Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Guest Blogger: Gardening - The 5 Basics Steps

My beautiful sister Cora after a long day of playing in the dirt.

While I am finishing up my next book, War on Love, I am excited to say that I have gathered a few guest bloggers.  If you have any interest in being a guest blogger I WOULD LOVE IT!  Send me a message.
For now, here is my sister's guest blog post:  

Gardening - The Basics

Spring Cleaning, its not just for your home.

It is that time of year again, when you will wipe the cobwebs from your house, dust off that teeny weenie polka dot bikini and give your car the “first” wash of the season.  Ah, the things we do to gear up for summer. Your home is not the only place that needs to be cleaned.  Your garden or maybe lack there of, will need a refresher. Whatever your garden may look like; many small containers, or huge tracks of land. The pots or containers may need to be cleaned, dried and have FRESH dirt and nutrients for your new seeds or plants to grow.  If you are new to gardening, I suggest you get yourself some tools, these are the essentials:

-Pruners (strong ones like Felco)

-A trowel (tiny hand shovel)

-A Small Hand Rake: It can either be short or long handled or both (telescoping)

-Twine or Jute

-Gloves (I prefer the lightweight ones, that way I can still feel what I am doing)

-A Shovel at least six inches in width


If you plan on doing any major construction to your garden, make sure you have the tools and “man”power to do so.  You may need some extra cash flow so that you can call the maintenance man for cutting wires etc.  Sometimes, the task at hand may seem frustrating and a little help goes a long way.

Important: Not every plant enjoys being manhandled.  Research the colors of plants you like, the conditions and needs of those plants. If you are good with plants, challenge yourself. If you are not and know you forget to water on a regular basis, get something that matches your temperament.

Now for the fun part… The things that need to happen in a garden bed in order for it to be “prepared for planting”:

1. Rake the entire bed: This allows you to see some open spots, where things are, and what you have to work with.

2. Weed: Anything that your heart doesn’t desire, is a weed – plants have a funny way of turning up in places unexpected. If you don’t know what something is, you can let it grow and see. If you like it, keep it.  If you don’t, pull it out.
     a. For small plants (smaller than the width of your palm) pull at the base
     b. If is bigger or there are many of them, use the cultivator
     c. If the plant is firmly rooted you need a shovel (and not the trowel)
3. Fertilizer: This is an area I enjoy. Coffee ground, fish bones (yes! You can buy the whole fish and take the bones and everything else you don’t eat and blend it up and throw it in your garden) your plants will be very happy, or you can buy cow manure, or GODDESS fertilizer. I mention Goddess only because it is natural. It doesn’t smell pretty, but it works and you don’t need much. Another one is seaweed, which may also act as mulch.
4. Mulch: Old newspapers (black and white only – color has dyes which can be harmful for you and your plants) or mulch or both. Make sure the mulch doesn’t have tiny pieces of plastic and isn’t “growing” seeds or rhizomes- these are plant roots that travel horizontally with the earth surface, they are hard to get rid of once you have them. To be honest I like the mulch that isn’t bark and isn’t like sawdust, I like it somewhere in between.
5. Planting: You choose your plants based on your conditions and abilities.

If you have questions about gardening that are specific, or need help starting a container garden, or how to build and maintain raised beds etc please feel free to contact me at corastover@gmail.com 


  1. What a wonderful entry.
    Love the special Guest and her work/words and smile...
    Thanks for sharing, Dorothy...

  2. I like the guest blogger concept. I may try that on my blog.

  3. Do either of you have any interest in doing a guest blog post? I would love it!

  4. Excellent garden tips. I've found that those are the MUST have items for when I'm out in the dirt!


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