There's nothing quite like a baby blue morning glory climbing up a trellis in fall. But like so much in life, it's one of those do now...reap the rewards down the road, in this case September-ish to first frost. Today, I'm planting morning glory seeds by all three of my trellises. Crossing my fingers they work! These stunning blue flowers just light up my life come fall =)
Tom & I are always tempted to mow our lawn super short. We figure, the shorter we mow, the less we'll have to mow. More free time. Yay! But when a lawn is mowed so low that the crown of the plant is damaged, it leads to a plethora of other problems. Because, the plant is going to put all its energy into recovering the crown damage, it weakness the lawn in general increasing the likelihood of weeds, insects, and diseases. And don't even get me started on grubs! And then what happens? We bring on the herbicides and pesticides that we wouldn't have needed had we not mowed so short!
Forget spraying your lawn this year, go wild, let the dandelions grow and flourish. Then eat them! Don't look down on dandelions as just a weed, the flowers are edible when the plant is still young.
Dandelion greens can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, sauteed or braised.
For salads, greens should be plucked from new plants while still young and tender, before that first flower emerges. The larger greens are a little tougher so you might want to cook them. And yes....I've seen dandelion greens being sold in grocery stores...how about you?
The tip of the day comes from Ron who uses those pesticide application signs (as shown in todays' blog) as plant labelers in his garden. He simply flips the sign over and uses a Sharpie to label his rows. And of course, it has its own stand. Easy peasy.
Lawn care pros recommend varying your mowing pattern. That is, you want to push the mower north and south one week and east and west the next week. Sharpen your mower blades a couple of times a year to ensure a healthy, clean cut. (ahas, that's our problem!) If you have a mulching mower, you can leave the clippings on the lawn to help fertilize the grass, or, use them in your compost!
Some of my favorite compost items? Eggshells, coffee grinds, old herbs & spices, newspaper, fireplace ash, tea bags, newspaper, that old Christmas wreath and fresh flowers that are no longer all that fresh.
It's about that time of year to start thinking about adding compost to the garden. Some of the best compost? Your readily available everyday grass clippings. Mix with leaves or wood chips. Your garden will love you!
Try this order:
Bottom layer = Grass clippings, shredded wood and leaves
Middle layer - Manure or fertilizer as your nitrogen source
Top layer - Soil
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Not all parts of a flower are necessarily edible. Some flowers that you can eat whole with no worries are violas, violets, scarlet runner beans, honeysuckle and clover.
Others you just want to eat the petals such as roses, caladulas, tulips, yucca, lavender and chrysanthemums.
And even if the flower is edible remove the stamen & styles. Flower pollen tastes a little icky and even worse, so many people are severely allergic to to!
Without trying to sound too obvious, not all flowers are edible, some are just plain dangerous and deadly to eat!
A few of these.... Azalea, bleeding hearts, calla lily, clematis, crocus, daffodil, delphinium, foxglove, hyacinth, hydrangeas, iris, lily of the valley, lupines, morning glory, oleander, rhododendron, wisteria. And this is by no means a comprehensive list so don't eat unless you're positively sure it's not poisonous!
Don't even use non-edible flowers as a garnish, people will just assume they can eat it. I know I would!
Don't eat flowers if you have asthma, allergies or hay fever!
Be careful to eat only flowers that you can positively identify as edible. Some flowers do have look-alike versions that are not edible!
Use pansies are their peak, fully open with flat petals, avoid those that are starting to wilt or have crumbly edges.
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