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 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

September 8, 2016

One of my favorite aspects of gardening is plant propagation. Whether it is from seed or a cutting, I love seeing a new plant emerge and grow. Early fall is the time to take some cuttings of plants you want to keep over the winter. Tender container plants are at their peak right now but when the weather turns colder they will be lost unless you bring them inside. Even with a greenhouse, we don’t have enough room for everything we want to save and it is even more difficult if you are trying... 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

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