by Susan
on 03 February 2017
with

One of the reasons that some individuals interested in gardening decide not to pursue it is because they believe gardening is hard. While gardening does take some commitment, there are many gardening hacks that make it a lot easier for first-time gardeners to try it out. Not everyone has a green thumb. However, we believe that most people have what it takes to cultivate a breath-taking, fruitful garden. This is why we've collected our favorite organic gardening hacks to share with our customers.

 

Coffee Grounds Can Save Your Garden

There's a motley mixture of critters that love to munch on gardens. Every gardener knows that dealing with these creatures can be annoying. However, we have the perfect simple trick to handle this problem.  It may sound crazy, but used coffee grounds are the terrific organic solution to your garden’s critter infestation. In fact, the coffee grounds actually repel slugs and snails, who love to eat a majority of garden plants. These are just the repellent qualities of coffee grounds, though! 

They also have a variety of other important garden benefits as well. These coffee grounds actually provide extra nitrogen to the soil, which ultimately improves its structure and tilth. The key is to mix the grounds into the soil while it's still wet. This additional nitrogen encourages the growth of microorganisms in the ground, which greatly benefit your garden’s success. It also attracts earthworms, which are a vital component of healthy soil. 

 

Don’t Throw Away Your Egg Shells!

Egg shells can improve your garden’s success and will also aid in repelling unwanted visitors. As we discussed before, slugs and snails can take a toll on a garden. Another organic solution for repelling these hungry, slimy creatures is to place crushed egg shells around your plants. Unlike used coffee grinds, there is no scientific reason that egg shells work to repel slugs and snails. In fact, the reason is simple. They don’t like sharp, jagged edges. This is easy to understand being that they can puncture the soft bodies of slugs and snails, which can kill them.  Sounds like a genius idea to us!

 

Garlic Can Keep More Than Just Vampires Away

Garlic is a powerful repellant to more than just Dracula! In fact, you can make your own organic garlic-based insect repellant at home. It’s simple! Place an organic garlic clove in your blender along with 2 cups of water, blending until smooth. Then put your repellant in a closed container to sit for 24 hours. Then filter your solution through a cheese cloth to remove any garlic chunks. Next, dilute your solution with 12 cups of water. The dilution is necessary because garlic is known to kills some bugs on contact. If you start to see dead bugs in your garden, it could mean you didn’t dilute the solution enough. This step is vital unless you want to kill the “good” bugs too. 

These are some very simple garden hacks straight out of your kitchen that even allows you to reuse your food scraps! While there are a variety of ways to repurpose your leftover meals, this is one of our favorites. For more hacks that you can use in your garden or find out where you can purchase Pefferlaw Peat products, including our new Delicious Dirt brand, feel free to contact us today! 

by Susan
on 27 January 2017
with

 

Wouldn’t it be great if our groceries could multiply? The truth is, there are actually quite a few foods you eat that can be regrown in your home garden. Regrowing food is one of our favorite gardening hacks! I mean who doesn’t like fresh-from-the-garden food and saving a little money at the same time? Check your fridge and see if you have any of these items…

 

Herbs

Herbs are pretty simple to grow and care for, which is why many beginners start their garden here. While they’re easy to grow, harsh winters can quickly wipe them out. We’ve got a hack that can save you a little trouble when starting your herb garden again. In a way, it’s an old trick we’re just repurposing. Rooting! 

Most soft-stem herbs, such as basil, bought in your local grocery store can be rooted. Just place the herb’s stems in water and put them in a sunny window. The key to success is changing out the water frequently and monitoring and root hair growth. We recommend waiting until the root hairs have grown several inches to replant the herb into a pot. It shouldn’t take long for it to establish in the pot, then you can start harvesting as you need!

 

Garlic

Garlic is one of the simplest foods to regrow! In fact, all you need to do is wait until the garlic starts to sprout. Once this begins all you need to do is stick the garlic (sprout side up) in organic soil, about 2 inches deep. They typically only need to be watered once per week. Then your garlic will be ready to harvest when the leaves turn yellow or brown, and you can feel the individual cloves. If you’ve never replanted food leftovers, garlic is the easiest one to start with. Next time you have some aging garlic cloves around your kitchen, try it out! 

 

Celery

Believe it or not, but celery is also very easy to regrow! In fact, it’s quite intriguing to watch too. When you are cutting your celery, save the base. Don’t throw it out! Rinse it off, put it in a shallow cup of warm water, then place it in a sunny window sill. Change the water out daily and watch for any signs of growth. Within 4-5 days you should begin to see the start of regrowth! After about 7-10 days the celery will be ready to be transplanted into soil. Celery is truly a transplant that keeps giving! You can continue to regrow of the same stalk base over and over. Plus, we’ve found that children really enjoy watching this unique process. 

 

Potatoes

This is a very commonly regrown food. In fact, most gardeners know they can take a piece of potato (cubed or scraps) with an eye on it and replant it to grow a new potato. Depending on how many eyes your potato has, you can grow several new potatoes from the original one. This fact may make it the best food to multiply from your pantry! Almost everyone has experienced a forgotten potato. You know, the one that never got used and when you remember it exists, it’s covered in eyes. This one is the perfect potato to regrown. Cut it up so that each piece has 1-3 eyes, then allow them to dry overnight. Next plant them with the eye facing up about 4 inches deep in the organic soil. Within a few weeks, you should start seeing your potatoes grow!

 

While none of these regrows will save the world, it can save you some money and maybe even a trip to the grocery store! For us regrowing foods is a fun project that we love to share with our families. Children love to see the magic of regrowing food, especially celery stalks. Next time you have any of these food staples in your kitchen, get little adventurous and regrow your own! For more information about regrowing food or where you can find Pefferlaw Peat’s new Delicious Dirt products, please feel free to contact us today!

by Susan
on 20 January 2017
with

 

New Year's has coming gone, and so had some of Karen's New Year's resolutions. She wasn’t one hundred percent ready to give up on them, but her whole heart and soul wasn't in just yet. Her biggest resolution was to lose weight. Karen even got a gym membership and was working out several times a week, but she knew that losing weight wasn’t just going to happen through fitness alone. Even if it did, it would be short-lived at that. Long-term progress comes from lifestyle changes, while she had made the commitment to work out, she hadn’t changed her diet. Nor did she plan to change. Well, at least not until the day she fell in love with gardening.

Mid January, Karen found herself engulfed in a conversation with her friend Mary over her new found love for cooking. Karen couldn’t help but daydream what it would be like if she too could be in love with creating healthy food. However, she was very comfortable with the convenience of her current eating-out diet. Mary challenged Karen to give organic gardening a try, after all that’s how she began her elegant infatuation with healthy cooking. Karen was competitive and never turned down a challenge from friends, after all, Mary said she could start with some simple herbs. How hard could it be? 

 

“Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine to the soul.” - Luther Burbank

So it began! Karen started a small indoor herb garden. She visited her local garden center and picked out basil, chives, cilantro, oregano, and mint. Well, there was also that cute ivy she bought for decoration as well. She felt confident in her growing ability, even though she really hadn’t had much experience before. She even did a little research into how to care for each plant and to find the right soil to ensure her herbs would be organic. She chose Delicious Dirt, an organic soil company from her grandmother’s hometown of Pefferlaw, Ontario. 

She watched her plants grow and soon discovered the bliss of eating food that she grew with her own hands. Soon she realized she was even looking up recipes that she could learn to make using her home grown herbs. By March Karen had decided she would take it a step further and planted a beautiful garden in her back yard with zucchini, kale, carrots, and a few other easy to grow vegetables. This was the beginning of Karen’s love of cooking. She created wonderful dishes with the vegetables she grew in her garden, and a little help from Pinterest too. Not to mention, gardening even gave her a chance to add some extra workouts into her routine. 

 

“We may think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it’s our garden that is really nurturing us.” - Jenny Uglow

 

For the first time in her life, Karen stuck with a New Years Resolution all the way through. Not only did it help her achieve a lifestyle change she had only dreamed of before, but it also gave her the inspiration and courage to try new things. She did achieve her goal of losing weight, but she also gained lean muscle too. If you ask her who she gives the credit to, she’d probably tell you it was the gardening challenge with her friend Mary that changed her life. It cultivated a love and respect for the food she used to nourish her body. 

We encourage all of our customers to try new things this year. Even if you’ve never gardened before, starting with a few herbs could be the spark you need to start a lifestyle change! To learn more about Delicious Dirt’s organic soil products and where you can purchase them, please feel free contact us today.

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