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!

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October 16, 2017

The gardening season is winding down. Last call for filling in those bare spots in your landscaping with a shrub or two. Perennials are beautiful but once they have finished blossoming and are gone by, hardworking shrubs will still be there acting as a backdrop. Fall is a good time for planting and many garden centers are offering deep discounts on leftover trees and shrubs. Now that the weather is cooler, there is less stress on the newly planted shrubs—and on you! Digging planting holes isn... more

October 12, 2017

It’s harvesttime.  Cabbages are available at a deal. Few people know that in the early1900’s, the biggest crop grown in this country was cabbages. That’s because they last a long time when put in a cool spot and they can be fermented into sauerkraut! And sauerkraut is loaded with vitamin C and digestive enzymes. Most early ship explorers brought along huge barrels of sauerkraut once scurvy was identified as a vitamin C deficiency. And anybody with digestive problems can also be helped by... more

October 5, 2017

I confess to being a lazy cook. For example, the idea of peeling, coring, and slicing apples makes me a reluctant pie maker. Here are three of my favorite kitchen gadgets to preserve the harvest. In past years, after spending a few of the most beautiful days of fall inside processing tomatoes, apples, and pears, I could sympathize with Robert Frost when he wrote “I am overtired of the great harvest I myself desired.” He was referring to apples and this year was a banner year for apple growing... more

October 2, 2017

Usually, when we see a green tomato, it’s just unripe and will eventually turn red.  However, there are green tomatoes that are meant to be green!  The two taste very different. If you’ve had an unripe red tomato, it’s usually very hard with a tart taste. We either wait for the tomato to turn red, ripen the tomato off the vine, or we might make yummy fried green tomatoes. However, some green tomatoes aren’t just unriped versions of red tomatoes. When is a green tomato not a “green” tomato?... more

October 1, 2017

Tulip bulbs are typically planted in the fall, but what happens when you forget to plant them or you miss a few? Here’s how to plant tulip bulbs in winter! One January, I came across a bag of tulip bulbs that had gotten misplaced in my gardening shed. Evidently, the dozen tulips hid when I planted over 150 other bulbs in October. I was looking forward to seeing this variety’s colors lining my garden path. At least, that was the plan. After doing a little research, I came across a study about... more

September 29, 2017

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

September 22, 2017

Blueberries, cherries, and other small fruit shrubs produce faster in big tubs and pots! Here are some varieties I recommend. First, I already have four fruit shrubs in the ground. About a third of the berries were eaten this year (mostly by me) in the garden while picking.  Another third was used fresh for tarts and fruit salads.  The remainder was frozen for later use. However, my frozen stash never lasts me through the winter.  I’m running out of ground, so I’m going to containers. Why pots... more

September 17, 2017

Even though the calendar says it is fall, we have been enjoying a second spring in the garden. Albert Camus said that autumn is a second spring because every leaf is a flower. True, since the foliage is starting to turn, but for me it is a second spring because we are harvesting spring veggies again. After pulling our garlic this year we had seedlings of lettuce, bok choy, chinese cabbage, and kale ready and waiting to plug into the empty beds. I also started some new spinach and swiss... more

September 15, 2017

Do you enjoy using freshly snipped herbs from the garden as much as I do? Now that summer is winding down, it is time to think about bringing some of our favorites indoors. Here are seven herbs that will grow well on a sunny windowsill or under lights. Everyone has some herbs they can’t do without. I’m a big fan of basil, rosemary, and oregano. What do you use the most? Here are seven herbs that will grow well on your sunniest windowsill or under lights: Greek oregano is a perennial best... more

September 12, 2017

It’s important to get the garden beds cleaned up in the fall. Here are some helpful tips. Any of the plant remains and the leaves need to be moved into the compost. Otherwise, they can hide insects and foster disease conditions for next spring. Leaving a nice, clean bed helps you to get a head start after the winter. If you live in the United States east of the Mississippi, as I do, you will also need to lime your garden beds. We tend to get acidic rain so a dusting of lime is necessary each ... more

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