DIY Garden Projects

Kids’ DIY: Garden-Fresh Pizza Creation Station

kids-300x199Making pizza is a fun activity that kids enjoy.  They love to create their own pizza masterpieces, and if you provide lots of interesting garden-fresh veggies to the fixings, they tend to dig into the healthy stuff and get creative.
Ingredients for 4 to 6 personal pizzas:
1 pound whole wheat or white pizza dough, cut into four to six even balls
1 medium zucchini and/or yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
1 medium sweet pepper, finely chopped
1 small package sliced, […]

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Windowsill Salad Greens for Indoor Growing

Cut-and-come-again lettuce is the perfect cool-season crop for fall and winter gardens.Cut-and-come-again lettuce is the perfect cool-season crop for fall and winter gardens.
Windowsill greens, such as small lettuces and micro-greens, are fast-growing and gratifying.  Growing them indoors is a piece of cake, as long as you have good sunlight, quality soil, the right watering regime, and some gardening know-how. Start with the right greens, master some […]

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Late-Summer Seed Sowing

chard-kaleLacinato kale and Swiss chard are two great crops for fall growing.
It’s absolutely counterintuitive to plant anything in August or September, but intuition is not always right.  Go against your instincts, and sow cool-season seeds right now.  Do it soon, and you’ll get your fall and winter garden started just in time.
Starting Fall Vegetables
If you’re a beginner and have never grown food outside the strict summer […]

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Succeed with Container Vegetable Gardening

If you have a small garden, you can still grow vegetables! How? Potted vegetables, of course! For container vegetable success, it comes down to choosing the right pot, good soil, a sunny location, and keeping your plants fed and watered. Get these factors right, and you will be rewarded with lots of fresh vegetables all season long.
Container growing can be a bit more challenging, but […]

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Succulents: Beware Over Packed Pots!

color-gilmer2This composition of mixed succulents may look pretty, but the gang-potted group will not survive unless transplanted into their own Terracotta pots.
 
Those big, popular succulent collections sold in pots and troughs (otherwise known as “gang pots”) are dying out all over. Each container may be packed with a dozen or more species of succulent plants that often originate from vastly different locations and have different cultural needs.  Many are […]

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DIY: Make This Trickle-Down Succulent Tower

donkey tailsDonkey Tails (Senecio morganianum) in a vertical can cascade.
This idea came from deep within Mexico where plastic nursery containers are rare and coveted.  Tin cans are used, whenever possible, instead of pots to save money.  When I found the tower at Xochemilco, I realized this is trickle-down-watering at its finest.  It’s also the most innovative idea I’d seen for recycling and saving money.  It also […]

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Smart Summer Pruning and Deadheading

Coneflower-pruningRemoving the old, spent flowers from perennials, like this coneflower, will keep the plants flowering and looking great for longer. (photo by Jessie Keith)
Summer is not the time of year when most gardeners prune, but there are some definite advantages to summer pruning. It is easier to identify damaged or ill branches when a tree is in full leaf. When a tree is in full leaf it […]

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Growing and Harvesting Edible Seeds

013psHarvested poppy seeds should be collected in a low, broad container and then funneled in to a clean, dry jar.
Poppy seeds, dill seed, fennel seed, coriander, and caraway—It’s like having the makings of an everything bagel in the garden. All of these culinary seeds are costly to buy and easy as pie to grow and collect.
Seeds used for seasoning food are technically considered spices, and like most homegrown things, they taste stronger and […]

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Mulching With Black Gold Amendments

Rhododendron luteum2 JaKMPMRhododendron luteum amended with Black Gold Garden Compost Blend.
When the drought is long, soils are poor, and money is short, one way to revitalize struggling garden plants is to protect their roots with mulch. Good mulches help to retain moisture, cool the root zone, and discourage weeds. The conventional wisdom is to mulch with wood chips or ground up bark, but both are very slow to decompose and can bind needed soil nutrients. The […]

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One-Pot Herb Garden – Anywhere!

herb boxesRepurposed wood crates become one pot herb gardens featuring thyme, rosemary, cilantro, chives and more
Fresh-from-the-container culinary herbs turn a New York loft, a Chicago studio, or a Los Angeles condo into flavor central.  Nothing is quite like fresh mint in your mojito, just-picked basil on a mozzarella sandwich, or cilantro in your salsa.  No store-bought herb carries this intense flavor, because once cut, the essential oils immediately begin to lose pungency.  Cut and eat […]

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