Gifts for Gardeners

#14: A Hori hori, or Japanese digging knife

This is simply one of the best gardening tools out there: it’s great for weeding, planting, clearing roots, and has the added bonus of providing a measuring tool.

Aside from functionality, they’re frequently beautiful tools as well.

Images: DigDigTM


The Strawberry Snail: Bird Netted

I left twice as many strawberry plants scattered around the forest garden without protection, but put a bird net over the strawberry snail garden. They get their fruit, and I make sure I get mine.

It’s easiest to do so on this little spiral raised bed, as opposed to covering the whole “forest floor” where the rest of the berries are located.

Bees can come in and out to pollinate any remaining flowers, and I make sure to check the net at least once a day in case anyone manages to get trapped in it.

sleepynoms  asked:

i want to buy a light for my seedlings next season and to give my succulents a little more light during winter. In your The bathroom closet Eden post you said you used a special grow light. Is there a cheaper option? Something that can be found at a regular hardware store?

You can use a cheap LED light: a lot of people use either a dedicated grow light, or red and blue LEDs to make sure the plant gets full the spectrum it needs, depending on what sort of growth cycle it is on [x]. Those bulbs won’t cost you more than $10, and they last a very long time, while being energy efficient.

If you want to make it more effective, you can pair it with a reflector, which is about $10 as well.

The only other thing you need (unless you are willing to do it manually every day) is a plug-in timer, which will allow you to give your plants a natural light schedule. Those are also around $10.

All-in-all, you could accomplish it for $20-$30.

  • LED Light
  • Reflector
  • Timer

Beyond that, aluminum foil works wonders for increasing the spread of the light. The backs of the doors in my bathroom garden are lined with foil. It totally looks like I have a grow op.

ETA: @cactusmandan said: I use regular cool white fluorescent tubes and white paper instead of foil. CFLs are good too. Using white paper helps to scatter light better and prevent random bright spots. :)


Gifts for Gardeners

#12: Moleskine Gardening Journal

I’m usually swimming in notes about my gardens: I have binders packed with plans, sketches, articles, and plant tags.

While I thrive on my chaos, for the more organised documenter of gardening progress, a devoted gardening journal could provide a single space for all of the seasonal data to be collected.

Image: Moleskine


Beyond Cucumbers

Whether you have enough summer warmth to grow these outside, a greenhouse, or even a bright window, here are some interesting options for the garden with similar climate requirements and taste profiles to cucumbers.

1. Egyptian Luffa or Chinese Okra (Luffa Aegyptica) [BUY SEEDS]

Also known as Loofah, this gourd can be dried on the vine, and made into a durable organic scrubber for the bath or kitchen. The juvenile fruits are also edible, and used in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines.

2. Caigua (Cyclanthera pedata[BUY SEEDS]

Like potatoes, the Caigua vine was domesticated in the Andes, where it is called pepino de rellenar, or “stuffing cucumber.”

3. Jungle Cucumber (Zehneria scabra[BUY SEEDS]

An extremely small fruit, Zehneria vines produce sweet, flavour-packed, cucumber-like fruits.

4. Horned Melon, or Kiwano (Cucumis metuliferus[BUY SEEDS]

Native to Africa, the horned melon’s flavour has been described as something in between a cucumber, lemon, and banana.

5. Pepino dulce or Melon Pear (Solanum muricatum[BUY SEEDS]

A member of the Solanum family and native to the Andes, the flavour of Pepino is often described as being a mixture of a honeydew and a cucumber.

6. Okra, or Gumbo (Abelmoschus esculentus[BUY SEEDS]

A member of the mallow family–and native to either South Asia, Ethiopia or West Africa–okra is a fixture in Mediterranean cuisines, South Asian cuisines, and many cuisines across the African diaspora.
Bare-root Japanese Quince - 1 year old - EDIBLE FRUIT - BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS

These are 1-year-old Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles sp.), planted from seed from locally-collected fruit.

The fruit is astringent, but edible when cooked, and very fragrant: great for long-lasting displays. These should bear fruit within 2 years, and benefit from cross-pollination.

Flowers are variable, because these were open-pollinated. Most of these should be red.

These are excellent specimens for Bonsai, being bare-root: they can be easily adapted to a complete replanting in Bonsai soil.

Live plants are shipped with the roots encased in wet paper, and an outer layer of plastic.

I’ve had a 100% success rate transplanting 45 of these seedlings to make a “living fence.”

#bonsai #quince