Gardening

How to Grow Plants in Burlap Sacks

How-To Use Burlap Sacks in the Garden

When you run out of garden space or you want to try something new, consider the burlap sack. These recycled coffee sacks will probably last one season but they can be plopped down anywhere and blend naturally into your surroundings. We’re growing herbs, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes and potatoes. Lay them down, close them up after filling with soil and cut holes to fit your plants. Or use them ... »

Uses for straw and using straw for mulch in the garden

Difference Between Straw and Hay with Cartoons

Until recently, I thought hay and straw were the same thing. Hayrides, barn floors, over-stuffed scarecrows and cows munching on grass – that’s what I knew growing up in Maine. I went to the Scarborough Fair and checked out the 4-H animals but never payed attention to the stuff. Now I know the basics and it seems so obvious that hay IS for horses. These fun facts and images should perm... »

how to save tomato seed at home

Seed Saving Chart – Easiest Seeds to Save

To enlarge the chart, click to access the image and then click again. We’re working on a seed saving kit and these tips will come in handy for the beginner. Check back again for more tips as we gather images and techniques. Do you have any tips for the amateur seed saver? »

Quick Herb Planting Guide

Quick Herb Planting Guide

I’m planting herbs like crazy this year. Used coffee sacks are my container of choice these days. As part of my own research, I put together a chart to help me keep on top of when the seeds are supposed to germinate, proper sun requirements and of course spacing, something I didn’t pay attention to before and now realize is key. I found so much more info than what is in the chart and i... »

Coffee Sack Herb Garden

Coffee Sack Herb Garden

Recycled coffee sacks make great planting containers because they look natural, drain well and can be composted later. I don’t need permanent garden containers. The bottoms of these sacks will rot out if I don’t put a barrier down but that’s ok with me. Makes herb gardening easy, fun and beautiful.   »

How to make homemade garden markers with wood

Homemade Garden Markers Using Clay, Wood and Found Objects

Popsicle sticks work just fine in the garden to mark plants but when that creative streak strikes, use what you have around the house and found objects to bring new life to your labels. Tree Slices and Galvanized Steel Wire WOOD: Recycle your Christmas tree or other solid wood trimmings into garden markers. Simply slice the trunk into 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick disks. The examples in the ... »

How to Grow Potatoes in Recyled Coffee Sacks

How to Grow Potatoes in Recyled Coffee Sacks

The Great Tater Experiment I tried growing potatoes in my pants, in t-shirts, pillow cases, garbage bags and my husband’s shorts! But the “spuds split our duds!” We have a fun video for you on the bag that worked the best! In Southern California, the soil is less than ideal for growing vegetables. For this reason, 90% of all my edibles are grown in raised beds or burlap sacks. Re... »

Zucchini Bread with Flax Seed and Dark Chocolate

Zucchini Bread with Flax Seed and Dark Chocolate

It’s fun to rev up traditional recipes and this one for zucchini bread gets a health boost from flax seed and olive oil, plus a bitter kick in the zucchini from dark chocolate. October 4, 2011 by Cindy Ingredients 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 1/2 cups white sugar 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (not p... »

homemade organic fertilizer

10 Natural Fertilizer Recipes

Go no further than your pantry, backyard or the beach for materials to make your own organic fertilizer: My audio interview with Mike the Gardener is now on iTunes and free on Podbean. Listen in when you get a chance to hear what I’m up to at the school garden and how I created the recipes for my new 230+ page eBook: “50 Homemade Fertilizers and Soil Amendments”. Here’s my ... »

Aliens or Tomato Hornworm Leftovers?

Aliens or Tomato Hornworm Leftovers?

What a surprise when I blew up a photo of a hornworm looking for detail on the caterpillar and noticed a mangled blotch of ‘alienness’ nearby resembling hornworm parts. We immediately called the FBI. No sorry, we made a quick call to our ultra-knowledgeable friend Kay and she explained that tomato hornworms go through 4-5 “Instar” stages or shifts where they grow bigger and... »

Worm Composting FAQs

Worm Composting FAQs

What kinds of worms are best for composting? Red Wigglers are the most highly recommended composting worms. Other worms that you find in your garden may not survive in a bin. How many worms should I start with? Recommend you start with 1 pound, purchased from a reputable worm grower online or in person. It’s fine if there are baby worms and larger worms in the mix. You will wonder if you hav... »

Best Foods to Feed Red Wiggler Composting Worms

Best Foods to Feed Red Wiggler Composting Worms

We’ve tried a bunch of foods in our bins at home and have a nice list for you to keep things simple. It’s easy to make worms happy if you feed your red worms a variety of foods they love. LOVE: Vegetable scraps: apple cores, peels, carrot tops and wilted lettuce or trimmings. Any vegetable that’s not spicy or really gaseous will make them happy.  Non-citrus fruit work best, such ... »

5 Tips for Buying a Compost Tumbler

5 Tips for Buying a Compost Tumbler

There are rolling drums, spheres and crank operated models. Some compost tumblers sit on a sturdy base and tumble vertically. Some rotate horizontally on rollers. If you want to invent the next workout craze, get together with some friends and roll around those ball-like tumblers. On second thought, this could cause too much frustration – they don’t roll where you want them to. Good fo... »

HOW TO Kill Weeds With Vinegar – Plus a VIDEO

HOW TO Kill Weeds With Vinegar – Plus a VIDEO

Weeds are a Pain! Despite all the blogs and websites that rave about vinegar killing weeds, it’s not a perfect solution. In fact, boiling water will kill weeds, sometimes better than vinegar. Vinegar dries out the leaves of weeds and makes them wilt. What it won’t do it kill the roots. If you’re still determined to try the vinegar technique, the recipe and tips below will help: R... »

Growing Cucumbers in Small Spaces

HOW TO Grow Cucumbers Over Other Plants to Save Space

How We Did It Selected varieties of cucumbers that we prefer eating. A no-brainer but try and pick the ones with smaller seeds. We like the pickling cukes as long as we don’t forget them. Don’t let them become more than a few inches long. Their skin will be like cardboard. We make many hills inside the raised bed only a foot or two apart. We plant 4-5 seeds per hill and then thin to 2-... »

HOW TO Enjoy the Farmers Market with Kids

HOW TO Enjoy the Farmers Market with Kids

There are over six thousand farmers markets in the United States according to the U.S.D.A Agriculture Marketing Service. About once a month, we head out to the Farmers Market in Vista, CA. We love the variety and the focus on food and produce. It’s located in a huge lot in front of the County Courthouse. Along with all the amazing fruits and vegetables, we find sprouts by the pound, worm cas... »

Compost Fair HOW TO

Compost Fair HOW TO

The Home Grown Fun Family put on a composting fair at an elementary school in Southern California. Check out how we did it. Create your own and improve on our ideas! See the video  and notice that we had several learning stations and exhibits. Contact us and we can send you our plan and some tips.   »

If Birds Had Farmers Markets CARTOON

If Birds Had Farmers Markets CARTOON

Bunch ‘pillars’ $2, tomato hornworms by the pound… What would a Farmers’ Market look like for birds? …. For more Tomato Hornworm Humor, checkout our fun and educational poem, ‘The Tricky Tomato Hornworm’. Also see our funny take on how to recycle human hair! »

Vertical Seed Starting – Easy, Fun, Saves Space and Money

Vertical Seed Starting – Easy, Fun, Saves Space and Money

It’s back to elementary school for some space-saving tips on germinating seeds!  No need for fancy seed starting domes, soil or spritzers. This method makes it fun to see how plants grow. In just a few days, your beans, basil, zucchini, pumpkin and sunflower will sprout and will be ready for planting. Some plants such as gourds may take a bit longer but will emerge in much less time than pla... »

Jack and the Borage Stalk

Jack and the Borage Stalk

Wow, this is our borage (starflower) this year. It grew so tall and full  there is enough for the kids and the bees!  Our girls feel like they are in another world poking around the borage bush. »

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