Tuesday, May 19, 2009

For My Green Thumb Readers...

I've noticed many of you (with blogs that I read... drop me a comment if you've been lurking and we haven't connected yet) have mentioned starting up your own backyard produce farms and/or gardens, so I thought I'd pass along some great tips from yesterday's Toxic Free NC Spring 2009 email newsletter.

Organic Gardening from Scratch

Here are a few tips for starting a new garden from Toxic Free NC and Tom Mekus, owner of Native Elements Landscaping in Raleigh.

Plan for too little (and too much) water
Keeping your garden within a hose’s length of an outdoor tap is always a good idea, but it’s also wise to consider installing a rain barrel. Just one-quarter inch of rain onto a 300-square-foot section of roof can yield nearly 50 gallons of water!

Resources for gardeners
Free soil testing by the NC Dept. of Agriculture
Call your County Extension office for more info, or visit http://www.agr.state.nc.us

All about composting from the NC Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources www.p2pays.org/compost/
I thought I'd just pass along some tips that were maintenance related, since many of you have already started (and posted) some of your great results. Be sure to read the full post for some even better all-around tips.

Want to make your own rain barrel? That's definitely something I'm going to be tackling this summer... especially after previous summer droughts here in central NC.

Here are some links with how-to guides:From the EPA - Build Your Own Rain Barrel (pdf)
YouTube - How to Build a Rain Barrel (video)
YouTube - How to (On the Cheap) (video)
Get creative! Add a screen to keep out leaves, etc., add a monogram (for the particularly preppy garden), whatever floats your boat... knock yourself out. (As pictured above, I'm not above putting a monogram or some cute embellishments on a rain barrel!)

{Images: Clockwise from Top Left - Zedomax, River Falls Rain Barrel Program, This Old House, Arlington Village Green Team. Embellishments by yours truly.}


  1. You would have a monogrammed rain barrel. Mom has resorted to leaving out sandtoy buckets over here (it works well).

  2. I haven't heard of that but isn't a rain barrel just an extra large ice bucket sort of speak? I think it is a great idea.