Hi everyone! Thanks for listening to our official episode one! Here’s a recap of the things we talked about:
Mother’s day ideas: Offer up your labor in the yard, send some seeds in a card, buy some hanging pots or flowers, or little plants for her to plant herself if she’s into that!
Nicki, a Certified Spirits Specialist, makes us delicious palomas:
2 parts good high quality tequila
1 part simple syrup
1 part fresh grapefruit juice
1/4 part fresh lime juice.
Add club soda and ice, and enjoy!
Her pro tips:
Batch cocktail mixes for big parties by calculating your ratios by servings wanted to scale the recipe up.
Simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water, it is heated just until all the sugar is dissolved but it is not boiling.
Fresh squeezed citrus juice needs to be used within 24 hours for best flavor.
Check out the book “the flavor bible’ for awesome ideas to up your flavor game.
Question time from friends online:
- Kim asks: What can I plant right now before it really warms up?
Cold season crops and flowers that say sow before last frost! Peas, radishes, beets, many leafy greens, swiss chard, kales,and root crops are perfect for early gardening.Raised beds are above the frost line in the soil and they warm up a little earlier than in the ground gardens.
Read the back of the seed pack for sowing directions. Wait to plant warm season crops AFTER danger of last frost, which is about Mother’s day around here.
- Miranda asks: Should I cover up my baby plants and azalea bush for cold weather?
Yes cover your baby plants. Tools for covering up to protect from a frost: sheets, landscape fabric, milk jugs, buckets, “Kloch” is the fancy title for a glass bucket to put over the top of things. Remember to take the covers off in the AM.Covering the bush is optional, since azaleas don’t bloom for very long. Up to you!
- Lindsay asks: How do I fit more edible plants and herbs into my existing landscape without digging everything up? I have daylilies and other random plants around and would like to add to this without starting all over.
Firstly, Daylilly petals are edible!I’m betting you want veggies though, so my suggestion would be to look where you have holes or room in your landscape and note the conditions in that area. Is it sunny? Wet? shady? What kind of edible stuff are you interested in? Match stuff you want to grow with those microzones and try to grow some crops in pots or try some straw bales! Growing in big pots and straw bales would reduce weeding, plus they’re easier than creating more raised beds. For looks, think about some pretty leaves like redbor kale, purple amaranth, tall stuff like corn for a really sunny side, even big fluffy and sprawling plants like zucchini and squashes. You can always tuck herbs like thyme and oregano into borders to give you some good useful plants too.
Mostly: start small and just do one area or side of your house this year. Don’t bite off too much, start small and enjoy your success while you’re learning! Its ok to kill plants. It’s ok to kill daylilies too. They’re a dime a dozen and multiply like rabbits. Any plant in your landscape you don’t like is no better than a weed. Take it out a few at a time as you transition your yard to your liking. 🙂
- Gabb asks: How do I protect my plants from harmful insects without hurting the helpful ones?
Most insects will only affect one or two types of plants, so there isn’t a really good blanket”cure all” for all of your problems that works better than diversity in your gardening, observation, and a little hands on time.
Your hands are the best tool: Pick off Asian beetles, and put them in a baggie of soapy water. (don’t crush those, they release pharamones that attract other asian beetles) these usually affect things like roses.
Pick off other beetles, slugs and tomato horn worms and throw them away in something sealed. Or Squish them, or feed them to your lizard. Whatever!
Crush aphids and eggs on stems and the underside of leaves of your vegetables. Duck tape can help take bugs off the way a lint roller takes cat hair off your pants.Aphids can also be blasted off of stems of things like roses and peppers with a strong stream of water from your hose and a good nozzle.
Remove any leaves that have leaf miners boring in them and put them in a sealed bag in the garbage not compost. I do this with leaves that look diseased too
Some crops do well with agriculture fleece which is a thin fabric used to keep off bugs like cabbage moths, carrot flies off carrots, and sometimes squash bugs.
Use horticulture fleece to cover crops like carrots or squash.
Rotate your crops because some insects have a life cycle that goes dormant in the soil for a while, like squash bugs.
Many native species of plants are resistant to native pests (non native pests are still jerks)
Use a bird bath to attract predators like birds who will eat bugs out of your yard for you. Leave helpful predators alone like spiders, wasps, toads/frogs, ladybugs, and garter snakes.
And then if all else fails ask an expert. Get a picture of the plant, the damage and the culprit if you can. Check for your local University’s Extension office number, or the local master gardeners! Do a little google sleuthing, and remember that even professional farmers whether they’re conventional or organic loose lots of food to bugs. Plant a little more than you think you need, and plant things that are tough when you can.
- Shana asks: Any good recipes for homemade/safe weed killer and prevent them?
We don’t have much faith in a lot of “home brewed remedies” because there are so many made up bogus voodoo ideas out there. Pinterest is rampant with BS. For instance, epsom salts and apple cider vinegar do little to nothing or can damage your desired plants, a problem worse than the weeds themselves. The best way to solve a weed problem is to address the soil conditions in your lawn or garden so that the grass or other species you would prefer to grow are able to thrive. If you kill the weeds, they’ll be back unless you fix the soil conditions there.
For many weeds in my lawn and cracks in my pavement or in rocks, I pour boiling water on the weeds. This is really slick in my landscaping rocks, but it will leave a dead spot in your lawn to re-seed. In my flower beds, I try to use newspaper layers, mulch or compost because it can be a bit of a weed barrier, and the weeds that can make it through all that are very easy to pull. Nothing beats weeding, and weeding can increase your veggie yield by HUGE amounts! Get a couple of tools to help pull weeds like dandelions by hand.
If you have creeping charlie, I feel your pain. That tough bastard requires so much weeding and possibly targeted herbicides that are safe for your trees, perennials, and family. ALWAYS FOLLOW DIRECTIONS EXACTLY.
- Molly asks: How do I achieve a balcony garden for the botanically challenged?
Just kidding Molly! Start small. Try a couple of big ass pots. The bigger they are, the less you’ll have to water them. They need a few drain holes in the bottom.
Check out square foot gardening for ideas on how many plants to fit in your space.If your balcony is shady, go for really cool foliage plants like coleus, hostas, coral bells, foamy bells and flowers like begonias. A couple of those are perennials, but in pots they’re like annuals, they’ll die this next winter.
If your balcony is SUNNY and hot and windy, go for some cool grasses, sweet potato vines, and really hardy and bright sun annuals like marigolds, geraniums, zinnias.
Sunny side would also do well with herbs like thyme, rosemary, sage or stuff like cool succulents.
Remember– IT’S OK TO KILL PLANTS! if something dies or just looks busted, go pick up something else to try and replace it. Treat yo self. Find the plants that tollerate your pattern of abuse.
Hanging planters, and pallet gardens for vertical use of space can help you maximize the patio.
Your pot needs good drainage holes. Water until you see water coming out the bottom of the planter to make sure the entire pot is soaked. Stick your finger in the soil to find out if it’s too dry and needs to be watered.