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  • Quick test: is it a weed or a plant? If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
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    April 17, 2014
    Sidewalk Gardens

    If you have a very small space and want to add big curb appeal, you might want to consider starting a sidewalk flower garden. They’re beautiful, eye-catching, and pretty easy to install, since they’re so compact. I love all the photos I’ve seen of them! If I had the time, I’d try one myself. Check out this slideshow gallery at bhg.com for some sidewalk garden inspiration. You may end up loving them as much as I do, and may even want to try your hand at one:

    -Use layers in the garden: use plants with varying heights

    -Pack in lots of color and texture in a single space

    -Use curves and round lines, rather than straight ones.

    -Grow a cutting garden: for fresh indoor flowers

    -Delight passersby with fragrance: plant sweet smelling trees and flowers

    Photo Credit: Dawn Hopkins 


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    April 7, 2014
    Plant Pals! Herbs To Plant Together

    Some plants are friends! For example, beans, corns, and squash all grow together beautifully. Corn gives the beans a pole to climb, the squash’s shade prevents weeds from growing, and the beans give extra nitrogen back to the soil. They all benefit each other in some way. There are also herbs that are “companions” to other plants that should be planted together. This post by the Herbal Academy blog shows how to use companion planting to your advantage when growing a garden:

    -Chamomile and cabbage- the scent repels pests from the cabbage

    -Tarragon and eggplant- repels pests and enhances eggplant’s flavor

    -Basil and tomatoes- enhances flavor and crop yield

    -Fennel and dill

    -Lovage and anything!

    Photo Credit: Larry Hoffman 


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    April 1, 2014
    Jazz Up Your Flower Pots With These DIY Ideas

    Decorating your flower pots is an easy way to add some charm to your porch or garden. With so many ideas floating around, it’s hard to decide what you want to do with them though. Well, I’ve found the mother of all flower pot decorating posts! Check out this compilation of ideas by Andrea at The Cottage Market. Here are some of my favorite ideas, but be sure to look at the post for photos of the final product:

    -Tiered Planters: with house number

    -Fabric pots

    -Add lace

    -Chalk paint + art!

    -Dip dye/ombre

    -Handprints (kids)

    -Crayon drip pots

    Photo Credit: Yandle 


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    March 28, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: How To Dry Cilantro
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videoxrtzdk

    I love cilantro! This is a good way to keep it fresh all year.


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    March 24, 2014
    Natural Insect Repellant: Some Plants Ward Off Bugs

    Insect repellants are extremely useful, but sometimes they can be harmful to plants. Especially if you plan on eating them! There are ways to ward off pests without the use of harsh chemicals, though– the old natural way. There are certain plants that act as natural bug deterrents: not only do they NOT use pesticides, they make your garden even prettier! This post by Melissa Llado at Serendipity and Spice contains a list of the useful plants:

    Mint- keeps away ants and mice. And smells great!

    Bay Leaves- gets rid of roaches.

    Lemongrass- repels mosquitoes and bees.

    Basil- keeps away flies.

    Geraniums- repels Japanese beetles

    Catnip- wards off mosquitoes and flies. But attracts cats!

    Photo Credit: Amanda 


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    March 21, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: Winter Chicken Coop

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCyRNA4p3Xc[/youtube

    How to keep your feathered friends warm in the cold!


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    March 18, 2014
    Growing A Mushroom Garden

    Mushrooms are my guilty pleasure! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I could probably live off nothing but mushrooms for the rest of my life and be happy! But, the concept of growing my own edible fungi is kinda intimidating. They’re not technically plants– so growing them seems like it would be totally different and way more challenging. However, while it is a little bit unusual, it’s not impossible if you know what you’re doing. This tutorial by Milkwood.net will show you how! All you need is some woodchip mulch, and some mushroom spore/spawn.

    Step 1: dig your hole in a shady place

    Step 2: add your woodchips

    Step 3: take your bag of spawn and break it up

    Step 4: sprinkle that spawn good.

    Step 5: top with more semi-sterilized woodchips.

    Step 6: in due course, the woodchips will be fully colonised and one morning after rain, you’ll be able to harvest the first of your delicious mushrooms. And eat them with herbs and butter and lemon. 

    Photo Credit: Sam Droege 


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    March 11, 2014
    Thrifty DIY Ways to Set Up Seedlings

    If you’re trying to start up a small garden, you don’t have to go out and buy expensive terracotta pots! You don’t even need to have a large space– by planting seeds and seedlings in inexpensive (usually free) biodegradable containers, you save yourself money and valuable square footage. Check out this slideshow by Carla Wiking at Spoonful.com of eight creative seed containers that you probably already have in your house:

    Eggshell seedlings- Using empty eggshells to plant seeds isn’t just cute, it’s also very beneficial for the plants.

    Egg carton garden- Recycle post-Easter egg cartons by creating a spring seedling garden with kids.

    Toilet paper roll seed starters- Recycling at it’s finest, these little “pots” can be planted right in the ground without disturbing those delicate roots. 

    Click through for tutorials and more ideas!

    Photo Credit: Tim Patterson 


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    March 7, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: Japanese Square Watermelons!
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videoxqrmlg

    These look incredibly cool! BUT, my friend who lived in Japan for a year has informed me that they don’t taste as pretty as they look. Still, I think it’s worth a try!


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    March 5, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Alternative Warehouse Garden

    Photo from One Kind Design


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