Gardening Advice

April 22, 2016
Every spring we plant about a dozen different varieties of basil but I'm told there are over 150 species to choose from! So many basils, so little thyme! Here are some types of basil that I'm crazy about. 'Genovese' is my all-time favorite because it makes an awesome pesto and has lots of real Italian basil flavor. 'Classico' is another Genovese-type that we grow. The seeds are from…
April 10, 2016
Gardeners curse the ubiquitous dandelion and its pervasive nature. They pop up everywhere in spring and are so hard to get rid of; that darn tap-root goes to China! Before we talk about the dandelion's importance to us, we should first talk about its importance to bees—especially in early spring! The dandelion is one of the first flowers that bees and other pollinators can depend on for…
April 5, 2016
Gardening is not for pansies! It is a strenuous activity and none of us are getting any younger. Here are a few tips to make your chores easier and more comfortable to do. Assess the situation. Just how much can you lift and how far can you bend? What chores are painful or put too much stress on your already sore parts? How long can you work before tiring? Remember gardening is…
March 5, 2016
Ready for a tropical interlude? Luckily, I only had to go as far as our state's Orchid Society's Annual Show to share some of the most beautiful orchid pictures for you—and picked up some orchid growing tips, too. At this show, orchid growers have set up their displays and all the plants have been judged with many plants awarded ribbons.  What a treat to be able…
February 19, 2016
Have you abandoned your compost pile because you're tired of trudging outside to dump your kitchen scraps onto a frozen pile? Do you feel guilty about adding biodegradable waste to the tons of trash already at the transfer station? How about using worms to turn your kitchen scraps into fertilizer. Called vermicomposting, having earthworms eat your garbage is an easy way to recycle food waste…
February 7, 2016
Winter is a great time for garden planning, We can make lengthy lists of plants we want to try growing, seeds to order, and drawings of new plot plans. Unfortunately a lot of this gets lost when the gardening season revs up and we are overwhelmed with work. Even though I start out the year with every intention of keeping close track of things in a garden journal, I am usually so busy by June…
January 17, 2016
Between the cold weather and the football games on television, I have had lots of time to pore over the seed catalogs. Many offer special enticements if you order early but we are still working to finalize our orders. Some of the catalogs we receive should win awards for fiction; the glowing descriptions can not possibly be true. Do watermelons really grow on trees? The artwork also borders…
October 12, 2015
Are you tired of planting tulips and crocus bulbs only to have them disappear because mice and squirrels find them to be a tasty snack? There are plenty of other bulbs that are less attractive to rodents and by planting early, mid-season, and late bloomers we can stretch the show into summer. Here are just a few, in order of their appearance in the garden: Galanthus nivalis - Snowdrops are a…
June 25, 2015
In many parts of the country demand for water has already exceeded the supply leading to bans on car washing and watering lawns and gardens. The need to conserve water has made xeriscaping a popular concept in gardening. From the Greek word "xeros" meaning dry, combined with landscaping it is a commonsense approach to gardening using less water. Mother Nature can't be relied upon…
May 31, 2015
After I have planted every square inch of my garden I always find that there is something I have forgotten. Wait a minute where are the potatoes going? How did I manage to leave out chard? No room for kale? Can't I squeeze in one more eggplant? I only have so many large pots to grow my extra veggies in and they fill up fast. Time To Get Creative! Anything that holds soil can be used to grow…