(Don’t) Blame It On the Rain

wp-1494543434376.jpgRain, rain, and more rain! My part of the world has seen its share of water lately! As we know, rain can  be damaging, destructive, and downright deadly. Despite all of this, there is an upside to rain and your garden, particularly in the spring time, right before the growing season ramps up!


This spring deluge of water can be helpful to you in garden prep!

Now, it’s obvious the main reason why rain is crucial–it aids in growth. But there are a few other reasons that you want to LOVE gardening right after a good bout of rain:

  • It’s a GREAT time to pull weeds and/or invasive plants. You can successfully pull the whole weed/plant, root and all, right after a good gully washer.


  • Making new garden beds. Digging into the earth trying to make new garden beds is hard enough —  do yourself a favor and dig into the ground after some serious precipitation, and that will make a hard job less hard.
  • Sinking your hands in the earth. Is there anything you can do to get closer to nature than getting dirt under your nails when it’s at its most workable and pliable? I think not.

So, even though the rain drives us crazy as gardeners, because we are stuck inside, just remember how much nicer it will be to go outside and work the soil with little effort and less headaches!

The Bare Necessities of Spring Gardening

Ok, way too much time is going by in between blog posts– and I apologize for that. There is so much going on in life these days that I squeeze in a post as soon as I get some time. I have also been changing up my blog posts lately just to see what you, the reader, likes best.

Life has been happening, and weekends have been full. We are trying to get big house projects out of the way now so we don’t have to do them during the dog days of summer. I have a special project coming up that I am really excited about, and I can’t wait to give you details within the next few months!

For the past couple of weekends, I have been out in the yard preparing my flower beds for the upcoming growing season. It’s so nice to see so many of my spring flowers on their way. The daffodils are up, my hyacinths smell and look wonderful, and my alliums are on their way.

I was trying to weed around all this great, new growth, and I needed a few tools to help me get my garden in tip-top shape!

I like to write my posts to be as simple and direct as possible, but I also like to take the time to explain certain aspects of gardening as well. One thing in particular I like to make clear to every gardener, from novice to master, is that you do not need to have a lot of fancy tools to garden. 

Here are the bare necessities of gardening, plain and simple. In one of my first blog posts, I explained a few garden tools and how they work. 

Here are a few things that will help you through spring garden preparation:

garden stuff-2

  1. Shovel— The shovel is one of the most versatile tools in the garden. Even if you don’t have anything else, or can’t afford to buy too many tools, the shovel could be your one and only and that would be ok. It is your trowel, edger, transplanter, and everything else in between. This will do the job regardless of anything else.
  2. Straight edge rake— This rake helps you even out mulch, turf builder, rocks, etc. on any surface you are working with. Trying to even out the holes or dips in your yard with topsoil? Make sure to use the straight edge rake to keeps things smooth.
  3. Wide Brimmed Hat — This is the barest necessity of all! Spring sunshine is the best sun shine, but it can burn you, too! (My forehead is a great example). Wear your hat while you dig in to yard work!
  4. Trowels — Need I say more? I had to include the trowels in this one. Planting seeds? Or other plants? The trowel is a hand tool that becomes your best friend!
  5. Gloves — I have mentioned many times before that I used to scoff at people who wore garden gloves — boy, was I WRONG. I love wearing them– it’s much easier to pull weeds with gloves than without! It just protects your hands in general should you come across something not so desirable in the dirt.
  6. Rake–This is your regular joe schmo rake. Whether you are raking up debris and other yard rubbish that accumulates from the winter, or raking the thick piles of grass from the first lawn cutting of the season, you won’t be sorry to have one of these!
  7. Garden stool— this handy little stool saves your back, knees, and also has several compartments that allow you to carry all of your hand tools and a knee pad. This will be your savior after hours of garden work.

Here is the list of Spring’s bare necessities for the garden. It doesn’t take much — you don’t even have to have all of these– just a couple will do. It all depends on what you like to use the best and what works with your gardening style.So, here’s to sunshine weekends and happy gardening!



The Dirt… on Dirt

Pretty much everyone in my neck of the woods became warriors this past weekend. The proof is in the sun-burned faces and foreheads that walked into work this morning! Yes, our first weekend of warm, sunny weather was here, and that meant everyone was ready to dig in to some much-needed yard work!

I myself couldn’t wait to get out there and dig into the earth…well, what I had envisioned as earth, at least — wonderful, nutrient rich soil just waiting for me to sow and plant in it. Instead, I got a rough, dried, break apart and roll out of your hands soil that was begging for water. No matter, I did a little weeding, planted a few cosmos seeds and turned up as much of the “soil” as I could. And, I gave some much-needed water to everything!


With this whole dried out dirt situation, it got me thinking — What is dirt? How many types are out there? What kind of dirt do YOU have in your neighborhood (that doesn’t have anything to do with your neighbor…)

What is SOIL?

  • Soil is a mixture of minerals, decomposed plants, and rocks. It encompasses everything from Mulch to Chalk. Depending on where in the world you live, you will most likely have soil that has more of one mineral(s) than another. You might get lucky and get the perfect ratio of all the above, which is called Loam. Loam is the ideal growing medium for all plants. Gardeners work really hard to get their soil to loamy proportions. Playing with the pH of your soil helps achieve this.
    • Clay– is made up of the smallest particles found in the earth. This makes it the heaviest and most dense of all soil. The best way to work with this type of soil is knowing when is the best time to do so. The best time to plant in clay soil is when the soil is dry. Its way too hard to work with when it is wet. (Remember grade school?)
    • Silt — has a chalky feel, but is definitely easier to work with than clay. Because silt has mineral particles that are so fine, you can compact it easy and it holds water in. It’s a good mix between sand and clay. The downside is that because it holds water so well, it could hurt your plants by not getting enough air to the roots to dry them enough to grow.
    • Sand — sand is made up of large mineral and rock particles. While it’s not the most desirable soil to plant in, all is not lost if this is the type of soil in your neighborhood. Cactus and other plants that survive drought-like conditions thrive in sand. You can add mulch to your soil if its sandy to keep moisture in, since sand does not hold water well.

Every type of soil I have described above can be enhanced to be the ideal growing medium by adding compost or mulch to help with the growth of your plants. The first step to success in gardening is finding out what type of soil you have around your house. After that, you do what you have to do get the best “dirt” in your neighborhood! You know what I mean…