Home Gardening 101


It’s just a few weeks away from being warm enough to plant my little seedlings in the actual ground  :)  Because of our short growing season, most seeds need to be started indoors, but I quickly run out of room and have to shuffle plants onto the porch.  The porch is sheltered completely on the north and west and partially on the east, so they do fairly well there.  Even so, because daytime temps are 40’s and 50’s and nighttime temps frequently dip into the 30’s, they need some protection from wind and cold -- occasionally even snow!
My old method was a frame made from PVC pipe, covered in plastic.  It worked great, for the most part, but it was hard to cover in case of cold weather or snow and not portable. 
This spring, I have a new method to house the little plants until they can go into the garden..
Just clear plastic storage boxes from Target, but they are working out so much better!!  I group the plants in them according to their cold tolerance.  That way I can pick up a box and pop in the house when it’s too cold for them.  It’s also easier to move plants around to find them more (or less) sun exposure.  
The lids were all off the day these photos were taken, but they do add a lot of protection from wind and cold… like today, when the high was 39 degrees! 


Citrus Peel Starter Pot For Seedlings

seedlingpot Garden Hack: A Citrus Peel Starter Pot For Seedlings
 Just poke a hole in the bottom of the peel for drainage, fill with potting soil, then add two seeds and some water.
After thinning to one seedling per peel, I’m going to transplant the whole ding dang thing into the garden. The peels will compost directly into the soil to nourish the plants as they grow.
Since oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are springtime fruit in Southern California, I’m guaranteed an endless supply of seedling pots.
I don’t think I can ever go back to my plug tray.

21 Clever Uses for Coffee Grounds

Uses for Old Coffee GroundsOnce that hot steaming mug of fresh coffee is poured, Most people don't give their coffee grounds a second thought. Check out these clever uses for coffee grounds

  • Odor Elimination: Place the old grounds in a small can under the sink. Next time you chop an onion or fresh garlic, scoop out a small
     amount of grounds, rub them thoroughly over your hands and rinse. Voila! No more Odor!
  • Fertilizer: Coffee grounds are highly acidic, so spread them generously over the flower beds of acid loving plants for amazing blooms. Acid Loving plants include azaleas, rhododendrons, blueberries, Hydrangeas,lily of the valley, roses and creeping phlox.
  • Make your own Gardeners Soap- melt a bar of glycerin soap and add 1/3 c. coffee grounds, reshape bar in a mold and use.
  • Garbage Disposal Blade Sharpener: add 1 T. Grounds to running garbage disposal (with water running!) to sharpen the blades
  • Ant Repellent- sprinkle old grounds around the perimeter of your home (outside) to deter ants.
  • Dye- steep the grounds in boiling water to make your own dye for paper, fabric or easter eggs
  • Garden- Cat Repellent- mix used grounds with chopped orange peels and sprinkle liberally around your garden and flowerbeds to keep your kitty from using your garden as her restroom.
  • Double Your Harvest of Carrot & Radish- When planting, mix your carrot and radish seeds liberally with coffee grounds, plant as directed.
  • Flea Dip: After bathing your pet (dog or cat) rub 1- 2 c. of coffee grounds into his fur,
     be sure to work them to the skin, rinse well. Not only does this kill fleas, but will make his fur silky smooth.
  • Make homemade "Henna" Tattoos with dye from Coffee Grounds
  • Cellulite Reducer- if you look at those high price cellulite creams, you'll see coffee is a main ingredient of many. Simply mix 1/4 c. warm coffee grounds (used) and 1 T. Olive oil. Apply liberally to problem areas, wrap with plastic wrap. Let set for 10 minutes, unwrap and shower normally.
  • Grow Mushrooms
  • Feed the worms- if you like fishing and have a wormbed at home, add coffee grounds, they love it! To make the BEST worm beds mix aged horse manure and coffee grounds, add worms. You'll grow some nice big fat ones for fishing!
  • Highlight Hair Naturally- if you have auburn hair, you can rub coffee grounds through wet hair, leave for 3 minutes, rinse thoroughly. It will leave your hair soft, silky and with natural highlights.
  • Pin Cushion Filler- Make your own pin cushions and use dried out used coffee grounds as a filler. It will keep the pins rust free!
  • Deodorizer- place a small uncovered container of used grounds in the freezer to absorb odors naturally- also, this works great to get rid of a Mothball smell from closets or campers!
  • Faux Parchment Paper- Crinkle up a piece of paper into a ball, unfold, place in a 9x13 pan of water with 1/2 c. used coffee grounds for 30 seconds, remove from liquid, gently blot excess coffee off, and allow to dry. This makes gorgeous labels for jars or apothecary bottles
  • Repair Scratched Furniture- mix 1 T. coffee grounds with 1 Tsp olive oil. Apply with a cotton ball, wipe dry.
  • Clean Fireplace- before removing ashes from your fireplace, sprinkle wet coffee grounds liberally over the ashes. Then scoop out the ashes & grounds together. This helps prevent the "dust" plume
  • Abrasive Cleaner- when you need a quick abrasive cleaner mix equal parts of old coffee grounds and baking soda, scrub. (Be careful of using this on surfaces that are susceptible to stains!)
  • Treasure Stones- make your own fun treasure stones

source: Budget101.com 

How to Grow Asparagus

Growing Asparagus
By Donna Sundblad
As a gardener who wants to learn how to grow asparagus, be aware that it is unlike any other vegetable. Along with patience, you'll need a small garden plot and three years to start to grow this perennial vegetable.

Prepare the Asparagus Bed

Asparagus is usually grown in a prepared bed of its own. As it grows the first year, the fern-like foliage should be left to stand through the summer and into the fall when it becomes dormant. It grows tall enough that this foliage shades plants around it, so instead of placing it in your garden, plant it next to the garden or in a separate bed of its own. However, when choosing a site for your asparagus bed make sure it will get plenty of sun. Prepare the soil well, by removing all weeds. Asparagus thrives in rich organic soil. If you take the time to prepare the bed in the beginning, it has the potential to produce for at least 10 to 15 years. If you're reading this article and the season to plant has already passed, take advantage of the time you have to prepare your plot for next springs planting. Enrich the soil with the following:
  • Rotted leaves
  • Compost
  • Manure

Size of the Asparagus Plot

Just like any garden plot, the size of your asparagus bed will depend on the yield you hope to harvest. Each mature asparagus plant has the potential to send up 15 to 20 spears. Plants should be planted about one foot apart.

Buying Asparagus Plants

Asparagus growing does take patience and is almost impossible to grow from seed. For most home gardeners, purchasing plants from your local nursery or by mail order is best. Here's what to look for:
  • 1-year-old asparagus crowns (these are the roots of the plant)
  • Bundles with 10-15 dormant fresh, firm roots

Basics for How to Grow Asparagus

Once you purchase your plants, get them into the ground as soon as possible.
  1. Dig a trench of about 6 inches
  2. Set crowns in the trench about a foot apart
  3. Cover with about two inches of soil
  4. Gradually work soil into the trench throughout the first season as plants begin to grow
  5. Water weekly if you don't get rain


10 Great vegetables to Grow in the Fall

You may think that gardening for the season is finished once the summer crops begin to wane, but that’s hardly the case.
In fact, your vegetable garden is truly just getting started good.
There are many vegetables that grow well during the fall and even into the winter months in some cases.
If you are interested in keeping some vegetables growing in your vegetable garden after the tomatoes and squash are gone, here are ten great vegetables to grow in fall.


Beets are an excellent choice for a fall garden. They love cooler temperatures and are hard to “beet” when roasted in the oven.
Beets are sown directly in the garden soil most of the time, but can also be started indoors and transplanted using care. Sow the seeds a 1/2-inch deep and then plants to about six inches apart.
The seeds should germinate in five to fourteen days and be ready to harvest in about 50-65 days after the seeds germinate.Beets can tolerate a few light freezes.
Not only are the roots delicious, but the tops taste great as well and contain a number of important vitamins and minerals.


Kohlrabi is probably one of the most under appreciated vegetables in the US. If you love turnips or collards then you should definitely grow some kohlrabi.
Kohlrabi grows well in cooler temperatures and has a very distinctive look. I will admit, the first time I laid eyes on this vegetable I thought it was an alien!
Don’t let the unusual look fool you – this vegetable has a rockin’ taste. it features a bulb that grows above ground with stems that project outward.
The bulbs are peeled and cooked in a variety of different ways and tastes much like a turnip. The leaves can be harvested and cooked much like collards, with a taste that is very similar.
Kohlrabi can be started indoors or sown directly in the garden. Seeds should be planted 1/2-inch deep and thinned to ten to twelve inches apart.


Lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow in the vegetable garden. There is a huge assortment of different varieties to choose from – some with frilly leaves and some that grow into large heads.
Lettuce grows bests in rich soil and cooler temperatures. It can tolerate a light frost, but freezing temperatures may kill it.
Sow lettuce directly in the garden, or start it indoors to get a jump on the growth time. Sow lettuce seeds about a 1/4-inch deep with a spacing of about twelve inches apart.

Mustard Greens

Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are an excellent source of vitamins A, B, C, and also calcium and iron. These greens can be added to salads raw, or sautéed for a deliciouside dish.
Another great attribute of mustard greens is it is very easy to grow.
Start seeds indoors for a fall garden in the late summer, or sow seeds directly in fall. Mustard greens are ready to harvest in about 50 – 60 days after the seeds germinate.


Collards are the classic fall vegetable for many southern vegetable gardens, but it grows well in other areas too.
Collards are related to cabbage and broccoli and need fertile soil that has good levels of nitrogen for foliage growth. They transplant fairly easily so starting seeds indoors and transplanting into the garden later is no problem.
Remember to give collards plenty of space – about 36 inches apart – to accomodate the large leaves of the plant.


Now we are getting to one of my favorite fall vegetables – kale. Kale is another leafy vegetable that is similar to collards, turnip greens, and mustard greens. The leaves of the plant can be found to be curled and very ornamental depending on the variety.
Kale tastes best when the leaves are picked young and tender. Leaves left on the plant too long can become tough and leathery.
Sow kale seeds1/4-inch deep and about 12-24 inches apart depending on the variety you are growing. Refer to the seed pack for spacing requirements for your specific variety.
You can harvest outer kale leaves when they are eight-ten inches long. A light frost helps to improve the taste of kale and removes bitterness in the leaves.


Broccoli is mostly grown in early spring, but can also be grown with great success in the fall. Seeds can be started indoors or sown directly in the garden.
Sow seeds 1/4-inch deep and thinned to about 24 inches apart once seedlings emerge.
Broccoli heads are usually ready to harvest in 65-75 days after the seeds germinate.


Many types of onions can be planted in fall and allowed to overwinter for an early summer harvest. It is best to plant fall onions using sets instead of by seed.
Cover the onion sets with a thick layer of mulch during the winter for insulation in cool climates. The sets will grow new green tops in spring and will be ready to harvest in late spring/early summer.

Bok Choi

Bok Choi
Bok choi is not a very common vegetable in the US, but it has a tasty cabbage-like taste and is easy to grow in fall gardens.
Bok choi needs fertile soil with plenty of nitrogen for good foliage growth. It is a very fast growing vegetable that is ready to harvest in as little as 35 days after seed germination.


Spinach is another fantastic vegetable for the fall vegetable garden that grows pretty quickly. Spinach is known for its nutritional value and ease of growth.
Baby spinach leaves can be harvested in less than 40 days from seedling emergence and go well in salads, stir-fry and other dishes.
Sow spinach seeds 1/2-inch deep and space plants about six to twelve inches apart.
You can harvest outer spinach leaves and allow them to re-grow giving you a steady crop of leaves for several weeks.

Bonus Vegetable for Fall


Garlic is a relatively slow growing plant and should be planted in fall for most regions. Allow garlic to overwinter and provide a thick layer of mulch for insulation.
The garlic bulbs will be ready to harvest in mid-summer of the following year.
It’s hard to beat the taste of homegrown garlic compared to store bought cloves.


Turn an old chair into a Flower Chair


If you have an old chair standing around here be creative with it.

Step 1Sawn the bottom out of the seat

Then a sawd the bottom out of the seat and put a cocosfiber in it. Then i have placed chickenwire on the underside of the seat.

Step 2 fill it with compost and put flowers into the chair.

Then I filled it with compost and put flowers into the chair.


Double Bucket Upside Down Tomato


This is an easy to build upside down tomato planter using 2 five gallon buckets.  This planter is superior to commercial units- because of the extra capacity this planter provides.  The extra capacity results in a larger root system, which translates into a larger plant.  Also there is greater water holding capacity which means less frequent watering.  You can produced over 40 pounds of tomatoes with this planter in one season.  


Tools needed:

drill with 3/8 inch bit

Parts needed

2 five gallon buckets
2 3/8 inch stainless steel bolts 1.5 inches long and matching  nuts
1 heavy duty eyebolt
1 heavy duty s hook
Osmocote 14-14-14 slow release fertilizer, 1 pound package
potting soil, most any kind will probably work, but i find that metro mix 360 is excellent
one tomato plant

epsom salts- to provide magnesium if lower leaves begin to yellow
gypsum or landplaster  (Calcium sulphate)- to supply extra calcium if blossom end rot occurs


Recycled Water Bottle Slug Trap

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This Instructable tells you how to make a beer-baited slug trap from two empty drinking water bottles.  It introduces no harmful chemicals into the garden and does not harm the local wildlife (apart from the slugs). It also re-purposes items which would normally have been thrown away.  Using green bottles makes it merge well into the foliage. Altogether, a green idea.

The first one was made in the space of 5 minutes.  I have had slugs eating my plants and a work colleague mentioned the same thing just as I was pouring fizzy water from a bottle.  It was one of those 'eureka' moments.  I had several of the bottles in my cupboard which would 'come in handy one day' and that was the day!  5 minutes later using only office equipment I had the first slug trap built.

The photos show the sequence of making the slug trap, and at the end are some pictures of the garden looking its best.

I decided to begin a new chapter of this blog called Home Gardening 101. I love gardening and everything involved with the process. There are some amazing idea's for home gardening. The benefits of a home garden are endless. Not only do you have fresh organic produce but it's yummy and healthy too. I hope you enjoy this new addition to my blog. 

If you have any idea's for my blog please email me at familygoround@gmail.com. Happy Gardening!

Cheap Raised Gardening Bed

Author says she has never spent more than $8 to build a 4'x4' raised bed or $35 to build a 4'x20' one. They buy two 1x8"cedar boards, which are naturally rot-resistant, & cut in half, so that it is 4-feet long. Then use a 3" length of a 1x1" pine stake, cut into four pieces, to nail the cedar boards to at corners. Each box costs less than $10.

I think this is a great beginning start to having your own home garden. This idea is very cost efficient and easy. It cost about $8-$10 to build a 4'x4' raised bed or $30 -$35 to build a 4'x20' bed. 
Buy two 1'x8' cedar boards, which are naturally rot-resistant and cut in half, so it is 4-feet long. Then use a 3' length of 1'x1' pine stake. Cut into four pieces and nail the cedar boards at the corners. Each box cost less than $10.

Rock garden ideas

This is a great idea for a Rock Path for your garden.

Pallet Gardening
Pallet Planter

I love the whole idea of pallet gardening. Pallets are absolutely dirt cheap and easy to construct. 

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