Window Boxes – Enjoy a mini garden all year long

Whether you live in an apartment or a house, whether you have a huge backyard or your yard is the sidewalk out front window boxes can allow you to have the garden you crave. Let your inner gardener out all year long with these wonderful little gardens in a box. Now is the perfect time of year to not only think about what type of window box you might want, but also to get started planting and growing your little garden in a box indoors.

Garden Window Boxes are a fantastic way for you to have a garden in your house or just outside you window. Simple to use, flexible for any space, and the best part there are planters for any size window and even window box planter stands that you can use indoors or out.

There are, of course, the standard wooden window boxes which can be painted to match the trim or color of you house, but there are so many more options. Vinyl window boxes that go with your vinyl siding and have the same durable qualities that the siding on your house has. Most people have seen the basket style indoor or patio window box and even the window plant boxes at ground level decorating walkways, decks and sidewalks. But did you know you can also get window plant boxes in a number of different types of metal as well? There are aluminum window boxes, copper window boxes, steel, wrought iron and so on to compliment your home and garden and give it that extra special flair you are looking for this year.

All too often we find ourselves discovering a beautiful plant or flower that would go perfect with our house in the middle of summer and are saddened by the short amount of time we get enjoy them before the season is over and winter hits again. This year lets resolve to be prepared. Find your window box planters now and enjoy them all year long.

A Gardening Carnival – October 29, 2008

Welcome to the October 29, 2008 edition of a gardening carnival.

Sharontpc presents Who Knew? My Clematis turned into Morning Glories. posted at Psychic Cottage, saying, “Not sure if you do funny gardening stuff.”

Lauren Rose presents THE CULTIVATION OF VEGETABLES | Own Home Style .com posted at Own Home Style .com, saying, “Nowadays due to the introduction of new hybrid varieties in vegetables, which are susceptible to pest and diseases, there is demand for more plant protection, usually with toxic chemicals.”

GrrlScientist presents Honeycomb posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “A picture of a honeybee honeycomb, photographed at Russ Pittman Park, Texas.”

flowers

GrrlScientist presents Seattle Visit: University of Washington’s GreenHouse, Part One posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “Part one of my two-part photoessay about my visit to the biology department’s greenhouse on Seattle’s University of Washington campus. lots of gorgeous images!”

Condo Blues presents Condo Blues: Drying Fresh Lavender posted at Condo Blues.

gardening

Kristen McCarthy presents Community Gardens: Transform Urban Spaces posted at this-sustainable-life.com, saying, “Traditionally, community gardens emerge in the most unlikely spaces: from dispossessed parking lots and abandoned railway lines, to hubcap strewn parks and needle plagued back alleys, to the sagging rooftops that overlook laundry lines stretched out across the cityscape in multifarious patterns. In these areas rejected and wasted from human-made decay, urban gardens are birthed.”

Sarah presents Ridding Your Lawn of Gophers, Moles and Other Rodents | Spring Lawn Care – Lawn Care Tips posted at Lawn Care Tips, saying, “How to get rid of pesky lawn creatures.”

Bobbie Whitehead presents Garlic Onion Time posted at Bobbie Whitehead.

nichole halsey presents Growing Garlic at Home – Planting it? posted at Bad Human! Don’t take chemicals from strangers!, saying, “Easy fall planting”

house plants

Annette Berlin presents How To Grow Hydroponic Herbs posted at Craft Stew, saying, “I’m not much of a gardener. I’m too afraid of snakes and spiders to enjoy playing in the mud. The one exception to my purple thumb is hydroponic herbs. Growing hydroponic herbs is so easy, even I can do it. It’s a no-brainer.”

Sarah presents Why Is Proper Lawn Clipping Height So Important? | Spring Lawn Care – Lawn Care Tips posted at Lawn Care Tips, saying, “Some reasons why it’s really important to clip your lawn correctly.”

John Rhodes presents Lawn Care Success or Failure, ProGardenBiz Magazine V1 Issue 3 posted at Lawn Care, saying, “Some things that will determine whether your lawn business is successful or not”

landscape

Giorgina Devereaux presents Outdoor Decorating Ideas posted at Home Decor Blog.

organic gardening

Jamie McIntosh presents Save Money with Organic Gardening posted at Jamie’s Blog, saying, “Everyone knows that green living techniques can save money by saving energy in the household. Earth-friendly organic gardens can also help you save money.”

GrrlScientist presents Seattle Visit: The Montlake Fill (UBNA) posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “This photoessay describes my visit to one of the finest small- to medium-sized urban birding areas on the west coast of North America, the Montlake Fill. This is a reclaimed wetland that was formerly a city dump.”

vegetables

Bobbie Whitehead presents Cole Crops Ready posted at Bobbie Whitehead.

KimberlyKA presents Vegatable Garden Planting Guide posted at Food Talk 101.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of a gardening carnival using our carnival submission form. The next edition will be posted on November 26, 2008.

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Fall Projects

With the arrival of Fall, you may be thinking that there really isn’t much to do in the garden except complete your harvest.  But Fall is not a time to slack off and forget about gardening.  On the contrary, it is a time to prepare your gardens and lawns for the Winter slumber they are about to undertake.  There are a lot of great things that you can do now to encourage a strong growth in the Spring.

During the next week, we will be focusing on several of these items so that you are sure to have the best garden and lawn that you possibly can next Spring.  We will discuss the reasons you need to do certain things now and I will even tell you how to do them.  Some of the topics we will discuss will probably be familiar to you.  But there may be a few surprises for you.

So don’t put up your garden gloves and tools just yet!  We still have some work to do.  And when we are done, I will even tell you how to take good care of your gardening tools so that they will last you for a longer period of time.  Together, we can make the most of your investment in the garden.

For some of you, you may be thinking that after these discussions I am telling you about, that we will be done here at Her Gardening Blog until Spring.  On the contrary…we will be here all Winter with lots of gardening advice.  I will even offer some advice on Fresh Cut Christmas Trees.  There are several houseplants that we can discuss and of course there are all of the seed catalogs, pre-Spring planning that needs to be done, seed starting and the list goes on and on.

But I am getting ahead of myself…we have some Fall projects that we need to complete first.  So lets plan on getting our hands dirty just a little longer so that we can have the best lawns and gardens that we possibly can next Spring.  After all, what you sow in your garden today will reap you great bounties tomorrow.

Photo provided by sebastiano

A Gardening Carnival – September 26, 2008

carnival-ride.JPG Welcome to the September 26, 2008 edition of a gardening carnival.

flowers

GrrlScientist presents Visiting Darwin’s Home, Part 2: The Gardens posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “[photoessay] After touring Darwin’s Down House near London, England, I next toured the Gardens and photographed some of Darwin’s experiments. Includes information and lots of photographs.”

gardening

Melinda presents VIDEO!! Gardening 101: How To Hand-Pollinate Tomatoes & Peppers posted at One Green Generation.

Deanna Caswell presents Add PVC Hoops To Raised Beds posted at Little House in the Suburbs.

Piedro Molinero presents More About Butterfly Gardening posted at DIY Gardening Tips.

Deanna Caswell presents Build a Garden Cubby posted at Little House in the Suburbs, saying, “Thank you!”

P.L. Frederick presents Why I Hate Flies posted at Small and Big, saying, “Not sure if this is appropriate for your carnival but just in case. It’s a short, fun read!”

landscape

Jendi presents Problem Solved posted at Garden Vines.

organic gardening

Jamie McIntosh presents Sawdust in the Organic Garden posted at Jamie’s Blog, saying, “Put wood shavings to work in your compost bin or garden storage area.”

Marilyn Zink presents Benefits of Organic Herbs vs. Non-Organic Herbs posted at Herbal Collective, saying, “How organic herbs help improve skin care, bedding, cosmetics and shampoo, particularly for children.”

roses

Piedro Molinero presents Rose Gardening posted at DIY Gardening Tips.

vegetables

AdmirableIndia.com presents Pearl Valley or Muthyala Maduvu, Karnataka posted at AdmirableIndia.com, saying, “Cauliflower”

Chris Hinkelman presents What do you do with the mid-season glut? posted at Borage for Courage, saying, “One of my absolutely favorite recipes for using your fresh garden ingredients.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of a gardening carnival using our carnival submission form. The next edition will be posted on October 29, 2008.

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Harvest Time!

harvest.jpgThis past week has found me harvesting many different items from my garden and the gardens of others.  I have preserved green beans and I have made several jams.  This week I will be making and canning salsa from the many yummy things that I have grown in my garden.  Soon after that I will be freezing corn for the winter.

I love the satisfaction that I get when I preserve foods.  I feel I have accomplished something great for my family because I am putting to use the things we have grown in the garden.  I also know exactly what we are getting when I can the items and I know exactly what is in them.  I love having that control.

I have several favorite recipes that I use when I am preserving foods for the winter.  Whether I am freezing items or processing them in jars, I have definite tastes and likes and dislikes.  I have found that I like to have green beans both canned in jars as well as some frozen on hand.  I use them for different meals and I prefer the differences in texture and taste in different meals.  Variety is good for the soul and the pantry.

Since I didn’t get very many zucchini recipes, I thought that perhaps I would try again with a collection of recipes from all of you.  I will again compile the recipes into a downloadable FREE e-book.  I will also include the small number of zucchini recipes and ideas that I received in the book.  We are just going to expand it a bit.  So here is what I would like for you to do:

Leave a comment below this post with your favorite HARVEST recipe.  This can be anything that you like as long as it uses items from the garden.  You can even include canning and freezing recipes for inclusion in the e-book.  I am looking for recipes for breads, muffins, jams and jellies, beverages, relish, salsa, skillet dinners, casseroles, side dishes, main dishes, desserts.  If you can think of a recipe that includes garden items, then leave a comment with the recipe and your name so I can credit you properly.

I can’t wait to see what we can create from the Harvest of our gardens!  

Photo Provided by  ppdigital

A Gardening Carnival – August 27, 2008

carnival-ride.JPG Welcome to the August 27, 2008 edition of a gardening carnival.

gardening

Mark J. Donovan presents Winterizing a Garden posted at HomeAdditionPlus, saying, “Mark Donovan of HomeAdditionPlus.com discusses the steps in preparing your garden for winter.”

Machione presents Volunteers Needed For Garden That Feeds The Poor posted at Stark County, Ohio News And Views….

Machione presents I Took Time For Myself… posted at The Lives and Times… of Anthony McCune.

Ena Clewes presents Dealing With Garden Pests the Organic Way – Gardening Articles – Organic Gardening posted at Organic Gardening, saying, “For many gardeners, a good offense is better than a good defense when it comes to pests in the garden.”

herbs

Lightening presents 5 Reasons to Start a Herb Garden posted at Herb Garden, saying, “There are plenty of good reasons to start your own herb garden. These are my favourite.”

house plants

Katrina Cain presents Poisonous House and Garden Plants For Pets and Humans. posted at Were You Wondering….

organic gardening

Condo Blues presents 40 Flower, Plants, and Trees That Attract Japanese Beetles posted at Condo Blues, saying, “If you have a garden full of Japanese Beetles, you might want to remove their food source as alternative to killing them with chemicals.”

Carolyn presents I’ve got worms! posted at Juggling Frogs.

vegetables

AdmirableIndia.com presents Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Bangalore: Part 2: Bonsai garden, Lotus Pond, Lalbagh lake and Rose garden posted at AdmirableIndia.com, saying, “Cabbage”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of a gardening carnival using our carnival submission form. The next edition will be posted on September 24, 2008.

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Home Grown Tomatoes

Since we have been talking about tomatoes in the garden this week, I thought it would be appropriate to share this video with you. It is a fun and upbeat favorite song of mine. And this video is a nice little tribute to John Denver as well. There are several pictures of our country boy that aren’t seen all that often. A nice touch indeed. I hope you enjoy this video that I am sharing with you today.

What is your favorite thing to do with homegrown tomatoes? What is your favorite thing about them? Leave me a comment and share.

More Troubleshooting Tomato Problems

tomato.JPGYesterday I shared five of the most common problems that you may have while growing your tomatoes. Today, I will share the other five problems and how to diagnose and treat them. Hopefully these tips will help you to troubleshoot what may be going wrong and make those tomatoes truly terrific!

Aphids

These soft bodied pests can cause stunted growth and reduced yields. They travel in colonies and suck the sap from your plants. It is important to control aphids early. An insecticidal soap is very effective in eradicating these pests from your garden. You may also want to introduce some of their natural enemies to your garden in order to control them naturally. Some of their natural enemies include ladybugs, lacewings and parasitic wasps. By avoiding chemical pesticides, these beneficial insects will be encouraged to frequent your garden. However, you will want to set traps for ants as they are friends of the aphid and will actually protect them and carry them to your plants.

Catfacing

You will notice this affliction by the deformed and misshapen fruits that are a result of it. While no one is entirely certain what causes catfacing, we do know that it is related to problems with flower formation. The blossom sticks to the side of the fruit which results in puckering. Also temperature is a factor as temperatures below 50?F at flowering or fruit set seems to cause catfacing. Other factors include extreme heat, drought, excessive soil nitrogen and herbicides that contain growth hormone.

Fusarium Verticillium Wilt

Certain soil born fungi will cause vascular wilt diseases. These diseases turn the stems brown and prevent the leaves from receiving the nourishment they need. The leaves will turn yellow toward the bottom of the plant and work upward. This is often seen to occur on one side of the plant. The infected plant may die eventually. Destroy diseased plants properly and do not place them in your compost pile. Rotate your crops in your garden so that tomatoes and other related plants do not grow in the same area for 3 to 4 years.

Leaf Curl

Are the leaves of your tomato plants curling? Do they feel leathery to you? Leaf curl most often happens in hot weather, especially after a fluctuation in levels of moisture. The problem is also caused by heavy pruning. The good news is that leaf curl will not affect your tomato production.

Blossom Drop

Do the blossoms seem to be dropping off of your tomato plants? Tomatoes are really picky when it comes to temperatures and setting their fruit. If the weather is too warm or too cool, pollination will suffer and the blossoms will drop off. Too much nitrogen fertilizer can also cause the blossoms to drop off as well as dry winds or heavy rains.

Now that you know the biggest and most common problems in tomatoes, which ones have you found in your garden? Leave me a comment and share.

Troubleshooting Tomato Problems

tomato-2.jpgWe all love the taste of a fresh, homegrown tomato.  But sometimes tomatoes can be tricky when you are growing them.  Some of the most common challenges include wilting leaves, foliage turning yellow and fruit that is cracking.  In order to keep your tomato plants looking their best, here are some helps for identifying, preventing and treating the most common problems in your tomatoes.  

Sunscald

Sunscald is most often found on green fruit that is overexposed to the sunlight.  It begins as a light spot.  As the tomato ripens, the spot then becomes larger and is a grayish white color.  Quite often these spots will be attacked by decay causing organisms.  In order to prevent sunscald from affecting your tomatoes, you should avoid overpruning your tomatoes.  The foliage of the plants helps to protect and shade your tomatoes.  If you have tomatoes that are exposed, then it would be a good idea to cover them with shade cloth.

Hornworms

These green worms are quite fierce looking and will grow to be up to 4 inches long and will have a horn on their rear end.  They will defoliate your plants and leave giant bit holes in your tomatoes.  You will notice these worms by the black droppings that they leave on the leaves of your plant.  To treat and control hornworms, you will want to pick them off of the tomato plants or use a natural insecticide containing Baccillus thuringiensis.  However, it is important to note that if you see worms covered in white sacs, you will want to leave them alone.  These white sacs are the cocoons of parasite wasps that will eventually kill the hornworm.

Early Blight

You will most often see this fungal disease during periods of frequent rain, high humidity and warm temperatures.  The bottoms of the leaves of the tomato plant are affected first.  You will see irregular dark brown spots and concentric dark rings that will look like a bull’s eye.  These spots are surrounded by leaf tissue that is yellow.  Eventually the leaves will all turn yellow and fall off of the plant, leaving the tomatoes exposed to sunscald.  Fruit that is older will develop sunken spots that are leathery with concentric markings.  Mulch your plants in order to prevent disease spores from splashing up during irrigation.  Avoid watering overhead, especially during the latter part of the day.  Remove any fallen leaves and parts that are diseased.  Do not plant tomatoes, peppers or eggplants in the same spot for at least 3 to 4 years.

Cracking

Are you finding that your tomatoes have radial or concentric cracks?  This most often happens when the fruit grows quickly during a period of rapidly changing weather conditions.  These conditions are most likely things such as high temperatures with drought followed by a rainy spell.  You should always maintain consistent irrigation during dry periods and mulch the plants to conserve moisture.  

Blossom-end Rot

This tomato affliction gets its name from a water-soaked spot at the bottom of the tomato or blossom end.  This spot eventually becomes a brown scar that is leathery.  It most often occurs when tomato plants receive moisture that is fluctuating.  When water levels are uneven, a calcium deficiency occurs in the developing fruit, even if the soil actually has enough calcium in it.  In order to treat and prevent this problem, you will want to maintain moisture levels which are consistent and avoid the use of fertilizers that are heavy in nitrogen.  You can also add a liquid calcium supplement that is mixed with water and given to the plants.

I have only addressed the first five problems that are the most common in tomatoes.  Tomorrow I will cover the other five problems.

Have you experienced any of these problems in your tomatoes?  Leave me a comment and share.

Photo provided by jeltovski

Organic Weed Control

The other day I talked about the many weeds I currently have in my garden. I really let it get away from me as I have been spending my time remodeling my home. I started out using the tiller to get the weeds down between the rows of vegetables. However, that is some pretty hard work considering how tall the weeds have become. Today I am going to take my lawn mower and mow the weeds down between my squash and cucumber plants. Then I will roto-till the rest of the weeds that are there. Mowing them down first will be perhaps a little easier to till them under.

An old fashioned hoe will be what I use to get the weeds out from between the plants. What I really wish I had was what is used in the video I found for your enjoyment today. It would sure make it even easier to practice organic weed control!

What is your favorite method for getting rid of the weeds in your garden? Leave me a comment and share.