|May 1, 2008 11:16 - Guerilla Gardeners, Blueberries And The Top 10
"They work under the cover of night, armed with seed bombs, chemical weapons and pitchforks. Their tactics are anarchistic, their attitude revolutionary. Their aim: to beautify". They call themselves Guerilla Gardeners and their numbers are growing across the world. Their target is any neglected area of urban wasteland which they can transform into a colorful flower garden. Richard Reynolds whose website guerillagardening.org has been responsible for spreading the idea around the world has now published a book "On Guerrilla Gardening". Unfortunately this story is no longer online ,but here is a link to to book:
Blueberries which are now one of the most popular fruits are very productive and not difficult to grow according to Andy Qualls who works for Muskogee County Conservation District. And he should know because his family grows more than 2,000 blueberry plants on land south of Muskogee. There are three requirements for growing blueberries: Site selection, Soil acidity and Soil moisture and drainage. Read more..
"Spring is here and so are the Top 10 spring garden chores" says Marianne Binetti. "These are the tasks that will save you time and money and are an investment in future beauty and summer bounty" she adds. The first five all concern the lawn then clean the beds, attack the slugs and improve your soil. Once you have completed the nine chores your final task is to look around and enjoy the spring blooms. Read more..
In its "Home gardening tips for May" the Acorn has a list that is only half as long, but its five points contain some useful reminders of what we should be doing this month. Read more..
Finally The Bay Gardener in the guise of Dr Frank Gouin advises us to "Take time to celebrate the plants you work to nurture". After reminding us that the patron saint of gardens is St. Fiacre, he lists some novel ways of cultivating lettuce, squash, peas, beets, turnips and thyme. Read more..
May 8, 2008 11:36 - Woodpeckers, Viburnums And Poison Hemlock
When you are out walking and you hear a drumming noise from a nearby tree you know that a woodpecker is not far away even if you cannot see him. But if the woodpecker is performing on a tree in your backyard or, worse still, on your siding then it can be too much of a good thing. According to Ann Lovejoy drumming is a woodpecker male's way of wooing and females are attracted by the sound. Woodpeckers also drum to find insects so can be seen throughout the year. If you find the constant drumming annoying is there any way of discouraging the birds? Try a little bling. Read more..
If you are looking for a plant that is easy to grow, flowers in the spring, has attractive leaves in summer followed by fall color and winter berries then Molly Day has a suggestion for you.
Virburnums are what she recommends since they meet all these requirements and also have few disease or insect problems. With varieties that range from two to thirty feet tall there is one to suit every situation. Read more..
Many of us complain that tomatoes purchased from a supermarket have no taste and even some modern home grown varieties are no better. If this is how you feel perhaps you should investigate Heirloom Tomatoes. In this article Charlie Nardozzi discusses his five favorite varieties. Sorry this article is no longer available, but for a novel way of growing them take a look here.
"Dharma in the Dirt" is the title of this next piece by Patricia Leigh Brown. All about Wendy Johnson who couples zen gardening with a passion for poison hemlock. How does a life-embracing Buddhist crush snails or trap gophers? Read more..
Dutch Gardens are having a Spring Clearance Sale where you can save up to 70% on all spring-shipped bulbs and perennials. And their other offer is worth remembering.Take $25 off orders of $50 or more! Offer valid through 5.29.08.
May 15, 2008 11:38 - Green Guerillas, Seed Bombs And MegaBee Patties
Those guerilla gardeners are in the news again. Or rather it seems that they have never been out of it. According to the Mirror newspaper in the UK this activity was first recorded in the bible. They have produced a "Potted history of Guerrilla Gardening" starting with what they call "the parable of the weeds" which is "a miserable story in which someone plants weeds in another man's field at night..." They've even produced a picture gallery of the "Top Guerilla Gardening plots around the world". Read more..
Another UK newspaper to take up the theme is the Sunday Telegraph. Bunny Guiness describes the technique of "Seed Bombing" which was devised by the late Liz Christie, who started the Green Guerrillas movement in the US. "She would make bombs of balloons or old Christmas ornaments, filled with wildflower seeds, water, fertiliser and compost. She would then lob these over fences to inaccessible areas, where they burst on landing, in the hope of creating flower-packed vegetation on otherwise sterile sites." Read more..
As opposed to wasps and other nasties honeybees are always welcome in the garden. But it is common knowledge that bees are in trouble. Colonies are dying at an alarming rate and no-one seems to know why. Now there is a theory that diet might be a factor and so low-fat, high-protein "megabee patties" have been developed in an attempt to reduce their nutritional deficiencies. Read more..
"Fresh produce in a flash" sounds like instant gratification, but what Terry Kramer Really means is that you will have to wait 30-45 days to harvest your crops. However compared with the usual cole crops Asian greens do produce quick results. Mizuna, Dwarf Bok Choi, Tat Soi and Gailon are just some of the possibilities. Read more..
And finally the May issue of Garden Ramblings is out today. Do take a look.
May 22, 2008 11:10 - Sunflowers, Black Spot And Biodynamic Gardening
I gave up growing sunflowers when my kids became teenagers and moved on from gardening to more exciting activities. But this article from Terry Kramer has has made me look again at these easy-to-grow summer flowers. I always think of sunflowers as those tall monsters with huge yellow flower heads and pictures in the local paper showing the proud owner of the tallest specimen. How times have changed. Now there are dwarf varieties and other colors too. Read more..
This piece by Ann Lovejoy is about a forthcoming workshop on biodynamic gardening. While only a few people may be interested in the workshop her article gives a useful overview of the techniques involved in this method of green gardening. These include the use of predator bugs like ladybugs, praying mantises and aphid-eating wasps which are attracted to the garden by allowing certain plants to go to seed. Read more..
A common problem at this time of year is black spot on your roses. How to deal with this and mealybugs on your houseplants are just two of the reader's questions answered by Richard Nunnally in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Read more..
Growing plants in shade is often perceived as a problem, but according to Paul Rogers gardening in the shade may make gardening easier and more enjoyable. Of course it all depends on what type of shade you are talking about. Read more..
For gardeners living in Anchorage Mike Dunham has prepared a "last-minute gardening checklist for the long weekend". And it's quite comprehensive. If you're not careful you may find that the weekend is gone before you reach the bottom of his list. Read more..
May 29, 2008 11:14 - Grow Your Own And Organic Cow Pies
While the economic outlook may be uncertain, one thing that is for sure is that gardening is becoming more popular. In particular growing your own vegetables to save on the weekly grocery bills. The papers are full of it. From "Gardening becoming more popular in West Michigan" to "Many consumers turn to gardening for food" all the talk is of rising prices and ways you can save by growing your own. One man who's happy is George Ball, President of W. Atlee Burpee & Co., the nation's largest seed company. His comment was "When we saw the gas prices go up, we said, 'Oh boy,'". Read more..
Growing vegetables is generally thought of in purely practical terms arranging the crops in straight lines or small squares if you are following the "square foot" method. But it doesn't have to be this way as Dean Fosdick discovered when he spoke to Ellen Ogden, the co-founder of "The Cook's Garden" seed catalog. She designs ornamental kitchen gardens, where plants are chosen as much for colors and textures as for flavors. Read more..
Even if you don't have a garden of your own you can still join the vegetable growers. Lindy Royce reports from Upper Marlboro, Maryland on a local Community Supported Agriculture scheme. Volunteers can work four hours a week at a local farm and receive in exchange a weekly box of produce. "It's a great way to get outside, work on the farm and really get in touch with where your foods are coming from," says college student Abbie Turiansky. Read more..
Changing tack completely here's a story about an endangered species making a comeback. Kincaid's Lupine which was formerly common in the dry upland prairies in the western Willamette Valley has been dying out. Apart from the loss of an attractive native perennial plant this also led to the loss of the rare Fender's blue butterfly. But with the help of organic cow pies there is a happy ending. Read more..