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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