It’s hard enough for some people to keep plants alive and thriving on the face of the Earth, but a team of astronauts on the International Space Station have green enough thumbs that they’ve managed to cultivate plants in space. Today, they’ll get to eat the fruits of their labors, chowing down on the first-ever lettuce grown in space.
By now, we’re unfortunately used to the idea that grown adults who should definitely know better will steal from children — the Girl Scouts have been dealing with cookie-related thefts every season and it’s always a bummer. But come on, swiping an entire crop of onions grown by elementary school kids? That is just low, jerk. Whoever you are. [More]
So it’s obviously too early to be gardening, with the sub-zero temperatures and all, but for those of you daydreaming about your fabulously lush spring gardens we’ve got some to tips and tricks to ensure nasty, slimy slugs and snails aren’t wreaking havoc on your bounty. [More]
A Massachusetts man says that when he decided to build a large tomato-growing structure in his front yard, he checked with the city who said it was going to be fine. Then as soon as the hanging garden went up, the city said it had to come down.
If your plants could talk, they’d beg you to create and maintain a compost pile. After some initial work to set things up, it becomes second nature to dispose of certain food scraps and yard clippings to your pile, converting the junk into rich soil.
Rain may irritate you by altering your plans, making it tough to drive and murdering your iPhone, but you can also twist nature’s sprinkler system to your advantage. Harvesting rainwater allows you to save on utility bills and lessen your environmental footprint.
It’s nice to have plants around the house to recycle the air and brighten up the room. But what if you’re a lazypants and know you’re likely to forget to take care of them? Don’t worry, there are still plants for you.
A Burlington, Vt. man who was arrested for starting a community garden on public property without proper permission won’t face further legal troubles, thanks to a district attorney who dropped the charges.
Frustrated by the tax-fueled rising costs of cigarettes, a Brooklyn woman has developed a private tobacco garden to feed her addiction frugally. She buys her seeds for $2 online and plants her tobacco along with roses and geraniums in her back yard. She expects to yield a total of 45 cartons of cigarettes from crops planted in 2009 and last year, saving her $5,000 from what she’d pay at retail.
If you’re looking for some clearance deals on plants, soil, fertilizer and garden supplies, you might want to check out your local Target soon. The retail chain has announced that it plans to shutter all 262 of its remaining garden centers by the end of September.
A tipster sent us a link to this short advice column on gardening at PennLive.com, where the author says upside-down planters in general aren’t that great, and in dry hot summers are particularly bad for your tomatoes.
We remember from our formative days in suburbia that managing a lawn was a lot like fighting a war. And like modern wars, outsourcing was the cleanest and easiest option, even if it cost a bit more. Well, with five tips from noted cheapskate Jeff Yeager, managing your own lawn could become just a little more manageable.
The suspiciously named Mr. Brown Thumb from Chicago Now’s Chicago Garden blog offers a simple but valuable tip for gardeners looking to cut down on their water and soil use: Don’t waste water-sucking dirt to fill your enormous pots.
Some find gardening to be a relaxing activity, but it’s not so calming if digging around in soil ends up burying you in out-of-control costs.
HomegrownEvolution.com is sort of a simplified Instructables for people interested in “mead making, beer brewing, bread baking, urban poultry raising, container planting, pirate gardening, foraging, pickling,” and more, according to Cool Tools. We have a feeling “pirate gardening” isn’t as fun as it sounds.
We don’t blame the Mid America CropLife Association (MACA)—
a pesticide an agribusiness trade group—for promoting its interests, but we still think it’s funny that they’ve asked the first family to not grow organic vegetables in the White House vegetable garden. MACA’s Executive Director Bonnie McCarvel sent a long letter to Michelle Obama reminding her of the importance of technology in modern farming, then publicized the letter via an email where she noted, “While a garden is a great idea, the thought of it being organic made Janet Braun, CropLife Ambassador Coordinator and I shudder.”
Consumer Reports wanted to know if leaf blowers were really worth the money and ear damage, so they marked off a parts of lawn, filled it with leaves and had the ultimate man vs. blower showdown.
Sellers of pre-packaged fertilizer would rather you didn’t know but human urine has been used since ancient times as a plant fertilizer. It contains loads of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which is good for plants. Best of all, it’s free. Make sure to dilute it with at least 10 parts water to 1 part urine, or risk burning the roots of some plants. A report published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that using human urine as fertilizer didn’t change the nutritional content or the flavor of cabbages on which it was used.