Now available for sale pawpaw trees. Grow your own paw paw fruit. The pawpaw fruit is tasty and resembles tropical fruits such as bananas, mangoes and papayas. Pawpaw trees are native to the eastern US and are easy to grow smaller trees that are wide spreading.
Buy pawpaw trees online at Greenwood Nursery.
This video is brought to you by the Home and Garden Information Center, part of University of Maryland Extension. provides resources and encourages people to start their own food gardens.
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Animation by Chris Heuer, Freefall FX, LLC
Shot and edited by Brett Wooldridge and Emily Heimsoth
That’s right, today is the first day of autumn. Thanks to Google’s doodle, I have been informed of the arrival of autumn. And, appropriately so, a cold front blew in last night. This is a perfect day to remind you that fall is the BEST time for gardening. In fact, all of the other seasons could just disappear and I would be happy, happy, happy to bask in the glory of fall. Why? It is the time of…
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When we first moved to the farm last August we made the haste decision to plant a fall/winter garden. We rented a tiller from the local Tractor Supply and sowed some seeds into the beautiful loamy soil. The reward of having a bounty of winter squash, cabbage, swiss chard and numerous other veggies that we worked so hard on was all so very exciting!
The excitement dried up real fast (just like all the ponds that summer) once we realized we lost the fight against the grasshoppers, extreme heat and bermuda grass.
First let me explain something about these grasshoppers; they were ridiculously huge and very VERY abundant. I mean there were at least 10 that flew every step you took in the yard. Disgusting. We put over 15 plugs of cabbage, bok choy and broccoli in the soil and those suckers ate every single one. We were pissed. We tried a pesticide (not proud of this but we were desperate and time was not on our side to try and find an organic substitute…) and no luck.
Regarding the extreme heat we watered and watered..and watered. Thank the heavens above we have two wells at the farm because I couldn’t even imagine what type of water bill that would have been. Even though we watered and kept the soil very moist we still had burnt leaves.
Lastly the bermuda grass. The gah dang bermuda grass. We love it in our yards but we don’t love it in our gardens. It took over our garden and not matter how long we spent ripping it out of the ground we just couldn’t get it under control. Damn.
Soooooo there we were late fall with nothin but a mess of garden (if we can even call it a garden) and no bounty. We were heartbroken. How can two people with bachelors degrees from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources not be successful with a freaking garden. UGH.
We thought about our garden over the winter and what we learned. We researched, discussed, planned and came up with an experiment (cause we’re scientist) for our spring garden: raised beds.
I’m familiar with raised beds and used them for my environmental education programs at the nature center I interned with in Texas. We knew that we would have more of a controlled medium for the plants to grow in and most likely more success. Here is the OSU fact sheet on the benefits of raised bed gardening. There are tons of kits out there for raised beds but hey they ain’t cheap. So we built our own! We went to our local home improvement store and bought 2’x8’x8” untreated (very important to get untreated so the chemicals won’t leach in the soil) yellow pine boards and made four 8’x4”x8” beds. Here are some pics of our beds:
We ripped up the top 3 inches of the ground each bed would be over to prevent the bermuda infestation.
This little piece of hardware holds the beds together.
We filled the beds with a top soil compost mix we bought at our local nursery. We then put untreated (always untreated..chemical leaching people is not cool) red cedar mulch on top to prevent soil water loss through evaporation.
Our beds with a two foot walkway so our wheel barrel can get between the beds.
The beds weren’t hard to build once we figured out how the hardware worked. Total price for the lumber and hardware was $76. The soil for each bed was around $35. Mulch was $10 per bed. Total cost per bed was approximately $65. Pretty good considering some kits I found range from $85-$350 and these don’t include the soil (which is the most expensive part)!!!
We are hoping that these beds solve the problems we had with our fall garden. Of course we will still have to weed occasionally and compensate with more water due to the soil being above ground but hopefully the mulch will decrease these issues. Plans and funds are being formed to build hoop house framing around each beds for shade cloth this summer to address the heat and even the grasshopper infestation. We are pretty proud of our beds. We are hoping that with the benefits of the raised beds we will have a high yield of produce this summer. This is our hypothesis anyways. Let the test begin!
Famous for his cloud hedges! We absolutely love his dreamlike gardens.
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About this time of year, we’ve had enough of winter and are anxious to start gardening and working on the lawn. There are lots of creative options for lawns and now is the time to start planning.
Though conventional lawns are a perfect medium where kids can play as well as provide a nice, kempt look to your landscape, to get that perfect, weed-free golf course look requires time, expense and…
We may love to watch beautiful deer and rabbits in the wild, but they’re not always so pretty when seen destroying the flowers and vegetables in our backyard. Are rabbits and deer constantly nibbling away at your garden? What can you do to keep these creatures away?
One way to ward off rabbits and deer is to plant foliage that actually repels these animals. You may try planting some aromatic…