How to Build a Raised Garden Bed

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Raised Bed Corners

This project can be as simple as buying a few pieces of lumber and some hardware to secure the corners.  Start by deciding how big you’d like to build the bed. If you’re working with a limited area then 4′ x 4′ is good, or 2′ x 4′, even 2′ x 2′ is a usable size. Go to the lumber store and choose 2 – 2″ x 10″ x 8′ or something like that and ask the staff to cut it down to 4 pieces of 4′ planks. This will give you a nice 4′ square raised bed planter. I recommend a board that …

How to Build a Pallet Garden

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Pallet Garden April 2013

One simple way to create a garden is to plant in containers and then set them on a row of pallets. Building a pallet garden on the surface of the ground creates a portable alternative to in-ground gardening. It’s also much easier than trying to dig up, loosen and repair the soil that’s there, especially if it’s old and hard packed. If you rent your home, it’s a good idea to check with your landlord before starting a gardening project to avoid potential problems. Supplies Needed a pair of scissors or an X-acto knife a roll of landscape fabric some similar …

How to Grow Carrots in Containers

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Hugging Carrots

The humble little carrot, in Latin its name is Daucus carota. Carrots of any type or colour are a great way to get yourself or the kids started in gardening. They require little skill, minimal care and minimal effort. You’re almost guaranteed a delicious harvest in the late summer with spring planting effort. Carrots are high in beta-carotene, vitamin B6, vitamin C, niacin and calcium. A carrot is actually the young root of a plant that looks a lot like Queen Ann’s Lace. There are many unusual colours of carrot, such as Purple Haze that you’ll sometimes see in the stores. The yellow, white and …

How to Grow Cherry Trees in Containers

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Cherry Tree

Cherry trees can definitely be grown in containers, just use a toy tub or something larger in depth and diameter. Dwarf cherry trees are quite tolerant to the often less than ideal, restricted environment of a container. When you purchase your young tree, choose varieties that are suitable to your region and tolerant to your particular climate.  My favourites are Bing, Stella, Van, Sunburst, and Rainier. The trees available will be the individual varieties best suited to your region. Some cherry trees are self pollinating and some are not. If you choose a self-pollinating variety, it’s ok to have only …

How to Grow Upside Down Tomatoes

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Maturing Hanging Tomatoes

These planters are designed just for growing plants upside down! It’s very cool and great for small space gardening because they don’t take up any ground area at all. They are commonly used for tomatoes and peppers. Tomatoes are easy and hard to grow at the same time. They are a bit fussy but if you keep a few rules and methods in mind then you should do just fine.                   Do                   Don’t Give tomatoes warmth and shelter Place pots or plant tomatoes under …

What is Companion Planting?

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Companion planting is based on the concept that the qualities of some plants can benefit others when planted nearby. Some plants repel pests and help others by keeping the pests away from them and then for example other plants will help to enrich the flavour of other plants. This list covers some of the big partnerships but there are many, many more possible combinations. Agastache: Attracts bees. Maintain one row slightly away from the garden to lure cabbage moths away from Brassica crops. Do not plant Agastache near radishes. Alyssum: Attracts pollinators. Good as a mulch to keep weeds down between rows. Amaranth: Attracts …

How to Grow Potatoes in Bags

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Potatoes Growing in Bags 2011

It’s easy to think that growing potatoes would be a challenge, but it’s really so easy when you use bags.  You don’t even need that much space and you don’t need any ground to dig in either. This is another great way to grow some veggies in a very small space. Benefits of Using Bags Very low risk of soil-borne bugs or worms   The harvest is consistently delicious and healthy It’s temporary gardening and suitable for small space gardening There is minimal mess The bags can be used from year to year The idea of growing potatoes this way has …

Hummingbird in Winter Video

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The video you are about to watch was shot from my kitchen window in mid January 2012. You can clearly see the snow on the ground in the background and a serious lack of flowers. There are very limited food sources for the birds this time of year. I had never hung a feeder out before this video. It is quite literally the first time the bird has seen it. I made this hummingbird food recipe and put it out around 3pm. It took about 30 minutes for the first bird to come around and within an hour I had three …

How to Grow Blueberries in Pots

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Young blueberry plants are quite forgiving as well, they will grow well in a container for many years. Their growth characteristic is shrub like and they have a smaller space requirement for their roots. They are definitely not like a raspberry plant and will not spread roots and underground runners far and wide in the same way. Selecting a Plant It’s important to choose a variety of blueberry which is bred to your climate zone and region of the continent. Your chances of success increase greatly right from the beginning if you do that. They do best in zones 3 – …

Perennials to Cut Down in Spring

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Some perennial flowers and grasses need to have the assistance of their wilted summer foliage to use for winter protection and insulation from the cold wet weather. Many need the protection for the many drab rainy months of a temperate climate. These ones listed below prefer to be cut back in the spring for this reason. It’s not the end of the world if you cut something at the wrong time of the year, most plants can handle that and will recover. You may lose some of the more sensitive varieties though. I’ve included the zone range for these plants as well. …

How to Help the Mason Bees

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Mason Bee

It’s important that we help the Mason bees and provide habitats for them whenever possible.  Most everyone knows about the honey bee and how critically important its pollination duties are to the food supply we rely on. It’s also been well publicized that our honey bee is in serious trouble due to viruses and wide spread pesticide use. They’re dying off at an alarming rate. This is why we need to help the Mason bee survive and thrive at every opportunity. We need to take small scale action in our own backyards, it’s not as hard as it first seems. About …

How To Care for Carnivorous Plants

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Carnivorous Yellow Pitcher Plant

They encompass a large and interesting family of plants which includes over 720 species. They are well worth the effort it takes to learn their special needs and care for the them in a way that allows them to thrive. They need some very different care than normal tropical plants, it’s important to learn how to care for carnivorous plants properly for the best chance of success. The most common carnivorous plant you’ll see around is the Venus Fly trap (Dionaea muscipula). They are readily available in many nurseries and even in some grocery stores. They’ll trap and eat anything that walks across …

Why Use a Mini Drip System?

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Drip Nozzle in a Cherry Tree Container

Using a drip irrigation system is a very efficient way to maximize your time and effort when it comes to watering. The system also reduces water usage in the garden while giving your plants deep root watering. The use of a properly constructed drip system will keep all the plants watered at a slow rate directly to where it’s needed and you can relax and enjoy your garden knowing that every plant is getting the water it needs. Visit The Drip Depot- Drip Irrigation Store Here Benefits of a Drip System There are several benefits to installing a drip system, …


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Skeletonized Raspberry Leaf

What is a Skeletonizer?  The pest group called “skeletonizers” is a category of worms or bugs that will completely devour the entire green leafy part of a plant leaving only the rib structure of the leaf. These are a very destructive creature that is highly traumatizing and sometimes fatal to the plant involved. Types of Skeletonizer The Oak Leaf Skeletonizer is common and affects the Great Lakes Region as well as southern Canada across to BC and northern USA. The Apple Leaf Skeletonizer is common to the west coast, Pacific Northwest and BC as well as up and down the East …

How to Grow Raspberries in Containers

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Red Raspberries

Are you convinced that you can’t grow anything at all and have a completely brown thumb?  I guarantee you – there is hope! Growing raspberries is like trying to grow weeds, seriously.  You’ll be able to grow a bounty of delicious raspberries, promise. They’re so easy and yummy that they make a perfect beginner crop for kids too. They can handle minimal care, less than ideal soil and will happily live in containers for years too. They’ll even take some drought and still recover to produce beautiful berries for you all season long. They thrive best in climate zones 3 to 8. …

Green Basil Dressing or Marinade

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Young Indoor Basil Outside

This delicious Basil Dressing or marinade is useful for many different dishes and appetizers.  Your guests will love the fresh from the garden flavour when you use your own home grown basil.  Ingredient List 1/2 cup    Freshly grown basil leaves 2 cloves    Fresh garlic, crushed (or 2 teaspoons) 3 Tbsp      Fresh squeezed lemon Juice 1/2 cup    Olive oil Method In a food processor blend the first three ingredients until smooth Then add the olive oil very slowly as the processor is running Add measured oil until the mixture is of pouring consistency, it’s important to …