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!

June 12, 2016

There are many natural ways to get rid of slugs. And let’s be honest. Slugs have to be the one of the most disgusting things you will encounter in your garden. Slugs will feast on any tender plant, feeding at night and hiding during the day. They have rasping, file-like mouth parts that quickly tear large ragged holes in young leaves. A tell-tale sign of a slug attack is the silvery mucus trail they leave behind.  Slug Trap: Trap and Remove Slugs To trap slugs you can put cabbage leaves, boards... more

June 5, 2016

Most of my favorite flowering vines are in the plant family Ipomoea. The most common member of this family is the morning glory, though there are about 300 more plants, including the sweet potato, and many of them are twining climbers. It will be a jungle out there when my vines grow up! The morning glory can grow to be ten feet tall or more in a season, which made it a popular privy plant in the old days when it was often used to camouflage the outhouse. As its name suggests, the flowers... more

June 4, 2016

Tomatoes are the ultimate backyard vegetable, and growing tomatoes is easier than you might think. These tips on how to grow tomatoes should help you to take care of your most delicious plants. There are a multitude of reasons to have a backyard vegetable garden, but for many of us the only reason we garden at all is to raise our own tomatoes. Who can blame us? Is there anything better than a fully ripe tomato eaten while it’s still warm from the garden? Tomatoes annually rank as North America’... more

May 30, 2016

If you are thinking of adding a new flowering shrub to your landscape, why not consider a highbush blueberry? Besides offering the beauty of its delicate bell-shaped flowers in the spring and its delicious sweet berries in the summer, it will add bright crimson foliage to your fall garden and its red stems will stand out against the snow in the winter. The blueberry is truly a plant for all seasons. Healthy Benefits of Blueberries Blueberries are second only to strawberries as the most... more

May 24, 2016

The age-old practice of companion planting is based on the theory that certain plants can either enhance, or in some cases inhibit, the growth of others. Scientists have tested some of this folk wisdom and have found this type of interplanting to be beneficial in several ways. Some plants repel or at least confuse insects pests while others attract beneficial insects that aid pollination or attack the bad bugs. Some plants supply additional nutrients to the soil that affect the growth and... more

May 19, 2016

Growing herbs in containers or a small space is so easy—and who likes paying for a package of herbs from the grocery store every time you need a few sprigs or leaves. If the meals at your house have been a little bland, fresh herbs can make a huge difference in flavor; they are considered the mark of a serious cook and are essential ingredients in many culinary classics. In late spring, garden centers offer a wide selection of herb plants making it easy for you to start an instant herb... more

May 17, 2016

I look forward to the vivid burgundy vase-like, stinking corpse flowers of March every year— which coincidentally flower around Easter. That is when Easter is at the end of March or early April, rather than falling so late this year. Ten days ago I cames home to find that the previously dormant amorphophallus ‘Konjac’ bulbs I stored in the sunroom last Halloween had sprouted.  The big guy weighed 32 pounds and little one 21 pounds then. All that flesh guarantees smelly flowers of at least six... more

May 15, 2016

This is such a hopeful time in my garden. Nothing has gone wrong yet, no bugs have attacked and no weird weather has struck—yet. I just know that this will be the best growing season we have ever had. Gardeners are such optimists! I dream of daytime highs in the 80’s and warm nights this summer, making it a good season for melons. I struggle to grow them each year but even if I only get a few they are worth the effort. There is nothing as tasty as a home-grown muskmelon picked at its peak.... more

May 11, 2016

One of the joys of summer is standing in the garden eating sun-warmed cherry tomatoes right off the vine.  These succulent, bite-sized jewels concentrate all the flavor of a full sized tomato into a package that is less than 2” in diameter. They are sweeter, perfectly shaped, and have thinner skin than regular tomatoes. Though highly addictive, cherry tomatoes are good for you—rich in calcium, iron, lycopene, and vitamins A & C. Easy to grow, many cherry tomato plants have a built-in... more

May 2, 2016

Ever heard of kimchi?  It’s a very nourishing and traditional fermented side dish made with vegetables. I have my own variation which I hope you’ll enjoy. What are Fermented Foods? In fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kimchi, there are large amounts of enzymes that greatly aid the process of digestion. Our ancestors traditionally fermented their pickles, ketchups and other vegetables. These condiments, when served with their cooked food, provided digestive enzymes to help the body... more


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