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Gardening Tips


 

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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Use Heirloom Seeds for Seed Saving

Do you know that you can save your vegetable seeds from one year to the next? Some people worry about violating Monsanto’s seed patents, but the truth is, the seeds that you get from a seed catalog or from an online source is not GMO. Unless you have signed a form saying that you will not save seeds from a plant because it is GMO, your garden produce is not GMO. If eating GMO foods is something you don’t want to do, then growing your own garden produce would definitely give you the security of knowing that the vegetables that you are serving your family are not GMO. The main concern with vegetables that you grow in a home garden is not from GMOs, but the concern whether you are growing heirlooms or hybrids.

If you don’t know the difference between hybrids, heirlooms, and GMO plants, check out the article that I wrote: The Difference Between GMO, Hybrid, and Heirloom Seeds  http://hubpages.com/education/What-is-the-difference-between-GMO-Hybridization-and-Heirloom-seeds

How to Save Different Types of Heirloom Seeds

So, as you see, unless you want to experiment cross breeding, the seeds you really want to save heirloom seeds. Several of my articles include a section on how to save seeds. Check them out!

The Hottest Tips for Growing Hot Peppers http://hubpages.com/living/Hot-Peppers-in-the-Garden

Sustainably Growing Zucchini with Heirloom Seed http://hubpages.com/living/Zucchini-in-the-Garden

Heirloom Tomatoes How to Grow and Save Their Seed http://hubpages.com/living/Growing-and-Saving-Seed-from-Heirloom-Tomatoes

Is Anything Easier to Grow Than Okra? http://hubpages.com/living/Is-Anything-Easier-to-Grow-Than-Okra

 

And, of course, we cannot forget the video. This time we have: Vegetable Seed Saving Video-The Basic Rules! Enjoy!

 

IMG_8330 final copy

 

As Author Cygnet Brown, Donna Brown  has  published  several nonfiction books including Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener, Using Diatomaceous Earth around the House and Yard, and Help from Kelp.

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga,  Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag is also on sale now!

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and buy her books, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .

 


Today is my son Jonathan Robiinson’s birthday. If you know Jonathan be sure to wish him a happy birthday! Happy Birthday, Jon!

Easy Apple Bread Pudding

I have been noticing how big the apples have been getting on the trees! Everywhere I look here in Pennsylvania, I see old apple trees and it reminds me that its time to make Easy Apple Bread Pudding. Here’s a link to my recipe. http://hubpages.com/food/Apple-Bread-Puddling

Here’s a photo of some Apple Bread Pudding that I made in cupcake papers. This way we can have this delicious dessert anytime!

 

 

Easy Raspberry Chocolate Pie

Here’s another dessert that I love to make. I especially like to make it on hot days when it is too hot to cook. Check out my recipe for Easy Raspberry Chocolate Pie

If your family likes cream pie , your family will love this! Get the recipe here http://hubpages.com/food/Super-Simple-Creamy-Lime-Pie

So Delectible, it is hard to believe that it is this easy!

Growing Summer Squash All Summer Long

Remember last week when I mentioned that summer squash becomes over abundant during the summer months? Some years, however, summer squash fizzles out after high temperatures. If this happens to you, you don’t necessarily have to call it quits with summer squash. if you have at least 50 dys until the next expected frost, you can grow another crop. Read about this in the article Growing Summer Squash all Summer Long http://hubpages.com/living/Summer-Squash-Grown-All-Summer-Long

 

Now is also the time to start thinking about starting a fall garden. Here’s a video that can give you some details on what grows in the fall and how to do it.

That’s all for this week! Have a great weekend! If you enjoyed it, please share on Facebook and Twitter!

IMG_8330 final copy

As Author Cygnet Brown, Donna Brown  has  published  several nonfiction books including Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener, Using Diatomaceous Earth around the House and Yard, and Help from Kelp.

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga,  Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag is also on sale now!

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and buy her books, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com


 

Thanks, everyone who has already wished me a happy birthday today! Not only is July the month that I was born, but it is also the month when nature’s bounty from the garden is in full swing. Alas, my pressure canner is currently several states away, but that doesn’t prevent me from writing about the process!

I believe that if I plant it, I should eat it and that’s why I believe that it is important for me to eat every vegetable in my garden. Here is an article I wrote: Using Every Summer Vegetable in My Vegetable Garden and the strategy I use to make it happen.

You’ve happily worked in your garden. First you worked the soil and got it ready for planting, then you planted, watered, weeded, mulched, fertilized, and sometimes had to fight the elements to get your garden to produce. Now you are seeing the first of the fruits of your labor. You pick it you bring it in. Now, what do you do with it? Check out My Strategies here    http://hubpages.com/living/Making-Full-Use-of-the-Vegetable-Garden

 

Another article I wrote was about how to use all that zucchini that floods home gardens. Need I say more except that it is called: Easy Tips for Using All that Extra Zucchini. Check out the article Here  http://hubpages.com/living/What-To-Do-With-All-That-Extra-Zucchini

Jokes are made about how prolific zucchini is in the garden. Don't be the butt of a cruel joke and learn how to use zucchini in many different ways.

Last but not least here is two video I found online about this same subject.

 

 

Happy Gardening!

IMG_8330 final copy

As Author Cygnet Brown, Donna Brown  has  published  several nonfiction books including Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener, Using Diatomaceous Earth around the House and Yard, and Help from Kelp.

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga,  Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag is also on sale now!

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and buy her books, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Last week I mentioned in one of my articles about the hazards of depending on using the freezer as your only form of food preservation. Here is a pair of articles that I wrote about the advantages and disadvantages of the different ways you can use to preserve food.

Home Preservation Methods: Advantages and Disadvantages Part One

How do we know which method best for our situation?The truth is, there is no best method for every situation. In this article we will explore the practices of eating fresh out of the garden, root cellaring, and freezing what we’ve grown. In the next article, we will explore the practices of canning, pickling, drying, and smoking. READ MORE

https://delishably.com/food-industry/Home-Preservation-Methods-The-Advantages-and-Disadvantages

Home Preservation Methods,: Advantages and Disadvantages, Part Two

In our first article, we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of eating food fresh, root cellaring, and freezing. Even though those are good in many ways, there are disadvantages and many of those disadvantages can be alleviated by using a form of food preservation that can extend the use of our food harvests even longer. READ MORE

https://delishably.com/food-industry/homepreservationadvantagesanddisadvantagespt2

Path to Home Preservation

Why Do you want to preserve your own food? Here’s a video which examines exactly that.

IMG_8330 final copy

As Author Cygnet Brown, Donna Brown  has  published  several nonfiction books including: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener, Using Diatomaceous Earth around the House and Yard, and Help from Kelp.

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga. The next book Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag will be out in the near future.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her books, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .

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