Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Abe's Guide to June Wildflowers

Abe's Guide to June Wildflowers







This book includes over twenty common June blooming wildflowers with photographs. This book allows easier identification of wildflowers in the field because it is composed only of the earliest wildflowers of the season, the wildflowers which bloom in June.

It is the third book in the "A Year of Wildflowers" series which will portray the wildflowers of Indiana as they progress throughout the year. The series commences with Gardens and Nature Guide to April Wildflowers. It will end with Gardens and Nature Guide to September Wildflowers.

There will be at least twenty flowers and photographs in each book. You will be able to download each of these books and take them out on hikes to help you identify the flowers you see along the trail, in meadows or other wild places.

Available On: Kindle
Sony
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Apple
. Smashwords
. Omlit
. Inkbok
. Google Play
. Create Space - Softcover Book

Other Books By Abe Edwards

© Mossy Feet Books 2013

Friday, July 18, 2014

Abe’s Guide to May Wildflowers

Abe’s Guide to May Wildflowers







It is the second book in the "A Year of Wildflowers" series which will portray the wildflowers of Indiana as they progress throughout the year. The series commences with Gardens and Nature Guide to May Wildflowers. It will end with Gardens and Nature Guide to September Wildflowers.

There will be at least twenty flowers and photographs in each book. You will be able to download each of these books and take them out on hikes to help you identify the flowers you see along the trail, in meadows or other wild places.

This book includes over twenty common May blooming wildflowers with photographs. This book allows easier identification of wildflowers in the field because it is composed only of the earliest wildflowers of the season, the wildflowers which bloom in May.



Available On: Kindle
Sony
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Apple
. Smashwords
. Omlit
. Inkbok
. © Mossy Feet Books 2013

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dispose of Kitchen and Garden Waste Using Trench Composting

Dispose of Kitchen and Garden Waste Using Trench Composting

What Is Trench Composting?
Trench composting is one of the simplest composting systems used by gardeners. All you do is dig a trench, fill it with garden, kitchen or yard waste and then cover the filled pit with soil. No stinky, unsightly compost piles sitting around attracting bugs, neighborhood dogs or rodents. The debris breaks down with the help of soil bacteria, fungi and earthworms. The resulting organic mix provides fertilizer in the root zone of the plants growing in the bed. This composting system simulates an old soil building technique called double digging. It works great with a raised bed garden.



Advantages of the Pit Composting Method
It puts the compost in the root zone of the plants.
The loosened soil provides an ideal medium for plant roots to grow.
Added organic material improves the moisture-retaining ability of the soil.
This composting method is useful for residents of communities that disallow compost piles.

Some Disadvantages of Direct Composting

  • Digging the trenches is labor-intensive. 
  • Areas of the garden may be out of production. 


How to Compost Directly in the Garden
If you grow your vegetables in raised beds this system is easy to incorporate into the garden. It is best to begin the system in late summer or fall but early spring will also do. Dig a trench across one of the beds about eight inches to one foot deep and any width that is convenient. Save this soil in a bucket or wheelbarrow. Incorporate a slow release organic fertilizer into the bottom of the pit, if desired. Using the shovel, break up the soil at the bottom of the pit, working the fertilizer into the soil. This not only puts fertilizer deep into the soil, it also loosens the subsoil. Doing this gives plant roots an easy to penetrate zone to grow. Add the plant or kitchen debris. The material can include leaves, grass clippings, and any kitchen scraps that do not include meat, bones or fat. You can also add garden debris like corn stalks, spent tomato plants or other plant material. After filling the trench level with debris, cover it with dirt from a trench dug next to the filled one. If composting in the fall or early spring before planting the garden, continue the digging until you finish the entire bed. Fill the last trench with the saved soil from the first trench that you dug.

Rotation in the Garden
During the growing season, you can trench compost in spots between crops or in areas that become empty due to crop harvesting. Just dig a small hole, being careful not to disturb root systems of nearby crops, bury the kitchen scraps and cover with soil. As crop plants in the beds mature in a bed, harvest the crops; remove the plants and trench compost the bed. Wait a couple of weeks to replant after covering the trenches with soil. In this way, you will double dig/trench compost all the beds during a growing season or two.

© Abe's Beer Garden 2014

Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening





What Are Raised Beds?
A raised bed is any elevated growing area used to grow plants in soil. You can grow vegetables, flowers, herbs or small fruits like strawberries in a raised garden. The bed's construction can be from a variety of materials and be of just about any size and shape that suits the whim of the gardener.

Why Garden in Raised Beds?
Gardening in a raised bed presents many advantages over standard row gardening. These advantages include:
Planting, weeding and maintaining the elevated beds is easier.
Since they are not applied to the walking paths, soil amendments go further.
Closer spacing of plants increases yields and decreases weeds.
The bed frame confines the soil to the bed, increasing the attractiveness of the garden area.
Reduced soil compaction allows the plant's roots to grow unimpeded.
Irrigation is easier.
Since you hand cultivate the garden beds heavy garden equipment is not needed.



Disadvantages of Garden Beds
Elevated beds need more irrigation
Some crops, like sweet corn and potatoes, may not lend themselves to raised beds well.

Construction Material to Build Elevated Gardens
Many materials are good candidates for constructing a raised bed garden. Concrete retaining wall blocks provide a long lasting, attractive raised bed. Solid block are best as hollow concrete blocks can provide a place for mice, slugs, snails and other vermin to hide. Redwood and cedar are two attractive wood products that can last a long time. Many gardeners use pressure treated lumber to construct beds. There are concerns about arsenic leaching into the soil from this material. Here is an article in Fine Gardening Magazine that can help you make up your mind about using pressure treated wood.

Best Size and Shape for a Garden Frame
Raised garden beds for vegetables are usually rectangular in shape, but they do not have to be. If you have an odd shaped area in the yard you want to use for a garden, feel free to construct it to conform to the shape of the area. It is best not to make the bed more than four to five feet in width because it can be difficult to reach into the middle of the bed.

Irrigating the Raised Bed Garden
These beds do need more irrigation than a standard row garden. You can use a watering can or hose to water, or install a drip irrigation system in the beds. It is convenient to use a water timer to control the amount of time that the system operates. Or place water filled plastic jugs placed around the garden with small holes in the bottom allow the water inside to leak out slowly. This allows the water to soak the ground around it.

A raised bed garden can provide a haven of beauty in the backyard if planted with flowers and small shrubs. It can also be a cornucopia of fresh foods for your table, or a little of both. With a little effort and ingenuity just about any sunny spot in the yard can be home to a raised garden bed. 

© Abe's Beer Garden 2014


Abe’s Guide to April Wildflowers

Abe’s Guide to April Wildflowers







Abe's Guide to April Wildflowers includes twenty common early spring woodland wildflowers with photographs. This book allows easier identification of wildflowers in the field because it is composed only of the earliest wildflowers of the season, the wildflowers which begin bloom in April or late March.

It is the first book in the “A Year of Wildflowers” series which will portray the wildflowers of Indiana as they progress throughout the year. This book commences the series which will end with the October flowers. There will be at least twenty flowers and photographs in each book. You may download these books to your electronic reading device, or print them out, to take out on a wildflower hike.

Here in southeastern Indiana the early spring wildflower season begins in early April with the emergence of the spring beauty in the woodland. Snow white cut leaved toothwort and blue phlox follow next. These early blooming woodland wildflowers must take advantage to the sunlight they will receive during these early spring days before the leaf canopy develops. This early season burst of early spring color encompasses the months of April and May. By mid May the leaves have emerged and most of the early spring flower will develop their seed pods and then go dormant until the next spring.

The early woodland wildflower show of spring beauties, trilliums, and dog tooth lilies signals the arrival of spring. The northern deciduous forests can put on quite a show of color during the spring months, and there is no corresponding season of color in the tropical forests to the south. The forests and woodlands of Indiana sport an interesting array of wildflowers. Shooting stars, Virginia bluebells, wood sorrel and cut leaved toothworts make up just a portion of the variety you will see. If you want to see them, though, don't dally. The springtime woodland show usually only lasts a month to six weeks, from approximately early April until late April into early May. By late May most of the early woodland flowers have gone to sleep for another year.

Available On: Kindle
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Apple
. © Mossy Feet Books 2013

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This Week in Abe's Beer Garden - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This Week in Abe's Beer Garden
Wednesday, July 16, 2014






Monarda
Daylily
Hardy Geranium
Mini Rose climber
Gaillardia
Coreopsis lanceolata
Coreopsis threadleaf, Zagreb
Black Eye Susan
Prairie Coneflower
Mountain Mint
Asi Lily
Liatris
Hibiscus
Blackberry Lily

In the Vegetable Garden
Harvest has begun on cucumber, beet, summer lettuce, carrot, cabbage, green beans and swiss chard.

In the Vegetable Garden Harvest has begun on cucumber, beet, summer lettuce, carrot, cabbage, green beans and swiss chard.

© Abe's Beer Garden 2014

Abe’s Guide to Growing Marigolds

Abe’s Guide to Growing Marigolds







The marigold is one of the most popular flowers found in gardens today. Adaptable to a wide variety of soils and growing conditions, the marigold has earned that popularity. Abe’s Guide to Growing Marigolds contains all the information you will need to grow marigolds successfully from seed to garden beauty.
This guide contains descriptions for almost fifty different varieties, as well as sources for the seed to those varieties.

Available On: Kindle
Sony
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Apple
. Smashwords
. Inkbok
. Omlit
. Other Books By Author

© Mossy Feet Books 2013