Cover Crop Picks – Using Cover Crops In Vegetable Beds

Cover Crop Picks – Using Cover Crops In Vegetable Beds
Growing a healthy, successful vegetable garden depends upon a variety of factors. From planting to harvest, it’s essential to provide plants with consistent moisture and soil nutrients. While establishing a fertilization routine is important, many plantings benefit from the use of cover crops in vegetable beds when not in use. Why Choose Cover Crops in Vegetable Beds? Cover crops are used for many reasons. Cover crops can be used to help improve the nutrient content of the soil, the soil’s structure, and to reduce the presence of weeds in the vegetable garden. The types of cover crops you choose will depend on the season and your growing zone. While some will thrive in the heat of summer, others need cooler temperatures to grow and bloom. I personally prefer using a cool season cover crop in my garden. Why? It’s a great way to prep for next season without having to... Read More

Best Shrubs For Beginners – How To Use Shrubs In The Garden

Best Shrubs For Beginners – How To Use Shrubs In The Garden
New to growing shrubs? For a new gardener, growing anything than a potted plant or a flower can be daunting. Large plants like shrubs seem complicated and difficult. Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from using these foundational plants. Shrubs provide focal points, a backdrop for smaller plants, borders, privacy, and so much more. I, too, was intimidated at first. But here’s what I’ve learned along the way caring for shrubs in my own landscape. Using Shrubs in the Garden, How and Why Shrubs play many roles in a garden setting. Here are some reasons why planting shrubs is a must for anyone wanting to expand their gardening horizons: As larger plants, they provide a focal point around which you can place other plants. Shrubs make great hedges for borders but also for privacy and blocking sound from roads. Wildlife need shrubs for cover and, depending on the... Read More

Reaping Sweet Rewards From A Pick-Your-Own Farm

Reaping Sweet Rewards From A Pick-Your-Own Farm
In most growing zones, cool fall weather marks a much welcome change of pace. With the summer heat now a distant memory, many people once again venture outdoors. While recreational activities like camping, hiking, and attending various festivals are always popular, my family is ever so eager to make our first visit to the local “U-Pick” farms. Simply, a pick-your-own farm allows guests to come and harvest produce where it is being grown. A visit to this type of farm is an excellent way to spend quality time with family and friends while having fun, plus you get a great deal on the freshest produce. My local farm offers two different picking seasons in the fall – one for apples and one for pumpkins. It is no surprise that both apple and pumpkin picking has quickly become a much-loved family tradition. Local Farm Harvest Fun When October arrives, the … Read More

Different Way Of Life – Experiencing The Joys Of A Homestead Farm

Different Way Of Life – Experiencing The Joys Of A Homestead Farm
I lived on a homestead in Alaska, but it doesn’t really count. It was the homestead of someone else who was not able to make a go of it and sold the 100 acres to my father, who built our house on it. We never had any little farm animals, although I dreamed of sheep and baby cows. But it would have been pretty cold for them in winter. It was years later, when I moved to France, that I finally got the homestead experience. And the result was not what I expected. Living on LaRhune In France, my little house is up the slopes of a mighty mountain called LaRhune. Not all the way, but far enough up to require a four-by-four truck to get up. I have an old Toyota Landcruiser that carries everything from my dog, my daughter and me to firewood, the new refrigerator and –... Read More

Paving The Way For Homesteading A Backyard Today

Paving The Way For Homesteading A Backyard Today
Today, the term “homesteading” is generally used to describe a self-sufficient, sustainable lifestyle, which usually includes growing and preserving food, generally without benefit of chemicals. Modern-day homesteaders may have poultry or a small backyard farm, or they may keep bees. Some are able to generate electricity, allowing them to live entirely off the grid. Others become knowledgeable about permaculture, which involves an elaborate but effective system of sustainable landscape planning. Living “off the earth” is a fact of life for many people in my rural community, three hours away from Portland. While homesteading a backyard today is a bit different than in the days of the Homesteading Act of long ago, it’s a great way to take advantage of simpler times and a quieter way of life. Homestead Act History “Homesteading” has a very different meaning for me. The Homestead Act, enacted in 1862, provided that settlers could … Read More

Benefits Of Vegetable Garden Ducks

Benefits Of Vegetable Garden Ducks
My fondness for backyard ducks began when I was young. At that time, live ducklings were a popular Easter gift and many stores stocked these adorable fuzzballs the week preceding this egg-centric holiday. Once my Easter duckling would imprint on me, it would dutifully follow me wherever I went. As a child, I mistook this natural instinct for love. Vegetable Gardening with Ducks Nowadays, gardeners are rediscovering the benefits of having poultry in their vegetable gardens. Domestic birds, like chickens, geese and ducks, eat a variety of plant pests and do relatively little harm to the vegetable plants. The labor-free dispersal of manure is another perk of having a vegetable garden with ducks. Ducks produce twice the manure of chickens. Duck waste is watery, so it soaks into the soil better. Plus, one can use the water from their ducky pool to irrigate the garden. But back … Read More

Don’t Stop Now: Get Into Cool Weather Gardening

Don’t Stop Now: Get Into Cool Weather Gardening
Whether you’re brand new at gardening or a seasoned horticulturist, don’t be in a hurry to wrap up your garden as the weather cools down. The end of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of your gardening year when there are so many fall gardening options to explore. Cool weather gardening is a rewarding and successful way to increase your food supply, and it keeps you warm and busy as the weather turns nippy. Autumn Gardening Expertise Are you puzzled about what to plant this fall? Jung Seed, a long-standing, family-owned American company stands ready to help. Known for its strong, successful seeds and reliable customer service, Jung Seed prides itself on making things easier for gardeners like us. Explore Jung’s beautiful new fall catalog for answers to all your questions about gardening in cool months. All of Jung’s products are non-GMO produced, and they offer a beautiful … Read More

Learn About The History Of Farming

Learn About The History Of Farming
Where would we be in this country without the farmer? Many of us are accustomed to always having the food of our choice, whenever we want it, and we don’t even consider the source. Even the recent pandemic did not limit our food supply in a drastic way. Not every country is so fortunate. Perhaps, we should take a moment to honor farmers, both past and present. What better time than on Old Farmers Day. History of Farming Farming in the U.S. changed with the first English settlers in North America. Contrary to what many people think today, settlers already knew how to farm productively from their experience in Europe. Once they were here, it was about growing crops they learned about from Native Americans, such as maize. This is a multi-colored corn like what we use in our fall displays today. In these early times, the term ‘Indian … Read More

Starting Seeds In Ice Cream Cones Is Not Ideal

Starting Seeds In Ice Cream Cones Is Not Ideal
When I first started gardening, I often found myself feeling frustrated by a lack of supplies. I had not yet invested in many of the materials that I really needed. From watering cans to seed trays, I had set a very strict budget for my new hobby. In doing so, I often scoured the internet, looking for the next great “gardening hack” that would solve all of my problems. It was a bright, sunny day in spring that I decided my attempt at starting flower seeds in ice cream cones. Ice Cream Cone Seed Starter Fiasco Before I even start explaining my unfortunate experience sowing seeds in ice cream cones, it should be noted that I was already somewhat skeptical. Afterall, I love eating ice cream. Why would anyone want to waste the cones like this? I realize that cones are relatively cheap, but they’re also delicious. Despite my … Read More