Gardening

Gardening

Purple deadnettle in the garden

As I was going through my seed potatoes, I remembered something I heard a long time ago. It was the idea of potatoes and their companion plants, what scientists call positive allelopathy. The basic premise behind that idea is some plants grow better if other kinds of plants are growing with it. We hear more … Continue Reading →

Keep an eye on soil temperatures

Soil temperatures have been cool enough during April that it has noticeably slowed down plant growth. My winter rye cover crop looks to be a week behind last year at this date and last year was later than normal as well. So that means we’re really behind. The apple tree buds have slowly opened but … Continue Reading →

Growing transplants under florescent tubes

We’re growing many of our transplants under artificial light using primarily fluorescent tubes and they are doing quite well. It’s not as good as growing them in a greenhouse under natural sunlight, of course. When you stop and think about it, it’s really a wonder that florescent bulbs work as well as they do considering … Continue Reading →

Building the ideal soil for newly planted trees

Spring is the best time of year to plant trees. During the winter the dormant buds and roots are in a kind of holding pattern until the right growing conditions happen in the spring. Then they have the entire growing season to establish themselves before next winter. No doubt you’re aware of the requirements for … Continue Reading →

No gardening space? Try a community garden

Just because you are living in an apartment or in a house with no suitable gardening space, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of luck. All around Michigan, groups work to provide community gardening space for folks who couldn’t otherwise garden because of a lack of space. There’s a wide spread on the amenities community … Continue Reading →

Leave trees for woodpeckers

,I spend a lot of time outside and one of my favorite sounds this time of year is the drumming of woodpeckers. In our neck of the woods, we have mostly hairy woodpeckers and downy woodpeckers. We live in a rural area and there are plenty of trees around to provide nesting sites for woodpeckers. … Continue Reading →

Fixing an over-dry, water repellent soil mix

We’re sowing our seeds right now for growing transplants that we’ll plant out in the garden. It takes some work, but you can save quite a bit of money growing your own transplants. Another huge advantage that may be even more important is being able to grow the varieties you want rather than relying on … Continue Reading →

Checking on stored flower tubers

Several weeks ago I blogged about how I store dahlias. Did you keep some of yours too? If you haven’t already done so, now’s the time to check on them to see how they’re doing. I opened mine up right after the polar vortex blew through. They were in a spot that normally stays cool … Continue Reading →

Forcing shrub and tree branches in late winter

We’re getting an early taste of spring at our house by forcing branches into bloom. It’s something gardeners have done for centuries ever since someone figured out if you cut some branches and bring them into a warm room during the winter, they will bloom. When I was in elementary school, forcing pussy willow branches … Continue Reading →