Category: Organic Gardening

  • How to Make Liquid Fertilizer from a Granular Organic

    After sharing recipes for making your own granular organic fertilizer from inexpensive bulk ingredients, I’ve gotten a number of questions from readers asking how to convert a dry organic fertilizer into a liquid. Why would you want to? Liquid fertilizer is fast-acting. A liquid fertilizer can be faster acting than a dry or granular fertilizer, […]

  • Tomato Blight: Organic Treatment for Early and Late Blight

    You have visions of homegrown tomatoes dancing in your head. . . Homemade tomato sauce canned and stacked neatly on shelves, stewed tomatoes in jars, tomatoes on salads and just taking a big juicy bite out of one straight out of the garden – you can almost taste it! You go out to your garden […]

  • Educated Consumers Score a Big Win for Honeybees – With Thanks to Skagit Gardens

    Wildlife gardeners have been fighting an uphill battle against the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, the ones that are thought to be responsible for colony collapse disorder in honeybees. One of the most heartbreaking things is that recently, many home gardeners have become aware that the bee-friendly plants they have planted in their gardens specifically to help […]

  • Keeping Dogs From Eating Organic Fertilizer

    Keeping Dogs From Eating Organic Fertilizer

    Using organic fertilizers is a great way to be green and give your plants a slow-release source of nutrients. However, some of the – ahem – more “fragrant” fertilizer ingredients just seem to call out your dog’s name. If you have a dog who likes to roll around in strong aromas, or worse, has a gourmand’s taste […]

  • Organic Fertilizer Recipes: How to MacGyver Up a Custom Blend

    Organic Fertilizer Recipes: How to MacGyver Up a Custom Blend

    Developing a healthy soil is the goal of every gardener, but sometimes plants need an extra boost. Perhaps you are growing high-yield fruits and vegetables, plants with big blooms like roses, rhododendrons and camellias, or just feel that your soil isn’t performing well and your plants need a little help while you work to balance […]

  • DIY Organic Fertilizer: Demystifying Single-Ingredient Fertilizers

    DIY Organic Fertilizer: Demystifying Single-Ingredient Fertilizers

    Single-ingredient organic fertilizers have long been a mystery to me, and since I haven’t wanted to screw things up, I’ve been using the already-blended mixes from brands like Gardner and Bloome, which have formulations that work well for the different labeled uses (acid-loving plants, flowering plants, etc). Yet using single-ingredient fertilizers, and blending them yourself, […]

  • Tired of Spraying? You Might Just Need a Dose of CTFD

    Tired of Spraying? You Might Just Need a Dose of CTFD

    New gardeners, like new parents, tend to be a bit overprotective of their charges. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking a fancy new shrub from the garden store, or our firstborn little darling – too much hovering can lead to, well, not-so-great results. There’s a new parenting trend floating around the internet called “Calm the […]

  • Guest Post: Want Happy Plants? Feed the Microbes!

    Five Ways To Improve The Health And Diversity Of Your Soil Food Web: A guest post by Phil Nauta, The Smiling Gardener. Most of the work in our gardens is done by the “soil food web.” If you’re not familiar with this term, it refers to the inhabitants of the soil, including plants and animals, […]

  • Thick Rind on Meyer Lemons: How to Fix It

    Thick Rind on Meyer Lemons: How to Fix It

    The reason all of us foodie gardeners grow Meyer lemons is that their thin skins and delectable flavor surpass the acidic pulp and thick white rind of the grocery store Eureka or Lisbon lemons. Yet there are two common garden conditions that make Meyer lemons taste more acidic, develop thick bumpy white rinds, and have […]

  • What’s Wrong With My Fern? Brown Leaves on Ferns

    Does your fern have shriveled, brown fronds or a bleached, discolored appearance? We know that people are susceptible to sunburn, but we don’t think of plants as being able to get sunburned as well. It’s a common problem. When shade-loving plants like ferns are put into a sunny situation, their fronds shrivel around the edges, […]

  • Lawn Hacks for Organic Gardening Geeks

    Lawn care, at first glance, seems pretty straightforward. Mow, water, apply various bagged items, and take the time to frolic playfully on your fancypants expanse of greenery. But after owning a lawn for any period of time, most of us start to ponder the deeper questions surrounding lawn. Questions like, “dang, why does my water […]