Science

Seeds Sprout to the Far Side of the Moon

Cotton seeds growing on the dark side of the moon? Apparently it's possible, given that China just made it their mission to bring some seeds up on their last lunar landing. While the coldness of the moon ultimately destroyed the seeds, they did begin to sprout once they were watered... on the moon. So no, we don't have crops on the moon just yet, but it's incredible that we can say China actually sprouted life there.

It's Pumpkin Season!

Some people hate when pumpkin spice everything, from Cheerios to coffee creamer, hits the shelves, but others love it and count down until pumpkin season like it's their birthday. There's even a meme that lists all of the months of the year until September, which is replaced with "Pumpkin," as is October and November! Pumpkins can be found nearly everywhere right now, and the question is: what will you do with yours?

Setting Up Starter Plants

It's almost February, which means it's almost time to get those starter seeds germinating! It's such an exciting time of year and I can't wait to get started. My family and I like to use cardboard egg cartons or starter cartons for our plants so they can just be put directly into the ground to decompose without waste. We've also used TP rolls cut in half in the past! We do our seeds in the kitchen window and move them to the greenhouse later, but our little greenhouse was roughed up by storms this year and no longer has a cover, so we will have to directly plant them this time around.

Worm compost: Does it work?

Composting worms helps gardens grow.

Gardening is a great way to become self-reliant and have more control of your food, but can be a time consuming task. However, if you have the proper soil prepared for your garden plants, the amount of time you will spend tending your garden can be cut dramatically. The problem is you may be like me, and not sure what you should be using and spend hundreds of dollars on fertilizers and soil. Thankfully I found something even better than all of those things combined, worm compost or vermiculture. Here are some of the reasons I switched to this and will never go back to anything else. 

The first thing I noticed is that the care for the composting worms is rather easy. You may think the care for these is rather hard, but it is rather easy to take care of the worms and you only have to feed them and provide them with a bin to stay in. However, you can also keep these worms right outside and they can produce the compost you want to have immediately in the ground for you. I will warn you though, if you are doing this method you need to make sure your worms are protected because many of the composting worms cannot survive on their own outside. 

Bringing in the harvest

Late summer in the vegetable garden.

We're at full production in our garden right now. I am bringing in about 3 lbs of green beans daily, arm loads of squash, and more tomatoes than I can count. The onions are in their final in-ground curing stage before harvest, the carrots are ready to come up, and we turning over the potato bed in about two weeks. We even have some watermelon about ready to come in – and growing watermelon in the Pacific Northwest is difficult at best!

Ornamental and edible vegetation

Front yard inspirations

Most vegetable gardens are regulated to the backyard, whether by tradition or local codes. Our home is no different. Although we have a decent sized front yard, we only spend enough time out there to mow it once a week. Half of the yard is in deep shade because of a homicidal 50-foot tall spruce tree. Trust me, this tree is out to get me. No matter how often we prune, it always has a branch hidden up there to drop when I walk beneath.

Oodles of Herbs

Planting an herb bed

All my garden beds are filled with fresh soil and covered with a protective layer of straw to keep the moisture in and the weeds out. It's the first week of May and I am rearing to start planting. Other than a few cool-season crops though, most of my summer planting has to wait a few more weeks. Our northwest weather makes it difficult this time of year. One day we are 70 degrees and sunny, the next day it's in the 30s and raining.

 

To satisfy my urge to get outside and in the dirt on those nicer days, I decided to dedicate an entire bed to herbs this year. Previously I just grew a few favorites in pots. This usually gave me enough herbs for the summer and fall, but I had to fall back on indoor plants or, gasp!, store-bought herbs in winter. This year I plan to grow enough to dry or freeze for year-round use. Plus I have dreams of plenty of pesto in the freezer, which means I need a lot of basil!

Subscribe to RSS - Science