All About Malabar Spinach – Grow, Eat and Craft!

Malabar spinach is an edible vine and crunchy green from East Asia that has gained popularity in home gardens. Also known as acelga, bratana, ceylon spinach, Chinese spinach, Indian creeping spinach, climbing spinach and vine spinach, Malabar spinach is not technically a spinach but it acts like one with a more succulent texture. Belonging to Read More

Easy Stock Tank Pool – No Tools or Drilling

© Copyright 2020 Home Grown Fun™ It’s gonna be a “scorcha” today. Here’s the set up for a 8 foot/2.44 meter stock tank without holes drilled in the side. ARE THE TANKS DIFFICULT TO GET AND ARE THEY EXPENSIVE? The stock tank pool craze is taking off. If you can find one, snag it before Read More

Quick and Easy Guide to Growing Garlic

Growing garlic is easy! Don’t let it be a complicated process. Check out these 5 simple tips for success: When to plant? The best time to plant garlic cloves is right after the first frost in your area. No frost or always warm temps? Consult local experts. How to find garlic seed? Look online for Read More

Create an enclosed terrarium that lasts for years!

This is an exciting project for all ages, especially when you’re stuck inside for an hour. It’s educational and fascinating. Learn about the water cycle and discover changes in your homemade ecosystem as time goes on. There’s little maintenance. Just pay attention to location. We have ours out of direct sunlight. If you see yours Read More

Homemade Dry Shampoo – Chemical Free and Non-Irritating

Are dry shampoo sprays bad for you? Good question. I cannot prove that all dry shampoo products are unhealthy. However, after our own personal, scary experience with dry shampoo aerosols, I am more than skeptical about the safety of these chemical-laden sprays. My daughter started using dry shampoo at 14, about the same time she Read More

10 Natural Cleaner Recipes

Go no further than your refrigerator and your pantry to make your own natural, non-toxic cleaners. Avoid harmful chemicals in store-bought cleaners! They have been found to damage lungs, skin and other organs. It couldn’t be easier to create your own for peace of mind, especially if you have children in the home. You don’t Read More

Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease – 25 Facts That Will Save Your Sanity!

What are kissing bugs and how much should you worry about them? Kissing bugs are one of the latest creatures to cause a scare in the United States. They are bloodsucking insects with the scientific name triatomines. Kissing bugs are called many different names in the U.S.: chinches, cone-nose bugs, walapai tiger and Mexican bed Read More

Organic Pest Control Secrets

Synthetic insecticides, natural oils and homemade sprays can be toxic to your garden! Chemical and natural pest control applications upset the natural balance of “good” and “bad”. Before you crush up a jalapeno to make your own (Do-It-Yourself) DIY repellent…before you douse your plants with neem oil…before you reach for a can of chemical death…please Read More

Fake Chewing Tobacco Recipes – Healthy DIY DIP made from Herbs

Someone near and dear to me started chewing tobacco. He used it to stay awake while driving vehicles across the country, two trips in one month! To help my loved one, I concocted a fake snuff using plants from the garden. He likes the taste and simply swallows it when he’s done – no spittin’ Read More

How to Use Wood Ashes in the Garden

If you have spare ashes lying around from a backyard fire pit, recycle some of it into your soil! Two hundred years ago, ash was processed for use as a potash fertilizer source. Eventually, the production became more costly and new methods to produce potash were developed. Why might ashes be good for the garden? Read More

Homemade Seed Starting Mix and Simple DIY Potting Soil Recipe

You can make your own seed starting mix and potting soil at home with the same recipe! You’ll need: One regular sized brick of coconut coir. This will make approximately 2 gallons (8 quarts) of medium. One gallon (4 quarts) of organic compost (NO MANURE) One gallon (4 quarts) of vermiculite (not a huge bag Read More

Build an Inexpensive Greenhouse in One Day

Would you love to have a traditional greenhouse but your budget and schedule prevent you from making it a reality? Are you confused by the all the choices and packaged kits on the market? What if I told you that you can build a greenhouse for the price of four hanging flower baskets? I also Read More

How To Make an Earth Model Showing Layers EASY NO STYROFOAM

The core, mantle and crust make up the layers of the earth. Learn about the earth’s layers and plate tectonics by making your own scale model using a tennis ball and clay. NEW – Get the FREE printable for this project! To the eBookstore and Digital Library to see other fun references Materials Needed: Tennis Read More

10 Fun Garden Ideas for Home, School and Community

1. Create Garden-Inspired Gifts 2. Grow Historical Plants Read more about amaranth! 3. Grow Plants over other Plants Read more about growing cucumbers on an arch! 4. Grow your own Sweet Potato Slips 5. Build a Bench without Nails or Screws Learn how to build raised beds fast! Build a greenhouse in a day! 6. Read More

Build 6 Raised Beds in ONE DAY on a Budget

GOTTA HAVE A GARDEN! We just moved to a new house and there are plenty of repairs and errands to tackle. Some would have to wait! I need a garden NOW! THE GOAL: Build 3-6 simple raised beds IN ONE DAY without power tools, or a truck, or another human to help. THE BUDGET: $240. Read More

ALL ABOUT Amaranth – History, Cook It, Eat It, Grow It

At school, we call amaranth an ancient grain because it has history. People in Mexico, Guatemala and Peru grew amaranth thousands of years ago and utilized it as a staple grain, much like a oats and wheat. It may have been just as popular as corn. It’s technically not a cereal grain but it acts Read More

Model of a Red Wiggler Worm

I love composting with red wiggler worms. I started many years ago and have brought them with me when I moved. I’ve given away more than 20 worm bins to kids and adults. When I bring worms in to school, they quickly captivate even the most squeamish. It’s fun to show children how a red Read More

How to Make Watermelon Pickles

Pickled watermelon rind adds a new twist to many a dish! This article gives you key tips for making the best watermelon pickles eva! !UPDATE I ate 3 of these jars alone last week – glad I gave away the others. ADDICTIVE! Most folks have never tried watermelon pickles – that’s why I love making Read More

Remove White Spots on Wood

If the white stains were caused by heat or moisture, e.g., iron, hot dish or wet glass, try this inexpensive fix using common materials found in the home.  Supplies to remove white stains and watermarks from wood furniture: Toothpaste (no gels) Baking Soda Soft Cloth (2) Water Olive or some other kind of cooking oil. Read More

11 Fun Pumpkins and Winter Squash and How to Use Them

My oldest and I are on the lookout for the most interesting pumpkins and winter squash. Check these out at your local farm stand and use our tips to help you choose the best ones for carving, cooking and decoration. Also check out my other posts about stuffing pumpkin blossoms and creative recipes for pumpkin Read More

How-To Make a Hypertufa Planter, Trough and Sculpture!

It is easy to create your own hypertufa pots, troughs and sculptures using these simple recipes and instructions. WHAT IS HYPERTUFA? Hypertufa is a lightweight stone material created to mimic the look of porous limestone or volcanic rock. Once cured, it is much lighter than cement or even terracotta. Over time, the natural materials in Read More

HOW TO Make Your Own Solar Oven – Fast, Easy and Cheap

Solar ovens are fantastic fun for all ages. It’s a special thing to be able to cook your own food without electricity. Our giant solar oven in the school garden was all the rage. Classes would pass by and peer inside, watching the temperature gauge rise and veggie chips crisp up. We couldn’t afford to Read More

Is Sewage Sludge a Safe Fertilizer? What are Biosolids?

WHAT IS SEWAGE SLUDGE? Sewage sludge is a byproduct of water treatment plants and as you can imagine it’s plentiful. It comes from homes, hospitals and businesses – anything flushed or dumped down the drain. You’ve got human fecal matter, heavy metals, pathogens, pharmaceuticals, and hundreds of contaminants that are not fully removed even after Read More

What is a Geode and How Do You Hunt for Geodes?

Holidays around here are usually an adventure. Our extended families are on the other side of the country so we seek out some kind of nature activity. This year’s Thanksgiving was spent out in the desert with a rock club hunting for nodules and geodes. What are Geodes GEODES: You’ve probably seen them in gift Read More

Fun Facts About Ladybugs

“Hi, I’m actually a lady beetle, not a bug. I chew my food instead of sucking it up. When something threatens me, I ooze smelly stuff from my legs to scare it away – like a tiny, gooey, super hero! I eat all kinds of pests like aphids, mites, white flies, and scale insects – Read More

How to Plant Edibles in Burlap Sacks

A versatile material in the garden, burlap is used to wrap tree and shrub roots, mulch growing beds, protect newly planted seeds.  I love adding strips of it to my worm bin. Red wigglers will devour the jute cloth along with the food scraps as they weave in and out of the fibers. I’m not Read More

Tomato Hornworm – Fun Poem about a Pest

Tomato Hornworm – A Pesky Poem ©2013 Home Grown Fun Tomato hornworms are sneaky they take the garden cake for the most annoying four-inch pest devouring heirlooms of any shape. They work at night in stealth mode speeding around your plants. You could be a tomato bragger at dusk then a victim of the Hornworm Read More

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 Read More

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 Read More

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% Read More

Homemade Fossils – MADE EASY!

It’s easy to “mix up some Mesozoic” at home or at school!  Making homemade fossils is fun and addictive. We’ve got a simple recipe for creating rock-like relics sure to bring out the Paleontologist in everyone! Below you’ll find our cute video with basic instructions plus a list of materials and extra tips for success. Also Read More

10 Natural Fertilizer Recipes

Go no further than your pantry, backyard or the beach for materials to make your own organic fertilizer: BANANA PEELS  –  Eating a banana helps replenish lost potassium. Roses love potassium too. Simply throw one or two peels in the hole before planting or bury peels under mulch so they can compost naturally. Get bigger and more blooms. I also use Read More

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 Read More

HOW TO Tell the Difference Between Real Gold and Fool’s Gold

“There’s gold in them there hills!” On a recent trip to Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, CA, we got a chance first hand to discover actual gold and learn how to tell the difference between the real deal and tricky fool’s gold. Without zooming in, it can be tough to tell the difference, especially when the Read More

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 Read More

Grow your own loofah sponges with video!

We’ve wanted to grow our own sponges for years now ever since we learned about them from Chet at the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum in Vista, California. A great place for old fashioned fun and our favorite, the Fall Tractor Show. They grow all sorts of plants and sell them to keep the tractor parades going and Read More

The Crazy Things You Can Compost

Wowza – you’ve probably got a bunch of this stuff hanging around your house. Once used, it can be composted into soil amendment!  Top 5 Tips for the Best Compost Mix You can compost almost anything but meat, cheese and fatty/greasy foods. There are Brown (carbon-rich) materials and Green (nitrogen-rich) materials. You need both for the Read More

Five Tips for Using Manure in the Garden

Before you use manure in the garden, be safe! Keep you and your plants free from contamination and sickness. Here’s the scoop on the poop. 1. Never use fresh manure near vegetables, fruit or other edibles.  Manure is a prime source of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. It’s also rich in bacteria. For us home gardeners, Read More