Holistic, Organic and Natural Lawn Care

Most people out there are now aware of the meaning of holistic lawn care and holistic weed control, nonetheless, for the few ones who may still find it a bit difficult to understand, holistic weed control is the control of weed organically, naturally or without the use of any harmful chemicals. Organic weed control comes with a number of benefits which include the safety of the household and the environment as a whole.

Holistic lawn care is quickly growing into a trend for big companies and home owners who are beginning to understand the repercussions of using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Tests have continued to show that chemicals have dire consequences. These chemicals are harmful to our children, our pets and the environment as a whole especially when used for long periods of time. Continue reading Holistic, Organic and Natural Lawn Care

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4 Trap Plants You Can Grow To Help Control Pests

Controlling insects in the garden may seem like a never ending battle for some, but have you ever considered that fixing the problem may be as simple as just planting a few “sacrificial crops” for the problematic bugs to feast on instead of your prized fruits or vegetables?

Planting a variety of “trap plants” will lure those pests away from your favorite crops. It is an organic, natural, and quite effective way to approach controlling pests and insects in your garden.

Different insects prefer different types of crops, so do your research to find out what those pesky buggers are drawn to, and plant them in your garden away from the crop you’re trying to protect. Usually a border of “trap plants” around your garden area will help minimize the damage to the plants you want to thrive.

Always practice good crop rotation, and companion planting to help maximize the effectiveness of growing “trap plants”.

When your “trap plants” become over-run with insects, feel free to remove the plant all-together and dispose of it to keep the pests from breeding and creating a larger habitat in your garden.

Nasturtium, Marigold, Chervil, & Radish are some of our favorite “Trap Plants”! Planting each of these will cover a wide variety of pests you may have lurking in your garden waiting to destroy your precious crops.

Ohio State Producing New Crop Of Urban Farmers [Radio Podcast]

“Farmer Mark Van Fleet started growing vegetables at Harriet Gardens on Columbus’ South Side two years ago. He came to this once-vacant lot with about a decade of experience in gardening.”

Van Fleet gave up his job as an arts administrator because he did not like working inside all day. Now he spends his days tending to his vegetables.

“I felt this scale of operation was something I could handle with my limited amount of experience,” says Van Fleet. “I never worked on a farm before starting this one. I don’t know how to drive or fix a tractor.”

LISTEN TO THE RADIO BROADCAST HERE

Reviving monastery’s city farm, started a century before urban agriculture was cool

“Members of religious orders have always had a need to garden, inspired no doubt by one of the Christian faith’s noted cultivators, Saint Fiacre, a green-fingered holy man who became the patron saint of gardeners.

When monks, friars and nuns established their enclaves, they turned to gardens of herbs, wildflowers and vegetables to feed and heal themselves. Other essential elements: a dairy and a fruit orchard. Apiaries also played a key role, providing honey, mead and beeswax for candles.

The garden, as Westerners know it, survived the Dark Ages because of monasteries. Given these traditions, it was natural for the founders of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America to count on a small farm when in 1897 they purchased 100 acres of open land in Northeast Washington.

Its visitors and pilgrims would have been more familiar with its attractive Byzantine-style church and surrounding arcade, or the reproductions of shrines from the Holy Land, but the farm in the city became a vital, if largely hidden, element of the institution. In their brown robes and open-toed sandals, the brothers were into urban agriculture a century before it became trendy.”

Read the FULL STORY at: The Washington Post

How to Create The Perfect Vertical Garden

“Vertical gardening is a great way to maximize your living space and enhance the beauty and enjoyment of your home. Easy to create, customize and care for, a vertical garden can be made of anything from hanging flower pots and plastic soda bottles to old mailboxes, wheelbarrow, and crates. And the many options allow you the flexibility to get creative and capture your unique sense of style. Here’s what you need to know to create a stunning, low-maintenance vertical garden of your own.

KNOW WHERE TO START

Knowing how much space and sunlight you have to work with is essential to getting your vertical garden off on the right foot. Whether you’ve chosen a window in the kitchen, a wall in your sunroom or the railing along your patio, it’s important to evaluate its size and surroundings, as well as the amount of natural light it gets, before moving forward with your project.

Once you have a better picture of the space you’ll be using, you can determine what you want to grow in your vertical garden and how.”

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE AT: “HeraldCourier.com

Dubai gets the world’s largest vertical farm — for an international airport

“When passengers board their flights at Dubai International Airport, most are served in-flight meals that include salads or greens atop sandwiches. These crops usually come from traditional, outdoor farms in the United Arab Emirates.

By 2020, flights taking off from the airport will serve greens and herbs grown from a more high-tech source.

Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC), one of the world’s largest airline catering operators, and Crop One Holdings, a San Francisco Bay Area food startup, are building a massive vertical farm to supply crops for in-flight meals.

EKFC provides catering for Emirates Airlines and all other airlines at Dubai International Airport, which is the world’s largest airport by passenger traffic.

Read the FULL ARTICLE at BusinessInsider.com

Best ‘Secret’ Urban Gardens Around the World

The contrast between the cityscape and the greenery is often striking. Pictured here: Oranjezicht City Farm, Cape Town, South Africa. – Courtesy Coco VanOppens Photo/Phaidon.com

“(CNN) — From derelict train tracks turned scenic walkways, to rooftop treasures atop train stations, sometimes the best bits of cities are the bits that don’t feel like cities at all.

Urban centers might be 24-hour hubs of activity, but often you just need some green space in the concrete jungle.
“One of the things I always like when I go traveling or go to new cities is trying to find a little place to get away from it all, a little bit of a retreat, a bit of a haven,” says Dr. Toby Musgrave, an eminent garden expert based in Denmark.

Musgrave has compiled some of his favorite gardens into a new book, “Green Escapes,” published by Phaidon: It’s an encyclopedia of green oases found in cities across the globe.”

Urban Farm Offers Opportunities to Ex-Offenders

INDIANAPOLISA soon-to-open nonprofit urban farm on the south side of Indianapolis aims to give formerly-incarcerated women a chance to “craft a future story” while combating the city’s food desert issue. Bellfound Farm spans 17 acres and allows young women to run an urban farm while receiving counseling, coaching and business training. Founders Nekoma Burcham and Alena Jones, who are Women’s Fund of Central Indiana NEXT Fellows, say Bellfound coaches will continue to support the women after they leave the farm to help them earn a degree or certificate and find long-term employment and housing.”

READ THE FULL STORY

How To Identify and Prevent Mosaic Virus in Your Garden

WHAT ARE MOSAIC VIRUSES?

  • “Mosaic viruses are plant viruses that cause the leaves to have a speckled appearance.” –wiki

HOW TO IDENTIFY MOSAIC VIRUSES AND DAMAGE:

  • Yellow, white or green spots on foliage
  • Wrinkled or curled leaves
  • Yellowing of veins in leaves
  • Reduced yields or stunted growth
  • “Warty”, or mottled fruit

HOW TO CONTROL & PREVENT MOSAIC VIRUSES:

  • There is NO CURE for the Mosaic Virus. Once it infects a plant, there is no saving it.
  • Your best course of action is to remove the entire plant completely, and destroy it.
  • Be sure to clean and disinfect any garden tools used during the clean-out.
  • Plant strong, disease resistant varieties.
  • Cover your plants with floating-row covers to keep insects away.
  • Control your weeds. Some can serve as hosts for the virus.

VARIETIES MOST COMMONLY AFFECTED ARE:
Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Squash and Cauliflower

7 Tips for A Better Summer Garden

Summer has arrived and for a lot of us, that means long, hot days in the garden. Before you get too exhausted or overwhelmed, consider these 7 easy tips for having a beautiful and happy summer garden.

STEP 1 – BE WISE WITH YOUR WATER
Make sure to keep your garden beds cool and moist by adding plenty of organic mulch around the base of your vegetables, herbs, and flowers. This will also greatly help reduce unwanted weeds from coming up. Whenever possible, use drip irrigation, and water close to the base of the plant. If using sprinklers or wands, water as early or as late in the day as possible to avoid evaporation. During the day, avoid splashing water on the leaves as it can sometimes cause them to burn in the hot temperatures.

STEP 2 – KEEP YOUR COOL SEASON CROPS SHADED
Cool-season crops can generally only take between 3-6 hours of sun per day. If you still have some spring veggies in the ground you can keep them from bolting by adding shade cloth over them, or if they are in containers you can move them to a location with more shade.

STEP 3 – FRESHEN UP YOUR DECK OR PATIO
Summer should be enjoyed! Take pride in your outdoor space by making it a comfortable gathering place for friends and family. Consider adding a new patio set, or painting an old one! Add a festive shade umbrella, new pillows or an outdoor rug. Compliment your outdoor gathering space with a container garden full of fresh culinary herbs! These will not only come into use while cooking up your favorite dishes, but some of them can actually help deter mosquitos

STEP 4 – KEEP THE POLLINATORS HAPPY
Insects, hummingbirds and bees all play a crucial part in healthy vegetable gardens. Make sure you incorporate plenty of native plants and flowers to help attract these pollinators into your garden.

STEP 5 – START A GARDEN JOURNAL
If you didn’t start a journal during your spring plantings, make sure you start one now! Begin recording things like what you’re growing, and dates you harvest. You can purchase a small food scale, and document the size of all of your harvests!  You can also include beautiful photographs or other important information such as problems with the weather or pests that you may encounter through the summer months. Use your garden journal in the future as a reference for what worked in years past or what didn’t to avoid making the same garden mistakes twice. 

STEP 6 – PLAN YOUR FALL AND WINTER GARDEN
Now is the perfect time to start planning your fall/winter garden and sourcing seeds for the next round of plantings. You can also start drafting up new designs for plot layouts or raised beds. Use the internet to do plenty of research for what designs might best suit your needs. When you’re ready to start planting, check out this planting calendar to find out when it’s safe to start planting your fall/winter crops for your exact grow zone. 

STEP 7 – ENJOY THE FRUITS OF YOUR LABOR
It’s summer, so don’t forget to kick back and relax! Enjoy your beautiful gardens and be proud of all of the hard work you have put in. Maybe try one of these refreshing and delicious drink recipes made with your homegrown mint

‘Fresh, free and beautiful’: the rise of urban gardening

“From providing fresh food for the community to regenerating unused spaces, urban food-growing projects have flourished in the US. In Minnesota, fish and green vegetables are farmed in a former brewery by Urban Organics; in New York, Brooklyn Grange grows produce on the roof of its office.

In Dallas, Texas, in an area designated as a food desert, meaning access to fresh fruit and vegetables is difficult, Big Tex urban farms have donated 85,000 servings of fruit and vegetables to the community since 2016.

Developed for and funded by the annual State Fair of Texas, the project consists of mobile beds in car parks and a hydroponic greenhouse which allows plants to grow without soil.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT: “TheGuardian.com”