|March 6, 2009 18:03 - Four Legged Critters and Positive Flowers
What starts off as a book review quickly turns into a discussion as to whether plants can be affected by the gardener's state of mind. The book is "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell which is about the psychology of first impressions, but the article is concerned with the application of these ideas to plants. While it is a well known fact that many people, including Prince Charles, talk to their plants, this is the first time that I have seen anyone speculate that emotions can affect the growing process. Read more..
It's not only gardeners who look forward to the emergence of green shoots in the spring. There are a number of four legged critters who eagerly anticipate the tender shoots so that they can satisfy their hunger. Rabbits, deer, squirrels and cats are the subject of this article. Prevention is better than cure according to the author. Erect your defences in good time so that the critters will be persuaded to try their luck elsewhere. Read more..
"Few things are recession-proof including gardening" says Dean Fosdick. "Prices are climbing for fertilizer, pesticides and other supplies as we head into a new planting season. Yet there are many ways to harvest higher savings" he adds. Plenty of good ideas here on how to cut down the cost of maintaining your backyard. Follow his tips and you can have a garden filled with flowers and veggies without constant visits to the garden center. Read more..
Gardening can extend your life. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that men who took up heavy gardening in their 50s halved their risk of dying early compared to men who remained inactive, providing they keep it up for ten years. "Heavy gardening" is defined as three hours a week which is hardly excessive so this should be an encouragement to those men who have often longed for a green thumb but never quite got round to it to take the plunge and dig in. Read more..
March 25, 2009 18:07 - Newbies, Containers and Seed Swaps
With the economy in its present sorry state it's hardly surprising that the papers are full of stories about how more and more people are growing their own vegetables along with other ways of cutting their weekly budgets. Here are some suggestions from two experts on ways to cultivate a beautiful and varied collection of blooms when money is tight. "Growing things from seed is absolutely the cheapest way to go" according to Ann Hancock a horticulturalist at Michigan State University. Charlie Nardozzi, a National Gardening Association horticulturist has this suggestion. Delay your purchases until after the peak of the season. "They might be a little ragged-looking, but you can save 40 or 50 percent" Nardozzi advises. Read more..
This next article is unlikely to appeal to regular readers of my blog whom I assume are all keen gardeners, but if anyone who is thinking about taking up the hobby happens upon this by chance, then this piece has some useful advice. "Start small in spring. Watch carefully in summer. Plant daffodils in fall. If you’re thinking about creating your first flower garden in 2009, following those three steps will give you a good chance at success, a low-cost test to judge whether horticulture is for you, and a basic introduction to the joys and successes that await if you continue next year" is the advice from The Associated Press. Read more..
"Gardens on the go" is the title to this next piece by Marinell Scott Thornburg. Container gardening is what its all about and not just "Colorful porch pots bursting with blooms" but serious advice on practical ways that you can grow herbs and veggies in containers. And the containers don't have to costr an arm and a leg. You can use anything from "fiber pots, or kitchen stuff" to "things I have found at a garage sale" says master gardener Brenda Pates. Read more..
And if you're wondering what to plant. here's some suggestions...
March 31, 2009 18:13 - No Dig. 10 Seeds And A TimeLapse Video Gadget
No-till gardening always sounds like such a great idea. No digging your veggie plot every year, or even that hallowed ritual of double digging to break up the subsoil sounds almost too good to be true. Needless to say there is rather more to it than just abandoning your shovel or spade. Since the secret is to have a clean soil, considerable preparation is required to root out all perennial weeds before you start this system. This may involve covering the ground for a year to ensure that all the weeds have been destroyed. Read more..
More advice for first time gardeners. Stephanie Turner, seeds and accessories manager at Park Seed Co, has created a list of 10 seed suggestions for those new to gardening. The selection includes beans, salad crops and two herbs. Four flowers complete the list, marigold, sunflower, morning glory and zinnia. And there are some tips for making your gardening quicker and easier. Read more..
If you've ever been intrigued by those time-lapse films that show a plant growing before your eyes, now there's a new gadget that will allow you to make your own. The Timelapse Garden Video Camera has six settings which allow you to schedule shots ranging from five seconds to 24 hours. The camera is weather resistant and can store up to 18,000 pictures in its memory. Read more..