• Dock Weed Control & Many Uses for Rumex

    March 06, 2015

    Dock weed control usually isn’t done properly, which results in the plants rebounding rapidly. While you might want to get rid of your dock (aka Rumex), there are also a number of reasons you may want to cultivate it in your garden. That being said, if you’ve ever faced off with an unwanted patch of dock, odds are you’ve done something wrong in trying to destroy it. I know I have. I’ve pulled at it (without the right tools or during the dry season) only to have the top growth detach from the tap roots, which live to split and sprout another day. And, more than once a wily plant has managed to set seed while I was looking the other way.

    Uprooted dock weed control

    Dock weed control means getting all of the roots from the ground.

    Had my goal been to create a perpetual crop of dock (or Rumex, as it is known botanically or sorrel, as its known in culinary circles), my efforts would have been okay. But, when the intent is to eradicate a patch of dock weed, control steps need to be timed right and done with care. In the following paragraphs and images, I’ll look at several species of Rumex — both in terms of weeding it out of your garden and in terms of using it as a cultivated harvest and design element.

    The Rumex genus includes a number of species including R. acetosa (garden sorrel), R. scutatus (French sorrel), R. crispus (yellow or curly dock), R. obtusifolius (broadleaf dock), R. sanguineus (bloody dock), and more. I’ll focus on these, with which I have lived in a number of gardens.

    Let’s begin with how to eradicate an unwanted dock patch, followed by what to do with your harvest!

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  • Poison-free Bee Removals

    February 27, 2015

    Did you know that you can hire bee removal beekeepers that won’t use poisons?

    There’s no need to reach for a can of toxic nastiness and attempt to spray away nuisance stinging insects (and probably get stung in the process). And, you don’t have to hire a pesticide applicator to do the nasty job for you either. Besides, they’ll leave behind toxic residues (and possibly a still-active nest as well). In fact, there are a number of experienced beekeepers for hire who will do bee removals of all kinds without pesticides.

    Honey Bee Removal Assessment

    Corky of BuzzBeeGone.com & Ballard Bee Company assessing an aerial honeybee swarm before he begins gently removing them to relocate into a productive apiary.

    Now, let’s be clear: Just because you have a bee or hornet nest in your garden, doesn’t mean you need to have them removed. Let’s consider a few kinds of bees that might move in and options for dealing with them (more…)

  • Hollywood Groot or Forest Groot?

    February 22, 2015

    Erase the image of Groot you have from the movies. You know, he’s the alien plant-man horties like us would love to see win an Academy Award. Instead, take a hike. Look up in a tree, and perhaps you’ll see the real Groot watching over you. I’m fairly certain that’s exactly who I spotted while hiking through Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, BC a few days ago. (He’s self-anthropomorphized, so don’t even start in on that, please.)

    Oscar Groot or Forest Groot?

    “We are Groot!” Could this face in a tree be the face of Groot watching a trail & grove?

    Thanks to the stranger on the trail who saw me photographing the bare Garry Oaks in Beacon Hill Park in Victoria. He asked if I’d seen “the face in the tree downhill.” I hadn’t seen it, and I never would have had he not said there was a (paraphrasing) “Shakespearean face peering down from the knot of a tree.” Intrigued, I looked carefully as I retraced my steps down the trail, and sure enough, this face was hard to miss, watching over a grove of endangered Quercus garryana.

    When I saw the face, my immediate and recurring thought: “We are Groot!”

  • Free Pollinator Plants Info

    February 16, 2015

    (Update 2/23/2015: Get our FREE Pollinator Plants & Favorite Things guide to download & print here!)

    Looking for pollinator plants and other ideas for your garden to bring bees, birds, butterflies and other beneficial fauna to your garden? Curious about what it takes to be a pollinator? Just want to create a gorgeous, year ’round interest garden that might just include pollinator plants?

    Pollinator plants like erigeron attract sweat bees

    Pollinator plants like this pollen-rich fleabane attract wild Agapostemon sweat bees.

    We’ve got a number of ideas for you, and Robin will be sharing them in person on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at Seedy Saturday Victoria. And in her talk, get ready to learn about creating beautiful, functional gardens with color and interest throughout the year. Sure, she’ll talk about why and how to lure fauna to pollinate plants you eat, but she’ll also discuss great pollinator plants and other design elements that go beyond the vegetable garden.

    Can’t make it to BC for the seminar?  Pick up one of these books or DIY pollinator habitats for your garden and get started with more than just pollinator plants in your garden.

    And, be sure to read up on our most popular posts about promoting pollinators, watch video of a corpse lily being pollinated in summer and throw the bees a lifeline by adding Bee Preserver garden art to your outdoor spaces.

  • Free eBook: Grow, Cook & Eat to Diminish Diabetes

    February 02, 2015

    Please download our free eBook: Grow, Cook & Eat to Diminish Diabetes!

    Free eBook: Grow Cook & Eat to Diminish Diabetes

    Cover of Grow, Cook & Eat to Diminish Diabetes:
    Download this eBook for FREE today!

    To accompany our founder Robin’s popular seminars discussing her family’s garden-to-table transformations following a Type-2 diabetes diagnosis, we have released this free eBook, which discusses five of our favorite edible “better blood sugar” plants and how you can grow them in your garden. Plus, it serves up five of Robin’s most popular recipes to prepare from your harvest. (And by popular, we mean her family loves them as do her recipe testers!)

    This free eBook is a first in what we plan to be an on-going series sharing Robin’s exploration and cultivation of all sorts of plants beneficial for better blood sugar — or at least being studied as diabetic-friendly. We hope to share more growing tips, garden design ideas and delicious ways to prepare and preserve your new harvests. Please take an extra moment to complete our brief 10-question survey that will help us offer future publications in ways that will best serve your needs and budgets. (more…)

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