Category Archives: Fertilizer

The Summer Is Here!

The Summer Is Here!

Today is the first day of summer! So happy summer! It’s the longest day of the year (or the shortest if you live on the other side of the world).

Summer is…

  • a time for home made and carted popsicles.
  • swimming pools or swimming holes.
  • firefly lanterns and sleep outs.
  • lemonade on the porch and watermelon in the fridge.
  • secrets with friends.
  • daisy chains and banana bikes.
  • pirates and princesses.
  • grandparents and cousins.

It’s the first day. What are you going to do with your summer?

Make it paisley!~KeriAnne

Reblogged from Live Nakedly

Reblogged from Live Nakedly

 

Good Dirt: Small Farm, Big Dreams

This was a great article I wanted to share with you. Project Garden Share is on my mind a lot these days. I hope you’ll consider getting involved in your area. Have a paisley Wednesday!~KeriAnne

 

All photos courtesy of Dan Soulsby/Soulsby Farm.

“I would find it hard to believe that anyone would be ‘for’ GMO’s. Why would you be? Why would anyone (even if they’re not a health nut) want to put something with the words ‘genetically modified’ into their bodies?”  Dan Soulsby worked in Hollywood, but dreamed of returning to his native Ohio to start a farm.  According toThe Soulsby Farm’s website, his opportunity came during the 2007-2008 economic downturn that left him without his job and the impetus to move.  Running his “very small farm” of under two acres with his wife Mindy, these two graphic designers by day are hoping not only to grow their own food, but to bring properly grown harvests to those most in need in their community via a non-profit, Project Garden Share.

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Comfrey, and the Livin’ is Good!

Comfrey, and the Livin’ is Good!

In a rather neglected part of the yard, over by the treeline of the woods, I have three Comfrey plants that seem to like their arrangement. I like them there as well. They have pretty lavender and white flowers and they will come back next year even though I’ll cut them down to two inches this year.

As a Green Manure, Comfrey is a workhorse. As a natural fertilizer, it will be your “go to” plant food. You may even come to depend on it as you do your Aloe or lavender. This hardworking, often overlooked plant can really do wonders in the garden, and in the home.

I grow Comfrey for three purposes: compost, herbal medicinal, and as a nice border.

 

Comfrey Border by the woods.

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Convincing the Cucumbers and Other Feats of Wonder

Convincing the Cucumbers and Other Feats of Wonder

Today I had to spend the day convincing cucumbers that they are happy in their own neighborhood.

My cucumbers have decided that the manure is better on the other side of the trellis. I pretty much had to take them in hand and convince them that it was all the same poop no matter the side. Some of those boogers actually required twine and a few well placed knots that would not have been sanctioned by the Boy Scouts. Stubborn, to say the least.

Have you ever done this? Today, I’m rockin’ along, minding my own business, pulling grass from around naughty cucumber vines trying to persuade them that they really will be happy in their own little corner of the universe that I have so carefully prepared for them, and whoops, up comes a whole cucumber plant.

Then I spend the next twenty minutes trying to 1) decide if I could possibly re-root it and 2) convince myself that they probably could use a little more room anyway so it’s absolutely fine that I did that horrible thing.

In the end, I composted it, (in not a very cheerful manner). Acknowledge and move on..

Now, to the success of the day. I was getting all my darlings where they needed to be and Jonathan was bringing me one of many, many cups of ice water (15 in all today) he noticed baby cucumbers on the White Wonder plants. I said, “Next week we’ll be awash in cukes, yay!” After he left, I moved a leaf and found this…

White Wonder Cuke on a bed of basil

 

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Stuff You Missed in Botany: Plant Nutrition

Stuff You Missed in Botany: Plant Nutrition

It was time to feed the melons. They said, “Thank You!” They’re so obedient and respectful when they’re little. They have rewarded me with loads of beautiful flowers that will blossom into a protrusions of melon sweetness. So, I’m more than happy to give them a springtime snack with they’re drink.

Plants get nutrients from the soil, but they also get some goodies from the rain and some plants, like legumes, get nutrients like nitrogen, from the atmosphere. Plants also change the energy the get from the sun into nutrients using the green pigment called chlorophyll in the process of photosynthesis.

So, what are the nutrients that plants need?

Plant nutrients are broken in to two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients.

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Stuff You Missed in Botany: Experiment With Organic Pest Control

Stuff You Missed in Botany: Experiment With Organic Pest Control

No, I’m not telling you what an experiment is as such. I’m telling you about a Botany experiment I’m going to be doing with my son, Jonathan.

Last week while searching for various and sundry things, I came across an interesting article about Myrosinase. This has sparked much curiosity, scientific probing,  and even a bit of the entrepreneur spirit around the Gunz household.

Myrosinase is an enzyme that is released when radish leaves are stressed. (It’s not only radish leaves, but most of the brassicas family, the largest quantity comes from rapeseed) The enzyme acts as a repellent to insects, and other foragers.

DNA of Myrosinase~it looks like confetti...so pretty and paisley!

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Throwback Thursday: Sunflowers

Throwback Thursday: Sunflowers

Helianthus annuus

The Sunflower

Ah Sunflower

Ah Sunflower~William Blake(1757-1827) P. 1793

Ah! sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun,
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller’s journey is done;

Where the youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves and aspire;
Where my sunflower wishes to go.

Giant globes of gardeny goodness. This is what you get with sunflowers.

Sunflowers rock!

That’s all, end of article. Not.

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Paisley Plant of the Week: Bonus Corn

Paisley Plant of the Week: Bonus Corn

This plant is so paisley…it’s dripping paisley!

Corn.

Sounds boring, right? Not so!

Bonus Corn!

Bonus corn is a hybrid that produces those little corns that are so delicious in stir-fry. Each ear is 4-6 inches long and the entire ear is edible, no need to slice it off of the cob. My wise son just told me to tell you, you do still have to peel it. He was worried you might try to eat it peel and all. Thanks Jonners.

Growing Bonus corn is also fun. It emerges quickly. I chit mine, but it probably isn’t necessary. I just got in the habit of doing the corn along with my beans and peas. It may give me a little jump on my seeds, I dunno.

Bonus corn grows to a height of 5′. Here’s something different (and paisley) about Bonus corn, each stalk produces 4-5 ears! That’s cool. I also grow Country Gentleman, a standard shoepeg variety, you only get one ear per stalk with that. So 4-5 little ears are super cool, and paisley!

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Testing…Testing…One, Two, Three…Four!

Testing…Testing…One, Two, Three…Four!

Without me, the garden has continued to do it’s thing. I’ve been stuck in the house with my stupid back this last week, but the garden has managed without me. I’ve been sending Jonathan out to do some things, move the sprinklers, fix the trellis, check things over, but I’m more than ready to see everything for myself.

Today I can walk unassisted and I’ve been up for three hours without pain medication, so I’m thinking I’ll be outside for at least a little while later on. Ryan threatened me before he went to work. “If I even see you with a hoe in your hands, I’m telling dad.” He needn’t have bothered. The pain this last week was sufficient a lesson, the “real” work will be done by the boys from now on.

So, what am I going to do? Thanks for asking. Today is testing day. I have a bunch of things that will be ready in the next little bit to go from their juvenile containers to the garden. I’m making sure their new beds are ready for them with the nutrients and pH conditions they’ll need.

This is the kit before testing.

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