Gardening 101~ Elevate Your Garden Game with Vertical Gardening: A Beginner’s Guide

“It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn. ” B. C. Forbes

You may have recently seen my last episode on Why Trellising Your Tomato Plants is a Must-Do and 5 Tips for Success which somewhat relates to today’s topic on vertical gardening. In today’s episode I will be elaborating on this topic and showing you the benefits of gardening vertically!

Vertical gardening is a gardening technique that simply involves growing plants vertically, taking advantage of unused vertical space while creating a stunning visual display. Not only does it allow you to maximize your garden space, but it also has numerous benefits, including easier maintenance, better air circulation, and less pest and disease problems. If you’re new to vertical gardening and don’t know where to start, don’t worry – this beginner’s guide has got you covered. I’ll take you through the basics, from choosing the right plants and materials to setting up your vertical garden and caring for your plants. Get ready to elevate your garden game and create a stunning, space-saving garden that’s sure to impress.

Check out my YouTube video below for the whole scoop on vertical gardening & how it will benefit you!

I certainly hope you are encouraged to garden. Even if you start with only two or three of these things, that’s a great start! 

Be sure to check out my Blog Post on my Top 10 Favorite & Easy Vegetables to Grow for the Home Gardener!

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Until next time friends, eat fresh, shop local, & have a happy day,

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What Are The Benefits to Incorporating a School Garden?

“Change the food in the schools and we can influence how children think. Change the curriculum and teach them how to garden and how to cook and we can show that growing food and cooking and eating together give lasting richness, meaning, and beauty to our lives.” ― Alice Waters

If you have been following me for any length of time, you know I am an advocate for kids in the garden. Over the years, you’ve watched my children grow in my gardens helping to build new raised beds, harvesting the crops, and finally helping prepare the fruits of our labors in the kitchen. 

I believe every school in the country should have a school garden in order to teach our children where food comes from. I will be discussing in upcoming blogs how to incorporate kids in the garden, as well as the anonymity of food in our culture today. This is the main reason why I think it is crucial to incorporate school gardens!’

Thankfully, school gardens have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. Incorporating a garden into a school’s curriculum can have a range of benefits for students, teachers, and the wider community. 

In today’s blog post, I am going to provide you with the many benefits of incorporating a school garden and why it’s a worthwhile investment for any educational institution.

Now let’s look at the many benefits school gardens can have!

Let’s Look at the Academic Benefits of School Gardens!

School gardens have the ability to provide a hands-on and engaging way for students to learn about science, math, and other subjects. For example, students can learn about the life cycle of plants, the importance of pollination, and the role of soil nutrients in plant growth. They can also use math skills to measure the growth of plants and calculate the amount of water and fertilizer needed. 

School gardens also provide an opportunity to help students develop critical thinking skills as they problem-solve and make decisions about garden design, plant selection, and pest management.

Besides enhancing academic learning, school gardens can also foster teamwork, leadership, and communication skills. Students can work in groups to plan and plant the garden, share responsibilities for watering and weeding, and harvest the produce. They can also take on leadership roles by leading garden tours, organizing fundraising events, and teaching younger students about gardening. Through these activities, students can develop a sense of responsibility, confidence, and teamwork.

What are Some of the Potential Health Benefits of School Gardens?

School gardens can promote healthy eating habits and improve overall health. When kids can  grow their own fruits and vegetables, they now have the opportunity to learn about the nutritional value of different foods and develop a taste for fresh, healthy produce. They can also learn about the benefits of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables and the importance of balanced diets.

School gardens can help address issues of food insecurity and promote healthy eating habits among students and their families. The produce grown in the garden can be used in school meals or donated to local food banks, providing fresh and nutritious food to those in need. By involving families in the garden project, schools can also encourage parents and caregivers to incorporate healthy foods into their own meals.

And let’s face it… kids are more likely to try something they decided to grow!

What are Some of the Potential Environmental Benefits of School Gardens?

School gardens can promote environmental awareness and encourage sustainable practices. By learning about the importance of soil health, water conservation, and biodiversity, students can develop a sense of stewardship for the environment. They can also learn about the impact of human activities on the environment and ways to reduce their ecological footprint.

Moreover, school gardens can provide habitat for wildlife and attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. By planting native species and avoiding the use of pesticides and herbicides, school gardens can help support local ecosystems and promote biodiversity.

This is another opportunity to teach kids about the benefits of organic gardening and incorporating companion planting, rather than using harmful chemicals.

Can the Local Community Benefit From School Gardens?

The answer to this question is a responding YES! School gardens have the ability to serve as a valuable resource for the wider community. By donating produce to local food banks or hosting community events such as farmers’ markets or garden tours, schools can help promote healthy eating habits and support local food systems. 

They can also serve as a gathering place for community members, fostering social connections and community involvement.

School gardens can also provide opportunities for intergenerational learning and mentorship. By involving older adults or community members with gardening experience, schools can create meaningful connections between generations and promote lifelong learning.

That Sounds Great! Now, How can I Help Start a School Garden in my Community?

Starting a school garden can seem daunting, but with the right resources and support, it can be a rewarding and successful project. Here are some steps to get started:

Get support from school administrators, teachers, and parents. Starting a school garden requires buy-in from all stakeholders, as well as support for funding and maintenance.

Find a suitable location for the garden. Look for a sunny, well-drained area with access to water and close to the school. Ensure that the site is safe and accessible for students.

Develop a garden plan. Consider the garden’s size, layout, and design, as well as the types of plants to grow. Involve students in the planning process to ensure that the garden reflects their interests and needs.

Secure funding and resources. Look for grants, donations, or partnerships with local organizations or businesses to support the garden’s development and maintenance.

Involve students in the garden project. Encourage students to take ownership of the garden by involving them in the planning, planting, and maintenance. Provide opportunities for leadership and teamwork.

Integrate the garden into the curriculum. Use the garden as a teaching tool to support academic learning and promote healthy lifestyles.

We Have Our School Garden! Now, How Do We  Maintain It?

Maintaining a school garden requires ongoing care and attention. Here are some tips to keep the garden healthy and productive:

Develop a maintenance plan. Create a schedule for watering, weeding, fertilizing, and pest management. Involve students in the maintenance activities to ensure that they take ownership of the garden.

Provide ongoing support and training for teachers and volunteers. Ensure that they have the knowledge and skills to maintain the garden and address any issues that may arise.

Use sustainable practices. Avoid the use of pesticides and herbicides, and use organic methods for weed and pest control. Compost garden waste to improve soil health.

Involve the wider community. Encourage families and community members to volunteer in the garden and participate in events such as harvest festivals or farmers’ markets.

What are Some Curriculum Ideas for School Gardens?

School gardens can be integrated into a range of subjects and learning activities. Here are some curriculum ideas for school gardens:

Science: Learn about plant growth, soil health, and the life cycle of plants.

Math: Use the garden to teach measurement, geometry, and data analysis.

Language arts: Write garden journals, poetry, or stories about the garden.

Social studies: Learn about the history of agriculture, food systems, and cultural traditions related to gardening.

Art: Use the garden as inspiration for art projects such as painting, sculpture, or photography.

Nutrition: Learn about the nutritional value of different fruits and vegetables, and use the garden to prepare healthy meals and snacks.

If you enjoyed this blog, please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden! 

Added bonus: You can go to my blog at to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats in either a spiral bound soft cover OR NEW, a Downloadable PDF version. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Until next time remember to,
Eat fresh, shop local & have a happy day,


Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content.

Gardening 101~ How-to Plant A Grape Arbor & Care for Them

“ Growing your own fruit at home is a wonderful treat and a huge money saver. Homegrown food of any kind tastes delicious and being able to go outside and pick fresh fruit from a tree is something everyone should experience.” ― Julio Belson

You may think growing grapes is for those who want to make wine. Well, that is only one of many reasons you would grow grapes. I had a beautiful grape arbor of just four vines to make my own grape juice and jellies. I never used any of them for wine, however that’s not to say you can’t.

I wanted to continue on with my Gardening 101 series with some practical guides on how to grow some of the fruits I discussed in my Top 9 Perennial Fruits and Vegetables to Grow for the Home Gardener & How to Care for Them. 

So let’s get started! Today I’m going to show you how easy it is to plant your own grape arbor and to care for them!

So why bother growing grapes you ask? Well, maybe you’re someone who enjoys gardening and wants to try something new. Planting grapes and building a grape arbor can be a fun and rewarding experience. Not only will you have fresh grapes to enjoy, but you’ll also have a beautiful addition to your garden or backyard. 

But how do you get started? In today’s Gardening 101, I’m going to walk you through the steps of planting grapes, building an arbor, and caring for your grapevines. From selecting the right variety of grapes to pruning and harvesting, I’ll cover everything you need to know to create a thriving grapevine. So grab your gardening gloves and let’s get started on creating your very own grape arbor.

You may also want to check out my How to Plant Asparagus and Care for it as well!

Let’s get started!

How do I decide the perfect location for my grapes?

The first step in planting grapes is selecting the perfect location. Grapevines need plenty of sunlight, good drainage, and protection from strong winds. Ideally, you should choose a spot that gets at least six hours of sunlight per day, with well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Avoid planting in areas that are prone to flooding or have poor drainage, as this can lead to root rot and other issues. You’ll also want to make sure the area is protected from strong winds, as this can damage the vines and reduce grape production.

When selecting the location for your grapevines, consider the size of the area you have available. Grapevines can grow quite large, so you’ll need to make sure you have enough space to accommodate them. If you’re planting more than one vine, you’ll want to space them at least six feet apart to allow for optimal growth. Keep in mind that grapevines can also be trained to climb trellises or arbors, which can help save space and create a beautiful focal point in your garden.

What’s the right grape variety for me?

There are hundreds of grape varieties to choose from, each with its own unique flavor and growing requirements. When selecting grape varieties, consider your climate, soil type, and personal taste preferences. Some popular grape varieties for home gardeners include Concord, Niagara, and Thompson Seedless. These varieties are easy to grow and produce delicious grapes that are perfect for eating fresh or making wine. I grew the Concord variety due to what I wanted to make with my grapes. Take into consideration what you are going to do with them.

If you’re looking for a specific flavor or want to grow grapes for wine-making, do your research to find the best variety for your needs. Some grape varieties are better suited for cooler climates, while others thrive in warmer temperatures. You’ll also want to consider the type of soil you have, as some grape varieties prefer sandy soils while others do better in loamy or clay soils.

Once you’ve selected your grape varieties, it’s time to prepare the soil for planting.

Now it’s time to build your grape arbor!

This photo was my grape arbor at my farm.

A grape arbor is a beautiful and functional addition to any garden or backyard. It provides support for your grapevines to climb on, as well as a shaded area to relax and enjoy your grapes. To build a grape arbor, start by selecting the right materials.

You’ll need sturdy wooden posts. I recommend using 4x4x8 pressure-treated pine posts. I used hog paneling for my grapes to grow on. They are easy to attach to the posts with U shaped nails and are heavy-duty enough to withstand the weight of the vines when weighed down with the grape clusters. You can also add decorative elements such as lattice panels or climbing plants to make your arbor even more beautiful. Metal twine also works, but it will rust quickly and evenly break in a few years. I don’t recommend the wire for anything you want long term.

PRO TIP: The key thing to remember when choosing your material for the grapes to grow on is allowance for your hand to go through the holes to harvest the grapes, as well as the grape clusters to grow through!

To build the arbor, start by digging holes for the posts at least two feet deep. Set the posts in the holes and fill with concrete to secure them in place. I use Quikrete because it dries quickly. 

Once the posts are set, attach the material you chose for the grapes to grow on. If you use the  metal wire, attach to the top of each post and stretch it across to the other side, securing it with nails or screws. Repeat this process until you have created a grid of wires or twine for the grapevines to climb on.

When can I plant my grape vines and how do I?

Grapevines can be planted in the spring or fall, depending on your climate and grape variety. When planting, make sure to dig a hole that is twice as wide and deep as the grapevine’s root ball. Gently loosen the roots and place the vine in the hole, making sure the soil is level with the surrounding ground. Plant each vine centered between the two posts, only one for each 6 foot section.

The vine will more than likely not be long enough to reach the bottom of your new trellis or arbor. You will need to watch, and as it grows, carefully begin training it onto the material you choose to grow your grapes on. You can use garden tape in the beginning to secure the vine onto the fencing. This will help the vine grow upward and make it easier to prune and harvest the grapes.

After planting, water your grapevines thoroughly and add a layer of mulch around the base to help retain moisture and prevent weeds. I recommend you purchase a bale of straw for each vine and spread it out evenly about 2 feet wide between each 6 foot section.

Grapevine care and maintenance

To ensure your grapevines grow and produce healthy grapes, it’s important to provide proper care and maintenance. This includes regular watering, fertilizing, pruning, and pest control.

Grapevines need regular watering, especially during hot and dry weather. Aim to water your grapevines at least once a week, giving them a deep soaking to encourage deep root growth. You can also add a layer of mulch around the base of the vines to help retain moisture and prevent weeds.

Fertilizing is also important for grapevine growth and grape production. You can use a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 8-8-8 blend, and apply it in the spring and early summer. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to excessive foliage growth and reduced grape production.

Pruning is essential for grapevine growth and grape production. In the winter, prune your grape vines by removing any dead or damaged wood, as well as any shoots that grew from the base of the plant. You’ll also want to thin out any overcrowded or crossing branches to improve air circulation and sunlight exposure. During the growing season, remove any new shoots that emerge from the base of the plant to encourage upward growth.

Finally, it’s important to protect your grapevines from pests and diseases. Common grapevine pests include aphids, spider mites, and Japanese beetles. You can use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to control these pests, or introduce beneficial insects such as ladybugs or lacewings. To prevent diseases such as powdery mildew or black rot, make sure your grapevines have good air circulation and avoid overhead watering.

Now it’s time to harvest & enjoy your grapes!

After all your hard work, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Grapes are typically ready to harvest in late summer or early fall, depending on the grape variety and climate. To harvest grapes, simply cut the grape clusters from the vine using a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears.

You can enjoy your grapes fresh, or use them to make juice, jelly, or wine. There are many resources available for home winemakers, so do some research to find the best method for your needs.

PRO TIP: Your grapes will be able to endure a light frost, and being frosted will make them sweeter!

If you enjoyed this blog, please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden! 

Added bonus: You can go to my blog at to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats in either a spiral bound soft cover OR NEW, a Downloadable PDF version. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Until next time remember to,
Eat fresh, shop local & have a happy day,


Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content.

Gardening 101 Day 16: Top 9 Perennial Fruits & Vegetables to grow for the Home Gardener & How-to care for them~ PODCAST

“Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration. ” D. H. Lawrence

Today I am going to discuss my top 9 favorite perennial fruits & vegetables to grow for the home gardener and how to care for them! Of course there are so many more, especially for those of you who live in Zones 6 through 10, however I really only feel comfortable providing all of you information on plants I’ve personally grown. But don’t fret friends… in a few short years Dave & I are retiring down south. We are aiming towards Savannah Georgia… oh how I long for those wonderful warm winters!

Perennial vegetables are a great choice for home gardeners because they come back year after year, providing a steady supply of fresh produce without the need for replanting. These are all super easy to grow when provided the proper growing environment and care. Some require pruning such as strawberries, but the rest you can just plant, walk away, watch them grow, and dine on deliciousness for years to come.

Click on the video below as I discuss my top nine favorite perennial fruits & vegetables for home gardeners to consider growing, along with tips & tricks on how to care for each of them. Enjoy friends!

To see episodes 1 thru 14, visit me at my blog at 

You will find a plethora of information there, so be sure to check it out.

Thanks for joining me today!

Please follow me here and at my blog at, and if you have not visited me on Facebook & Instagram, please like & follow me there for daily inspiration, recipes, and gorgeous photos. 

Until next time Dragonfly friends,

Remember to eat fresh, shop local, & have a happy day!