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Cutting Height For Lawns – An Organic Gardening How To

Posted by admin on Nov 28, 2014 under organic gardening how to

My neighbors that live three houses down from us have a beautiful home and they work constantly on theirorganic gardening how to landscaping. All of their plants are well trimmed and there is not a leaf in their yard. They do have one problem, however… while their grass is green and they mow it weekly, the grass is thin and they have a number of bare spots. That’s the problem that I want to address in this Organic Gardening How To Blog post.

You see, these neighbors have centipedegrass just like we do. Our grass, however, is thick and green (that’s our lawn in the picture above). The difference between our lawn and their lawn is mainly due to the height at which we cut our lawn compared to the height that they cut their grass. We cut our grass when it’s about 3 inches tall and we cut it to a height of 2 inches. On the other hand, our neighbors cut their lawn when it’s about 2 inches tall and they cut it to a height of about 1 inch. That’s a mistake and it’s a mistake that many homeowners make.

Letting your grass grow taller enables the blades of grass to capture more sunlight and enhances photosynthesis. This strengthens the grass and enables it to protect the stems and roots from the hot sun. Removing the thick canopy of grass by cutting it too short, exposes the stems and roots to the harsh sun resulting in a slow decline and eventual death of the turf.

There are a lot of different varieties of grass and some can be cut shorter than 2-3 inches. For those of you that have a different variety of grass than what we have, you can check out ucdavis.edu to find out how short you should cut your grass.

Another thing that we do differently from our neighbors when it comes to our lawn is that we cut the lawn with an electric lawnmower. Now, I’m not saying that an electric lawnmower will make your grass any greener or thicker, but if you’re into organic gardening like we are, there is not a better way to do it. I bought my husband a Black & Decker cordless electric self-propelled lawn mower and it does a sweet job without all that noise. I did however, due to the size of our yard, buy a second battery so that we could mow the entire yard before recharging. Changing the battery is easy!

For more information on cutting height for lawns, watch this short video:

That’s it… until next time from the the Organic Gardening How To Blog.

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Pruning Tomato Tips – An Organic Gardening How To

Posted by admin on Jun 26, 2012 under organic gardening how to

Depending upon the type of tomatoes that you are growing, properly pruning your tomatoes can lead to a healthier organic gardening how toplant that produces larger tomatoes. I’m not sure that many of us will grow tomatoes as large as the one that I showed in an earlier Organic Gardening How To Blog post, but pruning tomatoes can certainly help.

I’ve posted a video below that will provide you plenty of information on how to prune tomatoes properly, but one of the things that is not fully explained in this video is what exactly are “indeterminate” tomatoes. Patricia Boudier, the author of this video, says that these are the only types of tomatoes that you should prune. So, before watching that video, let me clarify what indeterminate tomatoes are.

Prune Only Indeterminate Tomatoes – An Organic Gardening How To

Tomatoes can be classified as either indeterminate or determinate tomatoes.

Determinate tomatoes are “bush” type tomatoes that grow to about 4 feet in height. The fruit will grow in clusters towards the end of the branches and all of the fruit will ripen at about the same time. After the fruit has ripened, the plant will die.

Varieties of determinate tomatoes include the Super Bush, Better Boy, Bush Beefsteak, Manitobe, Northern Delight, and the Sprite Tomato. If buying tomato seeds, look for the word “determinate” or “DET” on the seed package.

Indeterminate tomatoes are the “vine” type tomatoes that can grow up to 10 feet in height (length), although 6 feet is more common. These type of tomatoes will grow fruit all summer long and won’t die until the first frost kills them. Many gardeners consider these to be the more flavorful of the two types of tomatoes.Varieties of indeterminate tomatoes include the Beefsteak, Italian Roma, Amish Red, Amish Gold, Big Beef, Italian Tree, Brandywine, Black Zebra, Black Krim, and the Cherokee Chocolate. Once again, if buying tomato seeds, look for the word “indeterminate” or “IND” on the seed package.

With this little matter out of the way, watch this great video on pruning tomatoes to learn the proper way to do it:

Remember, don’t prune wet tomatoes… that will only cause problems!

Until next time from the Organic Gardening How To Blog

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Organic Gardening How To Fun Facts On Tomatoes

Posted by admin on Mar 16, 2012 under organic gardening how to

I’m excited! Spring has sprung come next week and the tomato seeds that I planted two weeks ago haveorganic gardening how to already come to life. Of course, I planted those seeds in our greenhouse, but, in a few weeks I can move them outdoors to our organic vegetable garden. I love growing tomatoes and in this Organic Gardening How To Blog post, I wanted to share some fun facts about tomatoes.

Did you know…

* Tomatoes were considered poisonous to man until the mid 1800’s…

* We eat more tomatoes per person than any other fruit or vegetable…

* Some medical research indicates that consuming organic tomatoes may drastically decrease the risk of heart disease…

* There’s TWICE the amount of vitamins in a homegrown vine-ripened tomato than a commercially gas ripened tomato…

If you like to grow tomatoes like me, I wanted to share some FREE INFORMATION that I came across while I was searching the internet. If you truely enjoy growing tomatoes, I think you will enjoy these.

The first one is a web page where you can find 10 short videos that provide tips on growing healthy tomatoes. These videos cover such things as providing a nutrient rich soil, to stimulating early fruit growth, and even how to make your tomatoes to taste even better. Go ahead and watch these videos.

The second thing that I found is a 12-page PDF called 3 Tomato Secrets… this is also FREE…so, go ahead and grab it! This PDF has some valuable information that can help you grow bigger and better tomatoes.

Noticed that I said bigger? My husband and I have a challenge every year on who can grow the biggest tomato…either him or I. Last year, I won that contest! I grew a 1.4 lb. tomato and he could only manage a 1.2 lb. tomato. I got the bragging rights for this last year.

Some time back, I posted a video on this Organic Gardening How To Blog that showed a really big tomato that Patti Moreno had grown in her garden. If you like big tomatoes, watch this video…it’s located on a blog article I wrote called A Large Tomato In Your Organic Vegetable Garden? Not Like This!

Now, if you think that was a big tomato, watch this video:

Does that get you excited like it does me?

Until next time from the Organic Gardening How To Blog…

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Ideal Pruning Tools – An Organic Gardening How To Tip

Posted by admin on Jan 27, 2012 under organic gardening how to

In North America, late January and early February are an ideal time to prune many of your trees and bushes. That’s because many of these trees and bushes are dormant at this time of year and pruning them during this time does not effect their health or growth.

In a previous Organic Gardening How To Blog article, I discussed the proper procedure for pruning your organic roses (if you haven’t read it, read it here Organic Gardening How To – Pruning Roses). In this article, however, I want to discuss the proper tools that the organic gardener should use for pruning plants, bushes, and trees.

If you need more information on the procedures for pruning different types of fruit trees, I found a great PDF called Training and Pruning Fruit Trees that was free to download. It’s a 16-page report written by by North Carolina State University.

You can’t prune properly if you don’t have the right tools… and pruning tools need to be kept sharp. Here is a list of pruning tools that you can use.

1. Bypass Pruner – Also called hand pruners, these are operated with one hand and are similar to snips. Bypass pruners are intended to cut branches that are 1″ and smaller in diameter. Cutting brances any larger than 1″ can damage the tool and your fingers.

2. Loppers – Loppers are for cutting bigger branches and are operated with two hands. This tool looks similar to bolt cutters. Due to their long handles, you have greater leverage.

3. Hedge Shears – Hand operated hedge shears look like over-sized scissors and are intened to cut mall branches and leaves. Their handles are typically shorter than the handles on a lopper and the cutting face is longer. When choosing hedge shears, choose one that fits your hands comfortably.

Almost any organic gardener needs a set of loppers, bypass pruners, and hedge shears… these are basic.

4. Pruning Saw – Also called folding saws and limb saws, this tool is intended to cut branches that are 1″ and thicker and small diameter limbs. You operate this tool with one hand. The blade is typically bow shaped and tapered towards the end. When choosing a pruning saw, choose one that cuts in both directions… both when you are pushing and pulling the saw blade.

5. Pole Saw – These saws are intended to cut branches and small limbs that are out of reach when standing on the ground or on a ladder. They consist of a saw (similar to the blabe on a pruning saw) that is attached to a long pole. Be cautious when using this tool, especially while on a ladder… moving the pole saw back-and-forth could throw you off balance and cause injury if you fall from the ladder.

All of the tools mentioned above are hand operated. Of course, in today’s world, there are many electrical and gas powered versions of these same saws. These powered saws are powerful and work much faster, but they are more costly, require more maintenace, and can be very dangerous.

Following is a Organic Gardening How To video that shows the proper use of some of these tools:

When brand new, these tools will be very sharp and will work very effectively for you. But, after using for a short amount of time, these tools will become dull and you will need to take them to a saw sharpening shop to have them re-sharpened or you can resharpen them yourself…which is what I do.

I found a great tool online for sharpening saws and I found it on Amazon.com. It’s called the GardenSharp Tool Sharpener and it really works great… it’s easy to use and it only costs $11.99. This tool has 24 user reviews on Amazon and has received 4 stars. Read those reviews and see what you think.

I also found a YouTube video that demonstrates on how to use this saw sharpener. Now, in this video they are sharpening knives (I’m not sure exactly why!?), but I use it basically the same way to sharpen the blades on my saws. Watch this video:

That’s it for now… until next time from the Organic Gardening How To Blog.

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Organic Gardening How To…A Word Of Encouragement

Posted by admin on Dec 26, 2011 under organic gardening how to

It’s winter for those of us who live in the northern hemisphere, and I know that most gardeners are notorganic gardening how to raising an organic vegetable garden during these cold months…at least, unless you have a green house or an inexpensively constructed dome house. That’s why in this Organic Gardening How To article I wanted to take a few minutes to encourage others to give organic gardening a try in this coming spring.

Organic gardening is no harder than any other type of gardening, it only takes a little bit of ingenuity. For example, if you have pesty aphids in your garden, instead of buying harsh chemicals, use what Mother Nature has naturally provided you to rid your garden of those pesty insects. Our environment will be much healthier and you can be proud of what you have accomplished.

Organic vegetable gardens results in produce that is better than anything else that you can buy. The produce is nutritional and much healthier for you and that’s why most of the world’s major chefs are now using only organic vegetables and fruits.

If you haven’t tried organic gardening before and if you might be interested in giving it a try, I found this great video on YouTube that will show you how simple it is to get started. Watch this Organic Gardening How To Blog video:

If you are new at organic gardening, start your vegetable garden out in a small plat of ground…this will allow you to get your “feet wet”. If you run into problems along the way, return to this blog and enter some search terms into the Search Window on the right sidebar of this blog…you should be able to find answers to any of your questions and/or problems.

I encourage all of you that are not already doing it, please give organic gardening a heart-felt try…I think you will be glad (and healthier) for doing it!

Until next time from the Organic Gardening How To Blog…

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