Tag Archives: Gardening

More Are Gardening During the Pandemic

Those into gardening and landscaping usually are pretty much on auto-pilot when spring and summer roll in, weeding, planting, watering, etc., but this year, with the coronavirus pandemic, their hobby may have taken on an even more important role. It’s a way to relieve stress while expressing creativity.

Even with many businesses locked down for months, gardening and nursery centers have remained open and thrived to meet those needs of customers and clients.

“We’ve actually seen an increase in business,” said Nathan Boliek, sales manager at TDH Landscaping on Hess Road in Monkton.

“We’re finding that people are investing money in their properties now with the attitude that, ‘Hey, we canceled our summer vacation, we may not even travel next year.’ So, beautifying and even going so far as to build pools and things of that nature has been on the uptick.”

Source: In Baltimore County, interest in gardening keeps growing during COVID-19 crisis – Baltimore Sun

Our garden has been mixed this year. We’ve always done what I call “fortress gardening” where everything is covered and the whole space is enclosed in “chicken wire.”

Over the years, the birds & squirrels have found the holes in our defenses, so today I spent several hours tightening things up. It’s pretty frustrating to see your hard work eaten in just a short while.

We’ve been eating many yellow pear tomatoes, and had looked forward to the first of the yellow squash, but they were nibbled off today. So, it’s back to square one on a few things. I’m glad the stores are all still open… Nobody said being more self sufficient would be easy.

I recently purchased some corrugated roof panels which I’ll now put horizontally in order to bolster our perimeter even more. It may help act as a windbreak as well. It’s been quite windy lately.

Because of our extended growing season here, I’m going to replant a few things that have been decimated. In a short while, we’ll also start some indoor planting for the fall season.

Complete Guide to Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Tomatillos

Bright red juicy tomatoes get all the attention. Even people who wouldn’t call themselves gardeners have grown them. I’d go so far as to say that the tomato is the most popular garden vegetable. But for some reason, we don’t seem to give as much love to the tomatillo.

I’ll confess, I prefer this tangy paper-wrapped fruit because I think it makes the best salsa. As a lover of Mexican cuisine, the tomatillo is a must-have in my garden. I think you should be growing tomatillos in yours as well, whether you love salsa or not. Sometimes called husk tomatoes, these fruits are more resistant to disease and have a dense interior with a bright, vegetal flavor. You can use them in tons of recipes, and they can even go in some dishes that tomatoes couldn’t handle.

Source: Growing Tomatillos: The Complete Guide to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Tomatillos

This is our first year with tomatillos in the garden. They seem pretty happy so far, and we look forward to this new item. We purchased the purple tomatillo from our good friends at Baker Creek Heirloom seeds. Click on the link for very detailed and helpful post.

How to Plant Okra

HOW TO PLANT OKRA

If you are planting okra transplants, be sure to space them 1 to 2 feet apart to give them ample room to grow. Plant okra seeds about ½ to 1 inch deep and 12 to 18 inches apart in a row. You can soak the seeds overnight in tepid water to help speed up germination. Okra plants are tall, so space out the rows 3 to 4 feet apart.

Source: Okra: Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Okra Plants | The Old Farmer’s Almanac

We’ve soaked some seeds, and it’s off to the garden for their planting. We love gumbo, have never used it for anything else. It’s our first time with okra. More to follow…

Gardening Popular During Pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic shook the country this spring, grocery stores quickly sold out of essentials and produce departments were emptied. Fearing food shortages, and afraid to expose themselves to other shoppers in the store, many following orders to stay at home came up with the same idea: pandemic gardens.

It happened to be spring planting season as shelter-in-place orders came down in the U.S. Even people unfamiliar with gardening began placing orders for seeds and those selling them saw exponential spikes in business.

“Not in any recorded history have there been sales at these levels, certainly in the last 20 years,” Dave Thompson, director of sales and operations at organic seed company Seeds of Change in Rancho Dominguez, California, tells PEOPLE. “This is so unprecedented. We’re doing the best we can. You can’t capture all of this business.”

Source: Pandemic Gardens Are Trending: Fears Over Food Shortages Lead First Timers to Get Growing | PEOPLE.com

How to Build an Inexpensive Greenhouse

Came across this. We’re suddenly more interested in shade as the temps have been in the 90s. A search for diy greenhouse yields many ideas for recycling old windows, or this one which budget, but effective.

How to build a small, cheap and easy greenhouse. Includes  Material List for 28 foot by 15 foot greenhouse, sorry, with pvc, the greenhouse has to be small.

Source: How to build a cheap, simple and easy greenhouse

Growing and Drying Your Own Herbs – Daily Prepper

As a new gardener, I often found the task of growing prize-winning tomatoes and succulent melons very daunting. Can I say succulent melons here? Get your head out of the gutter! But growing and drying your own herbs, now that was a new task.

Gardening has never come naturally to me. But I learn and grow each and every year. I finally began to master tomatoes by the third year of gardening. But I’ve still never mastered the green bean. It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re gardening, but I’ve found one thing that I can never kill. I suppose I could if I drenched it in chemicals, but ultimately, they’re very forgiving. What is it, you ask? Why, herbs, of course!

Herbs are one of the easiest things in the world to grow and maintain. Drying your own herbs is one of the easiest skills to learn, and will come in handy often.  Whether you’re drying them once harvested, making a tincture, preserving dried herbs into spice rubs, or simply hanging them until you’re ready to use them. There are plenty of ways to grow and preserve herbs on your homestead.

Source: How to Grow and Dry Your Own Herbs – Daily Prepper News

Lots of useful information, a good read.

The photo above is a salad without a speck of lettuce. Taken at Chacra d’Dago in Villa Rica Peru, home of an amazing biodynamic farm. -Ben

Start Your Medicinal Garden Today – 7 Reasons

Growing medicinal plants are a great way to ensure garden sustainability and more notably, have access to natural medicine when you need it most. When I introduced more herbs in my garden, I noticed it had a profound impact on the vegetables and fruits I was growing. It also encouraged beneficial insects and birds to visit my garden and this helped cut down on plants being eaten.

Because of this observation, I changed my focus from solely growing to eat and, instead, worked to create a welcoming growing environment. Not only were my plants healthier, but I had access to natural herbs to use for making extracts and poultices. The following are reasons I feel gardeners should adopt adding medicinal herbs to the garden.

7 Reasons Why You Should Have a Medicinal Garden

1.) have fresh cut herbs to use for natural medicine, you have access to the freshest forms of their healing properties. For example, what if you cut your hand and did not have a bandage.

Did you know that the sage leaf can be wrapped around a wound and used as a natural band-aid? Or, if the bleeding from that cut was so bad that it wouldn’t stop. Did you know that a few shakes of some cayenne pepper can help control the bleed? Or, if you have a severe bruise, make a poultice. It’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to use herbal medicine.

2.) Calm your senses with medicinal teas. (Click to read more)

Source: 7 Reasons Why You Should Have a Medicinal Garden | Ready Nutrition

Read more at the link. Pictured above is Ephedra which is quite common here. Known as “Mormon Tea,” it’s said to be a wonderful decongestant. It must be simmered for at least 20 minutes prior to drinking. It’s quite stimulating, and should be avoided by those with heart conditions.

7 Quick Vegetables – 60 Days

Even if you haven’t started any seeds yet for your garden, there are some vegetables that can be planted indoors now and harvested within 60 days.

As well, one of the best advantages to planting fast-maturing plants (other than quicker harvests) is that these plants will need less water and fertilizers before they are harvested. These are also vegetables that were recommended for victory gardens during World War II.

Source: 10 Vegetables You Can Grow In 60 Days or Less | Ready Nutrition

The Surprising Benefits of Gardening in Retirement

Each autumn, the fruits of the harvest fill the shelves of local groceries and farmers markets, a colorful reminder of the many nutritional benefits of fresh produce. But growing produce offers equally sustaining, though perhaps less visible, benefits.

Beyond reduced grocery expenses, gardening offers many positive effects financially. A garden may be a good way to improve property value, for example, says David Ellis, director of communications for the American Horticultural Society and editor of its magazine, The American Gardener. But most people garden because they enjoy it, he says. “They grow vegetables and improve their own nutrition,” says Ellis, “and they grow flowers, which they give away and spread joy.”

A form of light exercise, gardening can be a great way to stay active. The exercise involved varies, depending on the task, and seniors should be careful not to overexert themselves, Ellis says.

Spending time outdoors has been linked with improved mental health. Recent studies have shown that the quantity of nearby green space buffers life stresses across ages. Gardening may lower cortisol levels in your brain, and in turn reduce stress levels, according to a study in the Journal of Health Psychology.

Gardening may also lower the risk of dementia by as much as 36%, according to a study conducted in 2010 in Australia. For this reason, horticultural therapy is a growing area proving helpful for seniors with dementia, says Ellis. With this form of active therapy, people are led through gardening tasks and see the results, often making use of fragrant herbs that stimulate memory, he says. “It has become a great tool,” says Ellis.

Source: The Surprising Benefits of Gardening in Retirement

Summer Squash: The Gardening Staple You Can Grow In 40 Days

For a lot of people, the thought of summer squash brings to mind just a few varieties. The entire list probably consists of little yellow crooknecks and zucchini, with no more than one or two choices of each.

There is a bonanza of summer squash taste available to home gardeners. If you like squash even a tiny bit, you will want to grow your own. Fresh summer squash in your backyard provides daily fresh young produce throughout the season, the ability to eliminate food miles, and the opportunity to try dozens of unique varieties that are not available at stores or even farmer’s markets.

Source: Summer Squash: The Gardening Staple You Can Grow In 40 Days –