So, you are off to the nursery to buy yourself some veggies and/or flowers. Huzzah! Support that local nursery if you can (I'm not at all convinced the plants at big box stores get the same sort of love as they do at a nursery, but I've absolutely bought plants there, so you know, go… Continue reading What to Look for at the Nursery.
There have been, in my experience, a number of gardening lessons that I had to learn the hard way. Not that someone didn't mention it somewhere, just that if it was mentioned either my hubris or their lack of emphasis meant it didn't lodge in my brain. I'm going to share those things with you… Continue reading The Things They Don’t Tell You About Growing Vegetables.
Alright Team, time to talk little logistics that make a big difference in the garden. I’m talking about the seemingly insignificant or weird stuff that you need to know to ensure Zen-like energy through the growing season. Ready? 1. Don’t use Sharpies on your plant labels unless they are made of wood. Use pencil or… Continue reading My Best Gardening Tips and Tricks.
I shall proffer, firstly, my definition of the Midwest for this post's purposes: Wisconsin, Minnesota, both Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa, northern Illinois, and... bear with me... Montana, Wyoming, and northern Colorado. Now, if you'll indulge this tangent, I'd never consider (as a lifelong Midwesterner) anything west of the Missouri River to be the Midwest. But as… Continue reading Growing Vegetables in the Midwest.
I believe I mentioned this experiment in my seed selections & Veg garden plans post earlier this year... My ongoing attempt to find greens that I can grow in my conditions, the most notable change to how I tend to do things is that I’m growing said greens in both the Potager and the Veg… Continue reading The Great Greens Experiment of 2020. Part 1
Since my seed orders have already arrived and I'm proving to have a sliver of self-control, foregoing any of the temptations in the newly arrived catalogs, I thought I might as well get the veg garden plan in place before I become the One Armed Bandit. (BTW, I get to have shoulder surgery shortly and… Continue reading 2020 Veg Garden
I was pottering around Facebook Sunday morning and, as I follow Modern Farmermagazine, saw this salacious posting: "'Cherokee Purple' and 'Brandywine' will always be among the best heirloom tomato varieties, but what else is out there? Michael Pollan and other experts share their favorite heirloom tomatoes." Is that right? Cherokee Purple and Brandywine? Always among… Continue reading Tomato Fight.
Can we just pause for a minute and sit in awe and disbelief that we are at the end of another decade and leaping into the most futuristic sounding year? Twenty-twenty. The years of my youth are now firmly in the past (strangely, the 90's were not 8 years ago like I continue to believe… Continue reading Seeds and Plans: 2020
I always like to do a round up of what did and didn't work after the season is done. Partly because I have a tiny bit of hope that it is useful to someone else, but mostly because if I don't write this stuff down somewhere, it'll be lost to the void. (And because this… Continue reading Wins and Losses: 2019 Edition
Much to my delight the seed catalogs have started coming in hot and heavy. Fedco Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange, Baker Creek and High Mowing Organics have already arrived and I'm like a kid in a candy store. The bonus to these catalogs coming before the holidays is that my memory of both this past year's… Continue reading Seeds Ahoy!
Well, the seeds have all been purchased and the logistics/rotations have all been calculated. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a plan. Veg Garden Beans, Fava: Masterpiece (Baker Creek), Broad Windsor (Baker Creek) Beets: Kestrel (Fedco), Touchstone (Fedco) Broccoli: Burgundy Sprouting (Fedco) Cabbage: Kalibos (Baker Creek) Cucumber: Telegraph Improved (Baker Creek), Tendergreen Burpless (Baker Creek) Eggplant:… Continue reading The 2019 Veg Patch.
Oh Lettuce. You are delicious and interesting but you only ever end up bitter and bolted for me. Spinach? I just need so much of you to make anything, I'm never sure if you are worth it. Kale? You are fine and I can grow you, but you don't blow my skirt up and we… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Lettuces and Greens
Beets, Rutabaga, Turnips, Parsnips. I've lumped them together because growing them is mostly the same sort of affair. Same with uses and pests. I promise to single things out when applicable! Time to Maturity: 50-70 days is average for beets and turnips. Beet leaves can be harvested earlier and small turnip varieties can be closer… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Root Veg
Broccoli and Cauliflower are big plants. Please do remember this as you decide what to plant! For this reason, and because you only get one head per plant (unless you are growing sprouting or broccolini/rapini types), I tend not to grow them. Its just not a lot of bang for the buck (and square footage… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Broccoli & Cauliflower
Oh onions. You are rewarding to grow, but I'm not always sure if you are worth it. Shallots? Yes, absolutely. Specialty onions like Cippolini? Yes. Bunching/Green Onions? You betcha. Regular old onions? Not so much (in my humble opinion). Regular onions fall into the category of cheap to buy and easy to get, so I… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Onions
I adore winter squash for two reasons. One: they taste delicious. Two: They keep forever with a minimal amount of prep and zero processing. They take up a lot of room and Time To Maturity: Squash can get a little long in the tooth to mature. You'll notice in your seed catalogs that many are… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Winter Squash
Radish is one of the things that is so easy to grow and there are so many fun varieties that I can't imaging a veg patch without them (that is, unless you hate the taste!). I've grown so many types and have rarely had failures. This is an easy and fun place to experiment with… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Radish
Beans are a bit of an adversary for me. Pole beans are so unruly and require big, tall supports. Bush beans only sort of like to grow for me. Dried beans aren't ever worth the effort. Frozen beans from the grocery stores are pretty damned good and a whole lot less work. But Fava Beans?… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Beans
Hot or Sweet- if its warm enough where you live (or you have a greenhouse or cold frame) I can't help but recommend you try to grow some peppers. The variety alone makes it worth it, but the range of flavors and uses is mind-boggling. There is a pepper for every flavor, every spice level,… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Peppers
I love growing peas! I never cook or preserve any of the peas we grow. We eat them in the garden, fresh off the plant, and it is the best treat in Spring. I will grow Sugar Snap type peas until I can't garden anymore. Let's get into what you need to know. Type: Shelling,… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Peas