Supermarket Indian Corn for the Garden

corn

With Thanksgiving comes Indian corn, the Small Budget Gardener’s secret seed source. Large ears may be all one color, they may be a mixture of wide ranging hues or just lightly speckled. Small strawberry popcorn with its flint hard ruby red kernels resemble a fat strawberry fruit. Slender miniature popcorn are jewel tone decorations. All of these are two-for-one purchases because they may be enjoyed as decor, then saved over winter and planted in the summer garden to grow your own next year. This is loads of fun for the kids and teaches so much when you complete the whole cycle. So pick your ears at the market with care and be sure to plant the colors separately to prevent cross pollination so your next crop is identical to its predecessor.

Garden Gifts and Decorating Ideas eBook

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Download this free, full color eBook for “green” budget holiday decorations created from your garden. You’ll also be inspired to create gifts that help you save big in the coming months. http://www.moplants.com/eBooks.php This year, prepare for the holidays outdoors in the garden or on hikes in the country. Avoid overspending by exchanging shopping trips for long walks where you’ll find sticks and seeds and cones to create everything you’ll need to decorate your home. Get the kids involved and teach them the value of what Mother Nature provides and the plants that the pioneers depended on for their own Spartan holidays.

Free Oak Trees from Acorns

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Within every summer acorn lives a mighty oak eager to inhabit your yard! It’s easy to grow a whole forest of them from acorns collected now into fall from locally native trees. Best of all they won’t cost you a penny. An oak tree seedling can have a huge taproot supporting just a few inches of top growth. This is why native oaks started in containers often fail because the taproot hits the bottom of the pot and becomes distorted almost immediately after germination. A straight deep taproot is vital to the tree’s drought resistance. Wildland revegetation experts have proven the best way to plant a tree is from a freshly cracked acorn, and now is the perfect time to get started on your free oak tree forest. Gather only perfect acorns that have fallen and put them in a plastic container and refrigerate. This simulates winter. In midwinter in California or early spring elsewhere, remove from storage and set outside in an empty nursery pot. There the acorns will start to crack proving it is viable as the tap root begins to grow. When the acorn has the slightest new crack, plant in the ground where you want the tree to grow.  Set the acorn on its side six inches deep. Nature will do the rest.

Fuller’s Teasel for Free Fall Decorations

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All along the roadside in Virginia the tall stalks of teasel are going to seed. This invasive European weed makes an excellent autumn decoration or even natural Christmas tree ornaments that can be gathered for free. Cut with long stems to create dried arrangements or just take the little seed heads to decorate and hang on the Christmas tree or to decorate a wreath. This is just one of the many remnants of summer growth that become our most affordable craft materials the rest of the year. Fuller’s teasel is Dipsacus fullonum heads are prickly, and came to America with the fuller’s trade, which is the creation of felt from wool. The unique spines shown above were first used to raise the nap on wool felt. It was also used to card wool by pioneer women but was later replaced by manufactured wool cards which are much like a cat hair brush designed to align fibers prior to spinning. It is so vigorous it escaped early into New England wildlands and then followed settlers westward.  It is unwise to plant teasel in the garden because it self sows like wildfire and spiny stems make it more difficult to pull.

Backyard Wedding Makeovers FREE download eBook

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There’s only 120 days until peak wedding season 2010!  If you’re planning to tie the knot at home, download a copy of my FREE full color eBook Backyard Wedding Makeovers at http://bit.ly/BackyardWedding This easy to apply guide is designed for cash strapped homeowners, renters and gardeners who want to get hitched at home or have the reception there. Plus, it’s equally good for rehabilitating the backyard for a party or special event of any kind. Tips tell you how to disguise eyesores. Find out how to arrange elements for optimal visibility. Discover flowers in keeping with your wedding color scheme so everything is coordinated. And say your vows under a beautiful flower decked arbor for picture perfect wedding photos.

Download Our Free Holiday Decorating eBook

Yesterday I found bundles of beautiful seed pods from the Brachychiton trees that grow close by. They’re sold in the craft store but I refuse to spend money on what I can get free from the bounty of Mother Nature. If you’re fighting hard times this holiday season, log on to our Free eBook section and get your free full color copy of Holiday Gifts and Decorations from the Crafter’s Garden. You’ll be amazed at what’s out there for Christmas decorating if you know where and how to look. And with some recycled bottles and herbs from the garden you can create gifts for the cook in your family.  Don’t miss the recipe for rose hip jelly too!!!