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Our www.WisconsinGarden.net website archives our first 300 Videos. So whether you're a first time visitor or loyal subscriber, we will continue to keep you posted on our latest garden adventures here on WisconsinGarden.com, as we look forward to receiving your wonderful questions and comments.
Richard and I just wanted to thank all of our amazing
subscribers and viewers who have helped us surpass a major milestone in
reaching over 1,000,000 views this past week. You guys are simply
incredible. Your support is deeply appreciated and continues to inspire
us to continue creating more Wisconsin
2014 was a challenge for our garden crops due to a cool and wet spring and
early summer. Mid and late summer was one of the coldest on record
greatly affecting and prolonging our tomato and pepper crop production.
It only produced about 1/3 our normal production and sadly so much less to
As many of you know Richard and I have already self-published over 50 books in
the last 4 years. We also found time to finished our 12-week Level 1
Wisconsin Master Gardening classes as well as teaching several adult classes at
the University of Wisconsin Osher Program plus classes at Waukesha County
Technical College LIR Program on "How To Self-Publish Your Book For
Free. Richard also taught a 2-Day workshop teaching his unique Doodle
Puzzle Design drawing technique. So as you can see it's been a very busy and
productive year despite Richard's lingering foot injury in April after planting
12 new trees.
Anyway, we just wanted to thank all of our garden family members for an amazing
year receiving so many wonderful and supportive comments and questions.
We just wanted to wish your and your family, and even that 'One Person' who
periodically gives us a Thumbs Down, a Happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous
New Year as we head to the next goal in breaking 2,000,000 views. Thanks
again for watching and sharing our Wisconsin
LOL Lynn & Richard
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Last weekend we learned about grafting a tree branch using related scion cuttings onto root stock. The art of grafting is something both Rick and I always wanted to learn and found our class at Wellspring educational center in West Bend, Wisconsin very enjoyable. After a basic yet thorough introduction we actually had hands-on lessons in wedge and saddle grafting techniques. Now it’s time to transplant the root stock into containers and eventually find them a new home somewhere in our garden.
We met two passionate entrepreneurs who created a great garden product for organizing your seeds. Carol Niec and Kerrie Rosenthal are the energetic creators of The Seed Keeper. We love their monthly dividers and expandable container, seed sorting dish, anti-static tweezers, magnifying glass, wooden stakes, labels, handy nail scrubber, and burlap girdles all part of their very handy kit. We’ll enjoy collecting seeds and keeping them organized in a secure container. Sure beats using old shoe boxes. Thanks Carol & Kerrie.
Our Chicago flower slide show contains some of Richard’s photos in addition to our Wisconsin Garden Video Blog #568 Flowers In Chicago. With spring only a couple of days away, like most gardeners who live in cold climates we can’t wait for warmer weather so we can get busy in our own gardens. There a lot to do, new ideas to explore, and never enough flowers or greenery to satisfy our visual palettes. We hope you also enjoy this companion video.
Today were visiting flowers in Chicago on a bus tour with our Ozaukee County master gardeners group. Thanks to our leader Dan O’Neil, he’s arranged a wonderful tour where we’ll be visitng the Chicago Flower & Garden Show at Navy Pier and then in the afternoon the Lincoln Park Conservatory. Seeing that we’re only a couple a day away from spring with the temperature near 70, it was the perfect day to visit some amazing exhibits. We even got to see the river colored green in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day. Share a little bit of spring and come along.
We neglected pruning peach trees on a yearly basis so after several years of uncontrolled growth it’s time to do some drastic pruning. After doing our research we will be eliminating all branches that aren’t at an upward 30-45 degree angle. We will also keep the center vase open for sunlight and air circulation. And while this will be drastic pruning we are confident that this will regenerate new growth that we will keep under control.
Here’s a fun dollar store garden where we bought seed plant kits that come with a little terrarium. We asked our grandson Logan to help us prepare the peat pods and get the seeds started. Here’s an inexpensive little project to start with your family and this might be the perfect time of year to find these and other plant kits at your local dollar store. What will your family grow?
Exploring more indoor garden ideas while the snow flies is a lot of fun. Today we’re exploring ways to save money, use recycled materials as seed starters, and inexpensive ways to bring more greenery and flowers indoors to enjoy year round. Those of us who live in colder climate zones truly appreciate fragrant flowers and even the smell of garden soil in anticipation of venturing outdoors to tend our gardens. See some of the bargains we brought home today.
What a wonderful winter surprise that landed on our doorstep this afternoon. FedEx delivered a large box and when we opened it we were amazed at what was inside. The box came from Dramm corporation who was kind enough to share an amazing assortment of 2015 goodies that you have to see to believe. We’re anxious to test them just as soon as possible. This is a Dramm good winter surprise. Thanks Dramm!
NOTE: Dramm Corporation is a garden product wholesaler not retailer.
Here are some quick access links to some of these winter surprise items.
Many have asked what we do in the off season, well, today is book signing day. While the snow flies we’ve been very busy writing and self-publishing 52 books over the past 3 years along with creating lots of artwork and decorating gourds when we’re not outside tending our Wisconsin Garden. In addition we also teach adult education classes at our local university and county technical college. And if that doesn’t keep us busy, there is always snow to shovel, ice to attack, and lots of hot cocoa to keep us warm. So, what do you do when you’re not gardening?
January is the perfect time to make your garden plans. It’s time to look at seed catalogs and decide what kind of fruits and vegetables you choose to grow. If you’re planning on growing the same kind of plants, don’t forget to rotate your crops and add compost to refresh and amend your soil. By taking special care of your soil, your plants will reward you with a bountiful harvest. Here are some of the considerations we apply to our garden plans.
Yesterday we took you on our winter garden tour and wanted you to see that changing landscape 24 hours later. Now that a couple of inches of snow covered our Wisconsin winter land we were amazed to find hardly any rabbit tracks. After our last November snowfall every part of our entire yard and garden areas were covered by an invasion of rabbits tracks and droppings causing our dogs to go wild. No place was off limits but today a strange absence of rabbits. Take a peek at how the landscaped change in just 24 hours.
Beside writing and publishing books, creating art gourds is one of our favorite art activities during the winter months. Here’s a video makeover on one of Lynn’s construction techniques for creating her Spirit Dolls made from home-grown gourds. It’s fun following the natural patterns of the gourd itself and figuring out how to join different pieces to give them their own identity by colorfully decorating each doll in the series. We hope it inspires you to give this a try.
We wanted to take you on a winter garden tour before everything is covered with snow. Even though we’ve had sub-zero weather and some snow in November it’s amazing to actually see what continues to develop even during plant hibernating. We left last year’s plants growth remain until spring before we clear out old growth to help insulate plants from winter thaw, show shrubs and trees we’ll be pruning in February, and explore the different shades of green that still exists in our Wisconsin Garden.
Rabbit round up is a common problem for gardeners. It’s important to comply with your state and local laws when dealing with wildlife in your garden. It’s also important to protect plants, woody bushes and trees from the damage rabbits, deer, voles, and field mice can and will create when hungry. Some measures gardeners take to control over population in their garden are distasteful but necessary. Today we will look at some of the protective measures we take in our Wisconsin Garden.
Caring for African Violets is one of my favorite indoor garden projects year round. I check on them at least once a week and do not fertilize them over the winter months. I mainly check their soil condition levels, need for aeration and watering needs, along with trimming off old leaves and when necessary repotting them in an appropriate size container. Talking to them while I work also proves to be beneficial especially for my green thumbs.
I like to save my favorite coleus cuttings from year to year. One way of saving coleus is through propagation. Before the first frost I bring in several annual cuttings for transplanting in a simple water and perlite solution. Water rooting works best for my transplants better than plain tap water. It helps give the stem and leaves stronger support while developing a healthier root system that eventually will go into a light potting soil. See this easy coleus cutting process.
Want to become a foster parent for SUPER Pollinators? With Honey bees disappearing here’s something you can do in your backyard garden or patio balcony and not worry about getting stung. This video is an amazing introduction to the highly efficient, solitary Mason and Leafcutter bees. Just one blue orchard mason bee can do the work of 100 honey bees and is 99.7 percent efficient in pollinating, flowers, fruit trees, and vegetable plants. Watch and learn how you can support this important mission.
It’s time for dig up, inspect and store our Elephant Ears. After a major frost all the leaves dropped to the ground letting us know it’s time to harvest them. Once out of the ground we’ll carefully inspect each bulb to make sure it’s completely healthy and store them in a cool, dry, and dark area. We’ll also be harvesting our Gladioli corms and new baby cormlets and inspecting them for any possible weak or diseased areas.
Many gardeners grow cold weather vegetable to extend their harvests. Today we will be harvesting several varieties of kale, Swiss chard, Chinese cabbage, and beets and making a healthy and tasty salad direct from the garden. Depending on your taste buds, you may want to consider growing other cold hardy vegetables such as, spinach, carrots, bibb and romaine lettuce, winter squash, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, onions and leeks.
Late fall is the ideal time for digging and storing tubers, rhizomes, and other tender bulbs for next year. Tubers are those long finger like root structures that grow underground and are responsible for storing and supplying all the food energy reserves for a plant’s new buds and blossoms. We will be carefully digging up our Dahlias and other tender fall bulbs that I’ll wash, dry, and store in our basement over winter.
Build a berm is a great way to reduce the imprint of lawn cutting and establish or expand more usable garden space. This is how we established all our garden berm areas using nature’s own leaf compost. Thanks to all our wonderful neighbors, they help support our garden by delivering their bagged leaves and grass clippings that we then add to our raised vegetable beds and flower beds around our Wisconsin garden.
Fall is a great time to begin installing winter tree protection for all your new perennial wood stock plants and trees. Last winter we had 3 feet of standing snow and the rabbits, mice, and voles severely damaged many of our new trees and plants despite having taken measures to protect them. This year we’re going to be more aggressive in our wire cage systems places around our peony trees, apple, cherry, and peach trees. This is how we’re going to approach it this year.
We’re at that time of year where we’re about to harvest the last vegetable from our garden. While the kale and Chinese broccoli continues to grow along with other fall hardy plants today we are harvesting our potato bucket surprise and a beautiful head of Napa cabbage. We’re anxious to see how many potatoes we get this time from Ranjit’s starter potato buckets. Then it’s off to the kitchen to prepare another delicious garden salad for supper. Join us.
Using free leaf compost is what started all of our garden berm areas which over the years have produced some amazing soil. It all started with placing signs around our property asking our neighbors for their bagged leaf and grass clippings. That first year we received several thousand bags. We ended up with 4-5 foot tall piles of leaves that started our raised berms. Every year we continue to ask our neighbors and they delivered garden gold to our doorstep that has become a local tradition of receiving natures free compost.
A garden take down is a yearly sporting event. Yes, the time has come to remove all of our vegetable plants from the raised beds and prep the garden soil for next year. It’s very important to remove all the ground litter and veggie scraps to prevent unwanted pests, infestation and diseases from accumulating while at the same time amending the soil for spring by adding lots of grass clippings and leaf mulch here in Wisconsin. Living in a residential area often means removing an entire trailer load of plant material off to the recycling center.
Harvesting kale in fall is a great time to preserve them. Today we are selecting several varieties and drying them in our dehydrator for later use in stews, soups and salads. A cup of kale is full of powerful antioxidants, has no grams of fat, prevent constipation, lowers blood sugar, builds on immune system, and is full of vitamin A, C & K.
The health related benefits to adding kale to your diet is amazing and well worth spending time researching. Kale is will always be a delicious staple in our Wisconsin Garden because it thrives in cooler climates.
Today we had the pleasure of visiting an Amish community in Kingston Wisconsin. Richard Lee Dawley was our tour guide and a former guidance counselor who taught with Richard at Eight Street Middle School in Milwaukee. We’ve taken several classes from him on the Amish and were honored to have him as our tour guide while taking in the beautiful fall morning countryside.
Because of him we were granted exclusive permission to visit children in an Amish classroom while in session, several cabinet and furniture makers, bakeries, bulk food stores, and even experienced being served an amazing luncheon served in an Amish home by a wonderful family. The bench seating next to handmade tables were filled with mashed potatoes, cream peas, baked chicken, ham, and gravy, coleslaw, slices of fresh baked bread, real butter and cream & coffee, followed by banana cream pie, blueberry pie and cinnamon apple pie was more than anyone could ever dream of eating. It was absolutely delicious and a rare treat!
Don’t believe all those false myths about the Amish. They simply are not true. They live their faith. Approach them with respect for their chosen lifestyle. If you have an opportunity to visit an Amish community we encourage you to take the time to visit. You won’t be disappointed.
Back by popular demand. It’s that time of year to create the perfect Halloween zucchini candy treat for the whole family and friends. Make them guess exactly how you made this and don’t reveal your secret ingredient until they have eaten them all. Keep them guessing while they gobble them down like gummy worms. I’m sure you can think of many different ways to cut, shape, and prep them, including the secret sauce these garden veggies soak in to give them the exact flavoring you want, whether sweet, soar, or blazing hot. Have fun making this delicious holiday treat.
Today we’re harvesting and saving Peony Tree seeds from one of our mature plants. The seed pods have turned brown and have just started to open so before they fall to the ground we’re saving seeds. A couple of years ago we ordered and began planting 2,000 seeds, 32 color varieties, but our 2013-14 winter was so snow covered (2-3’ for several months) that the rabbits, voles and mice ate everything under and on top of the snow cover. Despite all of our efforts to cover and protect these seedlings only 17 survived.
It’s the first day of fall in Wisconsin and we’re not in the garden. Instead we decided to spend the afternoon along the southern shoreline of beautiful Lac La Belle in Oconomowoc Wisconsin. It’s warmer today than it has been during most of our strange summer and it’s a delight to enjoy the calm waves and simply taking time to relax and enjoy nature. We hope you take time off for yourself to sit, relax, and enjoy the peace and quiet in your hometown.
Here’s a handy shovel & saw garden tool we were recently asked to test out in our garden. Like you, we always want to purchase a tool that’s sturdy, well built, ergonomic, light weight, functional, and cost effective. While we rarely create videos that feature specific tools we felt this one worthy of sharing. This $60 Assassin Shovel & Saw proved to meet our garden criteria with flying colors and just may be the perfect tool for your garden.
CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW - CHECK OUT THS HANDY TOOL
Our pot luck garden came as a singular potato surprise, along with lots of pollinators, and a vegetable second harvest. Some times garden experiments don’t always turn out as expected but challenge the mind of gardeners to figure out a solution after rethinking other possibilities. We’re just thankful that the weather, while strange, has granted Mother Nature enough warmth and daylight to ripen our veggies. We empathize with our garden family who are also facing weather related challenges around the world also affecting their harvest.
Perfect plantselection has been color coded by a local growing making the right choiceeasier for every part of a garden. Whether full or partial sun, partial or full shade, their colorbrochures feature the perfect plants and includes plant temperament, such as amountof sunlight or shade, best planting time, color development and a circular iconguide specifying watering needs, whether ground cover for small & largeareas, grasses for screening, vines, long blooming plants, cut and driedflowers or seed heads, rock gardens, attracts birds, butterflies andhummingbirds, and even deer resistant. This is a handy tool you may want to find in your area.
Creating a quick and simple salsa recipe right from your garden is easy when growing even a couple of plants on your patio or backyard. Our family really enjoys making salsa on the fly. After all, when you have all the major ingredients at your fingertips, it’s hard to resist. The wonderful thing about test testing your own salsa, is your ability to amend the basic recipe to match your taste. Some like it mild while others can’t get it hot enough to satisfy their taste buds. That’s what makes growing your own so much fun. Here’s a really basic but yummy recipe.
Today was a beautiful day in our September garden, walking around to enjoy the final blooms before late fall and winter arrive. With such an unusually cool temperature over summer, we really appreciate the warmth of the sun as do many of the fall vegetables waiting to ripen. Many annuals plant them selves as they drop their seeds for the next season or simply get transported and dropped by the many birds who frequent our Wisconsin garden. So if you’re curious as to what still growing, join us on our stroll.
After four years it’s time to trim and train our weeping cherry tree now that’s it’s starting to encroach over our doggy sidewalk. We have decided to trim branches to hip level and thin out over grown branches. To train them we will be using recycling old water bottles, copper wire, and even some branch braiding. Working together, we will show and discuss how we’ll design the overall shape of our weeping cherry tree.
Our late August harvest is finally producing ripe tomatoes. After a cool spring, wet June & July, we have had little to harvest as the majority of tomatoes are still green here in zone 5. While all of our squash plants have been very prolific, by now we would have been giving hundreds of tomatoes away to family, friends and neighbors. Now we just have to hope September and October is ample time for the remaining crops to ripen.
Weather and humid growing conditions cause and often require a plant mildew treatment. Once those little fuzzy powerdry mildew spots start to appear on one plant, they’re most likely going to spread to your surrounding plants. Before they do, I’d like to share a couple of simple ingredients probably already sitting in your kitchen closet that can organically treat and effectively stop the further spread of more mildew. This is a safe mixture you can use on any kind of vegetable, flower, bush or tree. Just remember to always thoroughly wash any fruit or vegetable before eating.
We thought be should do an August garden tour before many of the blossoming plants drop their flowers. While this has been a very cool summer, upper 60’s and mid 70’s, with som rare 80 degree days, the flowering bushes are doing extremely well. Our vegetables on the other hand are struggling and just starting to ripen. Who knows what September and October harvest will look like this year. We know we’re not alone thanks to all your comments.
Here’s our summer garden update. With an unusually cool spring and summer, some of our vegetables are yet to produce edible fruit despite nearing mid August. While our berry tomatoes have been producing limited numbers, we have yet to eat our first large tomato. With over 15 inches of rain in June and July, it has just been too cool. Tomatoes and egg plants love hot weather. Add hail damage and it makes for an interesting garden.
Adding a water feature is a creative option. Many years ago we had a huge tree that needed to be removed. We could have have simply had the stump ground down. Instead we build an ever expanding pond over it as a three tiered waterfall. With grandchildren, we decided to temporarily use only the main pond for enjoying our fish and flowering water plants. Perhaps someday we’ll reactivate the waterfall. Here’s our creative solution.
Today we’re going to be harvesting Kale and preserving it in our food dehydrator. Once the kale is picked, we’ll inspect each leaf before cutting it up into bite size pieces and then spread them on the drying trays. In addition to harvesting our Kale, we’ll be picking raspberries in both the south and north gardens, as well as, checking on how our zucchini and tomatoes are progressing while the Kale is drying.
Sooner or later a gardener can be found trimming bushes not only early spring and late fall, but in mid summer. Having the right tool makes this job much easier. Today we’ll share 3 basic trimming tools, a ratching hand trimmer, hand hedge trimmer and electric hedge trimmer that we use around our Wisconsin garden all year round. Each one has its purpose and using them safely should always be a priority. We’ll also discuss some of the other plants, bushes, and trees we also keep trimmed. Come join us.
Here are some of my favorite garden tools, one I found today and others I consider to be essential beyond the typical shovel, rake, hoe, and pitch fork. I rely on these ratcheting prunners, loppers, bush and tree trimmers, but most of all my gloves, kneeling pad, garden knife and other useful tools. Today I’ll be climbing up a tree to show you how these work. Come join me for today’s adventures.
Join our July garden tour as we walk about our Wisconsin garden to see what’s growing. A lot has changed since our spring garden tour and we thought you’d enjoy seeing an update. While most of the spring blooms are done, after nearly 12 inches of rain in June all of our summer plants are really happy and healthy. Even some perennials the rabbits destroyed this winter are coming back in full force. See what’s growing now.
be surprised how many regional plants are native to your part of the world. We might even take them for granted as we drive through the countryside. Our local garden center has dedicated an area to native plants of Wisconsin and we decided to select some more for our floral garden. Join us in our garden adventures as we also add another pollinator tree.
Mulching with straw is a great way to retain ground moisture, reduce weeding, and keep fruit off the ground. Today we bought 30 bales for all of our raised vegetable beds, squash area, and raised bed strawberry patch.
It’s a simple yet effective way to keep the sunlight off unwanted weeds. Yes, weeds are in the eye of the beholder, but in our garden we prefer our enriched soil to promote the feeding of our veggies.
Reseeding our flower bed was necessary due to over 8 inches of rain that wash many seeds away. It also gave us another opportunity to find my favorite giant zinnas that I normally grow outside my kitchen door and walkway. I love the variety of zinna colors that always attract the butterflies to our flower garden areas. So, we are replacing the stadium seeding technique on a prior video by reseeding the same flower bed.
Garden art tells a story of individual surprises that add flavor and personality about every gardener. From a simple lawn art ornament to hanging wind chimes, garden art adds character and personal pleasure. Over the years Lynn has gathered a variety of unique items placed among her garden beds that always seem to delight our family and friends. Join us in a colorful garden art tour of what’s hiding in Lynn’s Wisconsin Garden.
We’re gathering grass clippings from our neighbor Dean who had been keeping grass mulch and leaf compost for us since last year. The fine leaf compost is going into a flower beds while the coarser, less composted, leaf and grass cuttings will be added to a new mound. All of our berm mounds started from thousands of donated grass clipping and leaf mulch from neighbors over the years producing very fertile garden soil.
Even beautiful flowers can create garden clutter. We’re removing flowers, 4 ½ wheel barrows worth, mainly Colubine and white daisy plants that seeded themselves over the last couple of years. Once removed we can reclaim and see flowering plants that had been smothered by over-grown flowers, unwanted weeds, and a gadzillion maple tree seedlings that have sprouted everywhere. Many plants will now be able to see sunlight and thrive.
Lynn received a garden surprise when she returned from her high school class reunion this afternoon. Many years ago one of her favorite fragrant bushes died and today here’s her replacement along with several other goodies. May everyone have someone special in their life to surprise especially for someone who’s as passionate about gardening as is Lynn. It’s the simple pleasures in life that often mean the most. Enjoy!
Lynn’s garden areas for annual seeds outside the kitchen is normally reserved for giant Zinnias, but this year she is planting a variety of Nasturtiums, Bachelor Buttons and two kinds of Cosmos in a stadium seeding (seating) arrangement. She’s simply broadcasting seeds by hand, raking them into the soil and watering. Then off to several other garden areas for sowing more flower seeds.
is truly a cool day in the garden after a brief muggy hot spell. This cool spell is perfect for taking care of several tasks that needed to be addressed. Today we will be removing some invasive plants and adding more vegetables and flowers in our raised bed gardens. See what Lynn is up to today in our Wisconsin Garden.
We’re excited about catching rain thanks to our new rain barrel and rain water diverter systems around our gardens. After our first heavy rain storm we able to watch and hear how this system works catching rain. Now that we have free water, it’s time to add some more plants and water the garden. Here’s a brief video of our experiment.
Thanks to our neighbor Josh, Lynn started grass rolling our lawn with the mini road roller. Lynn’s fearless when it comes to trying out garden equipment. Then of course Rick had to hop on and do the tricky parts backing up and rolling forward around the curves. It was a great experience as boys and girls love big toys to play with in the garden. Then our grandson had to join in for a school photo op. We all had fun. Thanks Josh!
There’s always room for more container gardens, even if you live in a small apartment with lots of window or even a small balcony. Today we’ll be adding a dozen containers to our garden that include seeds sent to us by viewers. Whether planting vegetables, herbs, or flowers, adding a few container gardens can add a delicious treat to your food or the amazing fragrance from your favorite flowers.
Spend a day in the garden with us as Rick follows me around with his camera as we continue to add more goodies. Whether starting with seeds or plants, preparing good composted garden soil, loose and friable, is crucial to a bountiful harvest. We will be planting a variety of heirloom seeds and plants, including tomatoes, kale, Chinese cabbage, beans, peas, spinach, and eventually Marigolds and Sweet Alyssum.
You may already have a safer weed killer in your kitchen or bathroom cabinets. Today I’ll be sharing a pretty effective weed killing formula I received from a friend from high school. We’re experimenting with these 3 common household ingredients to see how quickly the unwanted plants react once sprayed. Take a peek at how well this works.
Bravely ask for free mulch anytime you hear someone in your neighborhood cutting down or trimming trees. Mulch is a wonderful resource for any garden, especially your trees, flowers, and shrubs. You’ll also be surprise to learn you’ll be helping the tree trimmers out from dumping them miles away and in the process getting truckloads for free mulch at the same time. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Don’t forget to tip generously.
It’s finally time for planting tomatoes and peppers as we near the end of May. Most years May 15th is an acceptable time to begin planting, but because many of the Great Lakes are still covered with ice we had to wait. I’ll share the secret sauce for planting sweet, healthy, and luscious tomatoes and peppers using common ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
Now that the strawberry patch is blossoming, it’s time for spring cleaning the raised beds. Due to the standing winter snow, the squirrels and chipmunks didn’t eat all the maple seeds that have now sprouted everywhere. Our task today is to pull out all of the seeds that have now sprouted before they take over this part of the garden. Bring your virtual gloves and join us in this ongoing adventure.
Today we’re rewiring our grape arbor set up. We originally used coated aluminum wire but over the last couple of years the weight stretched our wire and we needed to rewire the grape arbor and replace it with a twisted galvanized wire as a more permanent solution. Here’s what we had to do to correct our grape arbor set up.
Here is a quick recap of planting berry bushes today. We’ve add several more blackberries, blue berries, and three new Goji berry bushes. We didn’t know Goji Berry bushes could survive zone 5, but according to the label this variety can weather our cold Wisconsin winters. Seeing that they grow 60”- 84” tall we needed to plant them in the north garden area near the Raspberries. We’re anxious to see how they produce.
Now that our foundation is ready we can install our free water capture system, using a water diverter system that feeds each of our 50 gallon rain barrels. We have installed two rain barrels at each down end off our front porch to water our east gardens and a dual rain barrel system off the garage that will help water the north garden beds. Come see how we installed this free water capture system.
Today we are placing our 50 gallon rain barrels into position and preparing a level foundation that will support its weight, yet give us above ground access to free water from our rooftops. With a couple of bags of paver gravel, 3 cinder blocks, and a large concrete stepping stone we’ll be ready to position our rain barrels and then hook up our free water capture system.
Every garden and every gardener loves free water. Water is a precious resource we all need to conserve and collect. Instead of continuing to collect and rotate 5 gallon buckets of rain water, we decided to invest in four 50 gallon rain barrels. We also made some stops along the way in celebration of Lynn’s 500th Video Blog and picked up some more goodies for our Wisconsin Garden. We’re deeply grateful to all our wonderful viewers who’ve joined our extended garden family, and for all your supportive comments and questions.
Today we’re preparing a special garden soil in our raised beds. Creating a healthy soil mixture is the most important task you need to attend if you want to grow a healthy and prolific garden. Last year we added sand, peatmoss, and lots of compost and this year we’re adding Perlite, Vermiculite and more compost. This special garden soil mixture should keep the soil loose, retain moisture, and give plant roots room to fully develop.
Each year we are challenged by preparing a garden and making plant selections for the growing season. In addition to the heirloom vegetable plants we’re growing in our indoor greenhouse from seed, we’re adding other favorites from our local garden center. Join us in a quick visit of our plant selection for our Wisconsin garden.
Despite the wind we wanted to take you on our May garden tour so that you can see how much has grown in just the last three weeks since our first spring garden tour. It is absolutely amazing now that the weather is getting warmer, every day you can literally watch the garden grow. Now that our daffodils and crocuses have withered, before more of our tulips disappear for the year we thought you’d like to see how things are progressing.
Congratulations Lynn on the release of your 500th Wisconsin Garden Video Blog. That’s an amazing accomplishment and commitment you’ve enjoyed sharing with nearly three quarter of a million viewers from 132 countries around the world in just a couple of years. We thank the thousands of faithful subscribers and viewers who have been ever so kind in sharing their ideas and comments with us. We’ve enclosed a special surprise we’d like to share from our garden to yours.
In celebration of our 500th garden video we wanted to thank you for your amazing support, kind comments, and timely questions. As a special thank you gift we are pleased to provide you with our PDF guide to our 500 Wisconsin Garden video blog links. CLICK HERE to grab your copy. Please include "500 Videos" in the subject line.
We’ve organized this incredible garden resource in two sections. The first section is organized by alphabetical topics from Apples to Zucchinis, indicating the number and title of the video along with the topic and sub topic references. You can use this as a quick reference to a topic of interest.
The second section provides sequential chronological listing of all of our videos by number, title, and brief description of that video and its link that you can simply copy and paste into your online browser.
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Here’s a month’s look at our spring bulb kit update in stages. Last fall in our Wisconsin Garden Video Blog 466 we experimented with four different Gardenline bulb tray kits, Each kit consisting of 25 bulbs in paper mache containers you simply bury in the ground that included; Queen of the night red tulips, blue, yellow, white Purissima tulips, allium Moly, blue grape hyacinths, daffodils, and little red sphaerocephalon alliums. Now that spring is here they are blooming. Come see for yourself.
Now that we reclaimed a garden area for planting bulbs the weather is cooperating and the time has come. Today we are adding a variety of bulbs including oriental lilies, dahlia, day lilies, and blue Agapanthus bulbs. While many bulbs are normally planted in the fall, these tender spring bulbs cannot withstand our zone 5 winters and need to be dug up each year then stored in a cool dark basement or closet. Now that the soil has been prepared and warm, it’s time to plant.
It’s time for feeding hummingbirds now that they are heading northward. Our neighbor called us and said she say here first hummingbird in her backyard so we immediately created a sugar hummingbird cocktail seeing that many of our flowering plants are just starting to emerge. We are also adding several hanging flower baskets in the vicinity to help in the law of attraction.
Transplanting seedlings at the right stage of development is crucial when starting plants from seeds. How to transplant them is also important if they are to succeed to the hardening stage before you plant them in your garden. I’ve prepared the soil, opened the seedling birthing station and will gently move them to larger pots filled with wet organic soil mixed with perlite. Then it’s just a matter of keeping a watchful eye and water as needed.
We thought we’d take you on our spring garden tour in response to our subscriber requests. Keep in mind that our 2-3 feet of standing snow melted almost a month ago and many plants are just peeking out of the soil. But seeing our garden areas in this state will give our viewers a clearer idea of the perennial beds that dot our eclectic Wisconsin Garden. Keep in mind we simply love experimenting and playing in our garden.
Here are some of our past garden tours you might also enjoy:
Planting summer bulbs in containers is a great idea for every one even with limited apartment space. Living in zone 5 here in Wisconsin, we have to dig up and store many bulb varieties that couldn’t survive our cold winters. Today we’re preparing three large resin containers for drainage and for planting 50 Gladiolus and 25 Dahlia bulbs. We are adding layers of lava rocks and river rock for weight and drainage purposes before adding layers of special potting soil mixed with perlite to keep the soil loose and friable. Join us in our latest garden adventure.
Uncrystallizing Honey can be a sticky mess. However, crystallized honey is still good so don’t think you have to throw it away just because it hardens. This video shows how to carefully transfer crystallized honey from a plastic container to a glass ball or mason jar so that you can gently heat it back to a liquid state should it crystallize itself before you get to use up all the goodness.
Reclaiming a Flower Bed every 3-6 years is an ongoing process when you have lots of different garden areas. Despite the wind we decided to get started in eliminating a bed of Tiger Lilies and clearing out and replanting one of our many flower beds for new bulbs and plants. Our son Skye is helping us dig up this area, rototill and rake. Seeing that it’s about to rain again, we will have to wait until tomorrow to start planting.
Check some of our related videos on planting bulbs:
A mulching machine has been on our Wish List for several years and today we’re putting this one to the test. Instead of breaking old branches by hand, now we can create really fine mulch for the compost bin or flower beds. In fall we’ll be mulching leaves for our raised beds using old plant heads and twigs. You can always rent one but always be safe and wear the proper safety gear.
How to dig a hole for planting apple trees is pretty basic but very important. Make sure to call Digger’s Hotline where possible to prevent some potentially dangerous hazards. Today we’re planting several Honeycrisp apple trees along with several McIntosh and a new dual-twisted apple trees that self-pollinate. We haven’t seen these available until this year. These would be great for anyone with very limited garden space.
We're going to be planting 6 new apple trees, including some dual-twisted self-polinating varieties along with several varieties of flower bulbs and some new gogi berry plants new to our zone. In addition we have some yellow raspberry, blackberry and giant blueberry plants to add to our eclectic Wisconsin garden this year. Now is the perfect time to get them in the ground this week.
Here’s a quick seed update on our simple seed starter video we posted a week ago. In video blog 486, simple seed starters you can see how the marigolds and heirloom bell pepper seedlings are coming along. They will have to remain in our indoor greenhouse until May 15 before going into our raised vegetable beds.
Now that nearly all the snow has melted it’s time for the unglamorous job of mulching old plants, bushes, and trees that need pruning and trimming. After this cold winter t’s wonderful to finally be out in all the garden areas with a lot of work ahead. But that’s the pure fun of gardening, watching all the new growth starting to emerge as the warmer spring weather pulls back the snow blankets of winter.
Recycling plastic containers make a great simple seed starter. Now that spring has arrived but it’s still too cold to plant outside, it’s a good time to start your seeds indoors. Here’s a great tip on how to start packets of seeds in your apartment or home and get them ready for plant outdoors when the weather is warmer.
Heirloom seeds are past down from generation to generation while open pollinated seeds breeds true to the mother plant. Heirloom seeds are open pollinated but an open pollinated seed is not an heirloom unless it's 50 years old or more. Hybrid seeds are a cross between two different plants often creating a meatier and tastier fruit but can also be dehybridzed. Today, we’ll attempt to preserve some heirloom seeds for up to 20 years.
The Rabbit Damage our Wisconsin garden encountered this winter has been rather extension. With over 62 inches of snow so far the rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, voles, and mice have dramatically stripped, and guirdled our fruit trees and bushes. Despite wrapping our new tree samplings last fall, they’re down to ground level and most of our raspberry, blackberry, grape, and blueberry bushes also experienced substantial winter damage.
Here’s a fun way to create self watering plants using free recycled materials or inexpensive items. If you’re going on vacation and don’t have anyone to water your plants, or simply preparing things for the garden, consider trying something very easy to create. With a little decorative flair, they also make great gifts. Let you imagination go wild.
Many people including our garden subscribers have commented about my garden hairdo over the past couple of years in a supportive manner. My friend Beverly asked me to do a video showing what I go through to create my spikey garden hairstyle. Several years ago my husband cut and created this hairdo and helped me learn how to do it myself. Now it takes me about 20 minutes to create and adjust it as needed and recreate every other day. If you too wondered, here’s my candid before, during, and after garden hairdo video.
OH NO MORE SNOW has been chanted loud and clear here in Wisconsin. Despite all the crazy weather patterns, white out blizzards, polar vortex, wind chill factors, avalanches, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, sunamis, drought in the South West, heavy rain and floods in Europe, and civil wars, most of us are extremely fortunate and blessed. Spring is only 32 days away and planting season begins in approximately 89 days here in Wisconsin.
You must see our mushroom kit bonanza. Two days ago we picked our first two button mushrooms only to find today our kit covered with far more than we can eat. In addition to keeping some for our salads and morning eggs, we decided to dehydrate mushrooms. With at least 1-2 months of production left look forward to harvesting many more. It’s a healthy edible activity for the entire family.
Here’s our mushroom kit update that charts the growth progress over the last several weeks. This is the first kit that encountered a little mold, but after scraping it away the mycelium continues to develop in button mushrooms. This is a great family experience and today we picked our first two mushrooms from our kit which will now be producing new mushroom every day for the next 60-90 days.
Each year we enjoy gardening in
winter with our indoor organic mushroom kits especially when it’s below zero
outside. The earthy smell of the soil
really gets our gardening juices flowing in anticipation of this year’s
gardening adventures. Mushrooms produce
so many health amazing benefits that it’s the perfect winter project for the
entire family to experience. See how
easy it really is to grow these button mushrooms.
We had a wonderful crop of parsnips
and carrots this year and decided early in December after the cold weather
settled in that we would dehydrate them.
The intensity of flavor is spectacular and something we highly recommend
whether drying in your microwave, oven, or dehydrator. It’s pretty easy and well worth the effort.
Want to know the basics on how to make apple sauce? Lynn wanted to finish using up our apples from our apple tree and decided to make some more apple sauce. If you’re new to the steam canning process and pre-cooking, here are some great tips on how to get started in your own kitchen.
Several viewers wanted to see our worm farm update. Having your own worm farm is a great way to recycle your garden scraps into garden gold called worm castings ideal for all your indoor plants as well. These little red wigglers do an incredible job, are prolific, and love to multiply. Using a simple bin or a worm condo, raising a worm farm is pretty easy. Plus it’s a fun activity for children of all ages.
Today is a perfect day for snuggling our garden leaf blankets over our raised vegetable and flower beds, including spreading leaf mulch over our strawberry plants, blueberries, and fruit trees. In spring we’ll add more compost and rototill the leaf mulch adding important nutrients deeper into the soil. We’ll also tree wrap our new fruit trees for the winter to prevent little critters from nibbling away tree bark.
We’re drying kale and parsley today as our first four letter word beginning with “S” starts to fly here in Wisconsin. While this may not be our final harvest of goodies from our Wisconsin Garden, we wanted another opportunity to preserve and dehydrate more vegetables and herbs for the coming months. Once we pick, wash, and prepare these leafy greens they will be ready for our food dryer.
Today marks an incredible personal accomplishment as a special treat arrived at our doorstep this morning that we wanted to share with all of our Wisconsin Garden viewers. It’s been a work in progress that Lynn has already spent a year working on that unfortunately few people make or take the time to start, let alone finish. Come see what arrived today and share the excitement of Lynn’s incredible personal accomplishment.
We saw our Ginkgo tree dropping all its leaves today as the morning sun broke through our bedroom window. We thought we would do a very quick video of this yearly event that happens very quickly, often in just one day. One day all the leaves are on the tree and the next, it’s raining Ginkgo leaves everywhere. They are so unique and I’m always fascinated by their fan-shaped leaves.
We’re planting an indoor Avocado grove now that Wisconsin has officially had temperatures below freezing. Instead of transplanting Avocado seeds singularly, we decided to plant 7 plants together in the same ceramic pot to conserve indoor space. All have great root systems so they should do very well over the winter. Now it’s just a matter of watering once a week. See how easy Avocados are to transplant together.
Lynn was making grape nectar a couple of years from our first grape harvest that left us with this creamy delicious drink. I never had something so smooth. I've asked Lynn to make some again this year. Now that all our experimental grape vines have been picked, it’s time to make some more of that heavenly nectar. My lips are anxiously waiting for that first magical taste again this year.
The lemon balm plant outside our kitchen window is a very fragrant calming herb that I will be dehydrating. Today I’m selecting several trays of leaves to dry in our dehydrator that I’ll be using in tea, soups, and other food toppings. You could easily do this in your oven as well. I’ll be crushing them up in tiny little pieces and storing them in a small canning glass jar.
Now that fall is nearly over it’s time for burying potted plants for the winter. One of the benefits is protecting them from being chewed upon now that they are buried inside our fenced raised garden area. We buried a couple of pau pau tree samplings, evergreens, Oak & Maple trees, and a couple of other twigs we’ve transplanted into pots this summer to monitor their growth development. Next spring we will find them all permanent homes.
Here’s a really easy way to plant flower bulbs in a pattern using bulb tray kits. Perhaps you've seen these handy prepackaged bulb trays from Holland consisting of 45 bulbs that you simply plant the entire tray in the ground in late fall. Once you bury them 5 inches below ground level simply give them a good watering. This is a truly a garden time saver. Can’t wait till spring to see how these beautiful flower patterns develop.
Several members asked us to do a video on harvesting plant seeds, so here it is. Collecting seeds or cultivating seed heads isn't something we normally do because our Wisconsin garden is an experimental mix of specimen plants from local nurseries or hybrid annual flowers we simply deadhead. Here are 4 of our flowering plants we did allow to go to seed specifically for their video requests.
It’s time for our annual fall garden cleanup after enjoying hundreds of pounds of bountiful harvest from this years Wisconsin garden. Today we will be collecting the last remaining green tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and squash in our north garden area. Once that’s done it’s time to pull out all the old plants and clean up all the raised garden beds preparing them for the winter months. Bring your gloves!
Iris winterizing is an important step I prefer to take each year as our flower beds expand. I cut them down not quite to ground level and make sure that I remove all debris that may harbor potential iris bore diseases. If you want to encourage healthy plant growth next spring here are some important techniques I prefer to use.
Digging up fall bulbs is a must if you want to protect flowering bulbs especially if you live in colder planting zones such as Wisconsin which is zone 5. Now that the weather is getting colder and the flowering season is over I am digging up as many of my gladiolus, calla lilies, and elephant ears and prepare them for storing over the winter.
Apple Roll Ups made from home-grown apples into fruit rollup apple treats the whole family will love. With an abundance of apples this year, this is just another fun way to prepare and dehydrate your extra seasonal fruit. While we have used this recipe on strawberries and apples, any combination should work. Here’s an easy way to make these delicious treats
We decided not to move our peony tree seedlings but simply prepare them for winter. In addition, we will be planting hundreds of seeds we purchased 2 years ago and protect them from the squirrels. They will need to go through the cold winter months and hopefully in spring we will see many more peony seedlings pop up.
This is our 3rd grape harvest from our six experimental grape vines. The first year produced heavenly nectar. Last year was too hot and this year was perfect weather with a bountiful harvest. We prefer to harvest our grapes to produce an amazing nectar rather than wine. Using half of this year’s harvest, so far we’ve made 5 pints of delicious this grape nectar and look forward to letting the rest of the grapes ripen on the vine until frost.
If you love apples, you’ll love this handy apple tool that peels, slices, and cores. For under $20 it is a time saver. We thank Dee, one of our viewers, for recommending it. Today we are dehydrating apples and this little tool is perfect for that job. This manual machine is so fast I couldn't keep up with Rick coring apples and putting sliced sections on the dehydrating trays. Take a peek and see how this works.
Everyone should have an apple sauce tree in their backyard. This is the first time we’ve harvested 2 bushels of our own apples for making apple sauce. We’re not sure weather they are Jonathon or Cortland, but it smells
Yes it is apple harvest time here in Wisconsin and this is the very first year we decided to harvest them in making a variety of apple treats. We don’t believe in spraying them and by the time they are ready they are only editable for the wildlife. However, this year was the perfect weather year for apples. Now with 2 bushels in hand it’s off to the eating lab for inner dissection.
Ready for some spooky Halloween Candy? Check out these tasty gummy candy treats made from something from the garden that will keep your family guessing as they lick their lips and clamor for more. Here’s how to make these delicious goodies that magically disappear even from our hidden shelf! It’s also a sneaky way to get kids to eat their veggies.
With plenty of peaches left, today we are making peach jam. Once the peaches are prepped, It’s important to follow a specific recipe depending on how one decides preserving peach nectar as jelly or jam. Also the amount of sugar you decide to use will have it’s own recipe you’ll want to follow. Here’s the way we make this delicious peach jam.
A couple of weeks ago we created a hot packed video, but wanted to show our preferred method of canning peaches. There are several ways to can peaches. Each method requires several basic steps. We’ll show you the cold method. Our Wisconsin peach trees were very prolific this year so canning was a priority. I can still smell and taste the peaches just watching to be preserved.
We decided to also make tomato powder thanks to the results from our pepper powder. Drying tomatoes is a simply process of dehydrating our favorite little cherry berry tomatoes and grinding them up into a powder we’ll use on our salads, soups, sandwiches, and other creative uses. If you don’t have a dehydrator you can dry them in you oven. Want to see how we do this?
Peaches Hot Packed is a preserving method we've not yet attempted. While this method is more time consuming than freezing or using a cold packed method, we wanted to see if the fruit would remain suspended in the syrup rather than rising to the top of the canning jar. Here’s is a sampling of this more complex way to canning peaches.
Now that summer is just about over the hummingbird feast is in full swing as the hummingbirds in Wisconsin start migrating south for the winter. It is always a true treat to see and hear them buzzing through our yard and garden so we set up our Hero2 camera and captured the activity of these amazing colorful & delicate birds.
Tomato sharing is one of the perks of gardening. Picking ripe tomatoes in the early morning is a true treat and packaging and delivering them to friends, neighbors, and several local businesses who appreciate home grown goodies has now become a tradition of our Wisconsin Garden. We are so thankful for the amazing harvest this year. Wish you were here to share them with you as well.
Oh my goodness, peach harvest time has arrived and it’s time for lots of peach picking our Wisconsin peaches. The tree was so heavy with fruit this year we almost lost one of our two trees. They are so ripe they are falling off the tree so it’s time to climb and start picking. So far 2 ½ bushels with lots more to come.
We enjoyed our pickled berry tomatoes so much we decided to make pickled garlic berry tomatoes. We always wanted to find a way to pickle these tasty mouth size beauties. This time we will be using a salt brine to preserve them and put them through the canning process. When the snow flies, we will be happy to remember the lingering tastes of summer.
Today we’re making pepper powder thanks to an abundance of peppers from our Wisconsin garden this year. After placing them in a food dehydrator over night, now that they are crunchy it’s very easy to reduce them into powder using a food processor that we can use to spice up our favorite food dishes. It’s easy, Try It!
Pickled Berry Tomatoes is a great way to preserve one of our favorite tasting strawberry shaped berry tomatoes. Our 8 plants probably have produced over 75 pounds so far of these sweet, mouth popping, bite sized tomatoes. Even our neighbors eat them like candy. Today we are going to put several pints through the canning process.
It’s that September garden time of year where I start clearing away the old flower heads encouraging perhaps a second bloom before the first frost. We were also blessed by a brief hummingbird visit before it joins the southern migration. After spending a couple of hours weeding here’s a quick look at what else we’re up to today.
After our initial success taste test we wanted to share our best catsup recipe. On average, it takes approximately 10 medium size tomatoes to make one pint of catsup which means you’ll be reducing the tomato pulp down to one-fourth. Then it’s a matter of adding Cloves, Cinnamon Stick, Celery Seed, White Vinegar, Chopped Onion, Red Pepper, Sugar and Salt at various stages. Then off for the canning process. Yummy!
Today peach tree surgery was priority number one. Our neighbor’s apple tree cracked last night from the weight of the fruit and when we checked our peach trees one was already leaning a good 10-15 degrees to the south. Filled with hundred of peaches we needed to something quickly. With a little help we were able to eliminate one of 4 main branches and hundreds of peaches all in an effort to save the rest.
is the first time we’ve tried making catsup so we thought we start small with only 25 medium size tomatoes. The process takes several hours starting with washing, brewing spices, mashing, cooking, running them through the Foley Mill, adding salt and spices, reducing down the mixture, and of course the taste test and then the canning process. In the end this little batch was well worth the time and effort. Absolutely Delicious!
Making Tomato Juice isn’t difficult it’s just a matter of finding the perfect combination of veggies to please tone’s personal palate. Rick decided to challenge my juicing skills and have me break down each step of the process in order to control each stage of the taste test until we find the perfect blend.
The warm weather is perfect for tomato picking and just in time. Amazing how so many ripen at the same time which means we have a lot of work cut out for ourselves in the next couple of days. With all these tomatoes, we decided to make our own tomato juice and catsup. So before that fun begins we got to pick them! Wish you were here to help!
Can’t believe it’s time for our August garden update already. After nearly 2 months with very little rain at least some of our flower gardens are still blooming. So today we’re going to update what our flowers, grapes, blackberries and sunflowers are up to. Come take a peak!
Dehydrating vegetables is a great way to preserving food for later use. With the help of our grandson Logan we teach him how to use a dehydrator. Today we will be dehydrating zucchini, cucumber, patty pan and Zeppelin delicata squash. All the delicious left-over’s that don’t fit in our dehydrators will be added to our salad and evening meal.
Here’s today’s harvest goodies gathered with the help of our grandson Logan. It’s a great experience for children and grandchildren to play, learn, and watch a garden grow. Even better is knowing where food comes from and more healthy eating experiences. Richard and I know first hand how very important to start them when they’re young. Look what a lifetime of experiences did for both of us. We’re simply love passing it forward.
Who couldn't fall in love with a new hot steamy garden mop that unconditionally understands all your dirty little secrets and whisks them away! Gee, that sounds like something out of 50 shades of grey! Well here’s what we came home with after visiting this year’s Wisconsin State Fair. You've got to see this thing in action for yourself.
I was horrified at all the white scales on bushes outside our front screen porch. Periodically we end up trimming all of our bushes on a rotational system. With two of these bushes in this area one is doing perfectly fine while this one is in desperate need of some tender loving care. I will try giving this bush a special soap formula in an attempt to correct the problem. Suggestions welcomed!
A water rain barrel is a great way to collect and recycle rain water for your garden. We used our 60 gallon container for our pond fish over the winter months. Recently, we brought this out to the garden area and now have begun to put it to good use. Yes, there‘s the initial investment, but once it’s operational, it will save not only money, but using water run off more efficiently.
Dill Deterrent is a nature repellent for specific bugs in your garden. Organic Gardeners utilize a variety of herbs for pest control and using dill as a repellent fits the bill for squash, cucumber and zucchini vegetable plants. In this day and age, using herbs that repel unwanted garden bugs is important especially when it comes to the quality of food we ingest. Avoiding chemical solutions and growing your own garden is vital to one’s overall health and that of your seeds, plants, soil, compost, and water resources.
Do you know “How To Walk Through A Piece Of Paper?” Impossible you say! For many walking through paper seems impossible. In reality it’s a challenge to our traditional thinking skills. As an Art teacher I've always asked my students to solve this problem on the first day of class. I do this not only to teach respect for art supplies, but more importantly, to foster creative problem-solving. Now it’s your turn to solve this challenge.
HAPPY HOOKER? Get those naughty thoughts out of your mind right now! This is a PG-Rated Family Game! Granted the name is clever, especially when you see what we created many years ago that’s still going strong in our living room today. All you need are 3 things and you’re ready to play, while having fun challenging your coordination skills. Now let’s see if you can hook this?
Cool Summer Tasks are more comfortably accomplished on cool summer days as a cold wave hits Wisconsin. It’s July and and the morning temp was 43 degrees – only 11 above freezing. Hopefully we don’t need to pull out the snow shovels in July although with changing climates that could become an unwanted possibility. In the meantime, securing perennials and pulling out weeds without sweating was a relief!
Our July Garden update includes more areas of major weeding and in the process opened up more raspberries and blueberries ready for picking. For the most part I think we’re finally getting some control over those invasive toad lilies and thistles that have become so prolific this year. We’ve already gathered nearly a trailer load of weeds ready for the recycling center. Hope they don’t end up in someone’s free mulch.
We’re in the south garden area where an original raspberry patch existed over 35 years ago. It’s July and our canes are bursting with fruit so it’s time for us to start picking raspberries. This is our first harvest of the year and normally the Japanese Bettles are everywhere, but that’s not the case this year. So, once we collect this batch of berries the next step will be preserving and freezing our raspberries sauce to enjoy over the winter months.
Attracting bats to our garden is something we've wanted to do for a long time. We found the perfect bat house at our Saturday Farmer’s market and with the help of our son Skye, we installed it this afternoon. It’s pretty easy if you don’t mind climbing a ladder between 15’ - 20’ and attaching it to a where it can receive at least 8 hours of sunlight each day. We've seen them flying around now all they need to do is find this new bat condo.
Lynn wanted to do a tomato update for those viewers who asked to see how they were producing. While they may look sparse after removing many suckers, the plants are thriving. The open Air flow helps keeps bugs, White flies, mildew, and fungus at bay encouraging more fruit development rather than leafy plants. Even with fewer plants this year; we still anticipate the same amount of harvest for the remainder of our growing season.
Endless weeds in and around the garden is a never ending challenge and great workout. Bending up and down and carting away wheelbarrows full of Weeds and Thistles is one way we get our exercise in our Wisconsin Garden. Weeding is part of the responsibilities of gardening. Here’s what one tiny patch produced in just 2 weeks.
Our peach trees are in their 3rd year of production and we almost lost them to a freak wind storm in our area. Just before the storm hit our area we able to cut off excess weight and add some tree support straps to keep them from cracking off or blowing over completely. There are so many peaches developing that even after removing at least one-fourth of the tree there will still be a bountiful harvest again this year.
This morning I found Lynn up in the snake willow trimming the tree with our grandson Logan. For those of you who watch last year’s video on calling in the professionals to trim our snake willow tree, you may remember how barren it looked afterwards. You should see it now. While this is probably not a task I personally recommend for most gardeners, Lynn is fearless, and just like Logan enjoys climbing trees. Need I say more?
Here’s our second morning harvest of 12+ pounds, producing another strawberry delight, providing Lynn doesn't eat them all before they get to our kitchen. Yes, I tease her about it and she just smiles. I know the temptation not to eat them all is strong but may the force be with her as only 8 pounds of red nectar actually made it into the kitchen so that more freezing and dehydrating of strawberries can once again begin.
hThe Giant Fleece Plant (Percicaria Polymorpha) is a true show stopper for northern gardens. We purchased one plant from Monches Farms four years ago and have placed several cutting around our property which always causes lots of WOW’s from passing neighbors. If you’re looking for a spectacular hedge or a center focal point in your northern gardens, consider requesting one your local garden center.
7:30 AM in our morning garden is a great time to tend to the daily garden tasks while the temperatures are still mild and less humid. Now that most of our plants have established themselves it’s time to roll down the deer netting and give the tomatoes some breathing room. Today I’ll be giving my tomatoes a ‘Haircut” by eliminating the suckers that drain unnecessary energy from the fruit of the plant.
Now that summer gardening is in full bloom so is the task of keeping the hummingbird feeders fresh, cutting out the old lily pads in the pond, and start removing the peony seed pods that are developing. These are some of the unglamorous tasks that need tending on a regular basis. It’s also precious time spent with our grandson Logan searching for the fish he released last week and an occasional frog that he treats as a personal pet. Ahhh, if only every child could innocently play and explore in a relatively safe world. One can dream of a better world.
Today I am getting a rooftop garden view that allows me the opportunity to see the overall garden plan. It gives me a different perspective of our entire garden looking for areas that need to be addressed. I can easily spot areas where too many, or not enough, contrasting colors, foliage or species reside. Then I can use these photos as a memory guide knowing where everything is planted and what areas can use a couple more goodies.
I’m out here watering my garden because it hasn’t rain in several days. Some plants need to be watered every day while other are more drought resistant. Plus when I water I prefer to avoid getting the leaves of the plant wet and focus on watering the root system. The only time I spray the leaves of a plant is to wash away any unwanted pest before I apply my various soap solutions. Naturally the weather has it’s own built in watering schedule.
Today we are in Lace’s garden to discuss replacing a front yard tree and also bringing some perennial plants to add to here floral garden areas. In addition to recommending the perfect entrance tree, we’re adding daisies, Liatrus, sedum, Tiger Lilies, Lungwart, Iris, Balloon Flowers, and Candy Corn vine plant.
We are adding more plants to our garden areas after another stop at our favorite garden center. We were actually there to buy a gift for a friend but as usual more plants started calling to us, ‘Take Us Home.’ So naturally we couldn't resist the boxwood bushes on sale, a thorn-less Blackberry and a Niagara Grape to replace another plant that didn't make it through the winter. But it’s always fun!
Here’s a quick garden tour of what’s still blooming in our Wisconsin Garden. We just could not resist giving these beautiful floral blooms their due and wanted to document their glory. Come join us as we take a quick tour through several areas of our Garden to enjoy what late spring and early summer have to offer our eyeballs.
We recently ordered some new plants for our eclectic garden including 2 pau-pau trees, 5 new tomato heirloom varieties, an evergreen tree, and some golden raspberry plants. They may look like twigs now, except for the tomatoes, but we are optimistic that we will enjoy eating the banana custard like fruit with our golden fall raspberries in the near future.
A great by-product of yearly lawn care is Thatched Mulch. Thatching your lawn in spring or fall removes the dead grass that encourages thicker lawns, and is something you can get for free from neighbors who want to get rid of their grass clippings. Here are several bags we received today that we immediately put to good use in and around our garden areas.
While in the onion family, Allium blooms are pretty dramatic specimen flowering bulbs that are gaining more popularity. Do you have any in your garden yet? We have several varieties we would like to show you today that are blooming or just about to bloom.
A couple of years ago we replanted our strawberry patch and due to last years hot summer, we thought we lost most of our 200 new strawberry plants. But look how spectacular they are doing this year. I’ve never seen so many blossoms. With over 6 varieties it will be interesting to see how prolific this year’s harvest will be. We can’t wait for our first delicious strawberry sundae of the season.
Planting Baby Elephant Ears is one of our most popular videos. We received lots of great questions about how and when to plant, how deep, when to dig them up, how to remove the baby bulbs, and how and where to store them when you live in colder zones and can’t keep them in the ground year round. Here’s a short little video that addresses those questions. Thanks to everyone’s questions that prompted us to make this video.
Last fall we purchased several garden tower containers at a huge discount. While most of our garden areas are raised beds, we thought it would be interesting to experiment with trellises and towers this years for some of our climbing vegetables such as cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, and could also be used on a small patio for tomatoes, poll beans, and peas. Just remember to keep these watered at least once every other day or as needed.
We fell in love with Peony Tree Plants three years ago at our local farmer’s market. A farm from which we have been purchasing specimen plants decided to include these beautiful peony trees in their collection and we just could no’t resist. We also have a couple of Japanese Peony specimens you may also want to add in your garden as well. And here’s an exciting update on our 2,000 Peony Tree Seedling we planted one year ago.
Here’s Lynn yearly tomato planting secrets. Yes, for the past 4 years Lynn has been modifying, improving, and stimulating tomato plant production. Using her special soil sauce she has proven year after year to grow and harvest some of the most delicious tomatoes we have ever eaten. She always shares her favorite tomato plants that melt in your mouth. Can’t wait for our first BLT of the summer season.Here’s the link for Jerry Baker’s Giant Book Of Garden Solutions
Every year gardeners are faced with millions of garden temptations. Garden centers and nurseries are filled with larger plant selections every year. So it’s important to have an idea of what you want to plant in your garden each year before you venture into endless plant temptations. I know, I Know, it’s OK, bring home some additional specimen plants like we do every year to add delightful surprises in your garden.
Today we’re featuring our neighboring garden apprentice, Alex Becker, who is working on a school service learning project in our Wisconsin Garden as a garden volunteer. She will learn about preparing Lynn’s special compost mixture, planting tips and techniques while learning how to effectively plant tomatoes, peppers, onions, leaks, marigolds to ward off bad insects, and alyssum flowers to attract the good companion pollinators.
After ignoring our garden this week it screamed at us to see this incredible garden delight. Blooms and blossoms abound everywhere we look, with amazing bouquets of color dazzling our eyeballs and blinding us with their magnificent display. Come join us in the feast of God’s great gift to everyone who takes the time to mingle and live among them.
Every gardener understands the chores of dealing with an unglamourous garden. Today Lynn is having lots of fun digging out clumps of grass, bindweed, Lily of the valley, and maple tree seedlings by the millions. Oh yes, every gardener is an unsung hero when it comes to doing all the dirty work behind the scene.
What to do with a bucket of bulbs that can’t survive colder zones. The solution is to plant them in a bucket or appropriate size container. Today we are planting small Rain Lilies and Paladium bulbs in small containers that we will keep outside near the house until the warm weather sticks around. In Wisconsin that’s not always an easy proposition as the weather can change in a heartbeat. We gardeners are always optimistic.
Today we’re planting our Honeysuckle trellis with flowering vine plant sections adding lots of color to our floral dog fence. Each of five varieties of Honeysuckle and trumpet vines will spread up each of the 10 trellis sections and along the lower fence sections creating a beautiful flowering border, attracting lots of hummingbirds.
Today is a perfect day to planting some of our May Garden vegetables and herbs. Unlike northern Wisconsin with some incredibly crazy weather, with lakes still frozen and 20 plus inches of snow still on the ground, we feel very blessed to be in SE Wisconsin where the cold spring is starting to get back to normal. While we usually wait until May 15th to start planting, we’re starting with veggies that prefer cooler weather.
We’ve replaced our stacked wood berm fence this summer with a new floral dog fence. If you remember in our video blog #309 the city of Brookfield threatened to fine us $5,000 a day if we didn’t remove all the wood from sight, despite it being there for over 20 years. Oh well, everything turned out for the best and we think the dogs will be equally happy knowing their perimeter which will eventually be covered by floral vines.
One of my favorite flowers is giant zinnas. I reserved a garden spot right outside my kitchen door every year just for my zinnia patch. I love seeing their amazing burst of colors and watch butterflies and bees enjoy the feast that until the first frost. I simply prepare my planting surface for casting my seeds then cover them gently with a thin layer of well-aged vegetable compost and water a couple of time each day.
Last fall Richard designed and built a small experimental winter cold-frame Outdoor Greenhouse. I’ve been monitoring the internal temperatures for the past 6 months to see what we might be able to grow over winter. Temps ranged from 4 degrees in mid January to 84 degree yesterday. We now know we can only prolong our growing season a couple of months but also start our seedling earlier, Even though it’s not May 15th, we feel confident we can start some of our vegetable seeds today.
Today we’re moving our indoor garden outdoors and turning off the grow light bank. Our winter experiment is over and we tried a variety of winter vegetables, herbs, and floral cuttings. Come see which ones did really well and the others that failed miserably. Several weeks we started unplugging all the heating pads because the daily temperature starting reaching 90 degrees. We may attempt tropical plant cuttings in the meantime indoors.
Harvesting compost is the equivalent of a gardener striking a rich vein of golden nuggets. When you think of all those vegetable scraps that simply end up in a heap and start their decomposing magic, Mother Nature surely knows how to write the book on natural recycling. The nutrients hidden within this aged compost is absolutely incredible and will be extremely useful throughout our vegetable and flower gardens again. You must compost!
We came across more blueberry plants to add to our blueberry garden area. While these little starter twigs will take several years to fully develop we couldn’t pass them by since they were inexpensively available at a local grocery store. We also thought it was important to introduce a variety of berry species to this area of our garden.
Today it’s time for our Worm Farm Makeover. In our last couple of videos we discussed discarding all of our worm castings because of the Springtail infestation. While we've since learned that it wasn't unusual, in our last video we sterilize our worm farm condo and today we’re starting over. If you never saw how to prepare a worm farm then join us on today’s Wisconsin Garden Video Blog.
In today’s video blog it’s time to sterilize Our Worm Farm Condo and prepare it for the new red wigglers that just arrived. A couple of videos ago we showed you the infestation of tiny worm-like Springtail creatures covering the entire surface of our worm farm. While the worm castings were wonderful, we were waiting for warmer weather here in Wisconsin so that we could release the old worms into our flower garden beds.
For those of us who live in colder zones, today was perfect day (no snow & 65 degrees) for planting our 5 new Earth Day Trees, which include: 2 Dwarf Honey Crisp Apple, 1 Dwarf Bartlett Pear, 1 Dwarf Sweet Cherry, and 1 Purple Ornatment Redbud Spring Flowing Tree, along with a very healthy Blueberry plant to diversify the species in our Blueberry patch area. It feels wonderful being outdoors again.
Three years ago we purchased some Montauk Daisies specimen plants from Monches Farms. Last year it started to get away from us and became rather unruly but they did bloomed throughout late fall until the killing frost. So now that I’ve cut the tops off I’m going to see if I can propagate and root the cuttings in water.
Now that I finished trimming trees it’s time for spring plant trimming as well. I have to cut the grasses down to ground level, uncover the Sedium, trim some perennial specimens, and even give the tea roses a haircut.
It’s time for spring tree trimming so I’m up in the tree deciding which branches and limbs have to go. With the help of some spray paint I’ll start marking the areas for our son Skye to trim. Then we’re off to trim our peach trees and get them ready for their 3rd year harvest.
Cleaning Out The Worm Farm became necessary due to an invasion of little white jumping creatures. Instead of putting all the contents in our vegetable gardens, we decided to put them around our trees. Even the worm tea and worm castings will make a delicious brew for our new trees. The new red wigglers are on their way so my next step is to clean and sterilize our worm condo for the new batch and start over.
OK, it’s April 15th and it’s finally stopped snowing – maybe I say with crossed fingers. Enough snow already, we need warmer weather. Last week I hit solid ice under the mulch trying to plant some arborvities. It’s been cold and raining (6 inches last week) and even a light dusting of snow crystals yesterday. At least they melted! I don’t know about you but I sure would like to get into our garden areas. Here’s a quick update
After months of winter we have more than cabin fever we have Garden Fever. Yes, the snow is still on the ground but it’s almost 50 degrees and sunny. While we can’t really plant anything yet, there’s a lot of bushes and trees that need trimming. So here’s what we’re up to today.
Today is the first day of spring and the Vernal Equinox with at least 10’ of snow still blanketing our Wisconsin Garden! Arrrrrh! So we move inside to demystify the old myth of standing an egg on its end to prove that eggs don’t need equal gravity between the Earth and the sun on the Vernal Equinox to stand on its end. We do it just for the fun of it.
We recently released our 26th self-publication Called: “Garden Quotations” 400 Garden Quotes From The Earth To Your Soul”
It's filled with historic proverbs and personal thoughts from writers, artists, philosophers, celebrities, presidents, and avid gardeners from around the world over centuries and Lynn and I would like to give you a digital copy as our “Thank You For Watching” gift.
March is almost here so it’s time to start planting your cold weather crops. Yes, if you have some warm indoor space, this is the perfect time to start planting your broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and spinach seeds. The rule of thumb suggests starting these seeds 10-12 weeks prior to the last frost date in your northern growing zone.
Your local coffee shops may already have a free coffee grounds program in your neighborhood. Caribou coffee just launched one in ours giving away lots of freebies you can use in your garden as well. Just think of all your acidic trees, plants, and bushes that thrive in acidic soils. Here’s what we received today. If you want a FREE PH list of acidic loving plants send us an email at (Lynn @ WisconsinGarden.com).
Kids of all ages look forward to enjoying a snow day adventure. This was one of those very special days where every tree and bush was flocked and covered with a beautiful snow frosting. Unlike the huge 38” snow storms on the east coast our little 7” snowfall left a pretty incredible visual winter wonderland here in Wisconsin. Take a peak at our day’s adventure.
How about having a snow day garden project with your kids or grandchildren? Without spending a lot of money you can find and recycle all sort of common items around the house or apartment to create these micro climate indoor gardens. Here’s what we did on our Wisconsin Garden snow day!
The San Ysidro Ranch offers one of the finest restaurants that create their own home-grown gardens that compliment the entrees of the growing season’s vegetables, herbs, and fruits. Considered America’s Riviera, The San Ysidro Ranch Resort in Montecito California, is consider the 4th top resort in the world serving celebrities and statesmen, including actor Ronald Coleman who turned it into a hotel for celebrities in the 1900s. Others include, President John F. Kennedy & Jacqueline Kennedy, Sir Winston Churchill, Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Bing Crosby, Robert Young, David Niven, Vivien Leigh & Sir Laurence Olivier, Gweyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin who recently exchanged vows here, and now Lynn from Wisconsin Garden.
The words Alcatraz Gardens doesn't immediately come to mind when you think of Jail, Prison, and Incarceration. But just off San Francisco Bay lies a little island called Alcatraz which is now a national park. Originally an Army fortress adorned with beautiful gardens, the Bureau of Prisons took it over in 1933, lobbied and trained inmate gardeners to help maintain these historic garden areas. Come take a quick visual tour of Alcatraz and the colorful gardens both present and past.
What a delight it is to be producing our 100th video blog here in the Redwood Forest at Muir Woods National Monument and State Park. Rick and I always wanted to see the majesty of this amazing garden that nature provided and mankind had the wisdom to preserve. While the Giant Sequoias are older and thicker, don't miss the opportunity to visit these taller gems just north of San Francisco. Absolutely breathtaking!
We’re exploring one of the oldest Missionary sites in California, the Mission in Santa Barbara California. We came to see what grows well in different areas of the country. Come along with us as we respectfully explore the historic lush interior gardens of this beautiful and holy sanctuary.
Here’s a fun recycling project for the whole family that kids of all ages enjoy creating. Now anyone can have a table top garden terrarium using any kind of a removable cover, including reusing 2 liter soda bottles.
Video Blog 75a – My Gourds Revised Video Jan 31, 2013
Decorating my gourds has become one of my favorite artistic winter passions. After growing them in my garden all year and allowing them to cure for a couple of years, I prep my gourds giving them a water and bleach bath, firmly scrubbing off the moldy surface then drying before I can begin the creative process of creating my art gourds and spirit dolls.
Video Blog 68a – Gourd Art Revised Video Jan 31, 2013
Even gardener’s needs a fun thing to do when the growing season ends. One of my passions is creating Gourd Art into Spirit Dolls from gourds grown in my garden. In my earlier videos I discuss the multiple stages required to properly prepare them for artistic rendering. Here’s where my creative process begins.
Several years ago I planted the first of my Elephant Ear bulbs. After that first frost it was time to dig them up and prepare them for their winter hibernation so that each year they could multiply. Here’s an updated video on what I do to save them in order to expand their glorious foliage each planting season.
Making applesauce is a great excuse for a Saturday visit to your local farmer’s market. Today we brought home 50 pounds of mixed apple seconds and filled our kitchen with one of the sweetest aromas fall has to offer. Watch my helper stir and taste test my first batch.
Here’s how I make some delicious Strawberry Treats that I freeze, juice, and make strawberry leather rollups. So when the harsh winter snows cover your summer garden, here’s a great way for you and your family to relive eating delicious organic strawberries with a flavor that just can’t be beat.
Here it is January 29th and we’re having a January heat wave. Go figure it may reach 60 degrees today with flood warnings and tomorrow we’re expecting near zero temperatures with a weather watch snow warning up to 6 inches of snow. Guess it’s time to get out the swim suit, if only for one day.
After several weeks of coughing and sneezing we’re back with our indoor garden update. As most of the United States is dealing with really cold weather, here in Wisconsin we’ve been dealing with several days of sub zero weather. Check out what we had to do with some of our indoor screen porch greenhouse plants to avoid freezing plants.
Even in the dead of winter the January Garden keeps growing thanks to our local farm growers. We often visit our indoor farmer’s market at State Fair grounds in the Tommy Thompson building every Saturday morning. Jenn Farms is one of our favorite stops along with Valentine coffee and Whittgreve’s Rolling Meadows. Unfortunately we missed the spinach this time but picked up these goodies. Come make smoothies with us.
Here we are between the garden holiday of Christmas and New Year and it’s time to do some basic maintenance. Today I’m updating indoor and outdoor greenhouses, creating new worm beds, harvesting worm castings, and thinning and transplanting some basil and lettuce. Happy New Year everyone!
It will be difficult to resist this yummy apple snicker salad once you try it. Here’s another delicious salad recipe that we found on Pinterest we wanted to share. With just a few basic ingredients and maybe 5-10 minutes of your time, you’ll soon add this sweet fruit salad for your next party or family get-together. Try it and let us know how you liked it.
If you haven’t heard of baked pickles as a holiday treat, you may want to give this simple yet delicious vegetable a try. With just a few simple ingredients and 15 minute of your time, you’ll create some quick and tasty H’orderves perfect for any occasion. Try substituting crunched potato chips, pretzels, or even cereals for a variety of toppings on your favorite pickles.
Today was our first measurable snowfall just in time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas From Wisconsin. Rick and I wish the very best blessings for you and your family. Give your children a hug, hold the close, mend all broken fences, and help foster Peace On Earth Goodwill To All Mankind! From our Wisconsin Garden to Yours - We Send You Lots Of Warm Hugs.
Soda bottle bird feeders are pretty easy to create using recycled plastic bottles of any size. With winter coming our little feathered friends appreciate these treats. Here is one we created using a typical 2 liter soda bottle adapted from a screw on kit we purchased at our local American Scientific surplus store also available online.
Now that our indoor garden is thriving it’s time to automate our garden thermostat. When it gets too hot and more importantly too cold here in Wisconsin, it’s nice to put our garden heating pad on a thermostatic system to help maintain temperature control averaging 55-65 degrees over the winter months.
At least twice a year I end up transplanting African Violets. The ones I transplanted last time have been growing and developing on my kitchen window sill and our southern dining room window area. You can see how I use a self-wicking system to automatically water them in glass baby jars.
Have you noticed early winter budding on your trees, bushes, and bulbs? We were shocked to find our fruit trees, flowering trees, Forsythia bush, and daphodils. You really need to se what we found happening in our zone 5 Wisconsin Garden.
Inspired by ‘Dave’ our Avocado bush/tree, it’s time to create an Indoor Avocado Grove with all the new seeds sprouting on my northkitchen window sill. It’s amazing to see how differently the indoor and outdoor growing approaches developed, one stocky, the other tall and lanky.
Every houseplant has a life span but many benefit with a little houseplant first aid. It’s a good idea to take a closer look whenever a plant starts to lose it’s spunk. A little first aid can give a houseplant new life. Here’s what I did with a plant I received 3 years ago that needed some TLC.
Here are the initial results of a Beta testing phase for our portable greenhouse update. We're keeping a daily temperature chart, placing bales of straw around our greenhouse, and testing both digital and standard thermometers. Check out our beta test.
We’re creating an experimental portable PVC Greenhouse for our Wisconsin winter. After creating PVC framework we’ll cover it with a thermal blanket fabric and see how well it handles this coming winter. If Richard does not behave himself, maybe he’ll be using it as his little doghouse. Just kidding! Excited to start planting!
Here's the Garden Fabric We Used For This Project!
Late fall is a great time of year to prepare a garden lasagna with layers of compost, leaf mulch, and organic matter to enrich your garden soil each and every year. Remember, your garden is only as good as your soil, whether you’re growing in mounds, raised beds, or containers. Feed your garden soil the nutrients it needs now during this important resting period.
Now that the official pre-winter windchill is in the air we’ve creating an indoor garden. With our tropical plants inside, our new indoor greenhouse in place and worm casting ready to go, we’re going to start planting vegetable indoors over the winter. We’re planting carrots, lettuce, spinach and some herbs for starters. Come see what we’ve been up to!
Today is our first time harvesting worm castings from our red worms we started a couple of months ago. We’ll also be collecting the juicy concentrated nutrients to help fertilize our house plants this winter as well as drying the rich soil and worm castings left behind in the bottom layer of our 5 tier worm farm condo.
It’s time for our yearly elephant ears update. Now that fall has arrived it’s time to dig up all of our elephant ear bulbs, separate, dry, and store them over the winter in a cool dark space. Here’s what we do to harvest and winterize our bulbs.
Two years ago we decided to create a grape vine structure we thought would be ample in size. After visiting vineyards in California we knew we had underestimated the height of our tiny vineyard structure. So here’s our latest solution.
Halloween season is a great time to consider winterizing Geraniums and extend your indoor flower garden or simply keep them semi dormant until next spring. Here are some Geranium cutting, propagation, and drying techiques to help get you started. Hope this video wasn’t tooooo scary! Happy Halloween everyone!
Every year we winterize iris to discourage Iris borer infestation which can destroy any beautiful iris bed. Plus, every 3-4 years it’s wise to dig them up, separate them and eliminate any bulb that looks suspicious. Trimming Iris leaves down to 4” in fall can help. You also want to remove all dead iris leaves and avoid putting them into your compost piles.
Our final cotton plant update for this season turned out to be an enjoyable experience for us and our grandson. While our cotton plant never had the full opportunity to mature, watching the flowers turn into seed buds gave us a better idea of what to expect next time we plant one.
Yes, it’s that time of year when we start clearing the garden of all the old plants and take them to our recycling center. Despite the incredible hot summer our garden was bountiful and prolific, especially the tomatoes. It’s also a great time to start thinking about what plants will do well in certain areas and what new plants you’d like to try next year.
Now that our winter garden area is prepped, it’s time to install our garden posts that will give us more options throughout the coming years. We will be able to create a garden enclosure or add garden fencing to our raised beds in our north garden area. Thanks to Miquel and Manny for helping me install 22 new posts in about 5 hours without an aching back.
Now that fall is here, the brisk morning winds create a beautiful palette of falling leaves. Enjoy this musical treat Rick put together as we walk under the majestic crunchy colors that spread a blanket of organic mulch over Mother Earth.
Our Night Garden is our first night time video. Today Rick built a 3” x 5” x 3” indoor green house inside our screen porch. We decided to experiment with growing winter lettuce, spinach, mini carrots, beets, and some herbs. Now that the growing system and heating pads are on, the enclosure is finish and ready for plants. Check out our short video!
Fall is officially here and it’s time to start prepping our winter garden areas for Spinach, Kale, Beets, Lettuce, Carrots, herbs, and perhaps some other goodies. But first, we need to clear out the old plants, rototill the soil, and add compost to our raised beds. Because they are raised beds, we know this area will probably not survive the coldest temperatures.
Our experiment with planting peony tree seeds in containers this summer needed to be transferred into the garden soil to germinate. They like cooler weather and thanks to the help of Steve, one of our viewers, he encouraged us to be patient and shared his approach to planting peony trees. Thanks Steve!
Fall is a great time for planting more bulbs and this year we’re introducing several hundred more throughout our garden areas. With the introduction of more exotic species it keeps many gardeners searching for more color, texture, and variety which has now become an addictive passion.
It’s time to start planting new bulbs in a garden area we discussed in our last video. We’ve removed clusters of bulbs we’ll be sharing with others and introducing two new varities of tulip bulbs, Red Wing and Carrousel. We love their fringing characteristics and so do the deer. That’s why this grouping is now next to our house.
Digging up old bulbs every 4-5 years is a necessary task for every gardener. Depending on the maturity, healthy bulbs multiply each year and eventually start crowding out each other as they begin competing for nutrients. Overcrowding can cause bulbs to lose color, develop oddly shaped foliage, and even lose their flowering ability.
Today we’re removing invasive plants that a couple of years ago my husband encouraged me to add along the front edge of our corner garden area as a ground cover. Fall is a great time to divide, share, or rearrange the existing plants in your garden and that’s what we’re doing this morning.
With over 186,000 visits, thanks to many requests we’re glad to take you on our latest Fall Walkabout so you can compare it to our spring and June garden walkabouts. This fall garden tour is about 30 minute in length. Enjoy! Love all of your supportive questions and comments. Keep them coming!
One of the easier gardens to grow is a Salsa Garden. Even if you’re all thumbs, all it takes is a simple garden area or a couple of basic patio containers and you’re ready for a delicious tasty treat of home made salsa. Here’s a great little video that shows you how to create and personalize taste bud treats you’ll not easily forget.
Today is officially the first day our Fall Equinox Harvest, let’s go out into our garden areas and show you what we’ve picked. Last night it even snowed in areas of Wisconsin and tonight we’re having our first frost warning. While our flowers and vegetables survived the first frost without covering anything, we did cover several plants this evening just in case..
Drying Zucchini is a great way to condense and preserve this vegetable for soups and salads. Dehydration is a great tool for gardeners and an economic way to save money when seasonal fruits and vegetables are on sale.
Today we decided to give the call in the tree professionals for a snake willow trim. Unfortunately, fast growing softwood trees in our area need lots of attention otherwise a strong wind storm will topple a top heaving tree like ours. Just as hard as it is to elect wanting a drastic haircut, so is the task of trimming softwood trees like our snake willow. Thank goodness hardwoods trees grow more slowly, require less maintenance, and have strong deep roots.
Coleus cuttings are one of the easiest methods to expanding this plant around your garden or bring in for the winter months. While cuttings readily root in water we decided to use a root hormone to track this method of rooting. Here’s a short video of what I look for.
Aren’t sunflowers absolutely beautiful? We think so, and while we have fewer this year, the birds, squirrels, and chipmunks continue to keep spreading them all around our property unless Lynn stomps the heads into other garden areas. And to think our sunflower patch all started with Lynn’s father giving her Russian sunflower seeds to plant many years ago.
Here’s our outdoor Avocado update. Earlier this year Richard’s sister Barbara and her husband Dave sent us some avocados from their California orchard. Normally we start our Avocado seeds indoors and wanted to see what would happen if we planted one in our outdoor garden area.
Now that our Yucca plants has matured and bloomed for the first time, it’s time to harvest our Yucca seeds. While we enjoy the several plants we already have, we didn’t want the seeds to broadcast themselves and spread. So we are beginning to collect the mature seed pods. Also wanted to update you on our little cotton plant which is also maturing.
Due to many questions we’ve received here’s our worm condo update. After filming this video we realized we added new bedding to the wrong worm farm container and simply moved eveything back to the top of layer 2. I doubt if any of the worms minded. As a side note, no worms were harmed in the making of this video. Sorry, couldn’t resist.
For the most part we finished planting the areas related to the official $5,000 a day warning. As soon as the weather cools down a little we will head to the recycling center for a final load of mulch. We hope we’ve complied to all that’s required, in good faith, to appease the city of Brookfield inspector’s warning.
Freezing Peaches is a great way to preserve them and less time consuming than canning them. Now that we harvested several bushels of peaches from our 2 peach trees, they are ripe for preserving. What a great way to enjoy the fruits of your labor especially in the dead of winter. Yummy!
Here’s my powdery mildew solution formula that I spray on my plants. It consists of a mixture of water, Murphy’s Oil, and baking soda into a spray bottle and I’m armed and ready to attack any plant with a mildew problem.
I’d like to update you on my gourd patch and how they are progressing. I’ll also show you some of my gourds that are still drying and curing along with some of my gourds that have already been prepared for my art designs.
Every now and then we come across an amazing mushroom discovery around different areas of our garden. Here’s a brief cross section of some of the fungal kingdom we’ve discovered over the last couple of years.
Here’s an update from our $5,000 A Day Warning Video. Now that all our wood berm has been officially removed it’s time to address new mound plantings. We’ve made our perrenial plant selections; 21 Chrysanthemums, 6 Asters, 11 Grasses, 2 Roses, and 5 Bluebeards. With some help from our neighbor, we planted everything in less than 5 hours. Thanks Ginger for your help, muscles, and enjoyable company!
Still flying under the public radar lays a timely topic over deadly concerns surrounding access and usage of certified Heirloom seeds vs. Genetically Modified seed production that is forcing farmers out of business via an agricultural treadmill system. It’s estimated that the “Big 6” now control the majority of patented seed production and smaller partner seed companies currently distributing their GMO seeds through a multitude of repackaging outlets worldwide. The ultimate question remains, “Will heirloom seed plants be finally destroyed through open air GMO cross-pollination?” Join this discussion on our Wisconsin Garden Q&A Resources Page.
At this year’s Wisconsin State Fair we met a beautiful young girl selling Hawaiian Plumeria cuttings. After talking with her we decided to add 3 different color species to our indoor flowering plant collection. It’s pretty simple and something you may be interested in planting yourself. We also take a quick look at our little Cotton Plant.
Here’s another daily video blog update regarding our August 18th Harvest in the north garden areas. While the weather has been much cooler here in Wisconsin, we recently received almost an inch of rain so now tomato production has lessened a little bit. But it’s akso time to start pulling up some onions and garlic.
Yesterday we received an official notice from the city of Brookfield giving us a $5,000 A Day Wood Warning and possible imprisonment if we don’t get rid of wood berm the city considers garden debris within 3 weeks. Anyway the Craigslist response for our wood has been incredible to the point we had to immediately delete our ad as we began receiving more requests than the amount of wood that we had on hand, again turning a lemon into sweet lemonade warming the future hearths of many.
Having an indoor grow light system comes in very handy year-round, especially if you live in cold northern climates. Whether starting seeds for your garden, propagating plants, or having an indoor winter garden, here’s the growing systems we recently added to our garden that’s perfect for the garage, basement, or spare room.
It’s amazing to see how much our peach trees have grown. We planted 2 peach trees last spring and after this incredibly hot summer and with storm warnings on the horizon we think it’s time to pick, sort, wrap, and start the exciting process of ripening peaches. Many of the branches are weighed down and we didn’t want to wake up in the morning to see them broken or peaches on the ground badly bruised.
In garden maintenance part 1, I decided to finish an entrance walkway that our son Skye installed last year. Now that we’ve had a little break from the heat and drought, it’s time to complete some of the unglamourous garden maintenance jobs that need to be addressed.
Yesterday we created video #301 called Full Moon Harvest where we collected at least 50 pounds of tomatoes. Now it’s time to enter the kitchen and start canning tomatoes. And for those who are new to our garden websites or YouTube channel, video blog #181 also covered this topic, while this video covers what our garden just produced this week.
Yes I’m hot and sweaty again picking a full moon harvest earlier in the day before it simply gets too hot to be out in our garden. It’s August 1st and today I’m harvesting around 50 pounds of tomatoes, some for our neighbors, some for canning, and some for our own eating pleasure. If you’re new to canning tomatoes, watch our Wisconsin Garden Video Blog #181 Canning Tomatoes to help get you started.
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So, you really want to know what else Lynn and I have been up to lately? For those of you who know us best, you know that we do things in a grand manner. Every year we set out to accomplish lots of new goals. While our passions are diverse, yet compatible, they are always thoroughly creative and enjoyable. After all, if you're not having fun in life, why bother!
We've always pursued our entrepreneurial spirit and over the years we started several business ventures. We met an interesting woman who told us about her latest work on the Internet. It sounded rather new and exciting and we eventually asked her to help us set up our first online website in 1993.
Little did we know back then how important it would become for our enterprise venture to establish itself online. Four years later our business incorporated in order to deal with larger companies.
Over the years we gained a great deal of experience recording and archiving megabytes and terabytes of valuable information. Who knows, we may all be on our way to gathering Petabytes, Exabytes, and maybe a few Zettabytes. And that brings us to the purpose of this website.
2012 is the year we dedicated to self-publishing. And on January 2, 2012 we submitted our first book series "Action Headlines - That Drive Emotions". It turned into 6 volumes, with a 7th in the works.
As of March 3, 2012, we've published 21 books on a variety of niche topics that focuses on inspirational marketing ideas for entrepreneurs, online and offline small businesses, Internet marketers, ad specialists, professional speakers, teachers and students seeking to improve their skills in learning how to paint dreams, sell ideas, and ultimately market their message.
If you were thinking you'd like to finally publish a book idea you have, but don't know how or where to start, we'll be glad to show you how we do it and how to get started in the right direction. All you need to do is Ask!
Lynn and I welcome you to our RIVO Books - Digital Bookshelf website.
It's time to get dirty in the garden. Yes, we just released our 21st book this year and our “WI Garden – Let’s Get Dirty” publication is now available as a helpful guide helping you start your first garden. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or newbie, you’ll enjoy the tips and techniques we use to produce a healthier home grown organic garden.
His "Digital Quilt" series was meant to be a multi-layered optical illusion composition wherein each work was based upon an kaleidoscopic abstraction of a person, place, or object in our life and our Wisconsin Garden environment. Each original canvas section is 38" x 38".
DPC # 2626 "Butterfly Circle" by Artist Richard Voigt (RIVO)
Here’s one of over 500 38" x 38" sections of Richard's Digital Quilt Series inspired by butterflies feeding on a small flower bed outside our kitchen entrance.
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