I ran into this concept some time ago, but this link from Mike's shows a ready made and explains the concept real well.
This is a great idea for my new privacy fence we installed for our new pool. I'm going to look for some cheap gutters and bolt them to the top rail of our fence, making sure to use big washers, to prevent them coming off from the weight (I would not use plain screws without wide washers). Nice and easy to sprout and keep vines, like Morning Glories, can dress up a plain fence and you can get them in a slew of colors.
I personally have trepidations to attaching them to the side of a house, where I first saw them used, as I do not like humidity of that sort against a house. However, I would have no problem on the side of my greenhouse, to cut summer excess heat and light.
As a Master Gardener,I was trained by both Delaware University and University of Delaware, who continue to educate us. Master Gardeners are attached to the Agricultural Extension Office as unpaid employees of both universities, required to donate a minimum of 45 hours per year of work/education/research including manning the Master Gardener's Telephone Information Service for no less than 15 hours. This year I kept record of 68.5 hours and 200 miles. However, I could have added, but did not keep record of any work I did at home, concerning the Master Gardener's Calendar, or my Gardening On The Cheap Workshop conference, which probably exceeded 20 hours, plus some of the mileage/travel time doing MG work.
Additionally, I'm in the UD's Small Farmers Program, where I have undergone additional training; we visited many farms with their staff, engaged in promoting diversification, improved practices and production, free technical assistance and non traditional income sources. Our farm will be visited in November by one of the program directors, who is quite interested in my style of gardening/farming (On the Cheap & No Stress) and particularly in the efficient small greenhouse I designed and work with.
The Carvel Ag Center is 3 miles from home on the same street. It is a very busy and well equipped education and research center, which includes a Demonstration Garden, designed and kept by Master Gardeners, open to the public and even used by the Nursery and Landscaping Association as a showpiece of design and maintenance. My Ag Extension Officer, Tracy Wooten, is an incredibly knowledgeable, hard working and good looking lady, who has gotten a lot done and who gives us great support. Master Gardeners are, for the most part, mature people from all walks of life, who bring a lot to the table and get along famously.
All in all, this has kept me active physically and mentally engaged, plus given me another career to aid my finances and light up the dusk of my life.
On Christ, the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.
Announcing the addition of our Master Gardener's shared Notebook!
Having skills in a multitude of specialties, Archangel Miguel is joining with Van Dyke Zinnias to bring our customers the wisdom and experience from years of playing in the dirt.
Our newsletter, Newsbeams! will announce to our distribution list whenever a new article appears on this website.
Watch, too, for "Gardening Shorts," a topical online class delivery of tips and tricks only a Master Gardener could suggest and present! Use the form at the bottom of the page to suggest a topic you're interested in seeing Angel tackle. NO PROBLEM IS TOO DIFFICULT!
Watch for the newsletter to announce the classes and present new articles to help you sharpen your gardening skills!
5 WAYS TO SAVE IN THE GARDEN
A Synopsis of Gardening on the Cheap
You Must Have a Plan
1.- KNOW YOUR PROPERTY
a) Measure and mark the areas you want to plant
b) Measure and mark hardware areas and any trees, or other impediments that need to be removed before planting and setting in lighting, irrigation, fences, pools, etc.
c) Know your soil's fertility and drainage by taking soil samples (Ag office processes for $10) and doing simple drainage testing (dig holes a cubic foot, fill with water, check how long it takes to empty).
d) Know the path of the sun across your property. This allows determining areas of full and partial sunlight, part and full shade, plus dappled sunlight, essential to knowing which plant life is likely to thrive.
e) Delaware winds, which can be normally strong, can also affect plant choice, Therefore, it might be wise to learn about your specific area by asking your neighbors, which in Delaware tend to be quite welcoming and have a vested interested in a well landscaped neighbors.
2.- KNOW WHAT CAN YOU GIVE TO YOUR LANDSCAPING/GARDENING
"A man must know his limitations" (Dirty Harry). He must also know his strengths.
a) How much time can you (you includes family) devote and at what times.
b) How much money as starter and to grow and maintain.
c) What can you personally do/know and what needs hired assistance.
d) What equipment/tools you need to acquire and what do you need to rent.
3.- PLANTING AREAS AND METHODS.
a) What are the needs for successful soil fertility,
b) Planting choices: direct planting areas, raised beds, potted plants, trellises, planters, etc.
4.- CHOICE OF PLANTS AND IRRIGATION METHODS
a) For any given location, choose plants that have the same requirements of soil acidity (PH), water, sunlight and wind exposure.
b) How much do you need to irrigate the given plants in different areas. How much at a time and how often.
c) By what method: sprinkler (various types), soaker hoses, plain hose with adjustable tip, watering can, drip irrigation.
5.- HOW DOES DELAWARE AVERAGE WEATHER AFFECT GARDENING
a) Different plants survive only within certain ranges of cold temperature, known as hardiness exposure limits. The US department of Agriculture keeps track of temperature lows throughout the US and, on that basis produce maps of median low temperatures known as " Agricultural Hardiness Zones". Delaware is in Ag Zone 7, which has a median between 0 and 10 degrees F. Sussex has an additional index "b" which denotes that its low is at the higher end, closer to 10 F. (MOST YEARS)
b) Most pplants are also affected by frost and need not to be exposed to frost at the start or end of their growth. So there are certain experience dates for last Spring frost, which in Delaware is sometime in April (generally safe after Mother's Day) and first Fall frost, which is sometime in November.
6.- FARMING AND GARDENING ARE EXPOSED TO THE FICKLE WILL OF NATURE WHO DOES NOT READ INSTRUCTIONS IN SEED PACKETS, NOR DOES IT MUCH CARE ABOUT WHAT THE US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BELIEVES. IT MAY SEND UNPREDICTABLE DELUGES AND DROUGHTS, HEAT WAVES, FREAK STORMS, WINDS, SNOW FALLS AND FREEZES. I'VE PERSONALLY HAVE BEEN HERE FOR ALL. THERE ARE HOWEVER TWO INEXORABLE TRUE FACTS:
LANDSCAPE IS NEVER PERMANENT
OXEN ARE SLOW BUT THE LAND KNOWS HOW TO WAIT
WORKING SMART YIELDS MORE, FASTER AND CHEAPER THAN WORKING HARD
1.- Start slow with plants that are easy to grow.
2.- Become patient and educated. Catalogs, books, garden clubs and Master Gardeners can do wonders for your education. Don't be afraid to ask. There are no indiscrete questions, just indiscrete answers.
3.- Buy the best tools you can afford. They'll do a better job and last you longer.
4.-Buy plants and seeds from a reputable provider. The same holds true for services.
5.- Keep a journal. Knowing what you bought, from what provider and how did it work out can help you to reduce costs and increase satisfaction. Memory, at least mine, is not to be trusted.
ANYTHING THAT CAN CONTAIN SOIL AND DRAIN IS CAPABLE OF SUSTAINING PLANT LIFE. IT CAN BE A CLEARED FIELD OF LOOMY SOIL, OR A BOOT WITH HOLES FILLED WITH POTTING SOIL.
I follow some simple rules as to where to save and spend:
1.- As long as a pot can be washed, sanitized and reused, even with a minor repair, don't discard it.
2.- Under the mantra of "whimsical", I have actually seen bed pans and urinals used as pots. However, my personal taste is not that whimsical, but I have made pots, planters and raised beds from siding, boards, concrete blocks, semi round posts, telephone posts, plastic trunks, feed and muck buckets, assorted cans, jugs, water troths, fallen trunks of trees and other unconventional items.
3.- I regularly use milk cartons, cans and egg cartons for seed planters and used oven pans to bottom water seedlings.
4.- Fancy planters, urns and garden ornaments can be had cheap at estate sales, auctions and flea markets. Also plants. Look around and shop around. Its part of your education.
KEEP YOURSELF AND YOUR GARDEN HEALTHY
1.- PUT DOWN THE PESTICIDES AND PLANT BEDS FULL OF FLOWERS AND PLANTS THAT ARE A WELCOME MAT TO BENEFICIAL INSECTS AND POLLINATORS.
2.- Rotate your crops; promote biodiversity and avoid monoculture; give plants proper spacing; remove the dead and sickly; top dress with compost and till in prior to planting.
3.- Water requirements in plants are not uniform, watering lavender as you would tomatoes would likely kill the lavender. Keep proper water levels and adjust them to ambient temperature and rainfall.
4.- If after following above rules you are faced with some infestation, call Master Gardeners, take samples as directed and bring them to the Agricultural Extension Office.
GROWING PLANTS FROM SEED IS CHEAP
GROWING PLANTS FROM CUTTINGS IS FREE
IN BOTH CASES LABOR IS MINIMAL
1.- Some minimal skills are to be acquired, none very difficult, as the primitive man was able to figure them out without the benefit of the extensive literature, film and learning opportunities available today.
2.- Keep in mind that not all seeds will germinate and not all cuttings will root. GARDENING IS PARTIALLY A GAME OF PERCENTAGES.
3.- Some plants inherently have a low germination rate. Some plants root easily in a short time and others take longer. Rosemary has a notoriously low seed germination rate, but roots easy from soft wood cuttings
4.- Here a combination garden journal and scrap book will be quite valuable.
SAVINGS NUMBER SIX
BUYING FULLY GROWN HEALTHY PLANTS VERY CHEAP MAXIMIZES THE YIELD OF YOUR TIME AND MONEY.
1,- KNOW THE REGULAR COST OF GROWN HEALTHY PLANTS BY VISITING NURSERIES AND LOOKING UP REPUTABLE INTERNET PROVIDERS.
2.- WITH THAT KNOWLEDGE YOU CAN THEN EVALUATE SALES AT NURSERIES, ARBOROTUMS, ESTATE SALES, AUCTIONS, MASTER GARDENERS, ETC. AND ACQUIRE PLANTS YOU CAN USE DIRECTLY FOR YOUR LANDSCAPING NEEDS AND TO SAVE SEEDS, OR TAKE CUTTINGS FROM.
ONLINE CLASSES WITH THE MASTER GARDENER!
Van Dyke Zinnias will be working with our favorite Master Gardener to offer classes in winter 2013 for those wishing to participate in a discussion and sharing of all things related to having a "green thumb."
You may offer suggestions for 4 weeks classes on the form below. We will post the class schedules in early 2013 via our online newsletter -- Flower Dew Drops' Newsbeams! For a nominal fee, you can learn the tricks of the trade from a Master Gardener with proven skills and techniques.
Watch for the news letter!
**************************************************** CONTACT INFORMATION
Van Dyke Zinnias / LobaTek Incorporated Sharon Fernandez, President 2743 Bartlett Rd., Pleasant Lake, MI 49272 WWW.VANDYKEZINNIAS.CO
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