Best Shoe Grippers for Ice and Snow

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Who has the winter blues?  Fix ’em with a few Ice Screws!!!

Awh don’t kid me.   I know there are those die-hard gardeners roaming around their garden trying to pick up what ever isn’t frozen solid and put it away in the garage or shed.  Or perhaps you’re like me and continuously adding wood ashes or chicken manure/bedding to your raised beds.STABILicers Ice and Snow Shoe Grippers

WAIT! ……. seriously, how many times have you fallen on the ice and are too embarrassed to admit it?!?

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Echinacea in the Garden

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Saving seed and Planting Echinacea

Echinacea purpureaOne of my favorite perennials are Echinacea, commonly referred to as coneflowers.  They range in all sizes and colors, but the one most people associate with Echinacea are the purple flowers.  The large daisy-like flowers sit atop long stems.  Fortunately  for me, these are heat and drought tolerant, which is exactly what we need these days!  We had a drought for the last several years and most of the soil around the house is back-filled sand from when my house was built.  The “house soil” is poor and drains a little too well. Continue reading

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Overwintering Pepper Plants Indoors

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Overwintering Pepper Plants:  How to Save Your Favorite Pepper Plants for 2018

Indoor Bell Pepper Plant OrganicIf warm enough, peppers will continue to grow for more than a year (not annuals, actually perennials!).  Keeping your favorite plant indoor ensures that you’ll have a jump start on next year’s crop.  Take note, your peppers will continue to thrive indoors, but will not produce fruit.  There won’t be enough light to support this.  Of course if you still want to produce fruit, you’ll need to supply a greenhouse environment with the right amount of light and temperature. Continue reading

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Lady Bugs- Organic Pest Control

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Lady bugs-  Beneficial Insects of the Garden

Red Lady bugLady bugs or “lady beetles” are an excellent choice for organic pest control for aphids.  If you have an aphid problem, then more than likely at some point you will see lady bugs appear, that is unless you are using chemicals.  If you’re going to garden organically, do your best to promote an environment which is friendly to beneficial insects.  Continue reading

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Earthworms in the Garden

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Earthworms in the Garden

Types of Earthworms

Red Wigglers EarthwormsCompost Earthworms-  Red wigglers (Eisenia foetida) are an example of the most common compost earthworm.  These worms live in highly populated conditions and do not burrow underground.  Since they double every 90 days or so and live on compost (ie easily propagated), these earthworms can easily be obtained through bait stores (think fishing bait) or through a reputable worm farm.  They typically arrive in the mail and are most often shipped by the pound.  I ordered a pound last year, and they came in a big pile of cow manure.  No, that was not the most pleasant package I’ve opened for some time!  They can be sustained with left over vegetable peals or kitchen scraps as well as moistened newspaper. Continue reading

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Growing Organic Ginger

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Growing Organic Ginger- Growing Ginger in New England!

Ginger Bubba Baba Ginger is a tropical plant, which means it prefers temperatures above 70 oF and not much higher than 80 oC.

I’ve only found one commercial organic ginger seed company, Hawaii Organic Ginger (ie Biker Dude Puna Organics).  They offer three types of ginger:  Bubba Baba ginger, Yellow Hawiian ginger, and Khing Yai ginger.  The Bubba Baba ginger is the one that is the most forgiving in all climates. Continue reading

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Save Those Eggshells

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Save Those Eggshells!

EggshellsEggshells are very easy to save for your garden.  If you save them indoors, it’s best to rinse them before placing them in a compost container or plastic bag.  If you forget to rinse your eggs, you’ll know as they put out a very “eggy odor” throughout your kitchen!

Eggshells As “Slow-Release” Calcium Source

Eggshells are an excellent way to introduce calcium into the soil, and organically of course!  However, unless you pulverize your eggshells, they’ll take many months to decompose and release the calcium (calcium carbonate) to the soil. Continue reading

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Organic Broccoli Micro-greens

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Growing Organic Broccoli Micro-greens

Chinese Food container & organic broccoli seedsGrowing an indoor garden is a snap.  Just order your favorite micro-green seeds.  For this blog, I’ll be explaining how to grow broccoli micro-greens.  I purchased the organic broccoli blend sprouting seeds from High Mowing Seeds.

High Mowing Seeds only offers broccoli sprouting seeds, so that is what I purchased.  Many other seed suppliers will also have what they call “micro-green” seeds.  Depending on the variety and type of seed, sometimes one or the other will be cheaper.  I try to get the best price when possible. Continue reading

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Getting Rid Of Weeds Organically

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Keeping your garden weed free- organically!!!Pine Needles

Use pine needles between the garden beds (free!).  They are acidic and will prevent growth of weeds for that season.  They decompose over winter and will provide mulch between the beds for the spring (ie things will grow again).  However, if you keep doing this year after year, the weed seeds that are able to germinate will have already and then died.

Straw/ HayUse straw or mulch hay (not so free).  The mulch will block the sunlight and block the weeds.  Often you can ask a straw/hay farmer if they have any spoiled bails and get a cheap rate for mulch.  It’s going to mold anyway when you put it on the ground. Continue reading

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Sunflowers

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Sunflowers: How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Sunflower Plants

Field of sunflowersPlanting sunflowers is a great and easy way to get some color into your vegetable garden.  Sunflowers require full sun and can grow is just about any soil as long as it isn’t waterlogged.  They grow in soil in the pH range of 6.0 to 7.5

The wild sunflower is native to North America and was first domesticated by the Native American Indians.  The American Indians used the sunflowers throughout their daily lives either as food, such as flour for cakes, mush or bread.  Sunflower oil was coveted for the making as bread as well.  As we all know, a favorite way to eat sunflowers is to crack the shell and have a quick snack. Other uses included dyes for textiles or body painting or the oil for skin and hair.  Even the dried stalk could be used as building material. Continue reading

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