Thursday, April 30, 2009


You can reduce your trash pick-up fees by starting a compost pile! You just save all the vegetable based (but UNCOOKED) trash in a little (covered) container by the sink. NO meat products, or anything fatty, should be added. It is too inviting for unwanted scavengers. Egg shells, tea bags and coffee grinds are particularly welcome! Also, any potato peelings, fruit remnants (no citrus peel though, it takes forever to break down!) Put them all in the compost pile or bin with some soil or other garden debris and by next year you will have wonderful compost to add to your garden! The fishermen in the family will love this place, as it's where all the garden worms congregate!
You can also dig these cast-offs directly into the garden. Just be sure it's well covered with soil so it doesn't attract little critters. This is called trench composting, because you usually dig a trench and add the kitchen debris in the trench at one end, cover it up, and continue the process until it's all full. Then you need to dig another little trench!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


This morning I read a quote from Michelle Obama that said, "...Mrs. Obama now typically describes the job of first lady as the best in the White House, saying that even her husband is often jealous of what she gets to do. “I don’t have to deal with the hard problems every day,” she told a group of schoolchildren this week. “I get to do the fun stuff.”
Yes, the garden is "fun stuff". It's fun stuff for those of us that garden every day, dream of it at night, and visualize it all winter! But now it's time to get out and put our hands in the soil and GARDEN!
It is refreshing to read about a First Lady who gardens for the right reasons. She wants her children to learn about good food and how it is generated, not just what appears on the table miraculously at dinner time. When children are involved in the actual production of food they are far more ready to try eating it. There is nothing that tastes quite like fresh out of the garden produce! More power to her! AND her lucky children. Now hopefully she won't have trouble with the dog digging up the nice soft earth! Somehow, I have the feeling that that won't happen at the White House, what do YOU think? :-)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009



This is a good time to get that soil tested. Then there will be time to amend it before the season gets into full swing!

Edge your flower beds to rid yourself of invading lawn rhizomes. Toss the edgings from this into the compost.

Rebar, the steel bars used to reinforce concrete and masonry, make great garden stakes. They're inexpensive, strong and durable and they come in a variety of sizes. You can find them in any building supply store.

Start up your lawn mower so you know it doesn't need a trip to the repair shop before grass cutting time. Also be sure the blades are SHARP.

Sharpen your other tools while you are at it!

The lawn would appreciate a good fertilizing at this time.

Avoid working in the garden unless the soil breaks up in your
hand if you squeeze a lump of it.

Instead, turn your compost (assuming it is no longer frozen!)

Hummingbirds begin to appear this month in some places. Clean
the feeders and hang them for the "early birds"

Sow peas in the ground as soon as the frost is gone

Continue with the tree pruning. Get rid of dead and diseased limbs

As soon as your shrubs are done blooming, prune them as well.

You can prune your berry bushes-check a reference or
ask me

This is a good time to pull out weed trees and old bramble branches. They tend to yank out easily because the soil is still soft and moist.

Remove mulch from strawberries

Put your trellis systems and peony supports into place.

Pansies and other cold weather annuals can now be planted outside

It is the time to divide and plant perennials as well as cutting any of last years remaining growth away. It's known as good housekeeping in the garden!

If you have any bare root plants going into the garden, soak them overnight before planting. also be sure to trim off any super long or broken roots.

If you winter mulch your garden beds, begin to remove mulch when forsythia and daffodils bloom.

Try planting scented flowers near walks!

It's probably a good time to remove bird-feeders to discourage those bears!