|July 5, 2006 14:27 - Unusual Garden Remedies and Calorie Counts
I'm always on the look out for unusual garden remedies so this opening paragraph immediately caught my attention: "Over the years many crazy things have been recommended for getting plants to grow or controlling pests. While there's a grain of truth to many kitchen cures, be careful; some can be harmful, such as using ammonia as a nitrogen fertilizer," says Jeff Gillman, University of Minnesota horticulture professor and author of The Truth About Garden Remedies (Timber Press, 2006). Four "safe and effective home remedies" are revealed but whether they are worth the effort is another matter. Read more.. (Unfortunately this link is no longer live but, for the record, the source was www.mckinneymessenger.com) Since I can no longer point you to the original article, here is a brief summary of the four suggestions for using common household products in the garden:
Two ideas for homemade fertilizer: A solution of one part milk diluted with four parts water will provide nitrogen. Crushed and dried eggshells dug into the soil around your plants will supply calcium and potassium.
The other two suggestions are for pest control. Mix a few tablespoons of hot pepper sauce in 1 gallon of water and spray to deter bugs, including mites, aphids and whiteflies. Add garlic for extra potency, but test on a small area first because this mixture can cause burning on some plants. The other idea is the slug trap. Sink a small dish into the ground and fill with diluted beer. Although well known, this remedy is said to be very effective.
"No shame in gardening alone" is the headline to this piece by Joe Lamp’l, to which the obvious reply is "Whoever said there was?". "There’s no need to entertain anyone, and the experience gives you some uninterrupted time to gather your thoughts". Read more..
And for a reminder of the more physical benefits of gardening Mary Beth Breckenridge tells you exactly how many calories you burn while carrying out common gardening activities. Top of the list is digging, closely followed by mowing the lawn with a hand mower. Even raking burns 3.7 calories per minute. No need for boring sessions at the gym when you're a gardner. Read more..
gardening exercise calories
July 10, 2006 12:10 - One Gold Ring, Three Essential Tools and a Bad Day Fishing
"Ring lost in 1969 found in garden" is not the most grabbing of headlines. Unusual objects are found in gardens all the time, often far older than a 37 year old ring. But read on and you discover that this was not just any old ring but the white gold band was valued at nearly $1000. When the finder made some enquiries he discovered that the ring had been a silver wedding anniversary present. By reuniting the ring with its owner, he was able to bring a smile to the face of an 84 year old lady. Read more..
"Q. What three or four essential tools and books do you recommend for someone taking up gardening for the first time?" This question is one that crops up regularly in newspaper gardening columns and the usual reply is a short list of the most common tools used in the garden. Master gardener Ben Franklin gives his suggestions and the top three are not quite what you would expect, but they do make perfect sense. Read more..
"You know those bumper stickers that say a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work? I've always thought the same holds true of gardening" confesses Jane McBride. "One of the beauties of gardening is that hope springs eternal. It takes faith to bury something, water it faithfully and wait many months for the possibility of a reward." There follows a long and complicated tale about dahlias but you have to read all the way to the end to discover the link to the "bad day fishing". Read more..
July 17, 2006 12:36 - Bob Flowerdew and Cutting Down On Grass
If the name Bob Flowerdew is unfamiliar to you here's a chance to put that right. This article in the Washington Post is more than just a profile of the man, it also includes a light-hearted look at the English gardening scene. From "GQT" to "Calendar Girls" you may be surprised to learn what goes on in Britain's gardens. But more remarkable still is the man himself. He has acquired a fine reputation as a gardening guru who can dispense expert advice on almost any topic but whose own garden is highly unconventional and individual. Read more..
The next two items are both about cutting down on the grass in your yard. This one comes from Wyoming where the emphasis is on saving water. Xeriscaping is the answer and it doesn't have to mean that you end up with a garden that is all cacti and rocks. "If you're gardening out here, you can battle the elements all the time, or you can work with them. And there are tons of beautiful plants that grow with very little water," according to Amy Fluet, who has converted the west side of her property into a xeriscape garden. Read more..
For Evan Earle Jr in Florida the reason is wildlife. Here again the answer is native vegetation and very little grass. By providing a haven for wildlife to find food, water, shelter and a place to raise their offspring Earle's yard has been recognized as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. Read more..
July 31, 2006 12:36 - Lost and Found, and Gardening in a Drought.
If you live in an area which is suffering a drought and water restrictions are in force you may think that this is a good idea: "Let the lawn go dormant, forget the fall garden this year, and let those well adapted shrubs and trees survive without special care just like they did for thousands of years before man decided they needed our help". Not if your name is Calvin R. Finch. He has compiled a long list of tasks that you can tackle which don't involve using excessive amounts of water. Read more..
Most stories about yard thefts usually involve garden gnomes. There are regular reports in the local papers of gnomes disappearing from gardens in a neighbourhood and then sometime later being discovered in a wood or other hiding place. But this story concerns gardening gloves and the identity of the thief is well known. The problem is how to stop him. Read more..
Chris Fountain from Greenwich, Conn made an unusual find while tending his tomato plants. He had long suspected that, thousands of years ago, American Indians hunted and camped along the same eastern Greenwich shoreline where he grew up. What he found proved that his theory was correct. Read more..
gardening water restrictions