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How to Grow Garlic in Raised Beds

How to Plant Garlic in Raised beds

I’ve been enjoying garlic since I was a kid. My grandmother couldn’t resist adding it to everything as it offered fantastic health perks.  A bit of garlic also made her Friday night dinners taste amazing.

My favorite way to enjoy garlic would be with homemade bread and warm melted butter. Serve it with pasta and all is right in my world.

Course these days I’ve pushed carbs aside and now prefer fresh grated garlic over protein foods like fish, beef, and pork.

So, needless to say we go through quite a bit of garlic which has led me to plant some in my garden.

 

This post contains affiliate links that means if you make a purchase after clicking, there’s no additional cost to you, but I will earn a small commission.  Click here to read site terms.

 

Begin Planting Garlic in the Fall

Garlic is pretty easy to grow if you begin at the right time of the year, which is fall.  Specifically, mid-October through mid-November.

You can also plant later but you risk a smaller harvest.  So, let’s keep this simple and break things down into zones to remove any confusion.

Garlic Planting Zone Break Down

  • Zones 3 – 5  Late September to Early October
  • Zones 5 -7 Mid October
  • Zones 7 -9 Mid October – Mid November
  • Zones 9 -10 Late October into December

Now that we have that out of the way you need to first acquire some healthy garlic bulbs.  Shop at your favorite nursery or shop online like I did because it was much easier.

I found 9 oz. California soft neck garlic bulbs for planting and eating from amazon.  I’m pretty impressed with the quality and have plenty for planting and several for dinner prep.

How to Plant Garlic

To Begin Planting In Raised Beds

  • First Choose a raised bed with well- drained soil and a lot of newly added organic matter, need ideas read here
  • If you really need help with your soil you may also enjoy, How to Amend Soil Naturally here. 
  • Keep in mind too much moisture from winter rains can harm your crop so raised beds like these here would be a great option.
  • Set unpeeled cloves root side down 4 – 6 inches in rows of 1.5 to 2 inches apart.
  • Then cover with 1-2 inches of soil.
  • In colder climates cover with mulch for winter protection.

Mulch options can include wood chips, leaves or even hay/straw.  Smaller leaves would be perfect because they tend to settle over the soil without continuing to fly with the wind.

Caring for Garlic Over Winter

Here in Texas it can get pretty cold from January and part of February so I will also be covering my crop opting to use leaves because we have plenty.

When we approach the end of winter and temperatures begin to increase then I can remove the excess so there’s a thin layer covering the soil.

The mulch will help to control any weeds that may surface and maintain an even moisture ratio.  Remember to keep weeds down because they don’t compete well with garlic.

Late winter and early spring will be when they start to grow really well, this is also when you don’t want to over water.  I like to let the rain work for me during this period and fill in when necessary.

Harvesting will begin around late June – August when green stalks begin to turn brown, this will vary based on your planting zone and the weather.

I find that growing in raised beds is always much easier and what a joy it will be to have this healthy herb developing close to home.

Happy Garlic planting and if you haven’t ordered bulbs yet, remember you can get California Soft Neck Garlic right here.

How to Plant Garden in raised beds right in your garden. #PlantGarlic, #GarlicRaisedBeds, #GardenRaisedBeds

 

How to Grow Lantana in Raised Beds

Grow lantana in raised beds

I was originally introduced to Lantana on a sales rack at Lowes about 9 years ago.  I wasn’t very fond of the plant but when I read it attracted butterflies my curiosity got the best of me.

I’m so glad my interest was focused that day because Lantana has become one of my favorite perennials. Where it does welcome the butterflies, the bees and hummingbirds also enjoy this wonderful plant.

At our farm I always grew lantana in flower beds, I had the perfect spot in the backyard where they flourished.  When we moved I purchased two more 6 inch starters; planted planted in smaller raised beds for my startle garden.

These particular beds were 3 ft. wide instead of my preferred 2 ft. because I was recycling some wood.  Transplanting begins in the spring so make sure you take note for next season in your garden journal as this is one plant you’ll want to include for those in zone 8 -11.

Transplanting these starters turned out to be a good thing because I wasn’t really sure how growing Lantana in raised beds was going to work.  It’s more of a bush reaching around 3 ft. tall and spreading out anywhere from 1 to 3 ft.

To my surprise it was a great idea and after two seasons both plants are growing better than expected and I love how they drape over the edge.

One thing to remember when planting in beds is to choose a location near the edge if you want that draping appeal.  For the long stems reaching towards the center fo the bed I like to prop them up with mulch from the base of the plant to they stand tall.

 

Grow Beautiful Lantana in Raised Beds

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Lantana Planting Tips

Lantana grows in zones 8 – 11 and absolutely loves direct sunlight.  In fact, if you want your plants to grow fast and large make sure you don’t skimp on hours of light, they can handle it.

This perennial is also hardy and drought resistant.

If they begin to look a little tired when fall arrives offer a trim by removing dead heads, I do this using my ezkut hand shears.  New blooms will produce weeks later and you’ll be able to enjoy until the first freeze.

For our location in northeast Texas our frost will be sometime in November.

Caring for New Plants

With new plants transplanted in the spring or summer you’ll have to water frequently until they’re established.  I remember offering a good soaking about once a week their first season. Funny thing is that’s pretty much how I water them now but I don’t soak quite as much.

Their soil does need to offer good drainage and I fertilize in the spring when they begin to wake up after winter has passed.

Lantana growing in raised beds

Remember when the freeze arrives there’s no need to cover.  Their greenery will turn dark brown and that’s when I clip back the expires stems so it can rest over winter.  In the spring new life will grow again and sometimes new blooms may even change color.

Growing beautiful lantana in raised beds is just as easy if you were to grow in a flower bed.  I actually like it better because it offers a wonderful splash of color in my startle garden and it’s the perfect invite for natures favorite gardening friends.

If you’re looking for an efficient and simplified way to garden check out my book Startle Garden. This system is a game changer  and there’s no time like now then to begin planning and prepping during the slow seasons.

 

How to grow beautiful lantana in raised beds from spring through fall. #Lantana, #Butterflyplants

 

Can You Free Range Quail?

Can Quail Be Free Ranged

The idea of possibly free ranging quail sounds pretty fantastic doesn’t it?

So, the question, “Can You Free Range Quail?” unfortunately is followed by a loud and clear “NO.”

If you’re like me, being told “NO” wasn’t what I wanted to hear either. However, this encouraged me to dig deeper and figure out why.

I wanted to see if perhaps a solution was realistic because housing these birds in cages wasn’t an option.

Why You Can’t Free Range Quail

  • They’re a gamebird, not poultry and their instinct are to fly away.
  • They’re under 1 lb. which makes them the perfect catch for predators.
  • Even if you clipped their wings farm dogs would find them delicious.

When I came to grips with the idea quail couldn’t be free ranged that’s when I decided to raise them enclosed on the ground.

It was a good solution and one that continues to inspire my efforts.

Can you free range quail

Notice the little one to her left, isn’t it cute?

Let’s go into detail about these factors because there’s more to understand which should explain why free ranging quail isn’t possible.

 

Quail are Gamebirds not Poultry

Its true quail are gamebirds, from the pheasant and partridge family and they have very defined instincts.

Quail travel in a covey by foot seeking places to nest on the ground. If danger is present their instinct is to fly away.

The minute they take flight, they’re gone with no point of return, like a wonderer traveling from one city to the next.

They may stop in a nearby field but the idea of finding them and then trying to catch is pretty slim.

I also mentioned that quail are not poultry. I’ve been seeing online where some are referring to them as poultry and I disagree.

Yes, Coturnix also known as Japanese quail are stated to be a domesticated bird.  Where that’s true I wouldn’t recommend raising any quail for the idea of a pet because they have a very short life span.

When I was raising a variety of coturnix there was a situation one morning when the wind pulled the door from my hand and a few birds escaped.

They quickly explored the ground, flew away in seconds and never returned.

I knew they wouldn’t be back because after watching them live naturally for several months it was obvious, they were very different from traditional poultry like chickens.

Smaller Birds and Predators

Quail are like bait for animals who prey and kope out homesteads. Ground predators and sky predators like hawks and vulchers are always hunting for food.

When you’re homesteading there are so many things to consider and how to keep predators off the land is no easy task.

Since quail are way under 1 pound, they’re easy to grab any time of day. Free ranging quail would be like an open invitation and I’m not sure why anyone would want to welcome predators.

Even if you clipped their wings, raised them in a fence area and locked them up at night a sky predator could still snatch them during the day in a matter of seconds.

Farm dogs or even the neighbors dogs will also be curious because even they know they differ from chickens.

Knowing this and not wanting my efforts to be in vain, I choose to raise quail on the ground in an enclosed habitat that’s also fenced off from those wild threats.

The experience has been fantastic and led me later to focus my attention on raising bobwhite quail for meat and release.

It’s my hope this helped explain why free ranging isn’t recommended and if you’re looking for ways to raise quail on the ground be sure to check to check out my book, Quail Getting Started.  

You can find it in my shop via eBook or at Amazon in print. 

Plastic Free Garden Friendly Water Bottle

Plastic Free Garden Friendly Water bottle

This post contains affiliate links that means if you make a purchase after clicking, there’s no additional cost to you, but I will earn a small commission.  Click here to read site terms.

 

Drinking water on a regular basis has always been a way of life for me and I’ve never really been one to buy bottled water unless it was to fill up a 5-gallon jug.

I’ve always just sipped from a glass or used a plastic reusable bottle.

The exception would be if we’re on a road trip then you can bet, I’m at one of those mini marts purchasing cold bottled water.

Since we’ve been going for a lot of drives lately, I’ve been thinking that it’s time for me to find a canister that doesn’t sweat and will actually keep my water cold for more than 30 minutes.

No kidding it drives me crazy when I’m working outside or driving in the car to find my water has already turned luke warm.  I bet you can relate because I’m pretty sure this happens to everyone.

So, one afternoon I went searching for a new water bottle, wanting something that could also be seen in the garden if I set it down. My shopping trip took me to several sports shops and everything was either plastic or aluminum.

Needless to say I was getting tired of thoes results so I went online and found the Anchor Hocking Life Durable Glass Water Bottle

Feeling Refreshed whe working in the garden

 

This container was just what I was looking for because the interior was lined with glass.

You see, I’m a fan of glass and I bet that sounds pretty old school?  I sort of cringe to drink something that comes from aluminum and I’m starting to feel the same way about plastic.

Plastic is hard to avoid though because it’s everywhere.

Realizing I could shine some light on my situation got me excited about drinking from a plastic free container.

It was really a great feeling to know there was something out there that would work. Now, when I’m working outside or in the garden my water is always cold and ready to quench my thirst.

This bottle is a little heavier than what I thought it would be and it’s lined with a silicone sleeve that is soft to the touch.  That softness makes it easy to carry becaues the handle is sturdy and the weight is no longer an issue.

Awesome Water Bottle

 

The best part is this water bottle doesn’t sweat and its leak proof.  Since I drop things all the time being leak proof is a huge benefit.

Now I can use it all the time because it happens to be perfect for hot drinks.  This was another bonus for when we’re outdoors this winter clearing land or sitting in our blind, hunting.

If you’ve been looking for a new water bottle that’s garden friendly and also good for everyday then here you go, it’s made in the USA and comes in a variety of fun colors.

Oh, and did I mention it fits perfectly in the car cup holder? That means I no longer have to purchase those flimsy water bottles from the gas station.

If you’ve been looking for an awesome water container here it is, I love it and I’m off to go buy Robert one next.

Get the Anchor Hocking Life Durable Glass Water Bottle

An excellent plastic free garden friendly water bottle that chills water for 12 hours. #PlasticFree, #Waterbottle,

4 Ways to Share Kindness

4 Simple ways to share kindness

How are you today? I wanted to take a minute to share, A Season of Good through acts of kindness.

Doesn’t that sound fantastic?  It warms my heart just thinking about it.

I realize though, sometimes we have to do more than just think because action is where kindness grows.

Season of Good

A Season of Good begins with sharing kindness through a 4-week period.

It’s a way to push through all the chaos and focus on being kind towards others by setting a positive example.

When you focus on the good – you will find that negativity eventually floods out…

The goal here, is to plant seeds of kindness by improving the foundation in which they grow.

 

Beginning with Week One

Begin week one by taking a moment to smile at the people who pass by.

I learned this years ago from my daughter. When I started following this same method of kindness it was contagious and the smiles that came back my way felt amazing.

For those who didn’t smile back, I was taken to realize they may need prayer.

Sometimes a genuine smile can be just what another person needs to feel uplifted and reminded kindness still exists.

For week one share meaningful smiles to those who pass by.

 

Season of Good at Garden Up Green

Download “Season of Good” Poster here  Print as a reminder and Share with friends. Hashtag #SeasonOfGood

 

Week Two we Open Doors

It sounds silly that opening a door for someone can be an act of kindness, but it is…

I love doing this for many reasons, mainly because it’s a nice gesture that takes very little effort.

This is something that Robert and I made sure to teach our kids in their younger years and I’ll never forget the first time we saw them both put it into action.

We were at church, pretty much that odd family out because we “homeschooled” yes, we were that family…

What I remember most about that moment, were the other kids watching our daughter and son.

A week later those same kids chose to open doors for others; it was awesome to witness.

It takes little effort to set a positive example, you just have to decide to do it…

For week two, be kind by opening the door for others.

 

Week Three we Choose to be Neighborly

Choosing to be neighborly is probably the hardest of all because we tend to focus on our tribe of friends and forget about the people standing nearby.

This takes me back to when I was a little girl.  My grandmother whom I reference often was always doing something nice for others.

In fact, she was one to smile, open doors and simply reach out to complete strangers, especially if she was at the grocery store.

It scared me at times because she would invite them to her home for lunch and everybody in the family would say to her, “You can’t do that.”

She just smiled at us without fear and it wasn’t until later in life that I realized what she was doing.

She loved people, it didn’t matter if they were in her tribe, lived next door or were a complete stranger.  She was always there to help others and had this amazing way of seeing good and sharing kindness.

Choosing to be neighborly doesn’t always represent the person who lives next door, it could be the person standing next to you at the post offfice or the one behind you while you’re ordering coffee.

Week three be encouraged to do something nice for someone.

Call to Action inspiration of kindness towards others

When Week Four Approaches

When week four approaches the goal is to share these weeks of kindness with others so that it can grow.

Begin by downloading the #SeasonOfGoodness poster here and share with your friends and favorite social media channels.

Be encouraged to continue sharing these acts of kindness with others and allow “A Season of Good” to multiply like the leaf’s in this photo.

By participating we’re establishing a strong foundation of unity.

Eventually when all the leaves fall, they will swift through the wind, settle into the soil and produce something good.

I’m challenging you to join me, get out of the comfort zone and take action by sharing a season of good.

Embrace these 4 simple acts of kindness, let them become a habit so, when the leaves begin to settle, they grow in numbers of kindness.

4 Simple way to share kindness - this is an inspired call to action to bless others from one season to the next. #Inspiration, #Seasonofgood

Protect Plants From Frost Using Burlap

How to Protect Plant from Freeze with burlap

Depending on where you live, I bet cooler temperatures have already arrived?

We’re still waiting but I have to tell you, even when it drops to 80 degrees, it feels cooler. Which means our mornings have been pretty fantastic around here.

I’ve been going for morning walks, finding leaf piles that have me thinking maybe I need to make a fall wreath?

Before that happens, I want to share how you can use natural burlap to protect the garden from frost.

Why I’m Using Burlap to Protect the Garden from Freeze:

  • All natural.
  • Allows a little ventilation.
  • Covers lightly protecting plants without crushing foliage.
  • Can be used for a lot of other things in the garden.
  • It’s easy to store and when it looks retired, it can be recycled back into the soil.

Let me also add that burlap just looks better than some of the materials I’ve used in the past.

What does freezing temperatures mean for your garden?  The answer varies so I’ve tried to explain it from light, moderate to serious.

  • The light freeze: 29° to 32°F—when annual plants expire and some perennial herbs and flowers stop growing till spring.
  • A moderate freeze: 25° to 28°F—very destructive state and additional covering may be necessary for longer periods of time.
  • Or the serious harsh freeze: 24°F and colder—when heavy damage can occur, especially to roses and more delicate perennials.

Where to get burlap

This post contains affiliate links that means if you make a purchase after clicking, there’s no additional cost to you, but I will earn a small commission.  Click here to read site terms.

Where to Purchase Burlap

If you don’t already have burlap hanging around the garden shed you might want to check feed stores for burlap bags, these will be inexpensive and probably have some kind of logo printed on them.  They’re also good for storing potatoes.

I decided to begin by purchasing new from the fabric store because I wanted large quantities that will drape over the beds.

Later I found a great deal online where the rest of my burlap came from.

Find burlap here on Amazon – it’s pretty sweet!

If you’re a prime customer you can get it delivered lightning fast which is even better.

Beds to Cover

There are several ways you can use burlap to cover plants and as you can see my beds are pretty dirty.

A few weeks ago, I started shrinking the garden, raising the beds higher and painting to match the tiny house on this property.

It’s been a process and when finished, you’ll be the first to see it.

Easy to Cover

How to Use Burlap for Plant Coverings

Some folks have more elaborate plans when covering the garden and that makes sense, especially if you live in climates where temperatures decrease towards a harsh freeze.

Here in Texas our winters do get cold but they don’t last long so I like to keep things simple and just lightly cover the beds as shown here.

If it’s windy, I use rocks or bricks in the corners of beds to keep from flying away.

You can also add stakes into the soil and lay the burlap over top so it doesn’t rest on the plants.

PVC pipe would be another option by making hoops and follow up with draping burlap over top; these options are a personal preference.

Keeping things uncomplicated is where my attention gravitates because even though I love gardening it makes sense never to let it take over my life.

I learned that little lesson while living on our farrm.

Covers are added in the evening then removed in the morning when the temperatures jump forward.  This allows the garden to enjoy that amazing sunlight the rest of the day.

Protecting your plants from frost using burlap is just an easy way to cover annuals to keep them growing for a longer period.  For those of you in much colder climates I’ve used tarps in the past; they work like a charm. I’ve even used these garden covers here.

Hope you have a great day y’all and thiink about doing something fun.

Like I don’t know maybe join me and make that fall wreath I was talking about earlier.

Still thinking about that burlap? Purchase Here on Amazon

 

You may also enjoy reading No Dig Gardening with Raised beds and Covered Beds Protected From Freeze

 

How to protect plants from frost using sheets of burlap when the temperatures drop. #Burlap, #FrostCovers, #GardenTips, #SeasonalGardening

 

When Seasons Change, We Step Forward

When Seasons Change we Step Forward

It was just a few days ago that we went from Summer to Fall and even in the south we can begin to see the outdoors change.

The temperatures will eventually drop, leaves will fall and warmer clothing will appear in our closet soon.

Our mornings may begin with a cup of warm tea or perhaps a pumpkin spice latte?

For me, the mornings are now blended with a warm chai, flavored with milk and honey.

When Seasons Change

It seems there’s a classic routine we follow from one season to the next and it revolves around the food we enjoy, the clothing we wear and how we decorate the outdoors and our homes.

When the seasons change, we step forward by adjusting to our environment because it feels good.

I believe there is more to it, because everything I mentioned only touches the surface of our senses.

Our senses are an amazing gift…

They kind of make us tic, like a squirrel on the hunt for the perfect meal.

They climb trees, mess in our gardens, nest in odd places and sometimes without even knowing, tease other animals.

They live to survive and when they’re not in our personal environment, we might even enjoy their presence.

Let’s face it, they’re kind of cute!

Oak Trees

The most important sense that is often overlooked is our soul. I call it, “Soul Sense”…

How does our soul move forward from one season to the next?

Have you ever thought about it?

Are we like the squirrel searching endlessly for a place to rest and the perfect food to enjoy?

Or are we just driving everyone around us a little crazy without even realizing it?

Do we take small moments of time to reach out to others or do we stick with our regular circle of friends because it feels comfortable?

How do we feed our most important sense, our soul?

Last week, one of the ladies who attended our workshops sent me an email, attached was an image of her favorite project dressed up for fall and it looked fantastic.  You can view it here.

What really set this email apart was she reached out in kindness, asking how Robert and I were doing.

She took the time to reach out and as a result, I smiled and my day just felt better.

We Step Forward

The example we set can be whatever we decide because when a new day begins, we have the freedom to make that decision.

Perhaps when seasons change, we might want to think about stepping forward to write a new chapter of renewel.

One that isn’t a classic routine but one where the heart grows, hope follows and our soul moves forward towards something better…

 

 

When Seasons Change, We Step forward in a way to inspire goodness. Enjoy this Inspirational Read. #InspirationalRead, #Inspiration, ##Seasons

How Eggshells Benefit the Garden

How eggsshells benefit the garden

Eggshells have this great way of benefiting the garden and how we feed the soil is where we cam begin to calculate our successes and failures.

When we compost eggshells into the soil, we’re adding calcium, this is especially important for plants growing produce. Calcium can help build cell walls which allows a plant to grow faster.

Have you ever noticed rot at the bottom of tomatoes prior to harvesting?  This is due to lack of calcium in the soil.

This happened to me several years ago; it was a simple error that could have avoided.

I failed to pay attention to where I was adding shells, then went ahead and planted tomatoes in the same location as the previous year and every single piece of fruit had bottom rot.

When I figured out what was wrong, I started adding eggshells immediately and my fall harvest that same year was better.

Plants are always pulling nutrients from the ground and if the soil isn’t fed the right nutrition it will have an impact on your garden.

Eggshells offer additional perks and we’re going to take a look at those benefits and how to add this ingredient to any space.

Eggshells to Amend Soil

How to add Eggshells to the Garden

Free-range chickens lay eggs with thick shells, which means they hold a lot of nutrients and why our eggshells always end up in our raised beds.

You can add any kind of eggshells to your garden we just prefer farm raised becasue they taste amazing!

 

Over the Fall and Winter, add Shells via Direct Composting Like This:

  • I first rinse the eggshells then dig a hole in any raised bed.
  • Add the shells to the hole and crush with my shovel.
  • Finally, cover them up.

This takes just a few minutes and it works like a charm.

To learn more about direct composting check out this magazine article hereWe have a large inventory of these printable articles.

If you have resting beds and already have an idea about where you’ll be planting peppers, squash and tomatoes the next season then add eggshells directly to those areas.

This step will detour bottom rot the next growing season.

With that being said you can also add eggshells where existing plants are growing year-round.  I even add them to my rose beds.

Adding directly to the soil allows nutrients to begin breaking down instantly and while they’re breaking down, nourishment is being released into the soil.

Now, if you’re a compost bin gardener then it’s easy enough to just add eggshells directly to bins as you visit the garden. Make sure that compost is added to all planting areas prior to spring planting so your plants can benefit.

Adding eggshells to planters

Eggshells in Containers

Eggshells can also be combined into planters.  A good time to do this is when your establishing new containers or transplanting.

They can even be added to houseplants because guess what?  They need nutrients too and they can benefit from calcium.

I’m no expert on houseplants so make sure to do your research ahead of time.

 

To Add Eggshells to Containers, Follow These Steps:

  • Add crushed eggshells to the bottom of the container.
  • Cover with soil.
  • Add new plants, seeds or bulbs (whatever your planting).
  • Finish securing plant with soil and water as needed.

Working eggshells into the soil like mulch

This post contains affiliate links that means if you make a purchase after clicking, there’s no additional cost to you, but I will earn a small commission.  Click here to read site terms.

 

Adding Eggshells to Detour Pests

The final way I like to add eggshells is to mix within mulch, I normally use a combination of mulch chips, leaves, small sticks and eggshells.

Some people use a food processer to break shells for this mixture, I’m a little more practical and just use my spade.

If I have garden gloves on, I just crush in my hands.  I found this to be faster and there’s no dishes to wash afterwards.

This step is another way to benefit the soil and detour some pests including slugs.

This isn’t a pleasant detour as it can result in pest cuts where they bleed out.  I know that’s kind ugly, but it is natural…

You’ll notice I only add a few eggshells to my mixture and this is mainly for the nutritional value.

However, I think this actually helps keep the racoons and possums from messing in the garden more than it keeps bugs out.

Adding natural nutrition to improve the soil is the best way to help your plants grow their best.

This is a simple activity, easy to implement year-round by just visiting your garden, digging a hole, and emptying eggshells in the mix.

 

How to use eggs shells to benefit the garden. #Eggshells, #GardenTips, #GardenEggshells, #amendsoil

 

Free Seasonal Garden Planner

Seasonal Garden Planner From Garden Up Green

For me, gardening tends to be a year-round thing.

This is mainly because I love spending time in this space, even if it means just sitting.  I bet you can relate.

My garden is like therapy, it helps me relax and also nourishes my desire to keep learning in a way that’s natural and inspiring.

Even when sitting, I’m looking around to see how I can improve things from one season the next.

 

The 12 Page Garden Planner

This brings me to our 12-page Seasonal Garden Planner and I’m excited to share it with you because it’s awesome and it’s free.

Who doesn’t love something free, especially if it’s useful?

This planner isn’t like others because it begins with four seasonal pages designed to help you understand and prep for what’s to come.

These pages include: Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer with space to write down your maintenance to do list.

That’s right, I’m a list checker and thought you might be too.

Garden Planner with a Weather Log

Garden Planner Pages

Then we go into my favorite area of gardening and that’s planning.  I included these sheets to help organize your space and future projects.

That project worksheet is sweet; I love these two pages because as you know I’m always working on something new.

Right now, this includes my future garden layout because Robert and I hope to buy more land, we can call home.  I’m excited about that new garden and it doesn’t even have a destination yet.

If you peek at my plans, you’ll see that I’ve organized a space with quail close by.

Garden Planner with a Weather Log

The Weather Log and More

This planner also includes a monthly weather log.  This page is so great because it allows you to record each month.

It’s hard to remember all that information so having a log is a nice bonus and good information to have when making future plans.

Additional pages include the book cover, journal, expense/supply log and a planting report.

All 12 pages can be printed as needed which is great and did, I mention the watercolor theme came from my own artwork.

 

How to Get Your Free Seasonal Garden Planner:

  • Subscribe to Garden Up Green right here.
  • Then, you’ll receive a welcome email with your free gift, that’s it!
  • If you’re already a subscriber, then make sure you go to our Resource Library and download for free.

This Seasonal Planner is the perfect companion for a Startle Garden, my favorite way to garden.  It’s my hope you enjoy this resource, I’m loving it and excited to share it with you.

 

Free Seasonal Garden Planner with 12 printable pages for recording and planning. #GardenPlanner, #Gardening, #GardenTips, #GardenJournal

Raising Quail in the Fall

Tips For Raising Quail in the Fall

Should you start raising quail in the fall? This is a common question that readers ask me all the time.

The answer is really based on your goals and the breed you plan to raise, because there’s several factors to consider.

I raise my quail at ground level, so the following tips are based on a natural environment. Before we dive in take a peek at what a natural space looks like here.

 

Should you begin raising Quail in the Fall?

Raising quail first begins with deciding on a few key factors these include:

  • What are you raising quail for?  Eggs, meat or release?
  • Which quail breed are you interested in? – Domestic quail/Coturnix (AKA Japanese Quail) or native breeds?
  • What type of housing will you offer? – Large or small, this will need to be established in advance.

Raising for Eggs, Meat or Release?

I raise quail specifically for three reasons – eggs, meat and release.  This is followed by enjoyment because I absolutely love these little birds.

Well, I guess we could say, four reasons…

When choosing a breed, you really need to decide what your goals are first because:

  • Quail have a short life span between 3 and 4 years.
  • They’re seasonal egg layers that follow nature within warmer temperatures and hours of daylight.

This means, if you specifically want to raise quail solely for eggs, then wait until Spring if your bird of choice is coturnix quail. They mature between 6-8 weeks and begin laying eggs in the spring and stop in the early fall.

If you want to raise this breed for just meat, then get a flock now to raise out and process before winter arrives.

We always process coturnix around 11 weeks and take note these quail are not for releasing into nature.

 

 

If you’re a quail beginner, then I highly recommend my book – Quail Getting Started. 

I wrote this specifially for those wanting to begin raising quail on the ground.  With that being said, “It’s a beginner’s guide”  Focusing on what you need to know to get started raising quail in a natural environment without skipping steps.

If you’re wanting to raise quail in cages off the ground, then this isn’t the book for you.

What About Native Breeds?

This is where it gets tricky because native breeds are completely different than raising Coturnix quail.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise because that would be false information.

I love native breeds because they’re more active in a natural environment.

We raise bobwhites mainly for meat and release because they’re not the greatest egg producers.

They’re eggs are actually a little smaller than Coturnix if you can believe it.

However, I do allow my flock to lay eggs so they can incubate and raise their chicks. I’ve experienced this several times and it’s pretty awesome.  Learn more about that here.

If this is also a goal then yes, begin with bobwhites now as this will allow you to thin out additional males for meat prior to winter.

When spring arrives, females will begin to lay eggs when daylight hours and temperatures increase.

At this point the birds will have reached full maturity to take things further on their own.

When bobwhites are provided with a natural home you have a good chance, they’ll want to grow their flock.

The key here is to be hand’s off and allow them to be birds. I know this is hard, because they’re so cute!

But, believe me this is really important espeically if you plan to release.

Let me also say, you’ll be intrigued just by standing back and watching their activity, it’s pretty awesome and how I learned so much about coturnix and bobwhite quail.

 

Tips for Raising Quail naturally in the fall

Raising Native Breeds to Release in the Fall

Here’s where it gets interesting with Bobwhites because their hunting season in our area begins the end of October – February.  I never release birds during this time because my goal is to help repopulate.

With that being said, I have no problem with people hunting the land for food as that is a very natural activity.

If raising bobwhite for release is on your radar then go ahead and begin with chicks now.  This will allow you to raise a healthy, mature flock over winter and release after hunting season.

I would also recommend holding back a small portion of that flock for yourself so when they begin laying eggs in the spring you can either incubate their eggs or let them do that for you.

This will prevent having to purchase more quail and help you continue releasing over the summer.

As you can see, if you want to raise quail in the fall, you’ll have a few things to consider.  Quail are different than chickens and not a bird that I’ve ever referred to as “Pets” because they have such a short lifespan.

If you’re looking to improve your homestead or even add something neat to your garden area then raising quail might be a neat option.

First figure out your goals and this includes how to house, then you’ll know if fall is the right time for you to begin.

 

Get tips for Raising Quail in the Fall

Gathered Ideas for Fall Gardening

Gathered Ideas for Fall Gardening

If truth be told, Fall is probably one of my favorite gardening seasons because our first freeze doesn’t arrive until the middle of November.

I refer to this as a southern living perk!

Course our temperatures remain pretty hot until about the end of September when we’re finally melting down into the 80’s.

Years ago, when we decided to make Texas home, it took me awhile to really get comfortable this time of year because where I grew up Fall was very different.

Needless to say, I adapted and discovered this time of year to be an exciting season with many possibilities.

I’ve gathered ideas for fall gardening from some of my most popular articles to help inspire you.

Even if you have a short season there’s no reason why you can’t transition the outdoors into a productive, fun and inviting space.

So, not only will you find helpful tips for gardening but I’ve tossed in a few outdoor ideas because I’m all about adding flair.

 

Beginning with our Seed Starter Boxes

Gathered Ideas with Seed Starter Boxes

First, we begin with my favorite seed starter boxes.  We introduced this product last year and what a game changer.  Not only do I love them for fall planting but I also use them in the spring through summer.

I’ve stacked mine anywhere from 2 – 3 times tall and used a stick in each corner to stabilize the height.

These boxes are super easy to build, measurements can always be adjusted and I especially love them after that first freeze.

Here’s why… If you stack allow plenty of room for leafy plants to grow inside that first layer.  When it freezes all, you have to do is cover overnight and remove the lid the following day.

Get more on the Seed Starter Planter box here.

Easy Beginner Fall Crops and Starting Small

If you’re new to gardening and want to grow fall veggies then this article will be the perfect little bit of inspiration to guide and help you begin.

I’m all about starting small especially if you have a busy lifestyle because one of the biggest mistakes new gardeners make is beginning with a large garden all at once.

The ambition is contagious but sometimes life takes over and the garden becomes forgotten.

The result isn’t pretty and can be avoided by simply starting with a few beds and planting the food you love to eat.

Just because you begin small doesn’t mean you can’t add additional beds later. Learn more about beginner fall crops right here.

 

Five Fall Easy Blooming Plants

Now if you’re just wanting to add a little color to the garden as a way to freshen up and transition into the new season then these 5 plants will be options to think about adding.

You may already have them growing and perhaps they just need a little sprucing up after the hot summer.

This is a good time to add a little boost of fertilizer to the soil and keep them growing the next couple of months.

These are all annuals with the exception of the purple asters and lantana, if you have a shorter growing season they may not work.

I also like to add pansies but they don’t normally show up in the nurseries until the end of September and sometimes even the first part of October.

Mums are of course another option and here’s a list of helpful mum care tips if you choose them.

For my five fall easy blooms check those out right here.

 

Vintage Enamel Fall Combination

I’m also a huge fan of vintage enamelware and love using these containers for planters.  If you have outdoor areas that need sprucing up this might be a fun avenue to consider.

These containers are bright and fall colors look amazing next to them.  I used enamelware for planters all the time on our farm and I’m thinking it might be time to add a few at our new place.

Additional container ideas might include natural baskets, crates, or my favorite >terracotta pots.  If you have additional suggestions please share, we love hearing about what inspires you.

Check out this vintage enamel fall combination right here. 

Four Reasons to Fall Garden

Four Reasons to Fall Garden

What if you’ve been gardening for a while and maybe you’re thinking its time to scale back or even skip planting?

Well, let me say I get it but I want to offer a little inspiration with four reasons to fall garden. It’s these four tips that keep me gardening just a little longer almost every year.

Fall gardening looks a little different for me this year because I recently decided to scale down my planting areas.  That was quite the chore and I’m still in the decision process of deciding what to plant.; I’m thinking leafy greens may be where I land.

Thankfully it’s just Robert and I so the need for large planting areas isn’t as important as when we lived on our farm.

 

DIY Fall Stencil Garden Sign

Of Course, Fall Garden Flair

Before we sign off with this list of gathered ideas for fall gardening, I couldn’t help but share a fun project.

Adding a little garden flair to your outdoor spaces is a great way to welcome friends to your home.

This project was originally featured in Capper’s Farmer Magazine in 2017 and now, that article is available in our shop.

The color combination in this piece is what I really love because it’s like nothing you’ll find in the land of retail. You can discover more about this DIY Fall Stenciled Sign right here.

I hope you enjoyed this little round up for fall and perhaps I’ve inspired you to gather something wonderful to spice up your outdoors.

 

A neat selection of gathered ideas for fall gardening. Everything from Planting tips, planters and garden flair.

Matching Plants to Hours of Sunlight

Matching Plant Purchases to Hours of Sunlight

As we enter the season of fall gardening we’re also walking into a time of transition.  The days become shorter and eventually temperatures will also cool.  As many of us know this can have quite an impact on our next planting decisions.

What many gardeners plant up north will vary from those of us down south because our warmer temperatures stick around.

Thankfully most nurseries stock shelves according to their climate.

I love going to the nursery, especially in the fall because the selections inspire and the colors are warm. I’m known for getting side tracked and what I love seems to grab my attention first.

Sometimes what we love isn’t what’s best for our garden.   I’m so guilty of this…

So, before we fall in love with a certain plant, first investigate how it will thrive in our space.

This is as simple as monitoring hours of sunlight where you want to plant; do this before you go to the nursery.

Matching Plant Purchases to Hours of Sunlight

Matching Plants to Hours of Sunlight

Matching plants to hours of sunlight really isn’t that difficult and nurseries make this pretty easy by offering care instructions.

Every outdoor area offers a different amount of sunlight and shade each day.  If you’ve been gardening in the same location for years then you probably have a good handle on things but it’s always good to double check especially if you have neighbors.

New tree growth or even removal of trees or shrubs in someone else’s yard can have an impact on your garden, especially if outdoor spaces are close together.

So, let’s simplify matching plants to hours of sunlight by:

  • Understanding your climate, investigate your planting areas for hours of sunlight and record those findings.
  • Read plant tags before purchasing and tailor your selections to local conditions.

If you’d like to record your findings then make sure to grab my Free Seasonal Garden Planner here.

This planner is a 12-page beauty, using a watercolor theme that I painted over the summer. You’re going to love it!

 

Full Sun GardeningFull Sun

The following information can also be used when selecting plants for spring or early summer planting.

Plants described as drought tolerant or needing “full sun” require at least 6 hours of daily sun exposure.   These areas are bright and wide open to the sunlight and can sometimes receive more than 6 hours each day.

Some plants will thrive in these conditions but others simply cannot take the heat.

Part Sun

Part sun areas require at least 3 t0 6 hours of daily sunlight. These areas can sometimes be filtered as “full sun gardening” because they offer semi-shade for plants.

Part sun is best described as, “Periods of direct sunlight lasting for hours and shade follows later.”

Shade is provided by nearby trees, a trellis or even flowing branches.  These are some of my favorite places to plant because they’re easy to maintain.

Another reminder is morning sunlight will always be cooler than afternoon sun temperatures.

Plants labeled part shade means they’re more sensitive to full sun, especially when temperatures rise; also remember you have a little more flexibility in these areas.

Gardening with Sunlight hours

Part and Full Shade

Full shade describes an area where direct sunlight never penetrates due to shadows.  These could be spots with heavy greenery, buildings, or even a covered porch.

Growing up I use to love going on nature trail walks because I was fascinated by the green plant growth where there wasn’t sunlight.  The temperature was always cooler and the air was moist.

If you haven’t explored a nature trail walk in a while, I highly recommend it…

So, how does a gardener match planting in these types of conditions?  You search for shade plants that thrive from indirect light, this includes evergreens and ferns.

Some of these areas offer filtered light, known as partly shaded areas where full shade plants will still thrive as most full shade plants can tolerate a tad of sunlight.

So, don’t be hasty when choosing the right plants for you space.

Always garden according to matching the right plants with the hours of sunlight and find joy in your environment as we transition into a new season.

 

If you liked this article, then you may also enjoy reading Startle Garden or Four Reasons to Fall Garden.

Learn how to match garden plants with hours of sunlight in your backyard. #gardentips, #PlantPurchases #GardenSunlight

How to Harvest Day Lily Seeds

Getting Ready to Harvest Day Lily seeds

Years ago, when we lived on our farm my mom sent me a box of plants.  Several arrived tired because it was pretty hot and very few made it through transplanting.

However, the day lilies did amazing and every year I propagate to expand their beauty.

When we moved, we left some at the farm and transplanted the rest at Quail Grove.   They produced even better here and I’ve really grown to love these flowers.  I think it’s because they don’t require a lot of attention and they make a great statement.

So, there’s two ways to expand daylily plants, one by dividing their clumps and the other by growing from seed.  Today we’re going to chat about seed harvesting but if you prefer dividing daylilies read here.

Harvesting Day Lily seeds

Daylilies from Seed

Daylilies grown from seed will not be identical to the parent plant if you have other varieties growing nearby.  Which I think is pretty exciting because it offers an opportunity to establish a new flower.

Imagine forming new colors and patterns by cross breeding your existing plants, this is how new cultivars are created each year and it’s easy to do.

I only have one variety of daylily in my garden and no nearby gardening neighbors so I’m pretty sure that when I harvest these seeds, they’ll remain true to my existing plant.  I guess we’ll find out when I germinate the seeds I’ve gathered.

Let’s dive into seed harvesting process because it’s super easy!

After the Flower Blooms

After the flowers bloom the stem needs to remain attached to the plant so they can produce their seed pod. They’re pretty small and you can see them forming in the photo above.

These pods will expand and become a nice shade of green before they begin to dry on the stem, this process can take 5-6 weeks.

At this point many folks remove these stems to encourage new flower growth.  You can do that but leave a few if you want to harvest seeds for later.

Harvesting Lily Stems for seedsWhen the Pods Dry

When the pods finally dry, they’ll begin to open.  They almost hold the shape of a tulip and you’ll see black seeds inside.

When they begin to open you can pull and gather those stems to harvest seeds.

You won’t need to cut to remove because if you hold the stem from the middle and give it a tug it will come right out.

Getting Ready to Remove Lily Seeds

Collecting Seeds

Daylily seeds will vary in size, appear round, black and they’re easy to handle.

They may fall right out or you might need to help by opening the pod.  Once the seeds are gathered make sure they’re dry before placing in an envelope to store for later.

Harvesting seeds from the garden is one of my favorite activities and it’s probably because my grandma spent a lot of time showing me how to do it.

I remember her saying, “be smart, independent, learn essentials skills and you’ll never go hungry.” I believe her wisdom surfaced from raising a family during the depression.

They didn’t have much and yet they were able to keep a roof over their head and food on the table even if it was minimal.

Long after those days passed, life improved and those years of experience became part of her.  I found these stories interesting because they had this understanding of common sense that gave her inner strength and hope for the future.

A strength that seems to be missing more and more in the generations that followed and I’m not sure why.

I treasure the knowledge she passed on, because now I can share it will all of you.

Maybe that was part of grandma’s plan?

Simple skills like harvesting seeds is a reminder to be thankful for those awesome people that passed through our lives.

To learn more about this topic get my harvesting seeds article here.  It’s a great resource for those who want to expand their garden knowledge.

Learn how to harvest Day lily seeds and get tips for expanding those skills to additional plants. #Daylily, #SeedHarvest

 

Make a Wood Stenciled Lazy Susan

DIY Home Decor Lazy Susan

I’ve been wanting to make a lazy susan for a while, but the thing is, I wasn’t quite sure what to do.

When I can’t seem to make a decision things are always placed on the back burner and this project was put on hold for months.

Then one afternoon while sorting through paint and stain an idea sparked; I knew it was time to put it all together.

 

Lazy Susan project supplies

This post contains affiliate links that means if you make a purchase after clicking, there’s no additional cost to you, but I will earn a small commission.  Click here to read site terms.

 

Supplies for Lazy Susan

Shopping for supplies is super easy because what you don’t have at home can be gathered online and delivered to your door.

If you’re not one to shop online then some of these supplies can be found at a local hardware store, the exceptions would be the stencil and paint.

Paint Staining Wood

Staining the Circular Board

The board was ready to use at the time of purchase which was nice and I covered with paint and gel stain immediately.

I absolutely love that voodoo gel stain and it comes in 7 different colors.

  1. Take the blue sponge to paint stain. Learn how to paint stain here.
  2. Paint stain the edges and backside with midnight sky.
  3. Tape off the front of the board and apply midnight sky on the ends and center.
  4. When dry remove tape, then tape again and stain with the voodoo gel using the blue sponge.
  5. Let it dry and remove tape again. For any missed areas fill those gaps with the gel stain.

Cutting Edge Stencil Transfer

Applying the Stencil

Once the base colors dry apply that sweet anemone from Cutting Edge Stencils using sand bar.

This transfer took less than a minute which was pretty fantastic. If you’re new to stenciling get my tips here.

Adding Hardware to the Lazy Susan

 

Attaching the Swivel

Before securing the swivel, let the board dry so we don’t risk smearing the surface while attaching hardware.

  1. Flip the board and center the swivel then attach the corners using 4 screws with a screw driver.
  2. I added a thin stained board to the bottom with two sided sticky squares.  You could also use felt.
  3. The point of the cover is to keep the metal from scratching a surface.  If that’s not a concern you can just leave it as is.

Lazy Susan project that easy to make

This lazy susan project was super easy and it didn’t require power tools which was an added bonus.

Once the colors were decided everything just fell into place and now I have a pretty addition for our Tiny Kitchen.

Now that would have been fun to teach at one of our Make and Take Workshops last year.

In case you haven’t heard, I have a new book available that teaches step by step instruction for creating your own workshop environment.  This book is the perfect set of instructions for those who are ready to take their craft or skill to the next level.

I started teaching workshops 5 years ago and it was so much fun; the best part was standing back, watching others put their spin on one of my kits.

There’s something fantastic about helping others discover their own creativity.   Learn more here.

 

Make a lazy susan using paint stain and stenciled techniques. This is a fun afternoon project anyone can make using basic steps. #LazySusan, #HomeDecor

 

DIY Stenciled Herb Planter

Make a DIY stenciled Herb Planter

It seems most of my projects begin with a little paint, splash of stencil and something to build.  Except for today because this time, there’s no building.

We’re just adding a little paint and stencil to make this fun DIY herb planter.

Craft Project Supplies

This post contains affiliate links that means if you make a purchase after clicking, there’s no additional cost to you, but I will earn a small commission.  Click here to read site terms.

 

Project Supply List

We begin with an assortment of items starting with, Dixie Belle paint.  My original box and door pulls were purchased from Hobby Lobby and I linked additional options to make shopping a breeze.  Stencils can be found at Studio R12 on Etsy.

Paint Stain Game Changer

Paint Staining with Dixie Belle Blue Sponge

I started things off with paint staining, using a sponge this time instead of a rag and the results were amazing.

The blue sponge came from Dixie Belle; it moved the paint into those tight corners perfectly leaving a nice finish in a matter of minutes.

If you haven’t tried paint staining before, you’re missing out.

It’s such a breeze and with this sponge it’s fast.  The best part you can wash and reuse it on future projects.

Get my complete paint stain tips here.

Stenciling Box

Stenciling the Crate

For the stenciling I used colors lemonade and collard greens.  The letters were first transferred lightly and the leaves were added with collard greens.

My design wasn’t planned like I normally do and if being honest I could see some adjustments were necessary.

Which takes us to the next step.

Get my complete details for stenciling read here.

Overlay stenciling

Adding Details

I wanted to tone things down with an overlay so the words had a shadow.  To do this you let the first application dry then place the stencil back over the top and move slightly left before transferring the second color.

For the leaves I lightly speckled a little lemonade color to add contrast.

These were two techniques that I taught in many of my workshop classes.

I have a new book available that offers a unique opportunity for crafters to learn how to teach and host their own workshoo.  I’ve shared my entire journey that began 5 years ago.

This resource includes step by step instruction and a workbook.  Get it here!

Make an Herb Stenciled Planter Box

Once the project is finished all that’s left is to add handles which is optional and then top off with your favorite herbs.

This planter was easy to make and I have to say it was kind of nice to just purchase an already made crate.

No building skills needed for this one and it’s the perfect craft for an afternoon with friends.  All you need is a little paint and stencil to complete.

 

You may also like these easy projects here: Garden Planter, Gift Boxes and beaded terracotta pots

 

DIY herb planter using paint, stencil techniques and terracotta pots. #HerbPlanter, #Terracottaplanters