Gardening & Outdoors

Gardening & Outdoors

One of the greatest skills a homesteader can acquire is the ability to produce food for yourself. Not everyone is blessed with acres to grow their own food, but even a pot of patio tomatoes can change how you and your family eats. Our quarter acre is home to over 1,000 square feet of vegetable gardens as well as a mini-orchard. Discover how to maintain your gardens and outdoor spaces.

Back to Eden  |  Starting a Garden  |  Organic Solutions  |  Seed Starting & Saving  |  General Gardening

Back to Eden Gardening

Back to Eden is a simple organic gardening method that mimics nature, with layers of decomposing materials that nourish the garden. When you have achieved an established Back to Eden garden, care is minimal since the garden cares for itself and provides most of it’s own needs.

Fertilizing a Back to Eden garden corrects what little bit of nitrogen binding occurs with the application of wood chips to your garden.
Planting potatoes in a Back to Eden garden increases your yield and produces a cleaner and less marred harvest. Discover how to plant your potatoes using BTE.
The concept behind Back to Eden gardening is to cover the soil in the same way nature does so that the soil is not exposed to the harsh elements of sun and wind.

Our Back to Eden garden is made possible thanks to

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Starting a Garden

With the increasing awareness of healthy living, people are turning to growing their own organic vegetables in their backyards. A backyard garden has many advantages. Not only does it save money and provide constant flow of fresh vegetables, but it’s also a source of recreation and physical exercise in relaxing environment and fresh air.

Before you start digging, there are two key things you need to know to make sure your plants are successful in the garden - hardening off and transplanting.
Not everyone has a full open area to grow their produce, but there are actually a lot of garden vegetables to grow in your shaded areas. Here are just a few.
Hugelkultur involves building a raised bed that is filled with rotted wood. This wood acts as a sponge to hold moisture and it provides a home to beneficial insects.
Every garden is as unique as the person who plants it. If you want to try something new, do it! If you want to plant a hundred of this and none of that, go for it!
Most of North America's soil has been damaged by poor agriculture and construction practices. Thankfully repairing damaged soil is not incredibly hard or expensive to accomplish.
More people are turning to growing their own organic vegetables in their backyards. Setting up a veggie garden in your backyard has many advantages.
Discover ways to vegetable garden in a small space. With a little creativity and ingenuity, you can provide food for your family even in the smallest of small spaces.
Succession planting is basically growing one crop after another. It's easy in warm climates, but even those of us up in Maine can do it.
It's important to sun map so you know where to put your plants. This is critical for flowers as well as vegetables and other produce. Map out your sun.
There’s nothing like vegetables fresh from the garden, but not all of us have the time or energy it takes to stay on top of garden upkeep.
There is often some confusion about what gardening zones and frost dates are. Also, things these tools don't tell you that are important to the gardener.

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Organic Solutions

When you eat from your garden, you are eating what you put in your your soil. Keep pesticides and synthetics away from your garden. Try these organic options instead. Most are as effective (if not more so) than their commercial counterparts.

Before launching into 8 super-cool herbs, let's talk about permaculture. It's an ecological design science that is modeled after nature and used for sustainability.
Powdery mildew is one of the most common garden problems and it affects gardeners from coast to coast. Enjoy these natural powdery mildew treatments.
Learn neat tricks to improve your garden with items found at the grocery store. Grocery gardening is an inexpensive way to transform your garden.
Making leaf mold isn't a quick process. It takes time, but the results are worth the wait. It adds compost to the soil and it acts as a free mulch material.
Like peas and carrots, chickens and gardens belong together (though not occupying the same space). Chickens want to work. Why not harness that natural instinct?
Plant your produce in rich, healthy soil. Go a step further and choose organic and natural amendments to enhance your soil quality and correct imbalances.
Most of North America's soil has been damaged by poor agriculture and construction practices. Thankfully repairing damaged soil is not incredibly hard or expensive to accomplish.
Black gold. It's essential in the garden. Most choose the bovine poo, but there are many manure options to choose from, each with their own unique benefits.

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Seed Starting & Saving

Everything you could need to know about seeds. When to start yours seeds, methods for sowing, and even how to save seeds so you don’t have to buy more the following year.

Whether you are a backyard hobby homesteader or an avid homesteader on your journey to live off-grid, these are the homesteading articles you want to be reading.
Burlap saves you from many of the struggles that come with carrot starting: soil drying out, seeds being unearthed, ants destroying your emerging seedlings.
Mary's Heirloom Seeds currently offers over 300 varieties of open-pollinated, non-GMO & non-hybrid, non-patented, untreated, organic, heirloom garden seeds.
Mike the Gardener is the man behind Seeds of the Month Club, a monthly subscription service that delivers open pollinated, non-GMO seeds to your mailbox.
A resource for everything you could need to know about seed saving, from vegetables to herbs to flowers. Learn how to properly save seeds.
Disaster can strike your seeds when you least expect it. Maybe you had an earthquake or tornado that destroyed all your packets. Maybe you have a toddler.

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General Gardening

Need help in your garden? You will find the information you need to turn your brown thumb green.

Sprouts, herbs and shallow-root vegetables can be part of your garden indoors. If you have the space you can plant pretty much anything. Here's 10 reasons to start.
Gardening Hacks: Save money and make gardening just a bit easier with these great tips and tricks. I bet there are a few that will amaze you. Happy gardening!
Water conservation has a great number of benefits. The homestead is ripe for opportunities to save water. Here are a just a few to get you started!
Native bee populations are suffering.They refer to it as Colony Collapse Disorder. You can help by planting native bee-friendly flowers.
Foraging has become quite trendy in the last few years. It is as old as life itself and not nearly as overwhelming as it can seem by the current trend.
It's time to think beyond nursery pots on the front porch. Container gardening can offer so much more. Make a statement with your containers.
The human footprint on planet Earth continues to grow, but you can make a difference in your very own backyard. Create an eco-friendly yard and garden.
Making your yard eco-friendly is a process, not an all-or-nothing imperative. Every improvement brings a benefit to the environment.
I found three specific elements essential to the perfect garden design. You need a focal point, hardscaping is important, and you need a color scheme.
Gardeners and farmers have hard-working hands that need TLC. This homemade hand cream helps moisturize and soothe rough, achy hands.
A harvest aprons is great for gathering up the produce you collect in your garden. I'll show you how to make one with just simple sewing. Add egg pockets to collect eggs.
Frozen and canned produce is good, but sometimes fresh produce off-season is better. Discover how to use Fresh Storage to enjoy fresh produce year round.
Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) is a member of the mint family and you'll want to make room for it in your herb garden this year.
Trellises serve an important function in the garden. They can be completely utilitarian or they can be a work of art. A trellis for any price range.
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is commonly referred to as common sage, or garden sage, but common doesn't do it justice and it deserves a space in the garden.
Marigolds flowers are more than just a pretty flower. They are miracle flowers. After reading this, you'll never look at a marigold flower the same way.
Regardless of the size of your homestead, you can create a Monarch habitat by providing food, water, cover, and a place for the caterpillars to grow.
Move a portion of your garden south. How? you might ask. It is simple, with a greenhouse! You just need to find your correct greenhouse for your goals.
A list of natural repellents that work on a wide array of insects in a variety of situations. Also included are great natural "after bite" solutions.
Many products are now compostable, keeping them out of the landfill. Some companies are taking it to the next level with things you plant after using
Greenhouses are large enough to walk into. Cold frames allow you to plant directly into the ground. Polytunnels give you the best of both.
Swales are an amazing permaculture implementation for your homestead - It's a designing system that work harder than you do.
The EWG has set about to test the amounts of pesticide residue on the foods we eat. This is the report of the 2016 dirty dozen and clean fifteen.
2015's dirty dozen and clean fifteen. You can grow many of these! Wouldn't it be fabulous to enjoy these foods you love without the fear of pesticide residues?
Broccoli is a vegetable that I find incredibly difficult to harvest. It's not actually the harvesting part that is difficult, it's the timing that's hard.
I'm an outdoor garden person. It's where my thumb shines the greenest. These five tips have helped me keep my houseplants happy and healthy.

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