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mrs greenthumb's BlogAll you need to know about gardening.
Category: Organic Tips for your Garden | Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:03 pm
When we talk about ORGANIC we are talking about working with nature and natural products to improve the soil and to better the environment we live in.
The most prolific pollutants in this country are produced fertilizers and pesticides. When we build soil health our plants will become stronger and more resistant to pests, and people will not have to apply more chemicals to control them.
How do we stop our dependency on these products?First of all we must look to our food supply. Can we live with tiny blemishes on the produce we buy? In this country the public insistence on "perfect"
unblemished produce and the need for high yields is motivating the farmers to use chemicals on their produce, but many farmers do NOT realize that using these products actually do more harm than good, as they deposit excessive salts and contaminants into the soil.
Also these chemicals can be harmful to the water supply that we drink.
Building the soil and finding alternate methods of pest control are the first good steps to a healthy environment. If the area is only a strip of land around the patio or a larger garden, it all counts.
As each piece of land starts becoming healthy, it attracts wildlife looking for a place to eat, live or reproduce, so by gardening organically we help to keep the cycle of life going.
bees feeding from a flower. ( photo / image / picture from mrs greenthumb's Garden )
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How about this type of composter!!!
Category: Quick,Easy,Garden Tips. | Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:53 am
Get a 5 gallon or larger bucket with a lid. Cut out the bottom of the bucket with a pair of heavy-duty shears or a utility knife.
Push the bucket into one of your flower beds so the bottom of the bucket is 12 inches below the soil surface.
Add compost, weeds( without seeds), and plant wastes every day, do NOT use meat or processed foods. You can use egg shells and vegetable waste also.
Keep the lid on to avoid attracting flies or other
When it's nearly full, pull the bucket up, and cover the pile with soil.
It will quickly settle as the compost rots and the earthworms do their work, and, as the compost breaks down, it will provide the bed with nutrients.
Tomatoes and squash crops, both heavy feeders, will benefit greatly when planted close by.
If you need a barrier between you and the poison ivy try this:
Put a plastic newspaper sleeve over your hand and arm like a glove before pulling the ivy.
After you have pulled it out, peel the 'glove' inside out while you are still holding the weed.
Then you can throw the whole thing away safely.
There is no danger, using this method, of spreading plant oils as there is when using garden gloves, for the same task.
If you were saving all your bread bags, now you have a use for them!!
Till next time. Mrs 'G'
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Grab Your Litter!!
Category: Organic Tips for your Garden | Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 2:56 am
If you are tired of jumping on and off your lawn tractor to pick up debris, try this ingenious trash grabber.
Take an old wooden handle from a broom, rake or other tool, and saw it off to a comfortable length.
Hammer 3 finishing nails into one end, and then take it with you when you mow by tractor.
Use this tool to "grab" litter from the ground, saving you getting on and off your tractor and having to re-start it.This tool will work for almost anything except glass. The nails will even puncture
and pick up aluminum cans!!!
When you have a big pile of soil to move, try this dustpan trick.
Kneel on a kneeling pad, dig in with the dustpan, and fill your wheelbarrow or buckets from that position, it sure helps your back muscles!!
Cut a piece of old rubber or plastic hose, the length
of your saw blade, garden hoe or machete, then make a length-wise slit in the hose. Slip it over the sharp edge of the blade or hoe to save the blade, and protect your hands from cuts and scrapes.
If you have stiff knees or a long job to do in the garden like dead heading or weeding, try using two, 5 gallon pails. Sit on one and use the other for the cuttings or weeds that you are pulling. It's easy to pick them up and move them, and they are usually free, from your local restaurant.
Place plant flats and small tools on an old plastic shower curtain, and drag it to the spot where you are working. You can also fill it with leaves in Autumn, as long as you don't fill it too full!
Don't throw away those sheer white window curtains!
Drape old curtains over garden plants to protect them from insects or light frosts.
They work great and hold up better than expensive
spun garden fabric. Not only that, you can throw them in the washer, if needed!
Till next time,
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I have pictures!!
Category: Organic Tips for your Garden | Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:23 am
Please let me know how to get my pictures onto my blog.!
I have them on Photobucket but I am not sure what I am supposed to do after that.!
Do I use IMG or URL and what do I enter into those tags???
Tea drinkers>> Don't throw out your cold tea from your cup or tea pot.
Give your plants a treat, and pour the leftover into
To prevent late blight on tomato plants, fill a trigger spray bottle with Hydrogen peroxide and mist the plants every evening from late August until September.
To prevent viruses from tainting the blades of your pruning shears, which can then be transferred to your plants, spray the tool with Lysol, then rinse well and dry. The disinfectant kills germs on contact.
Plant diseases can be spread by an infected shovel, gloves, or gardening shoes. Washing tools etc with warm soapy water will kill any disease on these items.
Revive an ailing plant by adding two tablespoons of
pancake syrup ( Aunt Jemimas etc) at the root of the plant once a month.
Watering plants with Gatorade adds Potassium to the soil and the sugar feeds microorganisms, adding Nitrogen.
There is an old proverb that says;
" The best fertilizer in the garden may be the gardener's own shadow". In other words , daily attention to plants is better than artificial additives.
Till next time "Mrs G'
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Tips about Herbs.
Category: Organic Tips for your Garden | Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:34 am
Place an old Tire on the ground, fill with potting soil, plant herbs like lavender, oregano,sage, and thyme in the soil. The tire retains
moisture and provides excellent drainage.
To speed the germination of parsley seeds, soak the seeds in lukewarm water for several hours, let dry and mix with coffee grounds before sowing outdoors in one- quarter inch of soil. Cover the spot with a board to keep the seeds moist and cool, until they sprout.
To germinate basil, plant the seeds in a flat pan filled with seed- starting mix and cover the pan with a sheet of saran wrap to create a miniature greenhouse.
To preserve diced fresh ginger in your refrigerator,
,peel and chop the ginger, put in a jar, top off with
Vodka and seal tightly. The ginger will last up to one year in your refrigerator. DO NOT DRINK THE VODKA!!!!!
To prevent thyme from being burned in the summer sun,
dissolve one tablespoon of Borax in one gallon of water , use this solution to water the thyme once, in spring.
To store rosemary, strip the leaves from the branches and place them in a freezer bag and place them in your freezer.
To those of you who asked kindly about my garden, I have been working like crazy in 95degree heat, to get it going. It is beginning to take shape and once I know how to publish photos on this site, I will let you see my progress!!!
Till next time " Mrs G"
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All About Rakes!
Category: Organic Tips for your Garden | Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:37 am
Whether or not you live near the seashore, a short handled clam rake can be perfect for cultivating a garden bed.
The rake's slender tines penetrate the ground deeply, bringing up rhizomes of grasses and other invasive weeds in large pieces that are easy to pick out of the soil.
Are you bothered by ' bindweed?'.
It grows just about everywhere and is a gardener's nightmare.
If you can find a potato rake it is the finest bindweed removal tool in the business!!
This cross between a hoe and a pitchfork has three very sharp tines that easily snare bindweed and makes it easy for disposal. It can also be used for dragging piles of thorny clippings and pulling compost out of a bin.
Compost tea bag.
When you open your next bag of onions, untie the string gathered at the top rather than ripping through the netting.
Fill the bag with compost, retie it, and place it in a bucket of water. Allow it to steep for a week or more, then use the liquid to water plants and give them a fertilizer boost!
Squirt your hands with cooking spray before you go into the garden. It will make your hands easier to clean, especially if like me, you don't wear garden gloves.
It will make it easier to wash up and even helps keep them cleaner , if you do wear garden gloves.
Till next time 'Mrs G'
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A flower like Tiffany Glass.!
Category: Organic Tips for your Garden | Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 6:29 am
If you have never grown this plant I urge you to do so, it is called " Salpiglosis".
They are tall thin plants and really need to be sown in a group to support one another, but they have the most beautiful flowers, just like looking at colored glass. They have all shades, blues, purples, pinks etc all on the one flower. They are annuals ,but well worth having just to look at them .
I have started buying shrubs for my new garden, and some roses. I like climbing roses, and shrub roses, but I am not always successful in growing them. I think I must water too much or too little, but I know they do best with a soaker hose, rather than a blast from the hose.
I also brought with me young water lilies, and they are doing great, lots of leaves but no flowers yet, I will have to bring them in for the winter.
I always throw seed from my established plants into my garden in the fall, but it must be my old age, I found that now, I can never remember what ones I used!! I have to wait until the spring when they begin to sprout, and then I replant them, not knowing what I am replanting! Oh well, it's always a suprise.
Some fun thoughts:::
Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?
Do you ever wonder??
Why does round pizza come in a square box?
What disease did 'cured' ham actually have?
If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?
If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?
Once you are in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the same clothes you were buried in, for eternity?
Till next time Mrs "G"
This blog entry has been viewed 900 times
Category: Organic Tips for your Garden | Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:52 am
Thank you all for your kind words and I am glad to be back behind my wheelbarrow!!.
My new garden is quite a challenge, it has once been a very large tilled garden, but is now just a pile of weeds!! I really like to use my " Garden Claw" as I don't have a regular tiller, and this tool helps me tremendously. The only problem is, when the ground gets too wet, I cannot lift my feet out of the mud as my shoes are almost stuck there. I am gradually adding new plants and shrubs so that next year, I should see a big improvement.
I found a nice new shrub ( to me ) called "Sweetberry Honeysuckle", and also a newer type of PeeGee Hydrangea with longer blooming time.
I have set up my arbors with climbing roses, and clematis so I am looking forward to seeing them grow.
It is just too bad that I have to wait through a long winter, until I can see how all the plants have survived. Oh well!, maybe I will just hibernate in my bed with a good lot of books and watch the snow
fall outside my window.!!!
Cheers' Mrs G
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I have survived!!!!
Category: Organic Tips for your Garden | Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:43 am
Well hi there! it seems ages since I last wrote, but is only about a month. We survived our journey and so did all the 4 legged family, it took us about 5 days, in terrific heat and the dogs were uncomfortable but were very good. The only mishap we had was on the Trans Canada Highway. We had packed the van very carefully, with the cats in their cages at the back and the dogs behind our seats at the front and in between was lots of " stuff". We were quite pleased with ourselves as to how it was all working out, until we turned a corner on the highway and came face to face ( almost) with Mother Moose!!!!
I had to slam on the brakes, all the cat cages came tumbling to the front, the dogs got in a panic ( and so did I) as I was sure I was going to hit her.
She stood there , just looking at us, and decided to have a munch of grass before continuing to cross the road.Meanwhile our well laid out van was a disaster, cats mewing, dogs barking, sweltering heat and tempers getting high. Our long legged friend finally decided to move, and allowed us to pull off to the side of the road and re-organize the van.
Apart from that, things went quite well, until we arrived at our new house. The movers had not yet arrived, so we just parked the van at the driveway and waited, and waited, and waited!!!
By this time it was getting late in the day and we were tired and hungry.
We tried to call the mover on his cell ( he told me he always had it on), "NO ANSWER". So we decided to spend the night in the local motel.
In the morning we called him again" NO ANSWER"
It was about 90 degrees, all of our furniture was on the moving van, we didn't even have a chair to sit on.So we put the dogs into the house where it was cooler and we sat on the grass. By late in the day, still" NO MOVER".
We called head office, they couldnt find him, so back to the motel we went.
They came 3 days late, said the van broke down etc etc, well I wasn't buying that excuse. I was hopping mad and let them know it, as only a good Scottish Lassie can !!
So now I unloaded the plants that I had packed up to take with me, and was surprised at how well they had done.
Since being here for a month, they have picked up really well, and showing signs of life. Only problem is, I lived in zone 5 and now I am in zone 3, so
was it really worth it to bring them with me?
I have decided to mother them through the winter, and see how they do, maybe Global Warming will arrive here before the frost, I can only hope.!!
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The Trials of Moving House.!!
Category: Organic Tips for your Garden | Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 6:17 am
I am in the middle of packing for my move. I have been at it now for 2 weeks, and I just get deeper into a muddle!!
I never knew we had so much "stuff" , and we decided that we were going to keep only things that we really need, not the hundreds of items that lie in a cupboard and have never been used.
My biggest devastation has been selling the plants out of my garden. I never thought I would feel such a loss. Sounds stupid I know, but I have lived with these plants for 12 years, and they have been my family.
To dig them out of the ground and pass them on to others, has been quite traumatic.
My once beautifully designed English garden, is now no more. It has holes everywhere, where I have dug up shrubs and plants, and no longer resembles the labor of love, that I created.
I have been surprised how many people really know nothing about gardening, as I have had to explain how to plant shrubs, perennials and water plants.
I have broken 2 of my best shovels, digging out well rooted plants, who I felt , just didn't want to leave.!!!
I now have boxes for the Mover, boxes for the Salvation Army, boxes for the Auctioneer, and very nearly had one of my cats boxed also, ( she jumped in while I was packing and I just heard her mew).
My house is an absolute wreck, ( and so am I) what with sorting out new telephone numbers, hydro, television connects, sorting out what bills I need to pay before I leave, and all the other financial matters that have to be taken care of, I am just mentally and physically " pooped".
Anyway, I did read somewhere, that one must not dwell on what you are losing, but the potential of what one will gain!
So I have this message written on the door, so that I keep it in my mind, when I am feeling down,( that my favorite rose has just been sold.)
The worst part, everyone who comes to the garden, keeps saying" oh how can you bear to leave this lovely place?" This is well meant, but makes me feel even more depressed.!
I have 2 more weeks to get all my house in order for the movers, and when they have gone, I have to pack my station wagon with 2 large dogs and 2 cats( who will be in their cat carriers) and clothes for a week, and animal dishes and I am going to sneak in a few plants( well how could I not?).
So the journey of 3000 kms, will be quite the test of all our patience, and my worst thought is I have to unpack all these boxes at the other end!
Well I won't be the first nor the last to go through this stress, but when we are in the midst of all this chaos, we tend to think, we are the only ones that have ever done it.
So, I won't be writing for a few weeks, just in case anyone who enjoys my blog, thought I had gone missing!!
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