Category Archives: Environment

International Nude Gardening Day – An Event To Celebrate Gardening And Good Health

Nude (Naked) Gardening Day is 14 years old.
Happy birthday to all those brave soles that go nude in their gardens around the world on Nude Gardening Day, Saturday May 4, 2019.

Caution: Nude gardening is addictive and may be transmitted to other family members and close friends.

Status Active since 2005
Genre Annual naturism/nudism, gardening, guerilla gardening, permaculture event
Date(s) First Saturday of May
Frequency Annually, first Saturday of May
Location(s) International
Inaugurated Saturday, September 10, 2005
Most recent Saturday, May 5, 2018
* Next event Saturday, May 4, 2019
Website http://WNGD.org

Be brave, just do it.

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Flower in my weed patch

Little Bluestem grass photo @ Wikipedia.
This is year 3 on my go native project. So far it seems to be working out fairly well. During spring and summer I see a lot of Hummingbirds, bees, wasp and butterfly’s visiting the flowers and in the fall and winter I have a lot of cardinals”red birds’, doves, quail, finches and wrens that take advantage of flower and grass seed that remained after frost.

I have an area that covers about 10,000 square feet on the north side of my house/yard that I am allowing to reestablish it’s self in ‘mostly’ little bluestem, native grasses, wildflowers and a lot of just common weeds. It is a no mow area. Last fall I over seeded that area with some purple cone flower and Mexican hat flower seeds, but truth be know I really don’t know how much of that seed actually came into direct contact with bare soil or how much germinated. I will have a better idea later this summer when the flowers have had time to out grow the grass so I can get a idea what I should do this fall in my over seeding project.

I have another space only about 10 feet wide and 50 feet long on the west side of my chicken pen that I will over seed with purple cone flower and what the seed seller is calling ‘Long Headed Coneflower’ just before our next rain storm is forecast to pass over my tiny spot of Southwest Oklahoma.
FYI – Long Headed Coneflower, to me looks just like Mexican hat but with all the flower peddles colored yellow.

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Spring prepping for summer wildlife viewing

Hummingbirds will soon be returning to my tiny garden. Black-chinned and Ruby-throat hummingbirds have been sighted by bird spotters not more than 50 or 75 miles south of my tiny garden. 2019 spring hummingbird migration map

Today is forecast to be around 70%F, so, I’m making up a batch of sugar water and sterilizing hummingbird feeders. I want to be sure when birds arrive I have food out for them. After their long migration flights from central Mexico they will be tired and hungry in need of a high sugar, high energy food source.

The worst thing that can happen is I will need to dump and putout fresh food in 3 – 5 days should the birds fail to arrive this week.

FYI- To make your own sugar water, use 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. 1 cup water with 1/4 cup sugar, 2 cups water with 1/2 cup sugar, anyway your get it 4 to 1 ratio.
Bring water to a boil, add sugar and remove from heat source. Stir until sugar is dissolved in your hot water.
Do not boil your sugar water, you want sugar water not syrup.
Adding red food coloring to your sugar water is not necessary and in some cases can be harmful to hummingbirds.
Hint: Use pure cane sugar not beet sugar.

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Things some people have forgotten and some young people never knew

Before you get your Political Correct panties in a knot.
This is a fun posting and should be viewed as a Fun Posting.

cheap good fast 
 
 
 
My Garden Fairy spreading garden fairy dust in my garden

fairy
 
 
 
With all the scandals on fraud and bribery in university admissions, parents and student alike must consider what $75 thousand dollars buys at our top rated universities.

college dorm
 
 
 

I support PETA. People Eating Tasty Animals
vegetarian
 
 
 
A few words of free advice for our young people in and out of university.

Why do ->YOU<- garden?

I often hear gardeners bragging about how much money they have saved by self growing vegetables in their backyard or plot gardens. If you do a detail cost assessment of your growing cost and supermarket cost per pound(kilo) you may find it is costing more per pound to grow than to buy.

Gardening and gardeners generally fall into two categories.
Category 1. I think most home gardeners fall into category 1 gardeners. Gardening for us is a hobby. We are not in gardening because we think we will be saving a few hundred or even a thousand dollars on our yearly food bill.

We garden because we enjoy growing things and being out of doors. We like seeing our flower and vegetable seed grow and bloom. Freshly harvested vegetables have better color and taste better than vegetables that were picked last week and shipped to supermarkets.

Cost of gardening is not a primary consideration for us. We are into gardening for it’s health and entertainment value.

Category 2. This category often includes survivalist, penny pincers, those living off the grid or mostly off the grid. Category 2 gardeners are concerned with feeding their family summer and winter from home garden grown produce. They are most likely to can, freeze and dehydrate garden produce for long term storage. Gardening is not a hobby to them. It’s a yearly on going job/task to be accomplished.

It matters not if you are a category 1 or 2 gardener gardening is not cheap. The initial cost can be overwhelming.
Container gardening requires investment in large containers(pots). Damaged pot must be replaced. New fresh potting soil must be purchased every spring.
Flower/vegetable seed must be purchased and often seeds or seedlings must be purchased every growing season. Many times you must invest in grow lighting. Allocate space and a heated environment to germinate and grow seedlings.

Green house or grow house are a costly investment and require continuous maintenance. Initial grow lighting is not cheap nor is the cost of heating a grow area or green/grow house.

Raised beds are not cheap to buy or build and require maintenance to keep them in good condition. Raised beds must be replaced every few years. They must be rejuvenated by adding compost every grow season.

All situations require the use of organic or man made fertilizers.
Insect and weed control be it organic or commercial made is an ongoing battle that is time consuming and often expensive.
Few areas receive enough rain at the time needed, so add the cost of collecting water or the cost of using tap water to keep your garden plants in good, healthy and productive condition.

Some, not all gardeners must invest in good fencing to keep pest like deer, dogs, lions, tigers, bears and elephants out of their garden plot.

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Spring .. are we there yet?

Spring… depending on your definition of spring, March 1 or to some March 21 is the start of spring. Either way my soil temperature at the 2 inch depth is 45%F and still to cool for most spring garden plant seed to germinate well.

FYI: I garden in USDA hardness zone 7, in southwest Oklahoma. It is still 40 or so days until the arrival of my last usual frost free night, some time around the 10th of April.

This morning I have had a winter weather event. Temperatures have dropped from 33%F at 6AM to 23%F recorded at 3PM this afternoon. Not much rain but enough to cover everything with a thin layer of ice.

I ventured out long enough to fill/refill bird feeders and now it is time to pour a glass of wine and watch the birds getting fat on welfare bird seed platters.

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Fried Green Beans – as a side-dish or healthy snack food

Fried Green Beans are a great, different way to serve green beans. Your family will love them.
They can be served as a side-dish or served as a healthy snack.
Hint: As a snack serve them with Ranch Dressing as a dipping sauce.

1 pound green beans
1-1/2 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Time from start to table is about 30 minutes.

Leave beans whole do not cut into small sections.
Wash under cold running water.
Boil or steam green beans until crisp tender. Beans should still have a little bite to them. Do not overcook.
Error on being a bit under cooked.
Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet until sizzling.
Add green beans and fried over medium-high heat until beans are lightly browned.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve as a side-dish or snack food while still warm.

Hint: Spoon a small amount of the butter and olive oil used during frying over the beans just before serving.

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Planning Your 2019 Garden Now is the time to make spring garden plans

A gazillion words and post have been published about the benefits of raised bed gardening and square foot gardens.

In truth raised beds may not be your best choice. Raised beds are generally best suited to cooler and wetter climates than weather conditions found in Americas West and Southwest.

Pros of Raised Bed Gardening:
More control over the location of the garden
Ability to choose the best soil for your particular plants
More efficient draining
Can be easier on backs and knees due to less bending and stooping
May be helpful keeping weeds out of your garden space
The soil warms up earlier in a raised bed, so you can plant earlier and extend your growing season
May work better keeping ground dwelling pests out of your garden plot

Cons of Raised-Bed Gardening:
Will be more expensive to get started
Requires careful planning to make sure there is enough room for plants that need to spread out, and to ensure that you can reach the middle to tend the plants
*** Because raised beds drain so efficiently, they will also need to be watered more often and may require an irrigation system
In the west and southwest water is a valuable, often scarce resource. Areas with little natural rain fall, daily temperatures at or above 90 degrees and humidity levels often dropping to 10% or 20%, tap water is an expensive way to water your garden.

Raised bed planting has the disadvantages of more frequent watering during dry periods and the cost of filling your beds with large quantities of compost, soil-less growing medium and may require more frequent use of commercially made or organic fertilizers.
Root vegetables, think potatoes and carrots that penetrate more than 3 or 4 inches deep into the soil where they are planted may suffer in raised bed plantings.

Amending garden soil by digging in or tilling in large amounts of compost and planting directly in the amended soil very well may be a better choice over raised beds. You will over time develop a quality garden soil that holds moisture. Couple this with extensive use of mulch water needs will be greatly reduced and over heated soil temperatures can be moderated.
* This years mulch will be tilled into the soil as an amendment for next years garden.

Practically Free Raised Beds by Will Atkinson

I saw a great post about salvaging and recycling wood fence to construct raised beds. Many wood fences are made from cedar and are naturally insect and rot resistant. Practically Free Raised Beds After building your first recycled wood fence raised bed is a good time to consider a square foot garden. If used to it’s maximum advantage, you can grow a lot of food using only a few square feet of garden space.

4-hole-dibbleboard

Build A Dibble Board
If your one of those that want and insist that every plant be perfectly spaced. This little gadget may be just what you have been looking for.

Build A Dibble Board Check out ‘gardeninggrrl’ blog for a lot of pictures and building instructions.

Keep in mind you may need two or even three of every dibble board. Most garden seeds need to be planted 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch or 1 inch deep. Seed planted 1 inch deep that ‘should have been planted 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep may never break through to see the light of day. In this event you have wasted your time, water and seed.

My dibble board consist of placing my seed on the ground at my desired spacing, using my finger to press the seed into the soil to the proper planting depth, cover my finger dibble hole with soil, then wait for them to germinate.

furrow planting

Farmers over the last 8,000 years have devised main 3 planting methods to maximize water usage and fertilizer to produce the most vegetables at the lowest cost on the least amount of land.

Furrow planting is common in areas with enough rain to produce a crop but with the need to conserve as much soil moisture as possible.

bed planting

bed planting

Bed planting provides additional root zone drainage as well as providing a reservoir to hold moisture near the plants root zone for a longer period of time after irrigation or rains.
Bed planting act much like raised bed planting without the cost of constructing bed boxes and filling raised beds with soil/soil mixes.

Minimum till planting is a method that has been used for thousands of years and in the past 25 years has been rediscovered by farmers in the USA and the UK as well as many other more developed countries. In minimum till planting, last years crop stubble is left in the field to prevent or minimize soil erosion from winds and heavy rain water run off and reduces soil drying by providing ground cover {mulch}.
At planting time, seeds are planted on flat ground without removing old crop stubble.

What gardening method is best for you? That is a decision that only you can decide. Using raised beds, furrow planting, bed planting or minimum till planting is mostly {for home gardeners} a personal choice dictated by ‘your’ garden plots size, location and amount of time and effort you are willing and able to put into your home garden.

No matter what method you choose, keep an open mind and consider other gardening methods if the way you are doing it now fails to produce as much as you feel that it can and should be producing.
The old worn out, I have always done it this way is not an acceptable answer to resolving a gardening problem.

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Heirloom and Natural Hybrid Tomato’s

Tomato Growers would like for you to purchase seed from them.
With that said I present this site to you for reference and research purposes only. Purchase seed from your trusted supplier.

Disclaimer: I am not associated with Tomato Growers in anyway. I have never received money or gifts from Tomato Growers.
I have been satisfied with seed I have purchased in the past.
You must do your homework before sending any company money for their advertised products.

Tomato Growers website contains a ton of useful Tomato information including a picture and a detail description about tomato uses, size, days to harvest, disease resistance as well as other useful information.

650 varieties of hybrid and heirloom seed are sold by Tomato Growers supply company. Home page. Listings for tomato, eggplant, pepper, squash and more heirloom garden seed.

Tomato Growers promise to buyers is:
No GMO’s
All of our seeds come from natural hybrid or open-pollinated heirloom varieties.
Tomato Growers do not sell any GMO’s or genetically engineered varieties.

Go directly to Best site I have found to shop or simply learn more about Natural Hybrid and Heirloom tomato varieties.Tomato’s, natural hybrids and heirlooms page.

Never buy heirloom garden seed again. Become a seed saver and save your hard earned cash for other garden projects.

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Home Grown Salad – Seed To Fork

Lettuce is fast growing cool weather crop that quickly reaches maturity. It is a cool season plant best grown in the spring and fall of the year in most of the U.S. With so many loose leaf and head varieties your most difficult decision is which varieties to plant.

First plant the cold tolerant lettuce varieties in the cool early spring months, then sow the heat tolerant varieties in late spring to spread out your lettuce harvest as long as possible. Stage plant lettuce, planting pots and beds every 7 to 10 days.
Lettuce benefits from a rich well drained soil.
Fertilize lettuce using a nigh nitrogen based fertilizer, something like 10-5-5.

Hint Lettuce seed require exposure to sun light to germinate.
Sprinkle seeds on top of the soil, and lightly cover or scratch them into the bed just below the surface of the soil. It is helpful to cover pots and beds with clear plastic to prevent your soil from drying out before your lettuce seed germinate. For best performance, Lettuce must be kept moist, Not Wet, throughout its growing season.

Harvest Lettuce at any stage of growth, small, young plants are tender with a delicate flavor.

Some proven and reliable Lettuce varieties are listed for your consideration.

Cold-Weather Lettuce
Arctic King (green, semiheading)
Brune d’Hiver (green, semiheading)
Rouge d’Hiver (red, romaine type)
Winter Marvel (green, semiheading)

Cool-Weather Lettuce
Buttercrunch (green, semiheading)
Four Seasons (red and green, semiheading)
Lolla Rossa (red, leaf lettuce)
Royal Oakleaf (green, leaf lettuce)
Tom Thumb (green, semiheading)

Heat-Tolerant Lettuce
Black Seeded Simpson (green, leaf lettuce)
Craquerelle du Midi (green, romaine type)
Red Riding Hood (red, semiheading)
Two Star (green, leaf lettuce)

Kale is a hardy, cool season green that is part of the ‘cole’ cabbage family. It grows best in the spring and fall and can tolerate frosts. Kale is rich in minerals and vitamins A and C.

You can plant kale anytime from early spring to early summer. If you plant kale late in the summer you can harvest it from Fall until the ground freezes in Winter.

Spinach has similar growing conditions and requirements as lettuce, it is nutritious and can be eaten raw or cooked. Spinach is high in iron, calcium, vitamins and is a excellent source of vitamin A, B, and C.

Plant seeds when your soil temperature is 40%F to 75%F. Seeds may fail to germinate in warm soils. Plant seed 1/2 to 1 inch deep and 2 inch apart cover lightly with soil. After germination, thin plants 4 to 6 inches apart. Keep your seed bed damp ‘Not Wet’ to speed germination.

Swiss Chard Plant in full sun or particular shade. Chard prefers full sun early in the season, part shade in summer when it’s warm. Chars will Tolerate moderate frosts, but don’t plant in very early spring. Seed Germinates when your soil reaches 40%F to 95%F, but is best around 70%F.

Chard likes well drained moist (Not Wet) soil. It prefers deep, loose, fertile soil, high in organic matter, with pH 6.0 to 7.0. Needs consistent moisture, especially as plants grow large.
Chard will benefit from a mid season fertilization using a N-P-K of something like 10-5-5.

Beets like full sun and will handle light shade. Beets are not heavy feeders and tolerates low fertility soils. Plant beets in well drained loam to silt loam soil, high in organic matter. Beets tolerate low fertility and light frost but require consistent moisture.

Beet seed Germinates from about 40%F to 85%F but around 50%F is a good soil planting temperature. Seed will begin to emerge in 5 to 8 days. Don’t panic it may take two to three weeks in cooler soils.

Temperature, it’s all about the soil temperature.
Soil temperature is almost never to warm, however, soils that are to cool and damp at worst can cause your seed to rot in the ground and at best take many days to germinate. Seedling in cool soil grow slowly and often do not develop into healthy productive plants.

vegetable seed germination chart

herb seed germination chart

Words of wisdom: Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day. Harry S Truman

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