Gardening 101: Fall Gardens and Crop Rotation

For many of you who live further north, the summer growing season is just hitting its prime. But down here in central Texas, our gardens are winding down; my tomato plants have shriveled up in the heat and the cucumber plant is long gone.  It’s time to plant for the fall!  When you’re pulling out summer crops to make room for winter produce, you might be wondering how to set up your fall garden. Does it matter what you plant where?

In fact, it makes a big difference! Crop rotation is a key element to successful gardening. If you plant the same families of veggies in the same places, the soil will already be depleted of important nutrients and your plants won’t be able to flourish. Rotate your crop families, and your veggies will thrive.
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Gardening 101: Companion Planting

Mother Nature is awfully ingenious; she has come up with quite a few methods to keep bugs away and plants healthy and thriving.  It turns out that plants, like people, prefer certain company.  You can help keep your vegetables happy and pest-free by planting them near their buddies!

This simple method maximizes certain plants’ natural strengths and minimizes their weaknesses, giving you a beautiful garden and abundant crops!  Some of the combinations make sense, like tomatoes and basil; others might surprise you… [Read more...]

Gardening 101: Make Your Own Compost

Earlier this month, Eren wrote a great article called Starting a Garden With Repurposed Materials, and she included a paragraph about compost.  However, a few readers have requested some more information about this gardener’s gold, so today we will look at the subject more thoroughly.

What is Compost?

A mixture of various decaying organic substances, such as dead leaves, kitchen scraps, or manure, compost is used for fertilizing soil.

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Gardening 101: 5 Gardening Basics for Beginners

Growing vegetables is actually pretty simple. Last year, my 4 year old daughter and I spent some time learning about what plants need to grow. Our conclusion? Soil, water, sun, care, and time.

Whether you’re thinking of putting a few containers on your patio, building a raised 4×4 garden box, or tearing up half of your yard, here are a few tips to get you going:
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Gardening 101: Three Options for Creating New Vegetable Gardens

It may still be cold and frosty where you are, but believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about planting a spring vegetable garden.

Even if you have very little yard space – or none at all – you can still grow veggies and fruits, as long as you have at least a patio or balcony. Chances are, right now you are growing a whole bunch of grass, and not much more. Why not use some of that space to grow something you can eat? It will nourish your family for years to come, and save you money, too.

Eren gave us some awesome tips last Friday about starting a garden using repurposed materials. Today we’ll look at a few different ways you can create a vegetable garden for the first time.
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