Latest Posts

The Skip Garden: Gardening Tips and Advice from Skip Richter

Gardening With Skip Richter

Skip Richter is a horticulturist for Texas A&M University in Bryan/College Station, and hosts the call-in gardening show “Garden Success with Skip.” He has gardened across Texas, from the dry brush country to the acid sands of East Texas.

The Skip Garden grows food in moveable structures built out of skips (dumpsters) and uses a full complement of organic farming practices, including aerobic and worm composting, comfrey juice fertilizer, companion planting, and rainwater harvesting.

Planting Indoors

Skip is taking calls on planting both indoors and outside. He also discusses treating all plants and trees before a freeze in Texas.

As the days lengthen and warm up, houseplants will begin to grow again. They may become leggy due to the short winter light, but a little pruning and some organic fertilizer will help them look their best.

If your home or office doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, you can still grow some easy-care plants like succulents or trailing philodendrons. There are even low-light plants like catnip that can survive in a dark corner.

Skip Richter, a master gardener and extension specialist in horticulture sciences at Texas A&M University, is the host of “Garden Success with Skip Richter” on KAMU 90.9 FM Bryan-College Station. He has gardened in the brush country of south Texas, the rocky hills of the Missouri Ozarks, the acid sands of East Texas piney woods, and the semi-arid climate and high pH soils of central Texas.

Cool Weather Prep

Skip takes calls from listeners on the lawn and garden. He tells people how to treat their plants and trees before a freeze. He also offers advice on using this time of year to get a jumpstart on spring planting. Skip is a nationally recognized expert on gardening practices. He has gardened in the brush country of South Texas, the rocky hills of the Missouri Ozarks, the acid sands of East Texas piney woods, and the humid climate and high pH soils of central and southeast Texas.

Spring Planting

A well-planned garden makes for an easy harvest and an enjoyable experience. Avoid going too large in the springtime, especially if you’re new to gardening. You don’t know the soil structure or the sun exposure in your area very well, so planting too large an area could overwhelm and stress plants.

Turning the soil is an important task to complete in the spring as soon as it’s workable. It breaks up dense dirt clods, mixes in compost and helps roots receive oxygen. It’s also a good time to prune out anything dead from the winter, such as perennial hibiscus and ornamental grasses. It’s a good idea to shear back evergreen shrubs like boxwood and arborvitae, too.

While the ground is still warm, it’s a great time to make repairs and improvements to garden structures like trellises, sheds and fences. This is also a good time to apply a fresh coat of paint or stain to outdoor furniture and accessories, like bird baths and containers.

Holiday Gardening

Ever gone on holidays only to return to a parched garden? With a bit of preparation the garden can thrive while you’re away.

Containers and hanging baskets are the most susceptible to perishing while you’re away, especially in hot weather. Grouping them together and asking neighbours to water them regularly means they’ll be less likely to get dried out. Alternatively, they can be left in a greenhouse or covered in netting to protect them.

Perennials in garden borders are more resilient to drought but they will need a little extra care. Planting them deeply, then watering well before you go and avoiding rich nitrogen fertilizers encourages plants to send their roots down and means they’ll be able to cope better during short periods without rainfall.

Mowing the lawns just before you leave is also a great idea: firstly, it will look nicer and secondly it will mean that weeds are forced to compete for water in the weeks when you’re not there to fight them.

Uncover more

The Thrilling World of Overseas Soccer Broadcasts: Uniting Fans Across Continents.

Imagine lounging on your sofa, a bowl of popcorn by your side, the excitement palpable in the air as you prepare to dive into the riveting world of 해외축구중계 (overseas soccer broadcasts). Now picture having the power to bring this experience into homes around the globe with just your words. That’s the magic of SEO-optimized content tailored to fans enamored with the thrill of international soccer.

Soccer is not just a game; it’s a universal language that echoes across continents, bringing people together in unparalleled passion and camaraderie. As the whistle blows and the game kicks off, the energy is infectious. The players on the field are not just athletes; they are gladiators, engaging in a dance of strategy and skill that has spectators glued to their screens.

해외축구중계 captures this essence, offering a glimpse into matches played on foreign soil, showcasing talents that often go unseen by local fans. It provides the allure of discovering new teams, observing different playing styles, and even learning from coaching techniques from leagues sprawled across different time zones.

But it’s not just about the game. The culture around 해외축구중계 (overseas soccer broadcasts) is rich and vibrant. It’s about understanding the chants ringing from the stands, the history of age-old club rivalries, and the significance behind each goal celebration. It binds fans in a shared narrative that is as much about the sport as it is about human connection.

As the final minutes of the game draw closer, hearts race. The beauty of 해외축구중계 lies in its unpredictability and what it brings out in the fans—hope, despair, joy, and sometimes the sweet taste of victory at the final whistle. The broadcasts allow you to be part of history, to see the underdogs triumph, and legends being forged.

Capturing 해외축구중계 in words is not unlike narrating an epic tale, one that unfolds live, with real heroes and villains, and stakes that climb with every tick of the clock. And when the dust settles, we’re all part of a larger story, a shared love for a game that knows no borders.

Now, let’s keep the ball rolling with some often-pondered questions regarding 해외축구중계:


1. **What is 해외축구중계?**
해외축구중계 refers to the live broadcast of soccer matches taking place outside of one’s own country. This allows fans to watch international games and follow leagues around the world.

2. **How can I watch 해외축구중계?**
해외축구중계 can typically be watched through sports streaming services, satellite or cable sports channels, or online platforms that have obtained broadcasting rights for international soccer games.

3. **Why do people enjoy watching 해외축구중계?**
People enjoy 해외축구중계 as it allows them to witness a variety of soccer styles, experience different soccer cultures, and follow their favorite players or teams that may not play in their own country’s leagues.

4. **Is 해외축구중계 available in all countries?**
The availability of 해외축구중계 varies by country and depends largely on broadcasting rights agreements. Some countries may have access to a wide range of international leagues, while others may have more limited options.

5. **What makes 해외축구중계 different from local soccer broadcasts?**
해외축구중계 provides a window into soccer beyond one’s national borders, showcasing international talent, tactics, and competitions that may differ from local soccer broadcasts in style and intensity. It expands the horizons of soccer fans worldwide.…

Exploring Gardening and Plant Life through Homeschooling

Homeschooling – A Gardening Unit Study

Gardening is a great way to bring nearly any subject alive. In addition, gardening is a fun and hands-on learning opportunity that teaches responsibility, teamwork, and a sense of pride in accomplishment.

Learn about seeds and gardening with this unit study designed for homeschooling families! With lessons for students of all ages and abilities, this gardening unit study covers topics from plants to pollination to self-sustainability.


A unit study provides a great way to combine hands-on activities with deeper learning opportunities. In this post you will find resources to help your kids learn about gardening and plants, including a garden lapbook, a plant journal, and more.

This unit on gardening is perfect for homeschooling families and includes lessons at three different levels of difficulty, so you can meet your child where they are academically instead of forcing them into a grade level box. It explores everything from what seeds need to grow to planning and planting a garden, as well as the history of gardens and seeds.

This poster by Fiddlesticks Education illustrates the parts of an ant colony, and would be great to display during an ant or insect unit study. Also check out this set of mini beast flashcards by Raising Up Wild Things.


Homeschool garden unit studies can incorporate a wide variety of learning topics. Some focus on gardening itself, with kids learning about planting seeds and transplanting plants. Others include the history of agriculture and the life cycle of plants.

Visiting a local greenhouse or nursery is an excellent way for students to see the amazing variety of plants that can be grown. Children can also observe how these plants are handled and cared for by professionals.

A great activity for older students is a comparison of genetically modified (GMO) crops to non-GMO crops. This allows students to develop a position on the GMO debate and form their own opinion. This is an excellent opportunity to teach critical thinking skills.


Soil is the loose, unconsolidated material that contains air, water and micro-organisms. It provides a medium in which plants grow and supports many natural processes, including the recycling of nutrients and the exchange of gases with the atmosphere.

Soils are made of mineral particles, a mixture of gravel, sand, silt and clay, as well as organic matter. The best soils have large pore spaces. They are also well-draining and hold onto water to be available to plants when they need it.

Learn more about your soil by getting a soil test done at your county cooperative extension office. A sample of your garden’s soil will reveal its pH, macronutrient and nutrient levels. It will also tell you how much organic fertilizer to add if it is low in any of these nutrients.

Pests and Diseases

Many garden pests and diseases are controlled through good cultivation practices. However, a sudden change in weather or wind can encourage an explosion of disease or insect problems.

Several soil-dwelling insects, including grubs and cutworms, can limit harvest and destroy plants. Some can be tolerated in low numbers, but larger populations need to be controlled with pesticides.

Observe and note any pest or disease symptoms on a weekly basis throughout the season. Look for insect excrement, twisted leaves, holes in foliage, spotting and discoloration of fruit or stems. Fungus and viral diseases tend to appear sporadic and more uniform across the garden, so may be less troublesome than insect damage. Encourage beneficial insects like lacewings and lady beetles that will feed on aphids and other harmful insects.


When, how, and where you water your plants can have a significant impact on their greenery and blooms. This is an important lesson to teach your children, especially as they begin gardening in their own backyards.

Whether you’re planning to grow vegetables, flowers, or herbs, these garden unit study resources will help your kids learn about all the aspects of caring for plants. From ant and butterfly studies to a tomato plant mini unit, this post contains garden-themed math, science, reading, writing, and handwriting activities for kids of all ages!

Get your kids outdoors and learning about seeds, gardens, and food with this Spring Garden Unit Study. With adaptable lessons for ages 6 to 13, this unit covers everything from what seeds need to grow to the importance of self-sustainability.

Continue for more insights

Creating a Comfortable Outdoor Space With Serena & Lily’s 2-Seater Bench

Add Seating and Storage Space to Your Garden With a 2-Seater Bench From Serena & Lily

Adding an outdoor bench to your backyard, garden, patio, porch or balcony can add a seating area and create a comfortable environment. There are a variety of benches to choose from that will suit any space.

Choose from a variety of woods, including teak, cedar and redwood. These are weather-resistant and are easy to maintain.

1. Serena & Lily Pacifica Teak Storage Bench

“Les amoureux qui s’becotent sur les bancs publics”—that’s a quote from the classic song by Brassens, and it’s exactly what this 2-seater garden bench evokes. Made from durable teak, this bench combines the classic silhouette with a timeless design that’s easy to style.

Although this bench is offered in a variety of color options, we love the weathered beach blue finish for its ability to match most existing patio decor and furniture. The curved back on this bench also supports two people comfortably. This bench is pre-stained, but Ikea recommends re-staining it regularly for maintenance. The maximum recommended weight capacity is 300 pounds.

2. Frontgate Teak Storage Backed Bench

A fresh blue hue makes this bench a bold and colorful choice for the garden. It’s crafted from sturdy acacia wood that requires little maintenance. Frontgate suggests covering it when not in use to protect from moisture and changes in humidity that can cause damage.

This option is a budget-friendly pick with a simple design that’s easy to coordinate with pillows and other cushions. The eucalyptus wood is durable, and it resists water and wood-eating insects. It’s also lightweight, and it has a 300-pound weight capacity. This bench only comes in black, though, and dark colors can absorb more heat than lighter options.

3. Ikea Bondholmen Loveseat

Whether you’re edging a flower bed, setting up a seating area near the house or adding an extra seat along a path, a garden bench can make any outdoor space more welcoming. You can even get one that folds flat to save storage space.

Tina Christensen and Kai Legaard were inspired by old-time handicraft and historic everyday objects when designing this garden loveseat. The result is a sustainable, durable wood bench that’s also comfortable and practical. For example, the legs are angled for steadiness and it has smart functions like stackable chairs and a table with a hole for an umbrella. It also comes with fade-resistant and water-repellent cushions.

4. Serena & Lily Serena Teak Glider

Serena & Lily is a popular brand with well-received products. The company’s rattan porch swing scored high marks in a review by The Spruce, a trustworthy source that performs unbiased hands-on testing.

This garden bench features a simple silhouette and neutral beige-hued slipcover. It’s a versatile option that can complement any type of patio decor. It would work especially well in a classic or coastal space, but it can also soften a more contemporary layout.

Frontgate shoppers enjoy the characteristically coastal designs of their chairs, rattan loungers and other seating options. The company’s Luxembourg collection, featuring this 2-seater garden bench, carries on the legacy of “les amoureux qui se becotent sur les bancs publics.” The Luxembourg benches also make great decorative accent pieces.

5. Suncast Storage Bench

Add seating and storage space to your patio with this decorative garden bench. It has a convenient lift up lid that opens to a spacious storage area, perfect for outdoor toys and accessories. It’s also easy to move around and is made from a durable material that resists corrosion and rust.

A great choice for small porches and patio areas, this wooden garden bench is crafted from sustainable grade-A teak for long lasting use. It seats two comfortably and features a backrest for additional support. It’s also weather-resistant and comes with an anti-rust hardware kit for added durability. It’s easy to assemble with no tools required and has several reports of being a good value for the money.

6. Teak Storage Backed Bench

Teak garden benches are a beautiful addition to any outdoor living area. Teak is a natural material that contains oils that help it resist warping, rotting, and insect damage.

The slatted back and seat offer a comfortable and breathable surface. The bench can be placed on a patio, near the entrance to a home, along a path or anywhere else where seating would be beneficial.

Aluminum is a lightweight option that holds up well in the elements. It’s easy to clean and can be sanded down for repainting. Concrete is a heavy and durable choice that requires little maintenance. It can be molded and sculpted to create a unique design.

Follow the link to read more