Hoo Boy! You want some moody weather? Come here to the Upper Midwest where today we were colder than Antarctica (it was -11F there, we had -14F!) and by the weekend we are slated to have +42F and rain followed yet again by single digits and snow. I know the old joke was always, “If […]Read More A Capricious Winter.
If you are trying to decide if you want to grow herbs, the short answer is YES! Do it! They don’t take up much space, aren’t needy plants, and the packet of seeds will already be cheaper than a fresh bunch at the store. Plus you can get SO MANY more varieties. I’m going to […]Read More Let’s Talk: Herbs
These are far from the vegetable version of the Island of Misfit Toys, but not everyone is going to be geeked out to try these, so I’ve lumped them in together with just the basic information you’d need to know. Perhaps next year I’ll delve into these less common vegetable garden citizens. My plan with […]Read More Let’s Talk: Random Veg
Oh Lettuce. You are delicious and interesting but you only ever end up bitter and bolted. 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 never use […]Read More Let’s Talk: Lettuces and Greens
Alright, potatoes are where my stance on ‘cheap to buy and readily available so don’t grow them’ falls apart. Fresh potatoes are so amazing. New potatoes. Waxy, flavorful, amazing potatoes. Yes, they take up loads of room. Yes, you can now get amazing varieties in your local markets and yes, they are cheap (usually) in […]Read More Let’s Talk: Potatoes
I shall not pretend to be an expert on garlic. You see, I only just planted my patch last fall. They’ve not even produced a crop so you certainly shouldn’t take advice from me. But I will tell you how I went about choosing my variety. Onward! Time to Maturity: N/A. Bulbs are produced asexually […]Read More Let’s Talk: Garlic
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 […]Read More Let’s Talk: Root Veg
One of my favorite things to do in the cold winter months is to curl up with some books and notebooks and pens and just chew on some garden ideas. Research some things, sketch out ideas, throw them away, start over, bat ideas back and forth with Rich, and keep working ideas over until something […]Read More Ruminating, Brainstorming, and Ponds?
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 […]Read More 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 […]Read More Let’s Talk: Onions
I’m going to take a wee break from the seed talk and get back to the rethinking of the Potager. This time we’ll talk plants- specifically what needs to change to maximize this fun little space. With this (above) being the state of plant affairs in the potager at the end of last year’s growing […]Read More The Potager: Rethinking the Plants
This video is from 2016, so certainly not new, but it is new to me and I want you all to watch it! Its just north of an hour, so it might be best suited to a slow evening and paired with a glass of wine. Or perhaps a weekend morning with a cuppa. Either […]Read More A Chat With Monty Don and Tim Richardson
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 […]Read More 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 […]Read More Let’s Talk: Radish
I think its only fair to give a garden at least 2, possibly 3, years to mature and fill in before too harsh of a glance is aimed at it. The Half Moon garden has had about that much time, and what has worked has, in fact, worked beautifully well. Case in point: Little Bluestem […]Read More Revisiting the Half Moon Garden.
You read that right! Melting snow and 40F (plus!) temps in Wisconsin in January. What madness is this? Surely this is a sign of a changing climate- our average high is usually 20ishF and lows around 4F. Consistently cold, sometimes downright bitter. And snowy. Always snowy. Yet here we are, a week into above freezing […]Read More A January Thaw.
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? […]Read More 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, […]Read More Let’s Talk: Peppers
Recently the website Garden Rant (of which I only occasionally frequent) published an article claiming that Right Plant, Right Place is rubbish advice. I disagree. A lot. A whole lot in fact! You see, for a new gardener- or even one wanting to push the boat out a bit and try something new, or one […]Read More In Defense of Right Plant, Right Place.
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, […]Read More Let’s Talk: Peas