When did gardening get so complicated, so . . . controversial? So full of decisions? Should you buy hybrid or open-pollinated seed? What is an heirloom seed? Does it matter which company you purchase from? Must seed be organic? And what about GMOs?Continue Reading
Okra really wasn’t a thing here in the north when I was a kid. I only remember my mom cooking it once – I think she bought it frozen – and we all thought it was pretty awful.
Manure. You know what it is. Animal waste. It will often include the straw, hay, or wood shavings that are used as bedding for the animal and has absorbed the farm animal’s feces and urine. It’s been used for centuries as a slow-release fertilizer for farms and gardens.
Why Use Manure in Your Garden
Using manure in your garden builds organic matter, adds nutrients to your soil, and helps to increase microbial activity. It improves soil structure, drainage, and moisture retention.
The nitrogen in manure is not all immediately available. When soil organisms begin the decomposition process that nitrogen then becomes available. It’s a win-win situation with soil organisms and manure. They love each other.Continue Reading
Visit any vegetable garden and you’ll be sure to find a patch of tomato plants. They are a favorite for just about everyone. Even those who don’t like fresh tomatoes will want to learn more about growing tomatoes for sauce. Tomatoes are available in a seemingly endless number of varieties. I love to try at least one new variety each year. Continue Reading
Is this the year of your best vegetable garden harvest?
I’d like to introduce you to a backyard farmer in Brooklyn who focuses her work on finding organic garden hacks. Stacey Murphy grows, literally, tons of vegetables in just 500 square feet without breaking a sweat. From her unique perspective as a backyard farmer, she helps beginning growers, homesteaders, vegetable gardeners and permaculturists take action quickly and confidently. She has trained hundreds of teens and adults to adopt a lifestyle of growing their own vegetables proving that you CAN learn to be a green thumb.Continue Reading
For a beginner gardener, there’s much to think about. What seeds to choose, to dig or not to dig, and very importantly, how to choose the best spot for your garden.
Your first criteria when choosing a garden site is sun. Vegetable plants generally require full sun. That’s a minimum of 6 – 8 hours of sun per day throughout the growing season. A few vegetables will grow in partial sun (4 – 6 hours of sun per day).
An easy way to determine how many hours of sun your yard really gets is to measure the shadows. Get your science cap on, you’re going to be collecting some data here. Don’t worry, though, the process is really easy.Continue Reading