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!

November 30, 2016

Amaryllis are beautiful Christmas bulbs that are easy to care for. Find out how to buy the best amaryllis bulbs, how to plant the bulbs, how to care for amaryllis, and how to make sure they bloom again next winter! No one gets more excited about amaryllis than a first-time grower. These big bulbs are easy to bring into bloom, and even a novice can expect success. Buying Amaryllis: Types of Bulbs When shopping for amaryllis bulbs, you can buy the boxed kits which contain not only a fat bulb... more

November 21, 2016

It’s time to deck the halls! Your garden is a ready source of interesting greenery, berries, dried flower heads, and seedpods. Mixed with freshly cut, fragrant evergreens, these natural items will enhance any wreath, swag, garland, or arrangement. If you don’t think it is worth the effort, check prices online and you’ll find that the green in Christmas refers to the color of money! It is time for nature’s green to make a comeback. Take a holiday from spending and head out to the garden to see... more

November 13, 2016

Half the enjoyment of a garden is being able to walk through the landscape and get close to nature. Consider a garden path or walkway as a design element. In the late fall, once most of the foliage has died back, it is easier to see what has been going on behind the scenes. Often called the season of simplicity, this is a good time of year to assess the structure of your landscape. Reduced to its fundamentals, new sight lines are open to view, and focal points—or, the lack of them—stand out.... more

November 6, 2016

There are lots of “gourdgeous” gourds available for decorating this time of year and I get many questions about growing and curing them. Types of Gourds There are three groups of gourds: Cucurbita pepo are the cute, colorful little ornamental gourds that make good decorations. They are closely related to pumpkins, summer squashes, and some winter squashes such as acorn and delicata. Lagenaria siceraria is a name that means drinking vessel since that is one of the many uses of these large,... more

November 4, 2016

There are many ways to preserve the tastes of summer to enjoy all year long but have you ever tried brewing? Simple wine, beer, mead, ale, flavored liqueurs, cordials, shrubs, and brandies can be made using the fruits—and also the vegetables, herbs, and flowers—of your labors. Home brewing has a long history; some anthropologists believe that beer is as old as civilization itself. They think that the change from a hunter-gatherer society to an agricultural one was due to the growing of grain... 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

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