Sunday, August 10, 2014

Gardening to Relieve Stress: Great Therapy

In my desire to rid my body of stress I put on my gardening gloves and went outdoor to do some hand pulling of weeds in the flower garden.  Being outdoors and being productive is a good way to cleanse your body of any negative energy and anxiousness.

While I was gardening I could watch the birds at the ground feeder and in the distance I saw groundhog posing on the river rock.   The garden was alive with wildlife and with biting bugs which I found took away from the good feelings I was getting from the garden.

My garden after a day of removing weeds

Whenever I perspire it seems the gnats go for my eyes and they are aggravating.  I sprayed myself with deep woods off before going outdoors but I do not spray my face.  So I went and got my protective glasses that I wear when I am painting or doing other home improvement projects.  The glasses worked but then my ankle felt itchy and sure enough there was a tick crawling on me.

The bugs in the garden were going against my stress free therapy so I went to the shed to look for the natural pest control that I got at and found that the mosquito and other biting insects barrier was empty so I went inside and put some diatomaceous earth food grade in a powder sugar shaker and then went back to the garden to dust the gardens with the natural pest control.
Diatomaceous earth food grade safely rids garden of biting bugs
Normally it takes 20 minute for the DE food grade to kill any ticks, fleas, chiggers, mites and ants that may be lurking in the garden.   By tomorrow morning the garden pest will be gone and I can resume my gardening therapy to get rid of stress.

I really love gardening especially when I need to overcome stress or feeling of anxiousness, but hate when the bugs bite me and make me feel itchy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Gardening in the Heat of the Summer

Now that the peak heat of the summer is here I make a point to get up at dawn so that I can get whatever yard or garden work completed.  During this time I can weed the gardens, deadhead the flowers and water the plants.  However I need to wait a few hours to use any of my electric or gas operated garden tools. 
Watering lilac shrub in summer

I was going to use the electric grass trimmer to manicure around the flower gardens but decided to hold off on this project until next week when weather will be 20 degrees cooler. At 9:00 this morning the temperature was 89 degrees and I thought it was too hot.

Other than that maintaining the garden, I find it is a full time job to keep the container and specialty gardens hydrated. The plants get a good watering in the am with a soaker hose but come noon the top soil in containers and garden beds looks like dust.  So I am outdoors again in the late afternoon to water the hosta, coleus and fern plants because the heat of the summer is causing them to feel stress.
Cosmo flower like hot weather
Zinnia flowers grow best in hot sun

The only plants in my garden that are flourishing are the zinnias, cosmos and four O'clocks. These heat seeking plants are producing multiple flowers and the plants do not bolt when the summer weather gets hot.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Transplanted Herb Plants During Growing Season

A couple days ago I transplanted my indoor herbs into outdoor containers because they were not doing so good indoors and thought the natural sunlight would do them good.  Plus I like the way fragrant herbs repel mosquitoes, so it seemed like a good idea at the time. 

When I transplanted the herbs it was on a cloudy and cool day but today the weather had changed it is extremely hot.  Of course this means I need to take extra steps to prevent the outdoor herb plants from stress.

Read the first post about these herbs here transplanting kitchen herbs to outdoor garden

Anything planted in a container will dry out quickly and if you water the plant in the morning by midday when the sun is hot the soil with dry out.  Normally when I check with my index finger the soil is dry an inch down after a hot day. 

To prevent dry soil I generally water in the morning at the soil level until the water drains from the holes on the bottom of the container.

Applying mulch is good also as long as you do not put the mulch close to the herb stem.  Mulch is great because it absorbs the water and then releases moisture back into the soil slowly. A mulch that I use and recommend is nature scapes advanced garden mulch by Scotts  I bought this brand mulch at, had watched sales and got a good buy on 2 cubic feet..

What I like about this mulch is that it retains the water and slowly releases it back into the soil which means you will not need to water your flower or herb gardens daily.  On average you will save up to 30% on your water bill.  Plus you will save time and energy because you won’t need to water garden daily.

When I get home from work I will need to check on the newly planted herb plants and will mist the leaves and stems with the garden hose because this will prevent them from wilting.

The best way to care for any newly transplanted herb in the growing season is to make sure the soil does not dry out. Keeping it evenly moist but not wet will ensure that the roots will take hold and the plant does not get stressed out.

Also helpful when transplanting during the growing season is to use Green Light organic root simulator.  I would not dream of putting a plant in the ground  without a root simulator.  I have bought the green light product at and am pleased with it.

Here is a great way to keep the plant sauce full of water, thus the plant roots will never dry out.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Summer Season Gardening Checklist

Now that spring has come to an end, I find that I need to get my garden ready for summer. Today I went into the garden with a clipboard so I could make a checklist.   
Photo of lily blooming in my garden

Before I knew it my list was two pages long and I knew by looking at the lists of tasks that I would need my husband  help to get the gardens manicured and ready the summer season.

My yard and garden checklist:

  1. Cut back spent flower blooms
  2. Remove all weeds and grasses from flower gardens by doing a hand pull
  3. Prune spring blooming shrubs
  4. Cut back overgrowth on trees
  5. Plant zinnia flower seeds 
  6. Update Moroccan tile planter gardens with heat seeking petunia wave flowers or sun loving herbs
  7. Add a thick layer of organic mulch to all gardens, around shrubs and trees
  8. Use vinegar solution to kill weeds growing in garden paths and flagstone patio
  9. Remove spring tree droppings from gutters
  10. Control yard and garden pests; mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and chiggers with organic pest control; garlic or Diatomaceous  Earth food grade.
  11. Add outdoor accessories and patio lights to make the yard and garden more appealing
Note: A good way to get garden jobs done is to divide the yard into sections, then complete one section before moving on to the next one.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Preventing Bug Bites While Gardening

My side yard hosta garden
If I was ever going to enjoy the garden again I knew I would have to  take steps to prevent the bugs from biting me.  This year the biting bugs; mosquito, chiggers, ticks and fleas  have taken the fun out of gardening. Two days ago while doing a hand pull in my hosta garden I was bitten by, several bugs.

I was so itchy that I stopped what I was doing and ran inside to take a hot shower with Yardley of London antibacterial hand soap, flowering English lavender herbal scent.  The hot soapy shower killed the germs and safely removed the roaming chiggers from my skin and lessened itchy mosquito and other bug bites.

Normally I spray myself before going out to garden with deep woods off but I know that with the wildlife; deer, raccoon, skunk, wild turkey, groundhog, coyote and bobcat coming into my yard that there are probably other biting bugs lurking.

I decided to address the bugs in my yard and garden by treating my entire yard with a concentrated garlic formula that will safely kill and repel mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, chiggers and some wildlife from my yard. I found an all-natural product at MOSQUITO BARRIER – LIQUID SPRAY REPELLENT -1 GALLON.  I read the reviews and they were favorable plus I liked that it was natural 100% garlic and would not harm my family or my pets.

Granted this organic pest control costs more but I will tell you it is worth it.  There is a garlic smell and it is potent but the smell is what repels and kills the biting bugs and you get used to it.

There are other mosquito solutions to consider if you would like to learn more then check out my article How to Prevent Mosquitoes in Your Yard | Pest Control |