Why and How Should I Grow Kiwi Plants in My Garden?

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** Guest Post ** Why and How Should I Grow Kiwi Plants in My Garden? If three apples a day have not been able to keep the doctor away from you, one kiwi fruit definitely can! There are many instances in which the kiwi's nutritional value has preceded many other fruits. Besides containing sufficient amounts of vitamins A, C and E, kiwis are also loaded with protective phytochemicals and nutrients, such as potassium and lutein. Potassium is an excellent antioxidant responsible for controlling blood pressure levels and improving the functions of the heart and kidneys. Lutein helps in protecting the cells against all passable oxidative damages and risks of chronic diseases. It also ensures a steady flow of blood, hence preventing clogged arteries and atherosclerosis. This fact was revealed by a research presented at the American Heart Association's annual meeting by Dr. Mette Svendsen, a registered dietician at Oslo University Hospital. Additionally, Kiwi plants fruit in the … [Read more...]

Angelina Ballerina – On With The Show DVD Review & Giveaway! Ends 4/09/14!

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Angelina Ballerina – On With The Show   This past winter my husband got sick and ended up with laryngitis...twice! For two weeks of the winter season he had NO VOICE! No even a whisper would come out of his mouth. I know that it was not easy for him to communicate at work...or at home with me. He was frustrated to say the least.   Angelina Ballerina On With The Show reminded me of how hard it was for my husband to communicate with me. That is exactly what happens to Ms. Mimi! She loses her voice and has a difficult time communicating with her dance class...well that is until they decide to communicate through dance! - Not something my hubby would have done...but a super cute concept!   On The Back   The stage is set for big performances and lots of fun! When Ms. Mimi loses her voice, her class finds a way to communicate through music. After a musical mishap, AZ doesn't miss a beat and discovers another way to keep tempo. Gracie learns an … [Read more...]

Cheap & Easy DIY Tomato Cage

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Cheap & Easy DIY Tomato Cage My wife was born with dark green thumbs. I mean, they themselves bloom every spring (yes her thumbs! Ok, not really.) Her parents have a stunning garden and raised their daughter on the basics of weeding, seeding, and feeding. That said, I shouldn’t have been surprised when the tomatoes she planted in one of our garden boxes outgrew their new home in a matter of days. They grew so fast that within a week most of the branches were spread out on the newly laid sod around the garden box. I knew a fight between my lawn mower and her tomatos wouldn’t exactly go over well, so we scrambled to put together an emergency tomato cage. The result was so cheap and easy, I wanted to share it, so here it is: Materials needed: 1 - 2’x5’ Ladder Trellis (mine was about $10 at Lowes) Saw Twine or String (300+ feet shouldn’t be more than $4) Step 1 Cut the ladder trellis in half creating two 2’x2.5’ sections. You can eyeball this cut as you’ll be burying … [Read more...]

First-Time Gardeners: Beat The Initial Fear!

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First-Time Gardeners: Beat The Initial Fear! You've just moved into a new home and would like to do something to the garden. Or maybe you've been looking at that garden for years and think it's time for some outdoor creativity. You imagine flowers, herbs and vegetables. How do you start? The first thing any experienced gardener will say is: think and be patient. There's no such thing as an instant garden, except in television shows. It may be tempting to plant some seedlings when the weather turns hot and sunny in March, but those plants may wither after a night frost in early May. Layout The starting point is to work out where the north, south, east and western points lie in your garden. Then walk the garden at various times of the day. Determine where the first sunlight falls and where it sets. Find the sunniest spots in the garden and see how the sunlight changes close to trees or shade from walls and fences. Plants that prefer a position in full sun need about six hours of … [Read more...]

Winter Vegetables for an Exceptionally Late Harvest-Guest Post

Winter Vegetables for an Exceptionally Late Harvest By Clair Schwan As we close down the summer months and head into the fall, this is a good time to start thinking about winter vegetables and how we might make use of them to extend our vegetable gardening season for many months – right into the very cold days and nights of winter. You might even have some of these cold hardy varieties growing in your garden now. If not, this would be a great time to plant them so you have freshly matured crops that are sufficiently robust to face Old Man Winter. Let’s take a look at what you might plant and grow so you’re better prepared to enjoy fresh vegetables long after most of the traditional summer crops have found their way into your compost pile. There are about 20 varieties of vegetables that come to mind, but for the sake of brevity, let’s focus on just a few general types and offer examples of each. That should give everyone a good idea of the range of possibilities and the potential … [Read more...]

Guest Post-Less Space, More Crops in the Home Vegetable Garden

Less Seeds, Less Space, More Crops In The Home Vegetable Garden Let's say that the item in question for our example here is black beauty eggplant. When you walked into the produce section to go pick some up, did you buy thirty of them at once? No of course you didn't that would be ridiculous! I am going to get into a little technique in a moment that covers this, but for now understand that buying this many of one type of vegetable all at once is impractical. Why then, on the back of most seed packets do you think they, the seed packagers, want you to plant all of the seeds at one time? An even better question is why they have you plant 3 to 4 seeds in one location and then thin out the pack so to speak. In other words, spread them out. Did you know some varieties of vegetable seeds come nearly 1000 to a pack? That is a whole lot of lettuce to grow at one time. This method of gardening has been passed down from generation to generation and although it doesn't make it wrong to still … [Read more...]

Guest Post-Learn The Basics of Growing Tomatoes

Learn The Basics Of Growing Tomatoes If a rose by any other name is still a rose, then a tomato by any other botanical classification is still a vegetable. Scientifically the tomato is classified as a fruit, but we, as home vegetable gardeners, will forever refer to this great tasting item as a vegetable. The tomato is so popular in the home vegetable garden that it nearly doubles the next most popular item, the cucumber. Tomatoes are extremely popular because they have so many uses when it comes to eating them. You can add them to salads, soups, make sauces and stews out of them or simply slice them up and add them to a sandwich. In spite of their popularity many home vegetable gardeners neglect the basics which could help them increase their harvest and grow tastier tomatoes. Here are some basic growing facts to keep in mind when you start your tomatoes. Start Indoors Here in New Jersey my "drop into the ground" date for tomatoes is June first. Some people start earlier, … [Read more...]

Tree shaping- Guest Post

  Tree shaping Tree shaping is the art of shaping living trees into art or useful ornaments. There are two methods of tree shaping, with very different results.  Richard Reames's Arborsculpture A bench shaped by Richard Reames using his Instant Arborsculpture techniques as described in his books 1.Instant tree shaping uses the methods as described in both of Richard Reames books. How to grow a chair the art of Tree Trunk Topiary and Arborsculpture Solutions for a small planet. Basically you start with trees that are at least 2 - 5 years old or trees 6 – 8 ft. (2–2.5 m) tall, bend and weave the trees together to form the desired shape. Hold the trees in place for a year or 10. Then hopefully when you remove the restraints the tree will stay in place. I'm not too sure how successful Arborsculpture Instant Tree shaping method is as Richard Reames says in his book quote " Designs that use large numbers of trees should always have replacement trees of the same age available … [Read more...]

Community and School Garden Volunteers-Guest Post

  Community and School Garden Volunteers: Make Growing Easier! By Diana Schlott, VolunteerSpot, DOING GOOD just got easier! One of the most joyous ways to contribute to your community to participate in a community garden, Whether the goal is to teach school kids about plants and healthy food or to supplement the nutrition and supply at a local food pantry, gardening connects people with nature and each other. Some of us participate as share holders in community gardens, managing our own plots and sharing in the regular maintenance of the garden overall. With stress over finances and the environment upsetting so many of us, the ability to help the community through gardening is an effort that provides tangible benefits and soothes our souls. Expanding movements around community gardens to raise food for those in need or as important teaching resources in school have connected many people with the land, with each other and with some ancient technologies they may not be … [Read more...]