12 Ways to Tell When a Watermelon is Ripe

ripe watermelon cut in half

I’m about ready to harvest my first watermelon! Not only my first watermelon of the season, but the first watermelon I have ever grown – ever! I’m incredibly excited to hit this milestone, as I’ve always had a hard time growing these delicious fruits. In a few weeks, I think my fruit will be all … Read more

Is Poison Hemlock Deadly?

poison hemlock

When I was a kid, my parents used to take us out on hiking trails almost every weekend. I was also a cub scout for a few years, and so I spent a lot of time in nature reserves on hiking trails. One thing that I learned every quickly was: leave. plants. alone. This is … Read more

Wild Lettuce – Everything You Need to Know

wild lettuce flower buds

Nature has a way of offering amazing benefits in not-so-pretty packaging. Wild lettuce blends in with nearly any bed of weeds or forest ground, but offers a wide variety of benefits that can be mixed into salads, added to tea, and harvested for the latex-like sap. A great herb for preppers and homesteaders alike, wild … Read more

How to Grow and Use White Clover

white clover

When most people think of clover, what comes to mind are the staple green leaves and the folklore of luck when you find a four-leaf clover. Clover is often viewed as a weed or derivative of grass, when actually it is a great crop cover and overall addition to landscaping. If you’re a homesteader, then … Read more

Top 20 Summer Bedding Plants and Flowers to Grow

Bedding plants are either annuals or biennials and are grown for the continuous color they provide over many months. The plants are normally short-lived, but because of the huge range available, you can have color in the garden almost all year by using bedding plants. Summer bedding plants are a fantastic choice for a new … Read more

19 Ways To Get Rid of Weeds Without Chemicals

No-one wants the hard work, money and energy that they have invested in creating a garden to be ruined by weeds. It’s sometimes a temptation to go to the store and buy an environmentally friendly product that say it will eliminate the problem. But just as it isn’t necessary to use toxic chemicals to prevent … Read more

How To Grow Tarragon in Your Garden

tarragon

Tarragon (Artemisia Dracunculus) is a super addition to any herb garden if your growing conditions permit. There are different types of tarragon, Russian, Mexican and French. It’s not a great looking plant, but it is hardy and a sophisticated addition to your kitchen herb garden. Commonly grown to use as a herb because of its … Read more

How To Grow Echinacea in Your Garden

echinacea

The blooms of the Echinacea Purpurea, also known as the coneflower, are resistant to drought and attract songbirds, butterflies, and winged insects; their daisy-like look appeals to a range of pollinators. Hummingbirds are attracted to its rich nectar, and finches eat and scatter the seeds. Native to central and south-eastern US, this perennial blooms from … Read more

Growing Daffodils Step by Step

daffodil flower

Nothing heralds the onset of Spring more than the bright sunshine yellow of the first traditional daffodil (narcissus) bloom. It is the Spring treasure that delights us all each year. In this article, we will explore why daffodils are a good and cost-effective choice for the homesteader to grow. We will take a peek at … Read more

Worm Castings 101

Composting with worms is one of the best ways to create your own fertile, nutritious soil – even if you don’t have a lot of room outdoors for a full-fledged compost bin. You can get rid of all kinds of garden waste as well as kitchen debris, like vegetable peelings. Plus, worm composting helps free … Read more

Know Your Tomato: Is It A Bush Or A Vine?

tomatoes

Growing tomatoes is simple. After all, isn’t that why so many gardeners choose to grow them as their first introduction to backyard growing? Unfortunately, it’s a bit more complicated than simply watering and fertilizing your tomatoes. You also need to truly know your tomato – and whether it is a bush or a vine. One … Read more

Easy Urban Composting – And It’s Free!

finished compost squeezed in hand

Composting is an essential component to permaculture and gardening. It is also essential in striving for that goal of sustainability. Rather than throwing away the trimmings from your kitchen vegetables or the leaves and grass clippings in your yard, let’s turn it into a rich nutrient filled soil. We call this compost. What a great … Read more

How To Grow Lavender in Your Garden

lavender

Think of long lazy days in the South of France, and you will be in the lavender fields of Provence. Stretching as far as the eye can see, these blue purple blooms fill the air with their sweet fragrant scent. This eternal symbol of Provence grows with the dazzling Mediterranean Sea as its backdrop. Fortunately, … Read more

Growing Kohlrabi Step by Step

kohlrabi

If you ever wanted to grow a vegetable in your garden that would have your friends and family stopping in their tracks, pointing, and exclaiming, “What is that?” then you’ve got to consider growing kohlrabi. Kohlrabi is a unique plant that many people don’t include in their cooking – let alone in their garden plans. … Read more

How to Grow Parsley In Your Garden

parsley

For many people, parsley is nothing more than a garnish that rests off to the side of the dinner plate. For others, parsley is a necessary staple in the kitchen, providing a whole host of flavors and uses for home chefs. I happen to fall into the latter category. Although I wasn’t a huge fan … Read more

The Ultimate Guide To No-Till Gardening

walkways in no-till garden

No-till gardening is a recent trend for homesteaders looking to improve their land instead of depleting it. Traditional farming and gardening tactics reduce soil biology and fertility, leading to successive plantings that are less productive. No-till gardening aims to build soil life and structure while reducing some backbreaking jobs that traditional gardeners deal with regularly. … Read more