The poop on manure


Thu. Apr. 24, 2014

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Manure happens!  And in abundance but fresh manure should never be put on a veggie garden!  You can buy composted manure at most garden centers.

Creekside compost with manure

Temperatures in a compost pile should reach 130 to 140 degrees to kill weed seeds and pathogens.  It should stay at that temp for at least 5 days.  Most folks stay away from pig manure.  It’s best to stick with dairy, sheep, horse or poultry manure.

Never use dog or cat manure.  It’s just not  … [Continue reading]

Shrubs for Color


Wed. Apr. 23, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Shrubs for Color

Tiger lily 1

Tiger Lily with bulbets

Yes, Tiger Lilies are pretty but they lined 25 feet of my garage and were not looking that lovely anymore.  They had become overgrown and leaned out as if on their last gasp.  So, I put them out of their misery and ripped ’em out. Now what? Shrubs for Color of course!  First thing to consider is the mature size of the shrub(s) you’re considering.  When planting near a foundation, you need to give them room to  … [Continue reading]

Earth Day and organic wet waste


Tue. Apr. 22, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Earth Day and organic wet waste

Time to celebrate!

Organic or wet waste composting is becoming a necessity as our landfills fill to capacity.  Some Cities around the country are already requiring homeowners use separate bins for their garbage, sorting out their wet waste, which includes food soiled paper napkins and pizza boxes, from their recyclables.  It can get confusing.  Check out this comprehensive list of acceptable organic waste via the city of St. Louis Park, MN.

The City I  … [Continue reading]

Easter Lily care


Mon. Apr. 21, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Easter Lily care

If your plant came with a foil wrapping like the above photo, be sure to poke a couple of holes in the foil and place on a saucer.  When you water it, you want the excess water to drain out the bottom, then empty the saucer.  Water when the soil surface is dry.

Keep in bright indirect light.  Cut the anthers (those yellow stems inside the flower) before the pollen starts to shed.  This will prevent staining  … [Continue reading]

Rain barrels and compost bins


Fri. Apr. 18, 2014

Click below to listen to my GardenBite radio show:  Rain barrels and compost bins

April Showers bring May flowers.  At least that’s the hope and that moisture isn’t in the solid form of snow!

EEK!  I’m really hopeful that will NOT be this year!  I think the 2013/14 winter season was brutal enough.  In fact, climatologists are saying this MAY be a drier/hotter season.  We’ll see…

In the meantime, rain barrels are always a good idea for several reasons.  Rainwater is the best kind of water for your lawn and  … [Continue reading]

Sun/shade terms


Thu. Apr. 17, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Sun/Shade terms

What the heck is dappled sun?  Do you get confused by some of those sun/shade terms on plant tags?

Here’s an explanation:

  • Full sun is at least 6 hours of direct sunlight.  8 hours is best for tomatoes, peppers, melons.
  • Dappled sun is the lightest shade.  It’s full sun filtered through open-branched trees such as honey locust, aspen and birch.
  • Light shade/partial sun are interchangeable.  These plants need 3 to 6 hours of direct sunlight, usually in the
 … [Continue reading]

What to plant outside right now


Wed. Apr. 16, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  What to plant outside right now

Much of Minnesota is now Zone 4 while we still have some areas of zone 3 to the north and zone 5 to the south.  Click on the map to your right to find out where you are.

So long as your soil is workable (NOT wet), you can start planting seeds of beets, peas, lettuce and onion sets right now!  You can also plant transplants of broccoli, brussel sprouts and rhubarb.  Potato tubers  … [Continue reading]

The Foundation of Life – Soil


Tue. Apr. 15, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  The Foundation of Life – Soil

Soil  holds the keys to a plant’s ability to take up nutrients, water and oxygen.  Soil also acts as a filter for rainwater, cleaning it as it makes it’s way into our aquifers.   If you prepare your garden beds, you give your plants the best chance to, not only survive, but thrive.

Soil is simply amazing when you learn more about it.  This forum doesn’t give us enough time, and frankly, there’s way more  … [Continue reading]

Soil test


Mon. Apr. 14, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Soil test

Getting a soil test is always a good idea!  A reminder as we head into possible flooding season, flooded soil loses some micronutrients and compost.  Getting a soil test through the University of Minnesota offers much more comprehensive information and is worth the money.

soil testing lab

Soil Testing Labratory [University of Minnesota Extension] I also have a link in my Favorite Links

soil test certified

Before you start digging for samples, make sure you’re soil is dried out sufficiently.  You can test it  … [Continue reading]

Spiral gardens


Fri. Apr. 11, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  spiral gardens

If you don’t have a lot of room, spiral gardening may be the way to go.  It’s really catching on and offers you the chance to be creative.  Spiral gardening allows you to stack plants vertically for small spaces. 

The above photo is from a woman who blogs at The Microgardener.  She has a 4 step method for creating a spiral garden with all types of materials.

Spiral herb-veggie garden

This one has herbs and veggies, you can plant flowers  … [Continue reading]