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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Gardening

Propagation by Seeds

Propagation by Seeds

Every gardener desires to be able to reproduce their plants.  With that in mind I want to share with you a few of the propagation techniques that I have learned beginning with seeds. Seed Gathering The most basic way to reproduce plants is by collecting the seeds.  This seems to be a fairly straight-forward idea but there are some things to know that will help you be more successful in this endeavor.  Before we get to those … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Gardening, Propagation

2012 Garden

2012 Garden

This is going to be the ongoing record of our 2012 garden year at Shepherds Hill – will add pictures each month: JANUARY January 2nd – Monday- Very Cold, Sunny – high 44 low 21 [nggallery id=34] January 7th – Moved smallest raised bed behind Kiwi Arbor to area near Tee-pee Pole – noticed termite damage on one corner.  Wood was untreated.  Lasted 3 years.  Dug up compost bin structure to turn and enlarge.  Collected all the dried gourds from growing … Read entire article »

Filed under: Gardening, Plain Lifestyle

Garlic Growing

Garlic was one of the first crops we ever grew and it continues to be a yearly staple in our garden.  Why?  Because it is easy to grow and is a multi-tasker!!!  In every way, we try to make use of everything the Lord provides to its fullest extent and there are so many uses for garlic that it well deserves the time and effort that it takes to grow it.  Honestly though, it is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Gardening, Plain Lifestyle

Growing Sweet Potatoes

Growing Sweet Potatoes

  One of our favorite meals is a nice baked sweet potato!!!  The flavor is so rich and you can’t beat them for healthy eating.  I wanted to share with you how we grow sweet potatoes.  They take approximately 100 to 110 days from planting to harvest so they need a long growing season.  We plant ours in early May so the soil is warm and this allows for us to harvest just before frost here … Read entire article »

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Wildflowers and Wild Herbs at Shepherds Hill

Wildflowers and Wild Herbs at Shepherds Hill

 We live in an abundantly blessed area for wild herbs and wildflowers.  I am just beginning to add them to this page and will continue for a long while.  Eventually I will separate the categories and if there are medicinal or culinary uses for the different ones I will add that information too.  This will be an ongoing process, since I want to add pics of each plant in each season so that it will be easier … Read entire article »

Filed under: Gardening, Native Plants, Plain Lifestyle

APRIL IN THE ALABAMA FLOWER GARDEN

APRIL IN THE ALABAMA FLOWER GARDEN     PEONIES– One of the prettiest flowers in my gardens is the Peony.  This year I have planted another “Sarah Bernhardt” and I am so excited to see that it is already sending up shoots.  I have 5 peonies already established in our different flowerbeds and they are all covered in buds.  Some may bloom before the end of the month – but that is not certain.  This is one plant that I watch each day.  The blooms are magnificent and well worth the effort.  They need full sun and good soil.  I amend with a little compost each spring.  There is never much need to water because here in Alabama we have abundant spring rains usually.  One thing I did learn was not to plant … Read entire article »

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The Flower Garden

The Flower Garden   When we first came to view this property with the real estate agent, the first thing to catch my eye was a little area between the back porch and the workshop.  It is a space about 40 feet by 30 feet.  It runs the full length of the back porch and is bordered on the north side by the deck and on the south side by the drive way.  The west side is where the shop and carport is.  EventuallyPaulwill enclose that entire area for his workshop and there will be a wall on that end of the flower garden.  I am looking forward to that because I am going to make an espalier there.  J  Of course,Paulis looking forward to it for different reasons.   When we knew that we … Read entire article »

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The Herb Garden

  The Herb Garden Let’s get started! Doesn’t look like much but just wait –   The beginning of our new Herb Garden   May 29 – Making progress   The Herb Garden – June 27, 07 The Herb Garden       Those of you who know me know that one of my first priorities when we moved was to get my herb garden going.  I do love gardening and I especially enjoy herbs.  So from Day 1 I was outside trying to determine its future home.  I wanted the location to be in full sun, close to the house and not too far from a water faucet.  So, with this criteria there was only one choice and that, as you can see by the pictures, is at the curves end of our larger garden.   I had a very freeform herb bed before which … Read entire article »

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How Much to Grow For a Family of Six

Crop                          Per Person                    Total Row Feet (6 people) Leaf Lettuce                 10 feet                                      60 feet Head Lettuce                10                                            60 Onions                          25                                            150 Peppers                        6 plants                                    36 plants Potatoes                      225 feet                                    1350 feet Pumpkin                      1 hill                                         6 hills    Spinach                       20 feet                                      120 feet Summer Squash           1 hill                                         6 hills Winter Squash             5 hills                                        30 hills Tomatoes                    20 plants                                  120 plants Cucumbers                  4 hills                                        24 hills Beans                          80 feet                                      480 feet Corn                           100 feet                                    600 feet Carrots                        50 feet                                      300 feet   Amount of Seed or Transplants To Have   Beans                           2 ½ lbs Corn                            1 ½ lbs Carrots                         1 ½ ounces Cucumbers                   3 ounces Leaf Lettuce                 1 ounce Head Lettuce                1 ounce Onions                         450 transplants Peppers                        36 plants Potatoes                       112 ½ lbs Pumpkins                     3 ounces Spinach                        ¾ ounces Summer Squash            2 ounces Winter Squash              2 ounces Tomatoes                     120 transplants         … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Gardening

Heirloom or Hybrid – an explanation

  Heirloom or Hybrid – an explanation        There are two types of seed: Heirloom and Hybrid.  Heirloom is a pure seed and will reproduce its parent plant identical.  A Hybrid has been developed from multiple plants cross pollinating.  Hybridized plants are usually more disease resistant, drought resistant, larger size, etc.  But the seed from a hybrid will not reproduce that same plant.  It will reproduce one of the parent plants that it originally came from – you never know what you will get in other words.  There is also the possibility that the seeds from hybrids will be sterile and produce nothing.  So, my best suggestion is to have some Heirloom plants (they are usually the most flavorsome too) so that you can collect their seeds.  But you may want to include … Read entire article »

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Life in a Garden

      Life in a Garden       As you know, the first Gardener was our Precious Father God!  He created His perfect earth as a garden.  It was here that His creativity came alive.  Oh, to see for just a moment the glory that must have been Eden.  I understand His desire to spend part of each and every day walking through the garden – enjoying, breathing in, loving and communing with His children.       Here on Shepherds Hill we truly enjoy working the Earth.  Plowing, tilling, weeding, planting, harvesting, and often just sitting and looking at the wonders.  To wake up and go outside early and find the first peony bursting open. Or to bend down and move a leaf to discover the first pure red strawberry of the Spring.  To see the blackberries change … Read entire article »

Filed under: Gardening

The New Garden – in Mellow Valley

We are well into April and the urge to get into the garden is overwhelming.  Our new farm is a learning experience from beginning to end and I must admit that I love the challenge.  For many years I have been use to the typicalAlabamaclay soil for gardening in but our new home has much better structure in the soil – more of a sandy loam. When we came to view the place for the first time we brought with us a shovel.  Yes, we went out into the yard and garden areas and dug holes to see what kind of soil the place would have.  Then and only then did we actually begin discussions on buying the place.  For a family that is very connected to the land, the house … Read entire article »

Filed under: Gardening

Planting Taters

Planting Taters Have you ever eaten a freshly dug potato?  There is nothing like it.  We plant potatoes every year and just wait for that first delectable spud.   Many folks never try potatoes and I am not sure why.  They are simple to grow and one potato can produce so many – generally one pound of seed potato will produce about 10 pounds of harvest. Here’s how it is done. To grow potatoes we start with a healthy … Read entire article »

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NO MORE GARDEN OF WEEDIN’!

One of the hardest things about gardening is dealing with the weeds that are inevitable in every garden!  No one is immune and no one enjoys weeding.  I want to devote a little space to the subject of how to get rid of and keep rid of weeds. As I said before every garden has weeds. Weeds are any plant that grows in an area where it is not wanted. :-))) Morning glories are abhorred by many gardeners – but they are sold by almost every garden supply company.  Why? Well, morning glories are beautiful plants, but when they are invading your corn they are just a menacing weed. You must treat all weeds with the same mindset as you do any other plant.  First, realize that all plants have a life cycle and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Gardening