Showing posts with label compost. Show all posts
Showing posts with label compost. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Halloween Garden Cleanup and Planting Time Too! Let's Review How to Get This Done

Summer's Heat has given way to Autumn cooler temperatures, let's review ways to get your garden ready for the oncoming cold that is sure to happen.


Autumn is that wonderful time of year when the weather gets a little cooler and the days start to have a little bite in them.  Leaves are turning those beautiful shades of yellow, gold, orange, and red. Everywhere the eye goes, it's a myriad of beautiful colors to keep us all in Awe!  What a wonderful mystical, beautiful time of year.  The Maker's  paintbrush is never still and our picture changes daily.
Everyday,  I look out over my balcony and the trees are changing colors from one day to the next.  Yesterday the leaves were all green and today it seems that they are turning shades of gold, red, browns and oranges.  One day makes such a difference.


It's also time to get cracking on the Autumn garden chores! 


If you are not sure what to do with all those leaves,  give that link(Autumn garden chores) a quick review, your garden will love you for it.  It doesn't hurt to organize our chores for the best outcomes in our gardens. 


Cooler Days and changing colors are a shock to the system after all of summer's warm days.  Time moves on and these changes are a gardener's Alarm Clock, because the next thing is garden cleanup before the winds of winter come.


Don't fret!  Garden cleanup is easier than you think.  You just need the right tools and the right attitude and your job will be done lickety split!


Because Autumn is also the time for Halloween, we can do two things at once!  By using our leaves in funky Halloween decorator bags, we now have our glorious pumpkin display all done.  Or if you prefer you can also make crazy spiders and pumpkins to give all the kids a good chuckle.   Packing those bags will be child's play after raking them all together and then using our monster hands to stuff the bags. Now after all the festivities are over, don't throw all those beautiful leaves away. Use a chipper/grinder to make the world's easiest and best mulch for your garden beds. The extras can go into the composter along with the worms and everyone will be happy! You won't believe the work that those worms will do in the composter.  Even in the winter months, those worms are working away.  The beauty of a compost heap is that it will remain warm all winter long.  The worms will be happy and so will you when you see what they accomplish while you are inside staying toasty warm.

Autumn is also a great time to buy yourself a new pair of gloves, because I'm sure the ones you started out with in the spring have seen better days, and they just might be on sale at this time of year. You know you will always use them.



Once the gardens are all cleaned-up, it will be easy to see where to plant all the tulips and daffodils, crocus and snowbells, grape hyacinths and some irises too!  The time to do that is now!   Fall Bulbs are available in just about every garden store around.  If you want that gorgeous Spring Garden you do have to plant those bulbs in the fall.  Spring will be just bursting forth sooner than you think and those bulbs will be so happy to grow in your well mulched beds. It's a little bit of heaven in just a few short months and something to pin your hopes on while the cold winds blow. The Leaves you have mulched added under the bulbs will give those bulbs an extra boost of good compost right under their roots, so they will grow big and strong! You won't be disappointed. Good gardeners and great gardens all give so much credit to the mulch that is brought right down into the soil. Best of all, it's free fertilizer and no chemicals! All natural, Mother Nature will thank you and so will all your family when they are enjoying the fruits of your labor. Such a pretty sight, a well tended garden can bring a smile to you and everyone else too!

I hope you take the time to enjoy the changing of the seasons and preparing your gardens for the Spring of 2018!  In planting for the spring, you give everyone a reason to hope for the future and the brightness of your fabulous garden to come.
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All pictures are courtesy of Pixabay.  




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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Excellent Advice for a Balcony Gardener: What You Need Know!

I love to garden, it's not secret!  But, and this is a big BUT,  gardening on a balcony is totally different than growing your garden on level soil!  Let's review some of the differences.

At some point in everyone's life, they must re-evaluate what is important in their lives.  So it came to pass with my husband and I.  We have lived in the same home for almost 40 years and the daily upkeep of the gardens, grass and the household was becoming arduous to say the least.

We started looking for ways to make our lives easier and less strenuous on our bodies.  Apartment/Condo living was looming before us.  Neither one of us could do the stairs well any longer.  So to that end, we made the decision that many find difficult!  We gave up our primary residence for an apartment.
                                                     https://pixabay.com/en/home-facade-architecture-barcelona-964537/


So What's So New About That?

Well anyone who knows me, knows that I can garden from morning till evening without stop.  What will I do when there is no longer a patch of ground that needs my attention?  Truly I was a little distressed at the upcoming move.  But, at this point I am here to tell you that so far I have survived without having the time to weep over the weeds, mourn the loss of the dirt, or sympathize over the lack of sore muscles after having over done the weeding in the first weeks of May.  


Let's Review What Can be Done 18 Stories up in the Air!


Reviewing what I can do in my new space has given me a new direction for my gardening abilities or lack thereof.  Well let's just agree that my gardening skills 18 stories up in the air have not been tested yet.  One thing is certain, after only two weeks in my new surroundings, I know that my gardening efforts will be different.  No Question About IT!

There are a list of things that you need to know about your new surroundings!

  1. You need to know which direction you face.  Is your apartment facing north, south, east or west or a combination of those.
  2. You need to know if your growing zone has changed.  That will depend on how far away you have moved.
  3. You need to know what is allowed and what is forbidden as far as growing things on your balcony. (This assumes that you do indeed have a balcony)
  4. Then you need to decide what you absolutely have to grow, like tomatoes or cucumbers or beans.
  5. Now you need to do some research.  What will grow well in pots and how big do those pots need to be?

When you have reviewed those answers then you can make some decisions.  


I am blessed in that our apartment faces south, so sunlight is abundant, but not overwhelming.  Having an overhang helps to keep the balcony sunny but it does not become an oven, even in the heat of the day.
So for my particular circumstances, I will be able to grow tomatoes, peppers, beans and more.  What I need now is a way to grow all of these without loosing so much space that there is nowhere to go out and enjoy the view.  
                                                                        https://pixabay.com/en/fordon-slope-view-residential-area-904300/


Vertical Gardening

I have found the answer to my prayers.  The biggest new fad in gardening seems to be making the most of the space you have available.  That for me is a blessing.  My space has diminished by at least 50% and of that 50% I want to be able to sit and enjoy my surroundings.  So my actual space is quite a bit less than I had before.

When you can't grow wide, you need to grow tall.  Use the space in the air for everything that you don't have space for in the ground. It makes a whole lot of sense really.

My old garden was probably about 20 feet by 35 feet.  My balcony is about 20 feet by 6 feet.  So my choices in ways to garden have been severely changed.  I will grow flowers to make my soul happy in balcony planters which are allowed in my building.  Having two already, I will increase that number to six within the next few weeks. Then for my vegetables I have decided to go with a vertical garden that also combines the ability to compost.




These choices that I show you here, don't allow you to grow in abundance, but will be great for herbs, some smaller flowers and just the ability to get your hands dirty.  For me this would be just a tease.  For many gardeners though, this would be enough to keep them happy.

Is it enough for me?


For my own purposes and for my joy of gardening I have gone the whole nine yards(no puns intended).  My choice is a little expensive, but offers me the ability to grow many vegetables, herbs and flowers in one place. It also offers the ability to compost all my kitchen scraps and have a vermi-culture happening all at the same time.  For myself it is a win-win proposition.  I didn't have to think about it for too long.   I'm talking about the Grow Tower 2.  I saw an ad for this unit and researched it further.  I am convinced that it will be my new favorite growing station all in one place.


This unit is my newest addition to my balcony since moving two weeks ago......and here's a link for you to see why I think this is going to be one heck of a great addition to my living space. Garden Tower  Project will let you see why I'm so excited to be gardening in this totally new way. I can control the plants I want to grow.  I can use the composted material to naturally feed my plants and I can see that there have been no pesticides in use too.  All natural and good for us is the way I want to garden and I will do so in a very limited space.  I'm looking forward to this new escapade and will keep you all in the loop.

Stay tuned! 

I promise to keep you updated on the results of my new foray into the world of gardening in a limited space and let you see my pictures of the Garden Tower Project so you can review the changes as they occur on my own balcony in a zone 6a growing area.  Maybe this Review will help you to make the leap into vertical gardening and have you enjoying the fruits of your own labor too!





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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Recycle in the Garden and Grow Gorgeous Plants

Keep Your Garden Growing with Homemade Compost


If you have a yard, it's free and easy to make compost from the yard waste left behind after you've mowed the grass, pruned the shrubs and raked the leaves.



Hello Recycling Fans!



It may still be winter, but it's time to start planning a spring garden. While you're busy thumbing through seed catalogs and polishing the rust off your garden hoe, remember to make space for a compost pile.



There are many ways to approach composting. A couple of weeks ago, I challenged my friends to Review Your Favorite Composting System. There were a variety of tips, tricks and product reviews that came from this challenge.

Here is some of the composting fun that these friends shared. They all approach composting from a different perspective but all of them love having a never-ending supply of home-brewed fertilizer for their garden plants.

Paperfacets is thrilled with her witch's brew pot in the corner of her backyard. She tells us that there are 10 Exciting Reasons Why I Love to Compost. I really enjoyed her excitement over the little critters that grow in her compost pile.

LadyMermaid asks us to reduce our impact on the environment. Her motto is Compost - Go Green. She has some great tips on the kinds of trash to compost and some ideas to help you get started if you've never composted before.

The fun part of composting is that there's no real right way to compost and no real wrong way to compost. As long as you add the right materials and give the pile some air, you can create compost almost anywhere.


If you live in a suburban neighborhood, you may not be able to have an open compost pile. I lived in one of these Deed Restricted communities for a few years. The fashion police were constantly on the lookout for any yard that looked a mess. I hid my unsightly compost pile by Making Beautiful Compost with the Envirocycle Original Composter. If you look in the background of the garden picture above, you'll see just how attractive this closed, barrel-system composter looks.

I hope you've been inspired to recycle in your garden to grow gorgeous plants and that you've learned something new about composting. Don't throw your yard waste away. Use it to fertilize your garden the natural way.

Until next week, may your days be blessed and may your compost pile grow beautiful blooms.

Coletta



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