Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Gardening: Raised Beds

So you do not want to kneel down or bend over to garden, well you do not have to, simply raise the garden up, and reduce the effort required to do your gardening chores.
There are many ways to raise the garden up, you can put down some straw bales and plant right into them. You can put containers on a table or other platform; if you use a bench that a chair can slide under you can sit down and garden.
You can build your own raised bed garden using wood, bricks, concrete blocks, rubber tires, or compost and earth piled up above the ground. The approach you take is up to you and your needs, the time and resources you have available.
In a hurry, buy some organic soil, cut a slit into the bag and plant right into this, if you want it higher, put it on a table or bench.
If you choose to build a raised bed from wood for example, or buy a kit, the most workable size for the bed is four feet across, this way you can reach anywhere in the bed without stepping into it and compacting the soil by a minimum of eight feet long. You can make it longer or build more than one raised bed that is up to you and your situation.
One of the advantages to using a raised bed, besides the ease of gardening, is that the soil in the raised will warm up faster in the spring and you can get an early start. Another advantage to a raised bed is you can build a seat or two along the edge of the bed so that nine who is gardening can sit down while doing so.
The ease of access means that the various gardening chores, such as planting, weeding, deadheading, watering and perhaps the most fun, harvesting require less effort.
The organic gardener grows soil and this is often done by adding organic material such as compost to the soil. The raised bed make this a simple process because you first, control the soil you put in the bed so can start off with an ideal mix from day one, and second, a wheelbarrow and your hands, wearing gloves, of course, will be all you need to add the compost to the bed.

Monday, January 30, 2017

You Grow Girl

Hey, guys, don't let the title turn you away from a great gardening book, You Grow Girl by Gayla Trail is an excellent source for the beginning to the well-established gardener. It is also a great source for the garden do-it-yourselfer with projects and simple to follow directions.
My copy was a gift from a group who attended a composting workshop I gave. The book is well-read and much appreciated.much appreciated.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Garden Walkways

When designing a walkway for a garden keep it simple. Use straight lines and employ shrubs and garden art to indicate the walkway’s flow. Changing the surface texture can also help provide directional clues.

If there are any inclines or declines along the path, then install hand rails about one meter or three feet before they begin.

When laying out the garden beds use low borders and keep the width of the bed to no more than one meter or three feet. This makes it easy for the gardener to reach the centre of the garden bed from either side.

If the gardener has limited vision, colour can help to distinguish between plants and garden areas. Bright flowers could be used to separate different types of vegetables thereby providing information for the gardener to use in knowing what vegetables were in what section of the garden bed.

Bright colours also come into play when it comes to garden tools. Tools with brightly coloured handles can help the gardener to select the proper tool for the task at hand. If coloured tools are not available, then paint the handles.

Tie a rope to the short-handled tools, so if they are dropped then it will be easier to find them. A tool pouch or other means for carrying tools around the garden is also useful.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Plants For Bees

Succession planting involves selecting plants that will bloom throughout the gardening season.

To bring the bees in in the spring plant crocus, hyacinth, borage, and calendula.  To keep the bees happy through the summer, add bee balm, cosmos, coneflower, snapdragons foxglove, and hostas. Asters and sunflowers keep the bees feeding when fall arrives.

Native Plants

There are two projects happening here in Campbellton that have me turning to the subject of native plants. When we are discussing native pl...