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Vegetable Companion Plants that Repel Insect Pests

Vegetable gardens with a good mix of companion plants can perform better.

Some attractive and useful companion plants really do help ward off certain insect pests from specific crops. Plant these companions in quantity, and they can serve to reduce the populations of common insect pests of vegetables.

Research has shown that some companion plantings reduce the number of insect pests that attack vegetable crops. Some companion plants are trap […]

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Spring to Fall Vegetable Rotation Planting for Non-stop Garden Produce

Row cropping or blocked beds make it easy to rotate crops from one year to the next.

Vegetable gardening is a dynamic process. Gardeners have to shift from cool-season spring vegetables to warm-season summer vegetables back to cool-weather crops. In between, savvy gardeners rotate their crops to maximize their output and health. Here are some seasonal planting and rotation tips that will help vegetables transition effortlessly and produce […]

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Purple Vegetables for Color and Nutrition

 

At various times and places, purple has been the color of royalty, rock stars, and rebellion. It has represented bravery, as well as overwrought prose. A shade of purple—mauve—was even used to describe the 1890’s, a time when the invention and widespread use of aniline dyes made purple fabrics and clothes widely available.

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Lessons from Wartime Victory Gardens


Victory Gardens inspired millions of Americans that had never gardened to grow food to feed their families. Everyday people learned to garden on a homesteading scale. And, my family was no exception. My maternal grandparent’s Victory Garden taught them to fend for themselves and eat well when wartime rations were most limited.

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The Sweetest Spring Carrots


Poet John Keats said, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” And a spring carrot is truly a thing of beauty, if even if it is covered with dirt when pulled from the ground. Wash off the dirt and take a bite of that carrot. You will discover its inner beauty. Time spent in cool spring soil gives home-grown carrots a fresh sweetness that store-bought varieties will never have.

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Planning a Sustenance Vegetable Garden


A well-planned vegetable garden will sustain your family with a variety of fresh produce from spring to late fall. Serious gardeners will even cold-frame garden into the winter months for a steady stream of fresh greens and root vegetables. Sustenance vegetable gardens save money and ensure produce is organically grown. Careful planning and timing are essential for season-long garden-fresh produce for eating, canning, freezing, and drying.

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Bananas for Indoor Growing


Banana plants (Musa spp.) are tropical, tree-like perennials that produce some of the world’s best-loved fruits.  In their native regions, they often soar high into the sky, crowned by giant paddle-shaped leaves, which can be 6- to 10-feet long, and pendulous bunches of fruit.  A mature plant bearing a bumper banana crop is an inspiring sight.
But, bananas don’t have to reach the stratosphere or live in the tropics.  Dwarf and compact favorites can […]

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Growing Winter Onions and Shallots

Fall and winter – when most of the vegetable garden is slumbering – is a great time to get a jump on next year’s onion, scallion, and shallot crop.  Most members of the onion tribe (known botanically as Allium) are hardy perennials and biennials that tolerate winters in most areas of the U.S.  Garlic (as discussed elsewhere on this site) is one well-known and often-grown example – but winter onions and shallots are also ideal winter-growing crops […]

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Beating Tomato Pests and Diseases

Nothing’s better than a happy, fruitful tomato, but keeping pests and diseases at bay can be a challenge.

All winter long, tomato lovers suffer, eating supermarket fruit with the taste and texture of foam packing peanuts.  Finally, summer arrives, bringing a harvest of tart, sweet, sunshiny tomatoes.  You can buy these edible jewels at the local farmers’ market, but there is something incredibly satisfying about growing your […]

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Patio Peaches

Bonfire is the most popular patio peach with its maroon-purple leaves, small size, and sweet little peaches.
Do you want to grow your own peaches, but lack a place for a full-sized peach tree? This is not a problem, thanks to a slew of recently introduced peach tree varieties that mature at a shrubby 4- to 6-feet in height.  Ideal for containers, urban gardens, and patios, these dwarf peaches bring big possibilities to the […]

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