It's Time for Garlic - Tips for a Successful Crop

Garlic is a fun crop to grow. About this time of year is the time to get it planted. It grows through the winter, and you will harvest it in the early summer. 

You will need to dedicate space for it. It's usually not a problem when you plant it in the fall, but come next spring, that space will still be occupied with the garlic.

I've written about how to grow garlic before. This time I'll share some tips to help you grow...

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Ornamental Vegetables

We mostly grow vegetables to eat, but did you know you can grow certain vegetables for their looks?

Ornamental vegetables provide color to containers and landscape. In the northern United States, we really can't grow flowers in winter because of the freezing temperatures. Some vegetables can tolerate the cold well,and growers have developed beautiful varieties to be enjoyed in fall and winter.

Let's look at some common winter ornamental...

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Improve Your Soil for Next Year

Gardeners are always thinking ahead! This growing season isn't quite over yet, and here we are thinking about 2023. 

Improving your soil organically takes some time, and we have time before we're ready to plant next spring. So what can we do?

Adding purchased compost to a garden

Add Compost

I think this is the easiest and most important way to improve your soil. 

Simply apply a layer of compost and turn the soil to mix it in....

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My Favorite Gardening Scissors

tools Aug 31, 2022

You can find all kinds of cutting implements for your gardening, but my favorite is a pair of scissors. Scissors are the most useful for vegetable and herb gardening. Sure, they don't work so well for some tasks, but I find that they are tool I reach for first. 

I use my garden scissors for:

  • Snipping soft small stems and vines
  • Thinning seedlings when I don't want to pull the extra sprouts (and risk disturbing the remaining sprouts)
  • ...
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Try Arugula This Fall

Have you ever grown arugula? 

It's a leafy green you can grow much like lettuce. It has a stronger flavor than most lettuces, in fact, it's more closely related to hearty greens like kale and mustard greens.

Best part is - it's so easy to grow!

You have probably tasted it in "spring mix" bagged salad from the grocery store. It adds a sharp or peppery flavor to the mix. Arugula is mainly used in salads, but it also...

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Get Ready for the Fall Garden

It's the middle of summer but it's time to get that fall garden underway. 

The cooler temperatures of fall is ideal for certain crops.

Some traditional spring crops will handle the cool fall weather well. 

Two Most Important Factors

The two things you need to know whether a crop will thrive in the fall are:

  1. How many days are there until the average first frost date?
  2. How long does it take for a crop to mature?

First Frost Date

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Washing Leafy Greens

After the harvest, you will need to clean what you picked. 

Greens especially need cleaning. They tend to be low to the ground, and when it rains (or you water your garden), bits of soil and mulch splash up and cling to the leaves. 

Nobody wants to eat gritty, dirty greens. 

Greens can be a bit tricky to clean up, but with practice you'll become more efficient. You'll enjoy your homegrown greens without any annoying...

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Washing Root Vegetables

It's fun to harvest vegetables from your garden! That's the whole point of growing a vegetable garden, right? 

Once you harvest them, there's more work to be done - namely cleaning the harvest. It can be tedious and messy, but it's necessary. 

If you're going to eat your newly-harvested root vegetables right away, you can clean them right after harvest. This also applies if you're going to put your harvest in the...

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Onion Harvest 2022 - How to Grow a New Crop Thoughtfully

My intention for the 2022 season was to grow a successful onion crop.

And I did!  I planted 72 onion sets and harvested 70. 

This post isn't about bragging. I wanted to share how I did it, and I hope it will help you when you want to grow a particular crop that seems too difficult, or one that you've failed growing in the past.  


Step 1: Set the Intention

The biggest step is to set your...

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Ugh, Cabbage Worms!

Cabbage worms are a real problem here in the midwest. 

If you're growing cabbages and cabbage relatives, read up on these little stinkers. 

Cabbage worms attack these plants:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage (including Napa Cabbage)
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mustard Greens
  • Turnips

Cabbage Moths

How to Identify

Cabbage worms are the larvae of small white or pale yellow moths. You've probably noticed them flitting around the...

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