A straw bale cold frame is a temporary structure used to protect hardy vegetables in autumn and winter. They require no building skills and are quick and easy to put together. Once the bales are in place, they’re topped with a clear material like an old window or a piece of polycarbonate. With the arrival of spring, the frames are taken apart and the straw can be used for straw bale gardens, mulching, or added to the compost bin. Keep reading to learn more about straw bale cold frames.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw a rex begonia vine. At the Naples Botanic Garden in Florida, I spied it tumbling down over the side of a very tall container and I was awestruck. I had never seen a Cissus discolor plant before and fell immediately in love. I’ve had this beautiful plant growing in my patio pots or on my windowsill ever since. In this article, I’ll share the many virtues of this climbing plant. I’ll also fill you in on how to take care of it, regardless of whether you grow it indoors or out. Plus, you’ll learn three ways you can propagate Cissus discolor to share it with friends.
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Preparing raised beds for winter, if you garden in them, should be an essential part of your autumn to-do list. I have several raised beds, and there are a few steps I take before I call it a season and give my green thumbs a break for the winter. Some of those tasks I start to think about in late summer. Others I try to make sure I do as I don more layers to go outside and finish up before the snow flies.
Low tunnel hoops are one of my favorite ways to extend the homegrown harvest in my vegetable garden as well as protect my crops from pests. These compact structures are just miniature greenhouses and are quick and easy to build. I make mine from easily sourced materials like PVC conduit or 9 gauge wire and top them with an assortment of lightweight covers. Keep reading to learn how you can use low tunnel hoops to maximize production in your vegetable garden.
The succulent, tasty leaves of homegrown spinach are beyond compare, but spinach can be a struggle for some gardeners to grow. Spinach is particular about its growing conditions and knowing when to harvest spinach can mean the difference between a big harvest and a minuscule one. In this article, I’ll offer tips on when to harvest both baby greens and mature leaves for a long 3- or 4-season harvest. I’ll also teach you how to overwinter spinach plants for an extra early spring harvest.
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Planting spring-flowering bulbs is an essential part of my fall gardening to-do list. Every spring, I anxiously await their staggered flowering times. Knowing when to fertilize bulbs ensures that I enjoy that variety of blooms in my ever-growing collection of naturalized and perennial bulbs year after year.