below at the top ten best vegetable garden planting tips. It turns out, you don’t need the greenest thumb, you just need these handful of tips to give you and your garden a little boost. In no time, you too can have a vegetable garden that others will envy.

Ready to get planting like the pros? Let’s look at how easy it is.

10 of the Best Vegetable Garden Planting Tips:

1. Plant in the late afternoon.
This will keep plants from the hot afternoon sun, and will allow them to settle in stress free.

2. Water in the morning and/or evening
Again, you are avoiding the hot afternoon sun, so more of your water stays in the soil where the plant needs it instead of evaporating.

3. Pay attention to spacing.
Follow spacing directions to avoid over crowding. Remember, plants will fill out and fill in as they grow.

4. Enrich your soil.
Lime and other nutrients can be used to make your soil rich. A soil testing kit can be purchased at your garden center so you can determine exactly what your soil needs to do its job.  Using a raised bed vegetable garden makes it much easier to control your soil.

5. Pair up plants.
Pair up your plants to help each other. Certain plants repel certain pests, so by making sure these plants are in your garden you can easily save the other plants from becoming lunch.

6. Add a little water to your planting hole.
Add a little sip to the hole before you place the plant in it. The roots will appreciate this extra boost.

7. Wait until the threat of frost has passed.
If you rush it and plant too early, your plants can easily be killed with the first frost. Don’t let your hard work go to waste. Wait until the last frost has passed.

8. Be mindful of where you plant.
You will want to be sure you are near a water source as well as a spot that gets as least 6 hours of sun. Be mindful of where you plant as these are important details to pay attention to.

9. Allow plants to harden.
Before placing in the ground, allow the plants to sit outside on the soil for a few days. This will harden them and get them use to the space they are about to live in.

10. Be selective.
Plant only the strong, colorful plants. You want hardy plants that are green and strong, lacking any wilt or yellowing. A sick plant will take nutrients from others trying to survive, so be sure to be selective and plant what you know will flourish.

See how easy it is to follow these tips? None of them are time consuming, and they don’t cost a lot to do either. Each one of these tips can make a huge difference to your vegetable garden and make sure you get professional results.

So pick one or try them all! You are only a few steps away from a garden even a pro would be jealous of.

10 Benefits of a Raised Vegetable Garden Bed

 

What exactly are raised vegetable garden beds? Raised vegetable garden beds are great if you are working with a small amount of space. They keep weeds at bay,  allow for great drainage and protection from bugs. The  bed siding will protect your garden acting as a wall or fence, providing a barrier. As you can see, raised vegetable garden beds are quite idea for many reasons!

If you think these are the only benefits, think again…  The benefits of a raised vegetable garden bed are many. Read below to find out even more perks that can be brought your way this summer, courtesy of a raised vegetable garden bed!

The Benefits of a Raised Vegetable Garden Bed:

  1. Raised garden beds reduce strain on the back when tending the bed.  In fact, with elevated  raised beds, you won’t have to bend over at ALL!
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  2. Raised beds on the ground do not have bottoms so they can still reach into the soil for nutrients.
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  3. Raised garden beds fit all budgetsFrom $30 beds on up, you can find great deals this time of year by watching the weekly hardware store ads.
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  4. Boxes can be made on your own for little cost – see our Raised Bed Vegetable Garden Tutorial Here!
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  5. They keep pests at bay, not only 6-legged ones, but furry ones like dogs, bunnies and more!
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  6. You can make multiple boxes to create  a cluster garden, with pathways between them.
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  7. They keep the soil toasty.
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  8. They allow you to plant earlier in the season.
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  9. You can build them in a way that allows you to drape netting over them easily, or tent them in the event of an unexpected frost.
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  10. Avoid soil compaction and improve drainage.

Convinced yet? When planning your garden, why not consider the many perks listed above of a raised vegetable garden bed? If you want to ease back strain, are limited on space, or just want to get an early jump on the planting season, a bed such as this could be the perfect arrangement for you!