Common questions from new gardeners

Yesterday, I led a garden planning workshop with Preserving Traditions at the Pittsfield Grange. A couple of questions came up more than once, so I thought I’d answer them here in case they interest anyone else. What material should I use for my raised bed’s walls? I’ve used both composite decking material and 2″x8″x8′ standardContinue reading “Common questions from new gardeners”

Michigan fall garden

Even though my garden is essentially full right now, I’ve been wondering if I can plant yet more this year. I do have some dirt leftover and could always use another bed…but what could I plant now? And the winter wheat and first spring onions and peas will be out of the garden in aContinue reading “Michigan fall garden”

It’s not too late to start a garden!

Hey, all you northern folks! It’s not too late to start a garden this summer! Heck, all us early gardeners got bitten by a hard frost the last week in May, so you’re actually ahead of the game. First, be sure you’ve got the basics covered: sun, soil, and water. Then the fun part: planting!Continue reading “It’s not too late to start a garden!”

Victory Garden “Take Five” Update

As part of the Victory Garden Challenge, I offered to mentor five gardeners through building their first vegetable gardens. Now that the gardening season is under way for all of them, I thought I’d bring you an update. Gardener #1 lives in Texas, and so far she’s been chasing down wood for raised beds andContinue reading “Victory Garden “Take Five” Update”

Garden journal: planting peas

These garden journal entries are just to keep track of what I planted, when. If you live in zone 5b/6, it’s likely you can plant this same stuff about now! I planted peas today (Sugar Sprint from Johnny’s Seeds). I planted them around square tomato cages about 1.5″-2″ apart. These short (2′) plants aren’t supposedContinue reading “Garden journal: planting peas”

My Seed (non-)Starting

Some years, I just can’t wait to get gardening. Sometime in February, I haul out the racks and lights and set up a Wall o’Sprouty Goodness in the yoga room. It makes me smile to exercise in the morning and see all the little seedlings. This year…not so much. Allow me to list for youContinue reading “My Seed (non-)Starting”

Drag and Drop Garden Planner

Looking for a simple tool to plan a square-foot garden? Try my new drag-and-drop garden planner! You’ll need the latest Flash plugin for your browser. Each plant icon shows several phases of growth (optimized for US zones 5-6): The colored dots show you how many to plant in one square foot. So, one eggplant perContinue reading “Drag and Drop Garden Planner”

Easy plants for beginners

So you want to garden? If you have your garden (or containers) set up, here are some great plants to start with. Please note, I’m writing from southern Michigan, so your results will best match mine if you live from New England through Ohio and west at about the same latitude (the light and darkContinue reading “Easy plants for beginners”

Essential garden tools

So you want to garden? Before you run out and buy a hundred different tools, consider this: I use these all the time and couldn’t garden without them: A metal rake (sometimes called a bow rake) – not the kind you rake leaves with A digging fork (kind of like a pitch fork put withContinue reading “Essential garden tools”

Starting a garden from scratch

So you want to garden? I can help with that. 🙂 If you’ve never gardened before, or are starting a brand new garden, here are the three things you must consider before you begin. Thing 1: Sunshine. Look around your house and evaluate your sunlight (preferably in summer). Your yard, balcony, or patio are obviousContinue reading “Starting a garden from scratch”