5 Tips and Tricks to Growing Strawberries Organically

5 Tips and Tricks to Growing Strawberries Organically

I’ve been trying to grow strawberries organically for the last ten years. Eight of those ten years have been complete failures. I had one good year, my second year where I was taking in bowls of healthy strawberries but every year after that I was dealing with major diseases.

I finally had a BIG breakthrough this year! I did all these things on my list and it worked! Where we live in Arkansas there is a multitude of diseases because the heat, humidity, and rain. If you are struggling with healthy strawberries just follow these tips and you will have success.

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The Ultimate Guide to Growing More Food in a Small Space

The Ultimate Guide to Growing More Food in a Small Space

When it comes to growing a lot of food in a small area, I have so many tricks and tips to share with you! My own garden is 5000 square feet right now but it wasn’t always that way.

And to tell you the truth, since we are growing a year’s worth of food for six people, I still constantly employ all my methods for growing a large amount of food in a small space. If you check out my Guide on How Much to Plant Per Person for a Year’s Worth of Food, you will see that you need to be creative to make that happen with the space you have.

Want to know the first BIG secret to growing more food in a small area?

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7 Must Have Garden Tools to Make Your Life Easier

7 Must Have Garden Tools to Make Your Life Easier

I’m a huge believer in having the right tools for the job. When you put a lot of effort into something like a garden it can be so frustrating to fail because you didn’t have the right supplies.

To be honest, I wish I would have found these tools years ago. I could have saved hundreds of hours of back breaking labor. I’m not kidding you. A great garden tool is like a shortcut to your best garden ever!

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11 Common Seed Starting Mistakes and Tips to Avoid Them

11 Common Seed Starting Mistakes and Tips to Avoid Them
  1. Overwatering. My kids recently experienced this one. They get so excited for starting their seeds and want to take the best care of them. It’s kind of like smothering a pet, you love it so much it hurts the pet. Don’t do that with your seeds. Wait until the soil is beginning to feel almost dry to water. And I mean almost dry, not completely dry. There should still be a bit of moisture in the soil. Your little seedling babies will be ok, I promise.

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5 Tips for Growing Broccoli with Success

5 Tips for Growing Broccoli with Success

Tip #1 Plant at the right time of year.

This is a major key in growing broccoli successfully. During head formation broccoli plants need cool days and cool nights. In most of the United States they can be grown either in the fall or in the spring.

Spring planting: Start seed indoors before 8 to 10 weeks before the average last frost.  Transplant into the garden 3-4 weeks before the average last frost.

Fall planting: Start seed indoors 15 to 17 weeks before average first frost of fall. Transplant outdoors 10-12 weeks before average first frost of fall…

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What You Need to Know BEFORE You Plant Apple Trees

What You Need to Know BEFORE You Plant Apple Trees

A few weeks ago, some of our good friends were planting apple trees and were asking me the basics you need to know for planting apple trees. In responding to their questions, I realized it’s not quite as simple as it seems. The act of planting apple trees is not complicated. But if you want apples in years to come there are some important things you need to know before the tree goes in the ground.

I’m going to cover several points.

  1. Selecting a variety that works for your area and how you want to grow. (Organic or Conventional)

  2. Where to buy quality trees.

  3. Selecting the correct pollinators for your tree.

  4. When to plant.

  5. Where to plant. (Spacing and Location)

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How to Prune Blackberries

How to Prune Blackberries

In order to understand how to prune blackberries it’s important to understand the basics of how blackberries grow. Blackberries are perennials. This means that the root system will live for many years. The root system produces new canes yearly. Canes produced are biennial and die after two years.

The first year of growth on a blackberry is called a primocane. For many varieties of blackberries (though not all) this is primarily a vegetative year of growth and will not produce fruit.

The second year of growth on a blackberry is called a floricane. Floricanes will bear fruit.

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9 Things I wish I knew as a Beginner Gardener

9 Things I wish I knew as a Beginner Gardener

1.  I wish I had never used pesticides or herbicides.  When I moved east from Idaho, where I had gardened before, I got a shock. The bugs and diseases are rampant in hot and humid Arkansas.

I had squash bugs all over my zucchini squash and I sprayed a broad spectrum pesticide on that plant religiously. The plant died anyway and the next year, the bugs were worse…

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3 Ways to Check your Soil PH for under $10

3 Ways to Check your Soil PH for under $10

Before we talk about ways to test your soil PH, I want to explain why.

Testing your ph is essential to a healthy and thriving garden. Most vegetables and fruits grow in a ph of 6.0-7.0. However, some plants like asparagus for example like more base soil, Ph 6.5-7.5. And on the opposite end of the spectrum you have blueberries that love the ph to be right at 5.0 or a little under.

Having the proper ph for your plants allows nutrients to be able to be absorbed by the plant. No matter how much n-p-k and micronutrients are in your soil they can’t be properly absorbed without the correct ph… (Read More)

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How to Make Eliot Coleman's Soil Blocking Mix

How to Make Eliot Coleman's Soil Blocking Mix

About five years ago, I started doing soil blocks for the majority of my seeds. I use Eliot Coleman’s recipe. This recipe can be used for both soil blocking and regular seed starting in any other container. Because the recipe belongs to Eliot Coleman, I have not posted ratios on my blog. However, the full recipe can be found on Johnny’s Seeds website HERE. Johnny’s Seeds and Eliot Coleman collaborate on many projects.

I also highly recommend his book, The New Organic Grower, which has the soil block recipe noted above and a mini block recipe. The book is worth it just for the soil block recipes. In addition to that Eliot Coleman is a gardening genius and it has tons of other gems in the book as well. [Read More…]

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Organic Bug Control- Squash Bugs, Cutworms, Hornworms, and Japanese Beetles.

Organic Bug Control- Squash Bugs, Cutworms, Hornworms, and Japanese Beetles.

I thought it would be fun to post about how I get rid of bugs in the garden. There are so many bugs here. My main pest is squash bugs.

I used to squish squash bugs eggs with my fingers but it was time consuming and gross. Then I saw an idea on the internet to use duck tape. It works wonders! The tricks to check the plants at least every other day…

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