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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 Seeds
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
April 10, 2021
how to grow brassicas (and which ones to try), with steve bellavia
THEY’RE AMONG the most popular and good-for-you vegetables, but brassicas—broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and the like—can also be a little tricky to grow unless..
April 2, 2021
oaks: the most powerful plant of all, with doug tallamy
EVERY TIME over the years that I’ve spoken to today’s guest, one word comes up: oak. If entomologist and University of Delaware Professor Doug Tallamy..
March 26, 2021
a rose history lesson, with peter kukielski
ROSES ARE ANCIENT plants with a 35-million-year history on planet earth, so maybe it’s no surprise then that they have been a fixture in nearly..
March 20, 2021
flower-garden favorites, with helen o’donnell of bunker farm plants
I MET TODAY’S GUEST, Helen O’Donnell, at a plant sale a couple of springs ago, before the pandemic scuttled most such big public events. Spring..
GROWING FROM SEED
the april garden chores
I’M STICKING to what I say each year at this time: We are not powerless over April–even though in most areas, it’s a contender for..
bluebird boxes: be a good landlord
THE NEIGHBOR WHO HANGS BAGS of giant homegrown shallots on my gate also has rules and regulations. “Bluebird Rules and Regulations,” to be specific, as..
battling mice and voles (but never with mothballs)
THE SNOW MELTS, revealing the horror: Mice and voles have had at it in your garden, coldframe or greenhouse. As fall approaches, maybe they’re scurrying..
fear not! how to prune clematis, with dan long
ONE OF MY FAVORITE lines ever in a garden book: vintage Christopher Lloyd, the late daring plantsman of Great Dixter in England, in his Clematis..
science-based companion planting: ‘plant partners,’ with jessica walliser
YOU’VE HEARD the expression “companion planting,” as in: What plants supposedly “love” growing alongside what other plants? But how many such pairings are folklore, and..
which echinacea perform best? with sam hoadley of mt. cuba center
ANY GARDENER shopping at a local nursery or paging through perennial plant catalogs can’t help but notice there are a lot of Echinacea, or coneflowers,..
making the switch to native groundcovers, with duncan himmelman of mt. cuba
I’VE SPOKEN recently on the show about my personal war on certain groundcovers I planted years ago that have turned out to be hideous thugs...
time to feed–and count–the birds: project feederwatch, with cornell’s emma greig
A FLOCK OF ROBINS visited my garden recently for a three-day-long field day. By the time they decamped, I was down about 40 mature winterberry..
bee-friendly garden cleanup, with heather holm
IN A RECENT conversation with Doug Tallamy about ecologically minded fall cleanup, he raised the name of Heather Holm, and how some of the pollinator..
a snail’s tale (win ‘the sound of a wild snail eating’)
IT WAS NO ORDINARY SNAIL; far larger than any familiar native species in my cold zone, and obviously out of place. It was fall 2013,..
NATIVE PLANT STORIES
our desert island plants: native spring woodland perennials, with ken druse
FACING A FORECAST of heaps of snow the other day, Ken Druse and I got to dreaming on the phone together of more colorful times..
fall cleanup with ecology in mind, with doug tallamy
WHEN I LAST TALKED to Doug Tallamy in February around the publication date of his latest book, “Nature’s Best Hope,” I didn’t want to go..
be a discerning shopper for native plants, with uli lorimer
AS MORE GARDENERS shop for native plants each year, more plant descriptions in catalogs and on nursery labels use the blanket phrase “pollinator-friendly” to catch..
create a pollinator victory garden, with kim eierman
ONE OF THE MOST common questions that garden centers and other garden professionals are asked these days: How can I add more pollinator plants? Kim..
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
in season: easy asparagus-parmesan bake
I AM ON THE ASPARAGUS DIET, because that’s what the garden has to offer at the moment: beautiful spears of tender asparagus. I like them..
recipes to help keep up with the csa share or garden’s bounty, with ali stafford
HOW DO YOU GRILL vegetables to perfection? And what do I do with my garlic scapes, or the greens on all those radishes, and so..
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..
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..
heirloom beans, with steve sando of rancho gordo
STEVE SANDO and I agree that the saying “a hill of beans”–as in, something is of little or no importance at all–gives a very mistaken..
mad gardener, nature addict, award-winning writer & podcaster, rural resident, corporate dropout, creator of awaytogarden dot com and matching book.
'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..