Sunday, May 8, 2016

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 in... Lawnmower Bites, Kills Tree

Home Grown
Lawnmowers and Yard Supplies
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Man Mowing Grass

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Home Grown: Spacing Plants in Rows

After choosing a garden site, the next step is to plan the arrangement of crops in the garden.

Proper spacing between rows is important to allow for growth of plants, ease of cultivation, and efficient use of space.

If you have farm equipment and plenty of space, make your rows long and wide enough apart so that you can use your farm tractor and cultivator, thus avoiding much hand-weeding.

Continued in... Spacing Plants in Rows

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: ATV Planter

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Home Grown: Cultivating a Cutting Garden

Cutting gardens, which were a normal part of Victorian gardens, are made up of a variety of annuals and perennials, both flowering and foliage, that can be used in flower arrangements. Today, they can fill the need for fresh-cut flowers, either for the home or to offer as a gift.

Most cutting flowers grow best in a full-sun location. Some gardeners prefer a less conspicuous spot because it may not look its best all season, while others make it a part of the overall garden design.

Continued in... Cultivating a Cutting Garden

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: The Cutting Garden in Wannsee by Max Liebermann

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Starting a Garden from Seed

Growing plants from seed can save gardeners money and vastly increase the varieties that can be grown in a backyard garden. Gardeners can grow several transplants for the price of a few, store-bought plants, and the selection of varieties for sale is often limited.

Seed should be started six to eight weeks prior to transplant time. For example, if the average last frost date in your area is April 15, sow tomato seed inside in late February or early March.

To grow transplants, start with good quality seed from a reliable source. Quality seed is true to a cultivar or variety name and does not contain weed seed, insect casings, soil particles or plant pulp.

Continued in... Starting a Garden from Seed

Home Grown
Garden Tools
Home and Garden Center
How to Grow Your Own Starts
Artwork: Seed Starting Kit

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Home Grown: Organic Production Guides

Free organic production guides are now available for farmers.

The guides provide information on how to produce certified organic apples, blueberries, grapes, lettuce, potatoes, spinach, strawberries and cole crops, including cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. There is also a guide on management of dairy cattle  pests using organic integrated pest management (IPM) methods.

The guides are produced by the New York State Integrated Pest  Management Program at Cornell, funded by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Continued in... Organic Production Guides

Home Grown
Farm Supply
Artwork: Organic Strawberry Farm

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Home Grown: Ferns Freshen Flats

Ferns bring life into a room any time of year.

In airtight winter homes, they also can be champions at filtering the air. Of 86 plants tested by researchers, ferns topped the list at formaldehyde removal. In fact, seven of the top nine performers were ferns.

The other great filterers of formaldehyde were (#7) lavender and (#9) geraniums (Pelargonium sp.)  These findings were reported by Kwang Jin Kim and associates in an article published in the October 2010 issue of HortScience.

Other researchers have ranked ferns in the top 15 percent of plants in air purification.

Continued in... Ferns Freshen Flats

Home Grown
Growing Guides
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Boston Fern

Monday, January 25, 2016

Home Grown: Saving Holiday Gift Plants

Ornamental plants like poinsettias, Christmas cacti, Christmas Kalanchoe, amaryllis bulbs and miniature Christmas trees are often given as gifts during the holiday season. Unfortunately, these plants usually don't come with plant care information. And the gift getter may not have a green thumb.

Many people mistakenly leave these plants outside without realizing they aren't very cold hardy. Freezing winter temperatures can quickly turn your new plants to mush. Then your plant-gifts are only suited for the compost bin.

Continued in... Saving Holiday Gift Plants

Home Grown
Christmas Cactus
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Amaryllis