Sunday, September 30, 2012


So the other day I was on Youtube looking for some gardening ideas and it seemed like every gardening video I looked at was a bunch of hippies sitting around playing the guitar and talking about "mother earth"!!

Or they were walking through a meadow with the typical hippie "lets save the earth by not bathing" music playing in the background! That got me thinking, am I the only gardener out there that listens to REAL rock and roll? Something like Lynyrd Skynyrd or AC/DC that gets you heart pumping and gets you excited!! Am I the only gardener out there that likes watching Mixed Martial Arts and enjoys a good uppercut or an awesome arm bar submission? Am I a gardening anomaly? Let me know if you are a rock & roll gardener or a hippie gardener! In the mean time enjoy some HELL YEAH!                                                  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tightwad deal of the day!

So after I lost my Bradford Pear this summer, I wanted to replace it with a Magnolia or Dogwood tree. Unfortunately I couldn't find one in this area this late in the season and being the tightwad that I am I didn't want to order one and pay anywhere from $200 to $500. Today I just happen to be helping my son sell boyscout popcorn at the local Lowe's, when I got bored and wanted to stretch my legs. When it was slow I strolled out into the garden area and found all the trees and shrubs were on clearance. I found a 10 foot tall Eastern Redbud for only $20!!! Normally this would cost 10 times that at a local garden center.
As you can see I didn't plant it exactly where the old tree was, I decided to plant it at the center of the front yard. Next spring I am going to have to adjust the mulch ring around the tree to get it centered and will have to re-seed on the left side to fill in the other parts.

Hopefully by this spring the tree will resemble something like this!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday easy listening!

Watch "Wings - Band On The Run (Original Video)" on YouTube

Friday, September 14, 2012

Tomorrows Tightwad Gardeners

Today I got to spread my gardening Knowledge with all the First Graders at Stephen Decatur Elementary.

They had been learning about composting in the classroom and I was able to bring in some real world examples of composting and explain to them why they should compost and the benefits of doing it. I brought in 2 mason jars, one filled with regular dirt that is common around here, and the other full of nice and rich compost. The kids got to poke at it, play with the worms that were in it and see what the differences between the two were. I also brought in a couple of Geraniums, one planted in compost dirt and the other planted in the regular dirt. Of course the compost Geranium was almost 4 times as big. All the kids had lots of questions and of course lots of comments about composting and gardening.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Around the Yard

Looks like I might have to wait until Thanksgiving for pumpkins this year.

New growth on my Weigela cuttings in the greenhouse.

New growth on the red twig dogwood shrub cuttings after 3 weeks.

Rose of Sharon showing some new growth also!
Planted 12 shrubs and mulched front porch area last fall for only $40, one more season of pruning and it should look pretty good.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Morning Glory

For some reason today my Morning Glory plants bloomed until about 2PM. That is very unusual for this plant because just like their name, they bloom in the morning time. Once the sun and the heat of the afternoon come out, the blooms close up until the next morning.  I am not sure if it was because of the humidity or being cloudy today that kept the blooms open longer, or that due to the drought we had this summer that the plant is really taking off now. Whatever the reason, it was nice to see the color around the mailbox while I worked out in my yard this afternoon. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Doobie Brothers


Composting organisms require four equally important things to work effectively:
  • Carbon — for energy; the microbial oxidation of carbon produces the heat, if included at suggested levels .
    • High carbon materials tend to be brown and dry.
  • Nitrogen — to grow and reproduce more organisms to oxidize the carbon.
    • High nitrogen materials tend to be green (or colorful, such as fruits and vegetables) and wet.
  • Oxygen — for oxidizing the carbon, the decomposition process.
  • Water — in the right amounts to maintain activity without causing anaerobic conditions.

In my yard I took 4 pallets I had left over from building the deck on the back of my house and nailed them together to make an open air composter and stuck it behind my yard barn in the corner of my yard, nice and out of the way. I left the bottom and top open, the bottom so worms could work their way into the compost bin and help speed up the composting process.

I try and have an equal mix of green matter and brown matter in my compost bin to get the right amount of carbon and nitrogen to use in my garden beds. In the open air compost it takes a little longer than some of the compost tumblers you see on the market, but mine didn't cost me a dime.

I try to avoid putting yard clippings that contain weeds, because eventually those weeds will end up where ever you use the compost. Also I never include any kinds of meats or dairy products in the compost. Ideally any plant material like grass clippings, leaves or leftover vegetables from the kitchen are good. Coffee grounds are another great thing to include in your compost for the "brown" part of composting, so if you want to be one of those people that goes to Starbucks and harass the employees for old coffee grounds have at it.

Eventually Applying the compost to the yard or your garden is a great way to improve the soil, it works as a natural fertilizer and it helps reduce waste.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Which one do you think I should plant this fall?

Do you think the pink Magnolia would look good in my front yard?

or do you think the pink Dogwood would look better?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Wine and Rose Weigela

Last fall I bought 5 Wine and Rose Weigela for $2 a piece, they were a little wirey and unkept when I got them but I couldn't pass up a deal like that because they Usually sell for between $20-$40. They took longer than most shrubs I own to show any signs of life this spring, but once they did the blooms looked great. After it was done blooming I pruned them back to give them a more compact and fuller look. Once the drought ended this summer and it rained regularly, the shrubs doubled in size and are blooming for a second time this season. I am currently trying to grow more from some cuttings I have from when I pruned them, so hopefully next spring I can add even more of them to the yard.

Propagating plants

This Guy has some really good ideas for growing your own plants for really cheap!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

How to attract hummingbirds

I use a mixture of 1 cup sugar and 3 cups water in my hummingbird feeders. I don't add red food coloring to the mix because the hummingbirds will still come without it.


Plants to Attract and Feed Hummingbirds

Trees and Shrubs

  • Azalea
  • Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
  • Cape Honeysuckle
  • Flame Acanthus
  • Flowering Quince
  • Lantana
  • Manzanita
  • Mimosa
  • Red Buckeye
  • Tree Tobacco
  • Turk's Cap
  • Weigela


  • Coral Honeysuckle
  • Cypress Vine
  • Morning Glory
  • Scarlet Runner Bean
  • Trumpet Creeper
Female Ruby-throat and Columbines
Photo © Ann D. Martin


Some may be annuals or perennials depending on climate.


  • Bee Balm (Monarda)
  • Canna
  • Cardinal Flower
  • Columbine
  • Coral Bells
  • Four O'Clocks
  • Foxglove
  • Hosta
  • Hummingbird Mint (Agastache)
  • Little Cigar
  • Lupine
  • Penstemon
  • Yucca


  • Beard Tongue (and other penstemons)
  • Firespike
  • Fuchsia
  • Impatiens
  • Jacobiana
  • Jewelweed
  • Petunia
  • Various Salvia species