Tag Archives: Gardening

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 it at a local discount warehouse-type store and brought it home. I plunked it into my landscaping bed as part of my edible landscape. It’s a pretty enough plant, so why not?

I’ve had this plant for a couple of years and it always comes back in the spring. 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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Veggie Garden Update: May

by Texas Homesteader

May is typically a great month for veggie gardening in NE Texas.  In May the temps usually haven’t heated up too drastically. And in a normal year there’s still spring rains swinging through each week so you don’t typically have to struggle quite as much with your garden maintenance workload.

C’mon and walk with me through the garden & let’s see what’s “growing” on these days.

May is a great month for the garden. C'mon and walk with me through the veggie garden & let's see what's growing on these days. #TexasHomesteader

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Garden Update: April

by Texas Homesteader ~

Y’all know I have to have my hands in the dirt. I don’t have any control over it – that’s just something buried into my DNA. But do you wanna know a secret? I don’t really enjoy gardening (I know, REALLY??! gasp!) 

But it’s true. I don’t enjoy the planting, weeding, watering, maintenance, etc.  But I really love the harvesting and that makes it all worth the toil.

Harvesting fresh veggies from my own garden minutes before supper is healthier than veggies traveling all those miles to get to my supper table. Plus food this fresh just tastes better!  And I’ve often said that growing your own food is like printing your own money.  Pounds & pounds of fresh, organic produce for just the price of a small packet of heirloom seeds?  Yes please!

Wanna see how my garden is doing?  C’mon in, I’ll share my April garden update!

April Garden Update. Come see how my garden is doing. #TexasHomesteader

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Edible Landscape: Planting A Large Galvanized Trough

by Texas Homesteader ~

I love the concept of edible landscaping. Just because a plant grows something you can eat doesn’t mean it can’t be beautifully incorporated into your landscape plan. I’m fond of adding carrots along the perimeter of my plantings for it’s lacy greenery border. And I love using the bold crinkly leaves of a spinach plant for interest, or to anchor a planting area with a vibrant zucchini plant. I’ve used blueberry bushes in place of typical landscaping bushes. The possibilities are endless!

Recently we had an Outdoor Living room built to extend our back porch. I sat out to Landscape It On The Cheap. As always I strove to plant edibles in two huge galvanized trough planters.

Planting large galvanized water troughs for edible beauty around your home. It's easy and can be done inexpensively too. #TexasHomesteader

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How To Trick The Birds AWAY From Your Strawberries

by Texas Homesteader ~

This is my first year to plant strawberries, y’all! I’ve included them in my Edible Landscape this year. But I’ve been reading lamentations from other gardeners about the birds stealing those strawberries riiiiiight before harvest time! Now I don’t remember where I saw this hint (so sorry to whomever opened my eyes) but this is brilliant.

Someone suggested painting rocks to look like strawberries to fool the birds. You simply place the fake strawberries around your strawberry plant soon after you plant them. A few pecks on the hard faux strawberries and the birds decide that I’m such a lousy gardener that they don’t want ’em! LOL

I planted strawberries this year but I need to trick the birds away from eating them before I can harvest. I painted small rocks red to fool the birds. #TexasHomesteader

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3-Sisters Garden – A Symbiotic Planting Strategy

by Texas Homesteader ~

A popular garden planting strategy often attributed to the native American Indians is the 3-Sisters Garden. This is a garden in which corn, beans and squash were planted. But they were planted for very specific reasons. Each vegetable helped the other. And by helping each other, each vegetable also benefited by growing strong and producing a crop.

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Garden Update: March

by Texas Homesteader ~

Spring is almost here, y’all! I’ve been planning on and working in my garden already. There are a few things I’m revamping this year. For instance, I recently told you about my excitement over ‘biodegradable weed block‘.

I’ve had a system in place for years for keeping weeds and grass out of my garden’s walkways, but now I actually have something to keep grass & weeds out of the planting rows too. Less weeding? Yes please! Plus it will still help to conserve moisture & also attract earthworms. SCORE! All garden goodness right there!

See what’s going on in our garden this month…

I'm trying some new things in our vegetable garden this year. It promises to save me lots of back-breaking work in the garden. SCORE! #TexasHomesteader

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Stop Garden Weeds With Biodegradable Weed Block

by Texas Homesteader ~
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At the Mother Earth News Fair this year I attended several gardening seminars. One presenter spoke about ‘biodegradable weed block‘. It’s supposed to suppress weeds during garden season. Then it naturally degrades by the end of garden season to just be turned back into the soil. Now I hate plastic weed block because weeds grow right through the blasted stuff, it’s messy, it’s expensive and it’s PLASTIC. But I’ve never even thought about biodegradable weed block.

I wondered how it worked, what it was made of, how expensive it might be, etc. So I went online to research. I found it’s made of ‘wood pulp’. Hey, could that be PAPER??

So I’m thinking of using those heavy paper feed sacks RancherMan’s been saving for me. I’ve always used those paper feed sacks in the walkways of my garden covered by mulch. But I’d never given thought to using it in the actual planting areas. Hummmm…

Biodegradable weed block for the garden? As it turns out, it's really a thing! And it degrades by the end of the season to just mix back into your soil. I hate the plastic weed block, this more natural material appeals to me! #TexasHomesteader

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Late Winter Garden Prep Is Underway

by Texas Homesteader ~

It’s early in the season and most of us aren’t even thinking about dropping seeds or plants in the garden. Here in Texas planting zone 8 we typically don’t risk planting until Easter when in all probability the danger of the last frost is past. I’m not gonna lie, I jump the gun sometimes. There are times I get away with it, and other times I have to start all over…

But there are still garden tasks to tend to even though actual planting time is still weeks away. Come see…

Even though it's only February & cold outside, there are still garden chores to be done. Come see how I'm preparing the veggie garden. #TexasHomesteader

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All-Natural Lavender Scented Gardener’s Hand Scrub

by Texas Homesteader ~

RancherMan & I like to make our Christmas gifts ourselves to give to loved ones. This year we’d been working HARD for several months making different flavors of homemade cheese for our gifts. But my aunt is on a special diet, so cheese wouldn’t be a thoughtful gift for her at all. Hummm…

I know – she loves to garden and she’s always planting and tending to the flowers in her amazing garden. (Let me tell ya, her landscape is breath-taking!) I’ll make a hand scrub for her!

All-Natural Lavender Scented Gardener's Hand Scrub. The perfect gift for the gardeners in your life. Includes crushed lavender blooms. #TexasHomesteader

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