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Gardening Blogs

03 July 2020

Gardening Blogs
  • Burn Herbs In Your Campfire to Repel Mosquitoes Naturally
    03 July 2020
    Whether you are camping or enjoying a little backyard entertaining around a fire pit, you can easily repel mosquitoes by tossing in a few herb branches. Burning herbs is a natural and safe way to...
    Please see the full article on
  • How to grow and care for Egyptian Walking Onions
    03 July 2020

    Compare to most onion varieties, the Egyptian walking onions actually set bulbs at the top of the plant, each of them with numerous small onions that you can be easily harvest for planting or eating. The Egyptian walking onions really taste much like shallots, but they are slightly more pungent.

    As soon as the bluish-green stalk gets top-heavy, the stalk fall over, creating new roots and a new plant where the bulbs touch the ground. A single Egyptian walking onion plant can travel twenty-four inches (61 cm.) each year, resulting to about 6 new plants. The Egyptian walking onions are actually known by several names, including top-set onions and tree onions.

    Steps on how to grow Egyptian Walking Onions

    Though it is possible to plant Egyptian walking onions in spring, you won’t be able to harvest the onions until the following year. Actually the ideal planting time for growing Egyptian walking onions is between summer and the first frost for a harvest the next growing season. You can set the onion bulbs in the soil about two inches (6-8 cm.) deep, with six to ten inches (15-25 cm.) between each bulb if you really like big, pungent onions. Alternatively, if you prefer a steady harvest of green, milder onions, or if you want to use the stalks like chives, you can plant the bulbs two to three inches (6-8 cm.) apart. Like all their onion cousins, the Egyptian walking onions don’t actually appreciate heavy, wet soil. Though they are easy to grow in full sun and average, well-drained soil with a pH between 6.2 and 6.8.

    How to care for Egyptian Walking Onion

    The Egyptian walking onions are perennial and they will eventually walk across your garden. Though they are easy to control and they are not invasive. You can really leave a few plants in your garden every year if you want the plants to keep walking for decades to come, however pull any that walk where they are not welcome. The Egyptian walking onion care is uninvolved and basically just requires keeping the soil lightly moist, but never soggy or drenched. If not, you can thin the plant as needed and divide the mother plant whenever it becomes overgrown or less productive, usually every 2 or 3 years.

  • 4th of July Garden Menu
    03 July 2020

    The edible garden team of Raincatcher’s put together this 4th of July menu. We thought you might want to recreate this easy lunch while celebrating this weekend.

    Red, White and Blue Menu

    Jalapeno Poppers

    Papalo and Pimento Cheese

    Peach, Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Mint and Basil

    Blackberry Cobbler

    Blueberry Marshmallows in a Chocolate Shell

    Papalo is an herb we began growing this season. Next week we will reveal what we have learned about papalo. We love the taste of it and think you will want to grow it in your garden.

    Jalapeno-Pimento Cheese Spread

    Want a little extra heat?  Add more jalapeno juice.


    3 cups grated Cheddar cheese

    1½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

    ½ cup chopped pimentos

    2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapenos with juice

    1 cup good quality mayonnaise

    1 cup Miracle Whip


    Combine all ingredients and mix well. 

    Yield:  6 cups

    Peach, Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Mint and Basil

    Vibrant colors are the perfect match for this summer salad.


    ½ medium size watermelon, cubed

    3 medium peaches, cubed

    2 medium size heirloom tomatoes (green variety) cubed

    ½ red onion, thinly sliced

    1-2 stalk’s worth of basil leaves

    1-2 stalk’s worth of mint leaves

    Juice of one lime

    1 teaspoon salt

    ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

    1 teaspoon sugar

    ¼ teaspoon chili powder

    1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

    ¼ cup good quality olive oil


    1. Combine the watermelon, peaches, tomato and onion in a large bowl.  Chiffonade the basil and mint and add to the fruit mixture.
    2. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients and toss with the fruit mixture.  Chill or serve at room temperature.

    Yield:  6-8 servings 


    Linda Alexander

    Pictures by Ann Lamb



  • How Long Does It Take To Grow Grass From Seed
    03 July 2020

    How how long does it take to grow grass from seed? Too long it may seem... After you planted grass seed, you will be anxious to see growth.

    No one likes to stare at bare spots or dry dirt in their yard. Lush, green grass is the perfect accompaniment to beautiful landscaping. To complete your outdoor space, you need grass.

    However, it can be hard to determine when to plant for best results. More importantly, people want to know how long it will take for the grass seeds to begin to take root and grow. This can help homeowners decide when to plant their seed.

    In this article, I will let you know how long for grass seed to grow, in a variety of conditions and weather. This explains why the length of germination can vary.

    How to Determine How Long For Grass Seed to Grow
    Planting Grass Seed in Spring

    Spring is one of the best times to plant grass seeds. Spring rain showers are wonderful for grass, as it begins to emerge from the ground. This is generally when I plant my grass seed; I want to make sure the seed has ample time to set into the ground.

    <img alt="One of the best reasons spring is good for planting is the rain." src="" width="980" height="648">

    One of the best reasons spring is good for planting is the rain. Grass seeds need to stay wet, otherwise they die. This is crucial for the germination stage, which can take 30 days or longer in cooler weather. Plan to water daily so the ground stays moist until the seeds sprout.

    If you decide to plant grass in the spring, you will need to pick grass seeds that do well in the cooler seasons. One great example is bluegrass; it germinates the best in fall or spring. You should look for C3 grass seeds. Bluegrass has a typical germinate time of 20 to 30 days because of cooler temperatures. Get yourBluegrass seed on Amazon.

    If you need a quicker germination and a warm spell is approaching, there are other faster varieties. Rye grass and fescue are able to germinate in 5 to 15 days. They do best when it is warmer than the typical spring. Get your Rye grass seed on Amazon.

    Planting Grass Seed in Summer
    <img alt="It is advised to plant grass in early summer before it becomes scorching hot" src="" width="980" height="651">

    It is advised to plant grass in early summer before it becomes scorching hot. Summer can be a difficult time to grow grass because of the moisture requirements. The typical spring showers give way to the sun beating down and drying out the ground for weeks at a time.

    When I have planted grass seeds in the summer, I find I have to water a lot more frequently in order to get the grass seed to germinate. You don’t want to create swimming pool in your yard, so it needs time to soak in before you water again.

    I have found I need to water in the morning and summer in the hot Ohio summers in order to get it germinate. And using an expandable hose with brass fittings or oscillating lawn sprinkler system is the best option for watering in summer.

    Summer grasses can take longer due to the excessive heat. They can take anywhere from 10 to 30 days. Spring has a larger variation in germination time because the temperatures can bounce and vary a lot. Summer temperatures tend to remain steady.

    <img alt="Summer grasses can take longer due to the excessive heat" src="" width="980" height="726">
    Soil Conditions For Planting Grass Seed

    The condition and nutrients in your soil can make a huge difference in how long it takes for grass seeds to grow. The temperature of your soil and moisture level make some of the largest differences.

    • Clay soil can make growing grass tricky. Clay soil doesn’t heat up as quick because it is very dense. Due to the cooler temperature, germination can take longer or never happen at all. Clay also holds the moisture. This is a good thing, unless excessive rain occurs. This soil isn’t known to drain well ever. 
    • The best thing you can do is put some good top soil over the clay and this will provide the perfect enironvment to germinate your grass seed.
    <img alt="Clay soil can make growing grass tricky" src="" width="750" height="562">
    • Sandy soil struggles to hold moisture. The situation is the reverse of clay soil. Sandy soil is able to heat up well during spring. If you have sandy soil, you will need more frequent watering because the water drains away very quickly.
    <img alt="Sandy soil struggles to hold moisture" src="" width="980" height="735">
    Test Soils pH Level for Faster Grass Seed Germination

    You are able to test the acid level in your soil. Soil with acidity is a good thing for grass seeds. It helps them germinate faster. Acid makes it easier for the seedlings to come out of the coating. On the other hand, too much pH can cause the seeds to be damage and, potentially, never germinate. Get a soil pH Tester on Amazon.

    How Long For Grass Seed To Grow?

    As you can see, answering this question depends on quite a bit of factors. The simple answer is to state it can take anywhere from 5 to 30 days. This answer is quite vague and frustrating.

    There are some things to remember. If you plant in the summer and it is very hot, expect the grass seed to take up to 30 days to grow and remember to water well. If you plant in the spring and have a warm spell, your seeds can grow quickly, maybe even 5 days! A cooler spring may take closer to the 30 day mark.

    Watch the weather and look at the condition of your soil. Combining these two factors can give you an insight into whether the grass seeds will need just a week or maybe a month to grow.

    The post How Long Does It Take To Grow Grass From Seed appeared first on Sumo Gardener.

  • 10 Small Pumpkin Varieties For Small Gardens
    03 July 2020

    Mini pumpkins are ideal for small gardens because they can be grown vertically on a trellis.

    Many people think small pumpkins are just for decoration but they’re also edible and make a great addition to pumpkin recipes.

    Here are 10 cute small pumpkins to plant in your garden.

    This post contains affiliate links. Please read the disclosure for more info.

    10 SMALL PUMPKIN VARIETIES 1. Jack Be Little

    Jack Be Little is one of the most popular and well known small pumpkin varieties.

    They have a flattened, ribbed shape and will easily fit in the palm of your hand.

    Jack Be Little pumpkins have a long shelf life and they look great as part of a table decoration.

    They measure about 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter and 2 inches (5 cm) high.

    2. Baby Boo

    Baby Boo is a beautiful small white pumpkin that can be edible or decorative.

    Each plant will produce about 10 small pumpkins and the color isn’t affected by sun or frost.

    3. Casperita

    Another small white pumpkin is the Casperita, an attractive looking pumpkin variety that is great for Halloween decorations.

    As well as looking good, they also have a delicious taste which is similar to acorn squash.

    4. Hooligan

    Hooligan is a cute, tiny pumpkin with an interesting orange and white mottled appearance.

    They’re one of the most attractive small pumpkins for Halloween or fall decorations and they grow on compact vines so they won’t take over your garden.

    5. Gooligan

    Gooligan is a cute looking white Pumpkin that is ideal for decorating and you can paint them with beautiful designs.

    They grow to about 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter so they’re small enough to grow on a trellis.

    6. Bumpkin

    Bumpkins are bright little orange pumpkins with sturdy green handles.

    They’re a little bit bigger than Munchkin pumpkins, but still small enough for compact gardens.

    The plant is a semi-bush shape and it’s resistant to powdery mold.

    7. Wee B Little

    Wee B Little is another cute pumpkin for kids to grow in the garden.

    The vines have a semi-bush habit, so they’re ideal for small gardens and you can even plant them in large containers.

    Like most of these small pumpkin varieties they grow to about 3 to 5 inches (7.5 to 12 cm) in diameter and 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) high.

    8. Kabocha

    Kabocha pumpkins, also known as Hokkaido or Delica, look like a green pumpkin but they’re really a type of squash.

    They have a sweet flavor, which makes them ideal for baking recipes

    9. Mini Tiger Striped Pumpkin

    Mini Tiger pumpkins can be mottled green, orange or white with vertical stripes.

    They’re small in size, growing to about 3 to 5 inches (7.5 to 12 cm) in diameter.

    Mini Tiger pumpkins are tender and smooth with a sweet and slightly nutty taste.

    10. Small Sugar Pumpkin

    Small sugar pumpkins are a small pumpkin variety reaching about 7 inches (17 cm) in diameter.

    They’re commonly used to make pumpkin pies and other delicious pumpkin treats.


    Growing small pumpkin varieties is fairly simple, even for beginner gardeners.

    Dig some compost into the soil before planting your pumpkin seeds.

    It’s best to sow the seeds directly in the garden in spring when the weather has warmed up and there is no more chance of frost.

    Miniature pumpkins can also be grown in large containers next to a fence or trellis to climb up.

    RELATED: How To Grow Pumpkins Vertically

    You can let the vines spill over the sides of the container and onto the ground if you have enough room around the container.

    Pumpkins like to grow in full sun, so choose a spot that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.

    Small pumpkins take between 90 to 110 days to mature. [1]

    They’re ready to harvest when the stem has dried out and turned brown.

    Cut the stem with a sharp knife, being careful not to snap the stem.

    So there are 10 small types of pumpkins to plant in your vegetable garden.

    RELATED ARTICLES Have you tried growing any of these mini pumpkin varieties in your garden? Let me know in the comments below.

    Are you on Pinterest? I have boards dedicated to Vegetable Gardening and Gardening Tips that you may enjoy. You can also find me on Facebook.

    The post 10 Small Pumpkin Varieties For Small Gardens appeared first on Urban Garden Gal.

  • Gardening for Beginners: 10 Easy to Grow Vegetables and Herbs
    03 July 2020

    New to gardening? Start here, with these 10 easy to grow vegetables and herbs.

    Getting started gardening may seem overwhelming. There is a lot to learn, but one of the best ways to learn is by experience. Your confidence and knowledge will grow right along with your garden as you learn, plant, and harvest these 10 easy to grow vegetables and herbs. 

    As you decide what to plant in your garden, pay attention to these things

    • The soil. Make sure you give plants the best start possible by planting them in good soil. 
    • Whether to plant seeds or transplants. For the best chance of success, follow the listed recommendations. 
    • When to plant. Planting at the right time will influence your success (or failure) more than any other factor. Learn the zone and frost date for your area

    Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more information.

    10 Easy to Grow Vegetables and Herbs
    Easy to grow vegetable: Radishes

    Read this article for more information about how to grow radishes

    Radishes sprout easily, grow quickly, and are a perfect first seed to grow for new or young gardeners.

    • Plant radishes from seed
    • Radishes prefer cool weather. Plant radishes 2 to 3 weeks before the average date of the last frost in spring. 
    • In the low desert of Arizona, plant radishes beginning in September through April
    Easy to grow vegetable: Beans

    Read this article for more information about how to grow beans

    Beans are fast growers and do best in warm, moist soil. 

    • Plant beans from seed.
    • Look for disease-resistant and stringless varieties
    • Plant beans after last frost date, when soil begins to warm in the spring.
    • In the low desert of Arizona, plant beans from March 15 through April and again from July 15 through mid-September.
    • Pick beans often to encourage more production. 
    Easy to grow vegetable: Peas

    Read this article for more information about how to grow peas

    Peas are easy to grow in your garden, and because they normally grow vertically, they provide a high yield in a small growing area.

    • Plant peas from seed.
    • Look for disease-resistant varieties.
    • Plant peas 4-6 weeks before your last frost date in the spring. 
    • In the low desert of Arizona, plant peas from September through February.
    Easy to grow vegetable: Bell peppers

    Read this article for more information about how to grow peppers

    Bell peppers need warm weather to do well. 

    • Plant peppers from transplant
    • Plant peppers once soil temperatures reach 65℉ – usually a few weeks after your frost date. 
    • In the low desert of Arizona, plant peppers in the early spring and again in July
    • Pepper limbs are brittle; provide support to prevent breakage.
  • Visiting a Virginia Garden
    03 July 2020
    Blooms, bees, and beauty
  • Celebrate 4th of July with Plants by Pam Hill
    03 July 2020
    Courtesy: Good Earth Plants

    This Fourth of July is the 244thanniversary of the day in 1776 when the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.  The first organized celebration with fireworks followed in Philadelphia in 1777 and continued through the 19th century, though the date did not become an official federal holiday until 1941.  
    This year we’ll miss ballgames, big family gatherings and fireworks displays, but we can still decorate with Old Glory’s red, white and blue.  Planter boxes with summer annuals liven up outdoor spaces and add a patriotic touch.  Red or white petunias and geraniums are easy to find favorites and can be the base for outdoor pots.  Add dainty lobelia for a touch of blue and you’re done. 
    Photo: Pam Hill

    Water and deadhead periodically and you should have flowers throughout the summer. 

    If you have a little more time and space, perennials can echo the patriotic theme year after year.  Think red or white roses paired with blue salvia to attract hummingbirds and pollinators all summer.   Other possibilities are white Shasta daisies, Red Beard-Tongue,  red yarrow and blue flax.  Again, keep watering and deadheading to extend blooms throughout the summer.

    Possibilities include:
    Blue Marvel Salvia
    Photo: Pam Hill
    Red Beard Tongue
    Photo: Pam Hill
    Sensation White Salvia
    Photo: Pam Hill

    Finally, the key for those of us with questionable green thumbs is to pick tough plants that can survive Colorado’s fickle winters and dry summers.  Read plant tags and be realistic. Does your choice require sun or shade?  Does it like moist loamy soil, but your lot is sun baked clay?  And of course know your plant hardiness zone and choose accordingly.  (You can go to and enter your zip to find your zone. )  
  • Houseplants To Beautify Your Home Office
    03 July 2020

    Searching for the perfect houseplants to add some greenery to your home office? With many of us working remotely, this space is a private sanctuary to focus on the projects at hand. It can be transformed from a functional room into a tropical or desert oasis (with houseplants)! They can help our focus, clean the air, and beautify any space they adorn. It’s okay if you’re new to indoor gardening, as there are many plants that are easy to grow and care for. Whether your home office encompasses an entire room or a small desk, we have the perfect plants for you! Here are a few of our favorites:

    Shop Raindrop Peperomia

    Raindrop Peperomia (Peperomia polybotrya)

    Raindrop Peperomia is a trendy houseplant and what’s not to like! The striking heart-shaped foliage adds an instant splash of greenery to any shelf or desk. This beautiful Peperomia is great for rooms with medium to bright indirect light and its compact habit is ideal for small spaces.

    Shop Staghorn Fern

    Staghorn Fern (Platycerium spp.)

    Staghorn Ferns are stunning houseplants and while they may seem intimidating, they are easy to care for and will reward you with spectacular fronds. Since Platycerium species are native to the tropics, they appreciate a room with bright indirect light and misting 1-2 times a week to increase humidity.


    Shop Money Tree

    Money Tree (Pachira aquatica)

    Money Trees are beautiful and unique houseplants that are perfect for creating a tropical oasis within your space. Did you know they are considered symbols of luck and prosperity? The best way to keep a Money Tree happy is with bright indirect light and after thoroughly watering, allowing the soil to dry out in between. Money Trees are pretty adaptable, and will appreciate extra humidity from misting or a pebble tray.


    Shop Ruby Glow Peperomia


    Ruby Glow Peperomia (Peperomia graveolens ‘Ruby Glow’ )

    With an easygoing nature, Ruby Glow Peperomia is a great office companion. The unique red wine and dark green leaves creates a striking display when paired with jungle-theme cache pots. This Peperomia grows smaller in size and is perfect for sitting on desktops and shelves.


    Shop Split Leaf Philodendron

    Split Leaf Philodendron (Monstera deliciosa)

    Split Leaf Philodendrons are very popular houseplants with dramatic and bold tropical split leaves. Monstera would be a great vertical accent when grown upon a moss pole or can be pruned to resemble a small shrub. In their native habitat, the splits allow the leaves to withstand strong winds. This tropical Philodendron thrives in medium to bright indirect light and can grow quickly, which is great for filling larger spaces.


    Shop Ocean Star Snake Plant

    Ocean Star Snake Plant (Sansevieria ‘Ocean Star’)

    This tough houseplant is also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue and has a reputation of near indestructibility. It will grow well in a range of light conditions from low light corners to brightly light windowsills, withstands dry air, and prefers long periods without water. The bold color of Ocean Star provides an excellent complement for plants with lacy foliage or small flowers. This is a favorite houseplant for beginner gardeners, and is also valued by seasoned houseplant growers who love Snakeplants for their personality and dramatic foliage.


    Shop Haworthia aristata

    Haworthia (Haworthia aristata)

    With so many different species and looks of Haworthia, it’s no surprise these plants are sought after by plant lovers who delight in small succulents. While the Haworthia genus encompasses more than 80 species, we want to feature Haworthia arispecies zebra-like white markings on the dark green leaves. The best practices to grow happy Haworthia include bright indirect light and occasional watering.


    Shop Crispy Wave Bird Nest Fern

    Crispy Wave Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium spp.)

    While some ferns may be thought of as finicky houseplants, a Birds Nest Fern’s easy-going personality is great for both beginner and seasoned plant parents. The broad, apple green fronds of this fern create a bold, upright vase-like shape and add a tropical feeling to any home office. The name, Bird’s Nest Fern, comes from the hairy center of the plant, which resembles a bird’s nest. Grows well in medium to bright indirect light.


    Shop Golden Pothos

    Golden Pothos (Scindapsus aureum)

    The Golden Pothos is a lovely houseplant with a reputation for one of the easiest plants to grow. The long vining stems that trail over the sides of the container add texture to the tops of shelves and bookcases. New glossy-heart shaped leaves unfurl with lovely green and golden variegation. Golden Pothos can grow in a wide range of light, from dark corners to brightly lit rooms. Pothos are often forgiving of being under-watered and droop visibly to remind you it’s time to water.


    We would love to see your favorite houseplants from your home office! If you have houseplant questions or need advice, just let us know! We are available in person and on social media with #heyswansons. Happy gardening!

  • Centipede Grass: Everything You Need To Know
    03 July 2020

    Looking for ways to improve your curb appeal? Growing centipede grass is a great way to spruce up your front lawn or backyard. In this article, we’ll dive into the details on why you should consider adding centipede grass to your home as well as the different types of centipede grass and how it compares […]

    The post Centipede Grass: Everything You Need To Know appeared first on FarmFoodFamily.

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