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!

March 24, 2014

In my last gardening post, I had decided to bring in a stem of forsythia and another of magnolia to force a little spring my way. Well, we now have an answer concerning forcing the magnolia. It did bloom and in quite a beautiful way. First, it sent out a lovely bud. Then, it opened to a sweet flower. However, the flower lasted only a few days. The forsythia was a bust. Even though I have forced them before, this time it didn’t blossom. In years past, the flowers bloomed and lasted quite a ... more

March 16, 2014

This has been a tough winter. I, for one, am looking forward to spring! To force it a little, I decided to bring in a stem of forsythia and another of magnolia. I’ve done this before with the forsythia so I know that it will bloom. The magnolia is a bit of an experiment. It should do the same, right? Stay tuned. I went out through the heavy snow (it was almost up to my hip) and cut a stem of forsythia and two of the magnolia. Then I scraped the bark from the bottom of the stems and pounded... more

February 4, 2014

While it’s been cold in a good deal of the country this winter, it’s still time to begin thinking about next year’s garden. What did you most enjoy? Which crops grew the best for you? What would you like to try different this year? The Almanac offers a great Garden Planner to which you can subscribe here. If that doesn’t interest you, grab a notebook and make your own garden plan. Remember, it’s important to rotate crops so you’ll want to be able to refer to your old garden plans from last... more

January 12, 2014

Chickens love to go outside during the day. Yes, they do come home to roost at night, but they love to romp in the Sun when it’s up. They scratch the ground looking for bugs and worms, stretch out and sunbathe in the rays and dig deep dirt holes so that they can “dust bath” in them. They emerge from their baths completely covered with dirt and create a huge dust cloud around themselves as they shake it off. It’s quite hilarious to watch. Chickens, do, however hate snow. Once the white stuff... more

November 25, 2013

Mache is a small green that is very high in carotenoids, essential fatty acids and minerals. I grow it in my garden window during the late fall and winter months. It likes cold weather; it won’t even germinate if the temperatures get above 70 degrees F. So, once it gets cold (usually late October here), I sow it outside in a couple of window boxes. I take some of my home-made potting soil (compost that has been heated by the soil sterilizer) and mostly fill the window boxes. Then, I broadcast... more

November 18, 2013

The first Thanksgiving dinner really did include pumpkin pie.  Pilgrim cooks hollowed out small pumpkins, filled them with sliced apples, sugar, spices and milk.  After placing the stem cap back on the pumpkin, it was buried in hot ashes of the cooking fire and baked until tender. Squash and pumpkin quickly became diet staples amongst the settlers.  The Pilgrims invited local Narragansett Indians for their first Thanksgiving feast, to share a bounty of fruit, meat and vegetables that wouldn’t... more

November 7, 2013

It’s starting to get pretty cold where I live. Yet, there are some plants that are quite hardy and don’t mind a bit of frost. I generally cover my lettuce, spinach and kale and continue to harvest them—sometimes as late as Christmas. If you live further south, you might be able to keep these plants going all winter long with proper protection. You want the plastic to be away from the plants so this requires some kind of support. I have hoops for the spinach and lettuce, but the kale was much... more

October 25, 2013

My yard is abuzz with bees from early Spring until late October.  Sometimes, I have to swat them out of my face to get any gardening done.  Yet, there is a huge loss of honey bee colonies across the country, making crop pollination dicey for farmers.  Many have resorted to renting beehives.  Much has been written about the crisis since 2006. Gardeners who plant the right flowers and provide welcoming habitats can do their part in restoring the waning bee population.  We can nurture bees that... more

October 19, 2013

Winter squash is a premier vegetable for easy storage for the colder months. Our ancestors grew many of these beauties for just this reason. They are also quite prolific; once established in the spring, they continue to put out blossoms and fruit into the early fall. Now is the time to purchase some winter squashes and pumpkins from your local farmers. They are usually not too expensive as you are buying them in season. Our local organic farm is selling squashes for $2 apiece and pumpkins for... more

October 4, 2013

Like you, I’m harvesting vegetables and fruits from my garden and preparing them for storage.  I just picked the last peas and snap beans, steamed them briefly and froze in bags for winter meals.  You can do the same with broccoli sprouts and Brussels sprouts. Pick all green tomatoes on plants, too, when a frost is imminent.  Store them in a single layer on trays and platters at normal room temperature until they ripen.  You can be eating your own tasty tomatoes for Thanksgiving with ... more


Subscribe to Blog