You are viewing the most recent 25 entries.
8th January 2009
djtabernacle @ : Create a Wildlife Friendly Winter Garden
With the wonky weather these days, PLUS residential expansion, local wildlife is bound to suffer. Right now is the best time to fill birdfeeders and add nexting boxes so local birds can have a better shot of making it through the icy weather. These Wildlife Friendly Yard Accessories are an easy way to accomodate feathered friends.
Draw Birds and Butterflies to Your YardBy: Tabitha Sukhai, This Old House online
Who doesn't enjoy the sight of a brightly colored bird, or a passing butterfly? These natural visitors add appeal to our landscapes, help control pests, and seed and pollinate our gardens. But we're in danger of losing them through our own actions. According to the National Audubon Society, the 20 birds on the Common Birds in Decline list have lost at least half of their populations in just four decades due to residential and industrial development.
It's not too late to coax fine flying friends into our yards, though. This summer—with skyrocketing fuel prices putting the squeeze on your vacation plans—instead of going to visit nature, why not bring nature to you? Encourage birds and butterflies to come to your place and stay awhile with these easy habitat gardening tips.
Reduce Your Lawn
According to the National Wildlife Federation, about 20 million U.S. acres are planted as residential lawn. That's not good news for the environment. All that lawn eats up 67 million pounds of synthetic pesticides annually, contaminating wildlife food sources. "Trace pesticides in insects, including caterpillars and butterflies, can harm the birds that depend on those populations for nourishment," says Steven Saffier, the coordinator of the Audubon Society's Audubon at Home program. Lawns are also water wasters. According to The Handbook of Water Use and Conservation, roughly 2 trillion gallons of water are used on lawns annually. Half of that is wasted due to evaporation, wind, or run-off caused by overwatering. Finally, lawnspace provides none of the cover, fruiting and seeding plants, or nesting sites that birds and other wildlife require.
A wild-life friendly habitat garden replaces manicured lawn with plants that attract native and migratory birds, butterflies, and other wildlife seeking food and cover. Habitat gardening essentially replicates pre-development land conditions. "You have to ask yourself, 'What is my ecological address? What plants were here before this house was built?' Then try to replicate that," advises Saffier. You can learn about your property's natural history by visiting a local nature center or contacting your local native plant society. Ask for specific forest type or dominant habitats to mimic in your backyard. "If someone learns that, historically, their house sits on what once was maple-beech-hickory forest type, they wouldn't want a sabal palm or magnolia because those have native ranges far outside an MBH forest," explains Saffier.
You should also eliminate the use of wildlife-harming chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and employ organic gardening solutions instead. "The idea is to encourage biodiversity. Birds eat insects, and insects eat plants," explains Saffier. "So, habitat gardeners are just going to have to expect some imperfection in their gardens." In return for that imperfection, you'll not only enjoy the birds and butterflies; you'll also save the time, money, and water it takes to keep that part of the lawn pristine.
See the rest of the article
Create a Butterfly Garden
Plants for Backyard Birds
15th March 2008
jessi_lune @ : is winter over yet?
The nurseries are sending out catalogues. I try not to drool on them too much.
All those heirloom variety seeds to order! My vege garden to plot! New native plants to add to the butterfly garden!
Conclusion: I need more land. . .
oh, and melting that 4 ft of snow would be nice too.
Last year my 'lazagna' gardening (organic-layering-no dig) was a booming success. I've never had such an easy time making a garden from scratch with NO DIGGING!
This year I am trying the 'square foot gardening method' thanks to the library book I picked up (by the same name). It is an older book -written in the early 1980s. I have high hopes for this one too.
Anyone have anything special they are thinking of trying this year?
23rd June 2007
18th May 2007
jessi_lune @ : seedling woes and triumphs
I have no problem growing anything in the squash family, and sunflowers are also easy. But this year I thought I was experienced enough now to try something harder. So I bought LOTS of seeds and planted them and up some popped on my windowsill. Others didn't. And then the ones I babied died when they wre still in the cotelydon stage. Dammit.
Green peppers have lived so far. . .but I am at a loss as to why so many others popped up, wouldn't grow any more and then died. No damping off, but I did not underwate either. Any suggestions?
8th March 2007
jessi_lune @ : spring is coming! Time to sew sew sew!
it's official! I have been impatiently buying annual seeds since January and now my calendar tells me it is time to start planting indoors (8 wks ahead of last frost date, in Ontario it is usually early May)! My kitchen window is bursting full of seed trays (carefully labelled) -I had to move some of the usual occupants to new and innovative sunny spots.
I am not sure my hansters are impressed with their cages being used as pedastals so my lipstick plant can get enough south sun. ;p
This year I am trying lots of new annuals, including safflower. They were actually begun last week and I am so excited! Little seedlings are coming up under the clear plastic bag! I will let them get a bit bigger before I take the bag off -then I have to make sure they don't dry out and die, or worse damp off and die.
So for all experienced gardeners out there, here is my question. I have heirloom seeds (old english foxglove, snapdragons, paeony poppies, etc) that I bought in 2004. Each year I'd use some and germinate them, no problem. This year I am starting to wonder if they will come up -the acid test is planting them, of course. But does anyone have a good line or a good website on the viability of seeds as they age?
Happy planting guys.
an interesting read on pest control of foreign obnoxious weeds by their natural pathogens.
21st February 2007
16th February 2007
4th February 2007
jessi_lune @ : Interesting question about snitching seeds and plants
Surfing through some of the other forums, I landed on Seed Saving and it struck me that the most heavily responded to posts were on the topic of "seed snatching". Armed with baggies, envelopes, clippers, etc. everything... from big box stores, nursery centers, parks, public buildings, arboretums, national parks, the median strip plantings along highways, and even private gardens ...seems to be fair game.
With all the gardeners who are more than willing to share a cutting, division or seeds from an admired plant, plus all the trades and exchanges that exist, skulking around Home Depot to take plant pinchings or clipping a piece of someone's cemetery basket doesn't seem to be the way to collect. Plus stealing from forests is not an environmentally friendly practice.
HOWEVER. . .by not leaving the house without a bandolier of gardening tools, am I cheating myself out of a somehow perceived inherent entitlement? What do you think? ;p
This post is intended to let people share their views; I am interested in all opinions out there, past experiences, etc. Cheers
29th January 2007
mira_fastfire @ : Hi! I'm new to gardening, and I'm going to be taking care of this poor little garden that's been neglected here at my partner's new house.
But I'm having trouble finding what kinds of plants need to be planted when. Anybody have any really good resources for the beginner?
I also still need to get the soil pH tested. Any cheap ideas for that?
Many, MANY thanks!!
Current Mood: curious
27th January 2007
missann3 @ : Need grass growing help!
Can anyone recommend to me a good grass seed that can handle mostly shade? I am having problems getting grass to grow in my back yard. The back yard is mostly shaded and I do have two dogs that run around the yard. So I need some type of seed that is very hardy and can handle just about any kind of abuse. I live in TN so the summers are in the high 90s and winters get low 10s.
Any suggestions, would be greatly appreciated.
21st January 2007
21st October 2006
smileforsuzy @ : longshot
I realize this is a long shot, but I'm doing a research project in marketing and need some insight. We are creating the media plan (what media to use, and who to appeal to) for an organic gardening store, that specializes in environmentally friendly soils, fertilizers, and pesticides. My part of the project is to learn more about and understand the consumer market, so I had a few questions about
gardeners. I would appreciate it if you had the time to answer a few of them, if you know the answers off the top of your head. I hope it's not
too much trouble.
I'm just looking for insight into the types of people that garden, why they garden, and where
It is used as a release, is it a hobby, is it something you learned from your family, is it a form of bonding with children, do you take pride in your garden, why do you like having a garden/ gardening? Are there any other hobbies you partake in that you consider to be related to gardening. Do you just grow potted plants or do you have a full garden in a yard? Where do you get your gardening supplies, where do you find tips, are you part of a local gardening community? When did you start gardening, how much time a day do you spend gardening? And also, when you look at advertising, what form of media would make a greater impact on your gardening purchasing decisions? tv, radio, billboards, free samples?
Things like that, or anything else you might want to add.
Sorry if this is innappropriate to ask.
I just thought I'd give it a try.
you can comment back or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
thanks so much!
7th October 2006
_awakening @ : does anyone still post to this community???
15th April 2006
driftingfocus @ : So I have several new plants inside in a sunny window in pots, and I'm wondering how often I should water them? They are:
Blue Lupines - small plant
Salvia - small plant
Rosemary - small plant
Blue Dephinium - small plant
Bluebonnets - still seeds (unsprouted)
California Poppies - still seeds (unsprouted)
Lavender - still seeds (unsprouted)
Also, if you have any recommendations for these plants in general, they would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide!
Current Mood: curious
1st March 2006
nf_latte @ : Starting Seeds
I live in NY and I am growing from seeds for the first time this year. When do you suggest I start them? I was thinking in another week or two, or is that to early (or late?)
Also, besides yogurt containers, what are some good starter containers?
19th February 2006
nf_latte @ : Intro
My name is Sarah and I am 25 and living in Buffalo, New York. I am currently an "adult learner" (a non-traditional student) who has returned to school for my certification in nutrition. I already have a BA in poli sci.
This is my first year planting a vegetable garden. Last year I did container planting because I did not have time to build up the area in my backyard where I envisoned my garden, but this year, thanks to proper planning, I do. As a matter of fact, I ordered my seeds today.
Any other questions about me, feel free to ask!
17th February 2006
punching_isis @ : Seed Swap!
Hello all. I've been lurking here a little while and this community has inspired me to start a seed swap. You will be swapping 4 types of seeds along with an extra bit of something related to gardening. This could be a great tip for keeping up the type of plants you got them, a pot, a gardening apron, even infused oil made from herbs out of your own garden. Swappers will be notified whether their swapee is an indoor or outdoor gardener and what zone they are in. Sign-ups will close Sunday, February 26th (You will get your swapee on Wednesday, March 1st). Deadline to send your seeds is Friday, March 31st (that gives you a month).
If you are interested in more info check out my journal or email me at kathy(at)16sparrows(dot)com.
Thank you too all you lovely ladies for the inspiration and great info on this community!
13th October 2005
olliekitty @ : Compost pile question
I have started a compost pile and would like to keep it. I was told by a neighbor that I could not have one because I live on a river and I would get river rats. I don't really know how to have one in the first place- what do I need to be doing? Do I need to add bacteria to it? What kinds of things can I put in there?
never_here @ : Compost question:
My boyfriend and I just boiled down a bunch of vegetable scraps for stock. We have a whole lot of boiled veggies left over. Is it alright to put those in our compost? It's just a pile compost, nothing fancy. We're just not sure if it would be ok to put cooked things in there, whether they be vegetables or not.
x-posted like crazy
24th September 2005
deliciousjones @ : is there an online guide outline when we can start planting fall bulbs?
27th June 2005