Seeds have all arrived for the 2021 garden! It’s time to celebrate! It was a challenge this year with so many seed companies running out of stock and temporarily closing so they can catch up with the number of orders placed. How do you choose which varieties you are going to grow?
I hope you keep a garden journal, that should be the one tool you go to when you open up your first seed catalog of the season. It took me a while to form the habit but now my journal is fairly complete. I use a word processing program on my tablet because that is the most convenient for me. Others will use pencil and paper, use a bound book that can hold multiple years worth of notes, or use loose note paper stuffed inside their favorite reference book. Whatever works for you, my only recommendation is start your garden journal right away.
I’m going to be another one of those with the cliché reflections on the past year. I can’t help it. It’s January 1st of 2021, the day we’ve been longing for. It seems like decades since we’ve been yearning for it. But it’s honestly only been a few months. Well, anywhere from 9-12 months depending on where you are in the world.
Gardening is about enjoying yourself and enjoying the plants you grow. For some people, it is also a bit about self-sufficiency and maybe a little about reducing waste. That’s what worm composting is about. Taking your kitchen waste and recycling it, or keeping it out of the landfill, or maintaining the circle of growth and rebirth. If you haven’t considered using worms for composting, maybe you need to understand the reasons why it’s time to start and exactly how easy it is.
Do you use paprika for a lot of your cooking? It’s great in potato salad, stir fry, and let’s not forget Hungarian Goulash. Did you know that making your own paprika is easy? And the taste is like nothing that you can get in the store. The key is growing the right peppers.
Weeding is a part of a gardener’s life. We are all resigned to it. Is there anything that can make it easier? I’ve gone through several tools and have narrowed it down to only a couple. When it comes down to hand tools for weeding between rows in the raised bed, one tool rises to the top.
If you like growing hot peppers then you know you can be inundated with more peppers than you can use right away. Maybe it’s time to consider making your own chili powder. Three simple steps: grow hot peppers, dry the peppers, and grind them into powder. Before you go running to the garden, though, you may want to take into account a few things before you take the plunge.
It seems only yesterday that I was reveling over the first tomato of the season. And now I’m harvesting so fast there is hardly time for anything else. Some of the raised beds are empty and ready for another planting of lettuce, spinach, beets, and bunching onions.
One cherry pie in four years? Sometimes it’s the price we pay for our green thumb addictions. But when you plant a tree the reasons are many. We wanted to plant an orchard, of sorts, and we started with a cherry and a plum. If you’re only interested in the end result of the fancy pie, you can jump to The Prize Pie. If you are interested in the four-year journey, read on!
It’s the beginning of August and the bounty from the garden has included root vegetables such as beets, onions, and carrots; and leafy greens such as lettuce and Swiss chard. By now we are expecting to wander out to the garden and be able to pull the next mature onion or tear off the next leaves of lettuce. Almost as if by this time in the summer we are taking their production for granted. Yet we still are awaiting the crown jewel, the ripening of the fruit we’ve so lovingly protected from harsh winds and cold. We are approaching tomato season.
Gardening is about raising something that doesn’t harass you. It doesn’t cry to be changed like our kids did when they were babies. It doesn’t whine to be fed like our dogs do. In their own quiet way, plants look pitiful, brown, and wilted when they need attention. They die just as quietly. No fanfare, no fancy burial ceremonies. The only real pressure on you to raising plants is the pressure you put on yourself. Continue reading “Choosing Your First Houseplant”