A FRIEND I BUY seed potatoes with and I were scratching our heads as we filled out the order form, blanking on the line where it said “preferred ship date.” How early do we want them to arrive, we asked ourselves as we do every year. Time for a review of that and other questions about when and how to plant, hill and harvest potatoes. (That’s a row in my raised beds here, seen in late spring one recent year.) [read more…]
Gardening and landscaping how-to for beginning gardeners. I have selected some of my stories on a range of topics, aiming to introduce new gardeners to some of the basics, such as composting, mulching, starting seeds and how to grow tomatoes. A great place to start on this site if you're new-ish to gardening: Browse the stories below and see what sounds right for you.
HOW WOULD YOU FEEL (and look!) if you hadn’t showered since October? Well, my houseplants have been cursing me lately because like patients confined to a hospital bed—which is how the heated house must feel to them in winter—they want out, or at least some rain. Everyone lined up yesterday for a turn in the shower, some grooming, a proper meal and yes, even a haircut. Late-winter houseplant care time! [read more…]
DEAR GAYLA: Since it feels as if we never leave our computers these late-winter days, maybe we could celebrate on Skype together? Our blog anniversaries, I mean—mine’s March 5 (today!), marking five whole years online, and if I’m counting right you’re at like age 13. How can that be? [read more…]
HURRYING TO THE STARTING LINE can make for mishaps such as false starts, so don’t. That’s my best advice on when to sow what seeds for this year’s garden, but I know it isn’t very specific. To zero in on just what date you should sow your tomatoes indoors or put your peas in the ground, I’ve rounded up some calendar tools that can help, including a new one just sprouted by my friend Dave Whitinger of All Things Plants. [read more…]
TELL THE TRUTH: Did you turn your heap before you piled on the fall’s bountiful offerings–before you cleaned up the tomato vines and the hostas, and raked all those precious leaves? Did you extract what was “finished” from down below, or–in a hurry–just cover it all up with incoming goodies? That’s my heap–30-plus feet long and about 6 wide right now and waist-high–and I confess, I was daunted. Next spring’s task will be even more heroic! A review of composting 101, with all your questions answered.