Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) is a member of the daisy family and it makes a wonderful addition to your herbal garden. Not only is is a beautiful plant with tiny white petals and a great big yellow center, it’s great for migraine sufferers. Migraine and headache relief is it’s most common medicinal use, but if offers so much more. Medicinal Uses… Read More
General Gardening Tips
These garden tips will help your garden grow a little easier.
Regardless of whether you garden indoors or out, you should be composting. All plants benefit from compost. It can seem overwhelming, but I’m going to simplify the process for you. You’ve got your greens, you’ve got your browns, you’ve got your bin, and you’ve got compost. That’s all it takes. Let me help you find the right greens, browns, and… Read More
It’s easy to take water for granted when it plays such a ubiquitous role in our daily lives. It’s always been there, and it feels like it always will be. Unfortunately, this may not be the case. Very little of the Earth’s natural water can be used for human consumption; and the demand for it only grows as our population swells. This is where water conservation comes into play.
A great garden isn’t just about what you plant, it’s about the overall appearance, too. Anyone can plant pretty flowers, but it takes time and effort to maintain a garden and keep it looking beautiful day after day. The following tips will get you on your way to a happy and healthy garden all season long.
No garden is complete without tomatoes. It’s the star when planting on a patio or in a huge garden. When you’re planting tomatoes, it’s important to decide how you want to support them. It will help you decide whether or not to remove the suckers. It also helps you determine the best spacing. We typically grow ours on a fence so we can maximize space, but this year in my free-spirited planting design, we are caging so we can sprinkle them throughout the garden.
Summer, along with its oppressive heat and humidity, has arrived. Some of the best stuff on the homestead happens in summer (like the arrival of ducklings and a garden that’s starting to produce), but summer comes with struggles as well. Get summer tips for the garden, your livestock, and even tips for staying cool while you cook.
Gardeners and farmers have hard-working hands that need a little TLC at the end of a long day. This homemade hand cream helps moisturize and soothe rough, achy hands. The best part is that it only takes minutes to make a batch and it lasts a long time. After buying the initial supplies, this hand cream costs less than $1 to make.
You can make this recipe in the microwave, but I prefer to do it in a makeshift double boiler on the stove top.
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is commonly referred to as common sage, or garden sage, but common doesn’t do it justice and it deserves a bit of space in the garden. Don’t worry, forming a 2′ ball at full-size, it won’t take up much space. With it’s woody stems and soft, silver leaves, sage can be planted in an ornamental garden and none would be the wiser. It is a perennial plant, so you need only plant it once and you can use enjoy it for 3-4 years before it begins to look lackluster.
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. Don’t worry, although it is related to mint, and it does spread, it spreads at a much slower rate than the mints you might be familiar with. The first year you plant, it will look like a frilly clump, but as it gets older, it will form a nice rounded bush about 2′ tall. I plant it as a landscaping plant, with its violet blue spikes of flowers, because I enjoy its beauty as well as its culinary and medicinal uses.
We’ve made some great progress encouraging people to use products like reusable bags, travel mugs instead of disposable ones, and natural cleaning products you make at home instead of hazardous chemicals from the store shelves. More and more disposable products are now compostable, keeping them out of the landfill, but some companies are taking it to the next level. Things that can be planted after use. Yes, plantable garbage.
I feel like I should be singing. Maybe something along the lines of “Mary, Mary, landfill wary, how does your garbage grow?”
Gardening is a rewarding hobby, but it’s not always easy. It’s also not always cheap. I tend to enjoy my hobbies much more when I figure out a “better way”. I am sharing my top ten favorite tricks that I’ve picked up along the way, as well as several from some of my friends.
Canning and freezing is a great way to preserve produce for a long winter, but sometimes you want it fresh. If you are buying produce at your local grocery store out of season, I guarantee you are paying too much. Wouldn’t it be better to just grab an apple or a head of garlic from your own storage?
Mainers joke all the time that mosquitoes should be the state’s bird. Let me tell you this, if you put our state bird in a fighting ring against our average mosquito, the mosquito would most likely come out on top. I take my mosquito repellents very seriously. I have compiled a list of great repellents that work on a wide array of insects in a variety of situations.
The National Wildlife Federation is offering a free Monarch butterfly garden starter kit to anyone who takes the pledge to help protect and restore the Monarch butterfly population. The kit includes a seed packet with native milkweed or a flowering nectar plant, a list of milkweed and nectar plants native to your area, a Ranger Rick Nature Notebook, and a Butterfly Heroes sticker and poster. Find out more…
Native bee populations are suffering. They refer to it as Colony Collapse Disorder. I hope you all are already using natural alternatives in your gardens and around your homes instead of pesticides. Another way we can help out our native bee population is to plant bee-friendly flowers. Maybe even a bee meadow. Even a small bee meadow can feed a lot of bees.