This post originally appeared on Gardening Know How as an invited guest blog. The version here is the same, with the addition of a couple more photos.
I have long been fascinated by seeds, as my elementary school self with her shoebox full of horse-chestnuts (Aesculus hippocastanum) can attest. It turns out this fascination served me well when I became a graduate student. As part of my research on different methods to control downy brome (Bromus tectorum), I counted thousands and thousands of downy brome seeds to document the effects of those different methods. If you’ve ever wondered what a plant science graduate student does, you can bet that counting seeds is part of it.
Walking across campus this week, I just couldn’t help but pick up a few horse chestnuts.
What do you call that thing connected to a wall that water comes out of?
I call it a drinking fountain. But I have friends who call it a water fountain. Or a bubbler. Continue reading
Black medic. It’s a weed I’ve known for what feels like forever, I teach students to correctly identify it every year in the weeds lab, but other than that it is one I’ve paid very little attention to until recently. As in this week. Continue reading
This past weekend I went on a Garden Tour hosted by the Cache Soil to Table group in conjunction with the Bridgerland Audubon Society. The Cache Soil to Table community is a group of garden enthusiasts, that among other interests is also dedicated to creating beautiful, edible, drought tolerant and pollinator friendly landscapes. For the tour, six gardens were showcased that exemplified one or more of these characteristics. At each of the gardens, the homeowners and other volunteers were on hand to answer any questions. Continue reading
This is a completely unsponsored post. I’ve just found this app useful and wanted to share it with you.
It’s no secret that I love podcasts. I listen to them while I clean the house, do the laundry, make dinner, and work on the computer. If you were to look at the podcasts I’ve subscribed to, you’d notice the topics range from science news to money and business to motherhood. And, of course, gardening.
I saw an ad today that said we spend 95% of our time indoors; that we were facing an “indoor epidemic”. Now, I know a few people for whom this is not accurate at all, but sadly for the majority (and even more sadly, for me lately) is that it’s probably pretty close.
I used to spend the majority of my work time from April – September outside. That’s just what happens when you work in weed science. But over the years I’ve been finding myself at my computer more often than out in a field, and especially since having a baby and transitioning to working from home I spend all of my work time inside.
But it’s not just for work that I’ve found myself staying inside. I’ve been making all sorts of excuses for staying indoors – it’s hot and we don’t have a lot of shade anymore since they took down the tree and I don’t want Grace (or myself) to get sunburned, Grace is napping so I should stay inside, I just cleaned Grace up and don’t want her crawling through the grass and dirt again, etc. Notice a trend? I keep blaming it on my baby! This is the complete opposite of the mom I envisioned I’d be while pregnant.
I want my girl to love the outdoors, and I don’t want to be the one that’s getting in her way.
Which is one reason why I make it a point to involve her with my gardening. Sure, she likes to pour all the water out of the watering can all over herself. Sure, she likes to taste the dirt and get it all over her hair and face. And, sure, I might lose a few leaves from my strawberry or onions. But I *think* in the end that having a girl who doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty and exploring the great outdoors will be worth any plant casualties or extra loads of laundry.
Do you have experience gardening with kids? What are your tips? Or what do you do to get outside?
This post isn’t meant to get in to the ethics or morals (or lack thereof) of big-box stores. It’s just an observation from a recent perusal of my local Wal-Mart’s Garden Center, and a caution to new (and experienced) gardeners.
We were nearly out of toothpaste and sunscreen, so yesterday I decided to run to Wal-Mart to pick them up. As I got out of the car I noticed the big outdoor section of the Garden Center, and as I’ve been busy dreaming up the landscape for our soon-to-be new home, I decided I’d walk through for a bit of inspiration.
This is the first in what I hope is a continuing series of Garden Tours: virtual tours of the gardens I visit, both public and private. If you know of a garden you think I should visit, let me know in the comments below.
Tulips often evoke images of the dikes and windmills of Holland; generally not the semi-arid Utah desert or the rugged Turkish or Persian steppe. Yet every year in mid- to late-April, these three places – Utah, Turkey, and Holland – become intertwined in the annual tradition of Tulip Festival.
Earlier this year I had the crazy thought that I wouldn’t plant a garden this year. I’ve got a new baby, I’m still working part-time, we’ll be moving into a new house this summer so by the time we get in it might be too late to get a garden in, etc. Basically I almost had myself convinced that planting and maintaining a garden would just be too much work.
And then I realized that I just couldn’t not plant a garden. And I also realized that the way I’ve been doing a lot of my gardening the last few years – aka in buckets – really cancels out all of my previous concerns:
- They are portable! I can plant them now, here at my apartment, and then whenever we happen to move, I can easily take them with me.
- They are easy to maintain – besides daily watering and an occasional feeding with fertilizer, they don’t need too much fussing. (Read: no weeding here!)
- I can plant my lettuce and spinach and onions now, and if I don’t get to planting a tomato (because I must have garden-fresh tomatoes in the summer) until we move, it will still have enough time to mature.
So, in the spirit of National Gardening Month, I planted up my bucket garden – at least a couple buckets worth of it – last week and I am oh, so happy I did.
Gardening really is good for the soul. (Well, my soul, at least.)
Is gardening a happiness boost for you?
With yesterday being the first official day of spring, a lot of people’s thoughts turn to gardening. Maybe you’ve still got snow where you live, but you’re itching to see something green. Or maybe it has felt like spring for a couple weeks now, but you’re wondering when it will be safe to start planting. To help answer some of your questions, or satisfy your need for green, I’ve rounded up some of my “getting ready to garden” posts:
When Can I Plant?
Bucket Gardening 101 and Bucket Gardening Video
The Dirt on Soil
Starting Seeds Indoors (1)
Starting Seeds Indoors (2)
Hardening Off Plants
I’m interested to know what the gardening timeline looks like in your neck of the woods. Is it at your doorstep? Or still only a distant dream?
Either way, when the time comes, Happy Gardening!