Sometimes you think there won’t be a garden. Winter wouldn’t end this year. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve planted and re-planted beans and cucumbers and carrots and chard because of those blasted critters. And then it happens . . .
Northern gardeners are getting excited. It’s still cold out there but you can just feel that spring is coming. The days are getting longer and birds are singing. The seed packets have arrived and garden plans are in the works!
I’ll be starting some of my seeds indoors in the next few weeks – plants like tomatoes and peppers, okra and broccoli. These plants have a long growing season and would never produce fruit if started outdoors here in the north. They need the extra time to grow that starting indoors provides.
Other seeds like peas and lettuce, carrots and beans can be sown directly into the garden. While it’s not a necessity, pre-sprouting seeds is another way to give your plants a head start.Continue Reading
I always ask people what comes to mind when they think of gardening.The end result – the vegetables, or the flowers – are always what they mention. And that’s not wrong… why bother to garden if we can’t look forward to a bountiful harvest? But I always encourage people to first think “soil.” Continue Reading
The goal in your garden is not to eradicate all insects, but rather to create a natural environment of balance where “good” insects are eating or parasitizing “bad” insects to keep them under control. A great way to insure the presence of these beneficial insects is by providing plants which attract them to your garden.Continue Reading
Herbs, in general, prefer full sun. Their flavor will generally be stronger when grown in sun, but there are several culinary herbs that do just fine in partial shade. Many herbs will not bloom when grown in shade, but that’s actually a bonus since the flavor often declines after flowering. Shade-grown herbs also tend to be become leggy, but keeping them trimmed will help them to become bushy. Plant these 5 herbs in moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter and they will thrive without full sun.Continue Reading
Mike and I recently hopped on a bus to take a “Sustainable Landscapes Tour” in a neighboring county. Over an 8 hour period, we made 6 stops at a variety of sites including parks, offices, a community garden, and a farm. It was encouraging to see that even in the middle of a shopping center district, individuals and organizations are taking the time to build and landscape in a way that reduces energy use, and conserves and cleans water. Here are a few highlights of our day.