Category: Watering

Helping the Garden Cope With the Heat

I’ve been hoping that if I overlook blogging about the heat that it would go away and we’d get some relief in the form of rain and cooler temperatures in Chicago. Unfortunately,  ignoring the heatwave just seems to make it worse.  I’ve found myself giving the container garden one good drink of water a day,... Read more »

This is NOT a Garden Water Feature, Chicago

This is NOT a Garden Water Feature, Chicago
This past weekend I made a quick stop at the apartment of a friend of a friend and spotted this water feature in the building’s courtyard. I’m not going to diss the attempt at landscaping that can be seen at the edges of the photograph. I am, however, going to diss what has become of... Read more »

Roma Tomatoes Disproportionately Affected by Blossom- End Rot

The most common question I’m fielding on the internet has to do with blossom-end rot of tomatoes (BER for short). Diagnosing this tomato problem for gardeners is easy enough, but after diagnosing it for people they want to know why it is seems to only be affecting their Roma tomato plants.  After searching the internet and not... Read more »

How to Get a Rebate on Rain Barrels or Compost Bins in Chicago

Want to make your home or garden more sustainable? Installing a rain barrel is a great way of conserving water in your garden Similarly, composting allows you to create a great soil amendment out some things you’d normally would throw away. Perhaps you haven’t installed either because of the price. Or maybe the DIY gardener approach to rain barrels... Read more »

Illinois Rain Garden & Schoolyard Habitat Grant

Two grant programs available to Illinois residents that have deadlines of November 30, 2009. The first is the Rain Garden Initiative. If you’re a teacher or youth group leader who wants to engage kids by teaching them about wildlife habitat, see the Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant Program. Another opportunity for teachers (includes home-schooling teachers)... Read more »

Tree Watering Bags

A visitor asked me what the plastic green bags around trees all over Chicago were for. I took this picture of a tree wrapped in one such bag in the Loop recently. Like the pop bottle drip irrigation setup, these green plastic bags are filled with water that is slowly delivered to the root ball.... Read more »

Blossom-end rot of Tomato Plants

Blossom-end rot is a tomato disorder that I’ve been asked about a couple of times on Twitter and via Email. It isn’t a disease caused by garden pests or something transmitted through infected plants. Blossom-end rot generally occurs when a developing tomato fruit doesn’t get the necessary amount of calcium. Fertilizing your tomatoes may not... Read more »

Container Garden Pop Bottle Drip Irrigation

In the post on the emergency pop bottle drip irrigation setup, I mentioned you could apply the same idea for your container gardens. The idea for the pop bottle drip irrigation setups for your container garden has been around for a long time and is a great use of empty plastic bottles in the garden.... Read more »

EarthBox: Container Garden Idea 3

If you spend as much time as I do reading garden blogs and websites you may have noticed that the EarthBox has gotten a lot of press this year. I’ve been joking on Twitter that EarthBoxes are the new black or perhaps they are the Snuggie of the gardening world-they’re everywhere.  The rectangular containers that... Read more »

Pop Bottle Drip Irrigation

Late last year someone had the bright idea to “fix” the old plumbing in the house. This “fix” lead to there being no outside water access, that means no garden hose, and since water is kind of essential to gardening outside this has made this year interesting. In a way I’ve been preparing the garden... Read more »