There's Still Time!

You can absolutely still grow and harvest some good crops this year.

While I'm bummed that we missed the opportunity to grow many of our regular veggies this year because time just got away from us, I'm still planning on growing plenty of fast-growers and you can, too. It might be too late for potatoes, but here are some crops we can absolutely still grow!

Beans

Beets

Radishes

Broccoli

Turnips

Lettuce

Collards

And many more! Don't write off your 2021 garden if you haven't started anything yet. Any of these crops could still yield an abundant harvest for you this fall!  You can also get starters to help you avoid germination time but honestly all of these grow so fast you should be fine with seeds.

What have you planted already? Are you planning to grow these or any cool weather crops in fall? Share your plans in the chat.

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The Funniest Gardening Advice

Share the most entertaining pieces you've heard!

Today I ran across a really funny video about gardening on TikTok and knew I had to share it. Frankie Flowers says that while reading old books about gardening, he's come across some really funny tips. One is to sit on the ground with no pants or underwear on to see if it's too cold for seeds!

There's actually a lot of helpful plant advice on TikTok if you know where to look, but pieces like this are just pure fun! It makes me think of all the old myths about the weather, the gods and crops and wonder what people still do today that really doesn't have any basis in science. How about singing to plants? Does that have any evidence for support of the habit?

What is the funniest piece of gardening advice someone ever gave you? Share it in the chat.

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The Compost Bin: Where's The Best Location?

Where do you keep yours?

The property we have is large enough to where we can keep our compost bin pretty far from our house against the fence, which I like because the bugs around it aren't going to be near our home. We don't compost nearly as much as we used to with so many chickens eating the scraps, but we still like to make some rich, earthy soil for the garden.

Said chickens, however, are now using the compost bin as a glorified perch, which is giving them access to the fence. They almost scaled it the other day, which means now we need to move the box. I love letting the girls free-range all day but if that's there I will constantly worry that they'll jump over. I have friends whose chickens never go far from home but if I didn't catch it in time...

So where is your favorite place to keep a compost bin? Share it in the chat!

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Edible Hedges Galore!

Share your fruit bearing bushes!

A couple of weeks ago we discussed dwarf fruit trees and I went to go pick some out... only to chicken out! I've planted some blackberry and raspberry bushes before only to kill them, so I want to make sure I know exactly what I am doing this time. It's been years and while I know most of the mistakes I made, I also want to be sure before I buy any berry bushes this time around.

There are so many varieties, for example, which means I need to research which grows best with which. I also want to make sure I mulch right, if necessary, and to be sure I have the best spot for sun. It's not like a small plant that I can dig up again and try somewhere else, right?

Do you grow berry bushes? Share your tips for growing in the chat! 

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Keeping Fleas Out Of Your Yard

Any tips?

Even with our flea protection, our dogs still get them each year, which means that our cats and we humans also get flea bites. Ew! A lot of people like to put flea poison in their yards, which just isn't going to work for me. I'm all about natural solutions so when I read that it could be as simple as introducing the fleas' natural predators, you can bet I was all about that solution.

Nematodes will consume fleas without bothering us. They are microscopic worms that are not only safe to use around people and pets, but they usually only need to be introduced to the environment once to get their population going. It's like using bats to keep your mosquito population down!

Do you have any other great tips for getting rid of garden fleas? Share them in the chat.

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Dwarf Fruit Trees

Have you grown any successfully?

So many people seem to be growing their fruits and veggies from dwarf trees lately and I'm so curious about it. As someone who's had little success with growing fruits (I struggle with an avocado seed plant and the best I've managed are my annual strawberries and tomatoes!), I really would love to grow fruit.

Veggies seem so easy, especially once you get the seeds to start, but I've had berry bushes that totally failed. We had a cherry tree once, but I was a kid and don't remember what happened to it. Boy was it nice having fresh cherries every year!

Do you grow fruit from dwarf trees, and if so, how do you do it? What tips do you have for someone new at it?

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Getting Rid of Ants

Share your tips!

It never fails. Every spring, we get these tiny invaders, usually with the first big spring rain, all over our counters and into our sink. This year's ant's seem to be the worst we've ever had but I always say that!

Here's the thing: I know my way around making ant poison. It's very simple: you just mix in some borax with sugar water. They carry it back to their community and it wipes them all out. It's sad but it's the only way to get them to stay away. I say this after trying every natural remedy at my disposal.

This year the poison just isn't working. We definitely have fewer ants but it's been four days! Usually it takes them out in 24 hours, 48 at most. I'm getting really frustrated. I've washed all their trails away, I've used cinnamon and mint oil and pepper flakes on top of my poison and they keep coming.

What ant remedies do you use? Share them in the chat.

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Tips for Growing Strawberries

Share yours in the chat!

In my house, we like to joke that the plant experiments we did in third grade were all wrong. Give your seed water, sunlight and soil and it will grow--right? Sure, that works for plenty of plants, but it doesn't work for just as many. Case in point? The strawberry.

Did you know that you're not supposed to let your strawberry plant set berries during its first year? This is to ensure that it will grow more berries next time. So as tempting as it is to let those flowers grow and eat the berries (and I have, believe me), you want to pick off those pretty blossoms, sob, and tell them they'll get to grow next year!

What other tips do you have for growing strawberries, or any other kinds of berries? Share them in the chat.

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National Gardening Day

What are you doing to celebrate?

April 14 is National Gardening Day, the perfect time to plan a garden, start some seeds, and really dig into your spring gardening plans. It does seem a little early to garden, though, especially since we're dipping into the 30s at night where I live and we may still have another frost before the year is up, so planting might not be in your best interest if you don't have room for starts indoors.

But you can celebrate in lots of other ways. Buying seeds is always a great way to celebrate, as is getting new tools, replacing old gloves and other prep work for the spring and summer months. You could also just visit your local Botanical Garden if you don't have your own and wish to be in nature.

How are you celebrating National Gardening Day? Share your plans in the chat.

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Succulent "Stems"

They may not be what you think

While I've had succulents most of my life, I can never remember one growing a long shoot that looks like a random stem until now. When I saw it appear almost overnight, I was excited. I figured it meant my plant was super happy, right?

It's the opposite, in fact! Succulents can grow these stems, known as aerial roots, when they aren't getting enough light. It's a sign that I need to move my poor plant, which may be starving where it's at! I'm so bummed because I thought it was so happy. Instead, it was being tortured.

What other weird things have your plants done? Have you ever had a succulent do this? Share your experiences in the chat.

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