Thursday, December 20, 2007

Essentials for Gardening

I am always interested and amazed by what other gardeners are doing, hoping that I can pick up a few new tricks and ideas to use in my own garden. So, I thought it was a very interesting list that Fran Sorin recently featured in her GardenSmart section of USA Weekend. She mentions that "gardeners need a pantry, just like chefs do." That is something that I certainly agree with, because to be an effective gardener, you must have the tools of the trade, just like any other professional (even if you are only a novice, you can pretend to know what you are doing). Ms. Sorin suggests setting up your gardening pantry in either the kitchen or garage (it's even better if you have a garden shed you can setup in).

I thought that some of the items she includes in her gardening pantry were worthy of consideration. Here is a list of what she stocks:
  • Twine (you cannot garden without it, you need it for alot of projects, like staking your green beans that seem to be ascending into the sky)
  • Pruners (important to have more than one kind for various tasks, like pruning your beautiful roses)
  • Yellow sticky fly paper for pests (I know they maybe good for the environment, but I have always hated to see them - I don't like to look at dead pests)
  • Plastic spray bottle (I have more than one type, so that I can get the spray volume that I want depending on what kind of product I am spraying)
  • Small bag of crumbly potting mix (you are not a gardener, if you do not have any potting mix on hand, it's a must)
  • Terra cotta pots with saucers (something I need to start using, since I have read plants do much better in them than in plastic planting pots)
  • Neem or pyola oil for insects and mites (I have several bottles of Neem oil on hand, it is a natural insecticide - a must for organic gardening)
  • Organic fungicide (again, a must for organic gardening)
  • Spray fertilizer or granular fertilizer (she uses a fish oil or probiotic, something I would like to try this season)
  • Hot pepper spray to ward off squirrels, rabbits and other critters (we use hot pepper solution to run away moles and voles, and any other creatures that crawl underground and make unsightly holes in the ground)
  • Garlic clips, Liquid Fence, Garlic Barrier or cut-up bars of Irish Spring soap to repel deer (we don't worry with deer, we have other pests to deal with, but this is certainly good to know)

It's always helpful to find out what other people are doing in their gardens, you may be able to learn some wonderful new ideals of things you would like to try in your own garden. I certainly appreciated the list of must-have garden gear that Ms. Sorin shared, it gave me a little inspiration.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Garden Blogs

Last weekend's USA Weekend, dated November 23-25, 2007, had a short article about garden blogs. It was under the heading of GardenSmart, and was written by Fran Sorin. As she mentions, garden blogs are available on the web covering every possible topic related to gardening. There are garden blogs that have a regional focus, as well as an international flair. (I love to look at garden blogs from places that I would one day like to visit, it gives you a feel for the area. And you find out how people around the U.S., and even the world, go about their gardening.)

Ms. Sorin mentions that two of her favorite gardening blogs are:

written by four women that live in various parts of the country, and
a blog she helped to create with other gardeners that features different experiences and opinions.

As she notes, visiting gardening blogs gives you the opportunity to exchange ideas and engage in interactions with fellow gardeners. That's something I certainly enjoy doing!

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Garden Calendar Tips

I had to take a little hiatus from garden blogging, since my old computer died on me. I'm still checking out the new features on my new computer, so I'm still not up to speed. While going through my accumulated emails, I was pleasantly surprised with an e-newsletter I recently received from Lowe's Home and Garden Center. On Lowe's Outdoor Living section of their Garden Club website, they had some interesting articles. I particularly enjoyed the Garden Calendar tips, that featured regional tips for your zone by month. It offered ideas of things you should be doing to prepare your yard and garden for the winter season - check it out. Also, while there, you can subscribe to their e-newsletter and quarterly Garden Club print publication. They are both free of charge and have helpful information.

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