Archive for the ‘Designing and Constructing Your Garden’ Category

5 Tips When Installing SOD

grass2We FINALLY got our sod installed.. It was a long time coming. We had officially gotten our yard ready for sod, when THE DAY BEFORE it was supposed to come, I broke my ankle.. So we decided to postpone it until the next spring, and here we are!

So sod is actually quite resilient. There are just a few things you should worry about when installing sod.

  1. Make sure your soil is amended. Many times people will pull out an old yard, or put in grass in a newly built home, but they neglect to put any soil amendments into the soil before installing the grass. The organic matter helps to have the grass establish itself quickly and grow to be a healthy lawn. You don’t want to have to fertilize it too quickly after installing it. So take the time to add in some good organic matter to the soil before putting the grass in. You’ll thank me later.
  2. Make sure your sprinklers have FULL coverage before installing grass. Many times the sprinkler system is inadequate and you will end up with dead sod pretty quickly if that is the case. A little prep work before it is installed will save you in the future.
  3. Keep moist, but you don’t need to drown it either. Because it is spring, I will not have to water my new sod nearly as much as if it was installed in the summer time. Water to keep quite moist- those roots loose moister faster than when they are established down into the ground. So pay attention to the weather and how moist it is! and make decisions based on your OWN circumstances.
  4. Keep kids and dogs OFF it as much as possible. Have you ever seen likes of where dogs pace in lawns? Walking on lawns can even be hard on them when they are established! So they will die much faster when they don’t have a good root base yet! So for a few weeks while it is getting established- keep kids and dogs off. I put up a little temporary fence to keep my dog off, and gently remind my kids to not venture onto it.
  5. Sod establishes much faster than seed! yes, you can get an awesome looking lawn from seed, but it is sometimes difficult to keep up with the weed seeds that get in there, and if you have a dog and kids like I do, you may want to think about the time frame that you will have to keep them off- vs sod. A few months or a few weeks.. I chose the later. AND it is less work. Easy decision.

What is your opinion? Do you like SOD or SEED? I would love to know the experience you had with that! And any tips you have for me as we wait for the grass to root down.

Happy Gardening!

What do you plant in the Spring?

springplanting.jpgOne question I get asked a lot is, “what can I plant in the spring? What is OK to plant now?” Well, that depends on your area and the climate there now.

BUT some of the cold weather plants that enjoy cooler weather and can handle a few frosts are:

  • Spinach
  • Spring mix lettuce
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Peas
  • Strawberry plants
  • Onion seeds
  • Tomatoes in Walls of Water
  • Garlic planted last fall

Those are the things I have going in my garden right now. If you are NEW to gardening, just choose ONE or TWO things to plant right now. And watch the weather and water as needed. It may not need to be watered as often with rain and snow, but if it has a dry spell, make sure to water them!

Topped tomato plant

Topped tomato plant

We had to cut off the top of the tomato plants as they got damaged by the frost. We had them covered, but it must have been a strong frost and still damaged them. They look like they will do just fine. But we will watch and see how it affects them this year.

Choosing Tomaotes

Nothing compares to a fresh-picked, homegrown tomato, especially when the tomatoes we buy at the store are often nearly tasteless! The trouble is there are hundreds of varieties to choose from.

To help you navigate the nursery or seed catalog this spring, Birds & Blooms—America’s # 1 Bird & Garden Magazine—has put together a list of the top 10 best tomatoes to grow:

·         Sauce-makers: You wouldn’t think a Roma tomato would pack such a punch, but the name really says it all. Burpee claims a single 2-pound tomato will fill an entire sauce jar. So if you like to can your own sauce,SuperSauce (pictured to the right) could be your new favorite. 

·         Staples: Chances are you’ve seen them at your garden center.Celebrity tomatoes were an All-America Selections veggie in 1984, and we think they still deserve top honors. They’re bright red, reliable and scrumptious—everything you love about tomatoes in summer.

·         Colorful varieties: While most tomatoes start green and then redden as they ripen, consider branching out into one of these more colorful varieties: Aunt Ruby’s German Green, the Black Cherry, or the exotic-looking Green Zebra.

·         Grafted varieties: If you have a small space but want lots of fruit in your tomato garden, grafted tomatoes could be the solution. The Grafted Brandywine is one great example.

 Thanks Birds and Blooms!

Happy Gardening!

Tomato Time!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have decided to change the direction of this blog a bit. Instead of being a how to based blog, I am going to journal my efforts in the garden. I hope that it will be inspiring and helpful to your gardening efforts. But as always I am happy to answer questions!

Today I transplanted 23 Big Mama Roma to bigger pots. No, I am not going to plant them all in my garden. I just grow a bunch extra for family and friends. I’m growing them for myself so why not? They should be ready to transplant outside soon, but I wanted to give them a bit more time. They got off to a late start this year.

We have our other tomatoes already planted outside. Here in the Salt Lake Valley, the last frost is not expected until mid May, so we put walls of water around them to keep them warm and growing in the colder surroundings.

Needless to say, I can hardly wait until it’s time to eat tomatoes from the garden!

Happy Gardening!

How to Use Vinegar for PLANTS!

vinegar, using vinegar in the garden, vinegar for plants, how to make soil more acidic I have found Vinegar to be a very interesting thing. It has multiple uses that seem contradictory. It can be life giving and life taking in the plant world. However you use it, it is a great tool to have for your garden and yard care. Here are some ways to use it.

  • Kill weeds or unwanted grass. Just poor full strength on the weed and it should kill them within a few days. This works best with young weeds, and with more mature weeds it might take a few applications.
  • Increase soil acidity. Here in our very alkaline soil, it is hard to grow things that love acidic soil. So if you have that problem too, try occasionally watering it with water that has vinegar. Just add one cup of vinegar to a gallon of water then poor on the plants such as Blueberries, gardenias, and azaleas.
  • Those cut flowers in the vase, prolong their life by adding two tablespoons of vinegar plus three tablespoons of sugar per quart of warm water.
  • Clean pots with vinegar before reusing to kill bacteria and neutralize lime from the soil.
  • You can also rinse your hands off with some vinegar after working in the garden to avoid rough and flaking skin.

Those are just a few of the ways it can be used in the garden and yard. Please feel free to share any ways you have found using vinegar useful!

As always happy gardening!

Gardening Disasters

We all make mistakes when gardening. This is how we learn and become better gardeners. It is great to learn from others mistakes so that we can make our own set of mistakes. Right? Using the garden planner, is a great tool to help you know how many plants will fit the the area you have and also send you reminders to plant those things. I LOVE using the garden planner because it helps me have a master plan so that I can make the most of the growing space I have. It can also help with the next years garden and show you where not to plant so that you can have proper rotation.

Happy Gardening!

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