Tips and DIY Solutions

tomato blight and tomato blossom end rot

Five Things To Do To Your Tomatoes RIGHT NOW

Use these five tips NOW for healthy tomato plants. Combat disease, prevent pests and catch problems before they take hold. Stop adding nitrogen fertilizers. Excess nitrogen encourages leaf growth at the expense of fruit. If you’re wondering why you’re not getting blossoms or developing tomatoes, put down the liquid fertilizer and instead drench the soil with a gallon of water spiked with a tablesp... »

recipe homemade deodorant

HOW TO Make Homemade Deodorant Chemical FREE and All Natural

Homemade, chemical-free deodorant is becoming more popular as we discover how synthetic ingredients in commercial brands interact with the human body. Plenty of studies have been initiated to detect a relationship between chemicals in personal care products with breast cancer, skin disorders and hormone imbalances. Search scholarly articles and you’ll find evidence that ingredients you slath... »

Sow Seed Early OUTSIDE

HOW TO Start Seeds EARLY OUTSIDE – Seed Starting Tips and Tricks

Too busy to start seeds indoors? Don’t have a sunny south facing window or enough artificial lighting to properly grow seedlings inside? Or maybe it’s already too late…Don’t give up on sowing your own seeds just yet. Plant Seeds Directly Outside EARLY Plant directly outside under a homemade mini greenhouse and create your own ecosystem that keeps the seed moist and protecte... »

how much wood ash in raised bed?

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? Depending on source, wood and plant ashes contain varying amounts of potassium, phosph... »

Fast Greenhouse Cheap

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 made raised beds in one day on the cheap and they’re still going strong. My kids and I sit on the edge... »

growing in raised garden beds

Interviews with Cindy Rajhel of Home Grown Fun

Host Mike Podlesny of the Vegetable Gardening Podcast talks with Cindy about innovative school gardens and making your own fertilizers and soil amendments. Host Dave Ledoux of Back to My Garden talks with Cindy about nature appreciation, watermelon pickles and the secrets of Home Grown Fun! For more podcasts with garden gurus visit these links: Vegetable Gardening Podcast Back to My Garden Podcast... »

Choosing Healthy Tomato Plants

How To Buy Tomato Plants – Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid these mistakes when buying tomato plants this spring. Think of it like the Seven Dwarfs but with modified spelling, different names and no cottage deep in the woods. (I need to be sensitive of copyright laws.) When you head out to the nursery or garden center, skip along and sing “Whistle While You Garden, ta da da da da da daaa”! You’ll be happily taking home the Fairest T... »

Grow a Winter Garden

Winter Garden Update

OK, we’re supposed to have our crops established before the cold weather hits. Despite this best practice, my veggies are growing and we have freezing temps at night. Mostly 50’s during the day but the weather regularly goes from one extreme to the next. I covered the beds with cheap plastic. They already had cloth over them to fight frost. One huge mistake I made was to assume all bal... »

Should You Chit Potatoes

3 Reasons to Chit Potatoes – Is Chitting Necessary?

Chit Potatoes Is chitting just busy work for passionate gardeners? Honest gardening folk would NEVER waste time doing mindless chores to avoid grocery shopping, cleaning the house or paying bills. Is chitting necessary? It is NOT. So why should I prepare my spud before it hits the mud? There’s lots of talk about chitting but I want to know why it’s so fitting? You can chat while you ch... »

Get rid of white marks on table

Remove White Spots on Wood

I’ve got a quick solution to remove white marks on wood. I used my dining room table with a blanket on top to iron a large sheet for an art project. When I removed the blanket I was shocked to see white stains. I washed the table but they didn’t come off. I researched online and found lots of suggestions including taking an iron to the stains. But that’s how I got them in the fir... »

How to Thin Kale Lettuce and Kohlrabi

How to Thin Seedlings – Thinning Chart – Cool Weather Crops

Every fall planting season I shuffle through seed packets to find out how to thin the seedlings. I simply forget. Sometimes it’s damp out in the garden, or it’s an uncommonly warm day. I would rather leave the seeds inside. To solve this little inconvenience, I created a chart for cool weather crops. No more fiddling around with a bag full of seed envelopes. Go ahead, print out this ha... »

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 imag... »

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-... »