Gardening

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How To Get The Best From Your Christmas Cactus. Blooming Christmas Cactus: Beautiful!

How To Get The Best From Your Christmas Cactus

Soil: Does well in almost any good garden soil. Needs no feeding except when buds begin to set. Water: Avoid overwatering. It needs to be gently pushed into dormancy at the beginning of November to ensure holiday blooms, allow the plant to dry out between light waterings during this time. Keep soil lightly moist during blooming. Pests: Almost immune. Heat: Moderate to cool. We like it wild: bottle gardens. As much as we love to garden, sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all.

we like it wild: bottle gardens

If there’s a way we can shorten our to-do list, we’ll take it. This week’s project, a no-fuss recycled windowsill herb garden, has knocked watering the plants off our list. Self-watering planters like these aren’t a new idea; we remember our own childhood craft books that taught us how to poke holes through Dixie cups or invert two liter plastic bottles to grow our own little bean garden. This grown-up version is much better looking and works great for small herbs and plants. We used beer bottles for ours, but you could make a larger garden with wine bottles too. Although this project may take a little more effort than your average windowsill garden initially, the pay off is worth it for us: we get to usefully recycle bottles, we get fresh herbs we don’t have to dote on, and we get a sparkling window display.

CLICK HERE for the full (photo illustrated) project steps after the jump! Grow 100 lbs. Of Potatoes In 4 Square Feet: {How To. Quite the clever gardening tip here folks!

Grow 100 lbs. Of Potatoes In 4 Square Feet: {How To

Today’s feature includes tips from three different sources for growing potatoes vertically (in layers) instead of spread out in rows across your garden. If you have limited garden space or want to try some nifty gardening magic, this could be a great option for you. First, there’s this article from The Seattle Times: It’s Not Idaho, But You Still Can Grow Potatoes: The potatoes are planted inside the box, the first row of boards is installed and the dirt or mulch can now be added to cover the seed potatoes. As the plant grows, more boards and dirt will be added. You plant in one bottom layer, boarding up the sides of each layer and adding dirt as you go higher (you wait until the plants have grown a bit before adding a new layer). I traced the information provided in the article to Irish Eyes Garden Seeds, they also advise you can skip the box and try growing them in a barrel or wire cage instead.

Bonus! Putting Food By - Beef, Onions and Vanilla. A freezer door left open accidentally left me frantically trying to figure out what to do with the contents.

Putting Food By - Beef, Onions and Vanilla

I was especially concerned about the organic, free ranged, grass fed beef and chicken steadily thawing. I have this marvelous All American 921 pressure canner, which I had only used to cook meals in. For whatever reason, the idea of actually using it to CAN scared the self sufficient right out of me. So I posted on the Facebook page, "Take Back Urban-Homestead(s)" for help and support - and the members there came through in a hurry. When I realized I couldn't find the rack that came with my pressure canner, it was recommended that I use quart size canning rings in the bottom to keep my glass jars off the metal. I managed to get all the beef put up yesterday. I managed to put up 5 quarts of beef. And did you see that little bit of green hanging out in the picture above? You can see in the next picture how the roots grow and tangle in the cup of water. ***update - 2/5/12.

Nifty Food & Plants To Grow Indoors {May Surprise You. If you don’t have any garden space or you live in a climate with a short growing season, you can still exercise your green thumb with these indoor plant ideas…a few will even produce fresh produce too!

Nifty Food & Plants To Grow Indoors {May Surprise You

You’ll find tips for growing assorted herbs, a couple vegetables and a few neat-o plants to try your hand at. You can grow them inside year round but many will thrive outdoors during the summer months (if you have the space) but move them indoors once it gets a little chilly and before the first frost (imagine having garden fresh tomatoes over the winter!). Never Pay For Onions Again Enjoy Garden Fresh Onions Year Round With This Tip Here’s a great tip from MyByrdHouse: Onion Recycling Tutorial: I learned this tip a couple of years ago and have tried it and found that it works and is quite marvelous. The trick is to take the cut end (root side) and plant it in a pot, water well, give it some time and voila! Please visit the site for complete details, great tip!