How to Prepare Your Greenhouse for Spring

Spring is here and with it comes a list of to-do’s to ensure that everything is in place as you prepare for the growing season. To help you prepare your most reliable growing environment, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tasks to consider to ensure that your greenhouse is well prepared to meet your gardening goals this Spring.

Have Shade Cloth Available

What makes the greenhouse an ideal growing environment is its ability to maintain warmth. However, depending on where you are located, the concentrated heat doesn’t always play favorably for every type of plant. To control heat distribution we’ve created a greenhouse shade cloth to alter the diffusion of light reaching your plants. Shade cloth significantly cools your structure all while still providing the necessary light needed for optimal plant growth. If you live in an area with unpredictable weather, it’s a great idea to have shade cloth in stock. To protect your more light-sensitive plants, select from 40% or 60% of long-lasting polypropylene weaved cloth. Have a Slant-Roof Greenhouse, but forgot to order shade cloth? Give us a call at 877-741-2667.

Clean if Needed

Unlike glass greenhouses that require harsh chemical cleaners, our Slant-Roof Greenhouse uses polycarbonate which is both more resistant to damage and easier to clean. Simply use mild dishwashing liquid, water, and a non-abrasive sponge to wipe off any collection of outside dust or pollen from your panels or roof.

Tidy up, Reconfigure, or Add Shelving

Depending on the type of ground you have your greenhouse placed on, whether that is a cement platform, gravel, or dirt, you’ll likely have to do some sweeping or leveling of your ground space. Now is also the best time to reconsider any shelving reconfigurations that will best suit your needs both for space and efficiency. Our favorite part of our Slant-Roof Greenhouse is the ability to not only allow for generous shelving but also raised garden bed accommodation that beautifully matches the greenhouse itself. Shelving options are plentiful from major retailers such as Ikea and Home Depot, or you can choose to construct something unique for your space using items such as CMU blocks and wood. 

Supply or Clean New Potting Material & Items

If you have seedling trays, large plastic or terracotta containers, then it’s important to clean out each container prior to starting a new round of seeds to prevent introducing anything harmful. 

– For Terracotta pots simply brushing off any dirt with a hard-bristled brush and water should be enough. If there was an aphid, spider mite, or plant disease, we suggest doing a deep clean or replacing the pot. 

– To clean plastic seedling trays or containers, simply rinse with mild soapy water. You can also spritz some hydrogen peroxide for an additional boost of clean. 

We hope you enjoyed reading our article on how to prepare your greenhouse for Spring! For more backyard farming tips, check out our helpful blog posts written to help backyard farmers, like you, succeed.

Have questions or comments regarding anything mentioned in this blog post? Please feel free to email us at support@roostandroot.com or give us a call at 877-741-2667. We’re real people and are always happy to help.

How to use Haiti Joe Coffee in your garden

You’ve poured a cup of delicious Haiti Joe Coffee, and as with any brew, you’ve now found yourself with used ground beans waiting to be disposed of…but wait, before you put those grounds in the trash, read how you can keep your coffee going beyond the brew!

Just like us, some garden plants thrive on coffee, in particular, the acidity found in our morning cups. A few popular plants that benefit from our used grounds include, but are not limited to potatoes, parsley, peppers, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and so much more! So how do we begin to utilize this hidden plant booster in our garden? Below we’ve listed 3 ways to help you get started with using this potent ingredient in your garden soon.

Compost your ground beans

If you already have an ongoing composting system in place, adding your used beans with the rest of your organic matter will serve as the most effective method for serving your plants. Grounds already contain a great amount of some key plant-loving ingredients, including phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium that will serve as a great addition. As with any compost recipe, adding the right amount to your soil is important to prevent your plants from burning. Sparingly adding compost with grounds will go a long way.

Sprinkle used beans

Sprinkling used beans is the simplest way to add nutrients to your plants. However, used grounds can easily create more harm than good when overdone. When adding used ground beans directly to your plants, it is key to do so very lightly. Ground beans have a tendency to clump when water is added, which if added excessively, may prevent drainage. When added sparingly, grounds will act as a slow-release fertilizer. However, it is important to only add coffee to mature plants and not seedlings to prevent any stunt in growth.

Liquid fertilizer

After your first cup/pot of coffee, you can create a diluted, yet effective liquid fertilizer from your remaining beans. After brewing, your beans will lose most of their potency, however, they will still need to be diluted further to ensure gentle fertilization. A good measurement rule is to use “about a teaspoon of coffee grounds per gallon of water. Let the coffee grounds and water mixture steep for a few nights, stirring occasionally, then strain the liquid through a cheesecloth.”[1] It’s important to remember that when using this fertilizing method, not to easily water your entire plant with fertilizer to the point in which it is heavily soaked, you will still want to water your plant with clean water in addition to the fertilizer. Yellow leaves are your sign that too much fertilizer was added.

We hope you enjoyed reading how to use Haiti Joe Coffee in your garden! For more great backyard farming tips, check out our helpful blog posts written to help backyard farmers, like you, succeed.

Have questions or comments regarding anything mentioned in this blog post? Please feel free to email us at support@roostandroot.com or give us a call at 877-741-2667. We’re real people and are always happy to help.

[1] https://www.thesill.com/blogs/plants-101/how-to-reuse-coffee-grounds-for-your-plants

3 Ways to Use Eggshells in your Garden

Whether you have a backyard flock of your own or not, leftover eggshells can help with a multitude of backyard gardening activities. Before you throw away those shells, consider 3 of our favorite methods for repurposing and recycling those golden yolk exteriors!

1) Seed Starter

When beginning seedlings from trays, it’s easy to get carried away with starting a multitude of seeds. If you find yourself out of seedling trays or simply prefer to limit your plastic use, consider collecting and using your cracked eggshells as seedling starters! Not only are eggshells much easier to replant, but they also add nutrients to the soil when replanted. 

P.S. You don’t have to crack the eggshell when replanting! 

 

2) Fertilizer

The inside of the egg isn’t the only place filled with vitamins and nutrients. Eggshells carry a great deal of calcium that can easily be absorbed by your plants when crumbled. Particular plants in your garden will especially thrive off the calcium boost. Such as tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, spinach, and eggplants! Additionally, if your favorite plants experience blossom-end rot, an extra dose of calcium from eggshells will give your garden favorites the needed boost to reach their best quality. Simply crumble shells and evenly sprinkle them around your growing veggies! In addition, if you compost, eggshells make for great additions to your pile! 

 

3) Mulch 

If you go through dozens of eggs and need additional ways to reuse your eggshells, consider mixing the shells in your garden mulch. Not only will this add to the sun protection, but it will also serve as a barrier to unwanted pests, such as snails and slugs. Make sure that when using eggshells in your mulch that you don’t finely crumble your shells, you’ll want shells to be jagged and large enough to create, at most, a climbable barrier for slimy pests. 

We hope you enjoyed reading our 3 tips for using eggshells in your garden! For more great backyard farming tips, make sure to check out more of our helpful blog posts written to help backyard farmers, like you, succeed. 

Have questions or comments regarding anything mentioned in this blog post? Please feel free to email us at support@roostandroot.com or give us a call at 877-741-2667. We’re real people and are always happy to help.

Why where you buy your plants matters

One of the most exciting parts of beginning your backyard farming journey is the ability to select and grow what you love! As you begin the search for plants to occupy your raised garden beds or Slant-Roof Greenhouse™ your search may begin at your local big box store garden center, local nursery, or even online. But does it truly matter where you buy your plants? 

Although you are guaranteed to find great finds at all these locations, the biggest factor separating each comes down to plant quality and at times price. Although it may seem simple to buy a plant solely based on its growth at the time of purchase, there are a number of determinants beyond the leaves and petals that will determine how your new garden addition grows. To help we share 3 key differences between buying plants locally, both from small and large-scale locations. We hope that by the end of this quick article you’ll feel more confident and well-aware of how choosing where to buy your plants can make a great deal of a difference in your gardening goals from the start. 

Why where you source your plants matters

Soil:

One of the largest factors separating each plant seller will come down to the soil used. Perlite, an organic white crumbled rock used to aerate most soil mixtures is common in all plants stores. However, although easy to spot in plants, there are artificial perlite alternatives, such as styrofoam, commonly being used. One way to easily check is by trying to crumble the perlite between your fingers. Styrofoam, although cheaper, doesn’t break down and will often make it easier to waterlog your potted plants.

Oftentimes our intention for backyard farming is to produce homegrown organic veggies and fruits. However, without intention, we may still be handling pesticides found in our soil choice or seeds. Neonicotinoids, a widely used pesticide that is known to be toxic to bees, may commonly be found in potting soil.  When found on seeds, this pesticide works its way to the pollen of your flowering plants. The use of Neonicotinoids is often disclosed on plants and potting soils. 

 

Sourcing:

Often with big box stores, plants are sourced from large-scale growers around the country before being shipped near you. When purchased in bulk, the savings are often passed down to you at a lower cost. As is the case with many large operations, efficiency is top of mind, and with that comes some lack of care in the form of lower grade soil mixtures that are best replaced immediately. Once replaced it will often take time for your plants to acclimate to their new soil conditions. Plants sourced from afar tend to be less cared for during their expedition, often resulting in hidden root damage. 

When buying locally, you may find that prices range higher, however, the quality you receive will far exceed your expectations. Local nurseries will oftentimes already have ideal soil mixed plants that will eliminate the need for immediate repotting. In addition, your plants will be well adjusted to your environment as opposed to those that may have been grown and shipped over various state lines from locations whose climate varies greatly from yours. 

 

Service:

For small independent nurseries and plant shop owners, plant care is an enjoyable and loved experience. Owners and employers are more likely to better care for plants to their preferred conditions. Additionally, they’ll have extensive knowledge to share to further assist you in reaching your gardening goals and needs. Additionally, plants are tended to accordingly to maximize lifetime and growth by small nurseries.

At big-brand stores, employees routinely water hundreds of plants, often without awareness of the best methods for long-term plant health. Hence, plant turnovers are also more common and quick in large stores. Oftentimes it’s also difficult to find genuine plant care recommendations if you are a beginner. 

As you begin or continue your backyard farming journey, adding new plant additions is an activity that is bound to happen often. Whether you choose to shop small or big, it’s important to note that the success of your plant will always begin with a great quality find. We hope you found this quick and informative blog by us helpful as you continue your backyard farming journey. Have questions or comments regarding anything mentioned in this blog post? Please feel free to email us at support@roostandroot.com or give us a call at 877-741-2667.

The Truth of Using Chicken Manure in Your Garden

Sometimes the most potent fertilizing agents for your garden can come from the most unexpected of places. For the longest time using manure in your garden has been praised as being one of the best natural garden growing additions for any gardener. Although the most common type is cow manure, chicken waste is a naturally potent fertilizer that’s packed with twice as much nitrogen, phosphorus, and Potassium as any other animal. If you’re a current backyard flock owner, then you’ll want to learn how to utilize this free fertilizer before adding it to your growing greens.

Why add Nitrogen, Phosphorus, & Potassium?

Before we recommend immediately using your flock’s waste in your garden, it’s important to note if it’s necessary. Although all fertilizers are assumed to be deemed helpful, their additions can easily be overdone. We recommend prior to fertilizing to test your soil for nitrogen & phosphorus levels. Tests can easily be attained here and often only require mixing soil, water, and an included capsule. 

Nitrogen is already abundant in air and soil, but many times plants may need more to fully reap its needed benefits. Once added via fertilizer, nitrogen will help plants grow quicker and bigger while producing higher yields. A lack of nitrogen will result in subpar growth and yellowing leaves. Whereas too much will delay flowering and may lead to low-quality fruit or if added too early, may “burn” your plants.

Phosphorus although present in the soil, doesn’t often get absorbed by plants as easily as nitrogen. Soil lacking in phosphorus will grow slower and hardly develop roots and seeds. Too much and your plants won’t be able to absorb other important nutrients in the soil, resulting in lackluster growth. 

Potassium helps stabilize a healthy structure for your plants. Not only does it ensure faster plant growth, but it also helps fight off disease and pest visits. A deficiency in potassium is clear in the appearance of your plant’s leaves, developing brown spots and yellowing. 

So You Can’t Exactly Just Add It Immediately…

Add chicken manure to your plants as is and your plants will likely “burn” due to the high ammonia. Misused and chicken waste may also increase the risk of illness as you are working with bacteria & pathogens. To begin utilizing your flock’s waste as a super fertilizer, you’ll have to work through the process of breaking it down with other organic matter. This means that it must be added to your compost pile and aged before being added to your plants. 

If you compost already then you’ll know to weekly turn your pile, however, the type of compost method you use is important. Although there are a number of open-air compost options, chicken manure will need to be covered from the elements to age properly. To ensure that pathogens are broken down properly, we suggest using a hot composting system. Chicken manure should be added all at once and not continuously throughout the composting cycle as you collect more. By 6 weeks the compost will be fluffier and ready to apply to your plants. Another way to ensure its readiness is by smell. A ready compost should smell earthy, with a clear absence of the common ammonia scent. 

It is noted however that harvest dates must be taken into account when adding this fertilizer mix. If harvesting ground touching plants, make sure to harvest at least 4 months later, for non-ground touching plants, 3 months. 

Note:

We recommend leaving natural dirt on the bottom of your coop to allow for poop to decompose naturally. If you plan to compost, then adding a thin layer of organic matter, such as pine shavings, will help start a nice base for compost transferring later on. 

We hope you found these tips helpful for your backyard farming journey. Have questions or comments regarding anything mentioned in this blog post? Please feel free to email us at support@roostandroot.com or give us a call at 877-741-2667.

How To Use A Greenhouse In The Summer

It’s a common misconception to believe that greenhouses can only be used in the Fall and Winter seasons. After all, they are meant to keep your plants from freezing while also giving your next season crop a growing head start. However, Summer gardening can be just as beneficial if you understand how to utilize your greenhouse potential! By following a few of our tips below, you can learn how to use your warmest of seasons to increase your crop yields without retiring your greenhouse for the season.

Only Grow Heat Tolerant Plants

There is a myriad of backyard garden favorites that do wonderful in a greenhouse. Most of which are the same Spring plants you already love! Based on our own experience gardening in Texas (zone 8b), succulents and perennials still grow successfully inside despite the warm heat. However, to take full advantage of your summer season, we suggest growing the following heat-loving plants during the middle to end of summer to allow for continued growth well into the fall season. 

Fruit: Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, tomatoes, squash, eggplant, and peppers

Herbs: Chives, parsley, sage, oregano, thyme, and marjoram to name a few

 

Utilize Greenhouse Ventilation

Greenhouse ventilation is critical during every season, especially in the summer. To help allow adequate airflow throughout your greenhouse, manually leave your greenhouse vents and door open if possible. Often simply doing so will easily prevent overheating inside your greenhouse during summer. For greenhouses such as ours, you can opt to add a magnetic screen door to deteer any unwanted visitors. 

An even greater addition to airflow during the summer months is an active ventilation system to automate air circulation in your greenhouse to bring in CO2 and help control temperature/humidity. Ventilation will also allow for your favorite pollinators to make a visit inside your greenhouse to help your crop thrive.

 

Use Shade Cloth

Extra sun concentration is wonderful in the winter but come summer you’ll need some shade to help cool things down both for you and your plants. Shade cloth is an excellent and often utilized addition to all greenhouses. Available in various densities, shade cloth will prevent any UV concentration from reaching your plants, cooling your greenhouse significantly. Depending on what you decide to grow, and your heat index, the density of shade cloth you use will vary. The densities we most commonly use are 40 & 60%, with the higher percentage offering the most shade. Shade cloth can be left on at all times during the summer without causing any harm to your growing plants.

 

Cool Your Ground Space 

Looking for ways to additionally cool your greenhouse quickly and temporarily, and have a dirt/gravel base? Try lightly spraying the ground with cool water to drop the inside temperature of your greenhouse. Although temporary, simply doing so when you’re watering plants will make a helpful difference in temperature. 

 

Greenhouse Watering Tips:

It’s important to consistently monitor your plants’ water levels when gardening in a greenhouse during summer. When choosing an ideal time to water, we recommend doing so early in the morning to allow for your plants to dry. Oftentimes your plants inside won’t dry as fast as your outdoor plants, therefore it’s important to carefully monitor your plants before watering.

We hope you found these tips helpful for your backyard farming journey. Have questions or comments regarding anything mentioned in this blog post? Please feel free to email us at support@roostandroot.com or give us a call at 877-741-2667.

5 Uses for Your Greenhouse Other than Gardening

Greenhouses are as useful as they are beautiful! And you don’t have to be a gardener to enjoy one…their myriad of possibilities will inspire you. Here are our 5 favorite uses for a greenhouse aside from gardening!

Backyard Glamping

Camping in your backyard can be a great deal of fun, especially for younger children. Take the frequent kid-loved sleepover to be enjoyed inside the greenhouse. Prefer a more comfortable way to spend the night looking up at the stars? You’ll love looking up at the night sky from within a greenhouse. Camping inside your greenhouse can be a luxurious and fun way to enjoy your backyard space. Touch up your greenhouse to be an elegant space, without the concern of possums, or skunks making a visit! 

 

Fall/Winter Time Relaxation

Staying indoors can be tiresome during colder months. Instead of remaining inside your home, allow your greenhouse to be a warm retreat for fresh air and sunlight. Taking outdoor activities into your greenhouse can be an excellent way to enjoy activities such as drinking hot cocoa, carving pumpkins, or reading. 

Roost & Root Slant-Roof Greenhouse™ (raised gardens sold separately)
Roost & Root Slant-Roof Greenhouse™ (raised gardens sold separately)

Greenhouse Wellness Space

Gardening in itself can be a zen-filled practice, just like yoga and meditation. If you prefer a bit of outdoor privacy or a warmer setting to enjoy your practice, a greenhouse can be a wonderful location. You can level a flooring space for your mat, include your favorite plants, and perhaps a table for tea. Have your very own dedicated outdoor wellness space to block out neighborhood distractions as you take in deep breaths of fresh air and practice your vinyasa. 

Hobby Studio

It can be difficult at times to find peace and quiet in your home to practice or study. Rather than remaining inside, consider making your greenhouse your seasonal outdoor space to focus on particular activities. Your greenhouse can be dedicated to your favorite hobbies as well as be a source of creative inspiration and peace. Choose to practice an instrument or improve your painting skills in your personal retreat. If you teach school lessons at home, consider taking an in-home lesson outdoors for your children to enjoy.

Entertainment Area

Looking to take group activities outdoors? Consider moving your book club or picnic inside your greenhouse to enjoy your time outdoors, minus the annoyance of pesky bugs. You can spend your morning brunch or afternoon coffee/wine with friends or family. Your greenhouse can also be an encouraging way to bring any screen-loving kiddos outdoors to enjoy sunlight without any fuss. Regardless of how you enjoy spending time outdoors, your greenhouse can be the ideal location to enjoy your serene outdoor space. 

Perhaps you choose to dedicate your space to one of the following ideas or maybe rotate to try each one! However you choose to spend time within your greenhouse, you’re certain to enjoy its ability to be a varied space of outdoor relaxation.  

We hope you find our blog post helpful as you consider your backyard opportunities. For help in learning more about our Slant-Roof Greenhouse™ or gardening, make sure to visit our other blog posts! Have a question regarding what was mentioned in this article? Reach out to us! We’re real people and enjoy helping avid and or beginning gardeners everywhere! support@roostandroot.com, phone: 877-741-2667.

How to Transplant Seedlings to your Raised Garden Bed

Perhaps you’ve been hardening your very own seedlings at home before introducing them full-time outdoors…or maybe you’ve collected a few trays of exciting new vegetables from your local garden center that are in need of deeper soil. No matter how your seedlings have come to grow, the steps taken to transplant your growing flowers or vegetables can mean a great deal in determining how well your future garden grows. 

Although transplanting your seedlings may seem simple…there are a lot of factors that can prevent those seedlings from thriving after being moved to their raised garden beds! To ensure that your growing seedlings have the best chance of thriving after transplanting, follow our helpful tips below!

Can you Transplant Seedlings too Early?

The answer is absolutely, even if your outdoor temperature is relatively warm outside! Depending on your seasonal temperatures, location, and crop, some seedlings can be transplanted 1-2 weeks after your last frost, and sometimes even prior! Getting an early start by planting your seeds before Spring doesn’t always lead to a bigger and better crop. Depending on where you are located, starting your seeds early in the year without grow lights, and when daylight hours are limited, may result in weaker and more fragile seedlings.  

When Can I Plant my Seedlings Outside?

The maximum number of weeks in which a seedling can stay in a tray is 3 to 4 weeks, this time frame may be less if you are collecting seedlings from a local garden center. There are a number of ways to tell when your tray or plastic container seedlings are ready to be transplanted. Below we’ll cover how to spot when your at-home seedlings are ready to be relocated. If you are starting seedlings at home, then it is vital that you harden off your seedlings prior to transplanting them outdoors. If you have yet to harden your plants, make sure to visit this helpful resource from Burpee to learn how. Are you currently hardening your seedlings? Refer to the following signs below to determine when your seedlings are ready to transplant.

*Hardening your seedlings involves introducing your potted or pelleted plants outdoors to get acclimated to outdoor temperatures and winds. In turn, this will toughen your seedlings to their future and permanent outdoor environment.

True Leaves:

Seedlings are typically ready for outdoor planting once they have a minimum of two to three sets of “true” leaves. Although exciting, you shouldn’t depend on your seedling’s first leaves to determine their readiness for outdoor planting. The first few leaves of your seedling will eventually begin to wither, when this happens, don’t be alarmed. The first two leaves of your plant turning yellow and falling is simply a sign of upcoming growth. Eventually, your seedlings will begin to develop “true” leaves, which are leaves that are larger and less flimsy. 

Exposed Roots:

Exposed roots near the drainage holes of container or via the side of a pellet is  another way of knowing when to transplant. If left as is, roots may continue to grow and become what is known as pot-bound. A pot-bound root system will restrict further plant growth and result in the plant’s roots becoming a tightly intertwined mass. 

Transferring Seedlings to Your Raised Garden Bed

Time of Day and Weather

Although it may be tempting to introduce your plants outdoors on a cloudless, sunny day, this may, in turn, cause a great deal of harm. It’s best to introduce your hardened seedlings outdoors either early in a cloudy morning or late afternoon. On the day you decide to transplant your seedlings, check nightly temperatures to ensure that there isn’t a significant drop that could affect your crop. 

Predator Safety

Your new outdoor garden additions will not only be a source of food for you, but also any hungry pests or critters nearby. It’s always best to prepare a safe predator covering, especially if you live in an unfenced area. Our Wildlife Covers are one simple and cheaper way to protect your growing plants from squirrels, birds, and even deer!

Post Transplant

It’s best to always water after transplanting your crops as opposed to transplanting in already moistened dirt. Do you live in a zone that experiences dry weather conditions? If so, we recommend immediately mulching after transplanting your crop. Mulching will prevent your new veggies from baking in the sun and will help retain moisture. For more information on how to prepare your raised garden bed, visit our blog post here!

We hope you find these gardening tips helpful as you begin your backyard farming journey! If you ever have any questions regarding anything that is mentioned in this blog post? Reach out to us at 877-741-2667 or email us at support@roostandroot.com.

For more raised vegetable gardening help, visit our blog post 5 Ways Raised Vegetable Gardens Can Increase Your Gardening Success.

We’re real people and are always happy to help!

Plant Care Tips for Raised Garden Beds

Gardening in Raised Garden Beds comes with a number of positive outcomes when it comes to successfully growing your crops. As with any backyard gardening work, a raised garden bed still requires a great deal of care to ensure your flowers or veggies grow successfully. Follow our 4 plant care tips for raised garden beds to learn how you can best care for your garden beds this season!

Know when to Water

Although this may seem obvious regardless of your gardening experience, it is still one that is easy to overlook. Raised garden beds drain more quickly, which is great for any unexpected rainy days, however, this also means keeping a watchful eye and testing your soil frequently to prevent your crops from drying out. 

It’s not always apparent when your veggies and flowers need to be watered again with a layer of mulch. A good rule of when to water your raised garden bed is if your soil is dry one inch from the top. 

Although you may get into the routine of watering your plants daily, it’s important to know when you’ve over-watered too. Overwatered plants will usually start wilting, developing spots, or even turn into mush! 

Pest Control 

Although your garden will now be away from low-ground contact, your plants will still be viable to pests. If the thought of using any form of pesticide isn’t a preferred choice, then you may find comfort in knowing that particular flowers or herbs may be the solution to pest troubles. 

When gardened together, some flowers may keep bugs as well as larger pests, like rabbits, away. Flowers such as Chrysanthemums, Mint, and Lavender can do a great deal to help ward away ants, mosquitos, and other leaf-loving pests. Not only will your plants be protected, but the extra pop of color will make it even more admirable. For more information on what flowers work best in warding off particular pests,  click here!

If you have visits from deer or even your loved chickens, then Wildlife Covers may be an even beneficial addition to your raised garden bed goals. 

Garden with Nutrients

One of the key factors that determine the success of your garden is the soil you use. Though there are a number of ratio preferences when it comes to layering your garden bed, it’s always important to at least layer the last 6″ to 12″ of your bed with higher quality organic raised bed soil. If possible, creating and using compost is an excellent nutrient-dense addition to your garden bed. For more information on how to get started on composting, click here!

After incorporating the right nutrients into your garden bed soil, you may also consider additional fertilizers throughout time. Some of the best natural fertilizers can be found and made from leftover food scraps, without the need for composting. For a healthy plant boost of nutrients, consider these homemade fertilizers!

Always Add Mulch

Considered one of the final and most important steps for layering your raised garden bed is the addition of mulch. The benefits of adding mulch to your garden beds include moisture retention, limited weed growth, and improved soil structure to name a few! However, depending on your local climate and what you’re growing, certain mulches fair better than others. Mulches can come both in synthetic and organic options and can oftentimes be collected from your very own backyard. 

Organic mulch varieties can range from pine needles, grass clippings, and shredded leaves. Over time these organic options will decompose and add to the overall organic content in your garden bed. Heat-loving plants however may benefit greatly from a black fabric mulch, whereas cold-loving plants will grow best with organic mulch. Depending on where you place your garden bed, 2-3 inches of organic mulch is best, however, if your garden is in a non-shaded area, up to 5 inches may be suitable.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about how to care for your raised vegetable garden beds. Have questions or comments regarding anything mentioned in this article, please feel free to email us at support@roostandroot.com 

 

7 Advantages to Greenhouse Gardening

Gardening doesn’t have to be an activity to admire and enjoy only in the spring and summer months. Whether you wish to start your garden early or keep your prized plants away from any outside pests, greenhouses have a number of advantages! Learn below 7 ways that greenhouse gardening can increase your gardening success, year after year!

Longer Growing Season

A longer growing season is one of the biggest advantages to greenhouse gardening, especially if you experience shorter warm seasons. Gardening in a greenhouse allows anyone to garden well into winter despite any freezing temperatures. Starting late into a season will also have no effect on your indoor crop. Interested in knowing what crops work best in your gardening zone? Make sure to refer to this gardening zone chart! 

 

Fewer Pest Problems

Live in an area prone to visits from hungry pests such as deer, moles, and squirrels? Keep your favorite crops protected inside your greenhouse and away from any tempted pests. If seasonal visits from insects are common in your backyard environment, you may easily relocate your favorite plants inside. In addition, if found, you can easily eliminate any bug from your Greenhouse through the use of simple traps. 

 

Expand your Variety

Choosing what to grow in your greenhouse all comes down to preference. Greenhouse gardening will allow you to successfully grow even your most delicate plants, such as roses or orchids. Looking for more inspiration on the extensive number of plants that can thrive in a greenhouse? Refer to this list of vegetables and ornamental favorites!

 

Greenhouse Weather Protection

An unfortunate, but common occurrence that arises when gardening is inclement weather. Whether in the form of hail or flooding, one unforeseen day in your forecast may cause you to reconstruct your garden completely. Rather than having to look outside your window and endure the inclement weather pouring down on your sprouting flowers and vegetables, you can rest more easily knowing that the time put into growing your crop is safeguarded in a greenhouse.

 

Save Money on Produce

Have you ever noticed how out-of-season fruits or vegetables tend to be higher priced? This is partially due to weather conditions in the state or country of import as well as transportation costs. Instead of paying out-of-season prices, recoup your savings by growing your own fruits and vegetables year-round. Never worry about out-of-season favorites and continue enjoying your favorite vegetables regardless of environmental factors that are out of your control. 

 

Higher Gardening Success

Developing gardening skills can be timely yet rewarding, however, practicing and elevating your craft can be difficult, especially when you’re limited to the outdoor conditions in your area. Greenhouse gardening allows you to test your green thumb with a myriad of flowers and vegetables, regardless of your forecast. Greenhouse gardening also allows for you to successfully sprout your seasonal favorites before transplanting them outdoors for their optimal seasons. 

 

Control Plant Health

When it comes to producing high yields of plants or flowers, some agricultural farmers will depend on fertilizers and sometimes pesticides to ensure that crop yields are met and protected. When it comes to being conscious about what ultimately makes its way to your dinner table, you may prefer to organically grow your own food. You can make a decision on how your favorite vegetables and fruit are produced and have a greater impact on your plant’s health by choosing to garden in a greenhouse. 

We hope you enjoyed learning the various advantages that come with investing in your very own backyard greenhouse. If you ever have any questions regarding anything mentioned in our blog post, reach out to us! We’re real people and are always happy to help. 

Looking for more gardening advice and help? Make sure to visit our blog post “Raised Vegetable Gardening for Beginners” or “5 Ways Raised Vegetable Gardens Can Increase Your Gardening Success“.

 

9 Backyard Farming Resolutions for 2022

The new year calls for new and exciting goals and changes to strive for! However, if you find yourself often times falling back after the first few months of the year, adding backyard farming-focused goals can be the missing addition needed to help make this year transformational. Incorporating Backyard Farming can help in a number of areas, such as; increasing time outdoors, practicing patience, recycling, eating healthier, and maintaining a workout regimen. As you plan to tackle your new year resolutions, consider adding a few of these exciting backyard farming ideas!

Composting and Recycling:

Did you know that in the U.S. more food ends up in landfills than plastic or paper1? Before throwing away any leftovers or moldy food in the trash, consider composting your food waste or recycling it to create treats for your flock. Depending on where you live, our Grubcone can be an excellent and simple addition to your recycling regimen. 

Share Eggs or Vegetables:

If you found yourself with an abundance of vegetables or eggs last growing season, consider sharing your bountiful crop with those around you! Not only will you gain inspiring recognition from your neighbors and family, but you’ll also feel great knowing that every bit of your harvest was enjoyed. 

Add More Medicinal Plants:

Medicinal plants can bring forth a number of health benefits that will help inspire and maintain your goals of a healthier you. Use these following herbs for both their aromatic benefits or dry a few of your favorite leaves to create your very own herbal tea blend. 

Lavender – Use lavender to help you relax or sleep during a long day

Mint – Mint is available in a number of flavors and dries wonderfully for future teas

Lemon Grass – A refreshing and anti-inflammatory plant that makes a great addition to any diet

Chamomile – Similar to the use of lavender, this plant creates a nice calming effect and can also be used in combination with honey to help ail a sore throat

Add Native Plants to Your Garden:

Bees are the helpers of any garden, encourage visits from these busy pollinators by planting native plants among your vegetables. Make your garden a bee-friendly inn by incorporating native plants as well as bee favorite herbs such as rosemary, mint, lavender, oregano, and bee balm.  

Learn how to dehydrate fruits/herbs

Did you find yourself buying herbs in the store this year? Consider making your own herb collection by dehydrating your recipe favorites! For more guidance on how to begin, visit this link here!

DIY garden bouquet

Flowers can bring a smile to anyone’s face. Learn how to build a garden that will allow you to bring a pop of color to your counters or tables. Garden bouquets also make a wonderful parting gift to any loved visitor. It’s a memorable gift that is both fun to make and give! For more ideas on how to get started on a flower garden and bouquet planning, visit these tips here!

Encourage a Friend or Family Member to Join You:

They say sharing your goals creates accountability! For an added bit of motivation, try encouraging a friend or family member to join you. Not only will you both inspire each other, but both of you will likely exceed your gardening goals. Additionally sharing your gardening passion with the family will encourage more involvement and outdoor bonding time for everyone.

Add New Flock Members:

Looking to have insta-worthy eggs this year? Consider adding new colorful egg layers to your backyard flock. Make sure to plan ahead which egg layers you’ll want to add to ensure that you place your order in time before the Spring rush. For a few ideas, consider the following 3 chickens as possible future flock additions!

Marans – Looking to create a gradient range of brown egg layers? Marans produce beautiful deep-brown eggs that are sure to amaze you each time you reach inside the nest box.

Easter Eggers – It’s no surprise that a chicken named after a holiday of colorful egg decorating is known for producing a variety of egg colors. Each Easter Egger is likely to produce a specific color. Finding out what color your hen may lay is always an exciting guessing game. 

Araucanas – The beautifully blue-hued eggs laid by this chicken is sure to amaze your neighbors and family members. 

Enjoy Your Garden:

As simple as it is to put more focus on our indoor environments, focusing on making our backyard a relaxing oasis this year can be a great investment. Allow your backyard to be both a retreat for you and your family, as well as a productive source for nutritious and organic food. 

We hope you find this article helpful as you begin the New Year with new and exciting backyard farming resolutions! For questions regarding anything mentioned in this blog post, reach out to us at 877-741-2667 or email us at support@roostandroot.com.

We’re real people and always happy to help!

[1]  https://n.pr/2JzdiEE

Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners

Raised garden beds are loved by new and experienced backyard gardeners everywhere, and the reasons are plentiful! The feasibility of harvesting, soil control, and drainage are just a few of our favorite raised garden bed aspects. If you are new to raised bed gardening, there are a number of important factors to consider before beginning! Follow our helpful beginner-raised garden bed recommendations below to help start and reach your backyard gardening goals!

Garden Bed Depth:

Common garden bed depths will come in at either 6” or 14-16” deep. Deep-rooted plants will require more space for roots to expand. Shallow garden beds will do just fine for shorter root systems. To ensure you have enough depth in your raised garden bed, it’s important to plan which vegetables you will be growing. Make sure to plant the following options according to their recommended planting depth.

If planting in a 6” inch deep garden bed, aim to plant low rooting herbs, leafy vegetables, or small root vegetables in these more shallow garden beds. Our favorite plant recommendations include Arugula, leeks, lettuce, onions, radishes, spinach, basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, and thyme.

If planting in a 14-16” inch deep garden bed, you will have more choices as to which plants you can grow. If you have a wide base model garden bed, you can grow popular vine plants such as beans, cantaloupe, cucumbers, and summer squash around the edges of your garden bed to allow vine plants to hang over the edges of your bed or climb any structured wire fencing. Among other plants, we also recommend beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, garlic, kale, swiss chard, turnips. If you are looking to add some chicken-loved plants, you can include Lavender, Rosemary, and Sage, all of which provide excellent health benefits to your flock. For more chicken-friendly options, visit our blog post 8 Chicken Healthy Herbs To Grow Next to Your Coop. 

 

Roost and Root Cedar, Food Grade Safe, Raised Garden Bed

 

Plant Companions:

Take into consideration any compatible companion plants, especially when considering vined vegetables which will overtake any fragile neighboring plants. Companion planting will allow your plants to share nutrients and ward off any unwanted pests. Some planting flowers, such as Marigolds, can help deter particular beetles and worms that are planted near the right vegetables, such as potatoes, squash, and tomatoes. However, if not careful some plant considerations can stunt growth or spread both diseases and pests to your crop. For example, planting herbs near cucumbers will oftentimes impede growth! 

Choosing a Location:

Make sure to place your Raised Garden Beds carefully in one permanent location. Place your garden beds in a flood-prone area that receives 8 or more hours of full sun. Additionally, make sure to place your garden bed in a location that is easily accessible by a watering hose. 

Prior to filling in the area with dirt, make sure to remove any grass and loosen the dirt to improve drainage. Loosening the dirt will also allow your deeper rooting vegetables to grow deeper without difficulty. You can choose to leave the bottom of your newly loosened dirt as is before adding your soil mixture or you can place a flooring to keep burrowing animals or weeds out. Flooring options can include landscape fabric, cardboard, or wire mesh. 

Soil Composition:

Before you begin planting any seeds or transitioning any potted plants, establishing your soil composition is important in creating a healthy ecosystem for your plants to grow in. There are a number of soil ingredients available and recommended to build the right soil mixture for your growing garden. The top-recommended soil combinations always include 50% of high-quality topsoil, compost (either homemade or store-bought), and a low percentage of optional potting soil or a mixture of organic material.

The soil recipe you choose will come down to your preference, price range, and local availability. Once you’ve decided on a soil mixture, make sure to add a light layer of mulch to the very top, this can be from 1″ to 3″ inches. Depending on the mulch material you use, too much mulch will prevent water from reaching your crop and too little won’t keep weeds away or keep your soil cool. 

We hope you find these first-time backyard gardening tips helpful as you begin your backyard farming journey! If you ever have any questions regarding anything that is mentioned in this blog post, reach out to us at 877-741-2667 or email us at support@roostandroot.com.

For more raised garden bed help, visit our blog post 5 Ways Raised Garden Beds Can Increase Your Gardening Success.

We’re real people and always happy to help!

8 Chicken Healthy Herbs To Grow Next to Your Coop

As a backyard chicken keeper and current or future gardener, you may notice that your flock simply can’t refuse the temptation of a backyard garden. However, if not cautious some plants you may be interested in can cause some accidental harm for your flock if ingested. 

To help achieve your garden goals, while making sure your backyard garden is chicken safe, we’ve compiled together a list of chicken healthy herbs that you can grow next to your coop for a happy and healthy flock. Use these following herb recommendations as a way to freshen up your coop after coop clean up days or to provide a healthy boost to your flock’s diet.

Lemon Balm:

If your flock is prone to stress or if your backyard has attracted visits from mice, consider planting lemon balm as a natural rodent deterrent for your coop. Although mice typically cannot easily enter our coops, you may find that if found…your flock will likely get rid of a mouse exactly as a cat would. Try drying this herb and leaving it near your coops nest box to create a calming scent that both you and your flock will appreciate. 

Oregano:

Although used as a popular herb for cooking, you can also use this aromatic plant to strengthen the immune systems of your birds while helping prevent diseases such as e.coli, salmonella, or avian flu. Feed this herb as is or dry it to mix in with your flocks feed. 

Rosemary:

Looking for a natural deodorizer for your chicken coop? Enjoy the natural scent of rosemary in your garden and coop by drying and hanging twigs inside your coops or generously sprinkling the clippings in nest boxes. This herb naturally repels insects and can also help in strengthening the respiratory health of your flock. The best part about this herb is how easy and inexpensive it is to grow as well!

Thyme:

To help build the respiratory health of your flock, mix this aromatic healthy herb in your flocks feed or use it as a natural insect repellent in nest boxes. This herb will act as a great antioxidant and antibacterial that is highly beneficial for your flock. 

Sage:

Use this popular herb to add an overall health boost for your flock that will work to prevent both diseases and parasites from harming your flock, add it fresh, or dried to your flock’s feed. 

Dill:

An amazing herb that will not only taste great to you, but also to your flock. Use this herb as a way to strengthen your flock’s immune and respiratory health by sprinkling it either fresh or dry to their feed.

Spearmint:

This aromatic herb is a favorite among chickens in the summertime! Add it to ice cubes and serve it as a treat to help regulate your bird’s temperature and improve their digestive health. It can also be used in an array of other herbs mentioned to repel insects and give off an aromatic scent for your coops nest box.

Lavender:

Share the relaxing aromatherapy benefit of lavender with your backyard flock. Use this herb to calm your flock and protect them from pesky insects. Let this herb dry before placing it in feeds and the run or nest box areas of your coop. 

To ensure your chickens reap the benefits of these herbs, make sure to first establish the plant elsewhere, allowing it to mature before relocating it near the coop, this will ensure your hens don’t eat the seedling before it gets a chance to mature. To prevent any overgrowth that may come from a few of these herbs (Rosemary, Lavender, Dill, Lemon Balm, and Mint), we recommend using a Basic Cedar Raised Vegetable Garden to control growth. Additionally, a cedar made raised vegetable garden can help the longevity of your garden by giving off a distinct cedar aroma that is a deterrent to insects, moths, and other wood pests. These oils are locked into the boards and are what make the wood so resistant to bugs and also rot. 

We appreciate you reading through and hope that you found this blog post helpful and enjoyable as you begin or continue your backyard farming journey. For questions and customer support reach out to us at support@roostandroot.com. We are real people and enjoy helping our past and future customers! 

5 Ways Raised Garden Beds Can Increase Your Gardening Success

If you are looking into starting your very own backyard farm, you may be contemplating the best way to begin. Depending on where you live, you may be uncertain about using your existing ground soil or investing in a Raised Garden Beds. Both of which have positive results, however depending on where your home is, you will likely find that Raised Garden Beds will offer long-term gardening success and look aesthetically pleasing. To further share the benefits of using raised garden beds, we compiled 5 ways Raised Garden Beds can increase your gardening success in your backyard farm. 

1.Reduced Weed Growth

Nobody likes having to pull weeds from their garden. For ground plants, weeds may be native to your soil and can be a never-ending battle unless you invest in a weed killer or pull them out yourself. Raised garden beds allow you to keep weeds at bay due to their inability to thrive in deep soil. If you do see some weed growth in your raised garden beds, we suggest adding a layer of mulch to block out sunlight that may encourage unwanted weed growth. 

 

2. Faster Planting

One of our favorite abilities with raised garden beds is the ability to see faster growth in your garden. This is partly due to the ability to better control your plant’s growth if you are transitioning them from plastic store-bought containers to the ground or growing your garden from seedlings. Additionally, the soil in your raised vegetable garden will warm up faster leading to bigger and better growth, however, we also suggest adding a layer of mulch to the top of your garden bed once daily temperatures begin to rise in your area to prevent your soil from getting too warm.

 

3. Better Drainage and Soil Control

If your backyard has poorly draining soil, you may risk having the soil erode from heavy rainfall, combine that with warm summer temperatures, and you will begin to see fungal growth that will damage your beautiful garden. Raised gardens can additionally help you if your garden is filled with tree roots and clay soil and will help you control the PH levels in your garden for growing particular veggies and fruit. 

 

4. Reduced Wildlife Damage

Wildlife damage can be a foreseeable possibility if your backyard garden is near the countryside, hungry critters, such as deer, and sometimes domestic pets can uproot and begin enjoying your garden before you do! Also, raising your garden bed will likely lead to a reduced risk of finding unwanted snakes that may be hiding in the shade of your large leafy plants. If you live in an unfenced area, you may benefit from Wildlife Covers as a cheaper alternative than fencing in your property, ensuring that your hard work will last season after season.

 

5. Less Stooping

Overtime bending down to plant or harvest your garden may eventually lead to some joint and muscle discomfort. Raised Garden Beds assist in minimizing the added pressure and strain on your body by reducing the constant up and down movements that come from harvesting your garden from ground level. Additionally, Stacked Raised Gardens may eliminate the need to bend entirely, allowing you to harvest and plant your garden from a standing position instead. 

 

Roost and Root Cedar, Food Grade Safe, 47" Wide Wildlife Covers on 47" Raised Garden Bed
Roost and Root Cedar, Food Grade Safe, Raised Garden Bed

 

 

We hope that you found this blog post helpful and enjoyable as you begin or continue your backyard farming journey. We appreciate you reading through and look forward to offering any assistance to your backyard farming journey! For questions and customer support reach out to us at support@roostandroot.com. We are real people and enjoy helping our past and future customers!