Archive for April, 2011

Beat the rain with containers as seen on KDKA’s PTL

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Cool wet weather has made it tough to get into the garden, I couldn’t take it anymore and put some containers together.

I’ve had a bunch out in the garden filled with pansies, my favorite for the cool spring weather, but there are a bunch of plants that will thrive in this weather.

I bought a couple six packs each of snapdragons, purple sweet alyssum, dusty miller and dianthus. That was enough to plant four nice-sized pots.

The key is using a good organic planting mix, not garden soil or heavy potting soil. Get the mix wet first, but not dripping, fill the pot and then plant.

If the plants are root bound when you pull them out of the six packs tear them up and be brutal. If you don’t spread out those roots they will stay that way all season.

Many of my containers were bought cheap at the nursery because the were broken or chipped. I just glue them together and face the crack the other way.

These certainly aren’t the most exotic plants, but I love them all and so will the bees. They will bloom all season filling the container with color.

The sweet allysum will attract good bugs and it’s so pretty.

I love dusty miller, if it winters over it will bloom with pretty yellow flowers. It adds a different color and texture to the container.

Don’t be afraid to fill up a container with cool weather crops like leaf lettuce.
ruby
‘Ruby’ lettuce was a gift from Dan Yarnick of Yarnick’s Farm. It will be ready to pick in a week or two. I might even sneak a few leaves off there today!
Put the pot right outside of the kitchen for the freshest salad. Leaf lettuce can be harvested by cutting the leaves close to the soil and the plant will return one or two more times for three harvests. After it’s tired and going to seed re-pot the container with something else.

Don’t let cool wet weather stop you from having fun, head out to a nursery and get some colorful plants and make your own design that will keep you happy all summer.
'Ruby' lettuce was a gift from Dan Yarnick of Yarnick's Farm. Can't get in the garden because it's too wet? Try containers, they can grow anything that's meant for the garden.

Easter Plants Can Live on! As Seen on KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

6 blog easter lily
Lilies are just one of the plants used as traditional Easter gifts. Hydrangeas, daffodils and other spring bulbs also fit the category. But there’s no reason to toss them after the holiday, all these plants will be happy in the garden and return season after season.
The hydrangeas need the most thought when planting. Improve the soil with compost and find a site with morning sun and afternoon shade if it’s available. When winter comes, surround the plant with burlap supported by wooden stakes. The covering protects the buds from freezing.
The bulbs are easier to plant, when choosing the site be sure to find a place that will dry out in the summer. Even though fall is the best time to plant bulbs, these plants should go in the ground as soon as they are done blooming.

One cool thing I found at Hahn Nursery in Ross were daffodils they planted from bulbs that weren’t sold last year. There are some really cool varieties and I love seeing them bloom before I plant them.
On Thursday 4/21/11 I’ll be at the Rachel Carson Homestead’s Plant Sale in Springdale at 4pm to answer garden questions and sign books, stop by and say hi.tulips

Organic Lawn Care as seen on KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

You can have the a great lawn without chemicals. The organic lawn allows you to walk barefoot in the grass again.
The key is treating the grass as a plant. Fertility and the Ph must be correct. When it is, the grass outgrows the weeds.
I like Jonathan Green organic products, but there are lots of different organic choices out there.
This is the time to apply corn gluten meal, it stops weed seeds from sprouting.
Use a good organic fertilizer to keep the grass growing strong and leave it long, at least three inches to shade out the weeds.

An organic lawn can be as beautiful as a chemical lawn and it's safer!

An organic lawn can be as beautiful as a chemical lawn and it's safer!

Check out The Organic Gardener’s Radio Show for more information about growing an organic lawn.

Organic Gardening Seminar with Doug Saturday 4/16/10 at Phipp’s Botany Hall

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Hope you can join me Saturday at 2pm for a two hour organic gardening seminar at the first ever Green Gatherings event sponsored by WYEP and The Allegheny Front Radio Show.
Let me help you plan the garden for your best season every and without having to reach for chemicals.
The cost of the seminar is $15 and you can register here-

Green Gatherings InformationGreenGatherings1

Indoor Stink Bug Trap Works!

Friday, April 8th, 2011

I just set up this trap last night and it’s already caught 10 bugs. I don’t have stink bugs very bad in the house, so I was surprised to see so many on the trap this morning.

More photos and story here-
Gardening with Doug, the Strube Stink Bug Trap.stinkbug 1

Plant cool weather crops now as seen on KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

It’s the right time to plant cool weather veggies in the garden. Most will be ready pretty quick. In the case of radishes in about a month. Lettuce, greens, onions, spinach and other spring crops will thrive in this coll weather. Don’t wait until May to plant, put something in the ground now and harvest when “normal” gardeners are just starting.

These cool loving crops were a gift from Dan Yarnick of Yarnick's Farm. They will thrive in the cool spring weather.

These cool loving crops were a gift from Dan Yarnick of Yarnick's Farm. They will thrive in the cool spring weather.