Thursday, April 28, 2016

Last Event of April

As usual, April has been a whirlwind of activity.  It is my biggest event month of the year and 2016 has been no exception.

This coming Saturday, April 30th I will be at the Bachman Garden & Home Show at 2815 Anderson Pike on Signal Mountain.  The hours are 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., so that gives you time left in the afternoon to dig holes & get your plants in the ground!

Bachman CC Facebook Page


Chattanooga Times Free Press Article

I will have a total of 324 small plants available plus a few in gallon pots.  There will be a variety of culinary and medicinal herbs, lavender, coneflowers, and scented geraniums.  Among these will be:

  • Basils: Genovese, Red Rubin, Lemon, Thai
  • Sages: Common, Purple, Pineapple
  • Thymes: English, French, Golden Lemon, Orange
  • Oregano family: Greek Oregano, Hot and Spicy  Oregano, Sweet Marjoram, Zaatar Marjoram, Winter Savory
  • Lavenders: Phenomenal, Provence, Hidcote, Lady, French, Spanish, Czech
  • Coneflowers: Purple (purpurea), Ruby Star, White Swan, Tennessee, PowWow White, Paradoxa (yellow), Cheyenne Spirit
  • Scented Geraniums: Chocolate Mint, Attar of Rose, Frensham Lemon, Rober's Lemon Rose
  • And more...!!
Because of space constraints and plant varieties, there will be from one to six of any given variety so shop early.  I will still have plants available all summer at my regular market venue or by delivery/pick-up.

I'm praying for a nice day!  Come visit me!

Friday, April 08, 2016

Weekend Event - Come Visit Me!

Come visit me this weekend at the Hamilton County Master Gardener's "Master Your Garden" Expo.  The event will be held at the Camp Jordan field house on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
I will be loaded with plants and will have a variety of my other products as well. 

Here is a link to the Expo page:
Garden Expo Information

And here is a link to the Facebook page:
Garden Expo on Facebook

I will also be speaking on Sunday in Classroom B at 12:30 p.m.  My subject will be "Why Grow Herbs?"  This will cover a variety of things that can be done with herbs, as well as a little info on successful growth.

You can see the entire list of speakers and our bios here:
Garden Expo Speakers & Bios

I would love for you to check out everything I have to offer, or just come by to say "Hi" and ask some questions!  You can bet this Garden Girl will be keeping it Down To Earth...

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Tale of Two Tables (really Three)

The timing is never right, but we finally got going on my new tables.  Many thanks to my 'Agricultural Engineer' (darling husband Mark) for taking on the project after working 50 hours last week.  While this shows a picture of the work in progress, here is a picture after they were both completed & posting 'No Vacancy' signs!
Over the weekend, we completed the third table & it was a bear, to say the least.  This one is a healthy 8'x8' & it dawned on us that it would not fit through the greenhouse door.  It had to be built in-place inside the greenhouse.  Since the top is build upside down, it took some finagling to get that bad boy right side up.  Needless to say, ropes & straps were involved.  In retrospect, I should have gotten 2 smaller tables...  Here we have it completed, then receiving guests.

The expanded metal top came in 2-4'x8' pieces that meet on top of the middle support.  We noticed that once trays of plants were placed, it started sagging off of that middle support.  The supplier has been contacted for direction on how to deal with that problem.  Plants are pretty heavy after they've been watered, so I don't really want to be crawling under the table to retrieve plants if the mesh sags far enough for a catastrophe.  I hope something can be worked out because we REALLY don't want to have to take it apart.  
Just another delightful challenge!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Dark Side of Companion Planting

I posted a chart a while back about the benefits of companion planting.  Now let's take a look at the flip side of that coin.

There are some herbs/plants that do not play so well with others.  Some plants engage in a sort of chemical warfare with other plants.  The general term for this is alleopathy.  It's the releasing of chemicals by one plant that inhibits or detrimentally affects the condition of some plants around it.  Seems plants are more like humans than we thought!

Here is a list of some of the bully plants & the ones they like to pick on:

Plant Bully
Black Walnut
Most Vegetables, Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Blackberries, Lilacs, Peonies, & Apple trees
Beans & Peas
Carrot, Tomato, & Fennel
Beans & Peppers
Beans & Peas
Beans, Peas, & Sage
Basil, Cabbage, & Sage
Most Vegetables

Perhaps this will explain some of your mysterious failures!

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Don't Jump the Gun!

With the gorgeous weather we're having, it's only natural to want to start digging holes & planting.  Not so fast...

Hamilton County is in USDA Zone 7a.  If you don't believe me, check here:

The last frost date is not quite that simple.  The greater Chattanooga area, including north to Middle Valley but excluding the mountains, can still have the potential for frost as late as April 10th.  Mountains & outlying areas have the potential for frost as late as April 20th.  View the map here:
TN Last Frost Dates

Gardening includes a touch of Russian roulette.  Plant too soon & you take the risk of having damaged plants or losing them completely.  Spring fever is an overwhelming sickness!  It makes seasoned gardeners lose their better judgement.  What to do??

It's a gamble, but watch your weather forecasts & try to make your best educated guess.  If you go ahead with your planting, be prepared to protect your investment by covering the plants if the temperatures drop.  Any lightweight material will work.  Be careful with plastic, though, as it can create a sauna effect when the sun comes out.  That can cook your plant goose, so to speak.  There are more online resources that can help you, but always be sure to get information that is pertinent to our area for best results.
In the meantime, prepare your beds or containers, get your tools ready, & plan what to plant & where.

Down To Earth will have plants available beginning April 1st (no fooling!).  My website is on the horizon, but until then you can email me at:
I can provide you with a list of what I will have & when.  You can also find me at the Hamilton County Master Gardener's Expo at Camp Jordan in East Ridge, TN on April 9th & 10th.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Growing Along...

In spite of all the rainy, dreary days, things are growing along in the greenhouses.  I guess the couple of days of sunshine here & there were better than none at all.  Even so, it would be nice to have a 4 or 5 day stretch (or more) of uninterrupted sunshine.

This Down To Earth Garden Girl has her fingers crossed...

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Upcoming Events

Unfortunately, I will not be at my regular Saturday market on 2/13.  I had an opportunity to get some help in the greenhouses & I just couldn't pass it up.  However, I will return to the market on Saturday, 2/20.

In addition, "if the Good Lord's willin' & the creek don't rise", I will be set up at the following events in April:

You can always call (423) 400-5301 or email me  I will respond as quickly as I can.