|Posted by herb-arium on September 28, 2011 at 2:10 PM||comments (0)|
Are you wanting more information aboutgrowing and using herbs? What About Herbs? - written by me –is now available for Kindle. I hope to have it available for Nookvery soon. Information about a wide variety of herbs includinggrowing and preserving most culinary herbs and some medicinal andcraft herbs. Included are lists of herbs for various situations –herbs for shade, lemon scented herbs, herbs for a Shakespeare garden,drought tolerant herbs, herbs for potpourri, herbs for topiary, herbsfor container growing, and more.
Please pass on this information, Thanks!
|Posted by herb-arium on June 2, 2011 at 8:32 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by herb-arium on May 19, 2011 at 10:20 AM||comments (0)|
There is sometimes confusion between mulch and compost.
Mulch refers to material that goes on top of the ground. Mulch can be natural such as bark, gravel, or compost, or manmade such as landscape fabric or recycled tire rubber mulch. Never use regular plastic except on a temporary basis since water will pool, stink and breed mosquitoes. Mulches such as bark and compost can feed the soil but need to be renewed regularly. Gravel and landscape fabric can last longer although landscape fabric is usually covered with something such as bark or gravel. Gravel can collect trash and weeds and reflect heat back to the house or yard which may or may not be desirable.
The purposes of mulch can include water retention, soil cooling, soil warming, weed suppression, soil enrichment, and/or frost protection for plant roots or soil.
When using rock or rubber mulches I would recommend using heavy duty landscape fabric underneath. The cheaper plastic fabrics do not hold up as well and the rubber mulches will be difficult to remove if they get mixed in with your soil.
Landscape fabric does not prevent weeds - it just reduces them. Soil and weed seeds can accumulate on top allowing weeds to begin growing. As soon as you see a weed take care of it so you do not end up with a weed patch on top of your landscape fabric.
Compost is decomposed organic matter or manures. The best types of compost are those made with a variety of materials including manures of herbivores (chickens, sheep, rabbits, etc), leaves, straw, vegetable peelings, and other plant material. For more information on home composting see my blog entry.
Compost can be used as mulch but is often also mixed with soil or applied to the surface just for the purpose of improving soil. Since compost is organic matter it can improve your soil whether it is sandy, clay, or just lacking in nutrients. Peat moss is sometimes used but has no nutritional value, is usually more expensive, and non renewable so compost is a better choice. I like to add compost to my gardens, flower beds, lawn, and potted plants. Our soils in Utah are lacking in organic matter so compost is a wonderful thing to add for soil improvement. Compost is the main component of a Square Foot Garden mix.
|Posted by herb-arium on February 22, 2011 at 10:03 AM||comments (0)|
Do you know what hardiness zone you are in? Do you know what hardiness zones mean? Your hardiness zone and the hardiness zone of the plants you want to grow are important information to know before planning and planting. For more information see another blog of mine Eat Your Landscape - Hardiness Zones.
|Posted by herb-arium on January 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM||comments (0)|
Now is a great time to be thinking about your garden and landscape. If you have received seed catalogs in the mail you may have seen many things you would like to grow this year.
Before ordering plan what you want to plant where. Even if you make a few changes between now and planting you will be less likely to end up with some plants or seeds that you will just cram in somewhere or that will die before you get them planted.
Keep in mind the conditions of your yard. Your yard is not the same in every section or every season.
What areas receive the most sun? or the most shade? and what times of the day so they receive sun or shade?
What areas are the driest? the wettest?
How will you get water to the various parts of your landscape?
(Overhead sprinklers are not the best way to water trees, shrubs, and gardens)
Which areas receive the most wind? or the least?
Do the above situations change depending on the season? Before trees leaf out in the spring they will not cast as much shade so early plants such as spring bulbs will receive more sun than plants which emerge later.
|Posted by herb-arium on October 18, 2010 at 2:30 PM||comments (0)|
A list of things to do in the Fall:
Start Compost Pile
Fertilize with organic lawn fertilizer– helps root growth over winter
Apply pre emergent – corn gluten meal– prevents weed seeds from germinating
Remove leaves from lawn – mow,mulch, compost
Topdress with compost
Seed or overseed lawn
Mow until the first frost
Lower mower height for the last mowingto 1 ½ – 2”
Water until first hard frost
Winterize sprinkler system – shutoff, drain
Drain and store hoses
Garden Beds, Shrubs, Trees
Cut back perennials if brown, remove annuals and weeds – add all except weeds to the compost pile (can be done in Spring if you prefer)
Clean out vegetable garden whenever youare done or around first frost/before first hard frost – pick,sell, preserve, or donate produce
Divide and/or transplant perennials
Plant perennials, shrubs, trees
Plant spring flowering bulbs
Plant fall flowers, vegetables, andannuals – pansies, mums, lettuce, spinach, peas, kale
Wrap bark of young trees – helps to prevent sunscald, cracking, deer damage
Wrap evergreens with burlap if desired
Water trees, shrubs, perennials until the ground freezes
Trees and shrubs - Prune dead or broken only
After first frost – mulch plants which might frost heave – use straw or leaves
Remove fallen fruit – compost
Prepare Square Foot Garden beds
Overwinter geraniums indoors if youwant to save them for next year - dig up and place in a brown paper bag, replant in the spring or grow inside in a pot all winter
Prepare tender plants to move indoors
Clean out underneath lawn mower - disconnect spark plug first
Add fuel stablizer to gas cans and gas powered equipment if there is gasoline inside
Check mower blades – need replaced or sharpened?
Check hand tools – need replaced or sharpened?
Wipe hand tools with steel wool or a damp cloth and apply oil or store in sand/motor oil mix
Be sure all batteries are charged
Check extension cords for cuts, frays,etc
Cedar shredded bark around foundation - insect prevention
Orange Guard or similar spray around foundation - insect prevention
Hang Christmas lights - before snow fall
Plan garden for next year
Write down successes, failures,varieties you liked, etc
Check online for catalogs – order those you want to receive
Learn from books, classes, pruning demonstrations so you are better prepared next year
Beuna Tomalino - Herb-arium.com
|Posted by herb-arium on October 16, 2010 at 11:06 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by herb-arium on June 17, 2010 at 10:17 AM||comments (0)|
Compost is fantastic for soil improvement - adding organic matter, nutrients, and microorganisms to your soil.
A variety of items can be added to your compost pile including: spoiled vegetables and fruits and vegetable and fruit peelings, plant debris, prunings, straw, leaves, bedding from vegetarian pets, eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags, cotton fabric, cardboard and paper – not slick – although it may be better to recycle paper in another way. You can also add manures from rabbits, cows, horses, goats, poultry, or sheep.
Ideal proportions would be 2/3 brown or dry (dried leaves, straw, etc) to 1/3 wet or green (vegetable peelings, spoiled fruit). If your compost pile is smelly it is because the proportions are wrong, your pile is too wet, or you have added things that should not be in a compost pile.
There are some items that should not be put into a compost pile: meat, bones, fat, dairy, manures or litter from carnivores including dogs and cats. Ammonium sulfate is not needed for the composting process and I feel defeats the purpose because of the harm it can cause to microorganisms.
Compost piles need air and moisture. Water may need to be added to keep a pile moist or your compost may need to be protected from rain to prevent your pile from becoming too wet.
Turning the pile helps provide air to the pile and will help the composting process to occur faster. Turned once per week your compost may be ready in a month or so.
Build your pile on a level soil surface with easy access. There should be space around for working around the pile and adding ingredients.
Ideal sizes for compost piles are 3 – 5 feet across by 3 – 4 feet high
Finer chopped or shredded ingredients will compost faster.
Layering brown and green as you build the pile.
Heat is created in a compost pile by the microorganisms as they work.
As it decomposes it will be reduced in size.
Adding small amounts finished compost to your pile helps provide the microorganisms for composting.
Bins can be constructed or purchased.
Chicken wire, hardward cloth, wood (not pressure treated or railroad ties due to the chemicals that could leach into the soil), stone, or brick can be used to build a compost bin.
Purchased bins are usually constructed of plastic or wood and maybe stationary or rotating. Rotating bins eliminate the need to turn the compost yourself reducing the effort to obtain finished compost.
Websites with instructions for building a compost bin:
Bins can be purchased from garden centers, hardware stores, and online.
I put hardward cloth or chicken wire underneath stationary bins to prevent rodents from digging up into the bin
Some additional ways to compost:
Insert a piece of 2” PVC pipe down the center or your compost bin to add air to the pile and reduce the need to turn the pile as frequently. Purchase a piece of pipe longer than your pile will be deep. Drill holes around the sides of the entire length of the pipe except the top couple of inches or so. Set the pipe in the center and build your pile around it. Be sure not to put any materials down the pipe. The pipe allows air to reach the interior of the pile.
Dig a trench about four inches deep placing the soil off to the side. As you collect leaves, vegetable, fruit peelings, etc place them in a part of the trench and cover that section with some of the soil that was set off to the side. This is best done in an area that will not be planted for several weeks or in the fall and winter so the material will be finished composting by Spring.
Worm composting - Vermicomposting
The book Worms Eat My Garbage is a fantastic resource.
Beuna Tomalino - Herb-arium.com
|Posted by herb-arium on March 25, 2010 at 1:27 PM||comments (0)|
There is something exciting about growing something edible. Your motivation may be to save some money, to have healthier food, or some other reason.
The first thing to do is make a list of what you and your family like to eat.
Look through lists of what is edible that can be grown in your climate.
One helpful book is Landscaping with Fruits by
Lee Reich. Some of my favorite catalogs and online sites are
Richters, Logee's, Raintree Nursery.
Some things to consider:
Are there any special requirements for growing these plants such as pH, amounts of sun or shade, pruning, severe pest problems?
Vegetables, fruits, herbs – even some not typically grown or known.
Research how to grow them, when to grow them, and options for purchasing seeds and plants.
Start with a few plants or a few different kinds of plants. Don't get overwhelmed by trying too much at once.
Many edibles can be grown in pots or small Square Foot Gardens so don't rule out the possiblity just because you don't have much space or your climate or soil pH isn't the best for inground growing.
Beuna Tomalino - Herb-arium.com
|Posted by herb-arium on February 25, 2010 at 4:56 PM||comments (0)|
This is the time of year when many people think about starting seeds indoors for their gardens. Some people actually start seeds and then neglect them or get discouraged because the plants didn't do well or didn't even come up. Others intend to start seeds but never get around to it or change their mind because they aren't sure what to do.
Learning how to grow plants from seed you started indoors can be very fulfilling for a variety of reasons including:
- Start seeds whenever you want.
- Grow the varieties you want.
- Minimize the chance of disease or weeds.
- Save money – less expensive than buying transplants.
- Grow things that normally would take too long to flower or fruit for your growing season.
- Grow plants in whatever season you wish, not just when plants are available.
- Earlier and/or larger harvest (for example, if you start marigold or tomato seed inside they will be farther along in the growing process by the time you move the plants outside.)
- You know how the plant was taken care of – if you are an organic gardener you will know what fertilizers and pesticides were used
- Control over the size of the plant at transplanting
- For the challenge
For more information on Seed Starting sign in HERE.
I will be teaching Teleseminars on seed starting. For more information - Seed Starting Teleseminar
Beginning seed starting - grow what you want, when you want
Beuna Tomalino - herb-arium.com