When To Sow?

It seemed to me that I started all of my seeds late last year, so I have been looking around for dates to start. By January I saw tons of people from my area starting pepper and tomatoes, which I didn’t think were supposed to be started until March. I love Mother Earth News magazine and when I searched their site, I came across a pdf with a chart to help figure out when to start your seeds. It is a very good resource because it tells you when to set out your seeds based on your last frost date (mine is 4/30), and then when you should start your seeds based on your setting out day.

My chart ended up looking like this: Continue reading “When To Sow?”

MyFolia, a Website for Gardeners

A few months ago, a friend introduced me to a gardening website that has become indispensable to me, and I don’t say this lightly! The website is myfolia.com, and it is a great way to keep a garden journal for those of us who are not inclined to write things down or who are looking to keep track electronically.

I signed up right after I received my purchased seeds this spring. I entered them into “my stash” and began to plan when I would plant them.

Myfolia Seed Stash

Next, I started actually planting and on myfolia Continue reading “MyFolia, a Website for Gardeners”

Makin’ Dirt

Composting is a great way to make dirt naturally and is an unseen but essential practice in organic gardening. Even while trying to garden in an environmentally-friendly manner, it is often easy to be lured into buying the latest must-have tool. For two years I have been using a plastic bin provided by my county after I took a class on composting. The bin was sufficient, but I found it hard to use because it was small and I couldn’t easily turn the pile without removing the entire bin.  In the last six months, I was not able to get anything out because the contents were compacted and there was little aeration. After looking into various options I decided I wanted a multiple bin system. Although I really wanted three bins, space limitations and the disproportionate size of the bin to my yard made me select a two bin system. This would allow two bins to make compost in varying stages at a time, or one working bin and a second to hold finished compost.

While at first we had thought we’d build our own, the reality of building a bin and purchasing the materials and cedar wood we had decided on was that we’d spend almost as much as if we bought a bin ready to assemble. I searched online and found a bin made by Master Garden Products that met most of my requirements. I was happy to find a statement on their website declaring “Trees are selectively harvested, with no clear cutting, and more trees are planted than we harvest.”  The two bins measured 36x36x36 each, and the separating wall between the two bins was removable as were the fronts, to provide easy access. This seemed perfect!

Two bin compost system

When the bin arrived I was immediately impressed with the quality and look of the panels. However I noticed one thing was missing Continue reading “Makin’ Dirt”

George the Snake

As I was working in my vegetable garden the other day, I found a new “friend.”

George the Snake (2)

His name is George, and he is a juvenile black rat snake.

George the Snake (4)

He was hiding under our gutter downspout, and after a quick meet and greet with the girls, he was returned to back to where we found him.

George the Snake (1)

Black rat snakes are native to Maryland. They are harmless snakes and actually help to control the rodent population. If you find a snake skin around the yard or in your house, the chances are it is from a black rat snake. While George may not look like a typical solid black black rat snake, it is because he is still young. As he gets older his color will darken and the pattern will become less distinct.