Category Gardening

Advantages to Community Gardening: With limited gardening space, consider a community garden.

You might live in a townhouse with a postage stamp-sized yard. Perhaps you live in an apartment building without a balcony or access to green space. Perhaps you have a large yard, but it is completely shaded by large trees, or the soil in your yard is not hospitable to growing edible plants such as tomatoes, herbs and peppers. If this is the case, a community garden plot may be just the solution.

Advantages of Community Gardening

Good Soil and Sun Exposure

Community gardening allows individuals and families to cultivate plants and grow food when otherwise they may not be able to due to conditions at their own home. Many community gardens are located in areas with mostly sunny exposure, perfect for growing vegetables and many varieties of perennial and annual flowers.

Tools and Storage are ...

Read more

Organic Edible Gardening With Kids

Teach Kids to Grow Vegetables and Herbs Without Chemicals

Composting

You can start an organic garden with your child any time of year by composting. Playing in the dirt is elementally satisfying to children, so give them children’s garden tools to help you hack away at your mound, introducing oxygen and hastening the breakdown of your scraps.

If you live in an apartment, consider a small vermiculture station in the kitchen where red wiggler worms turn vegetable scraps into rich garden soil. Red worms appreciate paper bedding, so the child can shred old homework and tests to get the bin started.

Seed Starting

The smallest toddler can get in on the gardening game when you start a flat of vegetable seeds at home...

Read more

Possibilities With Pumpkins: The Life Cycle of a Squash Enhances the Family Circle

Picking a pumpkin is one of the joys of childhood. In autumn pumpkins are ubiquitous at grocery stores, garden centers, and farmers markets. The most fun place is the pumpkin patch where children can see the fruit as part of the life cycle of a living vine.

Within the life cycle of the seasons in a garden the pumpkin goes full circle. Seeds sown in spring produce a flowering vine throughout the summer. Fruits harvested in autumn become decorations, food for wildlife and humans, residence for rodents, and seeds for snacks and next year’s garden. Winter remnants of the plant become organic nutrients in soil supporting seeds sown in spring.

Pumpkins prompt possibilities which link generations together in the family circle...

Read more

Air Condition Your Garden

July, it is the time of the year when air conditioning is as important in the garden as it is in the home. You, as the temperature rises, can cool off with an electric fan, a cool drink or by hiding away in a cool spot. Your plants are not quite that lucky; yet certain gardening techniques can be employed to help your plants through the summer months.

The benefits of air conditioning in your garden will show up in the form of increased production, greater resistance to disease and pests and, in general, a more attractive vista. An improper over-heated environment during the warmer months often leads to wilt, dropping of buds and yellowing of foliage.

Aeration of the soil is concerned with its exposure to the air. If this is lacking then your plants very likely will suffer this summer...

Read more

Veggie Gardening in Hot Areas: Long or Short Growing Periods?

Long or Short Growing Periods

Contrary to popular opinion, long hot summers do not necessarily mean long growing periods for vegetable gardens.

Some vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers and squash don’t do well when the weather is extremely hot for long periods. There are also many varieties which are resistant to common tomato diseases.

Growing Periods

Tomatoes

Vegetable gardeners who live in areas with long, hot summers should plant early maturing varieties of tomatoes.

In fact, starting them indoors before last frost date, and then planting them in the garden after any threat of frost, will give the gardener a little more growing time, and allow the plants to set fruit before the weather gets too warm.

Many heirloom and older variety tomatoes have longer growing seasons...

Read more

Container or Backyard Gardening: Should You Plant Patio Pots or a Garden Plot?

Most of us love fresh, delicious fruits, vegetables, and herbs; and gardening is how to get your hands on the freshest. But perhaps you’ve been hesitant to start a garden; worried that your thumb isn’t green enough, hesitant to commit to what looks like a time demanding project. The key to a manageable and enjoyable garden is to keep it small and simple. Your first decision…container or terra firma?

Container Gardens

If you live in an apartment or condo that has a patio but no yard, container gardens are the only way to go. Containers allow you to garden just about anywhere, but to be successful there are a few guidelines that you’ll want to follow.

Containers and Soil Moisture

Use the largest containers practical for the space available...

Read more

Understanding Vegetable Culture

As a rule, we choose to grow bush beans rather than pole beans. I cannot make up my mind whether or not this is from sheer laziness. In a city backyard the tall varieties might perhaps be a problem since it would be difficult to get poles. But these running beans can be trained along old fences and with little urging will run up the stalks of the tallest sunflowers. So that settles the pole question. There is an ornamental side to the bean question. Suppose you plant these tall beans at the extreme rear end of each vegetable row. Make arches with supple tree limbs, binding them over to form the arch. Train the beans over these. When one stands facing the garden, what a beautiful terminus these bean arches make.

Beans like rich, warm, sandy soil...

Read more

Using Your Lawnmower to Grow Food in Your Garden

Using Your Lawnmower to Grow Food in Your Garden

Can you imagine growing tasty veggies and fruit in your yard using just your lawnmower once every year or so? Talk about a minimal effort! You can do it with these plants.

First, pick your patch. Select a sunny but out-of-the way area of your property that could be allowed to totally go to weeds (or already has). Start with a clean palate by preparing a bed as you normally would.

Asparagus Patch.

For asparagus, all of the work comes up front in the soil prep.

Start your patch in Fall by Double-digging your rows about four feet apart. To double-dig, first till or break up the soil in your row. Shovel the tilled soil into a wheel barrow so that you have a ditch. Now till the bottom of the ditch...

Read more

Garden Ideas: Try a Heirloom Tomato This Year

Try a Heirloom Tomato This Year

If you garden like I do, you stop at one of the local home improvement stores in the spring, and pick up six or eight tomato plants. You don’t worry much about the type of tomato, as long as the stems look strong and there are a lot of healthy green leaves on the plants that you put in your basket. For those of us who don’t discriminate much when we buy, we’re convinced that any plant producing a red tomato, big enough to make slices for hamburgers, will be fine. We may take a quick look at the label, and find some information about how large the plant is going to get, how much shade it would like to have, how much water it will need, and to see if the name is familiar...

Read more