I wouldn’t know how to begin a discussion on gardening without beginning with the soil. When I teach a workshop, I ask people what they think of when they think “garden”. Most often, the answer has to do with the harvest. And, of course, we wouldn’t garden if we couldn’t look forward to a bountiful harvest. But, I always encourage my students to think “soil” because healthy soil will result in a healthy, nutrient-dense harvest. Continue Reading
May and June traded places this year. May was dry and warm for the most part, and yet we couldn’t get our warm weather crops planted because we had occasional night-time freezing temperatures right up until the end of the month.
June has been on the cool side, especially the first half of the month, and has rained for at least a part of the day 4 or 5 days a week.
Neither month has made gardening easy. That’s not really different from any other year – they all have their challenges.
We live on about a quarter acre, and so we use all of our yard for gardening, including the front where we grow dwarf apple trees, raspberries, comfrey, squash, calendula, and spring bulbs.Continue Reading
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