Archive | Gardening tips RSS feed for this section

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

Organic Kitchen Garden

15 Jul

The owner wanted to have an inviting herb garden close to the kitchen and have an area where she can enjoy a morning tea. We created it a fusion of French, Italian, Latin and Asian kitchen garden, using herbs from around the world, a dwarf peach, a chandelier topiary form gala apple, 3 different varieties of strawberries, salvias, sage, stevia, 3 varieties of oregano, lemon grass, coneflowers, mints, rosemary, laurel, cat grass, catnip, borage, bee balm, Chamomile, chervil, dill, cilantro, 3 varieties of lavender, calendula, lemon balm, thyme, marigold, purple basil, basil, curry… and many more. We installed 4 planters with 4 different themes: Asian herbs, French herbs, Latin Herbs and Italian Herbs. The incorporation of a water feature as a focal point gives the complete area a relaxing touch. We left space to have a sitting area using a Faux bois style bench and finally we installed beautiful maintenance free grey tone pea gravel.

Organic Kitchen Garden 01 AFTER

 

Organic Kitchen Garden 02 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 03 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 04 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 05 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 06 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 07 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 08 AFTER

For more information visit our website www.arcoirisdesign.com

 

How to grow Strawberries?

26 Jun

How to Plant Strawberry Plants

from http://www.netherlandbulb.com/

Pictures: Arcoiris Design Gardening

Organic Strawberries at Arcoiris Design Gardening

Step 1. CHOOSE A CONTAINER FOR THEM

Be sure the container has drainage holes in the bottom.

Step 2. FILL THE CONTAINER WITH SOIL THAT MAKES STRAWBERRIES HAPPY

Strawberries like deep, loamy soil that drains well. This means that it should contain plenty of organic matter

Step 3. GET YOUR STRAWBERRY PLANTS

Your next step is to find some plants and put them in the soil.

There are two main kinds of strawberries available: “June-bearing” and “Ever-bearing” or day-neutral varieties that can bear from early summer right up until your first frost. While June-bearing varieties can take a year to establish (you normally plant them now for next year’s harvest), ever-bearing plants will give you fruit the very first year and may allow you to extend your harvest over a period of weeks or months.

Step 4. CARE FOR YOUR PLANTS AND ENJOY

Get them some sun on the balcony, rooftop, patio or doorstep.

For optimum production, keep your strawberry plants well watered throughout the growing season, and enjoy your homegrown strawberries. Plants should continue to be productive for at least 2-3 years.

Time to Fertilize!

17 Mar

E.B Stone

Spring is here! The time when your berries, grapes, peaches, nectarines, plums, apples and pears need to be fertilized!
I always use at my personal and clients homes E.B stones Organics. They have an awesome organic fertilizer for Fruit, berry and vines. This fertilizer is a blend of organic ingredients delivered from blood meal, feather meal, bone meal, dried chicken manure, bat guano, alfalfa meal, kelp meal and potassium sulfate. Also and most importantly has Humic acids, good bacteria and endo mycorrhizae.
On my established apples, plums and peaches, I wait for them to have the first buds coming and then I fertilize them. I work the soils around them about 4 feet diameter and mix the product with the soil. Then I water.
For my strawberries, just work the soil around and place 1 TBS of the product per plant and then water.
Instructions are different for all plants and age of plants, so even if the product is organic, please read the instructions carefully and use it as directed.

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

Where do birds sleep?

16 Jan

Where do birds sleep?

I am a bird lover and almost every day I take pictures of birds in my backyard. Some are migrating birds and some (many) others are local for my area. Today around 5:30 pm, I saw a downy woodpecker getting inside of a birdhouse, so I started searching online where they sleep. And I found out that they normally have roost holes in trees, where they spend the night. For my surprise, this woodpecker liked our birdhouse. This bird house was the nest for Chickadee family of 4 babies last spring (2012). Hereby is the picture that I took of him and some very interesting sites about where birds like to spend the night.

Downy woodpecker

January 2013 035

 

http://www.wvdnr.gov/wildlife/magazine/Archive/06winter/AvianQuestions.pdf
http://birding.about.com/od/birdbehavior/a/Birds-At-Night.htm

 

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