A veggie box on stilts can make it easier to plant and harvest crops and is portable to move as needed around the yard for prime growing conditions. Learn how to start a veggie box in the garden with seeds and a small container to grow the plants.
The first step to getting started with a veggie box is the seed tray. Tomatoes, peppers and greens are best planted in seed trays or small plastic pots. Fill each pot or tray with soil, tamp down and lightly water. Make an indentation to put seedlings in. Cover up the hole with a little bit of soil and pat gently into place. Label each tray with the plant name and date. Label by row if planting many kinds of plants. Use a tray to place the seedling containers into for a better way of keeping soil moist.
When leaves first emerge are actually cotyledons, which provide food for seedlings. True leaves have a different appearance than cotyledons. Once the actual leaves come in, it is fine to transfer plants to temporary 4-inch pots, directly to a planting box or container.
Lettuces, greens, radishes, beets, strawberries and herbs are best suited to a 16-by-24 inch planting box. Beginners should work with an experienced woodworker the first few times to ensure safety while using equipment such as saws and drills. The following will be needed to get started:
1-by-4-inch redwood, cedar or other untreated wood planks cut into various sizes
Six planks 16 inches long (to make short sides of the box)
Six planks 24 inches long (to make long sides of the box)
Five planks 23 inches long (to make base of the box)
2-by-2-inch redwood, cedar, other untreated wood cut into various sizes
Four pieces 24 inches long (for the legs)
Two pieces 12 inches long (to reinforce base of the box)
Having some tools of the trade will help in construction of the boxes. It may be helpful to work with a friend who already has the tools to save money and have fun making the boxes together.
⅛ inch drill bit
1 ⅝ inch outdoor deck screws (24-30)
Work gloves and eye safety goggles
Clamps, power screwdriver, jigsaw and chop saw are optional
Constructing the box can take some skill and practice but once it is done, the box will be a great way to get the veggie garden started.
Buy six-packs of seedlings or grow at home. Either way, the best way to begin is filling the box with potting soil. Water until damp, then lift baby plant from seed tray using a fork or spoon. Hold the plant carefully by the root ball and avoid mishandling the leaves or stem. Place plants in a new container, press soil firmly around. Watch the veggies grow before harvesting!
Get more advice on veggie planting this summer!
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A flash of yellow darts around the garden, feeding on flowering seed heads or stopping at bird feeders. What could it be? Meet the American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis), one of the only vegetarian songbirds. Because they don't feed their young insects, they're able to hold off their nesting habits until later in the year, June or July, when seeds are abundant.
Here are some tips for making your garden inviting to these yellow birds:
Some common plant favorites of the American Goldfinch to feed on are thistle, sunflowers, asters, and milkweed. Looking to the trees will find these birds enjoying alder, birch, and western red cedar. They will work bits and pieces of these plants into their tightly-woven nests for both warmth and as a food source.
Goldfinches want and need an ideal habitat for seed-hunting, like shrubby fields or forest edges.
These birds prefer to build their nests in shrubs or young trees, but several feet off the ground. To maximize your chances of attracting mating pairs, be sure to incorporate larger shrub species.
Keep any feeders you have full, and clean. American goldfinches are at risk of getting mycoplasmal conjunctivitis—house finch eye disease—from birdfeeders. If you do notice that your winged guests have crusty eyes, take down the feeders and disinfect them with a 10 percent bleach solution then leave them down for about a week so the birds can heal rather than continue to spread the disease.
American goldfinches are one of the U.S.'s national treasures. Thanks to their assorted adaptations, they are often the object of fascination and admiration for everyday backyard gardeners and ornithologists alike. If you attract the American Goldfinch to your backyard, let us know and snap a picture if you can!
Plant late summer to be ready for your guests to arrive in the fall!
Get more advice on attracting the animals you want visiting your home.
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Getting back to nature is a wonderful thing. However, looking out your front window to see the local wildlife destroying your landscaping and foraging off your heirloom varietals isn't.
You can do something extreme—like put up a ten foot fence to keep them out. This might work, maybe . . . but you'd be surprised how resourceful and agile animals can be. You could go to your local outdoor store and procure bottles of assorted wild animal urine to spray around as a deterrent. Again, it works for a short time, but is not a long-term solution (and who really wants to mess around with feral urine?). Another, more viable, option is to revisit your landscaping choices. Use nature to outwit natural animal tendencies.
Ground covers are practical, versatile, and affordable. While there are hundreds of ground cover options, only a handful can stand up to deer. Most deer-resistant covers are highly invasive, so you want to plant responsibly; i.e., if you don't have a lot of deer or other foragers, you may want to forgo these or risk having your property overrun. These plants can help keep deer out of your garden this season.
1. Eastern Teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens)
Also known as wintergreen
Native to cold-weather climates of the eastern U.S.
Has small urn-shaped flowers in the Spring, followed by red berries; in the Fall, its evergreen foliage is bronze-tinged
Needs rich, acidic soil and is a good choice for growing around azaleas, hydrangeas and rhododendrons.
2. Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
Also known as bearberry
Sun-loving option as majority of deer-resistant, non invasive groundcovers prefer shade
A type of wild manzanita that grows as a low, spreading mat on the West Coast. East Coasters: look for cultivars taken from the eastern subspecies, such as 'Massachusetts'
Has the same evergreen foliage and smooth reddish bark manzanitas are known for
3. Dwarf Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides)
Also known as leadwort
Tough, well-behaved, easy-to-grow ground cover from China
Foliage with sky-blue flowers which appear sporadically from midsummer through fall.
With the first frost of fall, the foliage becomes tinged with a burgundy color
Can aggressively spread with rich soil and lots of moisture
WARNING: Wear gloves when pruning or handling the plant as contact may cause dermatitis.
4. Barrenwort (Epimedium spp.)
Also known as horny goat weed
Tough ground cover which thrives in shady areas under large trees
Spreads at a moderate rate but not considered aggressive or invasive
Has heart-shaped leaves and hat-like flowers
For resisiting deer, look for varieties such as 'Sulphureum' or red barrenwort
5. Pachysandra (Pachysandra spp.)
Most common form used is also known as Japanese spurge
High degree of shade tolerance
One of the cold-hardiest evergreen ground covers
Can be aggressive with growth under ideal conditions
WARNING: Pachysandra is poisonous and should not be used where there is a concern that children, pets, or livestock may consume it.
6. Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)
Also known as wild baby's breath
Get more advice on keeping deer and other citters out of your garden.
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A beautiful home in Logan County is only partly about the house itself. A great deal of the value of a real estate property is the level to which you maintain and care for the lawn and landscaping. With summer getting here and the grass starting to grow again, now is the time to get some control over your landscaping in order to present the best possible homes on the market in Logan County. In order to help you prepare for lawn mowing season, we've prepared a few general tips and best practices to help you get in the spirit of summer.
Mow Your Lawn Weekly
Grass grows at a steady rate in Ohio and most healthy lawns require mowing every week or at least every other week. A good three inch height for grass is healthy and allows it to continue to stay green and lush. Anything shorter runs the risk of cutting it too close to the roots and it will lose its color and health. The hotter and drier the weather, the slower your lawn will grow so you may not have to cut the grass as often when things get really hot.
Water Your Lawn for Health
Brown grass is as bad as no grass at all so when it's hot and dry, it's important to keep the lawn watered. A well-watered lawn will grow fuller and greener which always looks better when someone pulls up to look at the property. Watering the lawn can make your grass stand out from the neighbors if they aren't giving the grass a good shower every few days. If you use automatic sprinkler systems, set them to go off every other day rather than daily, to conserve the local water table.
Fertilizer and Weed Killer
A healthy lawn benefits from organic and natural fertilizer products to provide extra nutrients to the soil that help grass to grow green and healthy. You can always tell the difference in yards that use some sort of fertilizer and those that don't. If your yard has a problem with weeds and dandelions, try a post-emergent herbicide designed to kill broadleaf weeds without destroying the turf grasses. These are safest on the lawn but should only be applied when temperatures are below 85 degrees.
Remember that when home buyers are shopping for houses for sale in Logan County they want to see a well-manicured healthy lawn surrounding your house. Keep it trimmed and pristine and you'll have better luck selling a house in Logan County.