Growing produce is very similar to baking a cake. Fresh, high-quality seeds are like fresh, high-quality ingredients. But much like a sub-par oven can ruin a cake, sub-par soil can ruin your crop quality and harvest quantity. Improve your soil and you will improve your growing experience. So where do you start? Test your soil. Then it’s time to start repairing with these organic amendments.
When you eat from your garden, you are eating what you put in 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.
Black gold. It’s essential in the garden. Most choose the bovine poo, but there are many options to choose from, each with their own unique benefits. The question is, are you managing your manure in a safe way? Are your foods still safe to eat? With scares on TV about foods being sold that were contaminated with things like E. Coli. many people are now wondering if manures are safe to use in the garden. Less and less commercial farms are using manure in their operations. Should that be telling us something?
Much like peas and carrots, chickens and gardens belong together (though maybe not occupying the same space). Chickens want to work. They want to dig and search and scratch. Why not put natural behavior to work for you? Discover why you should move your compost bin into your chicken run and how to safely compost with chickens.
There are a few things you should be doing now to have a fabulous garden next year. Here is a handy checklist of all the things you should be doing to prepare your vegetable gardens for spring. The more you do in the dead of autumn, the less you need to do during the busy spring months.
Does your soil turn rock hard and crack in the summer heat? Or perhaps it is composed of hard clods of dirt that are almost impossible to break, or is a sandy dust that easily blows away? If so, you probably have a case of damaged soil. You are not alone in this problem, as a large majority of North America’s soil has been damaged by poor agriculture and construction practices. Take heart though, because repairing damaged soil is not incredibly hard or expensive to accomplish.
Powdery mildew is one of the most common garden problems and it affects gardeners from coast to coast. Conditions that seem to encourage powdery mildew include temperate weather and high humidity. Why do I get the impression that many east coasters will be reading this this year? Our weather this year has been the perfect storm for powdery mildew. So how do we treat it?
One of the best organic pest control techniques involves making your property an ideal environment for beneficial bugs. You can start by creating a pollinator-friendly garden. Many pollinator gardens contain plants that attract other “good guys” to your area. You want three types of good guys in your garden. Having all three will help you build a natural system of organic pest control.
Today’s post topic was inspired by one of my fabulous readers. She has been following The 104 Homestead for a bit and trying out some of our ideas. Recently she wrote to ask me if I’d considered Hugelkultur. I had no clue how to even pronounce it (it’s German), let alone what it was, so I set about reading. I love a good project.
My family puts up with some very odd requests from me, but this one takes the cake. I’ll be honest, my boys were happy to oblige. It’s not often they are granted permission to pee outdoors since we live in a fairly populated area. The husband and the daughter were a harder sell. I don’t think I’ve won them over yet. It’s okay though, because every drop helps.
I am constantly looking for new ways to improve my soil and enhance my gardening experience. I also prefer to use all natural elements. And don’t forget about frugal. That is where Grocery Gardening comes into play. With Grocery Gardening, you often don’t need to look any further than the pantry or fridge.
Herbs help us create healthier garden ecosystems and reduce the amount of work, allowing us to have more time to sit and enjoy our garden! Herbs will fertilize, attract pollinators and beneficial insects, provide mulch, and deter pests. Without further ado, here are my top 8 most-useful herbs to have around the garden.
Is your compost pile buried under a foot of snow? Do you dread putting on your snowshoes and trudging out to the pile to dispose of your kitchen scraps? Yeah, me too. That’s why I’m planning to start composting inside, with worms. Yes, worms in the house (shhh, don’t tell my husband).
Making your yard eco-friendly is a process, not an all-or-nothing imperative. Every improvement brings a benefit to the environment and teaches you something. Remember too that you are not alone. As more and more people make their yard once more a living part of their eco-system, together we just might save the world’s environment.
The collective human footprint on Earth’s environment may be growing larger every year, but here’s some good news: so is our knowledge of what we can do to make things better. If you’re a world leader then please get to work reversing global warming. As for the rest of us, we can start quite literally in our own back yards.
As I put my gardens to bed for the winter, I like to tuck them in with a thick leaf mold blanket. Leaf mold is basically a compost made entirely of broken down leaves. Where compost is hot and breaks down quickly, leaf mold is cool, slow to breakdown and well worth the wait.