Are you the type of person who can eat the same meal again and again without getting bored? How about if the food is organic and free...does that make a difference in how you think? After all, you know exactly where this food came from. Your own backyard. I can eat zucchini as my staple vegetable for every meal weeks on end when grown organically in my garden. I try to spice it up by preparing it differently each time to take the monotony out of it. Still, it's worth it. When I consider what it costs to buy organic zucchini in January I am even more motivated to get it out of my system while I can for free. So today I just wanted to talk about what Tom, I and the girls have been eating from our garden and compare notes with all of you! Are you saving some serious cash this summer like we are? Even in this crazy drought? Before I get started I do have a confession. This is what we spend each month on groceries in the winter months.
You probably have a few of these sitting in your garage or shed right now and none of them work. It's almost like collecting stamps or baseball cards. Without the fun. (Actually, I collect marbles.) Weed trimmers. We go through so many of them....isn't that the truth? Because they break. Fixing them costs more than just buying a new one but for some reason we refuse to toss the old ones in the garbage. Thus the collection starts. I think we have about five in our garage right now and the only one that works is the brand spanking new weed trimmer from Echo. You'll be equally smitten with this power tool from Echo when you win! To enter, like the Raise Your Garden Facebook page and share this post or sign up for our newsletter. For two entries, do both. Let us know you have entered by telling us your weed trimmer sob story in the comment section of this post!
Now with five birdfeeders on our property the birds are well-fed. However, now they want a birdbath to get all clean after their feast. Tom wants this too. In fact, birdwatching is Tom's new favorite activity and I can't even relate how much stress it relieves. We're saving thousands just on his therapy sessions alone. So for awhile now we've been exploring various options of making our own DIY birdbath. We wanted natural products that would blend with our landscape. Nothing tacky....right?! We also weren't looking to spend too much cash, if any. So we wanted to stick with stuff already purchased or recycle something that wasn't getting used. This is what we came up with and hope you'll make your own too!
Extra credit for the first person who can tell me what an Oya is. I certainly was unaware of their existence before now. An Oya is an ancient terracotta pot that is buried in the ground for irrigation purposes. It helps you both water less and waste less water. Not to mention saving you time! Plant roots instinctively grow toward the porous clay of the Oya and take exactly the amount of water they need. Simply fill up your Oya every 5-10 days and you are set. My first reaction upon opening the boxes from GrowOya was "ohhhh, this is gonna be fun." They look chic and function even better. Efficiency to the extreme. So we are over the moon excited about your chance of winning a set of Oya's including the small, medium and large sizes valued at $100. To enter, sign up for our newsletter. Let us know you've done this by telling us something fun about yourself on the comment section of this post.
I'm not lazy and I don't think you are either. But this doesn't mean we want to spend all our time working in the garden and zero time enjoying it. Book and lemonade in hand please! So as I get...ahem...older, I'm working on creating a space that I spend less time slaving over and more time savoring. This means incorporating plants and shrubs that don't fuss too much. But first, you have to consider the location. Is the spot you are filling full-sun, shade and/or have dry or wet soil? Once you've answered that, you are golden. Here are sixteen plants that fit the bill for each location that are easy peasy. And now is a fantastic time to start collecting many of these perennials cheap as nurseries and big box stores alike are purging plants like it's their job...because it is. And sure, I know the above picture is an annual geranium, but then again, I've had many survive our harsh Buffalo winters in my basement. So they're hardy to say the least!
The old meets the new with the timeless pieces of art from Good Directions. Buy it for now, have it for life. Heirloom pieces that will last longer than your heirloom tomatoes meant to passed down from one generation to the next. Swoon with delight. You will love this four-piece torch set adorning your landscape this year and every year to come for decades. Made from hammered copper, these long-lasting torches will keep the mosquitoes and bugs at bay. 24-hour burn time! Not to mention the ambiance they give to your landscape. Kind of like taking a vacation in the privacy of your backyard. So go ahead. Pinch yourself. You just might be the lucky winner who gets this 4-piece torch set sent to you in the mail. To enter, Like Raise Your Garden on Facebook and for a second entry, sign up for our newsletter. If you're looking for extra luck, share this post!
Nothing demonstrates holiday cheer better than changing the exterior experience of your house. Your lawn is the first thing guests see when they visit your home. It's also the only thing your neighbors see if you never invite them inside. You don't want to decorate for just Christmas and Easter. Why not spruce up the front of your home with red, white and blue from the Fourth of July to Labor Day and really get into the spirit of things? The outside of your residence should tell people who lives inside. Here are four tips for decorating the outside of your home for the holidays.
Your trees better hide. Because once you get your hands on these quality loppers from Garrett Wade, you will be snipping away like mad. They work so well that the temptation to clip off branches unnecessarily from my trees is too much to bear! This isn't work, it's fun. Playtime for the gardener. And when have I ever thought pruning trees and bushes to be fun? Never. And to say this set of pruners is heavy-duty would be the understatement of the year. Serious pruners for those who want the job done pronto. The ratcheting mechanism is amazing. No longer do I have to fight with my tool to get it to work. And isn't that how a good tool should be? Good tools make your life easier by functioning well with less effort from you. So I was ecstatic to learn more about Garrett Wade and the enormous selection of high-end tools they offer. Today is your chance to win a set of loppers ($100) and a Grandpa's Weeder ($27.50) just by liking our Facebook page. To earn another entry, sign up for our newsletter. If you really want to show us you care we'd be thrilled if you shared this post on Facebook!
Tom and I just got wood fired pizza where the menu stated..."good food takes a long time so be patient." Good blog posts work much the same way. Time and lots of it to create quality work. The time Tom spent researching alone! But these tomato cages are worth the wait. Promise. Tom made these tomato cages for our garden to replace some of our old cages and what a difference! They can be left in the garden all year long so storage will never be an issue. And you know how it is with those flimsy wire tomato cages, they last one season, maybe two and then you toss them in the garbage. The cycle of buying, tossing and re-buying the following year was getting pricey and annoying. Now we have stable trellises that will last a lifetime and surprisingly look sharp too. Use these on your tomatoes, eggplant, squash, peppers, cucumbers and even beans and peas. Best of all, you'll be shocked at how easy they are to make.
I used to wear men's boxers out in public as shorts. I'm not sure why I gave myself the green light for this practice but have raised my standards significantly in recent years. Now that I'm older and ahem.... more mature, I know full-well this is not advisable. But they were both colorful and comfortable. These days I still like to be comfortable whether working in the garden or out-and- about checking out farmer's markets or the local garden center. So I was thrilled to learn about Thyme to Garden and their super trendy overalls, dresses and aprons designed to keep you stylish while in the garden or on-the-go. I hope ladies you're ready to reap a few compliments wearing these overalls from Thyme to Garden....valued at $109! To enter, leave a comment below telling us what you like to wear in the garden. For a second entry, sign up for our newsletter. If you're looking for extra good luck share this post with your Facebook friends!
Move over Pampers and Hugs because there's a new sheriff in town. Yep. No longer are diapers just for babies and for.... well, you get the drift. Your trees, shrubs and plants now want a diaper of their own please. I won't insult your intelligence describing how traditional diapers work, but imagine translating this same technology to your plants...retaining water for slow release back to the plant roots. Best of all? These mats and diapers are not just for outdoor use but should also be used on all your indoor pots and planters. Just imagine not having to water them every few days. So if you're a tad negligent on watering, you'll jump at the chance to do even less of it. All the while you'll save water, save plants, save the planet, and cut down on weeds with this slow release irrigation system. So it is with much enthusiasm that I am introducing you today to TreeDiaper and GardenMat, a completely innovative product for the water savvy gardener who wants it all. Let me explain how it works so you'll be able to win this $137 prize package from Tree Diaper. To enter, Like Raise Your Garden on Facebook and share this post. For a second entry sign up for our newsletter. Let us know in the comment section if you did one or both! Canadians are welcome to enter!
Best hybrid shovel-spade you'll ever get your hands on. Spear Head Spade. You'll never reach for another after trying one. I could end the post right here and be done with it because what else is there to say? Quick story. Tom's a gym teacher. Occasionally, he works with this guy Wally. Now Wally is retired but for fun works as a substitute gym teacher. (My guess is his wife encourages this practice to get him out of the house). Anyhow this Wally guy has been raving about the Spear Head Spade for years. So when we went to the local garden show, we were sure to check them out. Guess what? Wally was right! And you know, he's one of "those" gardeners. You know...super picky and fussy about the tools he uses. He's only using the best. Wally, you don't read my blog, right? So for obvious reasons, we are thrilled to have teamed up with Spear Head Spade because trust us, you want this tool (model SHLF). Like our page on Facebook and share this post to enter to win your own Spear Head Spade. For a second entry, sign up for our newsletter. Love and high fives to all for sharing with your Facebook friends!
I was stung 9 times on my butt for my 9th anniversary while hiking with my husband last year. As I stepped on a yellow jacket nest they flew up my shorts. You wouldn't believe how swollen my butt was! Okay, maybe you can get the visual. And oh, the pain. Followed by the itching. It was unbearable. No photo's for this one. Anyhow, as I was wallowing on the couch, it got me thinking. "What is the purpose of a yellow jacket?"
I've tried it all. Popsicle sticks. Canned food lids. Straws. Metal markers. Plastic markers. Wood markers. Even paint shims. Both homemade and store bought. I've purchased at Target, True Value and Big Lots. None of them have stood the test of time. None even made it past one year. They failed me! We're talking about plant markers here today folks! Knowing what and where you planted is half the battle. Aren't you frustrated by cheap and flimsy plant markers that just don't get the job done? If so, we think you're ready to meet the Paw Paw Everlast Label Company because they make stupendous plant labels. Strong, smooth, sturdy, sleek and stylish....we think you'll agree. So Like us on Facebook in the hopes of winning one of two prize packages from Paw Paw. One winner will receive 30 Copper A labels with stainless wires and a DecoColor Marker (value $44.00). The other winner will receive 30 Copper E labels with stainless wires and a DecoColor Marker (value $41.25). Share this post on your Facebook page for extra good luck and let us know you did! Love and high fives to you all.
You probably know by now that Tom is a gym teacher. So bigger is better. And this mantra even applies to tomatoes. He wants the biggest on the block. I'm not sure who he thinks he's competing with since very few people actually grow anything in our suburban neighborhood. Certainly not to the extent that we do. But there it is. He's a Pinterest man. And he's coming up with all sorts of ideas to implement. One of which are these dang fish heads. Gross. I know. But it's an organic fertilizer and tomatoes are heavy feeders that need lots of fertilizer. He's been reading about how fish heads (all leftover fish parts actually) paired with aspirin and a few other amendments will grow the most stupendous tomatoes ever. He also used some leftover PVC tubing from a drain project to make these unique watering tubes that feed our tomatoes using compost. Combining these techniques should grow the biggest and best tomatoes possible. We hope you're game and keep your sense of humor while following us!
Have you ever hemmed and hawed over a purchase and then finally gave in after many years of deliberation? That's how I feel about my new rain barrel from Good Ideas. What took me so long! Even my 4-year-old has it down cold. And that speaks a lot about a product. We love Good Ideas for their innovative products that are easy to use, easy to install, and easy on the eyes. It's true, Tom and I have been toying with the idea of a DIY rain barrel for a long time. But it didn't happen. At times, even our best projects get bumped to the back burner. (Not the fish head project...I promise....we're going full-steam ahead on that one). So we pushed the easy button with this swoon-worthy rain barrel. I'm equally thrilled for you and your chance to win this incredible 65 gallon rain barrel and planter from Good Ideas valued at $200. To enter, Like Raise Your Garden on Facebook. For a second entry sign up for our newsletter. Let us know in the comment section if you did one or both! For extra good luck, share this post and tell me something fun about yourself on our Facebook page!
Remember those awesome bird feeders from Desert Steel? Guess what...Desert Steel is back! Better than ever. This time it's their marvelous torches at stake. Gorgeous torches with magnetic appeal that will light up your life and your backyard this summer. Lovely to look at as well as being oh so functional. Beauty marries usability. We are so beyond those Big Lots tiki torches from the 80's. Tom liked them so much he told a co-worker about them who ended up buying a few for his wife for Mother's Day. She was absolutely thrilled. In fact, it went over so well that next year he's getting them for his mother and mother-in-law as well. So we hope you become one of two lucky winners of the blue Himalayan Poppy Torch or the red Poppy Flower Torch from Desert Steel. Each an $80 value. To enter, LIKE Raise Your Garden on Facebook and tag five friends. Earn another entry by signing up for our newsletter. Let us know in the comment section what you've done to earn entries.
Annuals are fair-weather friends. You enjoy them for one season and with a blink of an eye, they're gone! Hence my love for perennials, especially ones that I depend on to fill in my garden beds and landscaping year after year. Buy them at nurseries or even the big box stores and you will go broke. But as with all things in life, there's always a cheaper way. You just have to be resourceful. After all, I can't afford to fill my garden beds with perennials that cost $15-$25 each if purchased from a garden center. Here are 9 ways to easily get cheap perennials without spending much cash.
It started with the mail carrier who was raving about my vertical planter from My Garden Post. "What is that and where did you get it?" She exclaimed..."I've never seen anything like that before." And I bet you too are trying to squish more plants into less area. That's exactly what My Garden Post does for you. It converts almost 24 square feet of horizontal garden into a 4 foot vertical garden for the patio, deck, porch or balcony. Nifty! Five pots attach to the post creating a dramatic effect of cascading flowers and plants. You don't need a yard for this one. So easy and fun...from the assembly process to choosing what to plant. There is very little work involved. No weeding. No bending over. And no watering because it has a drip irrigation system included. I'm estatic that you can win this $180 vertical garden system with drip irrigation from My Garden Post. To enter Like Raise Your Garden on Facebook and for a second entry, sign up for our newsletter. If you're looking for extra luck, share this post!
I bet you eat edible flowers all the time and don't even realize it. Because if you're a fan of broccoli, cauliflower or artichokes, you are consuming the flowering bud of the plant. I'm always late in the game when it comes to picking my broccoli and find it produces these lovely yellowish flowers when overgrown. Although too bitter to eat at this point, I'm tempted to stick my flowered broccoli stems in a vase- if that didn't seem so dorky. So today, I thought we'd take a pictorial edible flower tour. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, appetizer, drink or dessert; the options are endless and inspiring. Let's eat flowers because they are pretty, useful, tasty, fun, unusual and best of all....just because we can! And it's not like you're making a meal out of a flower, these are edible novelties intended to beautify your food and drink. They have faces....cute flower faces, yes? Some of the most popular flowers and my favorites are pansies, nasturtiums and borage. Here's some inspiration to get you started on the right path.
So we like to live dangerously. That's why we sometimes plant before Memorial Day, our last possible frost date. It's a wild ride. I've had a hard time sleeping at night just thinking about the frost slaying my little seedlings outside. In the past, (and I bet you can sympathize), I've tossed a few mouse eaten blankets on top of my plants just to keep them warm at night. Especially early in the season. I repeat in October so that I can reap my crops before that first bitter frost comes. It's a silly practice. The blankets get soaked, icky and covered in slugs. And it's only so-so effective. That's when I discovered the Grow it Now! company and their fabulous mini greenhouses. Not only do they protect from that early frost, but they help ripen the remaining produce in freezing temperatures. I'm sure you want to save every last tomato too! So Like Raise Your Garden and share this post for a chance to win a whopping 24 plants protectors from Grow It Now! A $115 value. For a second entry, sign up for our newsletter. Let us know in the comment section if you did one or both.
It's time to get serious about growing a few herbs in pots. Sometimes, the huge plotted garden can seem overwhelming. Herbs in pots can be an easy, inexpensive, and cute solution to your garden dilemmas. Also try baskets, barrels, window boxes, or other containers. You don't need to own any land and can grow right on your kitchen windowsill. Better still, there's no weeding or bending over. Limp, store bought herbs are lacking in flavor. So if you're new to the gardening scene, this is how to start. I love using herbs in most recipes and some drinks because they add tons of flavor minus the calories. You can grow from seed or buy plants from the local nursery. Some herbs are actually perennials making container gardening a logical choice as you don't have to remember where you planted them the next year. A few might even survive the winter depending on your climate and if the pot is sheltered or brought indoors. But if not, you can always dry the leftovers. Here's the essential list of herbs you must have right now!
Are you the type of person who can just eat one Hersheys Kiss and be content? I confess, once I pop one in my mouth, I just keep going back for more. And that's exactly how it was with Woolly Pocket. After I hung my first living wall planter, I was addicted. So I reached out to them for this giveaway because I know you'll be just as smitten by their innovative design. These living wall planters can be hung on a fence, rail or wall; indoors or out drawing the eye up. I planted a few pansy plants in mine for now and nasturtium seeds for later to create a continuous edible flower planter for the season. Their sweet pansy faces greet me every time I enter or exit my home. To enter to win the Living Wall Planter 2 - Four Pack valued at $75, Like Raise Your Garden on Facebook and share this post. For a second entry sign up for our newsletter. Let us know in the comment section if you did one or both! And keep reading to learn about 5 spectacular annual vines that I'm confident you will want to grow this year to give your garden that vertical boost.
No wonder Veggie Tales is so popular. Vegetables really are just like people. Some are givers. Others are takers. And you have to deal with both types. Tomatoes...they are just one example of the takers who heavily feed on the soil and deplete it of nutrients. This is a huge problem for Tom and I because we have planted our tomatoes in the same garden spot for the past four years. We spent over $500 for our raised bed topsoil. By planting in the same location; we are depleting this soil. It's time to get serious about crop rotation! But first, we have to learn about which veggies are the givers who rejuvenate the soil and which are the takers, the ones that leach it. Even though I rotate mostly over soil fertility concerns, I also do so to thwart pests, weeds, and disease. Rotating your crops also equals healthier plants and better yield. So raise your hand and take this oath. "I promise not to plant the same veggies in the same spot year every year." Let's get started!
It's time for a guy giveaway. Don't you agree? And ladies, make sure you win this one for your guy! So you can nag him to get the landscaping done. Then take a walk around your neighborhood. What do you see? Lots of cheap plastic molding used to edge the garden beds. It's ugly. Don't use it! And your front lawn is being judged by its appearance. Whether or not your neighbors give you hints about it. Trust me on this one. Because first impressions count. First impressions of the EcoBorder product? Heavy-duty. Quality. Sharp and sleek. The FedEx man certainly got his workout unloading the boxes. Because these are heavy-duty borders for the landscape and garden. We are thrilled to have partnered with EcoBorder and for your chance to win over $200 in product from them. Keep reading to find out why you'll be motivated to redo your landscaping with EcoBorder right now. To enter Like Raise Your Garden on Facebook and share this post. For a second entry, sign up for our newsletter.
Hi, I'm Laura and hail from Buffalo, NY. I love sharing my home & garden ideas with you. Thanks for stopping by.
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