Shawna Coronado's blog is extremely influential in the world of gardening tips. On her site you can find anything from tips on getting a green taxi to updates about her glorious gardening endeavors. In order to launch my blog, I wanted to interview my favorite gardening bloggers for their insight on this coming growing season. The first in this series is Shawna, and you would be crazy not to check out her blog here!
I began writing about gardening almost 10 years ago when a local newspaper approached me because they liked my garden and asked me to put a few tips in the newspaper. that knowledge and experience blossomed into my publishing a book on green lifestyle living. Now, my blog ShawnaCoronado.com is focused on healthy eating, gardening, and sustainable living - I want to teach people how to grow and do social good.
That is so inspiring! You experiment some on your website with container gardening, do you have any tips on plants you have found to be particularly successful in container gardening?
As in traditional gardening, the secret to good growing with a container garden is the soil. While many experts recommend soilless mixes or mixes that have unnatural ingredients in them, I think the best think you can do for your container plant is put a mix of soil that will help them grow successfully. I typically mix 1/2 rotted manure and/or compost in with 1/2 organic potting soil. We have had drought for several summer and what I have found is that we need a little extra compost and natural ingredients in the mix to help hold the moisture. I also prefer using only organic fertilizers; we want to help the environment whenever we can and using less synthetic fertilizers is a way to do this. (*cough* *cough* Granite Flour is an awesome organic soil amendment to use in your container gardens!)
I know your full shade garden is beautiful, can you recommend the top 5 plants for growing in the shade?
Absolutely! My favorites are:
What is your biggest caution for those gardening in the shade?
Typically we tend to think that because we have shadier and moist conditions that we don't have to water. That is not true. Drought can effect gardens that are shady just like it can harm gardens that are in full sun; amend the soil so that it holds moisture well.
How much experience do you have with companion gardening & What do you recommend is the best way gardeners learn more about it?
There are some people that are trying to debunk companion planting - it has become a controversial subject. What i can say is that when I plant flowering plants near a vegetable garden, it will attract pollinators to our garden. Our vegetables need to be pollinated in order to produce fruit and seed. There are lots of lists online that talk about companion planting recommendations; simply do a search and use your common sense. the best way to find out if something works is to try it out in your own garden and test it.
What Is your favorite thing to grow?
Hands down - Lacinto Kale. I love to eat it, I love the way it looks, and I love to grow it!
Do you have a favorite recipe you would like to recommend readers make with their harvest?
This last season I actually build a cocktail garden (see it here) so I have been busy making all kinds of herbal cocktails with the harvest! My favorite cocktail as of late has been a mason jar cocktail recipe. It is simple and delicious! For a video how-to click on the recipe!