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Why winter is a smart time to garden

Why winter is a smart time to garden
Before you settle down to your long winter's nap, there's something you should do before dozing off. Take advantage of year-end plant sales, select a few choice plants and plant them in the garden. Winter is not just a great time to plant in temperate climates. Gardeners-in-the-know have long been aware that in areas where the ground doesn't completely freeze, it's the best time! Here are four reasons why: Plants are dormant in the winter, which means they are not actively growing. "Woody plants, in particular, especially trees and shrubs, respond well to fall and winter planting," said Amanda Campbell, manager of Display Gardens at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. ]"Beginning root growth early in spring gives them a good, solid start going into spring and summer, which can be intermittent with water and variable in temperatures," Campbell pointed out. If you are wondering what temperate means, Campbell says it basically refers to typically warm summers and cool/cold winters.

http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/why-winter-is-a-smart-time-to-garden

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[INFOGRAPHIC] Plant like a professional with this vegetable growing cheatsheet Growing your own food instills a true sense of the value of food, and it's not difficult! Did you know? By turning your garden bed into a mini-farm and growing your own food, you could save massive amounts of pollution embedded in the production of food from harming our beautiful Earth. Now, just imagine if 1 million people did this, or more. 10 essential garden tools Do you have a favorite garden tool? Something that you keep within arm’s reach every time you go into the garden? The “can’t-live-without-it” tool will vary from gardener to gardener, region to region and season to season. Here’s our top 10 list, based on interviews with gardeners in the Southeast who range in experience from serious home gardener to nursery owner — and everything in between. It’s just the start of a discussion. Tells us in the comments section if we’ve overlooked one of your favorites – or how you use the items in our list differently than we’ve described.

5 Secrets to a ‘No-work’ Garden It took over 20 years of gardening to realize that I didn’t have to work so hard to achieve a fruitful harvest. As the limitless energy of my youth gradually gave way to the physical realities of mid-life, the slow accretion of experience eventually led to an awareness that less work can result in greater crop yields. Inspired in part by Masanobu Fukuoka’s book, One Straw Revolution, my family experimented with gardening methods which could increase yields with less effort. Fukuoka spent over three decades perfecting his so-called “do-nothing” technique: commonsense, sustainable practices that all but eliminate the use of pesticides, fertilizer, tillage, and perhaps most significantly, wasteful effort. Here are the strategies we used which enabled us to greatly increase our garden yield, while requiring less time and less work.

Learn these 4 Types of Succession Planting. If, for instance, your growing season is short you may choose quicker growing vegetables such as radishes, salad greens and spinach, or species that can handle a light frost, such as arugula, so you can still harvest edible produce even when the temperature drops. Consider also, that some vegetables, such as carrots, beets, peas and beans can be harvested before they are fully mature. These ‘baby vegetables’ are ideal for succession planting, and have a deliciously different taste from their mature contemporaries. As a general rule, whatever your local conditions, you are looking for varieties that grow reasonably quickly and mature to a harvestable crop fast. How to Preserve Fruits and Vegetables: Canning, Drying, Pickling & Making Jams and Jellies When you’re lucky enough to have an abundant harvest or to live close enough to farms to take advantage of farmer’s markets, you’ll want to put every last tomato and peach to good use. Preserving the harvest can let you enjoy the fruits of your labor for months to come. There are several methods for preserving your fruits, vegetables and herbs. Which method you choose will depend on the type of fruit or vegetable you are preserving and your ambition level. The National Center for Home Food Preservation has an excellent, up-to-date web site with information on all types of food preservation.

Square Foot Gardening 101 Update! Check out our new Square Foot Gardening Infographic for even more tips, diagrams, a plant list and much more. I recently stumbled upon a book (All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space! Gardening for Food Production Once you have discovered your Gardening Style you can begin to plan for the season ahead. I personally use a mixture of vertical gardening, container gardening and raised beds, but I’ve also planted a traditional garden, in long rows, when I have the space. Vegetable gardening for food production and self sufficiency is what it’s all about. Not only will you be able to eat fresh, delicious food straight from the garden, but you will be learning a valuable skill for the future. Seed Starting Tips – You can certainly grow your own plants from seed at home.

How to Save Your Seeds I think the practice of saving seeds is due for a revival. Seed saving is rewarding in so many ways. It’s very easy. If you find yourself smitten by it, there are ways you can get more expert about it. Perennial Vegetables: Years of Bounty Perennial vegetables—crops that you plant just once and harvest year after year—are relatively rare in North American gardens. With the exception of asparagus, rhubarb and artichokes, most gardeners are probably unaware of the tasty, extremely low-maintenance bounty that can be harvested when many annual crops aren’t available. A Brief History of Perennial Crops According to Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier, most North American gardening and farming traditions come from Europe, where there are very few perennial crops except fruits and nuts.

How Much To Plant To Provide A Year’s Worth Of Food – REALfarmacy.com by BRENDA Not long ago, people had to think about how much to grow for the year. They had to plan ahead, save seeds, plant enough for their family, preserve enough, etc. How to Grow The Top 10 Most Nutritious Vegetables in Your Garden By Colleen Vanderlinden Treehugger A perfectly ripe, juicy tomato, still warm from the sun. Sweet carrots, pulled from the garden minutes (or even seconds!) before they’re eaten. Growing your own vegetables is one of those activities that balances practicality and indulgence.

Coffee compost If you are a big coffee drinker and are just getting into composting, use your grounds as a fantastic, free, natural fertilizer. (And if you ever have cold, leftover coffee in the pot, go ahead and pour that directly onto your garden or lawn, too.) You’re right that grounds can be a teensy bit acidic (though used grounds are far less acidic than raw grounds), so they’re great for clay-based alkaline soils. Or sprinkle the grounds over acid-loving plants (which like a low pH of around 4 or 5) like azaleas, rhododendrons, potatoes, and blueberries.

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