Gardening Advice

June 19, 2021
For many gardeners, the 4th of July is a sort of seasonal deadline to get a bunch of garden chores done. From cutting back perennials to replacing early crops, see what to do in the garden now! (I realize that every region has a different schedule! I'd really love to hear what you're doing in your garden now in the comments!) Cut the garlic scapes! Mine start to twirl every year…
June 14, 2021
Letting all that milkweed grow around my yard has paid off, and we have some monarch butterfly caterpillars in there chomping away! Here's how to create a butterfly garden—from a mud puddle to plants! Though we don't recall seeing any adult monarchs flitting through the garden, they must have visited long enough to deposit some eggs. We have seen plenty of tiger swallowtails and always grow…
June 9, 2021
When school's out, there are lots of opportunities for hands-on learning experiences outside. Here are some ideas to get kids out in the garden, from what they can plant to fun gardening activities! Get Kids Into the Garden Summer gives kids time to cut loose and burn off some steam. Your garden can serve as an outdoor classroom for showing your kids how and where we get our food while…
June 8, 2021
Stagger your bean plantings for a continual harvest all summer. In fact, it’s possible to get high yields and keep them coming till frost. And there are so many wonderful varieties of green beans to try. Here are some of my favorites. Whether you prefer bush varieties or pole beans, they will mature in 50 to 65 days from seeding and keep you supplied with a delicious and nutritious…
June 8, 2021
Earthworms are the foundation of a healthy, thriving garden. Called "nature's plows," earthworms' tunnels improve soil aeration and drainage, making it easier for plant roots to penetrate the earth. Earthworms' casts also improve soil structure and nutrient availability—which increases garden productivity! Learn more and find out how to attract earthworms to your garden. Worms can…
June 3, 2021
Annual flowers are like Rodney Dangerfield: They "don't get no respect." However, if you have no annuals in your garden at all, you are missing out on one of life's joys and a whole lot of color. Let's discover some of the best and easiest annual flowers—including beautiful pictures! Annuals provide gardens with all-season color, but they have to be replanted every year, so they often get the…
June 2, 2021
You go to a farmers’ market for super fresh, local produce. You’re hoping to avoid shady characters. Here are tips on getting the best bounty and spotting the farmers' market fakes! The town I grew up in had lots of farms, mostly dairy, but there were some truck farms too, that grew all kinds of vegetables for the city markets. Each one had its own farm stand where we could pick up whatever was…
June 1, 2021
What is the Chelsea Chop? A new hairdo or a fancy cut of meat? Nope, it's just a pruning technique borrowed from the Brits. By cutting back leggy perennials by early summer, you will have more flowers on a fuller-looking plant. It's hard to chop but it works and you'll be happy once you see the renewed blooms! Here's how. The Chelsea Chop The name "Chelsea Chop" comes from Great Britain…
May 30, 2021
How many times have you heard the advice to "plant in well-drained soil"? It seems like whenever you are shopping for plants or reading about gardening, the term "well-drained" soil always comes up as the best location for planting. What exactly is this, and how is it identified? Definition of Well-Drained Soil The ability of soil to drain depends on its structure. Soils that drain well have…
May 27, 2021
If you've been thinking of ditching the chemicals and going organic, this is the year to do it! There are many good reasons to grow an organic garden, but health tops the list. The food is fresher and more nutritious, plus you want edible crops free from chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Here are 8 simple steps for starting an organic garden. Our grandparents grew "…
May 19, 2021
Discover the many gorgeous varieties of clematis—both a popular climbing vine and also a flowering shrub! Did you know that there are over 200 species and hundreds of hybrids of this popular flower? There are saucers, bells, tube-shapes, tulips, open bells, doubles, and semi-doubles. Take a look. Clematis: A Flowering Shrub Everyone is familiar with clematis as a flowering vine but how about…
May 19, 2021
When and how to prune your clematis is one of those garden chores that may seem mystifying but is really quite simple. Just like hydrangeas, some clematis blossom on the previous year's growth—old wood—while others bloom on the current year's growth—new wood. Find out the best time to prune your clematis variety for continued blossoms! Clematis Groups Explained There are many varieties of…