Quantcast
For daily wit & wisdom, sign up for the Almanac Daily newsletter.

Gardening Advice

Coco coir sounds like a delicious new drink, but it’s actually an excellent amendment to your garden soil. A sustainable alternative to peat moss, coco coir provides increased water retention and aeration—AND it’s pest-resistant! It’s also a good-looking, tidier mulch that doesn’t require reapplying. Learn more about coconut coir and how to use it in your garden properly.What is Coco…
Most of us know that gardening really benefits our bodies and makes us happy. But it’s still very cool to see how research backs up why gardening improves both your mental health and your immune system!  If you’re resolved to live a healthier lifestyle, eat better, and exercise more, gardening can give you all that. Many studies have shown that gardening improves people’s…
We love fall gardening! The heat is waning, but the soil is still warm. There are just three steps to consider in planting a fall garden: when to plant, what to plant, and where to plant. Let’s get started!Why Plant a Fall GardenFall gardening is much less stressful for many crops, shrubs, trees, and perennials. There are fewer weeds and pests, and it’s often rainier, so there is less…
Wish you could do less mowing? Tired of suffering through the hassle of keeping your grass green? Hardy, low-growing ground covers are an increasingly popular alternative to grass. Before you throw down more grass seed, discover 12 lawn alternatives—from a carpet of moss to stepable ground covers.Grass has its place, but it’s also a resource-heavy plant, requiring constant irrigation, mowing…
There is no magic bullet for keeping your garden and indoor plants free from insect pests. Some tricks I have learned over the years are ways to cope with bugs without resorting to nasty chemicals. Here are my tips for pest control, including homemade insecticidal sprays (soap sprays) and organic pesticides.Pest Control Starts With YouBefore resorting to using pesticides (even…
Animal manure has long been used as a fertilizer in gardens and on farm fields, creating nutrient-rich, moisture-retaining soil for your plants. See the best type of manure for your garden and the best time to apply—as well as a few things to consider first.All manure is not created equal. Depending on the kind of animal, its age and health, its food, what…
Gardeners are often given the advice to sprinkle diatomaceous earth (DE) around plants to deter pests. Unsurprisingly, we’re often asked, “What is diatomaceous earth, exactly?” Well, here’s your answer!What Is Diatomaceous Earth? Diatomaceous earth (DE) is the fossilized skeletons of microscopic single-celled aquatic organisms called diatoms. Their skeletons are made of a…
When we talk about beneficials for the garden, don't forget about frogs and toads. Both are total carnivores, eating grasshoppers, beetles, cutworms, flies, slugs, and all kinds of insects. They will not eat your plants! See how to attract these "good guys" to the garden.All toads are frogs but not all frogs are toads. There are 3 types of frogs:Toads are frogs with dry thick skin that…
A quintessential summer flower, the sunflower has so many amazing uses—from cooking to crafts! They are not only pretty, but also entirely edible! See lots of great ways to make the most of sunflowers.Sunflowers: A Pretty Native American PlantHonored as the state flower in both Kansas and Nebraska, there are about 70 species of sunflowers. Most are native to the Great Plains,…
A few years ago, I was given a beautiful bonsai container and decided to try my hand at growing a compact plant to fit it. I had an old azalea growing in a pot that was too small, and I thought it would be perfect for my experiment. Here’s what I learned about bonsai, a living art form, and how to start and grow a bonsai tree. I envisioned my pretty pink azalea looking something like…
Grab the bounty of fresh herbs while you can! We’ll show you how to dry herbs since we almost always have extra on hand—plus, learn how to make a proper full-bodied cup of herbal tea.Grow Your Own Herbs for TeaIf you grew some of the plants mentioned in this Calming Herbs post, hopefully, you have been enjoying them in iced and hot teas this summer. Even though fall is on the…
Hello, “gourd-geous”! You can find all sorts of funky gourds … so what’s with these bumpy, weird-looking squash? See different types of gourds—from bottle gourds to snake gourds to luffas—and learn how to grow, harvest, and cure them yourself!What Are Gourds? Gourds (Cucurbitaceae) are among the oldest cultivated plants. They were the early water bottles of the Egyptians (2200…
The Old Farmer's Store