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!

July 21, 2017

Every year in the fall, I suffer a bout of mum madness when garden centers and big boxes brim with chrysanthemums. They produce lovely fall colors, but when is the best time to plant mums? When to Plant Mums Mums and asters are everywhere, from six-inch pots to bushel baskets of orange, yellow, pink, and copper mounded behemoths. I want to buy everything and plant! Then I slap myself on the forehead, take a deep breath and cry “You should have planted these in May!” People start pointing at me... more

July 20, 2017

No other flower in the cutting garden glows with cheerfulness quite like calendula. Irresistible waves of bright yellow and orange daisy-like flowers greet me on my morning rounds, lifting my spirits even on the worst of days. Included in a mixed bouquet, calendula are sure to gladden the hearty of the recipient. Not only colorful and a good mood elevator, calendula blossoms are edible. Whether eaten fresh in salads, added to rice, or dried and used as a poor man’s saffron, calendula petals... more

July 20, 2017

A crop that can be planted often is lettuce. This is actually my husband’s favorite so I plant lettuce early and often in the spring, starting two weeks before frost. In fall, I start sowing again eight weeks before the fall frost. The trick is to stagger plantings every 10 to 14 days so you don’t have all your lettuce at once. See your average frost dates for spring and fall. Here are seven tips and tricks on growing lettuce—so that your garden space yields the maximum harvest! Lettuce is best... more

July 17, 2017

Beet kvass is a fermented vegetable drink that is easy to make and loaded with probiotics. Learn how to make beet kvass here! What is Fermentation? Canning and freezing—as methods to preserve food—are relatively new in the Grand Scheme of Evolution. Our ancestors (who did not have the advantage of electricity) largely fermented their crops in order to eat them at a later date. Pickles, relish, ketchup, mayonnaise, sauerkraut and mustard were all originally fermented. Depending on the... more

July 16, 2017

I used to be a snob of sorts when it came to my garden palette, preferring cool blues and purples mixed with pinks, white, and pale yellow. I had very little red and no orange, thank you—except for the tawny daylilies. There were just too many of them to even think about replacing them with another color. When seed shopping, I would avoid any description that could be interpreted as orange. You know how they like to trick us by calling a flower apricot, tangerine, salmon, or peach. They... more

July 14, 2017

Add flowers to your food! Many gardeners forget that flowers not only are beautiful, but also can be raised to eat. Here are the best edible flowers based on firsthand experience in the garden and kitchen. I especially love adding small edible flowers to salads, which can be made even more attractive and special with their color and subtle taste. Flowers can also be added to soups, cassroles, and other dishes.  Best Edible Flowers Many folks know about nasturtiums. Nasturiums’ peppery... more

July 14, 2017

By canning tomatoes, you can enjoy that garden-fresh tomato taste in sauces, soups and stews all year long! Here’s how to can tomatoes, step-by-step. 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... more

July 13, 2017

Avocado is one vegetable that is quite good for us—and easy to ripen with my trick. According to Dr. David Perlmutter (author of Grain Brain), they are one of the three best brain foods. He believes that avocados, grass-fed beef and coconut oil are essential for healthy brain function. He recommends eating ½ an avocado for breakfast as it supplies 15 grams of unsaturated fat and 150 calories. Avocados are also one of the cleanest vegetables. Their thick skin keeps pesticides and other poisons... more

July 12, 2017

Here’s how to raise baby chicks the right way—from the day they arrive to the day they start laying! When choosing to start out with chicks, it is often necessary to mail order baby ones. These generally come through the mail a day or two after they are born. It’s quite important to pick them up at the post office as soon as possible to get them out of their box and introduce them to their new home. The Perfect Baby Chicken coop Chicks will need a warm, draft-free, and safe environment to... more

July 7, 2017

Saving seeds from your favorite plants and swapping them with friends is one of the best ways to share your love of gardening. Why save seeds?  It can be economical, since a single flower can generate dozens or even hundreds of seeds. And it lets you keep your favorite flowers or crops growing next year! Select the best plants to save seeds from based on traits that are important to you such as disease resistance, size, color, yield, flavor, vigor, earliness, etc. Open-pollinated or Hybrid ... more

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