Entries by Katie Schwend

Lawn and Garden Tool Maintenance

Mowers. Gasoline powered mowers need a checkup to keep them running smoothly through the season. Disconnect the spark plug first to make it safer to work on the mower. Next remove any leftover gasoline which can become stale and negatively affect the carburetor. Drain the oil and replace with fresh oil and a new air […]

When to Move Plants into the Garden

Just before seedlings grown indoors are ready to transplant into their final garden spot, you will need to gradually introduce them to the outside environment. Move them outside on a mild, preferably cloudy day and let them sit in the shade each day until they become accustomed to the wind and weather. Keep exposing them […]

Spring Lawn Maintenance

Winter weather can alter the pH of your soil and make an attractive home for weeds and disease. If you are happy with your lawn, a light raking could be all that you need to do. Rake up any leaves left over from fall, chop them into smaller pieces and use in the compost bin […]

Potting Up Seedlings

The first leaves that appear on seedlings after germination are called Cotyledons. These Cotyledons provide food and nutrition for the sprouting seedling. Two more leaves will appear after the Cotyledons that will look more like the plants’ normal leaves and are called “true leaves”. The Cotyledons will eventually fall off as the seedling can now […]

Growing Seedlings Under Lights

You can germinate seeds and grow plants under lights anywhere in your house or basement where it is warm. Most seeds need 60 -70 degrees to germinate. A group of friends rented a small greenhouse and we started our seeds there before moving them to the basement, but you can start seeds under these lights […]

Different Kinds of Mulch

Most people think of mulch as that black, brown or red stuff made from wood chips and artificially colored. I admit, I have used the black stuff myself because I like the look, especially for walkways. However, these chips take a long time to break down. This may be an advantage if you are using […]

Bird Houses

Not all birds will build nests in closed houses, but many do. The size of the entrance hole will determine which birds will nest in the house. If the hole is too large, predators can enter and smaller birds will not use the house. It is best to choose or make a bird house with […]

Feeding the Birds

At this time of year, the birds are returning from their winter homes and are foraging for food and busy building nests to hatch their offspring. What a lovely time of year. Seeing the birds return and listening to their songs really says spring is here, even if the weather is still saying “not yet, […]

Where is the Sun and Shade in Your Yard

When trying to determine where to build flower beds or plant new plants, it is important to know where the sun hits different areas of your yard at different times of the day. The best way to determine this is by tracking the sun from sunrise to sunset. Every hour, take a walk around your […]

Companion Planting in the Garden

Have you ever thought about planting certain vegetables or flowers together to either bring in pollinators, repel insects, or use plants to provide nutrients that other plants nearby need? Three Sisters.   The Iroquois planted beans, corn, and squash together and called it Three Sisters. Beans fix nitrogen in the soil that the corn needs; […]