Browsing Category : Farm and Garden

For beekeeper’s garden: Tea Shrub


If you are a tea drinker, you may know the difference between the green and the black teas. But have you ever seen the tea shrub, Camellia sinensis? Did you know that it grows easily in zone 7, as an evergreen shrub? Did you know that it blooms in the fall? And how about that it is a bee plant?…

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Sedum - Autumn Joy - Bee in Harmony - a natural beekeeper's blog

For beekeeper’s garden: Sedum “Autumn Joy”


Sedums – ducks don’t seem to bother them I planted these Sedums (“Autumn Joy”) a few years ago. Every year, early in the spring, I divide the plants, and each August they produce the most amazing blooms. Heat, drought, chicken and ducks trumpeting all over… nothing deters this plant from producing these gorgeous blooms. Blooms and wonderful fragrance are not its only…

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A Good Beekeeper?

A Good Beekeeper?


I wrote a while ago that I had been buying seeds from the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Co for 8 years. I have got a collection of vegetable, fruit, herb and flower seeds in my freezer by now. Their mission is to preserve heirloom seeds. This past year only, they added a very exciting selection of edible and decorative flowers, culinary and medicinal herbs and…

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Rowe Apiaries - Japanese Beetles trap - Sophia Rowe

Japanese Beetles


The summer is all joy for our family. We take a month off from studies (we homeschool) in June, and try to do as much work on the garden as possible. June is when we have our harvest of strawberries, blackberries, sweet cherries and peaches. June is also the month of Japanese Beetle. Japanese Beetles (Popillia japonica) eat everything. They…

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Clover Meadows - Bee in Harmony, Rowe Apiaries blog

Let the meadows be


When I came to America 15 years ago, I was in awe of the vast open green fields and woods left for wild life. In Central Asia, wild life does not get a vote, and water resources became scarce decades ago, used up on cotton fields. When I became a beekeeper, a new reality hit me: we don’t have enough…

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Feeding bees in the winter - Bee in Harmony, Rowe Apiaries blog

A little spring break


Oh, the wonders of nature! How beautiful is the sky after last night’s storm! How wonderful it is to have a spring-like morning with 53F, after a week of freezing temperatures and biting wind. It will not last. Indeed, in three days, the weather will remind us that there is still plenty of time for it to halt our little…

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In the Garden: Bug bites


The bugs are out and biting. A couple of years ago, I started making bug repellant with catmint and olive oil. It does work, when I don’t forget to put it on:-) I use dry catmint, wormwood and cedar sawdust for dusting bees, and it works well for discouraging SHB as well. This year I can hardly see any SHB, I…

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Natural Pest Control: Wasp Spray


Have you ever read the ingredients on the wasp spray we buy at Lowes, or any convenience store? I did. The warnings themselves make me drop the bottle right there on the shelf and run to the restroom to wash hands. Of course, I used to use those sprays every summer when the wasps came out. Nowadays, in the spring, I…

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In the Garden: Mulching, weeding, and more planting


This past year we collect newspapers and brown paper wrapping material to mulch around our garden beds. I finished it with old hay. We started the new raised beds with a layer of leaves, a layer of composted over the winter hay and manure and a layer of composted bark mulch. Bark mulch is what we use in our front beds.…

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Using manure in your garden?


If you are thinking about asking your neighbor to mock the barn and use that wonderful manure in your garden, think again… I have recently had a discussion about herbicides in hay with a local farmer, who has an MS degree in Agronomy and Soil (Weed Science) from Auburn University. He has opened my eyes on the issue of prevalence of herbicides…

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Bee Balm for bees

Bee plant: Monarda (bee balm)


Bee balm has become a feature in our garden over the years. It is so easy to grow, and it does not die out even in hard winter. At first, we planted Bee Balm to attract native pollinators, especially butterflies. Bee Balm is reportedly great for tomatoes. I cannot tell the difference, really, since I already plant marigolds to keep…

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In the Garden: a lesson learned


Two years ago, when we were planning our large raised-bed garden, I somehow thought that it would be a good idea to use the weed screen between those raised beds… We spaced the boxes 3 feet apart, laid the screen overlapping under each box and, finally, laid some old hay on the top. In just a few months, the weeds…

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