Member Since: 05/27/2009

recent comments

Re: Using Your Fence for Growing Vertical Vegetables

I'm lucky to have a tall wooden fence to help support my thornless blackberry, but my neighbor--though quite tolerant of my gardening along the fence--trims the vines that come through when I neglect to do so. This is not necessarily where I want the vines trimmed, and who knows what's on his pruners. So, while this works out for us, remember to keep your neighbor in mind when using a shared fence. I am just fortunate that all of my newbie mistakes don't result in bad neighbor relations!

Re: Fennel

You may want to mention fennel's allelopathy--it is not a good neighbor for many plants. That said, I find it gorgeous and planted a large stand of it behind my shed, where the butterflies can munch away to their heart's content. Predatory wasps love it, too!

Re: Grow Heirloom Sweet and Hot Peppers in Your Vegetable Garden

I had a bumper crop of hot peppers last year (allow me to recommend the Tunisian baklouti from Baker Creek), but I struggle with sweet peppers--paltry harvests in both cool and hot/dry summers. It has been my least successful plant three summers in a row. Any advice?

Re: Tomatoes: Request for Reader Recommendations

We have similar taste in tomatoes. Sun gold is a must for me, as well as ANY black tomato (unfortunately they succumb to disease more so for me, but I still try). In the small category, hybrid Fourth of July tomatoes performed superbly for me this simmer, producing from (you guessed it) early July right up to the snow last week. They were tasty, too. I like a small tomato because I am impatient and can't wait for the beefsteaks to ripen (and can't bear for the animals to get them first), plus I can can always use the whole thing. I look forward to getting other recommendations for small-size tomatoes for myself.
When I was living in SC, a local farmer sold a tomato that looked like a pepper--sort of a tapered elongated roma. These were amazing--does anyone know what they could be? They were not just paste tomatoes but were also delicious fresh.

Re: Lettuce Grow All Summer Long

I like how attractive this is. I place a trellis over my lettuce and grow peas in late spring and cucumber in summer to shade my lettuce. In Virginia, I still miss out on lettuce in mid Summer, but this certainly helps extend the narvest.

Re: QUESTION: Bitter Cucumbers

I have had this problem the last two years. Everything I have read says it is due to irregular irrigation. Presumably if you let them get too dry just once it can cause this! I do think the variety I was growing was more prone to bitterness, so this year I am trying a different variety and using straw mulch. One additional tip is to rinse cucumbers immediately upon picking/

Re: QUESTION: Help! Birds are eating my tomatoes

I just pick them less ripe than I would like to--this works for tomatoes but not for the blackberries they are devouring!

Re: The Winter Pomegranate Harvest

Does nana get full-size fruit? I'm trying it in zone 7, and it is thriving so far, but we'll see how it fares this winter.

Re: Your Easiest Vegetable Garden Ever and Other Things

I just wish I could defeat the cabbage caterpillars!

Re: Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans)

I'm also in zone 7, and thrilled to hear this is a tender perennial here. I like simply soaking the leaves in water--very refreshing on a summer day in the garden.
And thanks for the jam idea--I think the blooms might make a nice addition to pear preserves.

Re: All We Need is Our Lemon Cucumbers

I need all the help I can get in zone 7 summers, which are not at all consistent, so hoping resistant varieties will help.

Re: All We Need is Our Lemon Cucumbers

I am planning on growing these next year, as I am fed up with bitter cucumbers (yes, I was watering!). Can anyone recommend other varieties that are resistant to bitterness?

Re: Sow a Little Love for Fall

For anyone who has had trouble with carrots (I did too), I definitely recommend trying these. They were the most success I have had with carrots, and so cute too! Botanical Interests sells them too.
curryleaf, thinning with impunity seems to be the key. And patience.

Re: Video: Blueberries

I planted a bush that had flowers and fruit in spring, and I got a handful of good berries (those the birds didn't get), but then it did not flower any more. (It seems to be thriving otherwise) Any thoughts?
I am guessing it will do better next year as it will be established.

Re: Berries!

I recently planted a thornless blackberry along a wooden fence. Am I correct that I should prune the (two) primocanes (at the tips or at chest height?) to encourage branching--and that I should do so soon?

Re: Thinning Vegetable Seedlings

Could you be more specific about which leafy crops can be transplanted when thinning? For example, should I bother moving mesclun, or just cut it when it gets big enough to eat (and let it be crowded until then)?
I am taking the little scissors to my carrots this weekend--snip snip; sniff, sniff.