Friday, March 19, 2010

In the garden 3/18

Yesterday, the weather was beautiful enough, I got out and cleaned up the garden while I could. It was in the upper 60s. I turned the compost that I've been collecting all winter. What a rich, black, fertile soil composting makes. I picked up the leaves from the garden bed with plans to shred them and put them back down for mulch. Snow is expected in our forecast this weekend. :(

I also got the peas and radishes in the ground. The tulips in the front yard are beginning to spring up. The dandelions aren't around yet this year, but I expect to see them very soon. I used the many of the weeds last year to prepare Herbal Tinctures.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Early March and Starting Seeds

Seeds for eggplant, tomato, and peppers can be started indoors in zone 5 late February. It is mid-March and I am just getting my seeds started indoors. As soon as the last chance of frost has passed, they can be transplanted outdoors.

I am also planting outside at this time white potatoes, and radishes.

To learn more about what can be planted and when in zone 5 see my article about starting seeds.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Growing Corn in Zone 5

In zone 5, where I live, corn is started around the first week of April. That is one week prior to the last expected frost date, which occurs on April 15th. Corn will not germinate until the ground is warm enough, but there is no harm in sowing the seeds just before the last frost.

A lot of home gardeners prefer not to bother with corn, because it is pretty inexpensive to buy at the store, but organic and heirloom varieties of corn are so much better! The kernels are smaller and more flavorful. They make the grocery store varieties taste like the bland fertilizer pumped up crops that they are.

Beans and squash make ideal companions for corn in the garden. The principal is based on "The Three Sisters" Native American traditions. All of these plants are to be planted just before the last spring frost and have synergistic benefits when grown together. To read more about this and other tips on growing corn visit: How to Grow Corn at Home

Monday, March 8, 2010

Natural Dye from Food

Today, I am experimenting with making natural dye from foods. I am using the dye to color eggs and hollowed egg shells. Of course, I didn't want to waste any food, so I used old things I had in the fridge.

An old pomegranate made a beautiful yellow dye. I also used some old blackberries thinking they would make beautiful purple, but interestingly enough, the dye wasn't very strong. I am currently working on black walnut hulls.

Eggs dyed from food have more subtle pastels than eggs dyed with food coloring.

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