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GREAT Gardening projects for Toddlers!

3 Mar

I found this amazing article* about regrowing some vegetables and some fruits using kitchen scraps! In the article the main idea is to provide you with some ideas to save some money by regrowing these edibles organically. I believe these are GREAT projects to teach your toddlers how plants grow, they will be responsible to take care of the plants while they grow, they will learn where those edibles come from and maybe learn how to prepare them! So, start saving some kitchen scraps and enjoy your self cutting, planting, watering, eating and saving some money!!

*http://cookingstoned.tv/blog/2014/02/food-that-magically-regrows-itself-from-kitchen-scraps/

Regrowing food

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Atlanta Blooms at the Botanical Garden!

22 Mar

Every year the Atlanta botanical garden brings to their visitors the best Bloom exhibition of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses. Featuring a quarter – million flowers of different colors, shapes and fragrances. I visited yesterday and I truly recommended for a nice family weekend!
Here are some pictures of the gardens and some inspiration for planters.
I hope you enjoy!

Atlanta Botanical Garden

60

Orchids

Tulips

Tulips

Tulips

Planters

35

15

40

Planters

Planters

Press – Magazine Recognitions – Mom.me

20 Feb

Our ORGANIC gardens are highlighted in magazines and our gardening tips are published year around! For the last couple of months I have been writing tips and advices for home gardeners for the Atlanta Home Improvement magazine. This week I have been asked to participate on another editorial opportunity for Mom.me about Garden Fruits and Vegetables!! I will update this note as soon as I have the link for Mom.me

Atlanta Home Improvements Feb 2013 2

Atlanta Home Improvements Feb 2013 3  Atlanta Home Improvements Feb 2013 1

How to plant Onions? How to Harvest Carrots?

19 Feb

How to plant Onions?

My Harvest

(This is me last year, with lots of vegetables…including my old radish jejejeje)

 

Last year, we started our first Vegetable plot in our neighborhood church with full sun. We have had 2 plots with about 3 hours of sun in our backyard for over 3 years (shade its limitation for higher yield). At our new plot, so far it has been an amazing experience. We planted, garlic, onions, green onions, carrots, kale, purple kale, radish, beet root and broccoli.

We have harvested lots, lots and lots of both kales, some carrots and 1 thousand radish!!

TIP #1: Radish grows very, very fast and all its ready at the same time, so plant according to your needs!
TIP #2: Fertilize your plot at least once a month with organic fertilizer. (Our carrots are still small and we planted them in October)

Hereby are 2 videos that I made today, enjoy:

How to plant Onions? http://youtu.be/0OH3DudIUz8
How to harvest carrots? http://youtu.be/sioxOxwfKGI

Thank you for visiting, your comments and tips are VERY appreciated!
http://www.facebook.com/arcoirisdesigngardening

Image

Growing Papaya tree in my backyard

13 Feb

Papaya

20130213-213626.jpg

20130213-213638.jpg

Feb. 10. 2013.

For the first time, I am going to try to grow papaya tree in my backyard. When I was about 8 years old my grandpa showed me how easy it was. So here I am doing it once again after 28 years. I hope the weather allows me to see at least a couple of delicious papayas! I am drying the seeds to plant them during the weekend indoors. Please visit my blog later in summer to see how it goes 🙂

Procedure:

1. Select a delicious and sweet organic papaya. I selected a small variety USA grown papaya.
2. Cut it in half and pick seeds from the center of the fruit.
3. Place the seeds over a piece of napkin to dry them for about 5 days.

To be continuing…

 

Feb.23.2013

Finally, last weekend I planted the seeds on the soil. I used organic seed starter soil which I found at Pike Nursery.

Procedure:

4. Water the seed starter soil before filling the pots or water it in the pots before planting the seeds. This will prevent the seed to be washed after planting. Let it sit for a few minutes. (When the seed starter soil is dry, it tends to wash off the pot when you water it).

5.  With your finger open a hole in the soil. (About 1 inch)

6.  Remove your seed from the napkin and drop it into the hole. (With Papaya I do 1 seed per pot)

7. Cover the hole with soil, water it and then place your pots inside until spring. Make sure the soil it’s always moist. Seeds need moist to germinate.

To be continuing…

 

Dry Papaya seeds

Papaya 8

Papaya 7

Papaya 5

1 inch deep

One seed per hole

Cover with soil

Name and date

How to attract birds to my backyard?

10 Feb

How to attract birds to my backyard?

When we first moved to Mindtown Atlanta, there were not many birds visiting our abandoned backyard. Nowadays, we are visited for over 30 species during the year. Some are local birds and some are migratory birds.

We basically planted evergreen shrubs such as hollies, aucubas, ligustrums, anise and many others. And most importantly we have 2 birdbaths and 3 water fountains. Water is the key to have many birds in our backyard.

Tip: Place one birdbath with stand close to a tree so the birds can feel protected and they will have a place to clean their feathers. And another one on the floor surrounding by plants such fatsia japonica, a holly tree or azaleas. Birds seem not to like birdbaths without shrubbery around it. Make sure to clean the birdbath at least once a week and refill it with fresh water every other day (even if water its frozen).

Most importantly, please do not apply any pesticides in your garden. If you apply an insect control for example you will kill not only the undesired insect but the beneficial as well, then a bird will eat this insect and then you will be poisoning the bird too.

How Important is Water for Birds?

It is VERY important, birds like other (all) animals, need water to survive. Birds also use

water for bathing, to clean their feathers and remove parasites. Every day we have many birds visiting our backyard’s birdbaths and water fountain. I don’t even have to place bird food anymore, because with water I attract more birds than ever.

Check out the following videos and pictures:

Video:

http://youtu.be/KnS_HAenrAo

 

Pictures of my backyard birds:

http://www.facebook.com/arcoirisdesigngardening?ref=hl#!/media/set/?set=a.292875447415130.62926.181272451908764&type=3

Interesting sites:

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/Members/BirdNote09–ProvideWater.pdf

http://blog.wbu.com/2012/07/16/how-important-is-water-for-birds/

http://www.georgiawildlife.com/node/2620

How to Use Fireplace Ash for Gardening

11 Jan

photo

Winter is the perfect season to collect your fireplace ashes either to store them in a save container or use them into your garden. When wood burns, nitrogen and sulfur are lost as gases, and calcium, potassium, magnesium and trace element compounds remain.

“Wood ash has a very fine particle size, so it reacts rapidly and completely in the soil. Although small amounts of nutrients are applied with wood ash, the main effect is that it is a liming agent.” (1) Furthermore, calcium works as soil amendment, helping to maintain chemical balance in the soil and improves water penetration.

Uses:
1. As calcium and Potassium soil amendments
2. Enrich compost, enhance its nutrients by sprinkling in a few ashes to the mix.
3. Block garden pests. Spread evenly around garden beds, ash repels slugs and snails. Salt in the ashes dehydrates these insects.

Calcium and potassium are both essential to plant growth. Hereby, I am listing the symptoms of both deficiencies.

Symptoms of calcium deficiency:
– Necrosis at the tips and margins of young leaves,
– Bulb and fruit abnormalities,
– Deformation of affected leaves,
– Highly branched, short, brown root systems,
– Severe, stunted growth, and
– General chlorosis.

Symptoms of potassium deficiency:
– Yellow and brown spots on leaves
– Leaves drop off
– Smaller and fewer fruits
– Fruits appear deformed or small

BEFORE applying ashes to your plants please keep in mind that too much ash can increase pH or accumulate high levels of salts that can be harmful to some plants, so use ashes carefully. And don’t use it in acid-loving plants such as blueberries, cranberries, rhododendrons and azaleas would not do well at all with an application of wood ash.(1)

1. http://emmitsburg.net/gardens/articles/frederick/2004/ashes.htm

Colors of my garden – DECEMBER

7 Jan

Azalea

Azalea

 

Camellia Flower bud

Camellia Flower bud

Fatsia Flower

Fatsia Flower

Fatsia Flower and flower bud

Fatsia Flower and flower bud

Hellebore

Hellebore

Holly Berry

Holly Berry

Hyacinth emerging

Hyacinth emerging

Insect on leaf

Insect on leaf

Tree Berry

Tree Berry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 vegetables that you can grow in the winter in Atlanta

29 Dec

4 vegetables that you can grow in the winter in Atlanta

Middle fall I planted radish, sweet onion, broccoli, garlic, spring onion, carrots, kale and chard. I have harvested most of the broccoli, radish, kale and chard so far. Now, I have space to incorporate more winter vegetables in our planting box. These are the 4 vegetables I recommend to try EARLY winter:

1. Beets
2. Kale
3. Collards
4. Swiss chard

Please plant before the first freezing weather.

5 very good reasons to plant Shrubs and Trees now (fall – winter):

20 Dec

5 very good reasons to plant Shrubs and Trees now (fall – winter):

 

September 12 053
1. No stress from hot weather.
2. Plants don’t have to expend energy on making leaves, they’ll put it into creating a strong root system.
3. Because of temperatures, you don’t have to worry so much about watering your new plant.
4. There are fewer insects and disease problems that could damage your new shrubs or trees.
5. Nurseries will have a lot of good prices for plant material.
(In cold winter areas, it’s recommended to plant six weeks before the first hard frost is expected.)

Any questions? Need help with your garden? www.arcoirisdesign.com