Category: Garden tools and tips

Weeping Mulberry flop

In the interest of full disclosure we are introducing a new category to the Homestead Lady website – Homestead Flops.  Let’s face it, it’s in my nature to learn through mistakes; to borrow from Ms. Frizzle, we “take chances, make mistakes, get messy”!  Sometimes the stuff we try doesn’t work, or doesn’t work the way we think it will.  Sometimes we just don’t have time to complete all the projects we start.  Sometimes, life happens.  So, here it goes…

mulberry flopA few years ago we purchased a two year old Weeping Mulberry tree for the our children’s garden.  The thought was that we could create a fun, hidden entrance – something akin to The Secret Garden.  Usually, Weeping Mulberry works wonderfully for that.  As the tree grows taller, you simply keep staking the trunk straight up, letting the branches weep down at will or staking them out a bit to form a dome.  Over time, as it grows, it creates a lovely, leafy umbrella for your kids to play within and under which to have secret fairy meetings.  Plus, since ours is female it produces delicious, dark purple berries that are so yummy.

Well, the truth is, I simply lost track of what I was supposed to be doing with that tree and never did stake it until just this year.  The trunk has already begun to put on width and has started to bend over despite it’s only being three feet tall – too short to be weeping already!  Not to be daunted, I got a nice, strong T-post and a good, thick nylon cord and have been pulling that tree back up towards the sun.  Eventually the poor dear will straighten out and put on a little more height, at which point I will finally let it weep without interference from me.mulberry flop 2

It will be more work and take longer but at least this flop can be fixed.  Too many projects, so little time.  Ah, well.

For more information on Weeping Mulberries you can visit this link from and this one from Raintree Nursery, where I purchased the Mulberry.



How I use my Broadfork

How I use my broadfork - www.homesteadlady.comWhat is a broadfork, you ask?  Yeah, I didn’t know either until I read Eliot Coleman’s book*.  If you’re into low or now till gardening then this broadfork is going to become you’re new best friend.  Coleman worked with Johnny’s Select Seeds to develop one he likes but there are a few other places you can find them; just be sure of quality and it will most likely outlast you.  There are a few different sizes but I got the medium sized one, figuring it would cover a lot of bases and be something I could still be comfortable using.  The main purpose of a broadfork is to aerate and activate your soil, preparing it to receive compost and other yummy stuff, making your soil ready for planting.  The fork will penetrate the depth of the tines but it won’t rip apart your soil’s ecosystem like a rototiller.  One of the best things about a broadfork is that it wont turn up weed seeds to the surface of your soil in droves, thereby assuring you have a major weed problem like tillers do.  (Yeah, learned that lesson the hard way.)  I’ve also used my broadfork to dig potatoes and other root veggies as we’ll discuss. Continue reading “How I use my Broadfork”

The Master Gardener’s Garden

In the Master Gardener's Garden - A Garden Tour for garden inspiration - www.homesteadlady.comIt’s been the privilege of the Utah County Master Gardeners to run the Hidden Garden Tour for the past few years.  I must confess that I love a good garden tour and I like one with a lot of variety – prissy gardens, man gardens, collector gardens, homestead gardens, chicken gardens, xeriscaped gardens, on and on.  Please join me now as I tour The Master Gardener’s Garden. Continue reading “The Master Gardener’s Garden”

DIY Compost Tea Bucket

DIY Compost Tea Bucket www.homesteadlady.comHomestead Gentleman speaks (yes, I let him have his say every now and then!):

Have you ever thought what your garden would order at the local snooty organic restaurant?  Maybe some fresh rain water to drink for starters, then some sunshine as an appetizer?  Most definitely the main course would have to be Chicken Poop Soup…

Here is our DIY Compost Tea Bucket design that you can easily make in a matter of a few minutes with the right tools and parts from your local home improvement store. Continue reading “DIY Compost Tea Bucket”