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Monthly Archives: March 2018


kaleThis month, in many areas of the country, signs of spring are in the air and with that comes the first symptoms of spring fever where gardeners start dusting off their garden tools and get to work. In honor of gardeners everywhere, I have dedicated this month’s blog posts to helping gardeners get started.

Not too Early to Think about Fall Garden

This week I am sharing my experience concerning fall gardening. I know that it is not yet fall, but my personal experience has shown that it is difficult to buy quality seeds in the autumn months, so I buy all my seeds, including late summer and autumn planted seeds in the spring along with the rest of the year’s seed purchases.
July and August are the usual time to plant a fall garden. These vegetables should usually mature 60-80 days. Leafy greens and root crops are good choices for extending your annual home vegetable harvest.

When Should You Plant Your Fall Vegetables?

The secret to having great fall garden vegetables is timing. That means thinking a little differently because you must plan backward.
Start with your area’s average first fall frost date. Then look at the number of days to harvest for planting fall vegetables. You should be able to find that number on the seed packet or in the catalog description. Use that number to count back from the first frost date. Then add two weeks, because many fall vegetables grow more slowly as days shorten in fall.

How to Plant Fall Garden

Remove debris from your garden any varieties from your garden that are not performing or that have been harvested well to make room for your fresh fall crop. Pull all weeds so they don’t steal moisture and nutrients from your new young plants. Add any composted material that has matured since spring to get your new fall garden off to a good start.
Because it is hotter than in the spring, plant your crops twice as deep as you did in the spring. Keep your plants well-watered and provide shade when necessary.

Some vegetables that I recommend for the Fall Garden

Kale Hailed the Queen of Greens

https://hubpages.com/living/Kale-Hailed-the-Queen-of-Greens
Raise Healthy Collard Greens in Your Own Back Yard

https://hubpages.com/living/Raising-Collards-in-Raised-Beds
Plant Spinach All Year Round

https://hubpages.com/living/Sustaining-a-Spinach-Harvest
Plant Radishes Now to Add Color to Your Green Salad Year Round

https://hubpages.com/living/A-Continuous-supply-of-Radishes
Turnips, Parsnips and Rutabagas in the Garden

https://hubpages.com/living/Turnips-Parsnips-and-Rutabagas-in-the-Garden
Harvest Garlic from Your Own Home Garden

https://hubpages.com/living/Growing-Garlic-in-the-Home-Garden

Simply Vegetable Gardening

These and many more tips can be seen in my book Simply Vegetable Gardening. Simply Vegetable gardening is available on Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JHV15G6

and in Print: http://www.lulu.com/shop/donna-brown/simply-vegetable-gardening-simple-organic-gardening-tips-for-the-beginning-gardener/paperback/product-21579298.html

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red swiss chard

This month, in many areas of the country, signs of spring are in the air and with that comes the first symptoms of spring fever where gardeners start dusting off their garden tools and get to work. In honor of gardeners everywhere, I have dedicated this month’s blog posts to helping gardeners get started.

 

This week I want to talk about another way to protect and nurture your plants.  I want to discuss companion planting.

 

What is Companion Planting?

 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac defines companion planting as:

 

“Time-honored gardening wisdom says that certain plants, when grown together, improve each other’s health and yields. For instance, some plants attract beneficial insects that help to protect a companion, while other plants (particularly herbs) act as repellents. Additionally, plants that require a lot of the same nutrients as their neighbors may struggle to get enough for themselves, producing lackluster crops.”

Companion planting certainly makes sense when you think about it. Have you ever noticed that nature doesn’t grow just one type of plant in an area, but likes to throw numerous varieties together? It is not natural to grow a monocrop and a lot of the reason for that the variety supports the natural balance of nutrients in the soil.

 

The Benefits of Companion Planting

 

The benefits of companion planting include

 

1.       Shade Regulation where the taller plant shades a shorter more sun sensitive plant.

 

2.       Natural Supports where sturdy, fast growing taller plants provide natural support for vining plants.

 

3.       Improved plant health-one plant provides nutritional support for another plant species.

 

4.       Healthy soil-some plants have deeper taproots that prevent soil compaction.

 

5.       Weed suppression-planting sprawling plants around upright plants to suppress weeds.

 

Three sisters Gardening is the best-known form of companion planting.

 

Three Sisters Gardening Style

 

https://hubpages.com/living/A-Three-Sisters-Garden-Bed

 

Here are some related articles about the individual types of plants grown in a three sister’s garden.

 

Growing All Varieties of Winter Squash

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Growing-All-Types-of-Winter-Squash

 

Extend Green Bean Harvest Upward with Pole Beans

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Gardening-with-Pole-Beans

 

For the Best Sweet Corn, Grow It in Your Own Backyard

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Raising-Your-Own-Sweet-Corn

 

Three sisters isn’t the only way we can use companion planting. Here are a few other articles that explain how other plants can be part of companion planting. 

Growing Beets in the Home Garden

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Growing-Beets-in-a-Garden-Bed

 

Sweet Peppers Companion with Sweet Basil

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Plant-Sweet-Peppers-with-Basil

 

The Hottest Tips for Growing Hot Peppers at Home

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Hot-Peppers-in-the-Garden

 

Growing and Saving Seed from Heirloom Tomatoes

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Growing-and-Saving-Seed-from-Heirloom-Tomatoes

 

 Simply Vegetable Gardening

 

These and many more tips can be seen in my book Simply Vegetable Gardening. Simply Vegetable gardening is available on Kindle:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JHV15G6

and in Print:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/donna-brown/simply-vegetable-gardening-simple-organic-gardening-tips-for-the-beginning-gardener/paperback/product-21579298.html

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greenbeans_galoreThis month, in many areas of the country, signs of spring are in the air and with that comes the first symptoms of spring fever where gardeners start dusting off their garden tools and get to work. In honor of gardeners everywhere, I have dedicated this month’s blog posts to helping gardeners get started.
Today we are going to be talking about the early spring vegetable garden. First you have to prepare your vegetable garden for planting. For best results, much of this work should have been done at the end of the gardening season the previous year. For instance, you could have already cleared debris from the garden and added it to the compost pile, tilled the soil, and mulched it with leaves in the autumn. If this were the case, you can simply remove the mulch and plant. However, if you didn’t or if you are starting the garden this spring, you can do it now. However, make sure that the soil is not wet or the seeds that you plant will rot.

What Vegetables Can I Plant Early in the Season?

Some vegetables can be planted earlier in the growing season than others. With most heat loving plants like tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans, and squash, you’ll need to wait until all danger of frost has passed. However, here is a list of articles with vegetables that you can plant in the early gardening season.

Planting Lettuce for a Sustainable Harvest

https://hubpages.com/living/Get-an-Ample-Supply-of-Lettuce-from-Your-Garden-this-Season

Growing Mixed Greens in Your Garden

https://hubpages.com/living/What-is-Musclun-and-How-Do-I-Grow-it

Growing Onions from Seeds, Plants, or Sets

https://hubpages.com/living/Growing-Onions-by-using-Seeds-Plants-or-Sets

Harvest Broccoli from Your Own Garden This Year

https://hubpages.com/living/Growing-Broccoli-A-Garden-Favorite

Harvesting Carrots from Your Own Backyard

https://hubpages.com/living/Sweet-Homegrown-Carrots

Simply Vegetable Gardening

 

These and many more tips can be seen in my book Simply Vegetable Gardening.

Simply Vegetable gardening is available on Kindle

and in Print

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http://www.lulu.com/shop/donna-brown/simply-vegetable-gardening-simple-organic-gardening-tips-for-the-beginning-gardener/paperback/product-21579298.html

 


greenbeans_galoreThis month, in many areas of the country, signs of spring are in the air and with that comes the first symptoms of spring fever where gardeners start dusting off their garden tools and get to work.

 

 

In honor of gardeners everywhere, I have dedicated this month’s blog posts to helping gardeners get started.
I have been a fan of organic gardening since reading my first issue of Organic Gardening Magazine when I was twelve years old. The principles of organic gardening always made sense to me. The ideas put forth by organic gardening principles offer solutions to many problems of modern life.

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This week I am offering a 25% discount on digital copies of my book Simply Vegetable Gardening. From today through March 10, 2018 instead of the digital book being $2.99, it will be just $2.24 for a copy! Get Yours today before the promotion expires! Go to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/517230 to download your copy today!

Coupon Code  LY88C

Autumn Leaves are a Wonderful Resource You Should Never Burn

We often face problems in the autumn with the leaves that fall from the trees. In our hectic busy lives, we often don’t have time to deal with them until spring. When spring comes, we often pile them up and set a fire to them. This is a mistake. Here’s an article that I wrote on Hubpages.

Stop Environmental Pollution of Burning Autumn Leaves-Use Them Instead

https://hubpages.com/living/Autumn-Leaves-Dont-Burn-Them-Dont-Bag-Them-Use-Them

Compost

It is easy to make compost. Basically you need green materials (fresh green grass, manure, chopped kitchen garbage) brown material (leaves, shredded paper, chipped wood), soil, and water. In an area of your yard that is convenient to both the kitchen and the garden, layer a couple inches of each type of item listed above and let set several months, and turn the pile every couple of weeks. If you get more than an inch of rain every week, you won’t have to water the pile, but if you do, be sure to soak the pile well one time per week.

Kelp

I often question whether I have enough of the right trace minerals in my compost, so I often add kelp powder to the pile along with the other ingredients.
Kelp can be used in other ways in the garden as well. I like to use it directly as a planting nutrient. I simply sprinkle kelp to the bottom of the planting hole when planting both seeds and plants.
I also add kelp to goat and chicken feed for two reasons. The first one is to guarantee that the animals get the nutrients that they need. Many illnesses that animals get are related to nutritional deficiencies. The second reason is that the kelp in the animal manure will be passed on to plants.

help from kelp photo

Kelp is beneficial in other ways too and I have written about it in my book Help from Kelp. It is available

on Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0QNN1O

and in print

http://www.lulu.com/shop/cygnet-brown/help-from-kelp/paperback/product-22518936.html

Wood Ashes

When we had a woodstove for heating, we put all our wood ashes in the garden. In addition to working the wood ashes into the soil to add the nutrients, if certain vegetables are attacked by plant eating insects, wood ashes can be sprinkled on the leaves. The wood ashes don’t taste good to the insects, so they avoid the leaves treated with the ashes. For some reason, one application is enough, but it can be reapplied after a rain.

Diatomaceous Earth

In the absence of wood ashes, DE can be used in the garden as an insect repellent. Just dust it on the plants. For more information on how to use diatomaceous earth, check out another article in Hubpages:

Why I use Diatomaceous Earth in My Home and Garden

https://hubpages.com/living/DEinhomeandgarden
Although wood ashes and diatomaceous earth do keep insects off your plants, you can over do it and as I wrote in my article, not all insects in the garden are bad, good insects do exist.

Not All Insects in the Garden are Bad

https://hubpages.com/living/Not-All-Insects-in-the-Garden-are-Bad

DE Photo

 

In addition to Help from Kelp I have another book Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard You can get this book for free in a digital format at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/617019

Or if you prefer a book in print go to http://www.lulu.com/shop/cygnet-brown/using-diatomaceous-earth-around-the-house-and-yard/paperback/product-22638910.html

 

 

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