WesternGardener

Jodi Torpey, Denver, CO, US
contributor

gardening interests: Container Gardening, Cooking, Culinary Herbs, Edible Landscaping, Herbal Crafts, Organic Gardening, Sustainable Living, Urban Gardening, Vegetables, gardening in a dry climate

Member Since: 10/13/2009


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How to Avoid Herbicide Carryover

Do you use straw, grass clippings or animal manure in your vegetable garden? If so, you need to take steps to keep herbicide contamination from harming your plants.

Are You America’s Best Vegetable Gardener?

You can win a wheelbarrow full of green if your vegetable garden is the winner of America’s Best Gardener contest, presented by Seedlingers. Vegetable garden entries have a chance to win $10,000 cash and other prizes.

Vegetable Seeds for Easter Baskets

Let the Easter bunny plant the seeds of gardening by adding a few vegetable seed packets to the basket this year.

Insect Pest Warning System for Vegetable Gardeners

Wouldn't it be nice to know when to expect an invasion of insect pests to your vegetable garden? Then The Big Bug Hunt needs you!

The Foodscape Revolution

If you’ve been relegating your fruits, vegetables and herbs to the backyard garden, it’s time to rethink that vegetable gardening approach. Foodscaping is the vegetable gardening trend that encourages gardeners to mix edible plants with ornamentals throughout the landscape.

General Mills Buys Kernza’s Long Roots

The Land Institute, near Salina, Kan., has worked since 1976 to research and develop perennial grains for a more sustainable agricultural system. Kernza, wheat’s wild perennial cousin, is now tame enough to be an ingredient in cereals and snacks.

Sponges Make Seed Sprouting Seem Like Magic

Seeds can sprout just about anywhere, even on colorful sponges. This easy indoor gardening project is a fun way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and other spring holidays.

Shed Stress with a Beautiful Backyard Escape

Erika Kotite’s new book, She Sheds: A Room of Your Own, will help you imagine a beautiful retreat in your own backyard. The 23 featured sheds will inspire you to turn an ordinary shed into a small sanctuary.

Vegetable Winners Make Gardening Easier

The 2017 All-America Selections winners are ready for this gardening season. Planting these winners is one of the first steps to vegetable gardening success.

Soil Blocks Simplify Seed Starting

If you’ve given up on seed starting, you might try using soil blocks this season. This seed-starting method can help improve your chances for vegetable gardening success.

Hudson Valley Starts Center for Seed Stewardship

After 12 years as Hudson Valley Seed Library, the company has a new name, new logo and a new nonprofit dedicated to protecting our seed resources.

Homemade Kombucha Know-how

Whether you’ve been enjoying kombucha for years or you’re new to the idea of drinking fermented sweet tea, The Big Book of Kombucha is your complete guide to the art of brewing and enjoying this healthful beverage.

How to Avoid 10 Common Vegetable Gardening Mistakes

When it comes to gardening, experience is the best teacher. But what if you prefer to avoid the trial-and-error method of vegetable gardening? Help is on the way.

All Hail Kale for 2017

The National Garden Bureau has spoken and named 2017 the Year of the Brassica. Now’s the time to start planning how to celebrate all the delicious nutritious cole crops in your vegetable garden this spring.

Share the Gardening Love

Now’s the time to help kids get connected, just not to the latest technology. Pull the plug and take the American Horticultural Society’s pledge to find ways to share your love of gardening with the children in your life.

Resolve to Enjoy Fermented Vegetables in the New Year

One of the newest healthy food trends this year is also one of the oldest. Fermented foods, like sauerkraut, are good for you, and they’re also just plain good. Here's all you need to get started.

What Vegetable Gardeners Need to Know About GMO Seeds

Here's what vegetable gardeners need to know about GMOs (genetically modified organisms) before going seed shopping this season.

Yuletide Plants from the Global Garden

The plants we like to grow in our gardens hold special symbolism at Christmas time. Many of our favorite fruits, berries and nuts are much more than sweet treats we enjoy in December.

Holiday Gifts from Gardeners

Lists for holiday gifts for gardeners are just about everywhere you look this month. But here’s a list with a twist: ideas for gifts from vegetable gardeners, like you.

Add Your Garden Reflections

As the 2016 gardening year draws to a close, let’s spend some time reflecting on the state of our vegetable gardening efforts. Here are three questions to help you get started.

How to Be a Happy Gardener

Late Bloomer, by Jan Coppola Bills, arrives just in time to encourage gardeners to ignore their sore backs and bad knees so they can keep gardening. Her helpful gardening book is a hybrid that mixes practical how-to tips with a lifetime of garden philosophy.

Tips for Keeping a Waste Free Kitchen

This holiday season is the ideal time to rethink your approach to cooking and eating. It’s easy to get started with "Waste Free Kitchen Handbook" by Dana Gunders.

Mauro Seed’s Growing Mission

Mauro Seed is a family-owned business with a single mission at its core: Giving. For every heirloom seed packet the company sells, one packet is donated to someone in need. In recognition of Mauro Seed’s commitment to helping others, the Tennessean and USA Today Network recently presented Dave Mauro with a 2016 Your Town Nashville Award for businesses that do good work in the community.

Gardening by the Moon

Even though it’s November, there may be time for some vegetable planting, especially if you believe in gardening by the moon.

How to Start a Food Swap

Do you have a hankering to put more homemade edibles on your pantry shelf while building community at the same time? Then it’s time to learn how to start a food swap.

Another Look at Lasagna Mulching

The idea of a no-dig garden that builds rich soil sounds like a perfect solution for organic vegetable gardeners. But does lasagna mulching really work?

Top Tomato Choices for 2016

The end of summer is a good time to evaluate what grew well in the garden and make a few notes for next season. Here's my tomato roundup for 2016.

Save Tomato Seeds the Easy Way

I've found a way to save heirloom tomatoes that takes a few minutes, but yields great results. All you need is a paper towel and a pen.

Grow Ghost Peppers for Heat and Flavor

Bhut Jolokia, also called the Ghost Pepper, is one of the hottest peppers in the world. At more than 1,000,000 Scoville Heat Units, vegetable gardeners are warned to be careful growing, handling, and eating them.

Small Batch Fermentation Made Simple

Fermenting is the age-old method for preserving fruits and vegetables and making pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi and more. Here's a DIY fermenting kit to help vegetable gardeners get started with small batches of tasty, healthy foods.

A Celebration of Heirloom Vegetables

The National Heirloom Expo, billed as The World's Pure Food Fair, wrapped up three days of celebrating the entire heirloom industry. Here's a taste of what you missed.

Container Garden Pepper Roundup for 2016

This gardening season I grew seven different kinds of peppers in the container garden on my patio. Here’s the annual roundup to consider for next gardening season.

Candyland Tomatoes Make a Sweet Garden Treat

One of the newest award winners from All-America Selections is a currant-size tomato named for the classic children’s board game. These tomatoes are sweet and fun to grow.

It's Time to Celebrate Tomatoes

A tomato fest was the perfect way to celebrate National Farmers Market Week in Longmont, Colo. From tomato taste-off to specialty tomato recipes, it was a day to show some love to one of our all-time favorite fruits.

How Eggplant Got its Name

It’s easy to take for granted the vegetables we grow in our gardens today. But each one started as a wild plant that needed to be tamed. Here’s how eggplants found their way into our vegetable gardens.

Measuring the Miracle in Miracle Plant Foods

This gardening season I tested the marketing claims made by three different companies in side-by-side trials. Were the results exceptional and miraculous? Was I able to grow more beautiful plants? Here’s what I found.

Make Fresh Summer Drinks with Shrubs

One of the ways folks preserved their fresh fruits in Colonial times was by making shrubs, a fruit, sugar and vinegar drink they could spike with brandy or rum. It's time for these old-fashioned drinks to make a delicious comeback.

How to Make Watermelon Rind Pickles

You can make the most of your watermelon harvest by picking the rind to enjoy later. Here's a simple method for making these sweet refrigerator "pickles."

How to Enjoy The Cocktail Hour Garden

After all those hours planting and tending the vegetable and herb garden, it’s finally time to start enjoying it. C.L. Fornari’s newest book offers ideas for putting garden-fresh herbs to delicious use – with a twist.

Herb Gardening with Cuban Oregano

Cuban oregano is an easy-to-grow herb that goes by many names and has an especially distinctive flavor. Besides being a tasty replacement for regular oregano, the succulent leaves can be used as a natural insect repellant.

Gardeners Dig Country Living

Fans of the country lifestyle flock together every year to celebrate a simpler way of life. The fair in Rhinebeck, N.Y., in early June offered vegetable gardeners something old, something new, something edible that’s blue.

The Culinary Herbal for Vegetable Gardeners

A vegetable garden isn’t complete without a good selection of culinary herbs growing side-by-side. In Susan Belsinger’s new book, VegetableGardener.com’s own flavor artist helps gardeners find ways to grow and preserve 97 flavorful herbs.

Rosies Workwear Ready for Gardening

I’d never owned a pair of bib overalls until I heard from Rosies Workwear for Women. These comfortable gardening overalls and coveralls are specially made for any woman who has a “can-do attitude.”

Great Gardening Gifts for Father's Day

If the guy in your life spends most of the summer tending the vegetable garden, why not give him a hand? As in hand him a few new gardening tools like these.

Meet Tara Nolan, Raised Bed Revolutionary

Tara Nolan knows how to raise the profile of a traditional vegetable garden into something special. Her new book leads the charge for gardeners wanting to join the "Raised Bed Revolution."

New Recipe Ideas for Garden Vegetables

At a recent vegetable gardening event, guests sampled a variety of recipes meant to stretch a gardener’s creativity and a food lover’s palate. Here are new ways to enjoy some of your favorite garden vegetables, with a twist.

Vegetable Garden Planner for Confusing Climates

Have you ever wondered when to start your vegetable seeds indoors? Puzzled over when to plant the spring or fall vegetable garden? Then Clyde’s Garden Planner is the tool for you.

Take a Tour of Baker Creek's Spring Planting Festival

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds celebrated its 16th annual Spring Planting Festival in style. Thousands of vegetable gardeners spent May 1 and 2 shopping for heirloom fruits, vegetables and herbs to signal the start of the 2016 vegetable gardening season.

How to Choose Tomatoes for your Garden

It’s safe to say there are more kinds of tomatoes to plant this year than ever before. With so many old heirlooms, new cultivars and special hybrids on the market these days, how can a vegetable gardener decide what to plant?

How to Get Kids to Eat their Vegetables

Are you looking for a new way to get kids interested in broccoli, carrots and beets? Here’s how Michele Soulek of Casper, Wyo., uses her vegetable garden in a delicious new way.

How to Grow Cabbage Creatively

Think cabbage is just for growing in big gardens? Think again. Cabbage plants can a new dimension to ornamental plantings.

How to Plant for Pollinators

Celebrate National Lawn Care Month by replacing some of your lawn with pollinator-friendly plants. Lawns are nice, but some of that space could be used to attract needy pollinators to your landscape.

How to Foodscape Your Landscape

It’s easy to transform an ordinary landscape into an incredible edible garden. Here are three steps for growing your own garden of eatin’.

3 Perennial Herbs for Spring Green in the Garden

The most welcome sight in my spring garden are the first perennial herbs to pop up and add some green to the bleak late winter scene. These three make for reliable container gardens.

How Gardening Helps us Heal

Jenny Peterson’s new book, "The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion," is filled with insight and inspiration for turning gardening into a healing experience.

Meet Botanical Illustrator Susan Rubin

Have you ever admired the beautiful botanical illustrations featured on Botanical Interests' vegetable and herb seed packets? Here’s your chance to get to know one of the artists.

Make a Lucky Vegetable Gardening Amulet

We’re familiar with the saying “the luck of the Irish,” but other cultures believe in lucky charms, too. Here’s how to create your own lucky amulet for this vegetable gardening season.

Miracle Fruit Party Fools Taste Buds and Guests

Everyone knows what it’s like to take a big bite from a lemon or a lime. But if you eat a 'Synsepalum dulcificum' berry first, you'll taste a real miracle.

Vegetable and Herb Seeds for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show your favorite gardener some love. Candy is nice, but these seeds are sweeter.

Nominate a School Garden for The Seed Keeper Project

The Seed Keeper Project is recognizing school gardens across the country, and your school garden could be a big winner. During the next five weeks, you can nominate any school garden in your state to win a prize package to help encourage kids to keep planting, growing, and eating their vegetables.

Gardeners Dig Flower and Garden Shows

The season is almost here – the flower and garden show season, that is. There’s always so much to see, do and smell that it takes planning to get it all done. Here are tips for making the most of your time at the show.

Let’s Celebrate the International Year of Legumes

Legumes are such an important food crop, the United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Legumes. Join us in celebrating these important plants and their fruits by adding more peas, beans and clovers to your vegetable garden.

Seedsheet’s Remarkable Growth

Seedsheet started last year with the seed of an idea and a Kickstarter fundraising campaign. Vegetable gardeners responded to make the Seedsheet a big success.

Pick a Vegetable Growing Resolution for 2016

Happy New Gardening Year to you! It’s normal to be both excited and overwhelmed at the prospect of planning and planting a new vegetable garden. Instead of making a long list of vegetable growing resolutions, why not just pick one of these?

Edible Gifts from the Vegetable Garden

If you’re looking for some simple last-minute gifts for the holiday season, look no farther than your vegetable or herb garden. Dried herbs, peppers and winter produce are edible gifts that are especially appreciated this time of year.

Deep-Rooted Wisdom Book Review

In "Deep-Rooted Wisdom," Jenks Farmer asks readers “Who taught you to garden?” If you weren’t the beneficiary of gardening knowledge from family members or neighbors, you’ll appreciate the lessons from this book.

Cardone is a Special Vegetable

Cardone, also called cardoon, is a vegetable that looks like celery, needs cooking before eating and is considered a delicacy at Christmas time.

Heirloom Harvest Preserves the Beauty of Vegetables

Year after year vegetable gardeners strive to grow the most colorful vegetables including yellow peppers, purple eggplants, orange pumpkins and ripe-red tomatoes. But after spending time lost among the silvery images in Amy Goldman’s new book, you’ll never look at vegetables the same way.

Fast Growing Greens Ready to Eat

If you planted a container of garlic indoors in early November, the first batch of greens is ready for harvest. Here are 10 ways to use these inexpensive herbs to add flavor to your Thanksgiving menu.

Is Growing Ketchup ‘n’ Fries a Good Idea?

When I planted a Ketchup ‘n’ Fries grafted tomato-potato plant in spring, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Now that the harvest is over, it’s time to find out if that plant lived up to its name.

How to Make Hot Pepper Sauce

What’s a gardener to do when the season isn’t long enough for Tabasco peppers to turn ripe-red? Make vinegar pepper sauce instead.

Indoor Gardening with Garlic Greens

Come grow with me! Summer gardening is over, so let's move our gardening indoors and grow some garlic greens together.

An Asian Market Tour Serves Up Vegetable Inspiration

A guided tour through the endless aisles of a large Asian market serves as inspiration for next season’s vegetable garden. Join in and you might find something you’d like to add to your spring planting list, too.

Colorful NuMex Easter Peppers Always Changing

NuMex Easter ornamental chile peppers, an All-America Selections winner for 2014, lived up to its name. As these small peppers ripened, they turned from lavender to light yellow to orange.

Gardening for the Homebrewer Book Review

Fall’s the perfect time to take the garden harvest and transform it into flavorful beers, wines, ciders and a little-known recipe for “the champagne of Britain.”

Seed Saving Tips from Seeds Trust

Fall is the perfect time for vegetable gardeners to collect seeds from the plants they’d like to grow again. Julia Coffey, seed steward and owner of Seeds Trust, shares her tips for seed saving – and why saving seeds is like saving the world.

Root Pruning Ripens Green Tomatoes

It's an age-old vegetable gardening question: How can I get green tomatoes to ripen faster? Root pruning is one way to help speed up the ripening process.

Square Foot Gardening Turns 40

The revolutionary vegetable gardening method called Square Foot Gardening is having a big anniversary in 2016. Here’s how you can help Mel Bartholomew celebrate his remarkable achievement.

Patio Pepper Roundup for 2015

It’s time for the annual pepper roundup in my patio garden. Here are some of the top picks for the 2015 gardening season.

Container Tomato Yields Big Results

In a surprise victory for small-space vegetable gardeners, a container-grown tomato won the largest tomato contest at a local garden center and a $100 gift card payday.

Cate’s Garden Pruning Shears Review

Every gardener I know is always on the lookout for tools to make typical gardening tasks easier. That’s why I grabbed the chance to test two new pruning shears from Cate’s Garden.

Small Winter Squash for Small-Space Gardens

Small-space gardeners rejoice! Seed companies have taken a special interest in offering plants that can grow just about anywhere, like these adorable 'Climbing Honey Nut' baby butternut squashes.

Try This Edible Ornamental Basket

Small-space gardeners know how important it is to make the most of every inch in the vegetable garden. This edible ornamental hanging basket combines two plants with delicious fruits, flowers and foliage.

Take a Tour of DeLaney Community Farm

DeLaney Community Farm, located in Aurora, Colo., isn’t a typical Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) enterprise. Shareholders receive fresh, organic food weekly and also volunteer a set number of hours during the growing season. Here’s a peek of what’s buzzing on the farm during a typical summer day.

Fish Peppers are Edible and Ornamental

Whether you have to be a small-space gardener or garden on a small scale by choice, it makes sense to grow plants with more than one feature. An heirloom hot pepper plant with a funny name offers at least two beautiful reasons to appreciate it.

Vegetable Gardening with Container Eggplants

Would you like to change your vegetable viewpoint when it comes to eggplant? These miniature fruits will certainly add new interest to your small-space vegetable garden.

Online Cooking Classes for Vegetable Gardeners

If you grow herbs, greens and assorted vegetables, chances are you’re always looking for fresh and easy recipes to help make the most of them. A new set of online cooking classes, priced at a reasonable $5 each, will surely inspire you to try something new.

How to Repel Mosquitoes While Gardening

Gardening in summer can be tough enough without having to deal with annoying insects, like mosquitoes. Instead of swatting these pests away, you can serve them up as a dragonfly buffet with a Thermacell area mosquito repellent.

How to Plant a Milk Crate

Would you like to grow a “crate to plate” garden? It turns out that milk crates are the perfect size for growing vegetables and herbs in a container garden.

Beginning Gardeners will Love the Seedsheet

If you’d like to plant a vegetable garden, but don’t have a clue where to start, the Seedsheet is for you.

Perennial Egyptian Walking Onions Plant Themselves

Many gardeners plant onions in their vegetable gardens each season. But Egyptian walking onions need to be planted only once to give gardeners onions every year.

Giant Pumpkin Growing Started Small

The giant pumpkins we see at today’s weigh-offs have their roots in contests that date back more than 150 years. If you’re dreaming of growing a giant pumpkin this season, here’s a little historical inspiration on how it all got started.

How to Diagnose Tomato Problems

If you’ve ever wondered what’s wrong with your tomato plants, you need Tomato MD. This easy-to-use interactive app takes the guesswork out of diagnosing 35 different problems that affect tomato plants -- and what to do about them.

Benefits of Container-grown Sandy Lettuce

If you're looking for a new lettuce to try this season, why not plant some 'Sandy' lettuce? Despite its name, this All-America Selections winner is tender, sweet and grows exceptionally well in patio containers.

New 'Roxanne' Radish Certainly is a Winner

All-America Selections picked a real winner when it selected 'Roxanne' radish for the 2015 season. This hybrid radish offers everything a vegetable gardener could ask for and in record time.

Keeping Insect Pests Out of the Vegetable Garden

About 90 percent of the insects you see in your garden won’t cause plants any significant harm. Here are organic tips for handling the 10 percent that do.

Plant Scented Geraniums for Flavorful Meals

While planting the vegetable garden this year, be sure to add a few scented geranium plants. They're as lovely in the garden as they are tasty in garden-fresh recipes.

How to Prevent Food Waste

One way to celebrate Earth Day this year is to find ways to reduce food waste. Experts say that as much as half of all of the fresh fruits, vegetables and other fresh produce bought in the U.S. goes to waste. Here are a dozen ways to keep fresh vegetables in the fridge and out of the landfill.

Plant an Early Spring Container Garden

The harvest for tasty greens and ripe radishes is only a few weeks away if you plant containers of some of the fastest growing edibles around.

Grow Herbs for a Spa Experience

A luxurious spa experience awaits you. All you need is The Herb Lover’s Spa Book and some fragrant herbs from your garden.

New Vegetable Grafting Mirrors Old Solanum Experiments

What do you get when you cross a tomato with a potato plant? If you answered the new Ketchup ‘n’ Fries plant from Territorial Seed Company, you’re right.

How to Grow Micro Greens Indoors--Part Two

If you planted your micro greens with me last week, your sprouts should have already popped up with their seed leaves called cotyledons.

How to Grow Micro Greens Indoors

Would you like to join me in a delicious indoor gardening project? Let’s grow a container of fresh and tasty micro greens indoors. Plant along with me and you’ll be enjoying fresh greens in about two weeks.

Grow Herbs with a Miniature Aquaponics System

What do you get when you combine hydroponics with aquaculture? A self-cleaning fish tank that grows real food, without the need for any soil or fertilizer.

Rethinking the Spring Vegetable Garden

When the vegetable garden is covered by a thick, fluffy blanket of snow, the blank slate gives gardeners a chance to think. And rethink. Here are four vegetable gardening ideas to consider for your garden this spring.

How to Create Vegetable Centerpieces

Vegetables aren’t just for eating, they make beautiful decorations, too. Here’s how to create tasty table centerpieces using fruits and vegetables in place of fresh flowers.

Powerful Plants Help Get Children in the Garden

What do you get when you cross one vegetable-growing dad, with colorful animated characters and a free app? You get Powerful Plants, a new way to "edutain" kids about vegetable gardening.

Get Ready for Summer with Renee's Garden Cookbook

The recipes and images from the new Renee’s Garden Cookbook will make any vegetable gardener want summer to get here in a hurry. The cookbook offers more than the promise of many fresh vegetable dishes, it also includes dozens of gardening tips to help make vegetable gardening dreams come true.

Growing Vegetables for Fun and Profit in Denver

A new ordinance allows Denver gardeners to start a farmstand in their front yards. Urban farmers can now sell fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and even eggs in their residential neighborhoods.

Test Old Vegetable Seeds Before Buying New

If you want to save money on your vegetable garden this year, it pays to test your leftover vegetables seeds before investing in packets of new seeds. Use this simple germination test to find out how many new seeds you really need to buy.

Garden-pedia Gives Simple Answers to Tough Gardening Questions

What happens when two experienced horticulturists write a gardening dictionary? Vegetable gardeners get a handy, easy-to-read, entertaining guide to more than 300 useful gardening terms.

Seed Library Membership Has its Benefits

I just renewed my membership with the Hudson Valley Seed Library because of this year’s Community Seed offering. As a long-time vegetable gardener and satisfied library patron, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to be part of the Breed Your Own Zucchini program.

Vegetable Gardening Trends for 2015

As another vegetable gardening year comes to a close, it’s time to look forward to next season. What will these five gardening trends hold in store for 2015?

New Ideas for Indoor Vegetable Gardening

Vegetable gardeners typically spend the winter months dreaming about spring planting. But that could change with Elizabeth Millard’s creative new approach for cultivating an indoor kitchen garden filled with all kinds of fresh herbs and vegetables.

New Crop of Winners for 2015

'Tis the season to start thinking about what to plant in next year's garden. All-America Selections has a delicious new crop of winners for gardeners like you.

No More Gardening Guesswork

If you’ve ever made your own seed tape with paper, glue and small vegetable seeds, you know the tape makes planting faster, easier and in straighter rows. What if you could plan and plant your entire garden that way?

A Thanksgiving Celebration of Vegetables

Let’s give thanks to the early farmers, plant breeders and hybridizers for the vegetable bounty we’re about to enjoy on Thanksgiving. If it weren't for them, we might not have any beautiful, nutritious vegetables to pile on our plates.

Giving Thanks for the Patron Saint of Gardeners

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, let’s recognize the accomplishments of someone who dedicated his life to healing the sick and poor through the power of growing vegetables and herbs.

Natural Fertilizer Boosts Organic Gardening

Organic gardeners are always on the lookout for all-natural, multi-purpose products that can be used to improve their gardening efforts. As it turns out, one old-fashioned fertilizer could be your perfect cup of tea.

#Garden365 Encourages Year-round Gardening

The calendar may read November, but there are still plenty of vegetable gardeners gearing up for planting. A new push for year-round gardening is helping to support gardeners who want to grow 365 days a year.

Prepare Fall Garden for Spring Planting

While you’re harvesting the last of this year’s vegetable garden, it’s time to think spring. Now’s the time to prepare the soil for next season’s bountiful harvest.

How to Make Tomato Sauce

If you have too many tomatoes, why not make tomato sauce? Here’s a simple process for turning a bumper crop of homegrown tomatoes into an unbelievably tasty tomato sauce.

Plant a Beautiful Vegetable Garden

Now’s the time to start dreaming about the vegetable garden you want to grow next season. One demonstration garden in Palmer, Alaska, is blooming with possibilities to help get you started.

How to Create a Kitchen Ecosystem

Food writer Eugenia Bone explains how to turn an ordinary kitchen into an ecosystem. The first step is to create a perpetual pantry that’s stocked with homemade and high-quality ingredients.

Can You Top this Cabbage?

The winner of the 2014 Giant Cabbage Weigh-off at the Alaska State Fair tipped the scale at almost 118 pounds. One of the premier events at the fair, the cabbage contest draws world-wide attention.

Alaska Vegetable Garden Offers Food for All

The flowers, vegetables and herbs growing on the grounds of the Salvation Army office in Palmer, Alaska, is open to passersby who’d like to harvest fresh, local food from the raised beds. An effort of Grow Palmer, the garden encourages folks “take what you need and take time to pull a weed.”

Roundup of the Top Tomatoes for 2014

A late start, continued unseasonably cool weather and drenching rains early in the season meant tomatoes had a difficult time this year. The vegetable garden eventually came around and there were plenty of tomatoes to enjoy. Here are my top picks for 2014.

Simple Way to Preserve Fresh Zucchini

Sure, you’re tired of eating zucchini now, but this winter you may find yourself longing for the taste of some vegetables from your garden. Here’s the easiest way I’ve found for preserving some of your bountiful squash harvest.

Sweet Herb Planter Yields Just Desserts

A combination of sweet mint and pineapple sage means many sweet summertime treats. Here’s how to grow a sweet herb planter and how to enjoy the results.weet

Toss a Tomato Tasting Party

If you want to be the most popular gardener in your neighborhood, plan an end-of-season tomato tasting party. It’s a great way to make friends, celebrate the harvest and find new tomato varieties to plant in your garden next year.

Plant a Pizza Garden in a Pot

One easy way to make the most of your small space vegetable garden is to plant an edible theme garden. My pizza garden in a pot has made for delicious results.

Squirrel Tree Bears Fruit

Most gardeners work hard to keep squirrels out of their vegetable gardens. But sometimes one of the little critters can offer a pleasant surprise.

Eating Bugs for Fun

Even if you've been vegetable gardening for a just a short time, you've probably tasted a few bugs without knowing it. Now’s your chance to sample beetle larvae, crickets and mealworms for the fun of it at the 2014 edition of the Denver County Fair.

Plant an Edible Ornamental Hanging Basket

Why choose between an ornamental garden or an edible one? Here’s a simple planting idea for a different take on a hanging basket.

Vegetable Gardening in the Rocky Mountain Region

Mid-summer is a good time to evaluate your vegetable gardening efforts. If the garden isn’t living up to your expectations, you might want to turn to a new book that will help you “Plant, Grow and Eat the Best Edibles for Rocky Mountain Gardens.”

Salute to Tomatoes in Patriotic Hues

In honor of Independence Day, here’s my salute to the red, white and blue—tomatoes, that is.

A Perfectly Portable Potting Bench

Would you like a simple summer project? Then dust off that old ironing board and re-purpose it as a portable potting bench. A coat of paint is all you need.

New Ideas in Vertical Vegetable Gardening

Vining vegetables, from pole beans to tomatoes, need a strong trellis to keep the fruit growing up. In addition to manufactured vertical gardens, DIYers can stretch their creativity for getting their gardens off the ground.

How to Pollinate Zucchini by Hand

If you’ve noticed the fruits of your zucchini plants are dying on the plant, you may need to take an active hand in pollination. Here are some tips to help you get started.

New Book for Gardeners: The Soil Will Save Us

If you’re worried about the climate crisis, it’s time to stop looking at the thermometer and start looking beneath your feet. Kristin Ohlson helps us discover how the health of our planet depends on the health of our soils in her important new book.

How to Grow Eggplant in a Container

It might be less popular than its cousin the tomato, but eggplant has a great personality. This versatile veggie grows on a beautifully ornamental plant, grows lovely lavender flowers and is easy to grow in a patio container.

Sage Gardening Advice from the Past

Publishers release dozens of new gardening books each year and gardeners scoop them up as fast as they hit the shelves. The earliest gardeners didn't have that same opportunity, until about 1000 years ago.

Grow Stevia for a Sweet Summertime Treat

Stevia is an herb that can be grown in containers, raised bed gardens or other sunny spaces. Use the leaves fresh as a sweet tea or dry to use as a natural calorie-free sweetener that’s about 300 times as sweet as sugar.

The Heirloom Garden at Fort Lupton

Step into the heirloom vegetable garden at the Fort Lupton historical site and you’ll get a taste of what Colorado was like in 1836. The fort is located on the original site of the fur trading post about 30 miles northeast of Denver.

Vegetable Gardeners Gain Skills, Earn Badges

If you’ve always wanted to become a Master Gardener, but never had the time for a classroom experience, there’s a new program just for you. The Certified Gardener Mastery Badge Program from CSU Extension is an online educational program designed to increase your gardening knowledge and improve your gardening skills.

Three Easy Ideas for Spring Planting

You don’t want to miss a whole season of gardening do you? Here are three easy ways to get a start on your spring planting today.

Time for Spring Planting

If you’ve never planted a spring garden, it’s time to get growing. Now’s the time to start sprinkling seeds like lettuces, spinach, chard and more.

New Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Mountain States

A new vegetable gardening book by Idaho author Mary Ann Newcomer is designed to help gardeners grow great gardens in spite of difficult conditions in the Rocky Mountain Region. She advises vegetable gardeners to "start small and dream big."

Chocolate Covered Jalapenos are Hot Seller

I thought I’d heard of everything a gardener could do with home-grown jalapenos until I saw them dipped in chocolate. Here’s a tasty new idea for your garden from the Chicago Flower and Garden Show.

Three New Peppers for 2014

Thanks to All-America Selections, gardeners can add three new and colorful peppers to their gardens this season. The lineup includes a Regional Winner that’s specifically meant for the Mountain and Southwestern regions.

Container Cabbage How-To

Would you like a new challenge for this season’s vegetable garden? Plant and grow cabbage in your container garden. Here’s how.

The Potato Garden Catalog Review

The Potato Garden catalog is more than a no-frills listing of the dozens of potatoes gardeners can add to their spring gardens. The catalog gives simple, step-by-step instructions that make it easy for beginners to get started.

The Online Greenhouse Catalog Review

Don’t let the company’s name fool you. The Online Greenhouse is more about the Green and less about the House. Sustainable should be its middle name.

How to Grow Dry Shelling Beans

The season for home-made chili and soups is still in full swing, and it seems every dish is full of beans. I’ve been using store-bought dried beans, but it would be more satisfying to add home-grown beans to the mix. Here are the basics for growing dry shelling beans in your vegetable garden.

New Fruits and Vegetables for 2014

An heirloom tomato that’s a hybrid! Ornamental Chard! The world’s biggest beefsteak! These are just a few of the new ideas tempting vegetable gardeners this season. And don’t forget the skinniest apple trees you’ve ever seen.

Three Things for Spring Vegetable Gardening

What’s a good way to pass the time while waiting for the snow to melt and the ground to thaw? It’s thinking about ways to make vegetable gardening easier this season.

Sweet Seeds for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to plan on adding something sweet to your garden this year. Here are some luscious plants to make you fall in love.

How to Choose Chile Peppers for Your Garden

You may not have realized this, but chile peppers are just like fine wines. Each kind adds a flavor complexity that can either enhance or detract from a meal. Learn how to choose the right chiles to plant, grow and enjoy with the Chile Flavor Wheel from the Chile Pepper Institute.

How to Grow a Giant Tomato

The world record for giant tomatoes was set in the 1980s and hasn’t been topped since. If you want to challenge your vegetable gardening skills this summer, why not try to beat the record? Here are tomato-growing tips for getting started now.

Vegetable Gardening Made Easier

Every season the seed and plant catalogs tempt vegetable gardeners with dozens of new varieties. It would be impossible to sort through them all without a little help from our gardening friends.

5 Best Container Gardening Ideas from 2013

As the year draws to a close, it's time to take a look back at lessons learned in the container vegetable garden. Here are the top five "Best Of" ideas from 2013.

A Gardening Library for the Ages

If you like vegetable gardening, and you appreciate history, you’ll enjoy getting lost in the Biodiversity Heritage Library. This online collection of antiquated gardening books is a fascinating look into the rich history of vegetable gardening.

Garden Trials Yield New Vegetable Choices

The results are in from the Harris Seeds annual Home Garden Trials. Vegetable gardeners now have some new green beans, squash and tomato choices for 2014.

Happy New Year of the Cucumber

The National Garden Bureau has christened 2014 as “The Year of the Cucumber,” selecting this edible for recognition in its annual program. There are plenty of ways for gardeners to celebrate with this basket of new varieties to try.

How to Stuff a Pumpkin

Celebrate the season and create a special centerpiece, just like the Pilgrims used to do. This stuffed pumpkin recipe makes a nice holiday side dish or a featured vegetarian entrée.

A Gardener's Collectible: The Whole Heirloom Seed Catalog

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds has produced the “World’s Largest Seed Catalog” for 2014. The catalog is much more than a list of seeds for sale, it’s like a must-have heirloom vegetable encyclopedia for gardeners everywhere.

Old Farmer's Almanac is Still Useful and Entertaining

In 1792, when Robert B. Thomas published the first edition of the Farmer’s Almanack, he couldn’t have imagined it would still be going strong 222 years later. New editions of the book continue to live up to his original promise of providing “new, useful and entertaining matter.”

Making Paper Vegetables for Thanksgiving

Are you feeling a little let down because gardening season is over? Then it’s time to get crafty and make your own vegetables with a little paper and some glue.

What's Day of the Dead without Veggies and Bread?

In many parts of Mexico, South America and the U.S., families are preparing to honor their dear departed ones on November 1 and 2. Fruits, vegetables and special recipes are part of the celebration.

Drying on the Vine

It turns out there’s an alternative to drying tomatoes in the oven or using a vegetable dehydrator in the kitchen. Just let the sun do the work.

Grafted vs. Ungrafted Tomato Report

Gardeners will start seeing more grafted vegetables on the market next season. But are they worth the extra expense? Here are the results of one gardener's side-by-side tomato trial.

Plant Shallots in Fall to Enjoy Next Spring

While you’re planting flower bulbs for springtime color, why not add a few shallot bulbs to the mix? Each bulb you plant will grow clusters of shallots as your fall-planting reward.

Time to Savor Heirloom Flavor

Doreen G. Howard’s new book helps gardeners—especially those who like to cook—explore the joys of growing and enjoying heirloom vegetables, fruits and herbs. She generously shares her Cream of Fresh Tomato soup recipe to demonstrate the delicious difference heirlooms can make.

Small Batch Preserving

Small-batch preserving is perfect for gardeners with small gardens or those with vegetables that don’t ripen all at once. It's also an easy, time-saving alternative to marathon canning sessions. Here's how to fill the freezer with small batches of tomatoes, peppers and zucchini.

The Sweetest Tomatoes Win Top Prizes

The NatureSweet Homegrown Tomato Challenge is back on the calendar this year. Home gardeners in three cities line up to test their tomato-growing skills against others.

A Great Way to Use Zucchini

Every gardener knows that even the smallest zucchini can turn into a five-pound monster overnight. Here’s how one group turns those gigantic summer squash into end-of-summer fun.

Returning Seeds to the Library

The Purple Podded Peas the Hudson Valley Seed Library “lent” me earlier this year are ready to be returned to the library. Seeds will be distributed next season to more library patrons.

16 Tasty Uses for Dill

If you planted dill at the beginning of the season, you’re probably getting ready for a big harvest. Here are 16 creative uses for that easy-to-grow, aromatic herb from Bev Bennett, a Chicago-area recipe developer.

Building Community at the River Street Garden

Community gardens come in all shapes and sizes, and each garden has its own personality. The River Street Community Garden in North Adams, Mass., shows how one small garden can bring many groups of people together.

Easier Composting with the Green Cycler

Have you ever wished for a gardening gadget that would make composting easier? The Green Cycler may be just what you need.

Tomato Cutting Continues to Grow

At the end of last year’s gardening season, I snipped the terminal shoot from a tomato plant, plunked it in a jar of water and kept it over the winter. Here’s how it looks today.

Planting Bolt Resistant Lettuce

I didn’t think it was possible to grow lettuce in the summer, because the heat always caused my crops to bolt. A shady spot has helped extend the season, but variety selection is important, too.

New Bean Adds to Fall Planting

Even though it seems like summer has just arrived, it’s already time to think about fall planting. I feel lucky to be able to add a trial packet of 'Mascotte' bean seeds, a just-announced 2014 All-America Selections winner, to my fall vegetable garden.

Hooray for the Red, White and Purple

The purple podded peas I planted in April have exceeded my expectations to be knee-high by the Fourth of July.

Three Trellis Ideas for Vertical Vegetables

Gardeners with small space gardens can expand plant more if they train their vegetables to grow up. Here are three trellis ideas to consider for your garden.

Garlic Scapes are a Savory Signal

The tall flower stalks that shoot up from the center of a garlic plant are a delicious signal for gardeners. Here’s how to put these tender stalks to good use.

Design a Beautiful Vegetable Garden

Every vegetable garden is beautiful in its own way because each produces delicious edibles that support a healthy lifestyle. But some vegetable garden designs are so striking they deserve special attention.

How to Grow the Ultimate Salad Bowl

Gardeners may wonder if the vegetable on the seed packet or photo in the catalog lives up to its lofty description. Hudson Valley Seed Library’s Ultimate Salad bowl doesn't disappoint.

New Gardening Handbook for Rocky Mountain Gardeners

If you’re new to gardening in the Rocky Mountain region—or you’ve been here a while and still haven’t gotten the hang of it—the "Rocky Mountain Gardener’s Handbook" will help you dig in for a more fruitful experience.

How to Grow Micro Greens

Micro Greens are one of the easiest short-season crops I’ve ever grown. Plant these little gems in early spring, late summer, or early fall for home-grown greens that are ready to harvest in about 25 days.

Grafted Tomato Trials Set to Begin

This year’s gardening trials for Harris Seeds includes a side-by-side comparison of three varieties of grafted heirloom tomatoes versus non-grafted varieties.

Grow More Food in Small Spaces

Why is it the best ideas for solving gardening problems come from creative gardeners? That’s because gardeners, like Margaret Park, are always searching for ways to overcome obstacles, including how to garden in the smallest of spaces.

A Gardener's Guide to Pesticide-Free Produce

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released its new list of the top 12 commercially-grown fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residues. That’s the bad news. The good news is you can grow many of the “Dirty Dozen” organically on your own.

How to Garden Down Under

Gardening is a favorite pastime for people around the globe and every country has its own gardening challenges. Gardeners in Sydney, Australia, have successfully learned how to adapt to the rough conditions Down Under.

How to Protect Your Garden Naturally

If you’re tired of fighting pests in your garden, you need to arm yourself with Ed Rosenthal’s new book. "Protect Your Garden" is a troubleshooting guide for growing a healthy garden for you and your pets.

Grow the Seed that Keeps on Giving

Have you ever participated in a “One Book, One City” reading program in your town? If so, then you’re familiar with the revamped seed-saving membership program at the Hudson Valley Seed Library. Now gardeners across the country will grow and save the same variety each year with the "One Seed, Many Gardens" program.

A Pepper for Every Garden

What would a garden be without peppers? Whether you like them flame-throwing hot or sweet and mild, there’s a pepper for every gardener’s taste. Here are seven of my favorite varieties to try in your garden this season.

Gardening and Geeks Go Together

Garden nerds unite! Christy Wilhelmi’s new book has you in mind as she cheerfully explains the science behind gardening and how to avoid common mistakes. Whether you want to learn how to grow a beautiful and sustainable garden using bio-intensive gardening methods or build a solar food dryer, "Gardening for Geeks" is for you.

How to Start a Worm Farm

These days it seems like almost everyone is talking about keeping chickens in their backyard or raising dwarf goats on their property. If you’re feeling left out, you can start a small farm of your own—a worm farm that is.

Kiss My Aster Graphic Guide to Gardening

If you’re new to gardening, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the books offering expert how-to advice. If you’re looking for something a little different, Amanda Thomsen’s book is meant just for you.

Start a Community Garden Vegetable Donation Program

Community gardeners can reap more than vegetables from their garden beds if they donate some of their harvest to a neighborhood food pantry. Here are the steps to starting a Plant a Row for the Hungry donation program at your garden.

All New Square Foot Gardening

Mel Bartholomew’s new book updates his square foot gardening techniques for the next generation of vegetable gardeners. His classic, best-selling book helps gardeners think inside the box with tips on vertical gardening, gardening with kids and an expanded section on pest control.

The Year of the Watermelon

Thanks to the National Garden Bureau, 2013 is the Year of the Watermelon. New varieties, like ‘Harvest Moon’, are sure to be a big part of the celebration.

Special Seed for High-Altitude Gardening

If you've ever run into problems growing vegetables in your garden, imagine the challenges of gardening at 8,120 feet high. Special circumstances like these call for special high-altitude seed grown by hardy gardeners.

Confusing Seed Terms Defined

Gardeners getting ready for the spring season have many choices when it comes to the kind of seeds they purchase and plant. Here’s how to decide which is the best choice for you.

Harris Seeds Home Garden Catalog

At the beginning of last season, Harris Seeds invited garden writers to trial new vegetable varieties in their gardens in exchange for their candid feedback at the end of the season. The company used the positive evaluations to select some of the vegetable introductions for this year’s gardening catalog.

New Book for Vertical Vegetable Gardening

Small-space vegetable gardeners will appreciate the new book from author and contributing editor Chris McLaughlin. "Vertical Vegetable Gardening" offers dozens of down-to-earth tips for growing up.

2013 Vegetable Seed Catalogs Warm Winter Days

The new crop of seed catalogs have started to fill the mailbox and the cover photos alone are enough to keep a gardener going through many snow-bound days.

A World of Seasonal Spices

Christmas wouldn't be the same without the familiar spices that flavor our favorite cookies, breads, nuts and so much more. Here’s where these traditional spices originated and how to put them to use in a recipe for hot spiced wine.

Tiny Tomatoes for Indoor Gardening

If you have a sunny southern window, you just might be able to enjoy fresh tomatoes through the winter. Tiny Tim is an heirloom variety that’s a perfect “pet tomato” for growing indoors this time of year.

How to Preserve Winter Squash

Now that the Australian Blue winter squash had completed its starring role as a fall decoration, it was time to put it to use in the kitchen. Here’s how to cut and preserve 20-pounds of squash.

A Saffron Crocus Surprise

Warm November temperatures in Zone 5 can lead to some garden surprises, especially with saffron crocus corms planted in October.

National Tie One On Day

Thousands of apron-wearers are set to celebrate National Tie One On Day on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. All you have to do is wrap, write and deliver.

Reader Recap: How Did Your Garden Grow?

What were you happiest with in your garden during the 2012 season? Please share your most successful gardening tips, best plant recommendations and other good growing ideas.

Tips for Preparing Butternut Squash

Many people shy away from using butternut squash in their recipes because they're difficult to prepare for cooking. Here are tips for making this versatile vegetable easy to peel and cut, and recipes for using the finished product.

How to Grow Giant Pumpkins

A new record for giant pumpkins was set this year with a 2009-pounder grown by Ron Wallace of Rhode Island. Can you imagine trying to carve that into a jack-o-lantern for Halloween?

The Baker Creek Vegan Cookbook Review

If you need inspiration to help you add more vegetables to your family’s menu, look no farther than this new cookbook from the folks at the Baker Creek Seed Company.

How to Grow Saffron Crocus

Saffron has a reputation for being the most expensive substance in the world. Here’s how you can grow this ancient spice in your own garden.

Grafted Vegetables Help Grow Bigger Yields

New advances in grafted vegetables mean gardeners can grow healthier plants that produce more fruit Here’s how grafted vegetables might change the way you garden in the future.

Fall Decorating with Vegetables

The fading flowers of summer give gardeners an opportunity to liven up the landscape with the colors of fall. Here are 10 ideas for fall decorating using the fruits and vegetables from your garden.

Use Winter Squash for Halloween

Pumpkins are the traditional decorating choice for Halloween, but why settle for the ordinary when you can have the extraordinary? Here are three unusual winter squash varieties to adorn your autumn table.

Easy Recipe for Candied Jalapenos

Have you ever had a hankering for a condiment that’s a combination of sweet, hot and a little tart? Then this easy recipe for candied jalapenos is sure to suit your taste.

Walking Stick Kale Really Works

In early 2011 I started the seeds of Brassica oleracea longata with the goal of growing a walking stick from Jersey kale. After a year of drying in the basement, the walking stick is now ready to use.

New Vegetable Gardening Ideas for 2013, Part 2

Among the thousands of new gardening products introduced to buyers at the Independent Garden Center (IGC) Show last week, there were dozens I wanted to take home. Here are just four ideas for dressing up your vegetable garden in 2013.

New Vegetable Gardening Ideas for 2013, Part 1

Vendors at the Independent Garden Center (IGC) Show unveiled thousands of new gardening products last week in Chicago. Here’s a preview of what vegetable gardeners can look forward to in 2013.

Recipes for Easy Refrigerator Pickles

It’s easy to transform garden-fresh cucumbers into crisp and crunchy homemade pickles. Here are two simple recipes to help you savor summer even more.

Container Cucumber Report

How well did three different kinds of cucumbers grow in one patio container? Here are the results of the great cucumber experiment of 2012.

Three Prize-Winning Veggie Varieties

With a good growing weather and some beginner’s luck, I brought home three blue ribbons from the county fair. Here are the prize-winning basil, cherry tomato, and pepper varieties you might want to try in your next garden.

Food Fights: Wacky Fun or Wasted Food?

How do you feel about food fights as entertainment? I’d be interested to hear your opinion.

Herb Combinations for Container Gardens

Most gardening containers feature colorful annuals and other blooming plants. Here are some culinary herb combinations you can plant in a jiffy.

Growing Herbs in a Strawberry Pot

A strawberry pot is the perfect size for growing culinary herbs in a small space. Here’s how to plant one with your favorite varieties.

Hot Weather Help for Plants

When the weather heats up, plants need extra help. My mantra? "Mulch like crazy."

Undercover Peas

Some vegetables enjoy a shady spot as much as gardeners do. Here’s an ideas for keeping cool-season crops undercover to help extend the season.

Help for Growing Cucumbers

Cucumber seedlings are especially attractive to garden pests. Here’s how simple mini-greenhouses can outsmart hungry birds and squirrels.

Golden Beets are a Sweet Treat

Golden beets are distinctly different from their red cousins. Their golden yellow color and mild, sweet flavor make them a nice addition to the spring and fall gardens.

How to Grow Pak Choi in a Container

Whether you call it pak choi or bok choi, this Chinese cabbage is an easy-to-grow addition to a container garden and very versatile in the kitchen.

Easy Container-Grown Basil

Basil is a versatile herb for creating quick summer meals. Here’s a super-simple sowing method that guarantees fresh basil all season long.

California Fruit & Vegetable Gardening Book Review

If you want to grow a beautiful and bountiful edible garden in California, Claire Splan’s new book is your guide to success. California Fruit & Vegetable Gardening addresses the challenges gardeners face in the Golden State.

How to Keep Cilantro Fresh

I hated wasting cilantro that had turned mushy, so I experimented with three different ways to keep this herb garden fresh for weeks. Here’s what I found works best.

Front Yard Vegetable Gardening

If you’re tired of spending time and energy growing a green, but inedible front yard, there’s a delicious alternative waiting for you.

New Zucchini and Romaine Recommendations

Are you looking for ways to make gardening a little easier this year? Here are two vegetable varieties that can help.

"Organic Gardener's Companion" Book Review

It is possible to grow an organic vegetable garden in the West. All you need is soil, sun, seeds and Jane Shellenberger’s new book.

Unique Collaboration Grows in Denver

Vegetable gardens are sprouting all over the Denver metro area, thanks to a unique collaboration to grow food in city parks.

'Cayennetta' is New Pepper for 2012

All-America Selections has named the ‘Cayennetta’ pepper a Vegetable Award Winner for 2012. Here’s what you need to know to grow this mildly spicy pepper.

How to Grow Potatoes in a Trash Bag

Potatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. Even if you don’t have a large garden, you can grow potatoes in a 30-gallon trash bag.

How to Grow Wheatgrass for Easter

A packet of wheatgrass seeds is all you need to grow your own grass for an Easter centerpiece.

Year-Round Vegetable Gardening

Four seasons of vegetable gardening sounds like a gardener’s dream come true. Niki Jabbour proves it’s possible in her new book, “The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener.”

Native Seeds/SEARCH Catalog Review

You don’t have to garden in the Southwest to appreciate the work of Native Seeds/SEARCH. The varieties listed in its Seedlisting catalog promote “ancient seeds for modern needs.”

Gardening for Beginners

Katie Elzer-Peters new gardening guide is like a cookbook for beginning gardeners. Her “Beginner’s Illustrated Guide to Gardening” provides all the recipes they need for starting a garden and keeping it growing.

Small-Space Gardening Book Review

If you enjoy reading contributing editor Chris McLaughlin’s weekly posts about vegetable gardening, you’ll love her new book on gardening in small spaces.

Stark Bro's Nurseries and Orchards Catalog Review

Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards continues a long tradition of helping home gardeners grow fruit, nuts, berries and ornamental plants. Every catalog displays its tagline prominently: “A Growing Legacy Since 1816."

Fisher's Seeds Catalog

Longing for an old-fashioned approach to vegetable gardening? Then you’ll appreciate the no-nonsense attitude of the catalog from Fisher’s Seeds in Belgrade, Mont.

Peaceful Valley Seed Catalog

The new seed catalog from Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply is an organic gardener’s complete guide to growing. The catalog features vegetable, herb, and flower seeds and many products to make organic growing easier.

A Chuckle in Every Catalog

Pick up a copy of the Jung Seeds & Plants catalog and prepare to be entertained.

Veggie Trends for 2012

Vegetable gardeners are in for some nice surprises as they get ready for the 2012 gardening season.

Get Ready for Seeding Season

How many leftover seed packets do you have lying around? Here are six ways to make sure you plant only the seeds you need.

Gifts from the Garden

Here are a few ways creative gardeners can harvest holiday gifts from the garden.

I'm Dreaming of a Blue Tomato

One of the new offerings in Territorial Seed Company’s catalog is the “Indigo Rose” tomato that has an incredible purplish-blue skin.

Top 10 Benefits of Leaves

Every bag full of leaves is worth its weight in gold to an organic gardening program. Here are the top 10 reasons why.

Check Out This Library

The Hudson Valley Seed Library is a small, independent seed company that offers nearly 200 varieties of regionally-adapted vegetable, herb and flower seeds. These seeds perform especially well for those who struggle with short-season gardens.

Homegrown Cayenne is a Kick!

Want to add a little zing to your cooking? Then add some cayenne to your next garden.

Tomatoes: Request for Reader Recommendations

So many tomatoes; so little time. Please help me decide which varieties I should grow in my garden next year.

These Plants are Made for Walking

In May I wrote about planting a vegetable that could grow 7 feet in one season. Unfortunately, Denver's weather differs considerably from the climate of the Channel Islands of Jersey.

Raised Bed Gardens Reach New Heights

An unusual take on raised beds means planting space for gardeners at every level.

Orange You Glad I Asked?

Two different stories of how the Amana Orange tomato got its name led me on a hunt for the true story. Here’s how I got to the root of the matter.

Summer Squash Takes the Cake

If you’re tired of hearing family members whine about too much squash on the menu, here’s a sweet solution: let them eat cake.

Heirloom Lovers Unite!

The National Heirloom Exposition celebrated our country’s agricultural heritage with the largest display of heirloom produce imaginable. If you couldn’t join us there, here’s a glimpse of what you missed.

My Fava Bean Saga

Fresh fava beans are usually available only in spring, but a late planting proves summer beans are tasty, too.

Grow Some Spuds in Your Duds

One California mom has found a unique way to get her kids to eat their vegetables.

Chiming in on Mini Bell Peppers

Short growing seasons mean gardeners have to get creative if they want to have some sweet success.

Perfect Pickled Peppers

Pepper plants will keep producing as long as you keep picking the produce. Pickling is an easy way to preserve the flavor of freshly picked peppers.

Get a Can Do Attitude

Too many tomatoes? Can’t keep up with the cukes? Well, now’s the time to get busy canning, freezing, drying, pickling, and fermenting. Oh yes, you can!

Lettuce Grow All Summer Long

Expand your lettuce growing options by creating an inexpensive shade to keep your leafy greens cool during the hottest days of summer.

3rd Annual Weird Veggie and Funny Fruit Contest

Who says Mother Natured doesn’t have a sense of humor? August is the time to see if she helped you grow any oddball vegetables or funny-looking fruit in your garden.

Cool-Season Broccoli Defies Odds

The broccoli plants I transplanted to patio containers in June prove cool-season vegetables can grow in warm weather.

Ready, Set, Count!

Today's the day to join thousands of gardeners across the country for The Great Bee Count.

Good Things Grow in Small Packages

‘Lizzano’ tomato, an All-America Selections vegetable winner for 2011, is a now a favorite in my garden, too.

Add some Zest to your Garden

Tomatillos, a distant cousin to the tomato, are ready to enjoy when the fruits are bright green, firm, and tart.

A Taste of France

French chefs reach for herbes de Provence to season special recipes. Now you can, too.

Experimenting with Fava Beans

Planting a cool-season plant in the heat of summer is just another experiment in the backyard laboratory.

Tiny Gardens Can Grow Anywhere

Whether growing by the square foot or the square inch, there’s room to grow just about anywhere.

Deer Don't Like Basil

As long as gardeners have been gardening, they’ve been trying to keep wildlife from getting to the harvest first. A new book by Ruth Rogers Clausen gives 50 ideas for planting unpalatable plants.

Grow a 7-foot-tall Vegetable

What vegetable looks a little like a palm tree, can grow 7-feet tall in one season, and has a stem so strong it can be used as a baseball bat?

Gardeners Unite Against Hunger

The Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign is in its 16th year of asking gardeners to grow extra produce to help feed the hungry in their communities.

A Cool New Idea in Plant Protector Design

Gardeners who want to extend their growing season in cool climates can benefit from an effective new plant protector design.

Free Fertilizers Within Reach

Banana peels, used coffee grounds, and eggshell tea make for some free fertilizers that plants really love.

Victory Never Gets Old

The Victory Gardens, located in the Fenway area of Boston, provide a glimpse into gardens of the past, present, and future.

Edible Places in Vertical Spaces

If you’re looking for an easy way to expand your vegetable growing options, just Garden Up!

High-tech Vegetable Gardening

Technology is worming its way into the veggie bed giving gardeners new ways to connect.

Lake Valley Seed: Now That's Italian!

Does winter have you longing for a trip to the Mediterranean? If you can’t afford to travel to Italy, here’s the next best thing.

Vegetables Can Break Your Heart

Survey results of 1300 new vegetable gardeners show that despite the hard work and environmental challenges, 91 percent plan to keep on gardening.

Inside View for You

The Root-Vue Farm is a laboratory that lets little (and big) gardeners see what grows on beneath the garden soil.

An Essential Growing Guide

If you plan on growing vegetables in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah or Wyoming, let the "Guide to Rocky Mountain Vegetable Gardening" help you avoid problems before they begin.

Baskets of Blueberries in Colorado?

Colorado's highly alkaline soil makes growing bunches of blueberries impossible, but help is on the way.

Planting Pricey Produce

Why bust the budget buying expensive or hard-to-find produce when you can grow your own?

How to Plant by Color

Gardeners can paint a healthful garden picture by planting a palette of colorful veggies loaded with phytonutrients.

Happy 200th Anniversary Comstock Seeds!

The 2011 seed catalog celebrates the 200th anniversary of Comstock, Ferre & Co., the oldest seed company in New England. The catalog features beautiful old photos and illustrations from the company’s antique seed packets.

Tomato Lovers Need This Catalog

The Tomato Growers Supply Company catalog offers a tomato to suit every gardener’s taste.

BBB Seed Company Doubles Gardening Fun

BBB Seed Company is a small, family-owned business located in Boulder, Colo. Its new catalog features the tagline: "We specialize in beauty for your garden & heirlooms for your health!”

Something to Cheer About

Looking for a tasteful, one-of-a-kind gift for the person who has everything? Why not bottle your own special blend of homemade bitters?

Time to Decorate for the Holly-days

The garden is the perfect place to find materials and inspiration for hand-crafted holiday decorations, like chile pepper angels.

Center Stage Sage

A container of sage planted last spring is finally ready for its starring role in one of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

Picking a Peck of Paprika Peppers

Pepper plants are grown as annuals, but they’re actually perennial plants that can grow indoors during the winter.

To Grow or Not to Grow: That is the Question

More new gardeners joined the home-grown edibles movement this past season than ever before. The big question: will they keep gardening in the future?

Hot Things Come in Little Packages

Casabella peppers are small in size, but big on heat. Here’s one way to tame them.

Adopt a Bat for Halloween

Bats are often portrayed as a scary icon for Halloween, but what’s happening to these fuzzy flying mammals is more terrifying. Here’s how gardeners can help.

My Holy Quest for Mole

‘Holy Molé’ isn’t just an All-America Selections vegetable winner, it’s a pepper grown with only one purpose in mind.

How to use Green Tomates

A bumper crop of green tomatoes signals the end of the gardening season and the beginning using these green gems in my cooking.

Tasting Brussels Sprouts in a New Way

Brussels sprouts are high in fiber and a delicious source of vitamins A and C, especially if they’re prepared as a delicious side dish that people will actually eat.

Squash Mystery Solved

The flying-saucer-shaped scallop squash can be a bit baffling to even seasoned gardeners. But after this gardening season, the mystery is solved.

Trumpeting the Virtue of Vertical Vegetables

Growing up is a great way to get more out of a small garden space. The vines of the Trombetta di Albenga climbing summer squash grow quickly on an arbor or trellis and produce beautiful trumpet-shaped fruit.

Tipsy Tomatoes Create Tasty Drinks

Serve up some fun at an end-of-summer party by using your garden-fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit to create tasty—and trendy—infused vodkas.

A Lazy Gardener's Recipe for Pickled Beans

Having a hard time keeping up with the garden harvest? Too busy to can from scratch? Here’s a lazy gardener’s easy way to pickle beans.

'Tomaccio' Tomatoes Are All Dried Up

The new 'Tomaccio' tomato was specially bred for drying into sweet raisin tomatoes. But the results are disappointing.

Sweet Treats Lives Up to Its Name

The new pink cherry tomato called ‘Sweet Treats’ is genetically different from red cherry tomatoes in the way it looks and tastes.

Got Weird Veggies or Funny Fruit?

The Weird Veggie and Funny Fruit contest is on again this year to find the strangest looking vegetable or fruit you've either grown in your own garden or found at your local farmer's market.

Fashionable Sage is a Wise Choice for the Garden

When horticulture and high fashion meet, the results are chic, stylish and definitely delicious.

Like Two Beans in a Pod

Succession planting is a way to grow more vegetables in garden beds, but it can work in containers, too.

Sow a Little Love for Fall

It's not too late to fall in love with Romeo, if you carefully plan a late season planting.

The Herb that Keeps on Giving

Chives are an easy-to-grow, oniony herb that turns butter into something better.

The Great Garlic Harvest

The lone scape standing gave me the sign to pull out the spading fork. The Great Garlic Harvest was ready to begin.

These Babies are Fun to Grow

The growing trend toward container vegetables has produced some new options for small-space gardening, like these Garden Babies.

Scarecrows are a Gardening Tradition

Farmers have used scarecrows for thousands of years to protect their crops from flocks of hungry birds. Today’s modern gardeners can continue this tradition by creating their own scarecrows using recycled clothing and materials.

Structured Salads are Super for Supper

Structured salads are an easy way to use garden-fresh veggies and herbs. Besides being fun to make, these salads help stretch your creativity and grocery budget at the same time.

Perfect Plant Pairings

Just like pairing wine with food, vegetables can be matched with their most compatible herbs. A good pairing brings out the flavors of each to help you get the most from your garden.

Grow a Cold Soup Garden

A chilly bowl of cold soup is the perfect way to beat the summer heat. Just about any sturdy vegetable can be turned into a refreshing meal on a sizzling hot day.

A Passion for Cooking with Peppers

Every kitchen garden needs several different kinds of peppers to use in summer-time recipes. Here are five varieties to add a little spice to your cooking life.

Enough Pumpkin for 1000 pies

Growers from coast to coast are spending every gardening minute tending their crops of 'Cucurbita maxima' in an effort to grow a pumpkin that weighs over 1700 pounds.

The 30-Mile Gardening Rule

Landscape designer, horticulturist and author Maureen Gilmer encourages gardeners to embrace their inner tightwad in her new book, “The Small Budget Gardener: All the Dirt on Saving Money in Your Garden.” Gardeners should pretend they live 30 miles from town so they’ll carefully think about their gardening needs before buying.

When is a Pear a Vegetable?

The sharp spines of the Opuntia can be intimidating, but once they’re removed, the “nopales” turns into a nutritious vegetable that defies its prickly appearance.

Hail to the Peas

You don't need to have a large south lawn or live in a White House to grow a spring vegetable garden. All you need is this list of vegetables, herbs and flowers to plant a presidential garden.

Celebrate National Garlic Month

April is National Garlic Month and you can celebrate in two ways: in the garden and in the kitchen.

Sow Happy Together

There’s an art and science to playing matchmaker in the garden. Here are ways to create plant partners to save garden space, control insect pests and encourage healthy gardens.

The Roots of Square Foot Gardening

Waffle gardens were the original square foot kitchen gardens used by Native Americans for dryland farming because they helped conserve precious resources. You can take a step back in time and try this ancient planting method.

Plant a Spring Container Garden

If you’re itching to start your spring planting, but the garden soil is still too wet to work, a spring container garden may be the perfect solution.

Grow a Spring Centerpiece

Growing a spring centerpiece from carrot tops is a fun way to recycle kitchen discards and get kids interested in the science of growing plants.

Find the Sunniest Spot for Your Plot

Most gardening experts say a productive vegetable garden needs about 8-10 hours of sun each day. Here’s an easy paper-and pencil method to find the sunniest spot in your yard.

Take Your Plants for a Ride

The Rotary Garden is an innovative new product that’s perfect for growing edibles in small spaces. Wheels make the garden portable so it can be moved to where ever the sun shines brightest.

Grow this Frittata...and more

“Grocery Gardening,” Jean Ann Van Krevelen’s newest book, is all about planting, preparing and preserving fresh food. It’s perfect for cooks who want to be better gardeners or gardeners who want to be better cooks—and everyone in between.

Canned Vegetable Seeds a Thrifty Idea

One-gallon cans of jumbo-sized packets of garden seeds can be a thrifty alternative for home gardeners who plant large gardens. Each large can contains 16 different veggie favorites and gives new meaning to “canned vegetables.”

Veggie Pizza is Super for any Party

The party menu for the Big Game isn’t limited to burgers, brats and hot wings. A hearty veggie pizza is a super healthy alternative.

Pickled Ginger is Sweet and Spicy Condiment

Pickled ginger is familiar to sushi and sashimi fans because it helps cleanse the palate between servings and extinguish the wasabi fire. Pickling is just one way to use this versatile root.

Add Some Spice to Your Life

Until you’ve experienced the pleasure of growing sweet red peppers and then grinding the dried pods into fresh paprika, you won’t know what you’ve been missing. One whiff of fresh paprika and you’ll never want to buy grocery store paprika again.

How to Improve Your Stock Options

Discover the hidden value of potato peels, carrot tops and other kitchen discards. Gain big dividend every time you cook up a batch of vegetable stock.

Cheap and Easy Winter Greens

Growing your own garlic greens during the winter is an inexpensive way to feed two needs at once: a gardener’s need for growing and a cook’s need for something tasty.

Renee's Garden Offers Personal Touch

Renee Shepherd, founder of Renee’s Garden, goes to extraordinary lengths to offer gardeners high-quality vegetable, flower and herb seeds. She selects easy-to-grow varieties, tests them in her own trial garden and writes detailed instructions for planting and growing.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Keeps On Growing

In 1998, long before the eat local movement took hold, Jere Gettle sent out his first Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog. His company continues the tradition of passing along old-fashioned seeds like generations of gardeners before him.

Botanical Interests Grows Gardeners

Botanical Interests is a Colorado-based seed company whose beautifully illustrated seed packets contain much more than just seeds.

Sprouts Make Windowsill Gardening Easy

Homegrown sprouts are perfect for windowsill gardening any time of the year. Just add water and watch them grow.

This Spud's for You

Potatoes are one of the easiest root crops for home gardeners to grow. Order your specialty seed potatoes now for delivery next spring.

Gifts from the Kitchen--Homemade Red Wine Vinegar

Want to impress the foodie on your gift list this year? A bottle of homemade red wine vinegar is sure to please the pickiest palate.

A Sage Way to Delicious Dining

Since medieval times, garden-grown sage has soothed digestive troubles, cured coughs and treated sore throats. It also makes one delicious herbed stuffing for the holidays.

Planting for a Snack Attack

The Best Snacks on EarthA major player in the potato chip biz boasts it “grows the best snacks on earth,” but I have to disagree. The best snacks on earth are grown in my...



recent comments

Re: Sponges Make Seed Sprouting Seem Like Magic

Thanks for your question--I've used these sprouted sponges just for fun, but I guess you could snip the sprouts to eat (if the sponge didn't have any residue).

I wouldn't recommend planting the sponge to grow out the seeds (not enough seed to soil contact). If you could remove the seedlings, root and all, you might be able to plant them. But it's much easier to direct sow in the garden.

If you do any experimenting, please let me know how it turns out!

--Jodi

Re: Great Gardening Gifts for Father's Day

Thanks, Susan--it was so nice to meet you IRL, too! I plan on letting folks know about your new book next week...

Regards,
Jodi

Re: How to Choose Tomatoes for your Garden

Thanks for the comments...

It depends where you live on whether it's time to plant tomatoes or not. My advice is to check with a local garden center or your county's extension office for specific info.

The dark tomatoes in my picture are called Black Krim, one of my favorite heirloom tomatoes. They have a deep smokey flavor that's the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

Here's to a great tomato-growing season!
Jodi

Re: Meet Botanical Illustrator Susan Rubin

Thanks for adding your nice comments! I'll be sure to pass them along to Susan.

Regards,
Jodi

Re: Seedsheet’s Remarkable Growth

I'm always happy to help other vegetable gardeners learn about new products that make gardening easier and more fun. Best wishes for continued success!

Regards,
Jodi

Re: How to Make Hot Pepper Sauce

Thanks for asking about more pepper recipes--I've found that this same recipe works when using other kinds of hot chile peppers, once they've ripened to red.

My advice? Experiment with different peppers, and combinations of peppers, to create your own special brand of hot sauce!

Regards,
Jodi

Re: How to Make Hot Pepper Sauce

Hi Jay: I'm so glad to hear you ventured into making your own pepper sauce--and that you found this recipe and had success with it.

It's funny, but I've seen pepper sauce kits in catalogs this season, selling for about $35 dollars!

Cheers,
Jodi

Re: How to Make Hot Pepper Sauce

Hi Lina--Thanks so much for your comment and encouraging words about the vinegar hot sauce recipe.

I always appreciate hearing from other hot pepper fans!

Regards,
Jodi

Re: Gardening for the Homebrewer Book Review

Thanks for sharing your comments and experience with the book! It's good to know other gardeners appreciate it, too.

Re: Patio Pepper Roundup for 2015

Thanks for your comment--and you're right. All of these peppers are really tasty.

Every year I find new favorites, so it's always difficult to decide which ones to plan on for next season!

--Jodi

Re: Beginning Gardeners will Love the Seedsheet

Thanks for stopping by and reading about SeedSheet. I'll be sure to write about the results at the end of the season.

Happy gardening,
Jodi

Re: How to Diagnose Tomato Problems

To find the app, click on the link in the above article that goes to the American Phytopathological Society's website. The link takes you to the page that explains how to find the app, with links to either Google Play or Apple's App Store.

There's also an email address on that page in case you're having trouble with the app.

Regards,
Jodi

Re: Giant Pumpkin Growing Started Small

Nice way to describe the looks of that pumpkin!

The giant pumpkins are edible, but I haven't heard anything about the taste so I don't know the answer to your question. Most growers save their best seeds and others donate their giant produce to places that can use it--like zoos.

Re: Perennial Egyptian Walking Onions Plant Themselves

Thanks for your onion harvesting questions. You can harvest the onions in several ways:

You can harvest (and eat) the topsets when the stalks are dried and brown, you can eat any of the green leaves that don't have topsets, or you can harvest the onion bulbs that are in the ground in late summer through fall. Just be sure to leave a few onions in the ground, or plant the topsets, so you'll have onions growing for next season.

--Jodi

Re: How to Diagnose Tomato Problems

Thanks for taking time to read about Tomato MD. This is such a handy app--and portable to take into the garden, too!

Regards,
Jodi

Re: Keeping Insect Pests Out of the Vegetable Garden

Thanks for your comments, and I'm glad you found the insect pest information helpful.

It wasn't easy to spot the katydid in my garden because of that clever disguise it's wearing. The destructive tomato hornworm also has good camouflage, which is the prime reason to always be on the lookout in the vegetable bed.

--Jodi

Re: Plant Scented Geraniums for Flavorful Meals

Hi Annie:

Thanks for your question. These geraniums are just like other garden geraniums, hardy to about zone 7 (if well protected).

The rose-scented geranium I had for many years grew in a container that I'd bring in over winter and take outside when the weather warmed in late spring. It grew well inside with light from a south-facing window.

Regards,
Jodi

Re: How to Prevent Food Waste

Thanks for your comment--I appreciated hearing from you. I sure wish there were more ways to help people understand all the big issues that go along with food waste.

Re: Test Old Vegetable Seeds Before Buying New

Thanks for your good advice on storing seeds. I keep my seed packets in the fridge, too--in the butter keeper space. Even if kept in a basement, unopened packets have a long shelf life, too.

Spring can't get here soon enough!

--Jodi

Re: Test Old Vegetable Seeds Before Buying New

Please let us know how it goes!

Best wishes for a great garden,
Jodi

Re: Garden-pedia Gives Simple Answers to Tough Gardening Questions

You're welcome, Pam. It's a book that gardeners have needed for a long time--thanks for writing it!

--Jodi

Re: Vegetable Gardening Trends for 2015

Thanks for asking about our Produce for Pantries collaboration! You can find out more at www.ProduceforPantries.com.

There's also a lot of good information on the Garden Writers Association website about Plant a Row for the Hungry and starting a growing-and-giving program in your area: www.GardenWriters.org. You don't need to be a member of the group, and the info is free under the Plant a Row tab at the top of the page.

Regards,
Jodi

Re: New Ideas for Indoor Vegetable Gardening

Thanks for your comment--starting simple is one of the keys to successful vegetable gardening.

It would be great to hear what you decide to start with...or better yet, see pictures of your indoor gardening efforts. I hope you'll share your successes with us!

Regards,
Jodi

Re: Giving Thanks for the Patron Saint of Gardeners

Taxicabs and gardens?? Now, that's a busy saint!

Thanks for sharing that fun bit of trivia with us,

Jodi

Re: Roundup of the Top Tomatoes for 2014

Hi GardenYeti: Thanks for your tomato recommendations. I'm always on the lookout for some great new-to-me varieties. I'll be sure to keep these two in mind. Love the name of that large yeller one, too.

--Jodi

Re: Squirrel Tree Bears Fruit

Hi Lynne:

Thanks for taking time to read about my walnut tree--and for posting your comment. I appreciate it very much.

Just yesterday I found a half-eaten green walnut hull sitting on one of the branches. It looked like the squirrel that was eating it had to run in mid-bite.

Regards,
Jodi

Re: Grow Stevia for a Sweet Summertime Treat

As a long-time gardener, I think anything home-grown tastes better than what's at the store. I hope you'll try to grow stevia and then let us know what you find out.

--Jodi

Re: Vegetable Gardening Made Easier

So sorry to hear you had a bad experience on that site. I've used it to find specific vegetable varieties, but haven't tried to post a review.

Thanks for letting us know.

Re: Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden

Congrats, Chris!

I can't wait to get my hands on Niki's book and see all these creative planting spaces.

Best wishes,
Jodi

Re: Chocolate Covered Jalapenos are Hot Seller

Thanks for the idea--I can see filling and putting their "hats" back on...

Perhaps scoring the fruit with a sharp knife could help the chocolate stick better.

Well, it's something fun to think about.

Re: The Potato Garden Catalog Review

Thanks for the comments--if you get a chance, please post some photos of your raised bed to keep the inspiration flowing.

Here's to a bushel full of spuds,
Jodi

Re: How to Grow Dry Shelling Beans

Thanks for your question--if you have the garden space, just plant more beans and enjoy some while they're fresh and let the others dry on the plants.

The US is one of the top producers of dry beans in the world. Check out the US Dry Bean Council website for more good info: usdrybeans.com

Regards,
Jodi

Re: Three Things for Spring Vegetable Gardening

All those in favor of spring starting NOW, please raise your hand!

Re: How to Stuff a Pumpkin

Hi Jodi:

Thanks for your question--and I'm sorry I wasn't around to answer. Did you try baking your stuffed pumpkin in the crockpot? I'd love to know how it turned out.

Regards,
Jodi

Re: Grafted vs. Ungrafted Tomato Report

Thanks for your sharing your experience with grafted vs. ungrafted tomatoes.

If you'd like to know more about the grafting process, including the advantages of a tougher root stock, I wrote about it for the Denver Post in an article called "Fusing tomato with tomahto produces a sweeter yield: http://bit.ly/1810G9L

Regards,
Jodi

Re: Drying on the Vine

Thanks for adding these recommendations for safe food handling. It's all very good information for gardeners to keep in mind.

--Jodi

Re: Plant Shallots in Fall to Enjoy Next Spring

I've never had the chance to plant in a warmer zone, so it's probably best to check with your county's extension office. I'm sure the master gardeners there will be able to give you the best advice for planting shallots (and maybe help with garlic, too).

Thanks for your question,
Jodi

Re: Small Batch Preserving

Thanks for your question. The paste tomatoes are called San Marzano and a quick Google search shows many seed companies carry them.

The photo of the large, round tomatoes include some Black Krim and some Pink Brandywine. Seeds for those are also readily available online.

Regards,
Jodi

Re: Small Batch Preserving

Hi Faylee,

I've considered getting a small pressure cooker in the past--and your comment has me thinking about it again. Thanks for reminding me of another good option for preserving small batches.

Regards,
Jodi

Re: The Sweetest Tomatoes Win Top Prizes

Thanks for your comments--which tomatoes are the sweetest tasting you've grown? Please add your suggestions here. I'd like to try them for next season.

Regards,
Jodi

Re: Tomato Cutting Continues to Grow

I'm planning on tracking the numbers from all my tomato experiments this season. I'm also growing grafted and nongrafted tomatoes.

Please stay tuned,
Jodi

Re: My first garden!

Congrats on your first garden! Thanks so much for posting pictures here. It does take a bit of effort to plant and maintain a vegetable garden, but (as you've found out) it's certainly worth it.

Regards,
Jodi

Re: Garlic Scapes are a Savory Signal

Thanks for sharing your recipe--it sounds wonderful. Now I need to find another bunch of scapes!

--Jodi

Re: Three Trellis Ideas for Vertical Vegetables

Hi Mike--thanks for your comment. It seems every gardener has a favorite way to keep tomatoes in line. If you run across other ideas, please share them with us.

Regards,
Jodi

Re: How to Grow Micro Greens

Thanks for the additional info about growing micro greens indoors. What a terrific idea for having fresh and easy greens during the off season. Did you use a special grow light?

Re: Grafted Tomato Trials Set to Begin

Thanks for your comments--it's always interesting to hear what's going on in other gardens.

When planting grafted tomatoes, prepare the planting hole just deep enough to cover the root ball, and be sure to keep the graft at least 1" above the soil line. Water plants in. You might also add some diluted liquid fertilizer to help the plants handle transplant shock. Just like with other tomato plants, support with stakes or cages.

With proper care through the season, the grafted tomatoes should really produce for all of us!

--Jodi

Re: A Gardener's Guide to Pesticide-Free Produce

Thanks for letting me know about the link--I've corrected the problem and the link should take you to the http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/ page.

--Jodi

Re: How to Start a Worm Farm

Thanks for all your questions and comments. Here's a website with photos that shows all the steps and it even has a troubleshooting guide:

http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/easywormbin.htm

Here's to happy worm farming!

Re: A Pepper for Every Garden

Thanks for adding those pepper varieties to the list--it's always great to hear from another chilehead.

Re: How to Start a Worm Farm

Thanks for your questions--I hope this information will be helpful.

It takes about 2 months for worms to make usable compost. Worms will freeze in cold winters, so bring the farm inside and keep in a heated basement or other area.

Re: How to Start a Worm Farm

Hey, Mike--Do you have any pictures of your worm tower you could post? The bins work in a similar manner, except there are just two "trays."

Thanks,
Jodi

Re: Special Seed for High-Altitude Gardening

Thanks for getting in touch. You can contact Seeds Trust and Penn Parmenter (links are included in the above post) for ordering information on Candy Mountain corn seeds.

Re: Tiny Tomatoes for Indoor Gardening

Thanks for your comment. I loved the idea of buying a 'Tiny Tim' tomato at Christmas time.

--Jodi

Re: New Book for Vertical Vegetable Gardening

Thanks for your positive review, Katie!

Re: Container Cucumber Report

I'm sorry I missed seeing the question that you posted months ago. I didn't keep track of the exact number of each cucumber, but it seems I got the most from the 'Manny' variety. There were fewer of the 'Japanese Soyu Burpless' but they made up for that in taste and interest.

Re: 2013 Vegetable Seed Catalogs Warm Winter Days

Thanks for your question--one catalog is the Texas Tomato Lovers Handbook. A review is posted here:

http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/12530/book-review-the-texas-tomato-lovers-handbook

You might also contact the book's author for additional suggestions.

--Jodi

Re: How to Preserve Winter Squash

Thanks for the tip to partially cook the squash before freezing--sounds like a good idea to me.

I've used the squash right from the freezer without thawing first and that seems to work well for soups and purees.

Re: Reader Recap: How Did Your Garden Grow?

Thanks for sharing your garden successes! I haven't grown either the yellow Brandywine or Ace tomatoes, but I might give those a try next year. I really enjoy growing new-to-me varieties every year.

Thanks again,
Jodi

Re: Tips for Preparing Butternut Squash

Thanks for the comments--especially the tip for adding an apple to the butternut squash soup recipe.

Yes, turmeric is the spice in curry powder that gives it the rich yellow color.

Re: How to Grow Saffron Crocus

Thanks for the comments and extra information on growing crocus in so many different parts of the country.

I think as long as the ground isn't frozen solid, the bulbs can be planted. Watch for the leaves in spring and keep an eye out through fall for the flowers.

Re: How to Grow Saffron Crocus

Thanks for your question. From my understanding, the saffron crocus bulbs need a chilly winter in order to bloom. Perhaps you can search online for bulbs by your region's hardiness zone.

Re: How to Grow Saffron Crocus

Thanks for sharing your experience--it sounds like you had some success, in spite of the varmints.

Re: Easy Recipe for Candied Jalapenos

I'm sure these could be canned, but I haven't tried that myself because I made such a small batch. Could you contact your local extension office and ask for their recommendation?

If you try it, please post your results.

Re: New Vegetable Gardening Ideas for 2013, Part 2

Thanks for stopping by and adding your comments about these new gardening products. If you're interested in growing indoors, there are many articles on this site with tips. Just type "indoor gardening" in the search box at the top of the page.

Re: Easy Recipe for Candied Jalapenos

I'm glad you found this recipe, too. Let us know how your batch turns out.

Re: QUESTION: Georgia peach tree problem

Sorry to hear your peach tree isn't doing well. Have you tried to call your county's cooperative extension office? A horticulture agent there will be more familiar with your specific growing conditions and any related tree issues. There may be certain controls that he or she will recommend.

Re: Food Fights: Wacky Fun or Wasted Food?

Thanks for all your comments--I appreciated hearing from you!

Re: Book Review: The Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook

Thanks for the update on Bill's book. I had the chance to meet him at a Garden Writers Symposium a few years ago and he said he had a tomato book in the works. He's got a great sense of humor and I bet it shines through the pages, too. This looks like a terrific resource for home gardeners.

Re: Food Fights: Wacky Fun or Wasted Food?

Hi Yardener:

Thanks for adding your thoughts. I like the idea that "man doesn't live on tomatoes alone."

Jodi

Re: Undercover Peas

Thanks for filling us in on what's happening in your NJ garden. I wouldn't have expected that. If your neighbors get tired of the goody bags, you could donate to a food pantry near you.

Re: Golden Beets are a Sweet Treat

Dear Lumpkin:

I dropped by a local garden center in early April and they had all kinds of cool-season veggies growing as transplants. I'm sure other garden centers do this, too. Perhaps you could call around to see about plants for fall.

Re: Golden Beets are a Sweet Treat

Hi Mike:

I don't think I'll ever have enough beets to try canning them. Garden space is at a premium around here and I'd rather grow tomatoes.

Re: How to Grow Pak Choi in a Container

Thanks for the comments. This is my first time growing pak choi and now it's going to be a regular in my garden. I'm going to try a fall crop, too.

Re: Easy Container-Grown Basil

Thanks for sharing, Mike! That sounds like a perfect recipe to me. It's a fresh take on the traditional sliced tomato and mozzarella salad. I can't wait to try it :)

--Jodi

Re: How to Keep Cilantro Fresh

Thanks for the great suggestion! I hadn't thought about freezing cilantro, but will certainly try it with the next bunch I buy.

--Jodi

Re: New Zucchini and Romaine Recommendations

Thanks for the note, Mike. Do you have any interesting veggie or herb recommendations for us? Please share!

Re: 'Cayennetta' is New Pepper for 2012

Thanks for asking about 'Cayennetta.' The peppers from this plant are edible--and it looks like it will be a nice ornamental, too. 'Cayennetta' is an F1 hybrid and most likely will have to be produced each year.

Re: How to Grow Potatoes in a Trash Bag

Dear GrowMoore:

Sorry to hear you're feeling frustrated...I hope this information will help. In the Potato Growers guide from the Potato Garden, the recommendation is to "plant strong seed pieces 6 to 8 inches apart." Just open a trash bag and do a rough measure for the number of seed potatoes--maybe 10 or so? I don't think it will be a problem if they're a little crowded. In fact, you may get a larger yield.

Good luck--and please keep us updated through the season.

Re: Fisher's Seeds Catalog

Thanks for clarifying Fisher's Seeds policy on sending catalogs. I appreciate the help!

Re: How to Grow Potatoes in a Trash Bag

I've never grown sweet potatoes, but I think they require a longer growing season.

Why not try growing sweet potatoes in a trash bag as a gardening experiment and let us know how it grows!

Re: How to Grow Potatoes in a Trash Bag

I'm sorry that I didn't keep exact numbers on how many potatoes I planted or the yield. However, I planted the seed potatoes about 6-8 inches apart. This growing method yielded enough potatoes for several big batches of the best mashed potatoes I've ever had.

Re: How to Grow Wheatgrass for Easter

Hi Mike:

Thanks for your comment--I'm not sure about using wheat grass for the Easter baskets...it could get messy. I think the fun part for kids will be planting the seeds and watching the grass grow.

Re: Gardening for Beginners

So nice to see you here, Annie! I appreciated your comments very much.

Re: Native Seeds/SEARCH Catalog Review

I'd be interested to find out more about the surprises you've found growing rare or unusual seeds.

Thanks for the tip on growing patches instead of rows. I agree that it makes for easier garden maintenance.

Thanks for stopping by!

Re: Veggie Trends for 2012

Hi Cindy:

Thanks for the reminder that seed strips and papers can be made at home. I really like the idea of getting the kids involved, too!

Re: I'm Dreaming of a Blue Tomato

Hi PamInTheGarden:

Thanks so much for your comments on growing the Indigo Rose. It's always great to hear from someone with first-hand info--especially since you plan to grow this tomato again. That's a nice recommendation!

--Jodi

Re: Tomatoes: Request for Reader Recommendations

Thank you for all these mouth-watering recommendations! I really appreciated hearing about so many varieties I haven't planted before. (How funny that Sungold tomatoes were outlawed for the tomato taste-off because they're just too good.)

I know many of these suggestions will be growing in my garden next year!

Thanks again,
Jodi

Re: Summer Squash Takes the Cake

Thanks for letting me know you liked the Chocolate Summer Squash cake as much as we do around here. I agree that walnuts would be a great addition to the topping.

The Colorado Crab Cakes is a recipe I adapted from Relish magazine.

Here's a link to the recipe: http://www.relish.com/recipes/zucchini-cakes

Regards,
Jodi

Re: Heirloom Lovers Unite!

I wish you could've been there, too! I'm hoping this becomes an annual event...so maybe you can start saving your euros for next year :)

--Jodi

Re: Lettuce Grow All Summer Long

Thanks for your comments--I'd love to hear how this works in hotter climates. If you do give it a try, please let us know if it helps some of your plants beat the heat.

It would also be fun to see the shades you construct, so please post your images here.

--Jodi

Re: Cool-Season Broccoli Defies Odds

Nice to hear from you. Yes, I imagine your broccoli loves the weather there! So glad to hear you plan on planting a fall garden, too.

Re: Grow a 7-foot-tall Vegetable

Thanks, Chris. I checked the info on the seed packet and it looks like these came from Thompson & Morgan Seedsman in Jackson, NJ, (800-274-7333).

Re: Free Fertilizers Within Reach

Thanks for sharing these ideas for other ways to find--and use--free fertilizers.

Re: Lake Valley Seed: Now That's Italian!

Thanks for your comment, Marcy--and for letting me know about another site for fabulous seeds!

Re: Baskets of Blueberries in Colorado?

Hi TomatoAnne:

Thanks for your question about growing blueberries. I recommend contacting your local Extension office and asking if there are certain varieties that will grow well in your area.

Re: Soup for All Seasons

Thanks for posting all the soup recipes! I love soup and have been known to enjoy a bowl of chicken noodle for breakfast in the winter.

Re: Planting Pricey Produce

Thanks everyone for sharing all your great suggestions! So many terrific ideas for produce-wise penny pinching!

Re: Planting Pricey Produce

Thanks for sharing your ideas, Leslie. I love Arugula, too, but haven't grown it. That may change this spring!

Re: Planting Pricey Produce

Thanks for adding the Editor's Note about garden costs versus market costs. I had a feeling this was true, but to see the actual numbers is impressive. I hope this will serve as an encouraging word to gardeners who are afraid to start their gardens from seed.

Re: Happy 200th Anniversary Comstock Seeds!

Thanks, Chris. I'm so glad the Gettles are involved in Comstock, too--it means this wonderful old seed company will be around for many more years.

Re: Adopt a Bat for Halloween

Thanks for joining me in adopting a bat! I appreciate it very much.

Re: How to use Green Tomates

Glad to hear other gardeners appreciate green tomatoes as much as I do. I really like the idea of green tomato salsa. I hadn't thought of that!

Re: 'Tomaccio' Tomatoes Are All Dried Up

Thanks for sharing your experience drying these specialty tomatoes. I especially appreciated the specifics of drying them in a dehydrator. I may give your technique a try.

Re: Plant a Row for the Hungry by Growing Extra Vegetables

Thanks for helping to promote the Plant a Row for the Hungry program! There are organized Plant a Row efforts in cities all over the country, but it's easy for individuals to take part, too. Just plant, harvest, donate and add your totals to the national count.

Most food pantries and soup kitchens will accept firm, clean fruits and durable vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, peas, green beans, sweet peppers, eggplant, squash, potatoes, onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Herbs and flowers are also welcome additions!

Re: QUESTION: When is it too early to start...

One easy way to find out when to plant is to contact the county extension office in your area. A horticulture agent there will be able to tell you the last frost date as a guide to planting.

Good luck with your garden!