Beginner Gardening Series: September Edition

September is the month where you can look at your garden and take stock of what worked and what didn’t, harvest the remaining produce growing in the garden (except for a few frost loving plants, will talk about that later) and put your garden to bed for the winter.   If you live in some of the warmer climates, you can now restart your garden!   For the plants that like the heat (like tomatoes and peppers), start the seeds indoors or buy starter plants. I, however, live in zone 5-6, so no replanting of the garden here.  I will be taking the steps to put my garden to bed and do what I can to get it ready for next Spring.

T A K E  N O T E

Get yourself a cute little notebook (don’t we all buy one everytime we go into Target?!) and take note of your garden.  What grew well in the garden this season?  Did your tomatoes get enough sun?  Did your squash plant succumb to mildew?  These are observations that will help you in planning your garden for next year!  Your placement of plants may change based on your observations.  For me, I need to move where I planted my squash because it was affected by mildew.  So…I need to find a place that gets more sunshine to prevent this from happening again.


W H E N  T O   H A R V E S T

Are you daily looking at your peppers wondering if they are ever going to turn red??  While it is ideal to let peppers, like tomatoes, ripen on the vine, there does come a time when all the peppers and tomatoes need to be harvested from the garden and left to ripen indoors, out of direct sunlight.  So yep, harvest your tomatoes and peppers, even if they aren’t perfectly ripe and let chemistry do it’s thing indoors. Now with this said, if you have planted some “cool crops” you can leave them in the garden until after the first frost.  Some cool crops are Kale, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Spouts, Spinach, Collard, Asparagus. A quick Google search of “cool crops” will provide a great resource if you are wondering if any crops you have planted are considered a “cool crop”.

 

 

 

TIP: you can leave carrots in the ground through the Winter (they may actually get sweeter as the carrot holds on to it’s sugar to combat the cold), however, you will need to harvest them before Spring as they will go to seed and not be edible.

P U T T I N G  the  G A R D E N  to  B E D

One thing I always need when going to bed is a blanket, your garden likes one too!   There are a couple of ways you can create a “blanket” for your garden.  You can grow a cover crop.  Stay with me here, this sounds much more complicated than it really is.  A cover crop is as simple as tossing some seeds on your cleaned out garden bed.  This helps create a barrier between the Winter elements and your garden soil.  Cover crops also give back vital nutrients that were taken from the soil to produce all your yummy veggies!  A seed that I recommend is Cereal Rye.  Sprinkle the seed ideally 4 weeks before the first hard frost, or as soon as you can after cleaning your beds.  Literally let nature do the work and watch it grow.  If planting another crop has you rubbing your temples, then a nice layer of straw or some other type of mulch will also provide a sufficient barrier for your garden soil against the harsh winter elements.

Categories

Mother’s Day Gift Guide | For The Mom Who Likes To Garden

Moms deserve the spotlight every day, but for this Mother’s day, we have pulled together 10 items that the Mom who likes to garden, whether a beginner or a novice, will love. From monogrammed vases to organic body cream, we have you covered.

gift guide for the gardener

Offered in an assortment of beautiful shades, this best selling dipped ceramic pitcher is the perfect way to serve your favorite beverages. Use the glazed pitcher as a vase with your favorite flowers or as a vessel for your favorite beverages, just add a monogram to make it yours.

Small: 5.75”h x 4” diameter.

Large: 9.25”h x 3.5” diameter.

Stoneware.

Made in Thailand.

Monogramming is laser engraved.

Limited Edition

Get to gardening with our Roo gardening apron bundle and save. Choose your color of gardening apron, and included is a matching kneeling pad and rust-free aluminum trowel.

O/S fits all, machine washable.

gift guide for the gardener

Welcome to our 6-Week Course for new food gardeners (or experienced gardeners looking to gain a deeper understanding of growing.)

This content-packed course is developed by Jessica Sowards, of Roots and Refuge Farm, and Jill Ragan, of Whispering Willow Farm.

garden life hat

Inspire others to live the garden life with our Garden Life Hat.

  • Plastic Adjustable Snap
  • Size: OSFM – Adult (58cm/22.8″)
gardening journal

Gardening is a passionate affair between the gardener and every plant they grow. But it’s also way geeky. In this hardbound handbook, gardeners can document the seasonal and daily details—so many details—of every aspect of their obsessive hobby. It contains over 300 pages of themed blank sections for creating a personal horticultural reference book, including:
— A planner and journal to keep track of seasonal tasks
— A plant database to enter photos, drawings, observations, and notes on what worked or didn’t
— Pages for recording inspirations and ideas and designing your dream garden
— Space to get your hard-won gardening wisdom down on paper
— Pages to preserve memorable plantings and events

gift guide for the gardener

The Roo is perfect in assisting you with harvesting your vegetables, weeding and deadheading your garden or collecting anything that needs to be put away. Simply release the ropes and everything you have collected funnels out the bottom. O/S fits all.  Machine washable.

 

gift guide for the gardener

Flower arranging has never been simpler or more enticing. The women behind Studio Choo, the hottest floral design studio in the country, have created a flower-arranging bible for today’s aesthetic. Filled with an array of stunning, easy-to-find flowers, it features 400 photos, more than 40 step-by-step instructions, and useful tips throughout.

gift guide for the gardener

Hang or place this egg-shaped mosquito repellent diffuser in your outdoor space to naturally protect against pests. When it is filled with its signature DEET-free repellent made from lemongrass oil and geraniol, it will ward off mosquitoes and other bugs up to around 200 square feet—the perfect amount of protection for decks, patios, and porches.

gift guide for the gardener

Goat Milk Lotion! This is creamy, and thicker than your normal store bought watered-down lotion. The added shea butter gives this a decadent feel on your skin, yet doesn’t leave you feeling greasy!

Benefits of using goat milk on skin: Many people struggle with skin health, such as eczema. Goat milk soap can be just as beneficial for healthy skin too!

gardening apron with tools

Get to gardening with our Joey gardening apron bundle and save. Choose your color of gardening apron, and included is a matching kneeling pad and rust-free aluminum trowel.
O/S fits all, machine washable. Available in green and purple.

mothers day gift guide

How To Dye Eggs Naturally

Dying eggs for Easter is a childhood pastime most of us remember fondly. Have you ever tried this with items you likely have in your pantry? If not, it’s worth a try. See how easy it is to get beautiful pinks, yellows, and blues from natural ingredients right inside your home.

naturally dyes easter eggs
Get Started

To start, hardboil desired number of eggs to dye, then let cool. While the eggs are cooling, it’s time to make the dyes (these can also be made ahead of time as well.)

turmeric dyed easter eggs

Colors

Blue Dye:
1/2 head of red cabbage

4 cups water

2 tablespoons white vinegar

Instructions
Boil the cabbage in a large pot for about 45 min. Remove from heat and let it cool. Strain the dye into glass bowls or jars then add and stir in the vinegar.

Yellow dye:
2 tablespoons turmeric powder

4 cups of water

2 tablespoons white vinegar

Instructions
Bring turmeric and water to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool. Poor the liquid into glass bowls or jars then add and stir in the vinegar.

Pink Dye:
1 beet cut into large pieces

4 cups water

2 tablespoons white vinegar

Instructions
Bring the pieces of beet to boil in a pot. Remove from heat and let it cool. Strain the dye into glass bowls or jars then add and stir in the vinegar.

naturally dyes easter eggs

Soak & Polish

Once you have the dye made, soak the eggs for 30 minutes to 24 hours. The longer the eggs soak, the darker the color will be. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the eggs from the dye. Dyed eggs can be stored in the fridge for about 1 week.

*TIP: You can rub vegetable oil on colored eggs once they have dried for a shiny polish.

naturally dye easter eggs

Top 5 Garden Trends For 2022

How we utilize our outdoor space is a top priority for homeowners again in 2022. We view our outdoor space as an extension of our home, therefore wanting to make our outdoor space as beautiful, inviting and functional as possible. We talk about garden trends that are still going strong from last year and new ways to think about your indoor and outdoor space this year.

Indoors or Outdoors? How about both

Creating an outdoor living space was one of the biggest trends in 2021 and it is again in 2022. Seating, fireplaces, and outdoor kitchens are all ways people are bringing the indoors outdoors. A new trend in seating is the incorporation of rattan seating. A rattan accent chair or side table is a great way to incorporate this new trend. Creating a live climbing wall, or strategically placing a hanging basket visible from your indoor space is a simple way to bring the outdoors indoors.

Tropical Plants Are The VIP

Our backyards can be somewhat of an escape from the busy to do’s of everyday life, so why not bring in some tropical vibes to really make it feel like you are being transported to another place?! You may think that your climate will not support tropical plants, but believe it or not, there are some tropical plants that are hardy to zone 4! Here are a few to try if you aren’t sure your weather is warm (or humid) enough. Caladium (elephant’s ear), which come in varieties for shade or sun, are recognized by their large and brightly colored foliage. They add a lot of texture and color to your landscape. Rose of Sharon is a hardy hibiscus and there are some varieties that can be grown to Zone 5. This is a beautiful plant, with plenty of color, and will attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Rose Mallow can is another plant that adds plenty of color to your landscape and is hardy down to zone 4! This is a perennial worth investing in if you are looking to add some tropical vibes to your outdoor space.

Bicolor Plants

Do you have a hard time knowing what colors compliment each other? Well, thankfully nature has the answer and can make the decisions of what colors to plant together a little more simple. Bicolor plants are a trend we are seeing in 2022 and can simplify your landscape decisions. Pick a bicolor plant, and then choose leafy plants or flowers of the two colors to accompany the plant in your landscape.

Herbs

Herbs are such a simple way to bring more of the outdoors indoors and also a nice way to create a beautiful aesthetic to any outdoor living space. Pots of rosemary, basil, and mint add an aromatic element to both your landscape (or windowsill if that is where your herbs live), and having fresh herbs on hand for recipes and summer salads is simply the best!

Growing Cut Flowers for Homemade Bouquets

Who doesn’t love a bouquet of fresh flowers? Turns out most of us love them, and we are willing to devote some of our landscape to growing them. Being able to grow fresh cut flowers and create bouquets for ourselves, friends and neighbors right out of our own backyard is so rewarding. Some favorite cut flowers are zinnias, dahlias, ranunculus, black eyed Susans, and growing these gorgeous blooms might be easier than you think!

There are several additional trends that those who know garden trends anticipate seeing this year. Just like with anything, trends will come and go. It is fun to try new things and see what creativity brings to the space, but one trend we can always get behind is getting our hands in the dirt. Here’s to a successful gardening season in 2022 regardless of which trends you may try.

Companion Planting Guide For 7 Popular Vegetables Crops

companion planting guide

Are there some plants that get along better than others?

Believe it or not there are. There are vegetables that compliment each other, herbs that repel pests, and flowers that invite bees to work their magic. We have put together a list of companions (or friends) for 7 of the most popular vegetable crops.

 

Why is companion planting beneficial?

 

 

Companion plants compliment each other and provide a list of benefits. Here are just a few of the benefits from placing plant friends together:
  • Deterring pests
  • Attracting pollinators
  • Provide shade
  • Increase soil nutrients
 
 
Below is a list of popular veggies and their favorite companions.
companion planting guide
 
 
As with anything, we can get lost in the details. Healthy soil, adequate water, and sunlight are very important, if not the most important factors to consider. However, to make your plants extra happy, invite their favorite friends to the party. Even though they aren’t on the official list, Zinnias are always welcome guests at a garden party.
* Pro-tip, check out which friends overlap, basil and chives can be companions to more than one plant. 

3 Flowers Everyone Wants For Valentine’s Day (…other than roses)

Valentine’s Day is like the super bowl of flowers in the floral world. A seemingly countless amount of roses are shipped, processed, and turned into beautiful arrangements for loved ones because a rose is the “it” flower to give. Have you ever considered giving another type of flower? I took to Instagram and asked my flower friends what flowers they would like to receive for Valentine’s Day other than roses? After tallying the results, three flowers shined and I am including a bonus idea that may not have been thought of as a gift!

  1. For Valentine’s Day,  there are two common ways most people buy flowers for their loved ones. The first way is the ever popular trip to the grocery store. This brings me to the most requested flower in my poll. Tulips!  You can often find tulips at the grocery store year around. Here is a tip: look for the American Grown symbol on the side of the tulip package. This helps support our domestic farms!

2. The second way most people buy flowers for their loved ones for Valentine’s Day is through a florist shop. Usually, a beautiful arrangement of anything is requested but here is a tip of the second most requested flower in my poll. The ranunculus! You may have never heard of it before but in the cut flower growing world, we know it as the rose of the spring. It resembles a rose and lasts weeks in a vase. You absolutely cannot go wrong asking for ranunculus in your beautiful arrangement to replace the standard rose.

3. The third most requested flower for Valentine’s Day was a potted plant or a gift card to a local garden center. A fantastic potted plant that you can easily find around Valentine’s Day is the hellebore. Oftentimes, it may be in bloom in the pot! You can enjoy the plant inside for a few weeks and later it can be planted outside in a shady location. It is a plant that if given the right growing conditions, will be the gift that keeps on giving for years to come!

  • The final bonus tip of Valentine’s Day gift ideas would be to find a local flower farm and see if they offer bouquet subscriptions. Usually these subscriptions start in the Spring and continue through the summer. Common subscription options are 4, 6 and 12 weeks of blooms. This would be a fantastic gift that would offer flowers for a long period of time and support local farms as well. Cheers to a lovely Valentine’s Day with your loved ones!

8 Types of Real Greenery to Use In Your Christmas Decor

We may be enjoying the jewel-toned colors of the fall leaves, the jolly roundness of pumpkins on doorsteps and the crisp refreshing morning air now, but it won’t be long until we’re greeted with snow-covered sidewalks, decorated Christmas trees and air so cold you can see your breath. And if you’re anything like us, the change in seasons makes you want to begin decorating your home for the holiday season!
christmas garland
If you’re looking to add a fresh touch to your seasonal decor this year, try using fresh greenery. From fireplace mantles in homes to front doors of county courthouses and the pews in churches, real greenery has been used in holiday decor for centuries. It’s not only practical it also creates a beautiful aesthetic element to your home. Here are some basic tips for using fresh greenery in your arrangements and some of the most loved types of greenery to consider.
• Tip 1: Before purchasing real greenery, you should know that most real greenery will only last ndoors for about two weeks. This means you need to be very intentional about the timing of your purchase. Purchase too early and your beautifully decorated mantle will look sad and lifeless well before Christmas. However, some greenery will last for more than two weeks if being used outdoors, especially in colder climates.
• Tip 2: You may be able to prolong the life of your greenery display by using long-needled greenery, which tends to live longer than greenery with short needles. It could be due to the longer needles retaining more moisture. You can also extend the life with a sealing spray. An anti-transpirant or an anti-desiccant spray will assist with keeping moisture locked in and can be found in most garden centers or nurseries.
• Tip 3: Keeping your fresh greenery away from direct sunlight and heat sources is important as it will dry out much more quickly. This tip is tricky because some of the most common places to display the decor are over the fireplace or on the front door. Which makes the next tip vital to the health of your greenery.
• Tip 4: Make sure to keep the greenery watered. You’ll want to do this by, first, soaking it. After cutting or purchasing your pre-cut greenery, submerge it in water. The whole thing. Just dunk it and leave it to soak for 24 hours. This allows the cut portion of the branch and the needles to absorb as much water as possible. After 24 hours allow it to dry completely and then you can give it a healthy spray with sealant. Once the sealant dries you can begin decorating. Spritz the whole thing with water every 1-2 days to keep it looking hydrated and healthy.
christmas greenery
Now let’s look at the types of greenery. Honestly, there are too many to list in one post, so I’ll just give you the most commonly used types.

• Pine is great for simple garlands, wreaths or swags. Many types of pine have branches that are not as strong as some other types of greenery, so it may not be able to withstand heavy decorations being added to it. It’s fairly long-lasting, perhaps due to the moisture held in its long needles, and it’s fragrant, so it will fill your home with a fresh, outdoorsy aroma.

• Cedar is beautiful when used as a garland or as a swag because of the dramatic way it drapes downward. It has long needles, is fragrant and is just as lovely dressed up with pinecones and ribbons as it is simply undressed.

• Spruce is most commonly used for wreaths but should be done so carefully as the branches are rigid so bending them could cause them to easily snap. The short, sharp needles of spruce create fun little puffs of color that can vary from dark green to frosty blue.

• Fir is one of the more heat-tolerant varieties and is great for indoor arrangements, like garlands. Despite it having short needles, it’s hardy and long-lasting. The diversity of firs produce a variety of dark green and blue-green colors, both glossy and matte.

• Juniper is fragrant greenery that can be long-lasting depending on the type of juniper branch. Colors range from green to silver-blue and some types of juniper even produce small frosty blue berries. It’s often used in outdoor decorations, such as wreaths.

• Boxwood is a long-lasting and very fragrant leaf-type greenery, opposed to having needles. It’s most commonly used in wreaths and adds a beautiful contrast when decorated with red berries or ribbons.

• Eucalyptus is also a leaf-type greenery that has a delightfully fresh aroma making it one of the more popular greeneries. It’s a wonderful addition to floral arrangements, wreaths, swags or as a stand-alone garland. The downside of using eucalyptus is that it dries fairly quickly, so keep that in mind when you’re considering when to purchase, cut and place it.

• Magnolia is another leaf-type greenery with glossy dark green on one side of the leaf and an almost velvety, dark rust orange color on the backside. It’s super hardy, heat-tolerant and can even be gilded!

Like I said before, there are so many types of greeneries that can be used for season home decor, and they’re all so pretty. It can be difficult to decide which one to use! Chances are, you can’t go wrong with any of them. So, let’s get decorating!