Strategies to Locate a Community Garden

Sometimes it's obvious where the community garden is - you drive by it every day, or there's a big roadside sign, or you read about it regularly in your local newsletter. 

It may not be obvious. All kinds of organizations can sponsor a community garden, and they are free to govern their gardens as they choose. This might mean that they lease plots only to people who meet specific criteria, such as being residents of a town, being a...

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Community Garden Gardening

If you have a yard, you may wonder if gardening in a community garden makes sense. Why pay to rent a plot when you have space on your own?

Let's compare.

Location

A garden at your home wins hands-down for convenience. You can go to your garden whenever you want and pick fresh produce right before you use it! That's as fresh as you can get - best flavor and most nutrition.

However, your yard may not have the best conditions for a...

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Oh No! It's the Off Season!

It's late November, and it is the gardening off season for most of the United States. This is when the extreme southern parts of the country get a break for the heat and maybe they can grow some crops that the rest of us grow in summer. 

For the majority of us, it's cold and dark. The trees are bare and very little grows... although lawn weeds tend to keep going, much to our dismay.

What's a gardener to do?

Here are some ideas that...

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Six Reasons You Should Grow a Vegetable Garden Next Year

If you're reading the Till and Trowel blog, you probably already grow vegetables (and maybe also fruit and some herbs, too).  

But if you are not a vegetable gardener yet, here's my list of six reasons to grow your own vegetables next year.

Nutrition

Homegrown vegetables are nutritionally superior to grocery store vegetables that have been shipped in from far away. The degree which they are better is somewhat up for debate: some...

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Lessons from the 2022 Growing Season

end of season fall planning Oct 13, 2022

It's the end of the season and as I do each year, I think about how the garden did. Writing a blog article is a great way to summarize the year, but you don't have to be so formal. I do encourage you to go through this exercise. Write a few notes down in your garden journal at the end of the season. 

You do keep a garden journal, right? 

Even if you don't, you can jot some notes down somewhere you'll find it when...

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Preserving an Abundance of Peppers in the Freezer

Year after year, I find myself with an abundance of peppers at the end of the growing season. Peppers are a warm-weather crop, but once they're established, they continue to grow in the cool weather of early fall as long as the temperature doesn't get down to freezing. 

Pepper plants do not tolerate even a light freeze, so when it freezes, the plants and the peppers are done.

Freezing your extra peppers...

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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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