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ARE BIRDS GOOD OR BAD FOR THE GARDEN?

My Dad’s favorite avocations were gardening and bird watching. As I was growing up in Missouri and Michigan, I do not remember Dad having any problems with birds in his … (read article)

Garden Journals

MY BATTLE WITH LEAF FOOTED STINK BUGS

The Leaf Footed Bug is from the stink bug family of insects. These include Shield Bugs, Harlequin Bugs, Green Squash Bugs and other squash bugs. They all emit an obnoxious … (read article)

Garden Journals

How Does My Garden Grow?

Gardeners always ask me, “what products do you use in your garden?”  We try to test every product we sell in a staff member’s garden. Of the more than 80 … (read article)

Garden Journals

Oh My Vincas!

I am in love with my bed of vincas. They are planted in an elevated bed on my upstairs deck. I can see them from my bedroom and living room … (read article)

Garden Journals

Recharging Potting Soil

Soil in pots, containers, and raised or elevated beds is more quickly depleted of nutrients than garden soil. Both are depleted by plants using nutrients but potting soil does not … (read article)

Garden Journals

ROOT KNOT NEMATODES IN THE SPRING OF 2018

It is May here in Rockport, Texas. After having significant rain in January through March, we are now in drought conditions. The temperature during the last half of this month … (read article)

Garden Journals

DO I WANT WEEDS AND GRASS IN MY GARDEN? (PART II)

I retired and moved to Rockport, Texas in 2007 so we could be closer to our son and his family in Houston, as well as to fish and bird watch. … (read article)

Garden Journals

DO I WANT WEEDS AND GRASS IN MY GARDEN?

The answer to the above question is “No!” and “yes”. The reality is I probably don’t have a choice. In the late 50’s, my grandmother Green moved off the family … (read article)

Garden Journals

THE USEFUL AND USELESS GARDEN CATALOGUES

Back in the 1980s in El Paso Texas when I started ordering seeds from Garden Catalogues, I would usually get the catalogues in January and February. Now here in Rockport, … (read article)

Garden Journals

THE ATTACK OF THE TOMATO HORN WORMS

On or about April 18th 2018, my tomato plants were attacked by an army of Tomato Horn Worms. Over the next 3 days I found over 40 horn worms from … (read article)

Garden Journals

BE GENTLE WITH THE EARTH

How a person treats their pet when they are alone says a lot about a person’s character as being kind and caring or mean and coercive. Sweet Pea, our 9 … (read article)

Garden Journals

Spring Forward

It’s that time again! The days are getting longer, seedlings are sprouting in trays and garden boxes, and my pomegranate, fig, and pear trees are starting to dress themselves in … (read article)

Garden Journals

AVOID: IDLE HANDS AND AN IDLE LIFE

Monasteries were formed before and during the Middle Ages to help a community of Monks, laymen, and sometimes Sisters and lay women to survive and find spiritual nurture of their … (read article)

Garden Journals

Hybrid versus Heirloom

This year I spent more time reading about plants and not just shopping for them. As I shared in my most recent blog, I purchased my tomato, pepper and herb … (read article)

Garden Journals

TEMPLE ORANGES FOR A 100TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

On February 4th, 2018, my Aunt Clarence celebrated her 100th birthday in Roswell, NM. She outlived my mother, and her two brothers who were all younger than her. She and … (read article)

Garden Journals

My New Way of Buying Plants

I always have loved shopping for plants.  It’s usually an all day trip to various stores and garden centers in Rockport and neighboring towns.  Almost like a scavenger hunt, searching … (read article)

Garden Journals

GROWING HEALTHY ROOT CROPS

2018 has been a good year for root crops. I planted turnips, carrots, and radishes around the 1st of November, 2017. As usual I planted the Purple Top turnip seeds … (read article)

Garden Journals

Why Have a Fenced In Garden?

In El Paso, Texas I had a 5 foot tall rock wall around all of my backyard. In the desert there were no deer or other varmints. However, the rock … (read article)

Garden Journals

GARDENING AFTER HURRICANE HARVEY

On August 24, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made land fall directly over Rockport, Texas. My wife and I left early in the afternoon of the 24th and stayed with friends in … (read article)

Garden Journals

New Year, New Gardens

I have always felt that good things come from situations in my life that are not good.  Like a Hurricane. Category 4.  Direct hit on my town, my home, the … (read article)

Garden Journals

Hurricane Winds & Floods Bring New Plant Life

If you live in an area affected by one of the recent hurricanes you have likely noticed some new arrivals in your lawn and garden. Strong weather events such as hurricanes and … (read article)

Garden Journals

Arbor Delay

A friend of mine recently got me thinking about fruit trees.  Robin and I are next door neighbors with adjoining backyards and a mutual interest in growing food; we quickly … (read article)

Garden Journals, Gardening Know-How

HOW MUCH TO WATER THE GARDEN?

It has been very hot, dry, and humid here in Rockport, Texas, this summer. My garden friends and I have discussed how much in minutes and how often to water … (read article)

Garden Journals, Watering

PRACTICAL WISDOM SAYINGS

My Grandpa Green, a farmer, only had one arm and hand which he could use. My Dad was born in 1916. By the time he was 10, he and his … (read article)

Garden Journals, Gardening Know-How

GROWING GARDEN COVER CROPS

It is late July and the only vegetable growing in my garden is about 25 feet of okra. The other 6 ½ rows are bare except for a few weeds. … (read article)

Garden Journals, Gardening Know-How

The Hand that Stills the Barley

Off the west coast of Scotland, the southernmost of the Inner Hebrides, lies an island whose economy relies almost entirely on the availability of a single crop. Barley is the … (read article)

Garden Journals, Gardening Know-How

MY GARDENING SUCCESSES AND DISAPOINTMENTS

After 35 years of organic gardening and 10 years of battling root knot nematodes in the sugar sand of the Texas coast, I have had a major discovery and success … (read article)

Garden Journals, Gardening Know-How

Why I Garden

It’s so hot in Rockport, Texas that both the people and the plants are wilting. Because my plants are all in containers, watering is always a daily task. Now, it’s … (read article)

Garden Design, Garden Journals

Knee High By the Fourth of July

The fourth of July always reminds me of my grandfather, Bill Stewart. He was a farmer in Marissa, Illinois. He raised a few cows and grew soybeans and corn. The … (read article)

Garden Journals

GROWING VEGETABLES IN THE SUMMER HEAT

Here it is the middle of June and what do I have growing in my garden here on the Texas coast? We are having 10 hours of sunlight with the … (read article)

Garden Journals, Gardening Know-How

Turning Up The Heat

Hello friends! I want to apologize for my long absence. I have recently been overseas with extremely limited access to electricity and the Internet. It was a wonderful trip and … (read article)

Garden Journals

PLANTING FRUIT TREES ON RAISED BEDS

I grew up on a farm in SE Missouri in the 1940s. Even when Dad was still farming with horses and mules, he planted on raised rows about 6 inches … (read article)

Garden Journals, Gardening Know-How

When Something Goes Wrong In The Garden

My spring vegetable garden was doing very nicely. The tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini, and cucumbers, all planted in containers, were growing taller each day. The plants were green, pretty, and … (read article)

Garden Journals, Gardening Know-How

THE JOY OF GATHERING THE FRUIT OF MY GARDEN

My mentor in psychology is Viktor Frankl, the German prison camp survivor, who wrote, MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING. He describes three kinds of values that give life meaning. The creative … (read article)

Garden Journals

THE MANY USES OF MOLASSES

I grew up eating molasses mixed with butter on toast or biscuits. My grandmother made “Egg Butter” by mixing molasses, egg, cinnamon, and butter in a skillet, cooking it until … (read article)

Plant Diseases: Identification & Solutions

More Than a Pretty Face: Flowers in the Edible Garden

By now, I’m sure you all have realized that I am a huge fan of growing food in whatever space is available. As the saying goes, #growfoodnotlawns. But if you … (read article)

Garden Journals

I FEED BOTH THE SOIL AND THE PLANTS

Life is made up of linear thinking where decisions are either this way or that way, and circular both/and thinking where the cause is the effect and the effect is … (read article)

Garden Journals

Beauty is in the Eye of the Gardener

Since moving to Rockport, Texas to join Spray-N-Grow full time, I have gardened at three different homes. The first two were traditional homes with massive live oak trees in the … (read article)

Garden Design

MY FAVORITE GARDENING TOOLS

Developing mastery skills with hand tools is important whether it is carpentry, mechanics, plumbing and/or gardening. These skills provided me with a sense of usefulness, competence, independence, and affirmation of … (read article)

Gardening Know-How

The Gardener as Artist

Something I have always loved about gardening is the cultivation of a unique garden style. The potential combinations of individual elements are infinite, and none of them is inherently wrong. … (read article)

Garden Journals

How to Build a One Plant Cucumber Trellis

I love our Elevated Garden Planters and have two on my patio. The 22” tall bed has three peppers, two oregano plants and marigolds (to discourage bugs from eating my … (read article)

Garden Design

Why am I an Organic Gardener?

Organic Gardening is not only something I have been doing for the past 32 years, it is part of my Identity. Organic Gardening provides a significant perspective to my meaning … (read article)

Gardening Know-How

What Are The Organic Fertilizers That I Use?

During the 33 years that I have been an Organic Gardener, the cost of obtaining various organic fertilizers has increased. The price of chemical fertilizers has also increased. Using organic … (read article)

Garden Journals

The Gardening Tip I Learned From My Oregano Plant

I planted my fall tomatoes in early November. It was very, very late to plant them but the fall was brutally hot, especially in October. I added some Greek and … (read article)

Gardening Know-How

TIPS FOR USING WALL O’ WATER

I planted my tomato seeds under the grow light the week after Christmas here in Rockport, Texas. I planted the plants in the garden during the first week in February … (read article)

Garden Journals

You Can Garden Anywhere

Welcome to my gardening Blog. I am Melanie Lyon, Bill’s oldest daughter. There isn’t a time in my life that I don’t remember gardening with someone in my family. Of … (read article)

Starting Out

A New Leaf

Spring is in the air! I know that winter hasn’t let up for everyone just yet, but here in Central Texas, the trees are budding out, the wildflowers are popping … (read article)

Starting Out

Sheet Composting: My Introduction to Organic Gardening

I am a 75 year old retired Pastoral Counselor. My avocation for the past 33 years has been ‘organic gardening’. However, I was introduced to organic gardening at age 6. … (read article)

Soil & Compost: It All Starts Here

Welcome to My Little Corner of the (New) World

Hello, my gardening friends! My name is Allyson. I am the second-youngest granddaughter of Mr. Bill, Spray-N-Grow’s own creative, caring, and, if I may say, rather clever founder. I am … (read article)

Garden Journals