Gardening Advice

September 7, 2021
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 taste is very different. Learn more about true green tomatoes and how to ripen. 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…
August 27, 2021
All "bees" are not created equal. Bees, wasps, and hornets may look alike and belong to the same order of insects called Hymenoptera, but they are different insects. How can you tell the difference between a bee, a wasp, and a hornet? Let's take a look! Bees and wasps took separate evolutionary paths over 100,000,000 years ago. Bees are vegetarians, collecting pollen to feed their young, while…
August 26, 2021
Do you test your soil? It's a good time to evaluate your soil's health so that any fall amendments can break down over the winter in time for spring planting. Here's why it's worth taking the time to lay the groundwork for a better garden next year. You don't have to dig too deeply to discover the secret of great gardening; it is your soil. Without healthy soil it is very…
August 24, 2021
Days are getting shorter, nights are getting cooler, and in many parts of the country, frost is just a few weeks away. Now, what do we do with all those fresh tomatoes? Whether your tomatoes split, are green, or just need to get picked before frost, I'll show you how to roast tomatoes and other delicious ways to use your tomatoes! Rescuing Imperfect Tomatoes Tomatoes do not need to be…
August 24, 2021
There are tricks to keeping that midsummer gardening going full tilt! By now, you should have harvested some goodies. But to keep your vegetable plants healthy, finish up that harvest strong, and start new plantings for fall, here is a basic "to do" list.  Growing a garden isn't just about getting plants started—it also involves tending to your plants and giving them the TLC that they need…
August 20, 2021
Usually we think of spring as the time when wildlife is conducting their courtship rituals. Not so with grasshoppers and crickets! As the summer winds down, you will hear the the mating calls of the males trying to attract a female get louder! And if you are finding ragged holes chewed in the leaves of your plants it is probably grasshoppers. To lessen the population next year, now is…
August 18, 2021
The blooming of the bearded irises is something I eagerly await each spring. This year, I made a mental note that I should divide and replant the irises after flowering. The time is now! Here's how to divide irises—with step-by-step pictures. Even though my irises were planted years ago and are terribly overgrown, the blossoms were still gorgeous this spring. But dividing bearded irises…
August 11, 2021
Daisy-shaped flowers are the cheerful workhorse of the flower garden. Daisies remind of the sun and have an energizing effect on us. Since the daisy family, Asteraceae, is one of the largest plant families, there are more daisy-shaped flowers to choose from than any other shape! Let's explore the different kinds of daisies from the classic to the colorful!  The name daisy comes from the…
August 11, 2021
On a ninety-degree day, it's hard to imagine that fall is just around the corner. Greens are the stars of the fall vegetable garden. For something new and different, give these Asian greens a try. All will germinate fast in warm, late summer soil. Turn over a new leaf and learn more about types of Asian greens! Way down south, August means planting another round of warm weather crops…
August 4, 2021
It has been an upside-down summer for the garlic in terms of weather. Let's talk about when to harvest garlic—and what to look for before harvesting. Plus, I'll show you how to cure your garlic for long-term storage. To grow the best bulbs, you want rain early in the season. Unfortunately, where I live, it was hot and dry in June then cool and wet, wet, wet in July. As harvest time…
August 3, 2021
The quintessential summer flower, sunflowers (Helianthus) have so many amazing uses, from cooking to crafts! Not only are they pretty but also they are an entirely edible plant! See lots of great ways to make the most of sunflowers. A Pretty Native American Plant Honored as the state flower in both Kansas and Nebraska, there are about 70 species of sunflowers. Most are native to the Great…
August 3, 2021
Summer is still going strong, but the days are getting shorter and fall is on the way. Are you planning to continue your harvest into autumn this year? If so, now is the time to get planting. There are so many interesting crops that thrive when the weather cools! See the best vegetables for fall gardening. Albert Camus said that autumn is a second spring because every leaf is a flower. For…