Many of the finest pears (Pyrus communis) for growing and eating are harvested to perfection in the winter months. Their fruits become juicy, even buttery, when fully ripe. By late fall, they should start showing up at orchard stands and farmers markets for fresh eating and cooking, but homegrown fruits are even better, if you have the time and yard space.
Like most popular tree fruits, such as cherries, […]
In late spring to early summer, sage produces purplish or violet flowers (far right).
For better or worse, we live in the age of multitasking, when the ability to do at least two things at once has become a common goal. As we multitask through our days, we gardeners can’t help but ask our plants to do […]
Don’t be afraid to grow your own apples. Sure, most varieties are rife with disease problems, but there are varietal exceptions, and smaller trees make management easier. Choosing disease-resistant apples and understanding care requirements will make for a reliably healthy harvest. Aspiring orchardists need not be discouraged.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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 roots will never have.
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.
Vegetables are divided by their best season of culture. […]
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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