Gardening

I love to garden and want to share my gardening tips, gardening advice, and garden know-how with you! Gardening topics include easy gardening ideas for beginners, gardening ideas for longtime gardeners, how to grow plants, how to grow flowers, how to grow herbs, vegetable gardening, how to fix gardening problems, advice on gardening tools and gardening supplies, and more!

Container Garden Harvest

Container Garden Harvest. This is a post to recap my 2018 container gardening harvest including; what worked, what did not work, and what I will be trying again.


This is a post to recap my 2018 container gardening harvest including; what worked, what did not work, and what I will be trying again.

Container Garden Harvest

I haven’t written much about my garden this summer. Life has been very hectic this year and fraught with a lot of problems this summer in the Ann’s Entitled Life household, so garden reports took a backseat to health issues (Max’s, my MIL’s, and my fathers – thank you to my newsletter subscribers who have offered advice and commiserate. It has been very appreciated.)

I did want one final post just to update my garden. I kept a lot of the produce tags in a booklet and made copious notes so I know what worked, and what did not, for next year. I switched to all container gardening this year, turning the old gardening patch into more lawn.

Container Garden Harvest. This is a post to recap my 2018 container gardening harvest including; what worked, what did not work, and what I will be trying again.


Container Garden Harvest. This is a post to recap my 2018 container gardening harvest including; what worked, what did not work, and what I will be trying again.


What worked:

Peppers. OMG, the peppers! I have peppers coming out of my ears. Every week for two months now I have harvested peppers. Red peppers, green peppers, orange bell peppers, banana peppers, and one rogue Carolina Reaper (totally unintentional). Apparently, removing the peppers from bunny-temptation reach was good for peppers. Who knew!?

This summer was very hot by Western New York summer standards, as well as very dry (good thing I live on top of two lakes), and the peppers thoroughly enjoyed the weather.

We used some of the peppers in soups (Hubby’s Stuffed Banana Pepper Soup recipe is extraordinary), and I froze the excess for soups and chilis this winter.

Container Garden Harvest. This is a post to recap my 2018 container gardening harvest including; what worked, what did not work, and what I will be trying again.


Container Garden Harvest. This is a post to recap my 2018 container gardening harvest including; what worked, what did not work, and what I will be trying again.


Cabbage! This was a very pleasant surprise. I packed in too many small cabbages in large containers, but still harvested four of the five planted. And the big ones? Simply beautiful. We ended up making frizzled cabbage as we both love it.

I learned a lot about growing cabbage this year – do not crowd it, water lightly, and it grows great in containers.

Lettuce. Even with the heat, the lettuce was abundant. I was sending bags and bags home with people in June. I wanted to plant for a fall growth (was thinking arugula too), but odds are good we will be out to see my MIL for a month, so I did not bother.

Container Garden Harvest. This is a post to recap my 2018 container gardening harvest including; what worked, what did not work, and what I will be trying again.


Peas. We loved them. I would have been happy if 20x what we harvested had been produced. I plan on planting them again next year, probably more though.

Container Garden Harvest. This is a post to recap my 2018 container gardening harvest including; what worked, what did not work, and what I will be trying again.


What was meh –

Cucumbers. My cucumbers are normally my best growers. This year, they hated the earth boxes (it is fresh soil, nutrients, etc), and ended early. I had purchased too many and planted the in random overflow pots and those did ok, but not great. I have no idea what was up, but I always plant cucumbers since we love them, and will continue to do so.

I did manage to harvest enough cucumbers to make one batch of freezer pickles, and cucumber caprese salad twice a week, but nowhere near the hundreds the earth box normally yields.

Tomatoes. Meh was the best way to describe it. After blossom rot hit I fed and fed and fed to combat that blossom rot and ended up with hundreds of small-ish Roma. (shocker!)

The cherry tomato plant I thought was a waste and was tossing in July ended up producing a TON of tomatoes. So many that I ended up giving them away. As I stated above I was already at cucumber Caprese salad twice a week, there were only so many cherry tomatoes we could eat.

So why were these in the “meh” column? The Romas really were a disappointment.

Spinach. It was so hot, that one day it was beautiful baby spinach delicate and flavorful, the next day it was tough, raggedy old spinach. It was simple to grow; it was just too hot for it this year.

Green beans. Normally a top producer for me, I did get enough for us to eat in season and freeze for later, but not enough to last us the entire winter. That “lasting all winter” is my normal earth box production for my green beans, so I am chalking this one up to the heat. Also next year? I plan on exploring runner green beans for a second harvest later in the season (when things cool down a bit).

Container Garden Harvest. This is a post to recap my 2018 container gardening harvest including; what worked, what did not work, and what I will be trying again.


Other things I grew that I will be trying again:

Herbs. My herb garden tower (post) was AWESOME!! It kept everything contained – especially the mint… which apparently flew about the yard and seeded in my flower planter that was 10 feet away. That mint… Of course, the heat caused a lot of bolting, but I was well pleased with my herb tower.

Brussels Sprouts. These grew surprisingly well in the pots! I learned one per pot, even in the massive pots. I’ll be giving them a go next year.

Spring container gardening post to see where I began the season!

So that is my 2018 recap. It has been cut short and I am currently closing up my gardening for the season after harvesting as much as possible! I’ve spent a lot of time freezing for later.

How did your garden grow this year!?


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10 Tips for Growing Coleus

10 Tips for Growing Coleus. Sunny or shady, you want your garden to be full of vibrant colors, and coleus plants deliver that impact! Coleus is one of those plants that can thrive in many conditions, so being familiar with how to grow coleus is smart. Read here for my 10 Tips for Growing Coleus, and see how easy it can be to enjoy this vibrant plant.


10 Tips for Growing Coleus

Sunny or shady, you want your garden to be full of vibrant colors, and coleus plants deliver that impact! Coleus is one of those plants that can thrive in many conditions, so being familiar with how to grow coleus is smart. Read below for my 10 Tips for Growing Coleus, and see how easy it can be to enjoy this vibrant plant.

Choose Your Coleus Variety Wisely

You will find that coleus comes in dozens of varieties, all different colors and even shapes. You can find it in red, green, white, pink, maroon, and more. Shapes include rounded leaves, spiky varieties, and even vines that trail. Mix and match varieties for a real pop of color and texture! Some coleus plants require more sun than others. Make sure you are choosing the correct coleus plant for the “job” (a gardening container filler, a flower bed, etc), and the sun conditions.

Use Nutrient Rich Soil to Grow Coleus

Mix a little organic matter into your soil before planting so it is nutrient rich. Your coleus will last well into the fall months if you give it soil that feeds it instead of limiting it. Basic potting soil mixed with some organic matter like eggshells or compost is ideal.

Be Wise About Coleus Planting Depths

Coleus has shallow roots, so you can get away with smaller pots, but you still want to make sure those roots have room to grow and latch – in other words, do not overcrowd your coleus plants when planting in the ground. You should plant coleus about 3 inches deep, which is typically the length of the root mass plus one inch.

10 Tips for Growing Coleus. Sunny or shady, you want your garden to be full of vibrant colors, and coleus plants deliver that impact! Coleus is one of those plants that can thrive in many conditions, so being familiar with how to grow coleus is smart. Read here for my 10 Tips for Growing Coleus, and see how easy it can be to enjoy this vibrant plant.


Skip the Seeds

Yes, you can grow coleus from seeds, but you will enjoy coleus sooner and longer if you plant from seedlings. They are inexpensive to buy, about $10 per 30+ plant flat, making each seedling just a few cents per piece. They can be found at just about any home and gardening center.

Sunny or Shady Side

Coleus will do well even if they only see a few hours of sun per day. Basic coleus varieties will do better if they get a good 4-5 hours of sun per day. Sun allows for more vibrant colors, but coleus is thought of as a shady plant, so try not to expose it to all day, harsh sunlight.

A Good Watering Helps

Try to give your coleus about 2 inches of water per week, allowing the soil to dry out in between waterings. They don’t like soggy soil and may rot if you allow them to sit in water. Instead, push for 2-3 waterings a week of ½ an inch to an inch of water each.

Coleus are Low Maintenance

Except for the early going most coleus are virtually maintenance free. When young, pinch-back the growing tips of a young coleus plant encourages branching and a bushy plant.

10 Tips for Growing Coleus. Sunny or shady, you want your garden to be full of vibrant colors, and coleus plants deliver that impact! Coleus is one of those plants that can thrive in many conditions, so being familiar with how to grow coleus is smart. Read here for my 10 Tips for Growing Coleus, and see how easy it can be to enjoy this vibrant plant.


No Deer

Look for deer-resistant coleus at your local garden center. While not being as attractive to deer, the leaves will attract butterflies!! It can grow in garden beds and houseplant containers.

Keep an Eye on the Cold

Even though coleus is durable, it cannot withstand the cold. If your area is experiencing a frost or low night time temps, cover your plants or bring them in. When the fall months hit, your plants will die unless you bring them indoors.

Remember that Coleus is an Annual

While coleus is an annual, if you grow them in pots and bring them into your nice warm home over the winter – caring for them correctly (some bright light and weekly watering) – they should be healthy enough to give you another season!

The Coleus is the perfect plant for people who are beginning gardening, or who have a less than green thumb. In other words, you do not have to be an experienced gardener to grow coleus – although many experienced gardeners DO grow coleus! It is easy to grow, and requires little maintenance. Whether your grow them in the ground or in containers, they provide a beautiful spot of color to enhance your gardening plants and flowers.

10 Tips for Growing Coleus. Sunny or shady, you want your garden to be full of vibrant colors, and coleus plants deliver that impact! Coleus is one of those plants that can thrive in many conditions, so being familiar with how to grow coleus is smart. Read here for my 10 Tips for Growing Coleus, and see how easy it can be to enjoy this vibrant plant.


Are you interested in more plants? You’ll want to read these posts:

75 Acid Loving Plants – If you have acidic soil, you need plants that flourish within an acid soil environment. Flowers, vegetables, shrubs, and trees all have specific soil needs; these 75 acid loving plants are great choices for your gardening and landscaping needs.

75 Alkaline Friendly Plants – If you have alkaline soil, you need plants that flourish within an alkaline soil environment. Flowers, vegetables, shrubs, and trees all have specific soil needs; these 75 Alkaline Friendly Plants are great choices for your gardening and landscaping needs.

10 Best Low Light Houseplants – If you have a darker room without a lot of natural sunlight, do not despair – you can still grow houseplants indoors! Here is a list of the 10 Best Low Light Houseplants to grow inside. You may be surprised to find so many great options when it comes to growing indoor plants in low light conditions.


Disclosure the links in this post may be affiliate links.

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How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub

How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!

How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub

Do you like to make homemade soap and homemade scrubs? If you use your hands for gardening or other outdoor activities that leave them very dirty, this DIY gardener hand soap scrub is perfect for you! It is simple to make, soothing and mild, yet the Epsom salt and baking soda do a marvelous job of cleaning the dirt on your hands, including in lines and around your finger beds.

If you are like me and constantly “forgetting” to use yard work or gardening gloves, give this wonderful DIY gardener hand soap scrub formula a try. I bet you’ll be glad you did!

Note:

• For the mild soap, give Dr. Bronner’s a try. This is a peppermint soap. Peppermint is thought to have antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. It can also help keep your skin cool and lower skin irritation.

• The coconut oil will leave your hands feeling soft and smooth.

Lavender Essential Oil is thought to calm the skin, reduce skin irritations and may help with acne and eczema.

Geranium Essential Oil – is noted for its astringent properties and may reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Myrrh Essential Oil is thought to have anti-microbial and astringent properties.

How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


Gardener Hand Soap Scrub Materials:

• 2 TBSP Coconut Oil
• ¼ cup Mild Soap
• 1 tsp Honey
• 2-3 drops Argan Oil
• 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil
• 10 drops Geranium Essential Oil
• 10 drops Myrrh Essential Oil
• ½ cup Epsom Salts
• ½ cup Baking Soda

Gardener Hand Soap Scrub Mise en Place:

Measuring Spoons
Measuring Cup
• Bowl (microwave safe)
• Medium Sized Bowl
• Spatula

How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


Gardener Hand Soap Scrub Instructions:

• Melt coconut oil in the microwave for 20 seconds. Add melted coconut oil to a medium size bowl.

How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


• Add mild soap, honey and Argan oil to the melted coconut oil.

How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


• Add Lavender Essential Oil.

How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


• Add Geranium Essential Oil.

How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


• Add Myrrh Essential Oil.

How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


• Add Epsom salts and baking soda.

How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


• Mix ingredients together.

How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


• Add to airtight container.

How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


To use Gardener Hand Soap Scrub:

• Apply to wet hands.

How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


• Rub hands together to allow the soap scrub to get into the crevices and get out the dirt.

How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


• Rinse hands thoroughly.
• Dry.

How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


• Store the gardener hand soap scrub in an airtight container.

How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


• If giving as a gift, add a ribbon and label the contents. Well, you may want to label the contents regardless of whether or not you are keeping this or gifting to someone.

• To print the instructions for How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub, just click here.

Note: None of this is meant as medical advice. I am not a doctor, and do not play one on the internet. Please consult a physician if you have any questions about using essential oils so your doctor can better explain to you the benefits, possible side effects, and any warnings about essential oils.

How to Make a Gardener Hand Soap Scrub. This wonderfully scented, very effective, homemade gardener hand soap scrub is very easy to make. If you have rough, dry, dirty hands from gardening and yard work, mix up a batch of this diy soap/hand scrub and let your hands feel good again. This makes a great gift for gardeners too!


If you enjoy the outdoors, you may be interested in these DIY recipes:

Homemade Bug Repellent Bars – With warm weather comes bugs! Mosquitoes, flies, and other bothersome insects can intrude when you are trying to enjoy a summer picnic, a backyard barbecue, or a day by the pool. While you can always use a commercial insecticide soap, spray or lotion, sometimes you do not want that on your skin. A great attribute of many essential oils is their ability to ward off unwanted insects.

Best Essential Oil Mosquito and Bug Repellent Recipes – One of the best attributes of quite a few essential oils is their ability to ward off unwanted insects. Check out these easy pesticide recipes to keep the little buggers at bay.


Disclosure: the links in this post may be affiliate links.

• For more DIY Beauty posts on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

• For more Gardening posts on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

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