Posts Tagged ‘Nature’

Growing a Greener World

The following post is from a guest writer to my blog named Joe Lamp’l. Thanks Joe for the great advice!

joe lamp'lSummer is officially here and with temperatures on the rise, now is the perfect time to be outdoors! A 2012 study conducted by NASA revealed temperatures all across the United States have been hitting all-time record highs and rising! The Month of July is typically the hottest month of the year, and with the average household using about 60% of their daily water use on gardens and lawns; Now is the perfect time to learn about water conservation and what we can do to protect our landscapes while saving millions of gallons of water this summer

The EPA estimates that about 7.8 billion gallons of water – or anywhere from 30 to 70 percent depending on the region – are used outdoors in the U.S. each year. And as much as half of that is wasted due to inefficient watering methods. Today’s homeowners should know the methods that allow them to efficiently utilize their natural resources, which as a result saves them money on their utility bills and minimizes their time spent on upkeep.

Learning how to properly maintain and keep lawns and landscapes healthy, green and thriving is not easy as temperature rises in summer, especially for the water conscious landscaper.  Certified Landscape Professional and Master Gardener Joe Lamp’l of ‘Growing A Greener World’ shares his expert advice to help bring out the green in everyone’s yards. Joe Lamp’l offers consumers water conservation tips and techniques to help build consumers’ master garden or landscaping plans, such as:

 

  •          Simple tips on how to keep yard and garden weed free
  •          Ways to keep your lawn and garden healthy while minimizing outdoor water consumption and maintaining sustainability.
  •         Which plants help achieve optimal water efficiency
  •         Easy methods to properly water our yards
  •          Tips you can share that will benefit everyone when they start to tackle their lawn and landscape

 

 

ABOUT Joe Lamp’l:  

As a Certified Landscape Professional and Master Gardener, Joe Lamp’l combines his television experience and expertise of landscaping, environmental stewardship and passion for living a more eco-friendly life, as creator, host and executive producer of the award-winning national public television series Growing a Greener World®. The show, which is entering its fourth season, focuses on the stories of people, places and organizations that are doing good things for the planet, with an emphasis on landscaping topics. He also serves as a landscaping and sustainability guest expert on national morning shows like NBC’s TODAY Show, ABC’s Good Morning America and The Weather Channel, among others.

 

 

The Secrets of Growing Huge Garlic

Home grown garlic, how do you plant garlic, when do you plant garlic, when do you harvest garlic, how much water garlic need,

curing the garlic

Growing garlic can be somewhat of a mystery to some people, especially those who have tried to grow it, and it just didn’t turn out right. However, once a few key things are learned about growing garlic, it becomes a very easy thing to do! I love to grow my own garlic and never have to buy garlic. It is NOT hard to grow enough to last you the whole year. Here are the 3 main secretes to growing nice large bulbs of garlic:

  1. Plant the cloves in the fall. You only want to plant one little clove- not the whole bulb when growing the garlic. This will produce a bulb by the next spring. If you plant more than one clove in a single hole, then you will get 2 smaller bulbs the next year. By planting one clove, you will get a nice big bulb.
  2. Space them about 6 inches apart. Garlic dose not like competition so planting them too close to each other or to other plants will prevent the bulb from growing to the maximum size. We made the mistake of inter-planting them in the strawberry patch the first year we grew them, and they did grow, but the end results were very small bulbs the next spring.

    what dose garlic look like when planted too close together, what dose garlic look like if it is left every year and not harvested

    This is what happens when the garlic is left and not harvested, or planted too close.

  3. Keep planting them every year. Over time, your garlic bulbs will get acclimated to your yard and by planting mostly large cloves, you will harvest nice big bulbs. Our bulbs have gotten bigger each year. I harvest them in June- dry them by hanging them over the cucumber trellis then in October I take a few bulbs and separate the cloves and plant enough to last all year the next year.

I do not worry about watering them through the winter and spring- just when it starts getting hot. However some warm dry climates might need to water them if there is no source of moisture for the bulb through the winter. Growing garlic is so easy and fun to do once you understand these three essential things, just remember to plan ahead as you are harvesting last years planting with garlic.

Happy Gardening!

How To Use Drip Irrigation In The Garden

Installing drip irrigation takes a little time to set up but will save you many hours later. It is also nice to be able to leave for the weekend and not have to get someone to water your garden for you. Watch this video to learn more about how to plan and install drip irrigation.

Happy Gardening!

Why Should I Stagger Planting My Vegetables?

farmers_market, harvesting vegetables from the garden, why should I stagger planting my garden, when do I harvest, when should I plant my garden, When planning and planting a garden, why is it said to stagger planting some of my veggies? There are some vegetables that produce lots and lots of fruit and keep producing for a good portion of the year. Like tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini. However there are some Continue reading

Book Review: Rocky Mountain Gardener’s Handbook

I always like to keep a nice library of gardening books. There is always such great information in them, and it is so easy to refer back to and make notes right in the book for what works in your garden or what doesn’t. I recently received a copy of Rocky Mountain Gardener’s Handbook by Mary Ann Newcomer and John Cretti for review. The first thing I noticed about the book when I started to flip through is that it has sections such as annuals, edibles, perennials, tress, ect. Then all of the plants that grow well in the Rocky Mountain area are listed and talked about along with a nice picture of each plant in the sections. I typically Continue reading

5 Tips ALL Gardeners Need To Know

Here are 5 small tips that anyone just starting to get into gardening should know, for some of us it is a good reminder.

Old canister with carrots on the farm carriage, 5 tips that every gardener should know, can you add fresh manure to your garden, how often should I add compost, do tomatoes like hot weather, are there some plants that can be planted together to deter bugs, tomatoes planted with marigolds, mint and cabbage, zone, average last frost date, garden planner,

  1. Know your zone and average last frost date. Planting varieties and plants for your zone will ensure a better harvest. But it also helps you to know when you can plant all the different plants in your garden.
  2. Plant veggies in a location that gets 8 hours of sunlight. Some can tolerate some shade, but for most of them to have enough energy to produce the fruit or veggie, at least 8 hours of sunlight is essential (more is good).
  3. Tomatoes are fair weather plants. Tomatoes need a fairly long growing season, but if it gets too hot during the summer (85 degrees or more), they will stop producing. They also do not like the weather to be too cold. Boy do they grow well when the weather is good! Pretty much when I don’t like to be outside- neither do they…
  4. There are many flowers and herbs that are beneficial to plant next to plants in your garden such as: marigolds and tomatoes, chives and carrots, mint and cabbage family plants. This is called companion planting. They not only keep some of the bad bugs away when planted together, but some help to make the veggies taste even better.
  5. Do not add manure that hasn’t aged properly! It contains too much nitrogen at that point and will burn your plants. Adding nice compost and manure to your garden every year will greatly improve the soil in your garden. Your plants will thank you.

It’s that time of year…  Happy Gardening!

5 Easy Tips For Growing Better Tomatoes

The Tomato: A Vegetable or Fruit? tips for growing bigger better tomatoes, how to plant tomatoes to maximization the harvest, fertilize tomatoes, clipping leaves on tomatoes, choosing tomato plants, mulching tomato plants, trellising tomato plants, tomato cages Growing tomatoes can be so much fun, but wouldn’t it be nice to get more from fewer plants? Here are a few tips when planting and growing those tasty tomatoes.

  1. Chose small Tomato plants– If you are buying a tomato plant from a nursery or if you have grown your own, you might want to choose the smaller less established plants because they do better being transplanted, and will most likely produce better and get  bigger than those gallon sized tomato plants!
  2. Clip the lowest leaves off the tomato– When you are planting the plant, dig the hole extra deep and clip Continue reading