Monday, September 19, 2016

Home Grown: Preserving Flowers

Some flowers are easy to preserve: baby's breath, celosia, yarrow, statice, globe amaranth, strawflower and artemesia.  But every flower responds differently to drying and preserving. Experiment to get the results you want with the flowers you have.

Start with the best quality blooms.  Make sure the blooms chosen for preserving are at the beginning or the peak of their bloom and have not started to age or decline.

Choose fresh, unwilted flowers and foliage.  These can come from your garden or even the florist or local farmers market.

Continued in... Preserving Flowers

Home Grown
Dried Flowers
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Vertical Herb Swag

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Home Grown: The Benefits of Earthworms

1. The constant tunneling of earthworms allows the free passage of air into and out of the soil.

2. Worms' burrowing also breaks up the hard pan and plow sole created by mechanical tillage.

3. By eating organic materials such as manure, leaves, grass and decaying wood, earthworms break them up at a much faster rate than would otherwise occur.

Continued in... The Benefits of Earthworms

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Earth-worms

Monday, July 25, 2016

Home Grown: Time to Order Fall Bulbs

As summer begins to wane, it is time to decide which spring flowering bulbs you want to add to your landscape.

"You need to select good quality bulbs for planting, paying attention to size and firmness. Choose bulbs that are firm and free from soft or rotting spots, and signs of disease," says Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

There are three sources for bulbs: mail order catalog, local nurseries, and discount business.

Continued in... Time to Order Fall Bulbs

Home Grown
Plants and Seeds
Home and Garden Center
Tulip Bulbs
Artwork: Iris

Friday, July 1, 2016

Home Grown: Sun Protection for Tomato Skins

The sun's rays are tough on our faces and arms, but we can wear sunscreen to reduce the damage to our skin. Tomatoes don't have that option. Exposed to bright sun, the fruit can heat up dramatically, reaching temperatures as much as 18 degrees warmer than the surrounding air.

Sunscald damage to your tomatoes depends on their stage of maturity, and the intensity and duration of the heat. The fruit is most susceptible when it is green or when the first pink color begins to show (called the breaker state).

Continued in... Sun Protection for Tomato Skins

Home Grown
Plants and Seeds
Tomatoes and Tomato Plants and Seeds
Artwork: Better Boy Tomato

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