Friday, May 22, 2015

Home Grown: Knowing What's What in the Garden.

Labeling and documenting data is the key...

Plants of the same genus look similar enough to one another that you may be able to make a good guess, but seeds vary considerably. Some seeds that are not even remotely connected look alike.

When labeling plant tags, always use a pencil or a botanical pen or marker.

Permanent markers tend to fade over time. Check your tags regularly as you walk through your garden.

Continued in...
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Seed Saving and Starting

Artwork: Garden Markers

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Home Grown: Trellis Home Vegetables for Better Fruit, Bigger Harvest.

The seeds have all come up. The transplants are all in the ground. Your vegetable garden is growing, so it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy. Well, not exactly.

As all veteran gardeners know, there are constantly chores to be accomplished. It’s now time to trellis some of those vegetables you planted.

Trellising gets the plant and fruit up off the ground. This makes for better quality fruit and less disease. It also helps maintain order in the garden and makes harvesting easier.

Continued at...
Trellis Home Vegetables for Better Fruit, Bigger Harvest.

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Garden Tools
Plants and Seeds
Artwork: A-Frame Garden Trellis

Here's How To... Dry Fruit.

There has been a recent resurgence in dried foods, yet it is one of the oldest methods of food preservation. Part of its popularity is that dried foods can be eaten alone or used in cooking.

Drying takes the moisture out of food and microorganisms that lead to spoilage can no longer grow. Consequently, foods that have been dried correctly have a long shelf life.

Follow the link to... Dry Fruit.

Here's How To...
How To Do It
Dried Fruit
Artwork: Food Dehydrator

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Home Grown: Preventing Thatch.

Thatch is a layer of living and dead roots, crowns and lower shoots that often develops in lawns. It can weaken and even destroy a lawn if not prevented or removed.

Excessive growth as well as conditions unfavorable to the microorganisms responsible for the decomposition of decaying plant parts aid in thatch development. Rapid and excessive growth is likely to produce heavy thatch because plant material is being produced more rapidly than it can be decomposed.

Thatch buildup varies from lawn to lawn. Some lawns never develop a thatch layer, while others become thatch-bound within a few years of being established.

Continued at... Preventing Thatch

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Lawn Tools and Equipment
Plants and Seeds
Artwork: Lawn Aerator

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Home Grown: Lawnmower Bites, Kills Tree

The lawn mower was supposed to circle the newly planted sapling, but instead it struck the base. Oops! Is that a problem?

Yes, it is.

Unlike skin, wounds that reach below the bark don't heal.  At best, the trunk seals off the injury, but there is no repair in the sense that our skin repairs itself.  Bark will form a callus along the edge of the wound, but it rarely can bridge the break.  The trunk typically loses the bark in the injured area, and the wound remains decades later.

Continued at...
Lawnmower Bites

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Lawn Tools and Equipment
Lawn Mowers
Artwork: Hedgehog in front of man with mower

Friday, April 17, 2015

Home Grown: How to Mulch a Tree.

Mulching the trees in our landscapes is a common practice, with many benefits.  Just remember, there is right way and a wrong way to mulch trees.

One of the most common mistakes is arranging the mulch ring around the tree in the shape of a volcano instead of a doughnut. Mulching against the tree trunk can lead to trunk problems, disease problems, habitat for rodents, and excessive soil moisture and root rots.

Continued at...
How to Mulch a Tree

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Lawn Tools and Equipment
Artwork: The Tree by the Road Side by Jon Macadam

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Home Grown: Selecting and Using a Lawn Spreader

Basically, two spreader equipment options are available for distributing crabgrass preventer, lawn fertilizer or turf seed.

Neither spreader is better or cheaper to use than the other; both are available to buy or rent. Choosing between them is just a matter of experience and opinion, according to horticulturist Rodney St. John, turfgrass specialist with Kansas State University Research and Extension.

One spreader drops granules or seeds directly to the ground beneath its wheels.

The other houses a rotary mechanism that broadcasts the lawn input out over a broader area.

Typically, both have wheels and a handle, and they go into action when pushed.

Continued at... Selecting and Using a Lawn Spreader

Home Grown
Lawn Tools and Equipment
Artwork: Spreader