8.29.2013

A Collection of Inspiring Garden Projects and Websites

With the garden of information that the internet quite literally grows on a daily basis, it can sometimes be difficult to uncover interesting websites or blogs among the overgrowth of weeds. My online travels this week encompassed topics from sustainable landscaping practices, edible landscaping, organic gardening concepts, to urban homesteading


First Corn in the Garden
JA Tucker 2013
The following collection of website and blog links will lead you to my most inspiring and interesting garden finds of the week, so far... 

Please click on the following title links to be taken to the site!

I absolutely love this site, the project and the lifestyle!
Join the family on Twitter @urbanhomestead


The name had me immediately sold! An informative “urban organic” (HeavyPetal) blog from the West Coast of Canada, this is a site I look forward to checking back on!

Life on the Balcony focuses on container garden ideas and inspiration (Perfect, seeing as I was looking for some inspiration!). The site is well designed and full of great ideas to start your new container garden or build on your existing one.


This is a great resource website for those interested in farming and sustainable agriculture in the US.

Now, would this not be the ultimate field trip?!? 
This project first caught my eye many years ago.


This site has tons of information, be sure to find a comfy spot to sit before biting into this site!

Come across other inspiring garden projects, websites or blogs recently? Share the goods with us!

While you are here, please take a moment to show some love and follow Garden. Plant. Grow. Eat. at one of the following links, or sidebar widgets:)

8.22.2013

1 Part Compost + 1 Part Top Soil = 2 Happy Raised Vegetable Garden Beds & Some Massive Zucchinis!

Before I get too deep into this garden tale, I will admit this is a story about my mother’s raised vegetable garden. The edible garden design consists of two raised beds, a few tomato plants, some variety of hot peppers, zucchinis, squash and a collection of miscellaneous kitchen herbs. 

The garden design started as two simple raised beds made out of 2X8’s. I remember the day they filled the beds. As I watched a very well-aged pile of yard waste compost be deposited between the two beds, filling them half way, I wondered what kind of garden this mix was going to grow… Proceeding from there, the beds were filled with a rich, black top soil, thoroughly mixed, and then planted.  

A month or so later, I received a phone call from my mother regarding a concern with some very recent growth in her garden. There had been a few heavy rains in the week prior and one good electrical storm. She was concerned because her tomato plants had almost doubled in size, out of control, in a matter of days and these massive zucchinis were appearing everywhere! I had to go take a look…

JA Tucker 2013
Mom was right! These tomato plants were all over the place, the weight of the fruit breaking branches, and huge tomatoes. Oh, and by the way, would anyone like some zucchini? They were (and still are) exploding from everywhere in and around her raised beds, and seem to be getting larger as the season wears on. The last one I brought home for the freezer was over fourteen inches long! This is all grown from a simple mix of compost, top soil, water, sun, and love, completely organic and no additives. You can bet I am kickin’ myself for not taking a bag of that compost for my garden when it was offered!  

Between the heavy rain, the electrical storm, and her great soil mix, I am not surprised, at all, her garden took such a jump and is doing so well. Add a little warm weather, and there you go! Her garden looks great, I am so proud of her.

Speaking of freezing zucchini… Any advice on tasty ways of preserving our excess zucs for the winter that you would not mind to share would be greatly appreciated!


Moral of this garden tale: You can never use to much compost!

8.15.2013

The Great Melon Debate

Calling all melon lovers! Voice your opinion in The Great Melon Debate

What is your favorite melon, and why? 
By Steve Evans (Watermelons) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], 
via Wikimedia Commons
That first bite of a fresh, juicy watermelon in the heat of a mid-summer day is hard to beat. As the watermelon has come to be known as a common site on picnic tables, or at a summer BBQ, one could hastily conclude that it would be the all-star favorite melon of the melon consuming population. This may very well not be the case though… 

Back in the spring, I had written a Guide to buying heirloom and hybrid melons. Prior to researching the article I simply let my taste buds guide me. After only mildly looking into the health benefits of the many different varieties of melons, I quickly realized their importance in one’s diet. 

Is it the watermelon, a cantaloupe, casaba, honeydew, a hybrid variety, or a special heirloom melon, that you would consider the best tasting, or healthiest? Share your thoughts, knowledge, melon myths, stories, or interesting nutritional secrets about melons, and weigh in on the debate in the ‘Comments’ field below, or through the Poll placed to your Right. 

Have your own relevant site or blog? Post you opinion, add a link to The Great Melon Debate in your post, and email the related address to gardenplantgroweat@live.com to have your site linked in.

8.09.2013

Guest Bloggers, Relevant Links and Product Reviews.

Have a great garden story, book, photo, relevant blog, website or product you would like to share? 

Are you a fellow home and garden blogger, a garden expert or enthusiast? Or do you  simply have a passion for gardening, eating home grown food, or building sustainable, low impact landscapes? Share your wisdom with us!

Throughout the month, many changes have, and will, be happening within the pages of GPGE. As the calender for the remainder of the year fills up, it would be great to add some new voices to our 'garden'.

Please email the Editor all content related suggestions, guest blogger associations, advertising inquiries, or link related requests you would like to share to the address included below.

~ Jessica

Garden. Plant. Grow. Eat.
gardenplantgroweat@live.com

8.08.2013

The Cusp of Summer and a Scorched Lawn

Purple Basil
The cusp of summer is upon us again in Southern Canada. With it has arrived the usual high soaring temperatures, very little precipitation and the dry, gusty winds of summer. These three factors combined can be extremely damaging, and even fatal, to green areas of the yard, garden, or newly introduced plant material in the region. As I quickly learn the vast differences between growing in a cold, mountainous climate and the sweltering desert heat of the valley bottom, my garden has overcome me (in the best of ways, of course…).

The weeds are in no short supply, of course. The hot pepper plants and corn are almost at eye level. My snap peas and radishes are long gone. Mystery plants have popped up here and there over the season, and the welcomed have simply become part of the landscape. The lawn… well, the poor lawn. I have tried my best to keep it green without straying from my “low consumption” water behaviors. Sadly, some areas of the yard have definitely suffered. These will be my first areas of attack for the new landscape installs. This means new raised beds, more edible plant material, rock, mulching, and a few new trees and shrubs for next year. 

This year is a learning experience and a great chance to plan out exactly, the best way to landscape the yard and plant the gardens. I look forward to the gardens of next year and transforming my high maintenance lawns into a manageable, low maintenance, dry land yard design.

Stay tuned... for more information on low impact landscaping, plant selection and gardening!