About Gardening Without a Plan

Condo Gardening

If you live in a condo or in an apartment, then your gardening might be limited to flowerpot gardening, or windowsill gardening or patio gardening. Whatever the case, you can still garden! There are ways to do this –even in apartments and even in the strictest condos. Ears open now?

Private Home Gardening

If you live in a home, your own home, you might have less rules than a condo has, yet, even in most neighborhoods, you have that “unspoken” rule, “green grass rules”! Not to worry, you, too, can garden. You can still have your own personal space, your own style and stay right where you are.

Mansion Gardening

If you live in a mansion, yes, a mansion, you can still be a personal gardener for your own space. The key to happiness is all in knowing or realizing that, yes, “YOU CAN DO IT”!

What’s your message?

So, what is your neighborhood “statement” or unwritten rule? Look around you to find out what that is. Are all the yards bright green, no wholes in the lawn, just perfect, rectangular pieces of real or fake grass? Are all the houses, trim, slim, unencumbered, and just plain the same? As you look down the block, is it hard to tell one house from another? Does it look like the Stepford Wives live there? Really? What is the unwritten, unspoken rule of your block, of your neighborhood? Is there hope for your creative or different mind, right where you are? Yes, indeed! There’s always hope. If you keep an open mind, and are willing to really hear me, I’ll share my ideas about individual gardening or “gardening without a plan”.

What is your plan?

Do you want your garden to look like a professional? Do you want your space to say, “Hey, landscaper here”! Or do you want your green space to say, “Wow, that’s a lot of work”! Or do you want your gardening space to say, “Welcome to my wonderful, natural garden”! Or is your message, “No dog poop allowed”!

Are you gardening to bring attention to your cause or to your charity or to your line of work? Would Bonsai fit the plan? Is your plan to have people stop, pause and slow down in this busy city? Do you garden to promote peace? Or is your garden saying, “I believe in God”! Do you want the neighbors or people passing by to keep on walking or to stop and pause and to enjoy the green space? Ask yourself these questions and a few others and you just might have a plan for your unplanned garden.

Budget?

Can you afford the best for your garden? Or are you on a very limited budget? Is gardening part of your budget in a different way? Are you going to grow certain plants just to avoid buying things in a grocery store? Are you ready to plant Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, and other herbs because you want to be able to pick your cooking ingredients every day — rather than shop for these things?

Budget or No Budget?

Or is your budget unlimited? Can you afford the top of the line in gardening get ups and accessories? Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is and begin creating a most magnificent garden, perhaps the most magnificent garden in your whole area? Ready for that?

Gardening Goals

Now, what is your real goal? What’s your real message? What is the “why” of your gardening?

Does your garden say, “Freedom”? Or does your garden say, “Hey, I’m fitting right in here”! Does your garden remain quiet, serene, unencumbered by whatever anyone else has to say or do — about your gardening? Are you looking to create and organize a mini-farm? Do you want a country environment, a natural environment or are you willing to ditch all that grass and trade it in for common sense groundcover? Do you want to mow grass? Or do you want to have a goat eat all the grass? The choices are all yours!

Or do you want your garden to remain “no work; no stress”?

Whichever is your goal or your statement, this is the place for you because all garden topics will be covered and then a few more. Over the next few weeks or months, I’ll cover practically every kind of gardening that there is. Hope you enjoy the ride!

Over time, we will discuss almost all the aspects of gardening and of other hobbies and of other nature topics.

What are your goals?

You will need to think about your gardening goals, financial goals, environmental goals and your spiritual goals.

Have other ideas? Are there goals that I have not mentioned? Feel free to send a comment. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Perfect Additions To Garden

Byrsonima Lucida (Locust Berry)

Locust Berry is a Florida native small tree or shrub, typically 5 – 15 feet tall, but can grow taller. It has an irregular, rounded or flat-topped, moderately dense crown.

Trunks are usually short, with numerous ascending branches; bark thin, pale brown. Often a host to epiphytes.

Leaves are green or blue-green, evergreen, opposite or sub opposite, leathery, smooth, glossy above but dull below and 1 – 1 1/2 inches long.

Flowers borne in clusters, showy blooms change color from white to pink to crimson, and attract butterflies.

Fruits are round, 1/2 inch long, pea-sized, fleshy, green ripening to red and attract birds. Fruits are edible and persist on the tree.

The plant is grown from seed. Bark and fruits have medicinal use. Locust berry is adapted to different types of well-drained soils; it benefits from pruning. Usually not affected by pests.

In addition to its value as a land reclamation plant, locust berry’s handsome foliage, flowers and fruits, make it effective as specimen plant, screen, border planting and native plant species for parks and gardens. It is threatened in the wild in Florida because of habitat loss.

Coccothrinax Argentata (Florida Silver Palm, Silver Thatch Palm)

The Florida Silver Palm is but one of about 50 species of coccothrinax palms originating from the west Indian region. The species name argentata means silvery.

Its native habitat is pine rock lands and coastal hammocks; wild palms are threatened and rare in the wild in florida.

This palm is typically 8 feet or less in height, but it can reach 30 feet under ideal conditions. The slender trunk has its upper portion covered with webbed fibers. It has an open crown of large deeply divided fan-shaped leaves, up to 3 feet wide, with drooping segments.

Leaves are dark green above and silvery white below, presenting a striking appearance when they move in the wind.

Fragrant flowers are borne in white clusters, producing purple to black fruits about 3/8 inch in diameter, eaten by birds.

Yummy Patio Gardens

The Tomato Checklist

Size does matter – when it comes to growing tomatoes in a container or pot, always remember that bigger is better. The essence is the soil capacity – a bigger container means the more soil it can hold. Growing tomatoes requires the roots to have more space to promote optimum growth. A typical tomato plant can grow for up 6-8 feet tall depending on the soil, maintenance, and fertilizers you use.

Soil – with regard to the soil composition, many non-organic-farming professionals argue that it is better to use a potting mix because it significantly yields favorable results. However, others also pointed out that using natural potting soil promotes better growth and is a safer method. Either way, it all ends up to the decision of the gardener. Note that potting mix is obviously expensive but as they say, and probably will always say, it is worth the money.

Fertilizers – if you use fertilizers, you need to understand first that not all fertilizers are the same. Considering that you are growing tomatoes in pots, you want to use fertilizers that provide a well proportionate and balanced fertilizer that has higher nitrogen content, especially when your tomatoes are young; you need more leaves and foliage growth.

Some Common Mistakes in growing Tomatoes in Pots

The use of small containers – the roots of tomatoes need more space so be sure to use bigger containers.

No Stakes – even determined tomatoes still do need some proper staking. It is not that complicated though. You can use metal rods, sticks, or basically anything sturdy for growth support.

Too much water – don’t binge on watering because too much watering will result to Blossom End Rot, split tomatoes and stressed plants. But make sure that your tomatoes are also not deprived of water. The key is to have a working drip irrigation system of basically watering them sparingly.

Know when to stop and change – stop the use of fertilizers that are rich in nitrogen upon maturity and opt for using fertilizers that are low in nitrogen, high in phosphorous and potassium. Never use fertilizers rich in nitrogen once your tomatoes are flowering.

Grow Shiitake Logs In Home Garden

Identifying the log

This is another important step that comprises the process of growing shiitake. For Shiitake Logs you have to identify the best and get them from hardwood trees that are freshly cut. While the specifications of logs can change, you can cut them into suitable sizes to achieve your target. There are different trees from which you can cut sections of logs for Shiitake Spawns but make sure that you consult a professional with adequate experience to know the things in entirety. Buying mushroom logs for sale is another idea on which you can rely to enhance the production. It is the quality of the log that can boost the growth of mushroom. Once you have finished the process of getting the Shiitake Mushroom Logs you will be able to grow mushrooms on them for a long time. Logs need to be left for some time to allow the fungicides to die before you move on to the next step.

Buying and stuffing the spawn

Next is the step to get shiitake mushroom spawn whether in the form of sawdust, plugs or thimbles. There are a lot of online portals selling spawns needed for shiitake mushrooms offering different strains and varied characteristics. For each log, you will need a certain number of spawns. After this, you will need to drill holes in the logs and the entire thing is to be done around the circumference of the log. You have to plug spawn in the holes. After filling the holes with spawns you have to cover them with good quality wax which is food grade such as beeswax to avoid contamination.

Keeping the logs

You have to stack the logs against something or lay them on the ground, preferably on a bed of straw. Ideally, the place in which the logs are placed must be shady. However, air circulation must be proper and if there is scanty rainfall in the area, you can keep the logs moist. As a matter of fact, this is the trickiest part of growing shiitake mushroom on the logs. You might have to go through a few steps of trial and error before getting it right.

Growth of mushroom

Finally, the shiitake mushrooms will grow on the logs within a period of six to twelve months. If you are lucky enough the production can continue until springtime. You can expect the growth for about three to four years until the cellulose of the log is consumed fully and prepare for commercial selling if you want.