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!

September 1, 2016

With Fall just around the corner, the sun is riding lower in the sky casting longer shadows on the garden. One plant that welcomes the extra coolness and shade is the hosta. Hostas are the unsung heroes of the shady garden. There are 70 species of hostas and over 3,000 registered varieties, so you have lots to choose from. Though they do bloom, they are grown primarily for their beautiful foliage which adds interesting texture and color to the garden all season long. TYPES OF HostaS Many... more

August 30, 2016

I love bread and butter pickles. But the general kind of pickle, made with vinegar, lacks the digestive enzymes and probiotics of the fermented ones. Here is a recipe for how to make these delicious and helpful pickles. You will need: 3 medium cucumbers ½ cup thinly sliced onion 1 grape leaf ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 3 tablespoons home made whey 1 tablespoon sea salt or Himalayan pink ½ cup honey or maple syrup 1 heaping tablespoon whole celery seeds 1 tablespoon yellow or... more

August 16, 2016

The daylily really is the perfect perennial—easy to grow, virtually disease- and pest-free, and able to survive drought, shade, and poor soil.  Originally from Asia, these plants have adapted so well that many of us think of them as natives. Imagine the excitement of a 16th century explorer cruising the Orient and finding these gorgeous plants! European gardeners welcomed daylilies into their gardens and when early colonists sailed for the New World, daylilies made the crossing with them... more

August 15, 2016

With canned tomatoes, enjoy that garden-fresh tomato taste in sauces, soups and stews all year long! Here’s how I can tomatoes: First, when it comes to canning tomatoes for the rest of the year, I like to let my tomatoes get super-ripe on the vine. Farmers really don’t have this luxury as the fruit becomes too easy to bruise at this stage. However, tomatoes will continue to ripen in the box or on the counter, so it’s best to purchase your canning tomatoes a few days in advance of the ... more

August 12, 2016

Letting all that milkweed grow around my yard has paid off and we have some monarch butterfly caterpillars in there chomping away. Though we don’t recall seeing any adult monarchs flitting through the garden, they must have visited long enough to deposit some eggs. We have seen plenty of tiger swallowtails and always grow extra dill for the larvae of the black swallowtails to eat. These big black and green striped caterpillars are actually quite pretty! Adult butterflies live for only a... more

August 2, 2016

Who doesn’t love hummingbirds! Learn all about the beautiful ruby-throated hummingbird and how to attract hummingbirds to your garden. The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird In my neck of the woods we have only one type of hummer—the ruby-throated hummingbird. Take a moment to listen to the call of the ruby-throated hummingbird. They are fascinating little creatures. Barely 3 inches high with long slender bills almost half as long as their bodies, these tiny dynamos fly at great speeds, beating... more

July 31, 2016

It is easy to add depth to your flower garden by using plants with dark colored leaves. Burgundy foliage creates a backdrop for the flowers growing around it and adds variety to a sea of green. Plants with dark maroon leaves not only take center stage when they are in bloom but continue to be interesting even when they are not blossoming. Dark colors mix well with silver-leaved and variegated foliage plants as well as with green. Black is a rare color in plants but many dark colors come close... more

July 18, 2016

Which plants repel mosquitoes and other insects in the backyard and garden? And it’s not just mosquitoes. Gnats, biting flies, ants, and other pests can take the fun right out of any outdoor activity. Mosquitoes are more than a nuisance, too, as there are many mosquito-borne diseases out there including viruses such as West Nile, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Dengue, and now Zika. Block Insect Receptors Mosquitoes and many other insects target their victims by odors and gases we give off -... more

July 15, 2016

You don’t need chemicals to get rid of pesky garden pests: Companion planting, natural remedies, and attracting predators to your garden can save you money and also save your plants. As gardeners, we often find that various insects can be found eating our crops. This is disturbing and frustrating. Broccoli looks disgusting when it is covered by small worms along with their poop. Cucumber beetles eat holes in the leaves of the plants and spread disease from one to the next. Cutworms strike at... more

July 13, 2016

Let’s explore some smart ways to save water in the garden. An inch of water a week, is that too much to ask for? It doesn’t seem like much but that is the optimum amount for growing most vegetables and ornamentals. If you spread that inch of water out over a 10X10 foot space it equals 62 gallons! The National Drought Mitigation Center reports that right now 44% of the country is experiencing conditions that are abnormally dry or worse. What’s a gardener to do, especially when some areas... more


Subscribe to Blog

Free Almanac Newsletters

Weather, sky watch, gardening, recipes, good deals, and everyday advice!