3 Dirty Little Secrets of Compost
1) You can heat up sluggish compost quickly by adding cheap, corn-based dog food. Corn has great heating capabilities used this way.
2) Here are some plants that can be grown directly in a compost pile: potatoes, melons, pumpkins, cucumbers, gourds, and mushrooms! Many of these will disguise the pile too.
3) Question: What do you think is the most common foreign object screened out of commercial compost? (answer below)
from the Complete Compost Gardening Guide, by Pleasant & Martin
Answer: Plastic cigar tips
Strawberries in a sunny window ... and it's February!
They're not quite strawberries yet, but I spotted the white flowers peeping from under the leaves just yesterday.
These are alpine strawberries which are sharing a strawberry pot, along with the rosemary, and Kennilworth Ivy. Someone once tried to tell these were not worth growing, but I am glad I tried them. It's fun to find treats and eat them right in the garden, all sorts of berries, even these fairy-sized delights. I started these plants last winter. The trick is to sprinkle the seeds on top of dirt, and then cover with a paper just until germinated! AND ... they will fruit in winter in a sunny window or transplanted to your garden or containers!
Do you have a bit of snow on the ground ... or maybe a LOT of snow? It's a great time of year to toss wildflower seeds on top of the snow and enhance a meadow or wild garden, or begin a new patch of prettiness. (read more)
Poppies are the perfect seeds for snow-sowing. Ice helps crack open their tough shells. When I come across seeds that won't be used in my garden, I donate them to fields in my neighborhood. Won't the field below look lovely with some random poppies? (read more)
Make an instant kitchen container garden with Boston lettuce hearts and green onions from the produce section of the grocery store and miniature beets ... these will put out new leaves and tops and come up again in Spring, so you can cut what you need and leave the rest to grow. (read more about that here).
Sparkly "pie-pan" birds dance in the wind to scare away deer and crows from the garden. Cut recycled pie-pans into fanciful shapes like butterflies, or flowers, or use my flying bird shape ... instructions and Flying Swallow Pattern here.
Grow an ornamental red maple from 'foundling'
Our ornamental maple is just three years old, about 15" tall, and a veritable charmer in the garden, well on her way to being a crown jewel of a tree with gently weeping red leaves and diminutive stature. It's hard to believe it started life as a cast-off seed found in a shopping mall parking lot (read more).
Fresh peas are back in season, but the peas from our local store were terrible: astringent, mealy, and very expensive! I knew they wouldn't taste much better cooked and, not wanting to waste them, it was an easy decision to try my hand at sprouting. (read more)
Our annuals, some of which are teenaged begonias and geraniums, bloom rapturously every summer since they began spending winters on trays which are shelves assembled UPSIDE DOWN to form water-holding storage. (read more)