Gardening with your kids.

Gardening with your kids.

After the long cold winter sometimes we don’t think it will ever happen, but spring does come eventually. The Sun shines brightly, the soil warms up and some of our favorites start the pop through the ground ,daffodils,crocuses and such.

Getting the kids involved in gardening can be nothing but a good thing, they will learn so much, it can be a lot of very messy work and sometimes mother nature has plans of her own that don’t agree with yours. Pests may make their way into your garden and make things difficult, but don’t give up, the rewards far outweigh the challenges.

 The kids will learn understanding of where food comes from and what goes into producing healthy food. And there is the obvious benefit, Nutrition, I have found with my own daughter she is more likely to eat a tomato or bean or cucumber out of the garden,than one that is served to her that came from the store.

Before you know it the kids will know all the names of the plants, the difference between the weeds and the fruit or vegetable your growing.

Just the appreciation of the work that goes into growing your own food will greatly benefit the kids as they grow up.

So  go out and get some child sized garden tools, wheel barrel, hoes and rakes, and enjoy the growing season with your kids.

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It’s important to rotate your gardens.

Rotate Your Garden

It’s a good idea to rotate your plantings, in fact you should do it..Sometimes it’s not that easy , particularly when you have limited space. But the advantages of doing it far outweigh the disadvantages. It helps prevents the recurrence of pests and different diseases in the beds.

Rotation is also a benefit to the soil, because certain plants will feed more heavily on certain nutrients therefore depleting the soil, so changing it up as far as plantings is always a great idea.

And it’s always a good idea to add compost and some type of organic matter  on an annual basis this will help rebuild it.

A couple of examples, onions for instance, you must rotate those every year. Reason being, if you had trouble with onion maggots, they will die out after you move your onions to another location. Another example, Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers or eggplants those must be moved because they’re prone to soil borne diseases. Once you move them it interrupts the life cycle of the disease, this is a good thing.

But remember you must move them a fair distance away from the place they were planted, a few feet is not enough. If your garden is very small you may find that you’ll have to discontinue growing certain plants for a year or so.

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Happy Gardening!

Valued medicinal plants and their purported powers

Med plants

Fact or Myth, for as long as there has been life on this planet, herbs
and plants have been said to have outstanding healing powers.

The following are some widely valued medicinal plants and their purported

Oregano : aids digestion and stimulates the appetite
Marigold : improves eyesight
Garlic : increases physical strength
Fennel : controls the appetite
Chamomile : relieves stomach upset and insomnia
Bay Leaf : cures deafness
Basil : relieves headaches
Anise : cures indigestion
Aloe : fights wrinkles and baldness, heals burns
Parsley : sweetens the breath
Rosemary : improves memory
Sage : cures fever and epilepsy , prevents the plague
Summer Savory : relieves bee and wasp stings
Sweet Marjoram : relieves chest congestion
Thyme : controls coughs , acts as an deodorant

Facts and myths for plant lovers

Greek Metholagy Flowers

In Greek mythology, Hyacinth was accidentally killed by his friend, Apollo
The beautiful Hyacinth flower was said to have sprung up in the place
where he fell.

Greek mythology tells the story of young Narcissus, who was so vain that
he fell in love with his own reflection in the water. When he leaned over
into the water to kiss the beautiful image, he drowned. The proud and
beautiful Narcissus flower was said to have sprung up where he died.

The Greek goddess Venus mourned the loss of her love Adonis. Her Sorrowful
tears were said to have turned a white rose red .

Ancient Greeks believed that if Marjoram grew on a gravesite, the deceased
would enjoy eternal happiness.

According to Christian legend, the first Carnations sprang from the Virgin
Mary’s tears as she walked to Calvary.

Hopefully you enjoyed this quick post.

Is it to early to start thinking about spring gardening?


spring gardening

With spring fast approaching,(march 20th) some are starting to think about gardening. Thats great because in some cases there is things you can do to get ready.

1.Check your soil

Don’t be to gungho ,make sure the soil is not to wet.a good rule of thumb is to grab a handful of soil and squeeze it into a ball, if it crumbles apart in your hand its ready to go. If not you have some time to wait. And of course always continue to add to your soil , any time is a good time to add compost. Test your soils PH, this will help to tell you what your soil may or may not be lacking. You can get the kits at your local greenhouse or garden center.

2.Clean up your garden beds

After the soil is dry enough, any leftover fruit or veggies you may have missed last fall should be removed. Any of the ornamental grasses that were left for the winter can be cut back. Pull mulches back from around the bases of perennials and roses.

3.It’s also a good time to prune

March is a good time to prune your fruit trees, or any of your flowering trees you may have ,cut off branches that were broken over winter , also cut branches that are rubbing on one another.

4.Do you like to start your own plants?

March is also a good month for starting your seeds indoors, as we have written in the past, if you don’t have a nice sunny spot for starting your plants you can use lights. Remember that seeds always seem to germinate better with a heating pad under the flat or pots that you are using.

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Now is a good time to think and plan about container gardening.

Container Gardening

A lot of us are thinking about our gardens for the upcoming season. The mailman has really been helping out by bringing all of the new seed catalogs. Many of us have already ordered all of the seeds we will be needing for the veggie garden.

But let’s think about container gardens for our flowers. One thing you need to keep in mind is to have the proper soil mix. You can go to your local garden center and they will be happy to help you. The soil mix you want for flowering plants actually isn’t soil at all, You will be looking for a soilless mix,there are many different companies offering this but they’re basically all the same they’re made up of peat moss, bark, and other organic materials. You will also notice that there is vermiculite and or perlite mixed in. This is to help with keeping the mix light and almost fluffy in appearance for drainage purposes.

There are some commercial potting soil mixes that contain granular fertilizer, they seem to work well to give the plants a good start but you will need to feed them throughout the growing season with an all purpose liquid plant food in order to keep them happy and looking good.

Container gardening is a great way to add color anywhere in your yard, you can change the look of your deck or yard daily if you like.

Looking for more information on Container Gardening? Click Here

Soil temperature is critical to Vegetable garden success


We here at Watch Us Grow love to garden – And we want you to love it too!

 There is nothing better than harvesting your own fresh Tomatoes,Cucumbers, peas, Beans,Carrots,onions or whatever it is that you planted in your garden. But as much as we want you to love it , we also want you to be successful at it.

There is a little pre planting work to do besides the usual tilling of
your plot.

If this is your first go around with vegetable gardening you should choose a plot that will get full sun for most of the daylight hours, also choose a spot the is not to low as these areas will tend to be possibly to wet at times.

But most importantly make sure your not planting to early – we’re talking
about soil temperature.

Some cool weather crops such as carrots, leaf lettuce, peas, spinach,onions, can be planted in soil as cool as 40 degrees. Most of your other plants or seeds you should not plant until the soil reaches 55 to 60 degrees or higher.

You can check the soil temperature with  soil thermometer similar to the type you may use for composting.

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Winter Burn


Why did my evergreens turn brown?

Here in the Midwest we had an unusually harsh winter , cold and snow
like we have not seen in quite some time.

Many evergreens may have turned brown or a golden color, this is called
winter burn.

The main reason this happens is because the tree or plant cannot take up
water from the ground because it is frozen.

They need to replace the water that the sun will evaporate from the leaves
or needles.

The extremely cold winds can also cause the winter burn.

Another cause is salt – salt from the plows that keep the roadways clear
or the salt that you may use to keep you walkways or decks free of ice.
This salt can be thrown from the plows or shoveled from your walkways onto
or under the trees or plants.

One way to protect your trees or plants is to wrap them in burlap for the
winter, they will not miss the sun as they are dormant in the winter.
But most of all you need to be patient – chances are very high that the
tree or plant will be just fine, after it warms up the tree or plant
should green right back up and look just fine.

Tomato Gardening Tips for Tasty Fruit


What better way to celebrate summer than planting your own tomato plant and picking fresh fruit right off the vine. It is never too early in the season to start thinking about your tomato garden. Growing great tasting tomatoes doesn’t just happen, however. It takes some time tested growing tips to get the earliest and sweetest tomatoes you can and continue to getting them all season.

Space Out Your Seedlings

Starting tomatoes from seed can be very rewarding if you remember one simple rule: give your seedlings room to branch out. When planting seeds it is important to remember their need for space when the plants become more mature. Close quarters can inhibit growth so you should transplant the small plants as soon as the first true leaves sprout out. They should then be planted in four inch pots to continue their growth.

Remember Light

Tomato plants are light loving and need strong, direct sunlight or at least 14 to 18 hours under grow lights every day. When considering where to plant your seedlings, you should look for the sunniest part of the garden and plant there. You can place containers or pots in that area if the soil is not conducive to planting directly in ground.

Bury and Mulch

If you purchase more mature tomato plants, you may have noticed the pots are rather shallow. You should remove them from the pot and replant them in the ground or another pot all the way up to the few top leaves of the plant. One great thing about tomato plants is they can develop root systems all along the stem of the plant. Once the plant is buried in the soil, you should mulch to conserve water and help prevent disease.

Prune and Water

Once the tomato plants have started growing, you should remove the bottom leaves of the plant. These leaves are the ones most affected by disease and fungus. You should also remove the suckers that develop in the joints of two branches. These suckers take away from the energy of the entire plant. The final thing is to remember to water the plant regularly while it is growing. If you do not, you run the risk of blossom end rot and cracking.

Container Gardening At A Glance

If gardening seems to always be on your mind and seeds and fertilizers are always a big issue for you and your decision-making processes, you might find container gardening a bit more limited, but a lot easier. If you own a balcony or a patio, you can bring on your exquisite gardening skills and make the most out of these small spaces.

You will find these mini-gardens a lot cheaper to be handling and maintaining, and even developing, and you might be able to find the time you need to cater to your plants’ needs a lot easier. You can make things even more exciting and you’re your own rooftop to display the large array of your gardening ideas and abilities.

You need to start by acknowledging the fact that even though you might now own the regular garden soil in a backyard, you still need to buy plenty of stuff such as special pots, window boxes, hanging backs and other containers and plant your own exotic or non-exotic plants.

You need to makes sure your plants are going to have all the light that they need, given the fact that their location will most likely be a more peculiar one. You also need to keep in mind that there are plenty of plants you can grow in your special containers even though the light sources might not be the best you can find. Ivy or licorice seeds are great plants you can make full use of inside the walls of your containers without having to fear your plants are not about to grow efficiently.

Moreover, you need to think of your container gardening as the perfect place to be using your All Purpose Liquid Plant Food fertilizers in and benefit from the rapidness in the healthy growth of your plans. There are plenty of folks who have reported wonderful results in relation to the use of the All Purpose Liquid Plant Food on their gardens, so your container gardening hobby is also going to win a lot from its use.

Other great tips that should encourage you to go on with your plan of setting up a great garden right inside your balcony or on your rooftop refer to the actual size of the containers you are about to use. Even though several small containers might sound like a safe idea, you could use a large pot instead and make full use of different filler plants to come up with the best view possible.

You should also decide upon the exact number of plants to include in your containers or large pots. The ideal number would be somewhere around three per pot, plus the extra filler plants which are going to add a plus of beauty and excitement. Make sure the pot you are about to use features a great drainage hole and avoid combining styles. You might find your ideas ravishing, but you might end up admiring some not very appealing pots. It’s really helpful to always try to add a certain common element – namely a plant, a flower or a type of veggies – that can be found in all of your grouped pots.

Thank You to all of our gardener friends and we really appreciate your support. Please contact us anytime with any questions,
The Watch Us Grow Team

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