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Don’t Til the Dirt April 4, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas, How to tips.
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This is a repeat of what was about my first blog.  But it’s worth saying again.  Please don’t til the dirt in the garden.2560784473_655051884e

Deep tilling of the garden does damage that won’t be repaired for years to come.  Remember there are millions of living things down there.  Things we can’t see, but that do so much good.  When you til the dirt you upset their homes and lives and sometimes even kill them. 

There is a much better way to plant.  I know because I’ve been doing it for several years now.  And it is so simple.  In a couple of weeks I’ll remove the winter cover from the garden beds.  In my case that’s leaves, other garden scrapes and newspaper.  Then I’ll dump on a couple of inches of my well aged compost on the beds.  I may use a hand spade to work in the new compost a little bit.  I’ll use an old tree branch to make my rows, sprinkle out the seed or place in seedling, cover lightly with dirt and I’m done.

It works great for new beds also.  Lightly break up the existing dirt, dump on lots of compost, at least several inches thick and plant.  I did this with a new strawberry bed last year and they grew like crazy.

If your interested in finding out all sorts or ways to have a garden without tilling the dirt, check out my favorite source, Mother Earth News at www.MotherEarthNews.com.

Put it on Paper February 23, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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gardendesignWe plan on adding lots of new gardens this year.  The grand plan includes taking out most of the front lawn to add vegetables beds.

The seeds have all been ordered and I have a pretty good plan in my head.  But before any of the actual work begins I’ll put it on paper.

We’ll need hard scape materials to make the raised vegetable beds out front, but how much.  I’ll also need to plan pathways to walk on.  I’ll need to make sure that the beds aren’t to wide.  I don’t like to walk on the growing beds so they need to be small enough for me to reach from each side.

In the back the biggest thing to consider is the dogs.  The last thing I want to do is to put a new bed right in the middle of one of their running paths.  Since the grass is still dormant it will be easy enough to find their paths and work around them. 

Making a detailed garden plan is more than worth it.  It should insure that we get it done right the first time.

They have started to arrive December 28, 2008

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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vegetablegardens_1The first of the seed catalogs arrived in the mail yesterday.  Now it’s a merry Christmas. 

I laid on the couch last night under a blanket and looked at all the beautiful plants.  So many to decide from and I only have two catalogs so far.  I know that over the next few weeks I’ll get at least one a week.

I have big plans for the gardens this year, no I mean really big.  I’m taking out most of the front lawn and putting in vegetable and herb gardens.  So I’ll need lots of seeds.  I need to expand the berry bushes and potatoes will be planted for the first time.

Yep, I’m more excited than Christmas morning.  The seed catalogs have started to arrive.

Problem garden spot December 1, 2008

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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weedsI’ve got one spot in the yard that is really a problem and I don’t know what to do about it.  It’s in the front yard, and that makes it even worse.  You know the whole curb appeal thing.  Anyway, it is the strip of ground between the street and sidewalk.

Over the years I’ve seen our neighbors fill the strip with bark, brick, and concrete.  Some of left just left the weed infested grass and others have done a combination of flower beds and grass.  What ever I decide to do I know there will have to be some type of stepping stones or plants that can be stepped on.  Other wise there will be no way to get into a car parked in the street.

I really what to do something with the strip this summer.  About 6 years ago we pulled out the weed infested grass and since then I’ve tried various flowers but none seem to do to well.  Not to mention that there are still plenty of weeds.  I know the first step needs to be soil amendment, but then what?  If you’ve got an idea PLEASE share it with me.

And then there was mud November 30, 2008

Posted by liajo in Bubba & Allie.
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sunkenmudpoolYesterday’s snow was beautiful, but it didn’t last long.  It all melted away, and made some wonderful mud for Bubba to play in.  That dog loves mud.  If there is one spot of it anywhere in the yard he will find it. 

I must have sweep the kitchen floor 3 times yesterday trying to keep it kind of clean.  I love the rich wet dirt in my gardens, but I’m not so happy about it on the floors.  I wish I could teach Bubba how to wipe his feet, or at least be more lady like outside.  Allie almost never gets mud on her on feet.

Oh well, I guess there is a down side to everything and the down side to beautiful snow is mud.

And the planning begins November 28, 2008

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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veggiesGood gardens don’t just happen, they take lots of planning.  It’s the planning that helps to keep all us gardeners from going stir crazy in the winter. 

This week I got my latest issue of Mother Earth News, my favorite magazine ever.  This issue is packed with garden planning.  There’s an article on seeds and seed planning that I plan on reading every word of.  There is also an article on growing potatoes that I have already read every word of.  Potatoes are one thing that we plan on adding to our garden next year.  I’ve never grown them before so I need all the advise I can get and I know the advise from Mother Earth News will be good.

Yeah, I’m looking forward to all my new garden plans and I have some big things in mind for next year.

Could’ve, Should’ve, Would’ve November 20, 2008

Posted by liajo in general.
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Don’t you wish sometimes we could see into the future?  I sure wish I could’ve have this fall.  If I had I would have planted a really big fall garden.  Who would have dreamed we would be sitting here on November 20th and almost no snow and only one or two good freezes.  If I had known 60 days ago what I know now I would have planted lots of cold weather vegetables.  I just kept telling myself that the weather wouldn’t hold.  If you plant, even in the greenhouse it will snow tomorrow.

Well there’s nothing I can do about it now, but I sure did miss a good opportunity to have a fall garden.  I still keep telling myself it will snow tomorrow and we really do need it now.  I’ll wait for spring and hope I don’t need to tunnel through the snow to get to the greenhouse then.

Garden blues October 30, 2008

Posted by liajo in general.
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I think I already have the winter garden blues.  It’s either that or I’m just really tired and burned out.  I can’t seem to get motivated to even think about my gardens.  Usually I don’t feel like this for at least another month, just before the winter catalogs start to come in.  

The really weird thing is it’s still warm enough to be working outside, but I can find a hundred reasons why I don’t want to.  Maybe this is my first encounter with garden burn out.  There was a lot going on last summer. 

Maybe I just need a change a scenery.  If that’s it then the timing is great.  We are going on vacation next week.  Maybe getting away from my little piece of land will help me appreciate it much more when we get home.  I hope so.

What can a garden grow? October 22, 2008

Posted by liajo in good things.
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A garden can grow the the obvious like fruits and vegetables and herbs and flowers.  But it can also grow so much more. 

A garden can also grow a sense of pride and accomplishment.  It can help someone grow into a healthier lifestyle.  Gardens can grow friendship and environmental awareness. 

When we plant the seeds in the dirt and water them we sometimes think that we are growing a garden.  What we don’t realize until much later, sometime years later, is that with each seed and each years new garden we grow ourselves a little bit more also.

Garden helpers October 22, 2008

Posted by liajo in Bubba & Allie.
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I thought about starting another blog starring our Jack Russell’s, Bubba and Allie.  But then I thought about just adding stories about them to this blog.  It really does fit, they love to play in dirt.  They also love to roll in the grass, dig in the dirt,eat bugs and wonder through the vegetable garden when the fence is open.  Bubba, yes he is a male, loves to pee on all the flowers.  That’s about as close as any of my plants get to fertilizer.  I have two of the best garden helpers ever.  They are the only reason I have not planted the entire backyard in gardens.  Jack’s need room to run and play.  So I happily share the yard with them. 

The picture above is not Bubba and Allie, but it isa group of really cute Jack’s and our two look pretty much just like them.  If I can get them to hold still I’ll try and take their picture to post.