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Originally posted in Care 2 by Ronnie Citron-Fink

Gardening can be one of the most rewarding eco-hobbies. It provides healthy exercise with nourishing results.
Now grab your tools and your DIY (party) hat, and put that green thumb to work!

1. DIY Compost Bin
Start collecting kitchen scraps for composting. Skip the pressure-treated wood and opt for creating the compost bin using more sustainable option.

2. Start a Spa Garden
Whip up recipes for spa treatments from easy to grow herbs.

3. Garden Tote
Organize gardening tools is easy with this handy repurposed gardener’s bucket.

4. Seedling Cups
Make planting cups from newspaper. Why? Soy-based ink newspaper becomes biodegradable compost.

5. Repair a Leaky Hose
Hoses crack and leak. Save money and repair them yourself.

6. Build A Birdhouse
Do you love birds? Then build them some beautiful abodes.

7. Sharpen Garden Tools
There’s nothing worse that a dull tools. Sharpening will make your garden chores go faster!

8. Bring A Lawn Back to Life
Wake up and revitalize your dull winter lawn.

9. Build A Garden Edge With Wine Bottles
Like wine? A collection of colorful wine bottles provide the perfect material for upcycled border edge for your garden.

10. Build a Folding Plant Stand
If you start your plants from seed, why not keep those babies displayed on a stand.

Click on each project to read how-to. Enjoy!

Who says you need to have a backyard to grow your own food? Well, not anymore. Most of you have likely came across hydroponic tomatoes at the supermarket. (Yes. Those perfect-picture, packed in a cello bag).

We just found out you can grow these beauties and much more in your little window. So, ready to become a “Windowfarmer”? Read on!

What’s better than a juicy, tasty tomato right off the vine? Well, an organic one! For those of you with an edible garden, here are a few tips on how to make the most out of your tomato plants this year:

1. When planting tomatoes, work the soil well to encourage plants to send down a good root system.
2. For best flavor, allow tomatoes to develop on the plant to their full color before picking.
3. On determinate plants (i.e. plants that bear all fruit at the same time), let suckers grow. On indeterminates, decide how many “main” stems you want, and pinch off all suckers after you’ve got that number on each plant. For larger (but fewer) fruit, limit the number of stems.
4. Prevent blossom end rot by keeping the soil evenly moist—don’t water the leaves, just around the roots—and by adding a tablespoon of Epsom salts to the hole at planting time. Calcium will also help prevent this problem.
5. Tomatoes love plenty of sun. Plant in the sunniest location and they will produce faster and be more prolific.
6. Like most garden plants, tomatoes prefer rich, fast-draining soil that has been amended with plenty of organic compost or well-aged animal manure.
7. Keep out of the garden when the soil is wet to avoid compacting the soil.
8. As plants approach 3-feet tall, remove many of the leaves from the bottom 1-foot of the stem. These leaves receive very little sunlight and are often the first to develop fungal problems.
9. A layer of organic mulch (compost, leaves, grass clippings) will help deter weeds and keep moisture levels constant. Add mulches after soil has had a chance to warm up.
10. Weekly applications of compost tea may ward off many fungal diseases.

Check the Tomato Gardening Guru’s website for a complete list of tips and tricks.

by Mama-Knows

One of the best ways to control pests in your garden is to encourage their natural enemies. Planting pollen and nectar plants, and providing protection for these beneficial insects, is a basic tenet of organic gardening, and a way to further increase the ecological diversity of your yard. I have listed the most common beneficial insects along with tips on attracting them to your yard.

Here are the top 10 Good Insects in Your Garden:
– Ladybugs
– Lacewings
– Hover Flies
– Predatory Bugs
– Ground beetles
– Hunting and parasitic wasps
– Spiders
– Tachinid Flies
– Dragonfly
– Honeybees

For pictures and descriptions, read Mama’s article.

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