Winter is a wonderful time to read up on gardening literature. When your garden is fast asleep, it is the perfect time to make preparations for next year. Whether you are new to gardening or an old hand: this is the yearly time for reflection. What has worked for you? What have you struggled with? What are you sure of? What would you like to learn about?
Follow along and learn how to create a long lasting, low maintenance gardening experience. There’s a lot of practical knowledge in here that I would love to share with you! Below is a list of articles by category. You can quickly find solutions to past problems or plan your garden design to avoid those problems altogether.
My instructions are heavy on preparation, but they create gardening solutions that will last for decades.
Does it seem like you are spending $20 for each tomato you grow? If you are struggling to get anything from your garden the problem could be your soil. Raised beds are a great way to create the perfect conditions for vegetables. Unfortunately, a lot of instructions out there look nice: but they are ideas from novice gardeners. Frequently the beds are too shallow, too expensive or built from materials that will quickly rot. Building raised beds is a lot of work and I don’t want to have to redo everything in a couple of years. I doubt you want to start over every couple of years, either. Here is my solution involving a sheet mulch, hugelkulter and keyhole bed combination with cinder block walls. This is the cheapest, most fertile, longest lasting solution I could come up with and it works beautifully: Mother’s Day Raised Hugelkultur Bed and a second article here: Hugelkultur, Keyhole Gardens: Bridging Ideas
If you need help choosing products to either amend soil or to build raised beds: these are my picks for choosing bagged soil and soil additives and also my choices and suggestions for building your own soil with cheap sheet mulching supply ideas. Making sense of old sayings
Once you’ve created good planting conditions your next step is efficient watering. This will help you whether you are in an arid area or just need to save on your watering bill: Efficient Summer Watering In A Raised Bed
Are you struggling with pollinators? If you aren’t getting abundant squash, melons, cucumbers and other veggies in the cucurbit family you may just need more bees. While you are waiting for your newly planted flowers to attract pollinators this year, here is what you can do: Be The Bee! How And When Hand Pollinating Makes Sense This also explains how to help plants that are wind and self-pollinators.
If you are brand new to gardening or if you are really struggling overall: this is my “all in one stop” to learn your way around common mistakes. You must know the subjects in orange and you can add the rest as you get more success under your belt: All You Need To Know To Grow The same information is also at the top of this page under Gardening Basics
If you are struggling with clearing Bermuda grass and are impatient to have finished beds I suggest this approach: Beds Over Bermuda grass Or: Landscape Fabric Sandwich
If you would like to try to train your vining plants on a cheap support next season: this is a fast, inexpensive and strong solution- Simple, Inexpensive Vine Support
My tips for starting seeds in milk jugs and my recommendations for mail order seed and live plant companies: The Seed Collector’s Insanity (Tips And Tricks For Starting Your Seeds)
If you dislike the hardening off process (getting your seedlings ready to plant out in the garden) like I do, here is a short cut: Short Cut Through The Hardening-Off Process
If you would like to see what other people have been interested in on here, this is Crazy Green Thumb’s most read article. I don’t advocate using gravel in the landscape and this is why: Please Don’t Rock Your Yard!
If you are longing for a fun craft project for this winter, here are a few ideas. These are the projects I have enjoyed creating this year:
Melted Perler Bead and Pony Bead Craft Projects
Last Minute Kid Friendly Halloween Decorations
Come On, You Know You Want To! Recycled Glass Flowers In The Garden
Solution For Sore Shoulders: Microwavable Rice Sock
Want some new ideas for using plants that you may already enjoy growing? Here are some of my favorite recipes from this year. These are my own recipes. They may make you interested in adding a few of these plants to your plans:
Ever Had Spiced Hibiscus Flower Tea?
Cooking With Lettuce?!?! Yes! And It’s Delicious!!!
Garden Huckleberry: A Completely Nutty Science Experiment!!!
I love my short winter down time! I get to look at my successes and challenges, plan my garden for next year and organize and choose the seeds I want to grow. I hope you have a productive winter planning your garden! Here in the Northern Hemisphere our season is at an end. If you’re on the Southern part of the globe: Happy Spring/Summer!!!
See you all in the garden next year!!!!