Tag Archives: Gardening

How To Grow Your Own Plastic-Free Scrub Sponge

By Texas Homesteader ~      

I love to grow luffa gourds (some spell it loofah) in my garden. There are so many things you can do with these large gourds! Recently I harvested a large crop of luffa from the garden and decided to make a flat scrubby luffa kitchen sponge with some of them.

But how do I take this large fibrous gourd and make it into a hard-working scrub sponge? Well you’re really not gonna believe how easy this is!

Luffa (or loofah) gourd can be grown in the garden and used for an all-natural biodegradable and compostable kitchen scrub sponge. #TexasHomesteader

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Simple Composting Guide for A Healthy Garden

by Texas Homesteader
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Black gold, gardeners delight, compost – it’s all the same thing. And making your own compost is simple.

But how do you make compost? What can be composted and what cannot? What kind of container do you put it in? 

There are lots of different answers and methods to those questions.   Let’s start with the container.

Compost is very easy to make at home as long as you're mindful of the greens/browns balance. Come see how we make our own black gold! #TexasHomesteader

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Harvesting Coriander From Cilantro – A Multi-Use Garden Treat

By Texas Homesteader ~

I use coriander in my cooking from time to time. But because I don’t use it often I’d hate to buy a bottle of coriander. It would just go stale before I could use the whole bottle. But luckily I don’t have to buy it.

You see, I always have cilantro in my garden. It typically comes up on a volunteer basis as a result of seed falling to the ground. But cilantro seed is… coriander.

So I take advantage of this dual-purpose garden goodie and harvest coriander when the cilantro is done, typically around the end of May here in NE Texas.

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How To Grow, Harvest & Preserve Garlic

by Texas Homesteader 

We eat a lot of garlic. It lends a vibrant flavor to even the simplest savory dishes.

And the health benefits of garlic are well documented. So I make sure to plant plenty in my garden each year.

But how do you preserve a full garden’s harvest of garlic? I want to make sure that not a single clove of my homegrown garlic goes bad.

Tips of planting, growing, harvesting and preserving garlic. #TexasHomesteader

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The Lazy Gardener’s Plant List – Plant Once & Eat For Years!

by Texas Homesteader ~

There are some plants that work perfectly for a lazy gardener. You know the ones – you plant them once and they provide you with food year after year? I’m sharing some of my faves.

Our homestead is located in NE Texas – in planting zone 8. So your lazy-gardener plant list may be slightly different than mine depending upon your typical weather conditions.

But following is a list of things I – for the most part – planted once and then pretty much just forgot about. And some of these things have provided food for us for several years so far, with several more years to go.

 

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The Home-Gardener’s Sweetener – STEVIA!

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Several years ago our daughter mentioned casually that she was growing Stevia.

Wait, Stevia? You mean, the sweetener? You can GROW THAT!!?? I had no idea!

Excitedly I sat out to find a place to purchase the plant. I found mine at a local discount-type store and brought it home.

But now that I’m growing my own zero-calorie sweetener, what should I do with it?

Stevia is a plant you can grow in your edible landscape. Harvest the leaves to make your very own home-grown sweetener. #TexasHomesteader

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April Vegetable Garden Update: Late Start, Tomato Glut & Stevia Sprouts

By Texas Homesteader ~

Well, it seems it’s been a slow start in the garden this season. Here in Northeast Texas (hardiness zone 8) it’s generally thought to be relatively safe to plant your veggie garden after Easter.

The temps had been warm in the weeks before Easter. And it lulled many into a false sense of security. Many gardeners jumped the gun & planted their garden a little early. But then a cold front came through and dropped temps into the upper 30’s.

How has my garden fared so far? Well let’s stroll through the garden and see what’s going on…

My zone 8 vegetable garden is off to a slow start, and some plants succumbed to the February winter storm. But there are many successes as well. Come see! #TexasHomesteader

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Living Mulch Using Vining Plants

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Here in NE Texas the summers can be hot and dry. So veggie garden plants can benefit and be protected by using mulch to cover the soil. It protects it from the drying heat of that brutal Texas summer sun.

It also helps preserve the precious moisture that can be zapped by the hot and dry summer months.

You can buy commercial mulch of course. But I’ve been known to use natural (and FREE) products when mulching around trees and plants. Things such as grass clippings, Free Bark Mulch or even spent hay from around the hay rings.

But for my vegetable garden I’m using something even easier. And it’s something that doesn’t need to be purchased in a plastic bag nor hauled to the garden. No hoe or rake to spread, no extra work at all.

Check out this work-saving Homestead Hack, y’all!

Garden plants benefit from long vines shading the soil. It's like growing your own living mulch. Work smarter, not harder. #TexasHomesteader

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