3 Garden Tools For Easy Clean Up

Enjoying Fall Cleanup 2016

When it comes to fall clean up many know the work involved. Back breaking work is what many will describe it. There is garden clean up involving pulling out the annual flowers and cutting back the perennials. All of this needs to be carried somewhere.

What if there was a ‘System’ that helps you get the job done faster?

But First

Using the correct tools makes the ‘Preparation To Dismantel’ easier! The following are a list of tools I use. This is my 6th year gardening. Each year I bought tools I could afford while shopping for the next tool using Amazon to compare tools.

Tools To Help You

The following is a list of tools I use in my end of season garden cleanup. I will be adding tools as I get to the next step. I am writing this post in real time.

Gloves

Pruners

Poly Garden Dump Cart

The Poly Garden Dump Cart is my newest tool and let me tell you, we are going to be great friends for years to come! It is making this season’s garden clean up a breeze! The following are photos of my garden clean up.

The Poly Garden Dump Cart And I Became Instant Friends
The Poly Garden Dump Cart And I Became Instant Friends

With the use of my Gloves and Pruner I was well on my way to ‘End Of Season Garden Clean Up 2016’. In hardly any time at all working ’15 Minutes At A Time’ clean up was taking shape!

Was able to get this area cleaned up in 2 - 15 minute sessions.
Was able to get this area cleaned up in 2 – 15 minute sessions.

Pulling My Wagon Cart

I was able to get lots of foliage in my new Poly Garden Dump Cart. I headed to the back of my property to begin the pile that will decompose through the winter.

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My Garden Waste Pile.

Dumping Was A Breeze

What makes dumping a breeze with this cart is the mechanics of it. It turns easily even in tight areas. Simply pull the lever in the front and the mechanics of it makes it easy to dump!

Dumping was a breeze.
Dumping was a breeze.
Off to clean more up!
Off to clean more up!

Here’s To Your Garden Clean Up Of 2016 Season To Go As Well As Mine Is!

*This post contains affiliate links to help me offset the costs of running this website. If you are looking for products I use, I invite you to click on the link to purchase where I will get a small commission fee for letting you know what makes it easy for me.

Marilyn

of

Marilyn’s Way

http://marilynsway@gmail.com

Looking forward to sharing this season of end of year clean up with you!

Happy Gardening!

 

 

Inheriting A Weigela Shrub

Timing Is Everything!

I knew I was inheriting a Weigela. I just didn’t know when. The church I belong to decided to remove the bushes simply because of the maintenance issue.  One of the shrubs is a weigela. Every spring I admire it and had placed it on my ‘wish list’. I was intending to buy one but if I can get one that is also ‘Blessed’, why not?

The lawn maintenance is done by church members.  This means after work or farm chores are done. Last night around 7 PM they came in to remove the shrubs. I was up to my neck in fertilizing my tomatoes and peppers in my vegetable garden.

I also had other projects going that needed to be followed through. I placed the weigela in a bucket of water until I was through.

A couple hours later I was finished. I knew I had to get the shrub into the ground before I went to bed but I needed a break! It was already dark and I knew I would have to be planting it by a trouble light. So I took an hour break.

*Before I go any further let me clarify something. Yes I live with Fibromyalgia and Arthritis with a disc degeneration in my back.  I am disabled and cannot work a regular 40 hour job. It doesn’t however keep me from not doing anything.

*Gardening is a love of mine. It keeps my mind off of the daily pain I experience by redirecting my thoughts on gardening resulting in beauty. Who doesn’t love beauty? I have been called a ‘work horse’ and I do love to be involved in things. What you don’t hear in my writing all the breaks I have to take during the day. I have to decide on the number of spoons and the size of them. I don’t always get it right and end up paying for it.

Planting My Weigela By A Trouble Light

I ended up taking an hour and a half break before I was going to attack this project. It was around midnight. I have a trouble light and knew I was planting it near my home so I had electricity to use. Note: I am sure glad I live in a small town! I didn’t have to explain to an officer that I wasn’t digging a hole to bury a body! I just had to get this shrub in if I wanted to save it.

The ground was rock hard. In order to get this done at I watered it down. It made digging with my potato fork easier but I created another problem – MUD! The following are my steps to create a new home for the weigela shrub…

Finding the best place.
Finding the best place.
Let the digging begin!
Let the digging begin!
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Look at the size of those roots!
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An hour later I was able to place the weigela shrub into it’s new home and give it a good watering.
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These flowers are why I fell in love with this shrub.
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If you think it was an easy job, I am telling you it wasn’t. I fought the clay dirt that turned to mud. No leg squats in the gym for me! I was getting plenty of exercise carrying all the extra mud. Wearing my rubbers over my lace up shoes helped me get the job done easier.
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Looks like it didn’t experience much transplant shock by looking at it this morning.
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This is the general area I planted the shrub. As you can see another project going on in the background. I decided to add to my fence another 8 feet. Got that done this morning. Will have a blog about that soon.

Am I gardening like the experts would want you  to? Probably not. When I decided to get back into gardening I decided I was going to let go of ‘Perfectionism and Procrastination’. This is the reason I call my blog/website ‘Marilyn’s Way To Home & Garden’.  What this really means is learn to garden ‘Your Way’.  Sure you will have some hits and misses. Isn’t that what life is all about? Go ahead, do it your way and enjoy yourself!

Marilyn

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3 Reasons For Eggshells In The Garden

I somehow knew there was a reason I accepted the challenge to be a Hostess on Sundays from my cousin Julie Lardy who is the manager for IHop Restaurant in town.

One of her cooks offered to save the used eggshells from the restaurant so I could use them in my garden!

3 Reasons To Use Eggshells In The Garden

  1. Tomatoes and Peppers LOVE the extra calcium. If you have ever experienced ‘Blossom End Rot’ the reason is the soil is lacking calcium. Eggshells will help.
  2. Problems with Deer visiting your garden? Deer hate the smell of eggshells and will visit gardens without.
  3. What about those slimy ‘Slugs’? They hate to crawl over the crushed eggshells.

3 Ingredients I Used When Planting Tomatoes And Peppers

This spring I wanted to try an experiment with epsom salt, used coffee grounds and crushed eggshells when I planted my tomatoes and peppers. You can read how I did it in Planting Tomatoes & Peppers Amended With Coffee Grounds, Crushed Eggshells, & Epsom Salt.

The three ingredients I used.
The three ingredients I used.
Tomato plant with three ingredients - eggshells, coffee grounds, epsom salt.
Tomato plant with three ingredients – eggshells, coffee grounds, epsom salt.

This season my biggest offense are deer entering my vegetable garden. I plan to take the eggshells and put around my sweet potatoes and also along my beets. Not only will it add calcium to the soil, the deer may see it as a sign…

Wouldn't it be nice if they could read?
Wouldn’t it be nice if they could read?

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Fun Garden Stakes!

I have been waiting since Christmas to put these garden stakes out. They were a gift from my cousin Anna West. She knows how I love anything gardening.

Meet The Vegetables!

Green Beans are good for you!
Green Beans are good for you!
All Peppers start green before they turn colors of red, yellow, orange, and purple.
All Peppers start green before they turn colors of red, yellow, orange, and purple.
Tomatoes can be pronounce two different ways.
Tomatoes can be pronounced two different ways.
Carrots are great for eyesight!
Carrots are great for eyesight!
Peas are fun to shell and eat fresh out of the garden!
Peas are fun to shell and eat fresh out of the garden!
Cabbage can be made into so many dishes.
Cabbage can be made into so many dishes.
Spaghetti Squash, oh how I love thee!
Spaghetti Squash, oh how I love thee!
Cucumbers are FULL of Blooms!
Cucumbers are FULL of Blooms!

Meet The Tulips!

Pretty Tulips!
Pretty Tulips!

Hope you enjoyed seeing them as much as I enjoy having these beautiful garden stakes in my garden!

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I’ll Meet You At Rainbow Bridge

Pet loss is something everyone has experienced. Their lives are shorter and only borrowed to us for a given time. When their time is up, off to Rainbow Bridge they go where they are restored to live life fully waiting to meet us again at Rainbow Bridge.

Rainbow Bridge Poem

Rainbow Bridge Poem
Rainbow Bridge Poem

Among The Sea Of Hostas

In my back garden among the sea of hostas is where my beloved pets and my mom’s are buried. Last year I got an idea to make a ‘Rainbow Bridge’ to put back there. How I was going to portray it to be a ‘Rainbow Bridge’ was another story. I did not want to spend money buying all the colors of the rainbow in paint. I built the bridge and will show you how I did it in another post that I am working on.

Then The Idea Came…

I would make a sign that said ‘Rainbow Bridge’. How I would do it without putting too much expense into it was another story.

I had this garden stake that has fabric on it in a square. Whatever was painted on it had faded. I saw that and thought this is what I was going to use for my sign.

I also inherited some fabric paint. It is old and I had to go through them to find out which ones I could use to make a rainbow. It was a challenge as many of the fabric paints were dried out.

There were also some jewels of various colors I decided to throw in as well. The following is a picture of the finished sign. It sort of looks like a 10 year old made it but I think that is where the charm is in it because of the purpose the sign is to portray. It is a rainbow where all our beloved pets use to cross ‘Rainbow Bridge’ to wait to meet up with us again.

Garden sign paint faded.
Garden sign paint faded.
Finished Rainbow Bridge Sign.
Finished Rainbow Bridge Sign.
Up close outside in its new home.
Up close outside in its new home.
I'll meet you at 'Rainbow Bridge'.
I’ll meet you at ‘Rainbow Bridge’.

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Vegetable Garden Tips Followed By A Heavy Rain

It must have been around 3 am when the storm went through. There was lots of thunder and lightning that came along with the rain. Every gardener hopes hail is not a 4th ingredient. The best thing to do is check the gardens out the following morning.

All of these ingredients can wreck a garden in minutes by way of plant damage, soil erosion and flooding. Mother Nature is just that way. With a cup of coffee in hand and my camera around my neck I took a stroll.

My Vegetable Garden Looks Great!

My vegetable garden looks in tact.
My vegetable garden looks in tact.

Tips To Be Aware Of In The Coming Days

  • Look for any damage.
  • Avoid walking next to the plants when it is saturated. Walking near them can cause soil impacting that limits the growth of the roots.
  • Check for any exposed roots and cover them with dirt and mulch.
  • Be ready to do some weeding. Weeds pop up over night and is best to get ahead of it. Many of the seeds have already germinated in the soil waiting to pop up. I am looking at the banana airplane seeds from my maple tree to be popping up everywhere.
  • Watch out for plant diseases with one being powdery mildew.
Sweet Pepper looks great.
Sweet Pepper looks great.
Grape Tomato plant has a couple of blooms that emerged.
Grape Tomato plant has a couple of blooms that emerged.

In a couple of days I will be putting the cages on both of the plants giving them time to establish roots that will grow because of the rain.

In Summary

The above are things to watch out for that can be easily fixed if noticed early. If your garden did not suffer any damage, enjoy and celebrate! Don’t forget to admire all of your hard work in preparing the plants getting the best chance for a bumper crop.

Happy Gardening!

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30 DIY Gardening Hacks That Will Assist You This Season

I am usually one of the last ones in the area to get my garden in. There are various reasons for this, one being getting the garden tilled.

I don’t mind. My best gardens have all been planted in June. In South Dakota it takes awhile for the ground to warm up. This year is no exception. My future plans will be building raised beds to extend my growing season.

Today I want to share some super simple gardening hacks — like homemade fertilizer to stretch your dollars on things you already use and keeping pests away with egg shells. This will make it easy for first time gardeners.

What does a garden teach you?

There must be a foundation from which to build from and once it is set, there must be tools to maintain it and to increase ones’ yield. Start something beautiful. Get growing!

30 DIY Gardening Hacks
30 DIY Gardening Hacks

Thank you for stopping by. Make gardening your passion!

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Planting Tomatoes & Peppers Amended With Coffee Grounds, Crushed Eggshells, & Epsom Salt

This past winter I had some time to do some research when it comes to increasing my yield and quality of vegetables for the coming season.

Used Coffee Grounds, Crushed Eggshells & Epsom Salt

Last week I am planted tomato and pepper plants using coffee grounds (Starbucks if you must know!) and crushed egg shells saved up over the winter (I eat lots of eggs!) that I will till in where I am planting these adding the Epsom Salt when I plant them. The following explains the reason for using Epsom Salt…

*Tomatoes & Epsom Salt

Tomatoes are prone to magnesium deficiency later in the growing season, and display this through yellow leaves and less production. They can greatly benefit from Ultra Epsom Salt treatments both at the beginning of their planting and throughout their seasonal life. When gardening, simply add one or two tablespoons per hole before planting the seeds or transplants. Then as the tomato matures, either work in one tablespoon of Ultra Epsom Salt per foot of plant height around the base of the tomato plant (individually), or create the tank sprayer solution mentioned above and use that every two weeks.

*Peppers & Epsom Salt

Like tomatoes, peppers are also prone to magnesium deficiency and thrive much more fully with the use of Epsom salt. This can be done in the same way as tomatoes—through adding one or two tablespoons per hole before planting (for seeds and grown plants), and then twice a week based on the height of the plant (see above). A study conducted by the National Gardening Association discovered that four out of six home gardeners noticed that their Epsom salt-treated peppers were larger than those that were un-treated. Many gardeners credit their healthy, vibrant peppers and tomatoes to Epsom salt. This solution truly aides in the production level, aesthetic beauty and quality of the harvest produced.

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The soil is ready to add the 3 ingredients.

 

The three ingredients I used.
The three ingredients I used.
Placed crushed egg shells and used coffee in the locations I was planting the tomatoes and peppers.
Placed crushed egg shells and used coffee in the locations I was planting the tomatoes and peppers.
I then mixed the soil with the 2 ingredients.
I then mixed the soil with the 2 ingredients.
Next I made trenches keeping the crushed egg shells and coffee in the location where the plant would be.
Next I made trenches keeping the crushed egg shells and coffee in the location where the plant would be.
Once the trenches are done you want to plant your tomatoes and peppers as deep as you can in order for them to establish a good root system. Using the trench method is a way to accomplish this.
Once the trenches are done you want to plant your tomatoes and peppers as deep as you can in order for them to establish a good root system. Using the trench method is a way to accomplish this.
Place 1 - 2 Tablespoons of Epsom Salt in each hole.
Place 1 – 2 Tablespoons of Epsom Salt in each hole.
And there they are! They are all settled in their new home waiting to grow!
And there they are! They are all settled in their new home waiting to grow!

It is always great to try new things. Keeping a record of it will be of great help in the future so grab yourself a notebook just for gardening to write down all your hits and misses because there are plenty of both in gardening.

If you liked what I wrote, please share with others. If you would like to get my posts straight to your email, sign up. As always so glad you are here! Marilyn

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*Information taken from SaltWorks website. Please go there for further information.

If you want more gardening articles please go to Gardening Marilyn’s Way for additional links.

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Getting Past Perfectionism/Procrastination When You Garden

Late this afternoon I posted the following photo on Facebook

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Last Tuesday I went to a pain clinic to have a Paraspinal Injections – Facet Joint and Nerve Root Blocks. I must first go through two trial injections of the facet joint where along with having Fibromyalgia I also have severe arthritis and disk degeneration going on in my lower back.

The injection sites have been tender and with all the bending, twisting and turning I did gardening, my lower back was inflamed. I could no longer finish what I had planned for the day.

I made myself a healthy dinner and sat down to watch a movie where I eventually dozed off.

There was one last thing I needed to do. It was to drive to my neighbors that live on a farm a couple of miles from here to purchase 2 dozen eggs.

I got a text from her saying she would be home in a half an hour and I could stop by then.

That’s When I Got The Idea!

Hmm. Thirty minutes is really 2 – 15 minute sessions of being able to do anything except whine according to FlyLady. I really wanted to get my green beans in before it rains tomorrow.

Out I went back into the garden and instead of using a string to make a straight line like I did five years ago when I began to garden after a hiatus, I estimated. Yup, ‘Perfectionism and Procrastination’ had to go! 
I decided to estimate.
I decided to estimate.
You can see the beans planted in not so perfect of a line.
You can see the beans planted in not so perfect of a line.
I covered with dirt.
I covered with dirt.
And now the beans are in! Bring on the rain!
And now the beans are in! Bring on the rain!

Was It The Correct Way?

Maybe not. The thing is, will it really matter when they begin to grow and become mature plants? I think not. And that’s how you get past perfectionism and procrastination.

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9 Filler Ideas For Large Planters

You have your eye on a large beautiful planter at the store. It would look so nice to the entrance to your home. Then if you are like me you think about how many bags of potting soil will you need to buy?

Living With Fibromyalgia And Arthritis

Before too long I have talked myself out of the entire idea. Why? For me the thought of lifting large bags of potting soil to fill the planter is something I have to consider when I garden. If I have to handle too heavy of anything, it could send me into a Fibro Flare.

There Has To Be A Better Way

Then it happened.  A neighbor blessed me with a large planter.  I wasn’t able to put it to use last season but wanted to now.

When I went to pick up my plants I had ordered from the a local greenhouse I expressed the dilemma with the large planter. That is when she suggested to fill the planter with cans! She said most plants depth to allow for roots are less than 12 Inches. This also makes it easy to move.

Why Stop At Cans?

Here are 9  filler ideas for items you can use to fill your large planters!

  1. Cans
  2. Nursery Six Packs
  3. Rocks
  4. Plastic Milk Jugs
  5. Soda Bottles
  6. An Inverted Smaller Pot
  7. Plastic Containers With Lids
  8. Packing Peanuts
  9. Starter Pots

Large Planter Filler Tutorial

The following is step by step how I was able to put this new idea to me to use.

First I had to decide where I was going to put this large planter. Because of last winter’s extreme cold in the Dakotas, I lost a shrub. The planter would make a great replacement.

I moved it to its new location and then began to gather fillers.

Move to the location you want it.
Move to the location you want it.
Fill with empty cans, inverted pots, six pack containers, starter pots.
Fill with empty cans, inverted pots, six pack containers, starter pots.
Fill a bucket full of amended potting soil.
Fill a bucket full of amended potting soil.
Empty into planter.
Empty into planter.
Flowers I got on sale.
Flowers I got on sale.
The planter in its new home.
The planter in its new home.

Next time you have your eye on a large planter, go ahead and buy it and fill it up first with one or more of the above fillers, add potting soil and plant your flowers!

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Marilyn

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