Updated on October 13, 2016
Fall is a busy time of year with all the back-to-school activities, fall decorating tasks, upcoming holidays and of course, the end of the garden season for many. There are 3 quick fall garden tasks to do now while the weather is still nice enough for you to comfortably work in the garden. These tasks are going to make spring much easier – and prettier. Don’t worry about completing each task in it’s entirety instead do a little at a time – each day – so you don’t feel like you are spending hours on each task and missing out on all the other fun fall activities.
Task #1 – Plant Bulbs
Fall is the perfect time to plant bulbs that are hardy in your area. Most of the perennials are still alive so you can see where those are planted. Those of us – like me – with older gardens might have a hard time remembering exactly where the spring bulbs are already planted. Painting the soil in the spring with the proper type of paint or using stakes to mark out the area is a good idea but if you did not get that done, you can always look at pictures you took or just go on memory. It is ok to continue to plant bulbs as long as you can dig in the ground.
Task #2 – Empty Flower Pots
Once frost hits your area many flowers grown in containers are killed. Once this happens, go ahead and remove the dead plant material then empty the soil out of the containers – and yes, this can all be composted as long as the plant was not diseased. The reason for doing this is many times even pots that are “frost-proof” are not “freeze-proof” and will burst over the winter. It also allows you to continue on to task #3 and get those flower pots ready for spring.
Task #3 – Clean, Stack And Store Empty Pots
Once the flower pots are empty, it is a good idea to wash them out with hot, soapy water. This removes any dirt, bits of root or other stuff that may be climbing to your flower pot – inside or out. I then rinse my flower pots in hot water and give them a good spray with hydrogen peroxide. You can rinse the hydrogen peroxide off if you wish – and I usually do. I prefer using hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach because if there are any traces left in the pot, the hydrogen peroxide won’t hurt the plants. Bleach on the other hand could kill a plant.
Once the flower pots are clean and dry, go ahead and stack them according to size. This makes them easy to store inside a building for winter – and easy for you to quickly find the right size pot once the spring planting season rolls around again.
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Updated on October 5, 2016
Here is a selection of fall blooming perennials that different bloggers recommend for fall. I hope you will visit some of their blogs, leave some comments and find some fall blooming perennials that work well for you. Here in Indiana the color keeps going well into October and with the addition of winter blooming perennial plants like Hellebores and witch hazels there is some color even on the dreariest winter day.
Fall Blooming Perennials:
Favorite Fall Perennials (sensiblegardening.com)
Late Blooming Daylilies (sensiblegardening.com)
Fab Fall Flowers To Plant (sensiblegardening.com)
Orange Flowers For The Fall Garden (gardenchick.com)
Garden Matter Scoop: September Charm (gardenmatter.com)
Perennials For Later Summer Color (Exotic Gardening Thoughts)
October Blooms: Monkshood (Exotic Gardening Thoughts)
Late Summer And Fall Blooming Perennials (landscapedesignbylee.blogspot.com/)
Flower Seeds That Need To Be Planted In The Fall (creativecountrymom.blogspot.com)
Perennial Late Summer, Fall Blooms (amandasgreenhouse.blogspot.com)
The 10 Best Perennials To Plant For Fall (judyscottagegarden.blogspot.com)
Fall Blooming Perennials (hughconlon.blogspot.com)
Native Aster: Drought Tolerant Fall Blooming Perennials (plantnative.blogspot.com)
Fall Flower Gardening Tasks:
Last Minute Fall Garden Clean Up (homegardenjoy.com)
Planting In Fall (Exotic Gardening Thoughts)
The Best Time To Plant Bulbs (Exotic Gardening Thoughts)
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Updated on September 4, 2016
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post brought to you by www.theimpatientfarmer.com
These days, many people are realizing that attaining great gardening tools will help them keep their gardens in exemplary condition. If you’re ready to start investing in this type of equipment, now is the time to access and implement strategies that will lead you to the right product. Here are four simple techniques you can implement to make it happen:
1. Get Educated.
Before you start the process of shopping for your gardening tools, be sure to take the time to learn as much about these items as possible. Online organizations such as www.theimpatientfarmer.com pride themselves on providing readers with informative product reviews and general information about the gardening tool sector. Accessing and reviewing this data can help you make more informed decisions when you’re deciding which products to buy.
2. Do An Online Search.
One of the best ways to ensure that you find the right gardening tools is by doing an online search. This technique will empower you to do research about a specific supplier from the comfort and privacy of your own home. The key to success with this strategy is using a specific key phrase. A good example would be “Find Gardening Tool Company In (Your City/State).” Once you’ve entered an appropriate keyword, select your “return” or “enter” key. You will then be redirected to a new screen featuring several hyperlinks that will take you to the website of garden tool companies in your local area.
Once you’ve clicked the hyperlinks and are redirected to the supplier’s website, be sure to do thorough research while there so you can learn all about the retailer. Some of the things you should search the site for include pricing, shipping fees, and mission statement.
3. Look For A Satisfaction Guarantee.
One of the most sure-fire ways to ensure that you obtain an excellent gardening tool product is by searching for a satisfaction guarantee. This technique is helpful because companies who offer guarantees are generally confident that the quality and value of their product is high, meaning that you won’t experience any unwanted challenges or complications with your gardening tools.
4. Read The Company’s Online Reviews.
Learning as much as you can about a gardening equipment company’s reputation is a great way to ensure that you do business with a reputable organization. As such, make sure that you take the time to read a wide range of the company’s online reviews before you agree to invest in one or several of their products. If you come across a company that almost always receives favorable feedback regarding its gardening equipment, it’s likely safe to buy tools from them.
If you’re serious about finding top notch gardening tools, now is the time to start looking for the perfect product. There are several search strategies you can deploy to optimize and expedite the process, and some of them include getting educated, doing an online search, looking for a satisfaction guarantee, and reading the company’s online reviews. By implementing these search techniques, you’ll likely find that you are able to locate the ideal gardening equipment.
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Updated on June 17, 2016
Are you looking for a way to get more out of your flower garden? Growing flowers with your vegetables or herbs is not only possible, but super easy! Simply choose a mixture of tasty, edible flowers for your organic garden that double as companion plants. Organic gardening is about more than not using chemicals. It’s about stepping back, having patience and letting Mother Nature work her magic. You can assist her by combining flowers, herbs and vegetables that benefit one another and attract beneficial insects into the garden. This is the key to organic gardening success regardless of what crops you are growing.
Calendula is an edible plant that is used to add natural color to icing, cheese or butter. The petals, fresh or dried, are also used to make salves or to add a zesty flavor to soups or salads. In the garden, these flowers serve multiple purposes. The vibrant orange and yellow flowers add a burst of color. Calendula also lures beneficial insects into the garden and traps bad bugs. Aphids and whiteflies are drawn to this plant.
Locate a few plants in an area away from the main garden to lure these bugs away from most of the plants. Do not destroy bug infected Calendula because beneficial insects will be drawn to them and eat the bad bugs up. You have to have bad bugs to have good bugs but sooner or later the good bugs will outnumber the bad ones. This is the important thing to keep in mind when you are starting out growing plants organically. The asparagus beetle and the tomato hornworm dislike this plant, so inter-plant them with asparagus and tomatoes.
The peppery tasting flowers of Nasturtium are high in Vitamin C, add a colorful burst of flavor to salads and are often used as a garnish. You can also use them to make nasturtium butter. Nasturtium flowers have both single and double flowers. They come in many colors including red, orange, rose and crimson. There is dwarf, semi-trailing and climbing varieties of Nasturtium. In the garden, Nasturtium traps flea beetles and aphids. Grow Nasturtium plants near mint, oregano, fruit trees, radish, cabbage and members of the cucurbit family. It helps to repel the Mexican bean beetle, cabbage pests, whiteflies, squash bugs, plus the striped cucumber and pumpkin beetles.
Pansy and Viola
Pansy and Violas are popular edible flowers that look as good dry as they do fresh. Eat them fresh in salads or candy them to use as decorations on desserts. Pansies and violas have a sweet, grassy flavor with a slight wintergreen taste. Both plants prefer growing in the cool season. Fall planted pansy will overwinter, coming back the following spring, then set seed and die. Viola is a perennial plant that rapidly naturalizes in the garden. A perennial plant is one that comes back year after year from the plant’s original root system. Pansies have a wider range of colors than Violas and also have larger flowers. Pansy flower colors include shades of brown, purple, yellow, orange and white.
Lemon Gem and Tangerine Gem Marigolds have smaller flowers than ornamental Marigolds. The orange and yellow colored flower petals add a spicy, somewhat bitter taste to salads. These two particular varieties are not the type of Marigold known for attracting nematodes. Plant them among potatoes, strawberries, roses, tomatoes and eggplants to add color to the garden and deter a variety of insects including the Mexican bean beetle. Signet Marigolds do attract a variety of beneficial insects including butterflies and bees.
There are many more edible flowers available, this is just a small selection that I have chosen because of how easy they are to grow. The seeds of these plants – or even small plants – are also readily available. I encourage you to grow them even if it is in a container – and even if you choose not to eat the petals. The vibrant colors and the beneficial things they do in the yard and garden is well worth the time it takes to water and care for them, not to mention the fact that they provide a source of natural nectar to many beneficial insects and pollinators including bees.
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Posted on June 3, 2016
Exotic Gardening has been around since 1998 – and that means there are a lot of older blog posts that maybe you have not seen. Today I thought I would do a round-up post of 31 of the most popular or best posts on this section of the site. I hope you enjoy some of these articles – and please be sure to share them on social media if you do!
13. Worselya Rayneri
Updated on June 14, 2016
I don’t know about you, but I love growing Irises in my garden. I’ve had the regular ones and the re-blooming ones which are really cool because here in Indiana they bloom in late September or early October when not much else is in bloom. This year has been an exceptional year for growing Iris – the blooms are larger, the stems the blooms are on are taller and even the leaves look better. Iris is a fairly easy plant to grow once you know a few things about it.
How To Plant Iris Rhizomes
First of all, do not cover the rhizomes with soil. I quite literally clear the ground of weeds and grass, then lay my Iris rhizomes on top of the bare soil and gently press them into the top 1/2 or so of the soil. I leave the tops exposed. When they put out roots, they will anchor themselves into the ground. For those who live in an area where there is a danger of the rhizomes being carried away, construct a small metal cage to cover the rhizomes and anchor it to the ground. This will keep the rhizomes safe until they anchor themselves into the ground. I have found that once this happens they are pretty tough to dig up.
Be Sure To Remove Spent Blooms
I make a habit everyday to check on my Iris blooms. I remove the spent blooms immediately. I see no reason to let the blooms go to seed. This keeps your Iris looking good and makes sure if the ones you have are the type that re-bloom that they will. When a plant puts its energy into producing seeds, the flowers generally stop.
Caring For Your Iris
Once established I typically do not water Iris at all – nor do I fertilize. Now you can fertilize by adding a little compost into the soil around the Irises but be sure to leave those Iris rhizomes exposed. For those who prefer a water soluble or granular fertilizer be sure to choose one that is a bloom booster.
Dealing With Iris Borer’s
Now you do need to watch out for the Iris borer as this pest destroys Iris rhizomes. Keep an eye on your Iris leaves. The Iris borer puts little streaks or holes in the leaves that head straight towards the rhizomes. If you see this pest you can try to find it in the leaf and crush it. What I typically do is just cut the Iris leaves back and destroy them. Once the pest is in your rhizome it destroys it. Rhizomes that are affected are soft and mushy. Insecticides and beneficial nematodes can greatly reduce the Iris borer population. Keeping the area around your Iris clean and free of debris such as rotting leaves also helps. In the event that you caught the problem before all of your Iris are destroyed, remove the soft spots of the rhizome with a sharp knife and soak the non-rotting parts in a 10% bleach solution for an hour or two. Remove the rhizome from the bleach solution, let it dry, then dust it with a powdered fungicide such as sulfur or bulb dust and replant it.
Iris truly are one of the easiest summer bulbs to care for in the garden. They are perennial here and multiply pretty rapidly. I do dig and divide my Iris every 5 or 6 years when the clumps begin to get overcrowded.
Posted on April 15, 2016
Isn’t it time to stop wasting precious natural resources and find a better, more environmentally friendly way to garden? For those of you that said yes, that means it is time to begin maintaining a compost heap right in your own backyard. Many people have a large amount of organic waste such as grass clippings, weeds, leaves, dead plants, kitchen scraps and livestock manure. Unfortunately, many waste money and time having these materials transported to a landfill. It isn’t just a waste of good compost; it’s a waste of everything that goes into the process of transporting it – the garbage man’s time, the money you pay for the removal, etc. – not to mention it adds to the materials in the landfill – and many are already being shut down because they are too full or close to being shut down.
All this organic waste that is being gotten rid of is a better supplement for your garden than any fertilizer you can buy. It adds nutrients to the soil, helps improve your soil which means puddling and runoff is eventually eliminated because the water sinks into the soil instead of simply flowing away. The best way to add organic matter to your soil is to properly facilitate the decomposition of all of the organic waste. Why buy what you can make for free? Black gold – as many call compost – is the best fertilizer and mulch you can get your hands on.
Compost is usually maintained in a pile somewhere in your backyard. For some people the thought of a compost heap brings disturbing images to ones mind; heaps of rotten garbage emitting a horrid odor – however, if you maintain it correctly you will be able to produce compost without dealing with an offensive odor. When I first began my compost pile in an effort to improve environmental health, grow healthier plants and improve my soil, I made several major errors. These included not turing the pile often enough to make sure it got the oxygen it needed and keeping it too dry by not misting it from time to time or covering it with a tarp to help keep the moisture from evaporating. Luckily for me I did not have a smell issue however it took almost a year for my compost to break down and be usable in the garden. This method is known as slow composting.
A compost heap can consist of any organic waste from your yard, garden or kitchen except for dairy and meat. This includes leaves, grass, any leftover fruits or vegetables, even newspaper although no more than a fifth of your pile should consist of newspaper – and it is a good idea to shred the newspaper if possible as this helps it break down quickly. You can add a compost activator to help speed up the process if you wish. Other additives that help speed up the decomposition process include kelp, cracked corn, cottonseed meal or soybean meal.
After you have begun to get a large assortment of organic materials in your compost heap, you should moisten the whole pile. This encourages the composting processing to begin. Also chop every element of the pile into the smallest pieces possible. As the materials start to compress and meld together they decompose. Aerate the pile once a week by using a shovel or pitchfork to turn it and if you find dry areas be sure to moisten them but do not soak the organic materials. You can use an aeration tool to poke dozens of tiny holes into the pile if turning it is too difficult for you. Doing this will increase the oxygen flow to each part of the pile, and oxygen is required for any decomposition to take place. I often let my chickens into my compost pile so they can aerate it for me. I add lots of fruits and vegetables on top of the pile to encourage them to dig and then let them do the rest. For those who do not have chickens, consider vermicomposting which is basically feeding the organic waste from your kitchen to earthworms and letting them break it down into waste which is known as worm castings.
No matter what method of creating compost you choose, properly maintaining a compost heap is one of the most important things you can do for the health of your soil – and the health of the plants that grow in your garden. Compost is a great mulch – just top off your garden beds with 3 inches of fresh compost every spring – a great way to warm the soil early in the season and a great way to keep your plants roots cool during the hottest days of the growing season.
Posted on February 26, 2016
Hey guys! As you might have noticed by now I spend the morning redesigning the entire blog. I hope you like the new design – and I would love some feedback! Is it easier for you to navigate? Are you having problems finding your way around? I know one issue is the old links with the date 0000/00/00 is still showing up – of course those zeros are actual numbers – and if this happens to you, just remove those numbers from the URL and it will open. I am working as quickly as I can to redirect everything. However the truth is, it is seed starting season – and so you know what I would prefer to be doing. I am focusing hard on this blog though. I am doing lots of updates of old articles, updating and adding images plus making sure each post has one image that is Pinterest friendly – and I am linking articles to make it easier for you to navigate. Well at least I hope it is making it easier.
So today I thought I would share a video I did on Facebook Live about starting seeds indoors without grow lights. I really have a double reason for this – one because it is seed starting season and two because it gives me a bit more time to concentrate on doing the updates on older blog posts. While starting seeds indoors without grow lights does require a bit more work because you have to move the plants outside during the day and bring them back indoors before it gets too cold outside, grow lights can be costly – and I know they are not in everyone’s budget. So this technique is super easy, it is very similar to winter seed sowing only you have to bring the flats of seeds indoors once the outdoor temperatures begin to fall in the late afternoon. This lets the seeds germinate and grow while hardening off at the same time. In the end it saves you time because the seedlings you grow are ready to go into the garden once the danger of frost is over.
I truly hope you enjoyed the video and that I answered some of the questions you had about how to start seeds without a grow light. One more thing I do want to mention here is to not get discouraged if the seeds you sow – regardless of the method used – do not germinate in a timely fashion. I was feeling really down this year because my seeds were old and not germinating. Now I know the germination time can be slower for older seeds, but it seemed like they just were not growing – and it was not just one kind. Yesterday – two months after I sowed them indoors – I finally noticed many little seedlings coming up! I was so relieved. I was seriously beginning to worry that I was not going to have a garden this year – so remember patience is the key!
I would love to see some of your thoughts and comments below. Remember that I am always happy to answer your gardening questions!
Posted on February 23, 2016
My husband and I both were very impressed with these pruners. They cut really easily through some small sapling weed trees that pop up everywhere on the property. In the past I have had to have help to cut these and the large pruners had to be used, but these easily cut those saplings right off. I found these pruners to be easy to grip – and keep a grip on. They opened and closed easily plus they have a sap grove which works great. The sap is flowing here right now and I had no issues with the blades becoming sticky because the sap grove channels off the sap and keeps the blades clean of debris.
The blade lock device also works quite well. I appreciate that the package has both pruning tips and product care tips. While I know how to prune, not everyone does – and it is great to have a refresher once in a while anyway! The product care tips are great and another thing we can all use a refresher on once in a while as well.
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