Drip Irrigation For The Vegetable Garden: I’m Getting The Gear

Tomato plant in raised bed

One of my garden goals for 2017 is to switch over to drip irrigation for my vegetable garden raised beds. Last year, I used a tripod sprinkler, which wasted a lot of water and left me with some disease problems. I’ve been pretty intimidated at the thought of drip tubes. You basically buy all the parts to make a custom… Read more »

Garden Gift Ideas For Beginner Gardeners

succulent dish garden

Do you have a beginner gardener to shop for this holiday season? Here are a few gardening gift ideas to generate more success in the garden or to keep a beginner gardener’s inspiration going strong through the winter. Roo Aprons Women’s clothes do not have pockets. It makes me insane. That’s why I like the big pouch in Roo Aprons…. Read more »

Preventing Watering Problems In Hens And Chicks Succulents

sempervivum hen and chicks

Why can’t I get a sempervivum (also known as hens and chicks) to survive? I’ve grown succulents like jade and haworthia plants that have propagated many new plants. They’re all over my house. But I’d just about had it with failure after failure with hens and chicks when I reached out to Altman Plants for help. Bob Reidmuller is resident horticulturist at… Read more »

5 Things I’ll Do Differently In My Vegetable Garden Next Year

Irrigation hose

I’m in the process of finishing up my first summer of vegetable gardening and I’m looking back on quite a few successes. I started in April with seeds and I grew and harvested tomatoes, peppers and zucchini in July through September. I stopped an outbreak of blossom end rot. Other things I tried were pure learning experiences. I didn’t get… Read more »

When You Accidentally Grow The Hallucinogenic Plant Jimsonweed In Your Backyard

Datura jimson weed nightshade

I can’t be the only one who has accidentally grown a hallucinogenic plant in their yard, right? Here’s how I found out what was going on in my garden container. That week, the #Gardenchat Twitter chat topic was plant identification. Participants were all talking about the plants and weeds in their yards that they needed help identifying. I didn’t think… Read more »

When Do I Plant Fennel, Lettuce And Spinach?

fennel plants

Growing vegetables from seed seems like a really easy process. Step one: Buy seeds. Step two: Plant them. Step three: Eat vegetables. But watching my seeds progress/not progress to mature plants this summer and now getting ready for a fall vegetable garden has got me twisted up in knots. When I bought a bundle of vegetable seeds this spring, I… Read more »

Pollinators Are Super Important If You Want To Eat Zucchini

female zucchini flower fertilized

The movement to bring pollinators back to the garden is big. I’ve heard about it mainly through the concern over colony collapse disorder and the disappearance of bees from some parts of the United States. I think people generally support this movement. No one likes to hear about species in trouble, but do we really understand what pollinator decline means to us?… Read more »

Instagrammers Know How To Take A Coffee Break — In The Garden

You know things are going well in someone’s garden when they sit down for a coffee break there. I think of these gardeners looking in on their tomato and zucchini plants early in the morning, before the sun and heat make coffee unappetizing. They’re relaxing and reflecting on what it takes to put together a successful garden. And sitting back… Read more »

How To Grow Tomatoes: What I’ve Learned

tomato plant

Whenever I think about growing tomatoes, I can’t help but remember that scene from Steel Magnolias. Ouiser tells the ladies at Truvy’s beauty parlor that she grows them only because that’s what old Southern ladies are supposed to do. She doesn’t even like them, but seems to be able to grow them with no problem. So what have I been… Read more »

Propagating Wonderful Basil From Leaves Is Super Easy

basil roots, basil propagating

I snipped some branches off my basil plant to get the whole thing branching and bushier, so I plucked these basil leaves and left them in water for later use. It’s been a few days and I’m ready to use them, so today I looked to make sure they weren’t doing anything funny in the water. Yep, they were. Nature finds a… Read more »