April 20, 2017 @ 5:32 PM

Here's the 2017 Raised Garden Plan!

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April 13, 2016 @ 2:18 PM

Have you heard of phenology? It's a Greek term meaning "science of appearances".

Phenology is the art of observing natural occurences and using them to plan your garden planting schedule. Most species in nature use the basics of phenology - sunlight, rainfall and temperature - as catalysts for events in their life cycle. Phenology triggers when frogs emerge, birds migrate, seeds emerge, fruit trees flower, insects breed, etc.

For example, if an apple tree blooms while insects are still in a larval stage then the flowers aren't pollinated and fruit never develops.

I am trying to unlearn planting dates and learning to do things based on how the old time farmers did it. While I've always heard I should plant potatoes ...

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April 6, 2016 @ 10:35 PM

If you want visitors and passers-by to be amazed at your green thumb, plant zinnias.

Image from Park Seed. I'm sure they won't mind me using their photo if you'll consider buying some zinnia seeds from them


There's nothing easier to grow in the world. Seedlings emerge quickly when planted early indoors for later transplant, or when direct sowed into warm soil in the spring. The seeds like it moist and warm while they're germinating, but once the plant is a few inches tall it's a hardy little critter that will tolerate hot and dry conditions. In fact, they'll do better when it's not especially rainy as they are prone to powdery mildew.

I totally ...

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April 6, 2016 @ 9:26 AM

I've saved the cell packs and plant trays that I could for a couple of years, dreaming of the day I might have a greenhouse. Of course the chickens got in my she-shed and destroyed many of them. So when I was browsing through Home Depot, imagine my disappointment that one plastic plant tray with cell packs was almost $6! Then you add the soil and if you're buying seeds then it's not an inexpensive project for me to fill the new 12' x 16' greenhouse with plants!

The professional nursery up the road was nice enough to sell me a couple of huge bags of the perfect seed starting mix, so I went to work filling my saved containers with dirt and seeds. When I ran out of plastic trays I began to look around for what else I may...

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March 30, 2016 @ 8:42 AM

There's a lot that goes into my garden planning each year! As I've just finished the one for our initial planting in April I thought I'd share it, as it may inspire you to get to work on your own garden plan for this year! Click the plan for an enlarged view.

I let the chickens into the garden for the past couple of weeks to eat and till whatever weeds were growing. They've made the soil nice and loose and ready for planting! They were so happy for some worms and fresh stuff to eat.


We're in zone 7. If the weather has been warm and the extended weather forecast looks good then I'll begin planting warm weather veggies by mid-April. Potatoes, peas and lettuce have already been planted. I've got a ...

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March 19, 2016 @ 1:41 AM

   A woman in Russia working the garden at her dacha

I've been reading a lot recently about Russian agriculture. More so than any country in the world, Russia's citizens actually grow most of their own food. They do it with traditional hand tools and they grow organically - and in a much shorter growing season than most Americans have available. They have a cultural model that could allow much of the world to feed itself and live healthier lives. While most industrialized nations depend on large scale agriculture, transportation to move it around and big grocery stores to store and sell it, most Russians actually feed themselves.

As a child of the Cold War era, I watched as American news ...

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March 10, 2016 @ 7:00 AM

The greenhouse that Mike has been working on is up and going! Eventually we plan on installing some salvaged glass windows on it, but for expediency it's covered in plastic now. As it's so late in the spring we haven't installed a heater yet but that should be done by fall. It measures 12' x 16' so it's pretty spacious for our needs to start off veggies and flowers for our garden. Mike has also been working this week on adding some cold frames to the left side and some additional raised beds within our fenced in garden.

I've planted up about 15 trays of seeds this week.  There are 3 flats of tomatoes alone and all are heirloom varieties of course! One lesson learned from last year is that many of the old ...

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August 18, 2015 @ 2:22 PM

Cantaloupe is one of those summer delights I look forward to, but like many garden goodies they all get ripe at once. I found this recipe for Cantaloupe bread about 10 years ago and always look forward to making it.

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July 10, 2015 @ 1:01 AM














You will get the very best benefits from your efforts if you grow in raised garden beds. We've enjoyed a huge increase in yields since we started gardening in these raised beds that Mike built about 10 years ago, long before it became a trend.

We have 2 beds that are 3' x 40' and 6 beds 3' x 16'. We chose to just keep grass in the pathways, although many gardeners opt for mulched pathways. Our paths were perfectly sized to be cut with our zero-turn riding mower.

Here are the primary benefits of raised gardening:

  • EASIER ON THE BACK I'm not bending over so far so gardening isn't so strenuous. Everything ...
  • ...

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July 7, 2015 @ 5:33 PM

I had my surgeries for tennis elbow and trigger thumb last week. On day 2 I was going stir crazy and just had to get out in the garden. I worked out the little things I could do with my left hand such as weeding and picking berries and veggies and hugging chickens. Mike did a wonderful job of waiting on me, cooking, grocery shopping, feeding the critters and, well, doing everything for everybody. Thankfully it rained every day so there was no watering to be done, and I was forced inside quite a lot.

My surgeries were needed because my right hand and arm were practically unusable since last Christmas or so. This prevented me from doing as much in my yard as I usually do, so all my efforts were pretty much put into the veggie garden. Mike ...

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