Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
Our ProCision™ Rotary Bypass Trimmer features a unique dual-rail system that stabilizes the rotary blade, eliminating wiggle fo... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
Don't miss your chance to win a complete prize pack valued at nearly $200!
Community gardens aren’t just allotments — they’re urban farms, great places to share gardening skills and crops.
Keep all of your tools performing at their best.
While this may lift our spirits, we are also hit by a wall of heat when we step outdoors. Throughout summer, we are hot and dry, and when we do get rain, it’s usually a flood of water soon come and gone.
What’s a gardener in the cental south to do? Here are ten tips to help you garden in what I maintain is a hostile climate.
1. Consider your area. While I share some of Texas’ climate woes, mine are also unique to my area. Oklahoma receives more rain in the spring and fall, and although we have drought, it usually isn’t as extensive. Texas is a large state, and Austin’s climate is different from Houston’s which is also very different from that of Dallas. In Oklahoma, we find that Tulsa and Muskogee are more like southern Missouri, while Woodward, out west is dusty and windblown. A plant that blooms in my garden may not perform in San Antonio or Altus. So, plan before you plant. Consult your local extension service and ask for help.
2. Plant a windbreak or build a fence. “Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plains” is very breezy. Look at farmers’ fields, and you’ll see they plant windbreaks to protect their crops. The same holds true for gardens. Plant trees and large shrubs and give your garden a break.
3. Water, but not too much. Unless you plan to grow only cacti and succulents, you will need some sort of watering system. Soaker hoses with y-connectors work just fine. They are also mobile and easy to install. However, if you’re planning to stay in your home for several years, invest in a watering system, and use a reputable company. You don’t want someone digging trenches all over your yard who isn’t experienced.
You can have the garden of your dreams, but be reasonable. I only use sprinklers on the small, shaded lawn in front of my house. Ninety percent of my garden is watered with drip line. I try to only water three times a week even in the most severe drought, and I water deeply to encourage deep roots.
4. Possibly water at night. Use a timer to water at night when temperatures are cooler, and plants are in recovery mode. However, don’t depend solely upon the timer. Dig into the soil at least eight inches to see if it is moist. You can also overwater, and this is a good way to check.
5. Install a rain barrel. If it’s allowed in your community, install a rain barrel or two or three. There is nothing like rainwater to irrigate plants, and it’s free.
6. Group containers and install a drip system. It’s an easy way to save water and also make your job easier in summer. Also, use a good quality potting mix.
7. Start small. Then, grow in a space for an entire year before expanding. You’ll be able to keep up with your garden, and the experience will make you a better gardener.
8. Mulch. You’ve read this one a million times, and there is good reason. Mulch cools the soil, lessens water consumption and, if organic, increases your soil’s fertility and tilth. I like chopped oak leaves because they decompose within a season. Use what’s local.
9. Build your best soil. Again, this is dependent upon where you live. Consult other gardeners who reside in your area. They will know the best places to buy compost and might even teach you how to make your own.
10. Grow natives and other drought tolerant beauties. Salvias, sunflowers, rudbeckias, crapemyrtles, native grasses, esperanza and zinnias all pack a punch in the landscape and are drought tolerant too. While a drought-tolerate landscape may be succulents in your area, in another, it’s prairie wildflowers. It all depends on where you live.Don’t let the heat get you down. Instead, combat it with these ideas. You can succeed in spite of the weather.