Ruth


Web producer

gardening interests: Composting, Cooking, Culinary Herbs, Edible Landscaping, Fruits and Berries, Gardening with Kids, Organic Gardening, Sustainable Living, Vegetables, Simple organic gardening, cooking

Member Since: 02/12/2009


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contributions

Facebook Chat: Growing and Cooking Garden Vegetables

You've watched the Homegrown/Homemade videos. On Thursday, August 2, at 1 p.m. EDT, gardener Danielle Sherry and cook Sarah Breckenridge will answer your gardening and cooking questions.

A Veggie Garden Checklist

Become a better veggie gardener by learning the finer points of interplanting, fertilizing, harvesting, and more.

Become a Better Vegetable Gardener

Improve your veggie-growing skills with articles, videos, and tips from experts around the country.

Find the Perfect Tomato

Nothing rivals the taste of a homegrown tomato, and Tomato Match will help you find the perfect variety for your needs.

Grow Fruit Naturally

Lee Reich's new book is a beautiful and informative guide to growing fruit in your backyard. If fruit trees and berries are in your 2012 gardening plans, download a free chapter and get ready to plant.

Some thoughts on Groundhog Day

You say groundhogs, I say woodchucks. Either way, February 2 is their special day.

Are Last Year's Seeds Still Good?

Your unused seeds may be viable for several years, depending on the type of seed and the storage conditions.

One Green World

One Green World specializes in trees, shrubs, and vines that produce edible fruit. Check out the offerings, and you'll wish you had a bigger back yard.

Fedco Trees

The catalogs are coming! The seed, tree, herb, plant and garden equipment catalogs are coming! Each year, they arrive earlier and earlier, and I now have my very first one...

Video: A Pumpkin Portfolio

Will you be carving a pumpkin this year? Get in the Halloween spirit with this video tour of some novel creations.

All About Apples

Apples are the quintessential fall fruit, and whatever your taste, there's an apple for you. Read on for links to information about selecting apple varieties, planting and training apple trees, controlling apple pests, and creating delicious apple recipes.

Homegrown / Homemade Video Recipes

Now you can watch all the recipe videos from the Homegrown/Homemade series in one place, and find links to the recipes on FineCooking.com.

Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z

Lois Ehlert's book Eating the Alphabet is a colorful way to introduce babies and toddlers to the world of gardening.

Getting the Most from Your Midsummer Veggie Garden

Whether you are new to vegetable gardening or a seasoned veteran, you'll find useful growing tips in the articles and videos highlighted here. For more timely gardening information and...

Let's take a field trip to FineGardening.com

Our sister site FineGardening.com can expand your gardening horizons. Let's take a look.

This Year, Grow the Best Veggies Ever

Whether you are new to vegetable gardening or a seasoned veteran, you'll find useful growing tips in the articles and videos highlighted here.

Pruning and Grafting Workshops with Lee Reich

Lee Reich, author of The Pruning Book, is offering two hands-on workshops in April at his home in New York's Hudson Valley. Space is limited, so pre-registration is necessary. Register by sending a check to...

Soup for All Seasons

Soup is a fine way to serve seasonal vegetables or use up leftovers. Check out the recipes on this site, get even more recipes on FineCooking.com, or post a recipe for your own favorite soup.

Video Greetings from the Frozen North

What's a gardener to do in snowy, frigid December? With the right seeds, anything is possible.

Willhite Seed Inc.

Willhite has been around for nearly a century, and if watermelons and cantaloupes are your thing, look no further. Willhite offers seeds for nearly 80 varieties!

Grow Yard-Long Beans for a Colorful Change of Pace

I planted yard-long beans on a whim this year, and I wasn't sorry. The seeds went in the ground late, around mid-July, but there was plenty of time for the vines to grow up their trellis and...

2010 Tomato Roundup Winner and Results

The results are in, and our winner has been chosen. Which tomatoes were star performers, and where did tomatoes fare best in 2010?

The Life and Death of a Pumpkin

Here's a short horror film that gardeners can love: a look at our annual Halloween ritual from the victim's perspective.

Big zuke saves the day

Don't toss your overgrown zucchini; you never know when they'll come in handy.

When the chickens come home, they need a place to roost

This structure began life as a dog house, and now it's home to a small but growing flock of chickens. Watch a short video, download sketches, and enjoy the story.

2010 Tomato Roundup

Tomatoes love heat, and that's what we've had in southwestern Connecticut this summer. How did your tomatoes fare? Read my report on Sun Gold, Carmelo, Paul Robeson, Amish Paste, and 12 more varieties, then post a your own review as a comment for a chance to win a garden cookbook.

All About Compost

Composting turns kitchen and yard scraps into a marvelous soil amendment, and you don't have to do much to accomplish this stunning transformation. Follow the links to learn all about the benefits of composting, composting systems, building a compost bin, managing your compost, compost tea, and worm composting.

All About Garlic

Most vegetable gardeners and cooks love garlic. If you haven't grown it before but would like to, now's the time to start learning the basics and order seed garlic for planting this fall. By this time next year you'll be proudly showing off your crop to friends and family, and using to prepare delicious recipes.

Gooseberries

Gooseberries take up little space, require almost no maintenance, and yield several pounds of berries per plant. What's not to like?

Raised Beds: Who Has a Cool Design?

Looking for raised-bed design ideas? Check out the photos posted by VegetableGardener.com members, and show us your own creations.

All About Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the favorite food crop of America's home gardeners. If you need information on selecting tomato varieties or on growing, pruning, trellising, and trellising your plants, and protecting them from pests, you've come to the right place. We've got tomato recipes, too.

Homegrown / Homemade Video Series

A gardener and a cook team up to plant, maintain, harvest, store, and cook a variety of popular vegetables, including peas, arugula, and potatoes.

Video: Make a Straw-Bale Garden Bed

Four hay bales and some compost are all you need to set up this nifty biodegradable garden bed. Amy Stewart shows you how.

Video: Victory Garden (1942 edition)

Vintage footage alert: Watch the Holder family plant their quarter-acre Victory Garden in Maryland and find out what a Victory Garden meant in 1942.

Video: Aquaponics

Yes, you can grow vegetables in water. In aquaponics, the plants are fertilized by fish. Rob Torcellini's greenhouse, assembled from a kit, is home to fish and plants in an interconnected system cobbled together from pipes, pumps, and tanks. Take a video tour, and learn more about aquaponics.

Organic Valentine? You Bet!

A Minnesota farmer has crafted a manure Valentine for his wife of 37 years. And on a grand scale.

Growing Potatoes

Potatoes in containers, potatoes in the ground, potatoes in the kitchen. Plant some this spring, for a bountiful harvest that will keep for months.

Punxsutawney Phil Sees Shadow, Predicts Six More Weeks of Winter

Breaking news... Groundhog Day 2010 dawns sunny in Pennsylvania, but spring won't be quite as early as we'd like.

Cute Plant Names

As you work your way through the new crop of seed catalogs, have you found any amusing plant names? I have...

New Seeds for a New Season

When temperatures are in the teens and snow is swirling outside, what can a gardener do? Grab a seed catalog and order seeds, of course.

Burpee

W. Atlee Burpee & Co. has been around since 1876. It's had a long and glorious history, and it's still going strong.

Fedco Seeds

If you still count reading as one of life's pleasures, you are going to enjoy perusing the Fedco Seeds catalog.

Frozen Food, Home Style

Snow blanketed my garden Saturday night, followed by a blast of arctic air, but that didn't keep me from serving my Brussels sprouts for Sunday supper. I just shook the snow off the plants and...

Pole Beans

For reliability and yield, you can't beat pole beans. As you check out the seed catalogs this year, Romano, Rattlesnake, and Blue Coco are three tasty varieties to consider.

Totally Tomatoes

Here's a catalog that focuses on America's favorite garden vegetable, the tomato, in all of its manifestations.

A Bumper Crop of Seed Catalogs

This year's seed catalogs are off the presses and headed your way. Before you place your orders, read our short reviews and post your comments.

Pinetree Garden Seeds

Pinetree Garden Seeds in New Gloucester, Maine, is a friendly, family-owned seed company geared to the needs of the home gardener. Pinetree sells a full range of vegetable seeds, and heirlooms are well represented.

Gurney's Seed & Nursery Catalog

Gurney's Seed & Nursery was founded in 1866 by Civil War veteran Charles W. Gurney in Monticello, Iowa, but the company has long been associated with Yankton, South Dakota, where it moved in 1897...

Book Review: Strega Nona's Harvest

Gardening with kids? Here's a book they'll love, and you will, too.

Build a Support System for Your Strawberry Netting

A few lengths of copper pipe, some fittings, and a little work keep varmints off the berries and the netting off the plants.

Grow Lettuce from Seed

There are many, many lettuces to choose from, way beyond what you can buy at the grocery. And here's good news: the "exotic" varieties are way easier to grow, and way more nutritious and colorful, than that old standby, iceberg.

A Stir-Fry Garden

You probably don't grow rice or ginger or make your own tofu, but you can grow a lot of veggies that are perfect for stir-frying.

Video: A Vegetable Garden on Sesame Street

Elmo, Big Bird, and Michelle Obama demystify gardening for the younger set.

A Gardener's Thanksgiving

Homegrown vegetables and herbs make for an extra-special dining experience on a day that celebrates the harvest.

Leek Soup

Leek soup is comfort food, especially if you grow your own leeks. It's easy to make, tasty, and nutritious. And it can be served hot or cold.

The Witching Hour: Gardening on the Dark Side

In the spirit of the season, steep yourself in herb lore.

Pumpkins!

In October, pumpkins are everywhere. You can carve them, of course, but you can also eat them. And of course you can grow your own.

Fall Leaves Make a Great Garden Mulch

Don't bag them and send them to the dump. Put this resource to work for your garden.

Video: Organic Gardening, Halloween Style

Great soil makes for great tomatoes, right?

Crabapple Pie is a Labor of Love

This year, the crabapples did not go to waste, thanks to an old Yankee Cookbook recipe.

Video: Make a Keyhole Garden

In Lesotho, a landlocked, mountainous country in southern Africa, children are learning how to build sustainable raised-bed gardens to provide vegetables for their families.

Frost and the Fall Garden

Don't let an early frost wipe out your veggies prematurely. When frost threatens, you need to move quickly. Learn which crops must be harvested right away, and which ones will survive.

Pumpkins: Beyond Halloween

Everyone likes to carve pumpkins for Halloween. Pumpkins also make great eating. If you can grow squash, you can grow pumpkins. Get suggestions for growing and using them.

Gardening Tip: Compost Heap Alternative

If you don't have a compost heap, here's a simple way to recycle vegetable scraps in your garden beds.

La Tomatina: A Food Fight with a Cast of Thousands

At La Tomatina in the Spanish town of Buñol, festival-goers pelt each other with tomatoes in the greatest food fight of them all.

Grow Chamomile for Tea

Plant chamomile seeds after danger of frost and harvest the flowers as they appear. Use them fresh or dried to make chamomile tea.

When Blight Wipes Out Your Tomatoes, Eat Beans

Like investors, gardeners should diversify their portfolios. So when the tomato "market" crashes, you will still have something fresh to eat.

Plant a Second Crop for a Bountiful Fall Harvest

The radishes are long gone, you've harvested the last of the lettuce, and the garlic and onions are out of the ground. What are you going to do with all that empty space? Plant a fall garden, of course.

For the Fall Vegetable Garden, Think Kale

Kale is a cool-season green that can be started from seed at midseason for a fall harvest. It's delicious sautéed with garlic or served in a hearty soup.

Vegetable Gardening Tips

Often it's the little how-to tip that can help you solve a gardening problem effectively and efficiently. Get tips on planting, watering, pest control, plant support. Post your own tips, and they'll be added to the list.

In Praise of Watermelons

National Watermelon Day is August 3. What better time to try a new recipe or carve a masterpiece?

Gardening Tip: What to Do When Everything is Ripe at Once

For a vegetable gardener and berry grower, the busiest time is harvest time. Here are some tips for coping with abundance.

A Light but Nutritious Garden Meal

Salad greens, tinned oysters, eggs, and cheese make a quick and tasty lunch or supper.

Mile-a-Minute Weed

Mile-a-minute weed is a scary plant. It can grow up to 6 inches per day, and it strangles anything in its path. If you live in the Northeast, beware.

Harvesting Garlic

Getting garlic out of the ground is fairly simple. The key to full-flavored, long-lasting bulbs is knowing when to harvest and how to handle the bulbs so they will keep for a long time.

Gardening Tip: Old Bedsheets Make Great Tomato Ties

Put your tattered sheets to good use in the garden.

Wineberries

Wineberry is an invasive plant that produces tasty fruit, and if you manage your berry patch, you can keep it under control.

Extend Your Gardening Season Beyond Frost by Growing Produce that Keeps

If you grow winter squash, pumpkins, potatoes, garlic, and hot peppers, you effectively extend your gardening season well into the fall and winter.

When the Gardener Goes on Vacation, What Happens to the Plants?

You're going to be away for a week or two this summer, but you don't want your garden to run wild. Get tips to tide your garden over until you return.

Berries!

If you want to grow fresh fruit in your yard, consider planting strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. They're a lot easier to grow and pick than tree fruit, kids love them, and with planning, you can have them throughout the summer and maybe even into the fall.

Garlic Scapes

If you grow garlic, you'll eventually encounter scapes. Learn what they are and what to do with them.

A Simple Supper, Straight from the Garden

What's for dinner? Whatever's ripe.

Planting Squash

Here's a birdproof method for planting squash seeds, as well as melons, cucumbers, and pumpkins.

The (Tomato) Stakes Are High

Search statistics tell us thata lot of people visit VegetableGardener.com to find plans and ideas for tomato trellises, and with good reason. Staking tomatoes is worthwhile.

Pep Up Your Spring Salads with Wrinkled Crinkled Crumpled Cress

Cress grows quickly and is pest free.

Gardening Tip: Watering on the Cheap

From fridge to garden: Plastic milk jugs find new life as watering cans.

First Salads of the Season

No lettuce? No problem. You can still make a tasty salad out of early greens.

Shield Your Seedlings from Cutworms

If you have a cutworm problem in your garden, your baby seedlings are at risk. Here's one way to protect them.

Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners is a Great Resource

Cornell's "citizen science" Web site offers ratings and growing information for more than 5,000 vegetable varieties.

Video: The Garden of Eatin'

Watch an animated history of gardening at the White House.

The White House Garden in April

What does the White House vegetable look like a month after the groundbreaking?

Nasturtiums

Want to add a tangy accent to your summer salads? Try growing nasturtium.

Organic Chemistry on the White House Lawn?

Nobody lobbies me about how I grow my garden, but then again, I'm not part of the power elite.

Beyond Beefsteak Tomatoes: In Search of the Unusual

Everyone loves beefsteaks, but they don't do all that well for me, so I usually opt for small and midsize offerings.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb (pie plant) is a reliable low-maintenance perennial, essentially pest free.

Growing Vegetables in Containers

If you have limited space and time but still want to try your hand at growing vegetables, think containers. No yard is necessary; a patio, deck, windowbox, or even a fire escape will do. All you’ll need is a couple of containers, some soil, seeds or seedlings, and a little fertilizer. Your cash outlay will be minimal, and you’ll have the satisfaction of growing something tasty to eat.

Raspberries: An Affordable Luxury in Tough Times

Your 401k is tanking? Join the club. With spring just around the corner, now might be the time to consider a different kind of investment, one that offers reliable returns in the second year and thereafter without much risk. Think raspberries.

A Kitchen Garden on the White House Lawn

Yes, it has come to pass. The Obamas will be joining the ranks of vegetable gardeners. Photographed at the site of the official kitchen garden, First Lady Michelle Obama works with kids from Washington's Bancroft Elementary School to break ground.

Video: A Simple Way to Start Seeds Indoors

If you live in a cold climate, you may need to get a head start on crops that take a long time to mature, such as tomatoes and peppers, by starting seeds indoors in late winter. This video shows you how.

Gardening Tip: Keeping Up with the Garden

If you took the plunge and started a vegetable garden but are wondering how you’ll ever have the time to maintain it, here’s a deceptively simple suggestion: Walk by it every day.

The Starter Garden

Leaf lettuce, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini are good choices for a first garden.

The First Day of Spring, 2004

Five years ago, I was shoveling off the walkway for the umpteenth time that winter. On the first day of spring, no less. So instead of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to throw together a snowman...

Planning Your First Vegetable Garden

Before you decide on what to grow, you need to make some decisions about your garden's location, size, and shape.

My Light Setup for Seedlings

One of the sure signs of spring at my house is setting up the light stand.

What's a Garden Worth?

Roger and Jacqueline Doiron do the math and calculate the cost of their garden vegetables for one growing season.

9 Reasons to Start a Vegetable Garden

Need convincing that growing your own vegetables is worth the time and effort? Read on.

Chives Are Easy and Tasty

The chive plant, a mild-flavored member of the onion family, is prized for its stalks. It’s one of the easiest herbs to grow. Plant a clump in a sunny spot, water, and forget about it.

Fencing and Gates

Where I live, in southwestern Connecticut, you’d be crazy to garden without a fence. Sometimes I think I live in a wildlife sanctuary, and in a way, I do. Deer saunter through on a regular...

Hardy Kiwi

You can grow kiwi fruit in northern climates, and the great taste is worth the wait.

Topping Brussels Sprouts

If your Brussels sprouts are disappointingly small, here's a tip: Timely pruning can work wonders.

Thornless Blackberries

With thornless blackberries, you get that yummy blackberry flavor without ripping your skin to shreds.

A Starter Compost Heap

Build an enclosure, add plant material, collect your veggie scraps, and toss them in. Nature will take care of the rest.



recent comments

Re: Food Fights: Wacky Fun or Wasted Food?

Yup, a frivolous waste of time, food, and resources. There are millions in the world who don't know where their next meal is coming from.

Re: QUESTION: Squashed! ! !

Squash produces male and female flowers (see http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/4253/video-squash-blossoms) and if your bees are on strike this summer, you can step in and do the work yourself (see http://www.finegardening.com/video/homegrown-homemade-how-to-pollinate-squash.aspx).

Re: Harvesting Garlic

ktmusher, see http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/5881/garlic-scapes

Re: A Second Round of Broccoli For Fall

When broccoli flowers, you can usually keep the plant going just by cutting off the flowering stalks. The plant will then start to produce much smaller, but still delicious, side shoots, which need to be harvested before they flower.

Re: Repairing A Garden Hose

I recently refurbished two garden hoses, and it really was easy to install new fittings, especially after I submerged the hose ends in very hot water for a few minutes. New hoses aren't cheap, to put it mildly. Fittings and washers are.

Re: How to Grow Pak Choi in a Container

Just last night I harvested the last of my bok choy and served it in a stir-fry, along with snow peas and garlic scapes from the garden. Whether you grow it in pots or in the garden, it's a perfect cool-weather crop.

Re: Easy Container-Grown Basil

Pesto is a summer favorite with my clan. I blend freshly picked basil (lots of it) with olive oil (enough to cover the blender blade), garlic (lots), walnuts (a handful), and parmesan (maybe half a cup), adding water as needed to keep the blender going. I usually serve it over spaghetti and mix it in with two forks.

Re: QUESTION: Differentiating cherry tomato varieties by leaves

I've wondered about this, too, Leakitty. I do my best to clean up fallen tomatoes in the fall, but in spite of those efforts there are inevitably volunteer plants in the spring. I usually let one or two grow, just to see, and almost always they are Sun Golds, my go-to cherry tomato variety. I don't know a good way to distinguish one kind from another based on leaf shape. Some of the heirlooms plants may have a leaf that looks more like a potato leaf than a tomato leaf, but not reliably. Hard to believe there are no large cherry tomato plants on sale in Kansas City. They are available everywhere, it seems, in SW Connecticut.

Re: Prolific Pole Beans

Nice post, Chris. I'm a big fan of pole beans, too. What I usually do is plant some bush beans about May 15 (dragon langerie and filet beans), and then a main crop of pole beans early to mid July after after the snow peas and snap peas finish. Current favorites are rattlesnake, blue coco, and romano. See http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/7148/pole-beans for some photos.

Re: Using Your Fence for Growing Vertical Vegetables

Much to the chagrin of the local wildlife, I have to fence most of my edible plants, and I often use the odd leftover fence sections inside the gardens to support peas, cukes, pole beans, and even tomatoes. These impromptu trellises can easily be moved from season to season by relocating the posts.

Re: How to Grow Shallots

In Zone 8, I think the shallots will be fine just as they are (ditto for the garlic). You can mulch lightly if you are concerned. Up here in Connecticut, I've found both very hardy, mulch or no mulch. Leave the tops as they are.

Re: Roasting Vegetables to Perfection

Sorry, wallace3, but we don't have a "favorites" feature on VegetableGardener.com. You can, however, print the article if you like, or you can bookmark the url for future reference.

Re: Tomatoes: Request for Reader Recommendations

Paul Robeson (medium to large black tomato), Sun Gold (orange cherry tomato) and Juliet (red grape tomato). Most flavorful is a tough one. Jaune Flammee is delicious, and so is Speckled Roman.

Re: great extended summer

Here's some help for posting pictures from finegardening.com. The same procedures apply on this site.
http://www.finegardening.com/item/4136/how-to-post-photos-in-the-gallery

Re: September Crayons

Lovely photo; thanks for posting.

Re: Quick and Easy Homemade Salsa

This recipe has more photos than most. If you want to print just the text, highlight it, then copy and paste into a word-processing program and print from there.

Re: QUESTION: What kind of pepper plant is this?

The tall, whitish plant in your first photo doesn't look like a pepper to me. I'd yank it or cut it down before it sets seed. The plant at bottom right in the first photo does look like a pepper.

Re: QUESTION: Tomatoes not producing

JanaBO60, use our site search to look for info on blossom end rot. You'll find it in the upper right corner of every page on the site.

Re: QUESTION: What kind of Pepper plant is this?

This looks a lot like pokeweed to me, and you need to pull it out while you still can. It has a deep tap root, so try to get it all. Once the plants get large, they're a lot more difficult to pull. What you see are berries, not peppers. Dispose of them, too, so they won't reseed.

Re: Are You Ready for Garlic?

Dwiggit, welcome to the site. I hope you'll post frequently. It's hard for us here in New England even to imagine what it's like to garden in torrid Texas, and we have lots of site visitorw who will welcome advice from your part of the country. I can second your recommendation of Gourmet Garlic Gardens. The website is encyclopedic, and when I ordered seed garlic, Bob the garlicmeister sent me varieties for the North.

Re: QUESTION: My tomato plant is not producing fruit

Rebecca, you don't say where you live, but many parts of the country have been experiencing extreme heat, and above 90 degrees, flowers may not form, and those that do may not set fruit.

Re: Mixed Berry Granita

Janni, we know we have a problem with printing. I've reported it to the tech group, which is working to fix it. In the meantime, the best thing for you to do would be to highlight the text, copy it into a Word or .txt document, and print that.

Re: Wineberries

When the color of the berries deepens and the fruit detaches easily, they're ripe. Mine are starting to ripen right now. I suggest you check every day and try one or two. You'll find out pretty quickly what a ripe one looks and tastes like.

Re: QUESTION: Excessive potato green

I've not tried this, but you could experiment by trimming a couple of plants and comparing yields to the untrimmed plants.

Re: QUESTION: Garden Beetles

First, identify the pests. You can do this by posting photos here (we'll try to help) or by bringing/sending the beetles to your nearest Cooperative Extension office.

Re: QUESTION: Staked tomatoes

I can think of two other solutions. One is the default: do nothing, and the plants will flop back down and continue to grow. The other is to add horizontal supports by lashing in more poles near the tops of the vertical stakes and then allowing the plants to drape over them. I generally do both of these, and they work.

Re: QUESTION: Help! Birds are eating my tomatoes

fairwxhog, the photo with this post was not taken by gina123. It's just a fairly generic photo of tomato damage. I've had birds peck at my tomatoes, too, especially in droughts. Usually I just cut out the damaged portion and used the rest.

Re: QUESTION: Tomatoes in pots - depth

redparrot, this article might provide some guidance: http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/growing-tomatoes-in-containers.aspx

Re: Effective, Old-Fashioned Weed Pulling

Call me crazy, but I really enjoy weeding. Like pruning (and sculpture), it's a subtractive process, and everything looks so much better when you're done. The key to success and a positive attitude is to tackle a defined area -- one bed, one area -- that you can complete in the time you have available and with the energy you have available. Weeding for, say, an hour on five days is much more enjoyable than weeding five hours on one day.

Re: Roasted Cauliflower

The last sentence says "Roast in the oven for about 12 minutes, until the cauliflower softens and browns around the edges." To this I'd add that ovens sometimes run hotter or cooler than their temperature settings. So it's a good idea to use an oven thermometer, watch closely, or both.

Re: Cool Kitchen Garden Containers

KathyTork, your gardening efforts are an inspiration to us all. Please post some photos. I have a sink planter, too, and you can see it here: http://www.finegardening.com/item/10123/outdoor-sink-repurposed

Re: Cool Kitchen Garden Containers

angelamgranville, thanks for your kind comments. I hope you will post some photos soon. We'd love to see what you grow.

Re: Cool Kitchen Garden Containers

angelamgranville says (thank you google translate): Hello I live in Brazil and I have a passion for plants. I'm overwhelmed with everything I see on this site. You are amazing, creative, spectacular, and the plants should be happy in their company. I learn a lot here. Thank you Hugs Angela

Re: Free Fertilizers Within Reach

Unbelievable as it may sound, Connecticut has a cavalry, and the 2nd Company Governor's Horse Guard is quartered about a mile from our office. A co-worker mentioned that one can pick up free manure a couple of times a year, and Saturday was the day. In a driving rain, I filled my compact car with three garbage bins, and with the very kind help of the National Guard members on duty managed to load up and drive home with three wheelbarrow loads of well-aged horse manure.

Re: QUESTION: broccoli

I'm just a little south of you (Bethel) and I planted mine this weekend. Broccoli plants can take cool weather, but like other seedlings, they need to be acclimatized to outdoor conditions first. I'm not sure what you're doing "wrong", if anything. Maybe others can help with that.

Re: Built the potting bench...

Nice work, GrowOrDie (and nice user name, too). I'm sure you'll enjoy using the bench all the more for having built it yourself.

Re: QUESTION: What do I do with an overlooked garlic bulb that is sprouting in the ground?

You can still take a picture and upload it to your post to replace the one I put there. Or leave both, if you like.

Re: QUESTION: What do I do with an overlooked garlic bulb that is sprouting in the ground?

I think I'd either use it as green garlic or dig it up, separate the cloves, and plant them separately, especially if the cloves are of a reasonable size. It's possible, if this clump has really tiny shoots, that it resulted from some of your last year's garlic flowering and dropping seeds.

See http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/9296/all-about-garlic for more garlic info.

Re: Grow Lettuce from Seed

mart1, it's the "just pull two out" part that I have a problem with. I can't bear to discard viable plants. (It took me YEARS to be able to thin a row of radishes.)

Re: Vinegared Rice and Lettuce Rolls

I'm glad you like the dish, VineKeeper, but this isn't my recipe. The recipe is by Peter Garnham, and it was first published in the now defunct Kitchen Gardener magazine. I've now taken my name off the page as author. Perhaps peter will see your comment and respond.

Re: Planting Pricey Produce

Leeks certainly fit the category of pricey at the store and easy to grow. Once they're established, you hardly know they're there. They'll winter over, and the second season they'll flower and produce seed, which, if you let it fall to the ground, will in turn produce new plants. Another cool thing about leeks: when you harvest them, cut off the root, leaving maybe 1/2 inch of stem, and replant right away. Guess what? It will grow a new top!

Re: Planting Pricey Produce

Nice post, Jodi. While I've never planted things because they're expensive, I have permitted myself to sneer (quietly of course) as I push my cart down the produce aisles of my local market. I especially love to strut by the heirloom lettuce, the arugula, chives, blueberries and strawberries, all of which I have in season. The tag "heirloom" brings a fine price at the store, but in the garden, you grow heirlooms pretty much the same way that you grow hybrids. It's not a big deal at all.

Re: How to Grow Onions from Seed

Good one, myseasons. I haven't exactly flunked Onions 101, but I've never gotten higher than a C-. Onions are one of those tricky crops for me (along with eggplant and melons). But I keep trying, and I hope you will, too. Even undersized onions have a lot of flavor.

Re: QUESTION: Harvesting Onions

Have you read our article on growing onions from seed? There's a discussion of harvesting and storing at the end of this story. http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/4076/how-to-grow-onions-from-seed

Re: Willhite Seed Inc.

jodanewsome: It sounds like you got a bad copy. The Willhite catalog I reviewed (child eating watermelon) has all its pages, and the footnote references check out. I suggest you call or write Willhite and request a new catalog.

Re: Wood: Warming Winter Work

Another gardener/wood burner here. I've got 3 cords of green (just cut) white and red oak on the front lawn now, sawn to length but unsplit. I can still swing a maul, and I do. It's great winter exercise for an hour or so before my day job. I'm aiming to have it all split and stacked before planting peas.

Re: Growing Upright Blackberries

My uprights are Chesters (not listed here), but they haven't formed a dense hedge. Your best bet is to phone a nursery that sells upright blackberries and get an opinion. As for pruning, what I do is remove canes after they fruit, and trim the first-year canes back in late winter (along with the lateral shoots).

Re: Winter Solstice - Full Cold Moon - Lunar Eclipse!

Here in Connecticut, the full moon was stunning before the eclipse started, but by 4 a.m., when I took a little stroll out back, the sky was mostly overcast, and from time to time the a glowing arc revealed itself. That, with the gusty wind, made a seasonally appropriate setting for the arrival of winter.

Re: How to Harvest and Dry Coriander

The cheap pepper grinder is a great idea. In the past, I've saved the seed, dried it, and laboriously separated it, but then just stored it in jars. I used a mortar and pestle to grind it when I needed some for cooking.

Re: Giving Garden Thanks

Each fall, as I pull up the frost-killed plants and take them to the compost pile, I thank them for providing food. I've done this for years, and now it's part of my ritual.

Re: Growing Herbs and Plants Indoors

Very inventive projects. I'm sure people would like more details, such as the dimensions of the greenhouse and how you heat it. What climate do you garden in, and where did you get your recycled materials?

Re: Your Easiest Vegetable Garden Ever and Other Things

beginnergardener, you'll get some anti-snail info here: http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/3577/tales-of-silver-trails-managing-slugs-and-snails. And Veeta, see http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/2489/keep-cabbage-loving-caterpillars-in-check. You can use the site search (search box is at upper right on every page) to look for more info on these subjects.

Re: Perfect Fall Gardening Tasks

Chris, thanks for posting this. There's not a lot to add here, but in cold climates we also drain our hoses and turn off the outside water, tidy up the firewood pile, put away the grill and patio chairs, and clean out the gutters. Fall gardening always seems more urgent to me than spring gardening because it all needs to get done before the earth freezes. In the spring, there's no hard deadline, so to speak.

Re: It's Delicious Being Green

This post is very timely for me, Jodi. Here in SW Connecticut, I'm on frost watch. We've had a couple of close calls, but I haven't brought in all the tomatoes yet. When I do harvest everything, I keep them in boxes. My house is "cool" (and that's a major understatement), but even so, it's important to check the stash frequently and remove any tomatoes that show even the smallest signs of rot.

Re: Fall Leaves Make a Great Garden Mulch

KAMyers and lucyg22, maybe I didn't explain as clearly as I might have. I cover my entire garden with leaves (mostly maple, with some oak and pine needles). In the spring, I figure out where I want to plant (the bed configuration is a little different each year), and rake the leaves off each bed-to-be into the space that becomes the pathways, where they keep down the weeds during the growing season. By the following fall, those leaves have pretty much decomposed. Over time, the soil of the entire garden improves.

Re: Hardy Kiwi

Witch0627, I feel your pain. My 2010 crop is still on the vine, but last year we had a huge harvest. I tried slicing and dehydrating, but the taste was insipid. My son made jam, and that worked out well. I'll ask him for the recipe and post it.

Re: How Hot Are 'Thai Dragon' Peppers?

From today's New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/science/21peppers.html

Re: How Hot Are 'Thai Dragon' Peppers?

Chris, I've noticed that all my hot peppers this year are much hotter than the ones I grew last year. I don't know if my Thai Hots are dragons, but they sure are fiery.

Re: Sun Flowers

What a lovely photo! Sunflowers watch over my veggie garden, too, and I look forward to their blooms every year.

Re: All About Garlic

KimberlyAWood, garlic won't freeze. You plant cloves of garlic in fall, and they sprout in spring. See http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/7554/plant-garlic-as-a-fall-crop for more info.

Re: Rooftop Refuge in the Asphalt Jungle

Chiefox, there are structural concerns with rooftop gardening that need to be addressed. I suggest you search the Web for info on that or try to find people in your area that work with rooftop gardens. Perhaps someone else can offer more specific guidelines.

Re: Moroccan Mint Tea

I can relate to the unsugared version. My standard summer tea calls for five teaspoons of loose tea (it's a large teapot) and many sprigs of spearmint. I let it sit in the teapot until cool, then pour into a pitcher and refrigerate. I serve it over ice. But I do want to try Susan's version, as it reminds me of what I drank, endlessly, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal. It was served hot in little shot glasses, and there were three servings, each sweeter than the previous one.

Re: Wineberries

I don't see wineberries on the Burpee Web site, and that's a good thing. I've been asked by a representative of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection to discourage people from purchasing, moving, or otherwise establishing wineberries on their property. Wineberries are classified as invasive by Connecticut and other states.

Re: Save It For Later

I now have a small stash of glass baby food jars. I think they'll be perfect for dried herbs and spices: mint, basil, whole Thai hot peppers, ground cayenne pepper, and so on.

Re: How big/long will a cherry tomato get?

Cherry tomatoes, unless they are patio or bush types, will grow as tall as you let them (and so will other indeterminate tomatoes). Many of my plants are eight feet tall and extending past where I can tie them to stakes. Just let them flop back down; they'll be fine. And they'll continue to produce.

Re: Garlic and Chile Insecticidal Soap Spray

pearlyshells, the best way to print, as I mentioned in an earlier comment to this article, is by selecting the text you want and pasting it into a Word document. Then print that. The "print" function on the site is quirky, in that it works differently for different users.

Re: All About Garlic

Greg, check out this encyclopedic garlic site, based in Texas. http://www.gourmetgarlicgardens.com/. You can email the garlic meister and he'll be able to advise on planting time (and anything else you want to know).

Re: Wineberries

gazaniagal, thanks for posting the link. I wonder how many other states have invasive lists and similar regulations.

Re: rotten tomato bottom

see http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/9181/question-spots-on-tomatoes. If you post a photo, people can probably offer you specific help.

Re: Garlic Scapes

wildernessny, I'd say half and half. You can always pull up one at that stage, see what the bulb looks like, and then make a decision to wait longer, if you like. Look for a fully formed head, with the cloves not pulling away from the stalk. See http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/3247/harvesting-garlic for more details.

Re: Wineberries

Just for the record, I rip out a lot of wineberry canes each year, and I figure that each berry I eat is a berry that isn't dropping its seeds into the soil to produce more plants.

Re: Garlic harvest

Just beautiful, coolmom5. I harvested my garlic last week and got 53 good-sized bulbs. I set aside the best for replanting in the fall, tied the others in bunches of five and hung them from the beam over the dining table to cure. They look good there, and they keep away the vampires, too!

Re: Hardy Kiwi

I'm not absolutely sure, but I think I ordered from Miller Nurseries. http://www.millernurseries.com/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=203. You could call the company and ask for particulars; the Web site doesn't state a variety.

Re: DIY Seed Packet Storage Box

Nice project, Greg. If I were building this, I'd definitely add a lid to keep out my co-tenants (field mice).

Re: The Great Garlic Harvest

Yes, very timely post. My garlic needs a little more time in the ground. Despite the lack of rain here in the Northeast, the garlic leaves and stem are still mostly green.

Re: QUESTION: Mysterious Shrinking Summer Squash

dphazelwood, here's a link to a video that will show you how to distinguish male and female squash flowers: http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/4253/video-squash-blossoms

Re: Hardy Kiwi

Joe, I'm growing Actinidia arguta. You'll need a male and a female vine, as mentioned above. My female is now incredibly productive. I think I got close to two spaghetti pots full of fruit last year, and that's a LOT of Vitamin C!

Re: Spring photos in the Treasure Coast

dropspinner, welcome to the site. I love your pineapple photo. I have one growing as a houseplant, but that's the best I can expect as a New England gardener.

Re: QUESTION: Are assassin bugs friend or foe to tomato plants?

alethor, the photo here is one I added. It may not represent the bugs that Dragonfle actually saw on the tomato plants.

Re: Video: Early Pruning of Tomato Plants

Canelda, Chris McLaughlin explains indeterminate vs. determinate here: http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/5809/tomato-plants-determinate-indeterminate-and-vffnta

Re: Structured Salads are Super for Supper

Some yummy ideas here, Jodi. Last night I supped on a plate heaped with lettuce and arugula, topped with chunks of cheese and mussels (from a tin). Hard-boiled eggs are a good addition to this sort of meal, too.

Re: All About Tomatoes

The soil and growing conditions in my Connecticut garden are completely different from yours, greenacresmama. I water new transplants about once a day until they stabilize and start to grow (maybe 10 days). After that I check them daily but water only when they really need it. But we have frequent rain, and my garden soil retains moisture down where the roots are. I hope another Florida gardener will offer an opinion.

Re: Raised garden bed

That's a really nice-looking raised bed, wscraps. Your dog wouldn't be a husky or a malamute, would it? They're like little backhoes around the yard.

Re: Harvesting Garlic

Maybe you should stick with the softneck, then. Here in the North, I've heard that hardneck is the best choice. Interestingly, I heard this from Bob the "Garlic Meister" (www.gourmetgarlicgardens.com), who happens to be a Texan. There's a ton of info on this site, and you can email questions to Bob as well.

Re: Harvesting Garlic

Watering schedule? I don't think I've ever watered my garlic, texnav. I plant the cloves in the fall, cover the bed with leaves, and they're totally on their own. Here in SW Connecticut, it rains often (and it often rains too often).

Re: Paying Your Gardening Skills Forward

Greg, fantastic idea and a great post. I hope your idea catches on.

Re: Burpee

As far as I know, Burpee is privately owned. I am sending your comment to Burpee and asking for a response, so stay tuned.

Re: QUESTION: What Is This Plant?

This doesn't look like a vegetable to me. Consider posting it on Fine Gardening's Mystery Plant gallery; you can use the same user name and password as you do here to log in:
http://www.finegardening.com/contest/mystery-plant

Re: Nominate Your Favorite Garden Blog for "Mouse and Trowel Award!"

Thank you, Shirley. We are honored (even if we don't win).

Re: Tools of The (Gardening) Trade

I schlep a hacksaw, wire and wire cutters out to the garden if there's a fencing or trellishing project in the offing. And sometimes even a tape measure, but mostly I eyeball things.

Re: Want to Trade Veggies?

Well, what a coincidence you posted this today. I just brought four trays of lettuce seedlings to the office today to offer to my co-workers.

Re: QUESTION: What plants and flowers attract hummingbirds?

FineGardening.com has an entire article about attracting hummingbirds to your garden. Here's the link, and don't miss the accompanying video.
http://www.finegardening.com/design/articles/hummingbird-plants.aspx

Re: QUESTION: Least-Toxic Whitefly Solution

Perhaps this will help:
http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/2461/a-whitefly-in-the-ointment

Re: Kale: The Aristocrat of Vegetables

My White Russian kale came back this spring, too. I was munching on it while I raked back leaves to rough out this year's beds. The flavor is sweet, with undertones of complex Brassica...

Re: Raised Beds: Who Has a Cool Design?

There are no photos of my backyard with this story, Farmer Ron. The photos here are from site members' gardens, not mine.

Re: QUESTION: How to keep cats out of raised bed garden

Elizabeth, you'll find another response here: http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/8699/cat-control

Re: Recently Built 4 New Raised Beds for Vegetable Garden in our Backyard

(posted for MoniDew)

Thanks to everyone for your nice comments. Here are some details about the design and construction of my raised beds. The beds are 4 ft. by 8 ft. by 2 ft. I didn't use published plans. The beds were planned on site. My husband and I built them in a weekend. I suggest two sets of tools, if you tend to argue over whose turn it is.

The beds are cheap pine, and unpainted. I did not want treated lumber (chemicals), did not paint (chemicals) and could not afford cedar or redwood. Yes, they will decompose in time and need to be replaced. We are hoping for a 5-year life span out of them, and intend to move and re-establish elsewhere at that time.

The base of the boxes were prepared in this way: we first desodded the area and then added pebbles about 6 inches deep. On top of that went 1-1/2 feet of organic gardening soil, into which we stirred compost. Then we planted. Compost was added this year before garden went in, too.

I don't change the soil annually. I add compost, leaf mulch, etc. and build up the soil "lasagna" style.

Re: Build an A-Frame Tomato Trellis

patsojud, this blog post comes from an old Kitchen Gardener article, and we posted all the info we have. Have you printed out the plan (http://images.taunton.com/enewsletters/vg/a-frame-tomato-trellis.pdf)? If I were building this, I'd start with the end assemblies. It's more important that they match each other than that they be cut to precise dimensions. But then again, I'm in the habit of cobbling things together. After all, this is a garden trellis, not museum-quality art.

Re: Dye Easter Eggs in Nature's Hues

kakypants, if I had to guess, I'd say coffee brewed. That would give the deepest color. You could experiment though, and try both ways...

Re: Garlic and Chile Insecticidal Soap Spray

I just tried printing it, and it worked. If it doesn't work for you, you can print the text by selecting it, pasting it into a Word document, and printing that.

Re: QUESTION: Planting peas & tomatoes

Mosey, this is your lucky day. We've just launched a video series called HomeGrown/HomeMade, and the first topic we're covering is how to plant peas. Here's the link: http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/8380/homegrownhomemade-peas

Re: Mini-hoop House

Ellen, this is a wonderful project. I'm curious about the pipe supports. What are they, where did you get them, how did you bend them, and how are they attached to the boards?

Re: Thornless Blackberries

When I get confused by pruning instructions (which is often), I tend to be conservative and either do nothing at all or prune some of the bushes/canes and not others. In this case, I think that's what I'd do. Growth hasn't really started yet in my blackberry patch, so I'm thinking that cutting back a little might still be a good idea to encourage branching. You could also give Nourse a call; they're a family company, and you'll get good advice.

Re: Garden Supplies On The Cheap: Thrift & Dollar Store Edition

Greg, you and I ought to join Scroungers Anonymous. I'm always looking for ways to use simple stuff. I do draw the line at Godzilla action figures, though...

Re: Grow Your Vegetables Vertically

familyguy1957, I wouldn't prune much off determinates. See http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/3721/video-how-to-prune-tomatoes for the indeterminate/determinate pruning distinction and also take a look at http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/6115/video-early-pruning-of-tomato-plants . The second video doesn't differentiate between indeterminates and determinates.

Re: Video: Victory Garden (1942 edition)

oops, I just checked in firefox, and there's no image available. You can see it in IE, and I'll try to get it working in firefox.

Re: Video: Victory Garden (1942 edition)

Greg, just click on the big video image, and the video should begin to play.

Re: Video: How to Plant Potatoes in a Raised Bed

good catch, h1721. 400 lb. is, to say the least, highly unlikely.

Re: Pole Beans

Our tastes are similar. Romano used to be my favorite, but I think I like Rattlesnake a bit better now. Definitely try the Blue Coco if you have space; you won't be sorry.

Re: Bucket O' Squash

Fantastic harvest--an inspiration to us all.

Re: How to Grow Spinach

I've been growing Space for the past several years. The leaves are fairly flat, not crinkled, and the taste is mild and good. I use the leaves mostly in salads.

Re: A Bumper Crop of Seed Catalogs

good suggestion. My Parks catalog arrived well after the others, so it didn't get reviewed in the first wave. I'll see what I can do.

Re: Build Your Own Raised Beds

Masik, this is an old article, so we can't ask the author about exact soil quantity, but we can do the math. The bed shown in the drawing is 4x8 and roughly 1-1/2 ft. deep, so filling it would require 48 cubic feet of soil (5-1/3 cubic yards). Hope this helps.

Re: How to Improve Your Stock Options

Your post brings back memories, Jodi. I haven't done this in eons, but when I did, we'd call the simmering pot "garbage soup" and we loved every drop. Recycling at its best.

Re: 20 Ways You Know You Are Addicted to Vegetable Gardening

Great post! And here are some more telltale signs. You start way more seedlings than you could possibly plant, and cheerfully give them away. You can't bring yourself to thin out plants and toss them; you replant them (even carrots). Most days, you garden before work and after work.

Re: Help in the garden

What a cute helper! I was going to suggest that you post this photo in the Fine Gardening January 2010 Pets in the Garden Contest, but I see you already done that. The link is http://www.finegardening.com/contest/january-pets-in-garden, if anyone wants to take a look.

Re: Once in a Blue Moon...Happy New Year!

Here in Connecticut, the rising moon looked three times its normal size through the sky, which was more misty than cloudy at that point (snow fell later). It was close to other-worldly. What an awesome end to 2009 and a very spiritual start to the new decade.

Re: Once in a Blue Moon...Happy New Year!

We've got woodstoves, too, Susan, and they make our drafty old house much more livable. It's snowing right now, and I plan to take in the blue moon this evening when I walk my husky (named Blue for his blue eyes) in the waning hours of 2009. With the new snowfall, it will be almost light enough to see colors.

Re: Wineberries

ewurster, I haven't been able to locate a commercial source. Where I live, though, these plants pretty much everywhere: along roadsides, at the edges of meadows, or in overgrown fields. If you're ever in Connecticut, let us know (vg@taunton.com) and I'll be more than happy to dig some for you.

Re: Frozen Food, Home Style

Jada, you have cherries? I'm so envious. I have two cherry trees, but I also have squirrels. So far I haven't figured out how to keep them away. The trees are too tall for netting.

I love the butterball story. If I did that, it wouldn't be a problem at all; my dog would find it in a heartbeat. Our local radio station mentioned two more turkey caveats from the Butterball hotline. One was don't use the self-cleaning setting on your oven to roast a frozen turkey. I don't remember the other one.

Re: New at Gardening - Knowledge is a better garden

Hello, yankeefan61, and welcome to the site. Your tomatoes did a lot better than mine last year, and I've been growing them for decades. Gardening is all about perseverance. If one thing doesn't work, try something else, right?

Re: Save Recycled Containers For Starting Spring Seeds

Another vote for yogurt containers; they're very sturdy, and if you cut off the bottoms, they make great cutworm collars in the spring. I have lots and lots because my daughter brings me hers when she visits.

Re: QUESTION: Keeping Groundhogs Out of Raised Beds

Perhaps you should build a better barrier, as suggested here: http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/7193/raised-bed-pest-cover. If the critters are digging underneath, try extending your fencing 6 to 8 inches or more into the ground.

Re: QUESTION: Aphids

You'll find some good ideas for aphid control here: http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/4529/controlling-aphids-in-your-garden

Re: Gardening Tip: Old Bedsheets Make Great Tomato Ties

Cool idea, tgirlstt. My old tees generally get used for dusting or polishing.

Re: Starting a Garden - Step 1

When I started a small garden annex on the side lawn, I loosely fenced in the area and covered the ground with leaves in the fall. By spring the grass was dead.

Re: A Stir-Fry Garden

yes, do try tatsoi. It grew very well for me this season, in the cool, rainy weather that passed for summer. And there's still some in my garden.

Re: My Fall Garden To Do List

Here's a to-do list from Texas, Chris.
http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/7443/your-end-of-the-year-garden-checklist

Re: Thornless Blackberries

We had a huge crop this year as well (Connecticut). I'm interested in your wine recipe. Can you post it? Do you need a large quantity of berries?

Re: Pumpkins!

In my experience, sugar pumpkins make great pies, and so do many other varieties, including rouge vif. (Of course the liberal addition of spices helps a lot.)

Re: Fire Escape Garden

Welcome to our site, CanarsieBK. I've been cruising through your site, http://www.urbanorganicgardener.com, and I really like it. (btw, I was born in Brooklyn, so I feel a certain kinship...) How about posting instructions for making your self-watering containers and hanging planters?

Re: Fall Leaves Make a Great Garden Mulch

I didn't need to beg when the huge ash tree by the roadside was alive. It shaded the house in summer and provided more than enough leaves. We had it taken down after many limbs broke off and crashed, the last of which landed on my car and totalled it. It had to go before it killed someone.

Re: Help Wanted: Blogger

Just a reminder to all to read our post carefully. Comments on this post are nice, but not what we are looking for. If you want to be considered for the blogger position, you need to create your own post, with text and photos, then email vg@taunton.com, as stated above.

Re: QUESTION: Getting seeds off to the right start

Hello, foodie99, and welcome to the site. Could you be a little more specific? I'm assuming that you are starting seeds indoors, but what kind of seeds are you starting? Requirements vary as to spacing, depth of planting, and whether or not you cover the seeds. Daily is probably too often to water. When I start seeds, I check them daily, but water only when the soil is getting dry.

Re: Why Grow Your Own Food?

Thai hots look great in an ornamental bed. Since fenced-in space is limited, I'm happy that they can survive out there without deer protection. Apparently my deer don't care for fiery food.

Re: Replacing Some Suburban Front Lawn

Love your post. At my place, the lawn gets a little smaller each year. As for the neighbors, well, here in New England, you're allowed to be as crazy as you want, as long as your eccentricities don't impinge on somebody else's right to be crazy.

Re: How to Grow Leeks

Leeks are a great addition to any garden. If you let them winter over and don't harvest them in the spring, they will. form a flower head and go to seed. The seeds will fall to the ground, and soon you'll have new seedlings, which can be transplanted out after they grow a bit. So the crop can be self-renewing.

Re: Tomato harvest summer 2008

You can use the search box on www.whiteflowerfarm.com to locate specific vegetables.

Re: Grow Chamomile for Tea

No, I don't. Several sources say that chamomile reseeds readily if allowed to, but you don't want to have it come up now but not live long enough to form flowers and seeds, or you won't get anything next year. Perhaps you should just save the seeds next year and broadcast them in the spring. Can anyone else out there provide more specific info?

Re: Gardening Tip: What to Do When Everything is Ripe at Once

You both have the right idea, that's for sure.

Re: Appreciation

Welcome to the site, brownknukles. We look forward to your tips from the Pacific Northwest.

Re: Wineberries

I'll research commercial sources for you next week, when I return to the office. If I don't find any, I'd be happy to send you some first-year plants, which will bloom next year.

Re: In Praise of Watermelons

Glad you like them. I'm in nyc right now, helping out with my new (first) grandchild. Can't wait to do little projects like this with her in a couple of years.

Re: The Tomato Sandwich: Summer's Ultimate Food

You are both so lucky to have tomatoes already. It looks like I might have to wait until Labor Day this year, since the varieties I'm growing don't take kindly to the cool, wet weather we've been having in the Northeast.

Re: Wineberries

I like them on granola, or just unadorned in a bowl. I'll have to try a smoothie.

Re: Green Beans

Here's a link to a delicious recipe for slow-cooked green beans, Lebanese style: http://www.finecooking.com/green_beans_onions.aspx

Re: Fruit

Nice planning. You get fruit in season over a period of several months. I'll bet the kids love it, too.

Re: Mmmm... Free Coffee Grounds For Your Plants!

Coffee grounds are great for blueberries, conifers, azaleas, rhododendrons, and other plants that like their soil on the acidic side.

Re: Garlic Scapes

Yes, those little bulbils you saw are tiny plants.

Re: Fragrant Night-Blooming Plants

Nicotiana is one of my all-time favorites. It's a homely plant by day, but it packs a punch after dark. In my zone 6a garden, it reliably self-sows and reappears the following year, both where it was planted and where it wasn't. That's fine with me.

Re: Video: Blueberries

Blueberry bushes flower once a season, so you will have to wait until next year for a new crop. And yes, as the plant gets established, it should produce more.

Also, you might try a net to protect your berries from birds and deer.

Re: How to get rid of worms on Sweet Pepper plant

Could you take a photo and post it? That way we could see exactly what the critters look like. If not, you might just try picking off the worms or spraying with water (from a spray bottle) to dislodge them. You might also check out these articles for possible solutions:

http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/2655/how-to-grow-bell-peppers

http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/opp4527

Re: Garlic Scapes

Well, here in the Northeast, it's been incredibly cool and wet for a couple of months, and squash, while they like water at the roots, need some hot and dry weather to develop properly. Not sure what the weather is down your way, but I'm thinking Mother Nature may have been just a little too bountiful with her watering system this year.

Re: Raspberries: An Affordable Luxury in Tough Times

My raspberries are pretty close to the house. The deer seem happier chomping on the black raspberries (berries and canes) that are out in the back field. Actually, it's my dog that likes to grab a raspberry or two as we pass through the patch on our frequent walks. I used to net the raspberries to protect them from birds, but that was cumbersome and not essential. We now just share the crop, and we get most of it.

Re: Berries!

Yes, you are correct (and thanks for reminding me). I've been so busy with slug management in my sopping salad beds that I forgot. You can get more details here: http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/3659/growing-upright-blackberries

Re: strawberries

Love the photo, Coolmom5. I'm a big fan of berries, too. Most are low-maintenance once established, and kid generally love picking and eating them. I hope you'll post more in the coming weeks.

Re: Beyond Beefsteak Tomatoes: In Search of the Unusual

Nice. I'm already making my list for next year. This year, I managed to squeeze in the following: Amish paste, linguisa, principe borghese, red pear, black krim, purple russian, black from tula, celebrity, carmelo, sun gold, juliet, jaune flammee, tigerella, raad red, and jetsonic. I mostly plant Noah's Ark style (two of each variety), and in light of this year's weather, that seens appropriate. Wet, wet, wet.

Re: The (Tomato) Stakes Are High

Your plants will be fine if you avoid putting the stakes right next to them. I'd suggest leaving about 4-6 inches just to be sure.

Re: Gardening Tip: Watering on the Cheap

I'd rather not poke holes in the jugs, jeangogolin. I prefer the flexibility of being able to move them around as needed. But I did bury flower pots in the ground to water my squash hills this year, as described here: http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/5352/how-to-grow-superb-summer-squash . I plan to post a photo or two at some point.

Re: Gardening Tip: Watering on the Cheap

We've had tons of rain this spring, veggiegirl2. Do you have any watering tips for gardening in a hot, dry climate?

Re: Heirloom Tomato History

I'm drawn to plants with odd names, too, such as Wrinkled Crinkled Crumpled Cress and Wapsipinicon tomatoes.

Re: My "Grow-a-Row" Garden

I'm impressed that you're growin corn in a container. That's ambitious!

Re: Growing Potatoes in a Laundry Basket

I planted my potato container this weekend, and yours is a lot more elegant than mine. I used an old plastic garbage can that drains through a cracked bottom. I'm attempting to grow blue potatoes.

Re: Growing Trouble-Free Cherry Tomatoes

Lobbydosser, welcome to the site. I'm no spring chicken either. With age comes patience and an appreciation for nature, and with luck, more time for long-term activities such as gardening. I traveled a little in Scotland many years ago, and I saw tomatoes being grown in greenhouses. If you have any photos, consider sharing them on this site. I'd be happy to help you post them if you encounter difficulties. You can email me at rdobsevage@taunton.com .

Re: Thinning Vegetable Seedlings

Ah, thinning. It took me decades until I could even contemplate uprooting and discarding any seedlings. Radish thinnings, by the way, are tasty in salads (see http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/5404/first-salads-of-the-season.

Re: Crêpes with Spinach Filling

Did you read this story: http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/4878/seasonal-food-from-a-monastery-garden ? Apparently Brother Victor has written cookbooks. See this page for more information: http://dishnthat.blogspot.com/2008/07/divine-delights-await-at-monastery.html

Re: Cold Weather Harvest!

Wow, those are gorgeous carrots. Is there a growing secret you'd like to share?

Re: Garlic as an Herbal Medicine

Raw garlic also works as a mosquito repellent. Sometimes on my backpacking trips, I eat a clove a day, and it seems to help.

Re: Early May in Austin

We New Englanders are green with envy, Jeff. Yesterday I planted my salad bar with an array of colorful heirloom lettuces. I usually have that done well before Mother's Day, but it was the first chance I got.

Re: Multi-purpose long-lived metal trellis

Great idea, TorontoGardener. Could you post some photos to illustrate your ideas?

Re: The White House Garden in April

Jeff!!! Great to hear from you after all these years. Not a grandma yet, just a grandma-in-training. Hope you are well. How about posting some photos of those raised bed veggies for us Northern folk to salivate over.

Re: Raised beds (yet more)

Thanks for the details. I was curious about how the structure is held together at the corners. The Lee Valley raised bed kit page clarifies the point: http://www.leevalley.com/garden/page.aspx?c=2&p=47455&cat=2

Now I'm wondering what mushroom manure is. Maybe you should post a little story about it.

Even veteran gardeners get excited about the prospect of a whole new gardening season. I, for example, am waiting for my salad garden to produce. I've had next to no salad since last fall. Just can't see paying money for that insipid stuff at the grocery...

Re: Raised beds (yet more)

These are reallly nice, Peter. Can you tell us more about the materials and the construction? What's going on at the corners? Also, how high are they?

Re: The Starter Garden

Small and midsized tomatoes do best for me, too. As for beans, I plant some of each, but prefer the pole beans. I think you can avoid the pest problem with your beans if you plant them late, say June 15-30. Your pole beans should produce from August to frost if you keep them picked. For the zukes, maybe a light netting might keep the pests away.

Re: Seed Starting in Speedling Trays

Your plants are probably too far from the light source. If you can, either lower it or raise the plante up.

Re: A Kitchen Garden on the White House Lawn

Yikes, you're right. How could they not plant tomatoes??? Here's a little post on the topic: http://organicgardening.about.com/b/2009/03/27/tomatoes-and-the-white-house-garden.htm

Re: Video: Fridays at the Farm

Thanks, Kate, for posting this. Anyone who is gardening with kids (or has gardened with kids) should definitely take a look.

Re: Build a Potting Bench

The plan download page is live now on this page: http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/4691. Or click on the plan image near the start of this article.

Re: Build a Potting Bench

RBG, I'm reworking the article to add more information. A new related article will have a materials list, a cut list, and a detailed plan drawing with step-by-step instructions. Check back in a day or two, please.

Re: Video: Composting Made Easy

Yes, I read the article, and I'm a big fan of slow gardening (though you won't find a bottle tree on my lawn). For me, it's a lifelong learning experience, and if something doesn't work one year, I just try it a little differently the next. Check out Lee Reich's video about leaf mold on FineGardening.com: http://www.finegardening.com/videos/index.aspx?id=102298&c=2

It's pretty much what I've been doing for years. I may turn the pile now and again, but when the kids were growing up, the compost pile was on its own, for sure.

Re: A Freestanding Tomato Trellis Improves Yields and Keeps the Garden Neat


Okay, everybody, check the article again. The box at the end has links to the plans.

Re: A Freestanding Tomato Trellis Improves Yields and Keeps the Garden Neat

Oops. Sorry about the missing dimensioned drawing and detailed building instructions. I'm going to build it into the page in the next day or two.

Re: my 2008 garden pools

What a great idea. Growing veggies in some serious containers. Once the kids outgrow them as pools, they still have a useful life.

Re: All About Pickling Cucumbers

Yes, I can see how you would expect to find that info in this article, given the title. "Pickling cucumbers" in this case refers to the type of cucumber, not the method of preserving them.

For information on pickling the cucumbers, try this article:
http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/2523/zesty-garden-pickles

See the links to the recipes for ingredients and quantities.

Re: The First Day of Spring, 2004

Here's an article on how I start lettuce:
http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/3911/grow-lettuce-from-seed

Re: The First Day of Spring, 2004

I like to start my lettuces inside, but you don't have to. You can direct-seed into the garden; exactly when to do it is a little trickier. In my experience, you can rush the season, but if you plant a couple of weeks later, those plants quickly catch up to the early birds. I sow seeds for spinach around mid-April; radishes and arugula mid-April through mid- to late May (in two or three plantings); lettuce maybe mid-April; cress mid-April. Try to dig a spade into your planting bed. If the earth is clumpy, it's too early to plant.

Re: An Artichoke Among the Sages

Nice photos, Shirley. My Zone 6 garden is probably not ideal for growing artichokes, but I'm trying them anyway (for the first time). Five seeds have sprouted so far. Stay tuned.

Re: The First Day of Spring, 2004

Don't despair, Pellice. Help is at hand. If you click on the Grow It tab at the top of this page, you'll find lots of articles that can help you. I've just come in from my garden on this lovely 60-degree Saturday, and things are sprouting everywhere. This being New England, though, it would be a mistake to conclude that spring is at hand. You are right to start out with a small garden, I think. That way it won't get out of hand. I don't start beets or spinach inside, but I'll be starting lettuce tomorrow or next week. I'm in SW Connecticut, and I plant spinach in mid-April, usually, and beets in the first or second week of May.

Re: Planning Your First Vegetable Garden

Welcome to VegetableGardener, TPS. I've never grown tomatoes in containers, upside-down or otherwise, so I can't help much there. As to location in the garden, get them as much sun as possible. The summer sun is very high in the sky at midday, so planting on the south side may not shade the other plants as much as you think.

There are a lot of tomato articles on the site. Use this link to locate them: http://www.vegetablegardener.com/grow-it/tag/tomatoes

Re: The blank slate

It's level and it's near the house, two big advantages. I hope you'll post more photos as the dream turns into reality.

Re: Extend the Seasons with a Cold Frame

Nice post, Chris. I haven't used a cold frame in a long time, but I might cobble something together this spring. Many years ago, though, we used to put hay bales wrapped in plastic around the foundation of our house to help insulate in winter. In spring, I used some of the bales to make a little cold frame. An old window frame became the top. I used this little structure mostly to harden off seedlings, and when I no longer needed it, I used the hay as mulch or just composted it.

Re: Grow Lettuce from Seed

That's a nice idea, Shirley. I tend to use the block approach, but hey, whatever works for you is fine. The lettuces certainly don't care one way or the other.