Gardening Blogs

Welcome to the Almanac’s blog on gardening and gardens! Whether you’re a beginning gardener or a green-thumb, we’ve got lots of advice and inspiration to help you in your backyard. Look through this page for a variety of topics, including gardening with vegetables, herbs, fruit, flowers, containers, houseplants, and more!

October 25, 2016

If you still have spring-flowering bulbs on hand, you have probably run out of places in your yard to plant them. Don’t despair! Try potting them up to force into bloom this winter in the house. It is easy enough to do and you will be glad you did it when they start blossoming while there is still snow on the ground. Temperature, moisture, sufficient cold period, and protection from rodents are the most important considerations. Some bulb varieties, like early single tulips, are easy to... more

October 20, 2016

Fall is here and most perennial gardens are looking a little tired. Time to get your garden cleaned up and ready for winter. Clean Up Debris As with the vegetable garden, any diseased or bug infested plant material needs to go—far away. Don’t put it in the compost pile. Debris from things like rusty hollyhocks, peonies with powdery mildew, leaf-spotted delphiniums, and other fungal-infected flowers should be removed from the garden. Leaves from a peony infected with powdery mildew should... more

October 15, 2016

It’s time to start on those fall garden chores. Here is a to-do list for fall vegetable garden cleanup. Last year, we did not get our first killing frost until mid-October, almost a month later than usual, giving us a good long growing season this year. Check the frost dates in your area and find out how to predict frost yourself. Until that frost, even tender vegetables such as beans, cucumbers, radishes, lettuce, bok choy, and squash have time to mature and gave us a second taste of spring... more

October 10, 2016

Every year in the fall, I suffer a bout of mum madness when garden centers and big boxes brim with chrysanthemums and asters that should have been planted in the spring. Mums Should Be Planted in Spring They’re everywhere, from six-inch pots to bushel baskets of orange, yellow and copper mounded behemoths. I want to buy everything and plant! Then I slap myself on the forehead, take a deep breath and cry “You should have planted these in May!” People start pointing at me and make avoid-the-crazy... more

October 5, 2016

Fall is the time of year when gardens disgorge their bounty and farm stands are chock-a-block full of wondrous fruits and veggies. It’s the best time to buy and store fresh food! Twenty-five and fifty pound bags of onions and potatoes are on sale for incredibly low prices. Right now is the time to buy for the best deals of the year. Even organic produce, which is the best kind you can buy, is available at a bargain. Tomatoes, potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, peppers, leeks, lettuce, spinach... more

October 5, 2016

Now that you have grown and harvested some beautiful winter-keeping vegetables, how are you going to store them? In great-grandma’s day most houses had a root cellar or a cold storage room somewhere in the house. Today’s houses pride them selves on having warm, dry, finished basements instead of cold, damp cellars with dirt floors. Where can you keep your autumn harvest? Does any room in your house stay below 60 degrees but above freezing? Do you have a closet on an outside wall? Can you... more

September 27, 2016

There is nothing as delicious as a fully ripe, deep red, juicy, garden, heirloom tomato. Here’s a tomato salad recipe to die for—and tips on buying tomatoes. I love tomatoes. Unfortunately, farmers can’t wait until their tomatoes are fully ripe before picking them and bringing them to market. They get too soft and can be damaged by the first person who picks them up. However, tomatoes will continue to ripen after they are picked. The trick is to purchase them a couple of days before you want... more

September 27, 2016

Do you test your soil? Here’s why it’s worth taking the time to lay the groundwork for a better garden next year. You don’t have to dig too deeply to discover the secret of great gardening; it is your soil. Without healthy soil it is very difficult to have a successful garden and fall is the best time to evaluate your soil’s health. Before you start dumping on the lime and fertilizers, your first step should be taking a soil sample to send off for testing. A good soil test will evaluate the... more

September 23, 2016

If you are blessed with an overabundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, preserve your harvest for winter. Canning is one time-honored way. Here’s an overview on how to can! NOTE: Guidelines for safe canning are always being updated so use current information. Your local county extension office has a wealth of information about canning. Gather all your ingredients and equipment and make sure you have everything you need before you start. Halfway through the process is no time to be running to... more

September 15, 2016

Summer is winding down but the asters are just getting started, adding splashes of lavender, purple, and pink to the fall garden. A native American plant, the aster got its name from the ancient Greek and Latin words for star, describing its radiant blossom. One of its common names is starwort. As early as 1680, Europeans were importing our native wild asters for use in their Old World gardens. In England today they are called Michaelmas daisies for their habit of blooming around the same... more


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