Gardening « Archive

Posted on 05 April 2013 by urbangardencasual.com

Need Plants to Plant, Have Plants to Give – Try PlantCatching

Photo Credit: Baby Broccoli by mcav0y used under CC BY-NC 2.0

Photo Credit: Baby Broccoli by mcav0y used under CC BY-NC 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Last spring, my dad had a bumper crop of Lilies of the Valley.

While I know it is not a vegetable, the concept of this story applies.

Well, I asked my dad what he was going to do with all these lilies.

He responded I am just going to pull them up and compost them.

I know composting is a great thing and the excess plant material did not end up in the trash but I wondered if there was a better way. I mentioned this to a gardening friend of mine and he said I have the answer. This was PlantCatching.

PlantCatching is a unique concept where excess plants and garden supplies find new homes with local gardeners. How this program works is simple. First, you decide what to give. Keep in mind that you can give more than plants. Some ideas include pots, soil, compost, seeds, plant labels, and a course plants.

After you have decided what you want to give, Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 03 April 2013 by urbangardencasual.com

Cats in the Garden: Shew Cat Shew

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Photo Credit: Garden helper by play4smee used under CC BY-NC 2.0

Photo Credit: Garden helper by play4smee used under CC BY-NC 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

When I was a child, cats in the garden were never really a problem.

My dogs normally chased them up to the barn and that was that.

Once I got married and moved to the urban jungle, I quickly learned about a horror tale called the “Black Cat and the Garden.”

While I am not superstitious and did own two black cats at the time, I did have a problem with this one black cat. My neighbors had associated the sight of the black cat and bad luck, especially in the garden.

I knew this was not true and instead tried to teach them the true reason for their plants dying. It was not black magic or bad luck but instead a cat’s need to go to the bathroom.

At this point, you may wonder, as my Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 25 March 2013 by urbangardencasual.com

4 Garden Uses for Chicken Wire

Photo Credit: Chicken wire by Cyberslayer used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Photo Credit: Chicken wire by Cyberslayer used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Chicken wire is one of those useful items that you can never have too much.

It can be used for numerous purposes in the garden.

Below are the top 3 uses I have found for this fence staple.

1. Chicken wire makes a great container for compost. Its open nature allows for air exchange that is so important for decomposition. It is also very portable and can easily be setup in the bed where you want to use the compost. Creating a composting bin is easy to do.

The first step in this process requires one to simply make a ring the diameter that you want your composting bin to be. Secure the ends of the wire with garden ties or with the wires themselves. Then, begin to fill with garden and kitchen scraps.

2. Chicken wire tube. This structure is great for Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 21 March 2013 by urbangardencasual.com

A Gardener’s Friend: Homemade Knee and Kneeling Pads

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Photo Credit: In the carrot patch by Rickky Thakrar used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Photo Credit: In the carrot patch by Rickky Thakrar used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Nothing can ruin a day in the garden like sore knees.

To avoid this aliment, many gardeners will begin to bend from the waist as they continue with their garden chores.

But with this type of action, many gardeners end up with sore knees and an aching back.

What is the solution to this problem, you may ask. The answer is homemade knee and kneeling pads.

Kneepads can be made from several different items. The easiest item that I have used is the 80’s shoulder pads. What makes these perfect for kneepads is their shape and the fact that they can be washed.

Making kneepads from shoulder pads is as easy as 1, 2, and 3. To begin the process, one will need to acquire 2 sets of shoulder pads. Next match up the shoulder pads and pin along the edge. Then, wedge a piece of elastic in between the two pads. Once this Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 19 March 2013 by urbangardencasual.com

Swallowtails and Parsnips – A Lesson in Organic Gardening

Photo Credit: Parsnip by Ben and Flo used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Photo Credit: Parsnip by Ben and Flo used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Sometimes gardening is not about growing vegetables but instead the knowledge that is cultivated through hard work and ones relationship to nature.

This unexpected knowledge obtained through growing ones own food is something that I treasured when I think about my kids.

While they may remember our time in the garden a little different, I recall it as a special time where discovery of the world was mutual and the flavor of a fresh tomato out of the garden never tasted so sweet.

One special moment that I treasure so dearly was the year we grew parsnips.

Well, as you can image, the gardening experience started out with a hope that our parsnip crop would grow by leaps and bounds. I talked to many people about how to grow parsnips and was disappointed with the results. I live in a somewhat Read the rest of this entry »

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