Even with the current events going on, we are lucky as Americans to have a stable food supply system. Many of us garden as a hobby and are able to supplement some of our normal groceries with things we have produced in our own gardens. In the early 1900’s many families solely depended upon the gardens they grew in their own backyards. During the First and Second World Wars these backyard gardens played a much bigger role in the battle against food insecurity. Continue reading
It’s OK to have a few good standbys when it comes to the varieties of vegetables and fruits that you grow. But every once in a while, a new variety comes out that you just have to try. Here are a few new (and newish) varieties. Continue reading
Yes, there is a reason why we should all be composting. According to the EPA, 30-40% of all available food in the US is wasted. Over one fifth of discarded material in landfills is believed to be food. Sadly, the third largest human related methane emission is from landfills. Continue reading
As we start to think about gardening and lawn care this year, one question may pop up: Can I garden on my septic system? Well, there are a couple of questions to consider:
- Can a garden be contaminated by bacterial and viral hazards which may be found in septic drainfields? A properly operating septic system will not contaminate the soil with disease organisms, but it can be difficult to tell if the system is working at optimum efficiency. Also, the soil type can make a difference. Clay like soil will eliminate any organism within a few inches of the system, while a sandy soil could allow for movement of bacteria several feet.
Did you know that the average American eat 68 quarts of popcorn a year! Not only is popcorn a delicious snack, but is also nutritious since it is considered a whole grain. Of course if you slather butter on it, the nutritional benefits may be negated. Continue reading
Garlic is commonly used as a flavoring for food, as a condiment, and for medicinal purposes.
October is a good time to plant garlic. Choose an area with full sun and good drainage. Before planting, fertilize the area and incorporate it into the area. Once soil is prepared, separate individual cloves from the main garlic bulb and plant cloves 3-5 inches apart with points up and cover to a depth of 1-2 inches. Do not divide the bulb into cloves before you are ready to plant. Leave skin on the clove. Continue reading
There is nothing worse than coming into your garden to discover that seemingly, overnight, an entire crop was eliminated by insects. And once done, months of hard work can be negated for an entire season. While it seems like pests appear and disappear at random, there is a pattern to their movement and subsequently a pattern for prevention. Continue reading
For all the joy and satisfaction that growing tomatoes can give a gardener, the frustration and aggravation can be equally as great! Several issues can plague the tomato grower. Here are a few non-disease problems: Continue reading
Cool season plants grow best with a relatively cool air temperature (50 to 60 °F). These plants are the first ones to be planted in the garden year and then again in the fall. They grow well during the short and cool days of spring and fall. They can be planted several weeks up to a couple of months before the last frost date (around May 10th). Plant cool season crops as soon as the soil is workable in the spring. If planted to late in spring, the heat of summer will reduce their quality. They may become bitter, have lower yields or bolt (form flowers and go to seed). Light frost will not injure them. Continue reading
A nice landscape of a few trees and shrubs, some flowers and well-tended turf has value. Our landscapes help define our outdoor living space, provide shade and help screen unwanted views. A well-maintained landscape may add as much as 5 to 10 percent to the value of our property. But landscapes can provide another resource that we don’t often consider–food. What if it were possible to introduce edible plants to your landscape? Continue reading