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Archives for October 23, 2013

Gardening Tips: 5 T: Here are some gardening tips to help you


Gardening Tips: 5 Things To Do This Fall!

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Published on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 14:06

Written by EarthwormTec

Here are some gardening tips to help you prep for fall from EarthwormTec, an environmentally-conscious business seeking to reduce food waste via composting and sustainable garden practices. 

Given the busy spring and summer season, we all might be getting a little tired right about now when it comes to our yard work. However, if you can muster up the energy to get out there you might save yourself a lot of work when next Spring arrives. Besides, the weather (especially, in Connecticut and the rest of the Northeast) has been absolutely gorgeous this October…what a perfect time to go out there and dig our fingers in the dirt!

Here is a top 5 list of Gardening Tips we recommend you try to do this month so you’ll be smooth sailing next Spring:

  • Do make sure you are cutting back spent flower heads from infamous flowers known to re-seed (such as Brown-eyed Susans or Morning Glories).

These particular flowers are dropping a tremendous amount of seeds at this time of year. The seeds are also very winter hardy and come Spring, you will be throwing out your back pulling out all those new shoots.

You can also cut back some of your spent perennial flowers / shrubs in the Autumn or leave them if you want some winter interest (picture snow resting or icicles forming on your favorite evergreen Azalea, like ours below). Ornamental grasses are also very serene in the winter when the feathery seed heads are covered with snowflakes.

Some gardeners use “Preen” in the soil to stop seeds from germinating but at Earthworm Technologies we don’t condone the use of any chemicals in your land. Instead, we encourage you to use organic products or implement more preventative / sustainable methods. (Keep in mind, if you use Preen in any planters where you grow annuals from seed, you will be hindering the germination of those “good” seeds, as well as the bad ones you don’t want. Preen is not selective).

  • Do harvest those seeds from your favorite annuals in the garden so you can enjoy them again next year.

Many annual flowers can be harvested – Zinnias, Marigolds, Cosmos and Celosias are among the easiest to harvest seeds from.

Make sure the flower has completely faded, turned brown and crumples in your hand – this is a good indication that the seeds will be ready to harvest. Pluck them too early and they’ll be too green (not ready) and won’t germinate for you.

Want to know another trick: We actually harvest some of our favorite Rudbeckias as we are walking around the garden. We then dig some seeds into the soil of our favorite spots and leave them there to overwinter. Poof – green shoots in the Spring!

  • Do put those annoying dead leaves in your yard to good use – why pay good money to have them hauled off?

You are actually paying someone to get rid of something that is organic and very beneficial in your garden.

Either mow the lawn yourself (including the leaves) or tell your lawn guy to do it and let the natural decomposition process take over for the next few months…allowing the nutrients of those dead leaves to seep back into your lawns (the leaf mulch will also be a nice added buffer for your planters during the winter months).

  • Do clean up those leaves and twigs in your flower planters!

Especially if you have any rhizome-type flowers (i.e. Irises). Some insects will overwinter or lay their eggs in the piles of leaf debris (especially moths and iris borers). They’ll continue to incubate there and eat their way through your plants in the Spring.

  • Do compost all the dead leaves, flowers, twigs, branches, etc. (as long as they’re not diseased) that you are not currently using – you’ll thank us in the Spring!

You can have a very simple compost setup in your lawn for leaves / twigs. If you want to go a step further you can even compost those old Fall pumpkins, squashes and any of your family’s raw veggie and fruit scraps that are currently going in the garbage, with a small worm bin.

Don’t want to have worms composting in your house? No problem…If you live in Fairfield County, CT or Westchester County, NY – you can join our organic vermicomposting program and we’ll make it easy for you to be “Green” without all the hassle, for the nominal cost of a weekly Starbucks visit. In return, you also get 10lbs of pure organic ultra-compost free to use in your outdoor garden or on your indoor plants.

If you’re not in the area – we might have extra product to ship out to you. If you’re interested in any of these services or products, please contact us here and sign-up your email for our blog updates.

About EarthwormTec: Earthworm Technologies (“EwT”) offers an innovative, comprehensive Eco-friendly solution to the enormous food waste problem we have in America. We guide you in separating your pre-processed food waste scraps (i.e. raw veggie / fruit scraps, coffee grinds and filters, tea grinds and filters, breads, uncooked pastas, etc.) as well as newspaper / cardboard products. We then offer a weekly hauling program to pick up this waste. Utilizing an in-depth double composting process with the eventual help of thousands of our hardworking little earthworm helpers, we divert all that mineral-rich food waste scrap away from poisonous landfills and instead convert it into a superior organic and highly beneficial microbial quality soil amendment which we can then offer directly back to you as a lawn / shrub / trees / flower beds treatment program.

Article source: http://news.hamlethub.com/ridgefield/life/40576-gardening-tips-5-things-to-do-this-fall-1382551561

Follow These Important Garden Tips Before The First Frost (VIDEO)

The days are getting shorter, you’ve brought your wool coat out of storage and you’re coming home to that fall scent of fireplaces. There’s only one more sign we’re waiting for before fully admitting that winter’s near: the first frost. Though we all have a little mental prep to do to deal with that, in the meantime, there’s a few things you have to do to prep your garden before that unpleasant morning surprise. (Can you tell we’re not “winter people” here?) Watch the video above to see the easy routine you should start…well, now.

Seasonal maintenance isn’t (too) much of a problem with these great houseplants.

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  • Rabbit’s Foot Fern

    According to Uli Lorimer, the curator of native plants at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, this is one of the a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/garden/11houseplants.html?pagewanted=all_r=0″ target=”_blank”harder plants to kill/a.

  • Snake Plant

    Better Homes and Gardens said this plant is “a href=”http://www.bhg.com/gardening/houseplants/no-fuss/easiest-houseplants-you-can-grow/#page=8″ target=”_blank”nearly indestructible./a”

  • Croton

    According to our expert blogger Tara Heibal, a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tara-heibel/houseplants_b_2500771.html” target=”_blank”the croton is forgiving/a since it will perk up after it wilts with just some water.

  • Ponytail Palm

    Horticulturalist Melinda Meyers says the Ponytail Palm is a href=”http://www.melindamyers.com/Radio-Houseplants-Holiday-Plants-and-Cut-Flowers/houseplants-holiday-plants-and-cut-flowers/easy-grow-ponytail-palm.html” target=”_blank”perfect for beginner gardeners/a.

  • Aloe Vera

    Not only will this plant help with sunburn, but it’s super easy to care for because a href=”http://houseplants-care.blogspot.com/2006/11/aloe-vera-plant-care.html” target=”_blank”it doesn’t require frequent waterings/a.

  • Peace Lily

    This plant isn’t just pretty, it also helps to a href=”http://inhabitat.com/7-indoor-plants-that-purify-the-air-around-you-naturally/peace-lilies/” target=”_blank”remove toxins from the air/a!

  • Gardening Tips: Houseplants

    Ahmed shares a way to create tropical conditions houseplants will love.

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/23/garden-tips-first-frost_n_4148465.html

Formal vegetable garden in St. Paul is beautiful, productive



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    St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood is a long way from the French countryside. But Eileen and Bill Troxel have managed to create a little slice of Provence in their back yard.

    The couple’s French-style kitchen garden is so picturesque that even the tomatoes, which usually look straggly by late summer, are tamed and tied into attractive submission — suitable for an elegant dinner party.

    In fact, dinner parties al fresco are almost a weekly occurrence during the growing season. The menu often features Eileen’s signature Tomato Tart, a French recipe made with heirloom tomatoes and Gruyère cheese, and meals are served on the massive harvest table that Bill built using cedar planks and metal pipe.

    “It’s all about the tomatoes,” said Eileen of her favorite produce. “We wait all year for this.”

    They’ve even hosted outdoor dinners in pouring rain, thanks to a canopy that can cover their entire patio. “We’ve sat out here when it was raining so hard you couldn’t hear the person next to you,” Eileen said.

    “The meal must go on,” Bill quipped.

    Eileen’s passion for gardening is intertwined with her passion for cooking and baking. “This is what I do. I’m in my kitchen all day,” she said. She loves creating recipes (her orange chocolate cookie took first place a few years ago in the Star Tribune Taste Holiday Cookie Contest), sharing recipes and whipping up gourmet treats for her family, friends and neighbors.

    When winter forces her inside, she spends more time on her blog, Living Tastefully (www.livingtastefully.com), which she shares with her sister, an antiques dealer, and contributions from a couple of German friends.

    Gardening was a tradition in Eileen’s extended family. “I grew up in the Amana [Iowa] Colonies; my mother and aunt lived next door to each other — they had a massive garden,” she said. “Summer was gardening.”

    But she didn’t start gardening on her own until she and Bill, a recently retired 3M executive, moved from a townhouse in New Jersey to their home in St. Paul in the mid-1980s.

    A huge, spreading maple tree made the yard too shaded to grow much food. But as Eileen got more immersed in culinary pursuits, she started longing to grow her own fruits and vegetables. “It went hand in hand,” she said.

    In 1997, the Troxels took down some trees, and with more sun coming into their yard, they began planting vegetables. “We started with two beds and kept adding,” Eileen said. Bill provides the heavy labor, while Eileen does the garden design.

    French inspiration

    Eileen had a very clear vision for her garden. “I knew I wanted a formal vegetable garden,” she said. “I go to France quite a bit, and a lot of the old chateaus have them.” After one trip, she remembers saying: “I don’t want to go home. I love it here.” She returned to St. Paul determined to re-create that feeling in their back yard.

    A former art student, she was committed to making the garden pretty as well as productive. “It’s all intuitive,” she said. “I just see everything a certain way.”

    The Troxels now grow a wide variety of edibles, including peppers, beets, beans, zucchini, eggplant, strawberries, rhubarb, grapes and herbs. But they also grow some food plants primarily for their looks — like cabbage, of which they have many heads, both green and purple. “I like cabbage, but not this much,” she said, pointing to her garden. “It’s for color. Without the cabbage, it would look kind of boring.”

    They also grow a few strictly ornamental plants, including roses and marigolds. Bill built an arbor to support the roses, although he suspects the roses are now supporting the arbor.

    The Troxels use raised beds, trellises and braces to provide structure for their plants. “I’m constantly tying,” Eileen said.

    • related content

    • Project: Beautiful Gardens

      Tuesday October 22, 2013

      We discover several spectacular private gardens each year in our Beautiful Gardens contest. From October to April, we’ll bring you into one Twin Cities garden a month.

    • Eileen Troxel and her husband, Bill, in the vegetable garden behind their St. Paul home. It produces edibles for her summer table and fodder for her food blog.

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    Article source: http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/228816511.html

    New Virtual Garden Designer Tool From the Suntory Collection Makes It Easy to …

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    Now professional landscape design help is just a click away with the new Virtual Garden Designer from The Suntory Collection.

    Creating a home garden brimming with beautiful blooming color starts with a design plan. It’s okay to ask for help. What looks sweet in the garden center might not be the best color scheme in the garden.

    Tokyo, Japan (PRWEB) October 23, 2013

    Beautiful gardens abound on home shows and in gardening magazines—and that Eden of beauty can seem unattainable for the average home gardener. Just how do these experts make landscapes look so beautiful?

    “Creating a home garden brimming with beautiful blooming color starts with a design plan. It’s okay to ask for help. What looks sweet in the garden center might not be the best color scheme in the garden,” says Evelyn Alemanni, an award-winning gardener, author and designer.

    Now professional landscape design help is just a click away with the new Virtual Garden Designer from The Suntory Collection. Best yet, the free online tool lets gardeners “test drive” color and plant choices before making the purchase.

    “When entering a garden center, shoppers are surrounded by explosions of color, and that can really be overwhelming,” says Alemanni. “Like a kid in a candy store, a gardener can go overboard, using the ‘some of these, some of those’ approach and mixing without much concern for matching.”

    The Virtual Garden Designer is a simple drag and drop online tool that allows users to compare flower color combinations planted as a group in a particular area as well as across the entire yard.

    “It can keep gardeners from making costly mistakes,” says Alemanni.

    How It Works

    The Virtual Garden Designer is a simple drag and drop online tool. Users first choose one of several planting areas in a virtual landscape, select up to three different flowers and then drop them into the selected garden spot.

    A thumbnail of the garden illustrates those plant combinations. Want to see them? Just click OK to see how they will look fully grown in the landscape. “This is important because sometimes plants grow much bigger or smaller than you think,” warns Alemanni.

    Clicking the clear button allows users to start over to create the combinations of plant color and forms again and again until just the right look is achieved. Proceeding in this way with each of the planting areas helps users design an entire “virtual landscape” step by step.

    Design Tips

    When it comes to creating a beautiful garden and yard, Alemanni is ready with expertise. She suggests using just one color in large swathes of the garden border or in garden islands. The Surfinia® Trailing Petunias, for example, create waves of spreading color. Choosing one Surfinia petunia color creates a bold and visually stunning garden.

    Repeating that bold color in smaller plantings or in combination containers brings a cohesiveness to the landscape, Alemanni adds. The Virtual Garden Designer tool offers more than 20 types of plants from The Suntory Collection and many colors within each to create subtle repeating of color.

    Lastly, Alemanni suggests going for broke by adding at least one large showstopper of a plant, either hanging in a container or growing up a trellis. The Sun Parasol® Mandevillas, which now come in a variety of colors and flower sizes, fit the bill with their somewhat tubular tropical flowers and glossy green leaves. Natural climbers, these mandevillas are stunning trained to a trellis or cascading from a hanging basket.

    “The Virtual Garden Designer tool has saved me time in the garden center,” Alemanni says. “During the busy growing seasons, the tool helps me decide in advance what I am looking for, and that helps me get in and out of the store quickly. I have better things to do on beautiful sunny weekends in spring and summer!”

    To access and use the free virtual garden designer tool online, find it at:

    http://suntorycollection.com/popup/garden_design.html.

    To learn more about The Suntory Collection of beautiful flowers, visit http://www.suntorycollection.com.

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    Article source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11253052.htm