MikeTheGardener

Burlington, NJ, US
member

gardening interests: Composting, Container Gardening, Fruits and Berries, Gardening with Kids, Sustainable Living, Urban Gardening, Vegetables

Member Since: 03/07/2012


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contributions

How to Grow Garlic at Home

If you have ever cooked with garlic then you already know the wonderful aroma garlic emits. Whether you are frying garlic up to mix with some onions for a steak or adding garlic to a sauce, garlic is...

5 Reasons Why You Need to Add Raised Beds

If you are looking for a great way to grow fresh veggies, fruits or herbs at home, and want to make it a little easier on yourself (and in many cases your back), raised beds are a great way to go...

Storing Your Vegetable Seeds

There are a number of manufacturers and suppliers of Vegetable Seeds. Farms that sell vegetable seeds in large quantities to vegetable seed distributors to smaller clearing house vegetable seed...

Add Some Grapes to your Home Vegetable Garden

Every year I try to add something new to my vegetable gardening experience. Whether it is building a new raised bed, growing a different variety of fruit, vegetable or herb, I am huge fan that...

The Importance of Worms in your Home Vegetable Garden

You can do many things to and for your home vegetable garden to make it easier on yourself to maintain. Such things include a sprinkler system for watering and mulches for weed prevention. With that...

Grow Spinach from Seeds

Spinach is one of the healthiest leafy greens you can eat. It is loaded with plenty of vitamins and minerals that all doctors and nutritionists would recommend. So why not add this healthy tasty...

The Health Benefits of the Potatoes you are Growing in your Backyard garden

Who doesn't love to eat potatoes? Whether you are making grandma's aged old casserole dish, mashing up a sweet potato recipe, or simply making a baked potato, there are limitless choices to what you...

Home Vegetable Gardening: The “High Production” Gateway to Self-Sustainability

When you hear the word “high production” the first thought that may come to mind is some type of assembly line work, but what I am referring to is something far more important, ...

Artichokes: From Seed to Harvest

I am starting a new blog series called “From Seed to Harvest”.  In this series I will write about one vegetable, fruit or herb and what it takes to get it from a seed to your...

Transplanting a Tomato Shoot

In this video I show how easy it is to transplant a tomato shoot.

My Experience Teaching Kids Gardening, Part 1

Earlier this year I was asked by my son’s school teacher if I would be interested in coming in and putting on a gardening class for the kids, or at least do something fun with the kids related...

There’s Better Health in Them Thar Gardens

A recent report was just released that by the year 2030, 42% of all Americans will be considered Obese.  The findings, published in the May 8th, 2012 issue of the USA Today newspaper, claims...

Grow Raspberries in Your Backyard

I just recently added a couple of raspberry plants to my backyard landscape. With each season I try to add a new perennial fruit to my resume. Two years ago it was grapes, last year it was...

A Great Foundation is the Key to a Better Vegetable Garden

Once in awhile I will receive an email for feedback on the book I wrote recently on home vegetable gardening.  I appreciate feedback that I receive, both good and not so good the...

Your Home Vegetable Garden, A Great Entomology Course

I am sure at some point in your life you had, even for a brief moment, some kind of science class where you studied insects, better known as entomology. Without going into great biological...

Adding Blueberries to your Home Vegetable Garden

If you have been following my blog, podcast or facebook posts then you already know that every year I love to add something new to my gardening adventures. I am a true believer in trying something...

Home Grown Tomatoes and their Contributions to your Health

Most people still refer to tomatoes as a vegetable even though botanically they are a fruit. Regardless of how you refer to them, one thing tomatoes can be called by everyone is good for your...

Rain Barrels, Things you Need to Know

It has only been the last few years that rain barrels have become very popular.  What was once an item that you could only get online or in specialty stores (or make your own), has moved into...

Help the Environment and yourself, Recycle your Food Waste

Billions upon billions of pounds of food waste every year are thrown away with the regular garbage pick up. This puts a tremendous strain on not only our environment but our wallets to pay people to...

Gardening in the Great Pacific Northwest

If you have been reading my blog articles or listening to my podcasts, then you probably know by now that 100% of the gardening that I have done in my life happens in New Jersey.  While I...

Combining Vegetable Gardening with School Curriculum

Do you have school aged children? Are you a vegetable gardener? Imagine if you were able to combine the fun and reward of vegetable gardening with the education your child receives in school? I was...

The Pollination Process in your Vegetable Garden

Recently I have written some vegetable gardening articles that have taken a turn towards more of a scientific approach, albeit entry level plant science as opposed to advanced horticulture, but very...

3 Vegetable Seeds that have a Large Yield per Seed

If you had room to plant only three vegetables, what would they be and why? I was recently asked this question by a friend. Before I get into what I would grow let me address why I would grow the...

Vegetable Gardening in Small Spaces

Do not let the lack of space be a reason or an excuse to not have a vegetable garden at your home. Thousands of people are in the same situation as you and that is the space they have available to...

My pre-stained final box used as my potato growing bin

Here is a wooden box I built that was originally for a vermicompost bin.  I have since moved the worms to a different area and now use this as my potato growing bin.  It was made out of...

3 Tips for Growing Great Tomatoes from Seeds

There is nothing more popular to grow in the home vegetable gardening world then tomatoes. By more than 3 to 1 it outshines it’s next counterpart (peppers or cucumbers, depending on which poll...

Growing Herbs from Seeds for Good Health and Great Tasting Food

I love growing herbs from seed. With a window sill and some sun, you can grow pretty much any type of herb year round, almost anywhere in the world. My favorite to grow for its wonderful aroma, is...

Incorporating Manure in your Home Vegetable Garden

I was reading an article the other day in Mother Earth News magazineabout a family in California that made a lifestyle change to be more self reliant and work hard towards being more self...

How to Get your Kids Involved in Vegetable Gardening

It was my dad that introduced me to vegetable gardening and my grandfather that introduced him. Where it started, in my family, prior to my grandfather, I have no idea, but one thing is for sure, and...

Great Seed Starting Project for Kids

  You can use a variety of items to start your seeds in, from your garden's own soil, to a mixture of equal parts compost, perilite and peat. While other methods will be just as fun to do with...

What does the new USDA Frost Zone Map mean to you?

You may have been gardening your whole life and never knew that your corner of the country is in a zone. A plant hardiness zone that is. If you live in the United States of America like I do (and you...

Choosing the Right Tiller for your Home Vegetable Garden

My dad’s tool of choice for his garden was his trusty pitchfork, which he has since passed on to me. While I love using the pitchfork and digging in the dirt, nothing speeds up cultivating the...

What are Open Pollinated and Heirloom Variety Vegetable Seeds?

Over the past few years there has been a large movement towards growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs from seeds. The top three reasons people gave in a recent study conducted by the National...



recent comments

Re: Three Trellis Ideas for Vertical Vegetables

Thanks for the project ideas. I am always looking for creative ways to keep my tomatoes upright.

Re: Protecting Your Tomatoes From Mockingbirds

My grandfather use to set up a number of pie tins hanging from string which was then tied to a tall pole. Seemed to work very well for him.

I have not tried it yet though.

Re: Spring Pleasures

"One of the hardest things for me--and many others--is to wait to put out the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and basil" - Susan it's just not you ... I have a boatload of tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and basil that is just driving me crazy that I can not put them out yet.

Re: 5 Tips for Transplanting Vegetable Seedlings

Chris,

Would you recommend heavy watering? Daily watering etc.?

Re: How to Grow Garlic at Home

I planted mine in the spring ... I am in New jersey

Re: Growing Lacinato "Dinosaur" Kale

My neighbor keeps talking about the Kale chips that she makes ... and it seems more and more I am seeing recipes for them. They must taste real good. I was just thinking of using my kale in my juice mixed some other veggies. But now I may have to rethink that.

Re: DIY A-Frame Veggie Trellis

Looks very sturdy .... I would use this more for cucumbers than peas.

Re: DIY Raised Bed (Removable) Pest Gate

Another great project to share. I actually just added something similar to my garden this year.

Re: DIY Square Foot Garden Planting Templates

Love this! Definitely sharing. I made one similar to this only a bit larger and I drilled holes in the wood as opposed to using dowels. I then use some sand to mark the spots in my garden by pouring it through the holes. I'll post a photo later.

Re: Kids and Herbs

I teach a gardening class to pre-k students at the local school here by me and it is a lot of fun. They really get into it.

First we did an indoor project with peat pods. They loved how they expanded. We planted sunflower seeds in those.

Then we went outside to the school garden, where each child was given a tomato plant to plant, with a garden marker that had their name on it.

Fun, Fun, Fun!

Re: How to Make Root Cuttings

This definitely comes in handy for herbs such as rosemary where the seeds can be very expensive.

Re: Vermicompost as a Soil Amendment

I just set up a worm farm tower "for the kids" ... I am now up to tray #4 ... I find the worms move faster to the next tray when you put a fresh tray at the bottom as opposed to the top ... of course this also means they are easting the food waste much faster, but that is ok.

Can't wait to use tray #1 of freshly home made vermicompost.

Re: All About Tomatoes

My garden would be incomplete without growing at least 5 varieties of tomatoes .. of course I always plant way more then I will ever need, but that's ok ... the neighbors love it :)

Re: How to Start a Worm Farm

What timing!

I just started a worm farm tower. The kids love it. I am now up to tray number two, about to add tray number 3.

Re: Sow Your Own Annual Herbs

What do you recommend as a good drying method for herbs? I know some people like to use a dehydrator, but I personally prefer that natural "hang out to dry" method.

Re: The Other Side of the Soil Test

Great video!

Re: Columnar Apple Trees for Suburban Yards

How deep and wide do the whiskey barrels have to be?

Re: Golden Beets are a Sweet Treat

My wife is going to grow a "boatload" of ruby queen beets. Personally, I am not a big beet eater, but she loves them.

Have you tried canning beets?

Re: Easy Container-Grown Basil

I like to use fresh grown basil, cut it up and mix it in with diced cherry tomatoes (from the garden of course), olive oil and fresh mozzarella cheese.

Re: Prolific Pole Beans

I planted a "boatload" of pole beans this year ... Kentucky's, Blue Lake and Romano .. hope the neighbor's like beans ... lol

Re: New Zucchini and Romaine Recommendations

Interesting? hmmm, nothing out of the ordinary that I can think of ... but I do love the beefsteak tomatoes and black beauty zucchini ... traditional items.

Re: New Zucchini and Romaine Recommendations

Thanks for the heads up on the new varieties!

Re: Rain Barrels, Things you Need to Know

thanks for the input ... didn't know that

Re: Indoor Seed Starting Materials List

Labels!!! Ugh ... something so obvious and yet I didn't even think of it ... thanks Chris!

Re: The Difference Between Hot, Cold, and Warm Compost Piles

Personally I am a fan of trench composting. For me, composting could not be easier than this format. Although I do have a compost pile and a compost bin, trench composting still ranks #1 in my book.

Re: 3 Tips for Growing Great Tomatoes from Seeds

Someone had also suggested to have a fan lightly blow on them which strengthens the stalks

Re: How to Grow Wheatgrass for Easter

Fascinating Jodi! I never thought about growing the grass for Easter, I am guessing to be used in Easter baskets as well? Sounds like a lot of fun for the kids.

Re: Spring Forward

I like the last part of mentioning to make sure to look into the evening sky. I have to second that. If you have never looked into a clear evening sky, without the distractions that city lights can bring, you are missing out on an incredible view.

Re: The Herb that Keeps on Giving

I was delightfully surprised to see a recipe to use chives. I was expecting growing tips for them, but the recipe now gives me some extra info to use my garlic chives.

Have you tried garlic chives in this recipe?

In your opinion if I use garlic chives instead, will the proportions (4 tablespoons snipped) be the same?

Just curious, because I am going to use your recipe, and while I love to grow fresh herbs, cooking isn't a strong suit of mine.

Re: Video: Early Pruning of Tomato Plants

Excellent video! I have given the "remove all the suckers" advice in the past, without being near a tomato plant and those who are new to growing tomatoes, look at me like I am crazy!

Having the video, and more importantly a link to it, will make that advice much easier to pass along.

Your two tips...

"First, low-growing branches tend to become diseased because they're so close to the soil. And second, since none of the lower branches will produce fruit, those branches will just drain the plant of its energy."

...are spot on. They will drain much needed nutrients from the rest of the plant that would otherwise go towards the fruit!

Re: Beets

I love beets and eating home grown ones make them that much better!

Re: Using Your Fence for Growing Vertical Vegetables

As always, Chris is the voice of great gardening tips for your home!