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CHOP & DROP

CHOP & DROP

CHOP & DROP

I have been using the chop and drop method of feeding my soil for two years. Easy and very effective. No hauling away debris to the compost pile. All it consists of is when I ‘dead head’ or ‘cut back’ in the perennial flower beds, I let the foliage lay on the ground around the plant. When using this method on the edges of the garden I tuck the foliage under the plant, out of sight. In the center of the garden I just let it lay.

In the vegetable gardens I pull or cut back the old lettuces, radishes, sorrel and let it lay. Comfrey is an EXCELLENT mulch for the veggie garden. I get about four cutting a season. It is so full of minerals that feed your soil, which feed your plants, which feeds YOU. :0) I have Comfrey planted by each of my vegetable beds. Makes it easy to chop it down and lay it on top of the beds.

It took me 18 years to learn this method. Better late than never.

Gardening Information – Choosing Your Perfect Garden

Gardening Information – Choosing Your Perfect Garden

Garden Shot 6
What is the perfect garden for you?

Now that you’ve been thinking of a garden for yourself perhaps your considering what type of garden to create. The choices are unlimited and the kinds of gardens are as varied as the number of gardeners. Yet you will want to think about some basic issues related to making the perfect garden for who you are and your lifestyle.

A flower garden will add color and look nice in several areas of your yard. You can choose perennial flowers which will be there next year and the years to come,
or you can choose annuals which will need to be replaced every spring with new plants. The benefit of perennials is you only plant once the benefit of annuals is no commitment. Say this is kind of like dating and marriage isn’t it? With annuals you never get stuck with wort’s, start again next spring. Perennials you adjust to habits you may not be happy with, though thankfully you never have to worry about the toilet seat. Ha!

You must decide for yourself how much time you want to spend on gardening, if you haven’t gardened before perhaps just do a little as time permits till you get a small garden underway. If you find yourself with more time, energy and desire later start another garden. Next season you will have an idea of how much time and thus how large a garden you can comfortably commit to.

As a seasoned gardener you know what kind of gardener you are and what your time commitment is thus you need only decide on how to change this years gardening from what you have done in the past. Perhaps you want to grow a certain kind of plant to blue ribbon status. Tomatoes and Squash in the vegetable
garden of certain flowers, roses to see how well you can do concentrating on one or two varieties.

Many folks are turning to vegetable gardens to offset the cost of food. It’s appalling to realize that nowadays the “good” food is nearly beyond the financial reach of many people with oranges running as high as $1.69 yesterday where I shopped. If you have the climate you may want to plant a few fruit trees. I have had years of enjoyment from my two, Bing Cherry, cherry trees my favorite summer fruit.

Tip: with the demise of the honey bee in our nation, I had to order mason bees and install their nest under the eves of my house closest to the cherries in order to get the blossoms pollinated. You can order them online no problem. Also with trees you need to be able to prune and harvest, I also sprayed my trees for insects such as aphids every year, some considerations for you to think about.

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Herb Garden FAQ

Herb Garden FAQ

Would you like to grow abundant and healthy herbs?

When starting to produce your own herbs there are many aspects to consider like the kind of soil, the choice of herbs, growing from seeds or cuttings, how much water to use, etc. For those who do not like to buy books on gardening and do not want to bother the local nursery person here is a list of the most common questions that are regularly asked when starting an herb garden:

Which Herbs?

Herb gardening is going to be an enjoyable activity if you start seeing results from the beginning, therefore it is better to plant the three herbs that are easy to grow and require little attention. Mint is a ‘no fail’ herb as it stands a range of temperatures and dry or wet conditions, but be sure to grow it in pot in order to contain its sprawling tendency. Bush Basil is a kind of basil with small, hardy leaves that is very versatile for culinary uses from soups to salads and pasta. Chives is the third herb that easily grows either in container or in the outdoor herb garden and has the advantage of repelling flies and insects.

Seeds or Cuttings?

Annual herbs like oregano and marjoram are better grown from seeds for the reason that they can be sown in trays and kept indoors until the warm season is on its way. Cuttings should be taken from perennial herbs -like rosemary- that are healthy and abundant, that way the new herb will take on the qualities of the original plant.

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Plant a Perennial Garden

Plant a Perennial Garden

If you want a garden that will reappear year after year plant a Perennial Garden. There are many plants that need to be grown from transplants or from seed every year but perennial gardens will come back faithfully if you treat them right. Some of the perennials include caladium, aloe, iris, yucca and tulips. A great example of a hardy perennial is the yucca which grows in the desert with no care, yet they grow, even thrive.

Don’t take that as if perennials will need no work or care. If you want to enjoy your perennial garden you will have to provide some care and maintenance. I don’t know of any garden you can plant and forget. Even if you have chosen plants that can withstand some neglect you will still need to tend to it from time to time. This is a good tip to keep in mind when choosing your plants.

Any garden, perennial or otherwise, will need some research and a plan. You need to know the requirements of each plant; how much sun, how much water, and the PH of the soil. After you have figured out their needs you will be able to find the ideal spot for your perennial garden. You must know what planting zone you live in so you can choose wisely. Pick plants that are proportional to the garden. Keep their sizes and watering needs similar. It would be disastrous to plant a perennial that needs moist soil next to one that likes a dry atmosphere. You should be able to get your questions answered at your nursery center or on the internet. There are many garden clubs on the internet so think about joining one that is all about perennials. You can use lots of color in your perennial garden but try to keep them in complimentary hues.

Do lots of research on any pests that will attack your perennial garden. Here again, the internet is a font of information. Go to a search engine, type in the name of your plants and add pests. You will find all the information that you need. For instance, squirrels love to dig up bulbs and eat them. You can eliminate the problem by placing chicken wire over the planted wire so the squirrels can’t get to them.

Be sure to consider the growing season of each individual plant. Some flower in early spring, some in summer and some in the fall. With a good plan a gardener can have blooms all through the growing seasons. Careful planning will ensure beautiful, colorful perennial gardens through the year.

The hardest year for your perennial garden will be the first year and will be the least attractive. Understand that these plants are just taking root and settling in to their new spot. In year two, the plants will start to show you what is come. At this time you may wish to move a few of the plants or add and detract some. The basic “bones” of your garden is starting to show and this is the time for rearranging to make it more pleasing to the eye. Now you arrive at year three and you will reap the rewards of your labor and care. Your friends and neighbors will marvel at your skills as a gardener. You can make some changes in the third year but not too many or you will have to wait another three years for a beautiful perennial garden.

Take some time to enjoy your garden while sitting outside in your yard. Cut some of the blooms to take inside so you can enjoy them in your home. Your perennial garden was created out of love and planning. Now is the time to relax and enjoy your handiwork.

Happy Gardening!

Copyright © Mary Hanna, All Rights Reserved.

This article may be distributed freely on your website and in your ezines, as long as this entire article, copyright notice, links and the resource box are unchanged.

Perennials In Your Garden

Perennials In Your Garden

The following article lists some simple, informative tips that will help you have a better experience with perennials in your garden.

When it comes to flowers for the garden, annuals and perennials are the two largest families. Plants designated as annuals are those that grow from seed, blossom, set seed and die within a single season. Perennials, on the other hand, have the ability to return to life season after season. That means that after the bed is established, you may not need to replant for a number of years.

The actual life span of each perennial will vary from variety to variety, but in order to be classed as a perennial a plant must be able to come back for at least two seasons.

Perennials are available in a seemingly endless amount of colors, sizes, shapes and textures, and there are perennials available to please just about any gardener. In addition, the ability to plant the perennials only once and have them come back year after year makes them a favorite with all kinds of gardeners.

In addition, perennials are suitable for virtually any location, and most varieties grow well in a variety of climates and soil types. Some perennials, such as aster, phlox, geraniums and peonies, are valued mostly for their beautiful flowers, while other varieties of perennials are more highly prized for their lush foliage.

The longevity of different types of perennials varies, and some types of perennials can last for decades. Each type of perennial will list the average lifespan of the plant, so it is important to check the longevity rating when buying perennials.

Knowledge can give you a real advantage. To make sure you’re fully informed about perennials in your garden, keep reading.

If you are looking for a perennial that enjoys a legendary longevity, you may want to look into peonies. Many plantings of peonies have been known to last from one generation to the next.

Many gardeners like to plant a combination of annuals, perennials and bulbs, and this can be a great way to provide a wonderful variety of color in the garden, while cutting back on the work the gardener must do. Many gardeners like to use perennials in parts of the garden that are difficult to plant, or using perennials as landscape plants. This can be a great strategy, and many people are finding that perennials are wonderful, beautiful plants.

Many gardeners like to accent their front yard, flagpole, mailbox or other small areas with plantings of perennials, and these plants are great for small spaces like those. In addition, the wide variety of colors perennials come in mean they can be used to accent just about any type of home décor.

Perennials can even make a great addition to a vegetable garden, particularly to provide a colorful border or to edge the planting beds. In addition, perennials can be used with shrubs and other larger plants in order to provide a beautiful splash of color and beauty in an otherwise plain landscape.

That’s how things stand right now. Keep in mind that any subject can change over time, so be sure you keep up with the latest news.

B. Keith Johnson is a contributing author for
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