Friday, January 23, 2009

Getting Ready for Spring

Wow, we really had a warm day today! Every time the weather gets warm and sunny during the wintertime it is a good day to work outdoors. I do think we can get depressed being stuck in the house so much so take advantage when a warm day comes along. Here are a couple suggestions for quick 1 day projects in the garden:

Build a raised bed
A simple box is easy to build with a few screws and a good drill. You can even get the boards cut for you at the lumber store. You can also use angle irons or special hardware for attaching corner boards to each other that will make your box strong and able to last for several years. (We also have special sturdy plastic hinge connectors in our catalog) Once your box is built, dig up the grass where you want to put it, rototill it a bit and add lots of good soil mix and compost. Use the stuff for outdoor planting beds, not regular potting soil for indoor use. That compost will work even on cold days to get the bed ready for planting once you are past your last frost date.

Start a compost heap
Compost is like gold in the garden and it is easy to get started. All you need is a place to put it, shaded and out of the way, some kind of support to hold it all together, (hay bales work great) and access to the hose. There are so many ways to build a compost container but you don't need anything expensive. Read more about composting here

Plan your garden
Spend some time thinking about where you will put your plants this year, how many of each you will need, what varieties to grow and when you want to plant. Drawing this out on paper, or on your computer is fun and keeps you organized so you will not end up with too much of one thing. Think about the sun exposure--don't shade out any lower growing vegetables. Then visit The Tasteful Garden for a fun shopping experience choosing all your fantastic flavored vegetables.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Black Swallowtail Larvae

Watch this caterpillar eat through the parsley leaves! Amazing.