Garden Designs – What You Need to Plan For

Your garden design will depend a great deal on the space you have available. If you have a large yard, you have nearly unlimited choices as to the layout of the garden. If your yard is small, you will have to be a little more creative, perhaps using an edible garden landscape approach. If you live on a steep hill, you will need to terrace.

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Smart Garden Ideas – Succession Planting

It is a good idea to grow crops in your garden year-round. There is no reason your yard must have several bare patches of dirt from late Fall through early Spring. Who wants to look at that?

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Growing Soil – Soil Is Not Just Dirt!

Soil is a living, breathing, organism that can make or break your garden. If it is too sandy or silty, it will drain too quickly and your plants will die of thirst. If it is too hard and clay-like, it will take too long to drain, if it drains at all, and your plants will suffocate.

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Garden Pest Control – Beneficial Birds, Bees, and Bugs

Bees help pollinate your crops, and birds and certain bugs feed on other bugs that would otherwise eat your crops, so you want a bird-, bee-, and beneficial-bug-friendly garden. These helpers will not completely get rid of garden pests, but they will enhance your food security by preventing a full-blown infestation from occurring.

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Growing Crops: Blackberries

Do yourself a favor and go to your local nursery that specializes in organic fruits and vegetables, and purchase blackberry canes that have already been propagated from seed. How many canes you buy depends on how fond you are of blackberries. You could also visit Nature Hills Nursery, as they have a selection of live blackberry cane varieties; click on the banner below to see your choices:

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Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is perhaps the single best way to fight disease and pest problems that can plague your vegetable crops. Ideally, you will have several separate areas, beds, patches, or sections in your garden so that you can rotate your crops around in order to prevent the same crops from being repeatedly grown in the same place. This also gives your soil a chance to recover each season.

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Planting Vegetables – Hardening Off and Transplanting

You cannot simply take your seedlings from their warm, protected place indoors and put them in the ground outside. They’ll die. They need to be introduced to the outdoors gradually.

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Growing Crops: Broccoli Rabe

What, exactly, is broccoli rabe (or raab, or raap)? Well, it’s not broccoli, for a start. It got that nickname due to its florets that resemble those of green calabrese (what we call broccoli here in the U.S.).

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Growing Crops: Currants

Most people are only familiar with the dried version of the black currant, sold in boxes alongside raisins in the supermarket. Smaller and a little more tart/tangy than raisins, they make a flavorful addition to baked goods and hot cereals. The fresh fruits are a tasty alternative to grapes and are ideal for making preserves.

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Why Grow Your Own?

Ever bitten into a store-bought cherry tomato only to discover it tastes faintly like the chemicals commonly used to disinfect toilets?

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