Monday, July 7, 2014

Beautify Your Outdoor & Indoor Spaces!

The best/cheapest way to add some color to your garden as well as giving you something totally beautiful to add to the table is a wildflower patch. Each time you grocery shop add a pack of wildflowers to the cart. After a few weeks you'll have a plethora of beautiful flowers to plant.
Till up a row just for them and watch the bees and butterflies take up house there. And you'll end up with low cost bouquets for most of the summer. You really should attempt to weed them; however it was not possible for us this year due to excessive rains. They grew inspite of the grass. How much are the brightly colored flowers bouquets in you produce isle at the store? Between five and fifteen dollars. Now whenever blooming, your only a walk away to the fresh bouquet! Not only is this something beautiful to smile about, your production/harvest in your veggie garden should increase due to all the insect activity drawn in by the flowers. Yepee! Not to mention all the oohs and "hey look at this, Moma" the children send out as they discover each new bloom and different insects they've drawn in. Our little hodge-podge rows of wildflowers and sunflowers bring in tons of butterflies and bees. What a treat to share freshly picked flowers to put on the table! You have to admit reading about and actually experiencing nature are way different. While both are effective, experiencing is way cooler! Get outside and "live" with your little ones while the wonder is in them and enjoy your homegrown flower patch together.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Best Garden Sprays - Mother Approved!

Growing has it's challenges anywhere you are, but my #1 rule of thumb for growing with children, dogs, weather, pests is ALWAYS PLANT MORE THAN WHAT YOU NEED! Another challenge is finding a spray that is "Safe" enough for kids to use yet still effective. My children always want to use the sprayer. Maybe to avoid being asked to pull weeds :) So these are all sprays that you could feel comfortable letting them use. But always give guidance and only let serious minded children do the spraying. Usually once they have earned the recognition of being mature, they actually go after your approval and are so much more happy to help then to play around anyway. Here is the best three sprays for growing your garden/memories.  # 1-If you want the most organic/natural/effective homemade garden spray ever, try mixing up a water, Neem Oil, & Citronella Oil mix. About 3 cups of water, to 2 Tblspns Neem Oil, and 2 Tblspns Citronella Essential Oil. Of course this oil and water mix has to be shaken before use and will eliminate aphids, white flies and Japanesse Beetles, and others. Repeat everyotherday for a about a week and problem solved!  # 2- Another option I love is the concentrated Triple Action Plus II. Its made by Fertalome. Not sure of spelling there. It's a Neem Oil base, all in one and is really effective at pest and fungi. # 3- For more power, on squash borer particularly, add 1 Tblspn of Seven Dust, and up values to gallon size sprayer. This will omit the "Natural/Organic" but will save your plants as well as being mostly natural. If you have wilted plants be sure and pull them up and pour some right into root hole. Now Tomatoes are a totally different story, and for the best garden spray on tomatoes you will have to wait. It's an all around total coverage spray that will extend the life of your plants as well as get rid of ALL pests. Happy Homegrowing! ***Must be added in revision here, that it is never a good idea to spray a big area before evening, because of lowering bee population! We know lots of bees in the south are in very low numbers do to lots of chemicals. Mississippi even has an organization that will pay you back half of all you spend if you will get started with bee keeping. Also check out China's bee problem. People are now taking to the fields to hand pollenate because of insecticide use that's left them so depleted of bees. Especially in the almond industry.  If I need to spray a spot/plant or two because of big infestation that is fine, but a total garden spray is a must at evening only. Anything you spray before say 6-7pm goes back to the hive with the bees. They go in at night around that time so to both avoid killing the bees, and being out in the heat we wait till after dinner-just before nightfall, to do any total garden spraying. Some of what you spray will still be there in the morning, so if in bloom, it might be better to deal with bug bites! We do. After the plants begin loading up with flowers I do not spray, unless it is an infested spot. Then I remove plants and spray around area the Citronella/Neem Oil blend.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Tomatoes are in!

As we start bringing in the rainbow of tomatoes we plant each year, we are so glad to see the fruits of our labor come to harvest. Teaching kids about hard work and reaping what you sow is nowhere so obvious then in the garden. And you never know what else nature has in store for learning. We found and hatched out a BEAUTIFUL Catapilar from this chrysalis on an orange tomato. Gardening with kids is as good as it gets!!!!! Growing memories and capable kids. I was always told growing up, "I can't, never could do nothing" a country way of say you can't do anything when you don't try and say, "I can't." So grab your little ones and grow something special. Do grab your Goo! Garden Goo TM
Every year it's a surprise.
Ready for some fried green tomatoes!
Double battered, healthy oils, yum!
That's the natural bug repellent, I created for my children and we sell at our web store
Painted Lady? We think.