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What’s Your Zone??? April 7, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas, How to tips.
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planting20zonesYou need to know the zip code your mailing a letter to.  You need to know the area code your calling.  And if your planting a garden you need to know the planting zone.

It’s simple really.  Find your zone on the USDA hardiness map and match it to the back of any seed package or plant tag.  I’m a zone 5.  Most plants can be grown in several zones.  You’ll see some thing like “for zones 3-8.” 

You can extend that a zone a little by starting seedlings inside and using greenhouses and containers.  I also have a heated sun room.  It helps me grow some container plants I couldn’t other wise have.     

I started my tomato and pepper seedlings a week ago yesterday in the sun room.  Almost all the tomatoes have came up.  No peppers yet, but the seed packs said 10 days to 2 weeks, so I’ll wait a little more.

What’s Your Garden Style? February 22, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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garden-pathway-designIf your new to gardening you may not have discovered your garden style yet.  It really is a personal thing and takes a while to develop sometimes.

My style is best described as cottage.  That’s a nice way of saying almost anything goes.  If I like a plant and it grows in my zone (5) I’ll give it a try.  I’m not really concerned about matching colors or heights. 

The same goes for the hard scape’s.  I have rock, wood and manufactured brick boarders.  I even have some recycled concrete driveway in the boarders. 

For climbing plants I use lattice for big projects and something I like to call twig grids that I make myself from branches that I’ve pruned out and twine for the smaller projects.

And then there is the garden art.  I have everything from small figurines to hand made sculptures to large pots. 

I love a garden that doesn’t give up all it has to offer at one time.  You have to walk all around and through my gardens to find all the surprises.

Catalog Order Day February 15, 2009

Posted by liajo in Uncategorized.
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veggiesThis morning was plant and seed catalog ordering day.  After spending sixweeks reviewing all the catalogs I’ve received I went with just one for the whole order, Gurney’s.  I’ve had good luck with Gurney’s in the past and I couldn’t beat their $25 early order discount.

We plan on really expanding the vegetable gardens this year so I ordered things I never have before.  I’m also adding lots of berry’s this year.  I had good luck with the raspberries that I planted last year and will be adding more of them along with blueberries and blackberries.

Since most of my flower beds are pretty well established I just ordered a few seed packs.

Everything should start arriving in a couple of weeks.  Shortly after that the real work will begin.

Chia Herbs February 1, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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So is growing Chia herbs cheating?  I don’t think so.

You are planting actual seeds, even if it’s on a kind a funny sponge like peat moss thing.  You do have to water them and it’s suggested you keep them covered with plastic.  Not a bad idea for germinating any new seeds.

As a rather accomplished gardener I have had lousy luck with herbs.  I’ve tried seed and plants from a variety of suppliers. 

So if the Chia herbs grow I don’t care if it’s cheating or not.

Go Native January 22, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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barrow__garden_decoration_I look at amazement at all of the exotic plants pictured in the seed catalogs.  Beautiful things I have never seen before.  And it is so tempting to order some of them.

But, no matter how beautiful and exotic they are I’ll leave them off the final order list. 

Why, because when ordering seed and plants it’s best to go native and stick with something that will actually grow and thrive in your area. 

I’ll continue later posts with benefits of native and negatives of exotics.

Herbal Help January 19, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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herbsI’ve had pretty good luck growing most vegetables and flowers.  I usually just sprinkle a few seeds or transplant a few seedlings and watch them grow.

Not so with herbs.  I’ve tried seeds and transplants inside and outside.  I’ve tried giving them almost no water and watering almost daily.  It doesn’t matter, they almost always die.

I’ve heard and read that herbs are basically weeds and easy to grow.  Supposedly they are so easy to grow if you’re not careful they will take over the entire yard.  I wish.

I’m not giving though.  For Christmas I got a Chia gourmet herb garden.  I’ll plant it sometime this week.  I’m also planning a special spot for a herb garden when we dig up the front lawn this year.

I’m counting on the law of averages, sooner or later some of these herbs have actually got to grow.

Seed Catalogs Keep Coming January 13, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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amazing_flowers_smallThe seed, plant and bulb catalogs just keep coming.  I look through every page of each one of them.

There really are some great deals and some really different plants.  I’d love to have one of everything.

But instead I’ll stick to what I need and can use.  Mostly this year I’ll be buying vegetable seed and berry bushes. 

I don’t really need anymore flowers, even if I would like to have more.    Over the last five years or so I have gotten a good base of bulbs, perennials and self seeders.  

I’ll be making my final picks in the next month or so and in the mean time I’ll take another look at all the catalogs.

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.

Real or Fake – The Tree Debate December 8, 2008

Posted by liajo in good things.
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christmas20tree20blogI love trees, shurbs and plants of all kinds.  I have fresh cut flowers in the house all summer long.  But when it comes to our Christmas tree I go with the fake one. 

Most people that pick the fake tree say they did so because of cost or the mess.    Both good reasons I guess, but not mine.

I just can’t stand cutting down a prefectly good tree to stick in the house for a couple of weeks and then throw it away.  I did try a root ball one once.  They problem with that was it was so long before we could plant it in the spring it still died.

So I’ll stick with my fake tree inside and admire all the real ones outside.

Winter weather catch up November 30, 2008

Posted by liajo in weather.
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The wind howled all day today.  There was snow earlier, making more mud for Bubba track inside.  The skies are a slate gray with just a touch of red as the sun sinks down below the horizon.  Tonight will not be a good time for man or beast outside.  Our beautiful fall has come to an end.

The house has been cool all day, but I refuse to touch the thermostat.  I’ll either wrap in a blanket or work on my afghan.  Afghan’s make a good winter project.

The electric heater has ran almost non-stop in the sun room.  I don’t like using it, it takes so much power.  But there is no other heat source in there and without it most of the plants won’t survive the cold.  It also drys the air out.  It seems like I’m out there every few hours giving everything a good douse of water.  But I can’t think of a better way for the plants to stay warm and I’m not willing to let them die.