Garden Preparation « Archive

Posted on 25 April 2013 by

3 Uses for Eggshells in the Garden and Beyond

Photo Credit: Egg Shell Mulch by London Permaculture used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Photo Credit: Egg Shell Mulch by London Permaculture used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Eggshells are such a wonderful nature created invention.

They provide the perfect protection for the raw egg material inside, which will become either human breakfast or a chicken.

But did you know they can also benefit the garden.

Well, they can and the tips below will help you maximize the use of these amazing little calcium-rich containers.

1. Eggshells in the garden. Crushed eggshells are a great addition to the garden space. They provide calcium to the soil, which is very important when it comes to raising tomatoes. A tomato plant low on its calcium uptake will product bottom rot. To prevent this, add Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 21 February 2013 by

Fertilizing for the Absentminded Gardener

Photo Credit: Happy Bokeh Wednesday! Garden Style by Matt Harris used under CC BY-NC 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

As an avid gardener, I have tried many different approaches when it comes to fertilizing.

I have made my own fertilizer with manure and compost.

I have also gone plain Jane and just let incorporated compost fertilize the plants.

While both approaches have worked, I have longed for an easier way. This is when I found Winchester Gardens products.

Getting older and busier has forced me to look for ways of doing things easier. I use self-watering containers and mulch gardens so that I do not have to water as often. I choose disease-resistant plant varieties so that I do not have to treat for plant disease and/or pests. I also choose to use a once a season fertilizer program and that is where Winchester Gardens comes into my planting scheme.

In my vegetable garden, there has always a Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 15 April 2012 by

Successful Gardening 101: The Seeds Have Arrived, Now What


By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Years ago, I had a friend that got the gardening bug.

This friend was the true definition of a Brown Thumb Gardener.

She was always calling me with questions and many times would show up at my door begging me to come over and look at her garden.

She used to call me “The Garden Whisper” because I could take plants cast out as trash and make them grow.

Well, I would never say I am a “Garden Whisper” but instead I would say that I am a frugal gardener that really knows how to grow plants. But since I have been blessed with this skill, I always go over and “whisper” to her garden.

But one day, she showed up to my door with a package and on the surface it was just a plain, brown envelope. Inside though, was not items that were just plain, instead that contained life, life that would thrive with a little care and understanding from its caretaker. Unfortunately, this caretaker was a new mamma that had no clue how to take care of this potential life.

Taking my friend under my wing, I opened her package and found s Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 13 April 2012 by

Successful Gardening 101: How to Get the Most from Your Seed Catalogs

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

January brings about a new year, goals, and resolutions.

While all these things are true for me, January is also the month that I begin to receive my seed catalogs.

If you are not a gardener you may not understand the feeling one gets when the mailbox is opened and the glimmer of the first catalog of the season appears.

It is a thrill that every gardener understands and I compare it to a runner’s high. All the hopes and dreams of the upcoming gardening season seem to be wrapped up in the shiny, magazine like pages of the catalogs.

Before I go on and on about these wonderful treasures that arrive every spring, I would like to decipher the hieroglyphic language in these magazines.

The first thing you will need to do is discover what USDA Plant Hardiness zone you live in. This is easily done by reading the map that is located in the front of most catalogs. It is color-coded and you simply look for your state. As you will notice, the colors seem to go in a wave across the United States. This is tracking the average low temperatures. When dealing with plants, the lowest temperature is Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 11 April 2012 by

Successful Gardening 101: How Much Do I Need?


By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Every gardener has been in a situation where they wondered what they were thinking when they planted those 15 determinate tomato plants or those five squashes, or wondering how they were going to fit gardening into their day’s plan.

Well, planning is one way of preventing this situation but before jumping into the garden space let’s talk about some things that need to be considered.

Garden Requirements

Many people just go to the garden store and buy up what they like without considering what their garden is going to be used for and for how many. It is said that 16 plants will feed one individual for the season or if you are square foot gardening then one 4 by 4 foot bed will suffice.

Each additional person that you plan to serve will also need his or her own 16 plants or 4 by 4 foot garden space. Also, if you plan to preserve some of your produce you will need to add an additional 16 plants or 4 by 4 foot garden space for each person you plan to serve during the winter. Lastly, if you plan to donate some of your produce you will need to plan for additional plants.

Likes and Dislikes

The next thing that every gardener needs to consider is Read the rest of this entry »


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