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my weekly radio show & podcast
SINCE SPRING 2010, I’ve been taping a 25ish-minute weekly public-radio gardening program with my neighbors down the road in Sharon, Connecticut, at Robin Hood Radio,..
when to start seed
when to start seed
NEED HELP remembering when it’s safe and smart to start your first spring sowings of vegetable, flower and herb seeds indoors and out? This tool calculates when...
MY ‘NY TIMES’ COLUMNS
my latest assignment: a series in ‘the new york times’
AN OUT-OF-THE-BLUE email in April 2020 shook me out of my “new normal” routine. It was an invitation from a “New York Times” editor to..
LATEST PODCASTS & POSTS
February 16, 2024
state of the native-plant movement, with rebecca mcmackin
MAYBE MORE than any other topic, the use of native plants has consistently figured among the top garden trends in recent years. Just how popular..
February 15, 2024
an honor from scott arboretum (come ‘attend’ the awards event virtually, free!)
TO SAY I WAS surprised would be understating it. A lot. When I got the call from the Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania..
February 10, 2024
counting birds: be a better birder, with cornell’s rebecca rodomsky-bish
WATCHING BIRDS lifts my spirits, as it has for decades, and who couldn’t use their spirits lifted right about now? But there’s another much bigger..
February 2, 2024
expanding the zinnia palette, with siskiyou seeds’ don tipping
WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE about zinnias? Organic seed farmer and breeder Don Tipping of Siskiyou Seeds and I both vote an emphatic “yes” in favor..
Poppies from Seed
the february garden chores
RESTLESS, ANYONE? The houseplants are noticing, and so am I: the days are longer, making us both want to get up and grow. Rather than..
new usda plant hardiness zone map, with todd rounsaville
YOU NO DOUBT have seen news that the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map was just updated, and that half the country once again got reclassified..
winter sowing of native plants, with heather mccargo of wild seed project
TIME FOR A LESSON in winter sowing—sowing seeds in fall and early winter outside in a protected spot, a sort of easy DIY home nursery..
why vegetable seedlings stretch and get spindly
MAYBE YOU’RE WONDERING this about now: Why do vegetable seedlings stretch and grow spindly sometimes, and how can you prevent such leggy seedlings? That was how..
is your landscape ‘undergrown’? with nancy lawson
AS SHE OFTEN DOES, naturalist and nature writer Nancy Lawson—perhaps known better as the Humane Gardener after the title of her first book—caught my attention..
wintertime visitor: a rare warbler
I’M CELEBRATING New Year’s in the company of a rare bird and the flowers of the first of the witch hazels, neither of which is..
ecological resolutions, with uli lorimer of native plant trust
LIKE EVERYONE around this time of year, I get into a “looking back while looking ahead” combined mindset. Today I want to do just that,..
diverse, powerful milkweeds, with eric lee-mäder
MOST OF US may automatically think “monarch” after hearing the word “milkweed,” or vice versa. And that’s in fact a critical and intimate relationship, the..
cornell’s take on the native lawn, with todd bittner
REDUCING THE footprint of our lawns has been a key environmental message for gardeners in recent years, since lawns lack biodiversity and involve huge amounts..
the wild-ish garden of margaret renkl; plus, join us for a nov. 7 webinar
MY, HOW TIMES have changed. That’s what I keep thinking, looking around my own garden in recent years. I’ve been struck by the same thought..
NATIVE PLANT STORIES
natives in a formal garden, with stoneleigh’s ethan kauffman
CAN A HISTORIC formal space become the home to a forward-thinking landscape of native plants? The team at Stoneleigh, a five-year-old public garden on an..
the ‘wildscape’ around us, with nancy lawson (‘the humane gardener’)
OUR HUMAN-CENTRIC way of looking at things in the garden and tasting, hearing, seeing and touching things is just one person’s opinion, and hardly represents..
making and maintaining meadow gardens, with owen wormser
THE TIME IS approaching for my annual pass with the tractor through my little meadow on the hill above my house—the one time each year..
natural garden design, with benjamin vogt
IT’S PROBABLY the question I’m asked most: Gardeners want to go wilder and use more native plants to create habitat, but how do they figure..
GARDEN DOODLES BY ANDRE
happy spring? andre jordan’s doodled thoughts on winter, as it officially slips away
IN THE VERY FIRST YEAR of A Way to Garden dot com, 2008, I met a stranger across an ocean via the internet. I was..
doodle by andre: oh yeah, sure; the weeds are sorry
DO YOU THINK I BELIEVE THIS FOR ONE SECOND? After nearly 30 years of fighting (losing?) the good fight, I know the one thing we..
doodles by andre: what gardeners regret
SOMETIMES IT’S THE PLANT WE BOUGHT (as in “wrong plant, wrong place,” above); other times the cause of our gardener’s lament-bordering-on-shame is a little trickier,..
doodle by andre: gentle reminders
THERE IS SIMPLY NOTHING TO SAY in response to this latest and greatest of Andre Jordan’s outbursts but this: I shower daily, sir. (All Andre’s..
doodle by andre: so long for now
THIS IS HOW IT GOES, beginning at the first real thaw: Farewell “life,” hello garden. Thanks to Doodler Andre Jordan for depicting the Headless-Chicken Syndrome..
doodle by andre: horny birds
AS I HAVE MENTIONED: Forget about Angry Birds; my yard is full of Horny Birds this spring. And when I told that to the Mad..
RECIPES AND MORE
david lebovitz’s french onion soup (from ‘my paris kitchen’)
SOME ONIONS WON’T LAST—you know, the ones whose tops didn’t brown down thoroughly before harvest, and may still look more like a scallion’s stalk, or..
recipe: baking up some heirloom beans
IMADE VEGETARIAN BAKED BEANS WITH MARTHA STEWART, my ex-boss, on her television show in 2011, one of the more out-of-body experiences of the relatively quiet..
baking no-knead bread and using every crumb, with alexandra stafford
A NEW COOKBOOK got me thinking in a whole new way about bread, which actually involved my thinking about bread in a whole old way:..
recipe: power green soup, by rebecca katz
THE GREENEST of green soups, this one is called Power Green Soup, and comes from Rebecca Katz’s cookbook “Clean Soups.” Read and/or listen to my..
clafoutis batter, universal solvent of fruit dessert
I DON’T BAKE MUCH THESE DAYS, BUT IN ANOTHER LIFE I was the Queen of Pie (and even baked all my bread, too). Even though..
soup garden: growing vegetable soup ingredients
I DON’T THINK I HAVE EVER planted a theme garden—you know, a Children’s Garden, for instance, or White Garden or Shakespeare Garden, the kinds of..
growing and storing a year of parsley
F LAT-LEAF, OR ITALIAN, PARSLEY IS MACHO COMPARED TO CURLY-LEAF, particularly the selection called (grrrr!) ‘Gigante.’ I like my parsley big and strong, and I..
'A Way to Garden,' the Book
“’A Way to Garden’—sensitive, wise, deliberate, thoughtful and splendidly bossy—prods us toward that ineffable place where we feel we belong; it’s a guide to living both in and out of the garden.”—Dominique Browning, “The New York Times Book Review“
How to Grow Everything
16 things i know about growing tomatoes
FROM THE FIRST SEED SOWN to the last fruit stashed in the freezer, homegrown tomatoes are a labor of love. Whether it’s tomato-sowing time (as..
growing hellebores, with judith knott tyler
ON A FORMER Virginia tobacco farm that was in her family for six generations, Judith Knott Tyler and her husband, Dick, spent 30ish years breeding..
lee reich’s blueberry-growing how-to
DON’T SAY ‘I CAN’T GROW BLUEBERRIES,’ says Lee Reich, whose PhD explored factors affecting the growth of Vaccinium corymbosum, the highbush blueberry. “Follow the prescription..
how to grow kale, with sarah kleeger of adaptive seeds
‘ANYONE CAN GROW KALE,’ the seed farmers at Adaptive Seeds—who have collected kales from around the world and made them a specialty—said recently, seeming to..
grow onions from seed, with seed breeder don tipping of siskiyou seeds
SICK OF SPENDING BIG on onion and leek transplants? Master growing those edible Allium from seed, and also learn a bigger lesson: about the powerful..
how to grow garlic, a q&a with filaree farm
MY FIRST EXPLORATION INTO growing garlic was also my first encounter with Filaree Farm. I hate to confess how long it has been since I..
10 top tips for growing root vegetables
GROWING CARROTS, BEETS, RADISHES or other root vegetables can be more challenging than, say, growing a zucchini or pole bean, but these long-storing staples are..
success with brassicas (including brussels sprouts), with don tipping
THE OTHER DAY as I was plotting who I could ask for help outsmarting the coming season’s cabbage worms, and coaxing the Brussels sprouts to..