Community Garden Calendar - Get Ready to Sign Up!

Till and Trowel is about the skills and knowledge you need to be successful in your community garden. In most of the United States, right now (December) is the "off season," meaning it's too cold to garden outside. 

Typically community gardens operate on a calendar. They open in the springtime and close again in the fall. 

To be ready for their spring opening, they accept applications for membership a few months before...

Continue Reading...

Gardening on the Cheap

Like many endeavors, gardening can be expensive. Yet, you can keep the cost reasonable with a little research, creativity, and shopping savvy. 

I don't know about you, but I just love to find a great deal. I also love to repurpose and reuse materials whenever I can - my inner environmentalist delights when I can provide a home for garden supplies that another person no longer needs. I also like the creative challenge of solving a...

Continue Reading...

Five Thoughtful Gifts Any Gardener Will Love

It's gift-giving season! If you have a gardener in your life, why not encourage them with a gift for their hobby?  

If you're a gardener, this list can give you ideas. Why not send your loved ones a link to this post - and they'll get the hint!

Disclaimer: For the products I've mentioned by name and provided links, Till and Trowel has no commercial relationship with these companies. 

#1 - Gardening Gloves

Every gardener needs...

Continue Reading...

What Does it Mean to Grow Organically?

Many community gardens are set up as organic gardens. 

At first glance, organic gardening seems pretty straight-forward - don't use any synthetic or man-made supplies in your garden. As they say, "the devil is in the details," and when you start to work on your garden plot, things can get a little confusing.

Let's talk a bit about what it means to garden organically. 

Fertilizers

You must choose fertilizers labeled as...

Continue Reading...

End of Season 2020

The growing season is over. It's sad; but honestly, I'm ready for a break. 

On Saturday I took down everything at the garden plot. The only plants still at the plot were peppers and spinach. The peppers were all wilted and the remaining peppers were mush - they had not survived the freeze. The spinach plants did survive the freeze and I had a nice little harvest of baby spinach! Enough to add some flavor to two breakfasts...

Continue Reading...

Lessons from 2020: Sunlight

The most significant lesson I learned in the 2020 garden is about sunlight. I did not manage it well and some of my crops suffered as a result.

What Went Wrong

The underlying theme of my problems with sunlight was that I grew some tall vegetables and flowers in rows that ran north and south.

Because the sun moves across the sky from east to west, in the morning, all of these tall plants would cast a shadow to the west,...

Continue Reading...

Wild Successes in My 2020 Garden

Yes, I've encouraged gardeners to celebrate their successes, so here are some my best gardening wins this year.

Success #1: Cucumbers!

I grew 8 cucumber vines this season, and holy cow they did terrific! They grew quickly and robustly in the late spring/early summer. By July I was picking cucumbers like crazy. 

All those cucumbers made me realize two things:

  1. 8 plants produce way too much for two people...
Continue Reading...

New Plants in 2020: What I Learned

At the end of the season, I always review how the season went and what I would like to do differently next year. 

New Garden Goals for 2020

This year was very different than previous years for me in the community garden. For the past 9 growing seasons, I had led a team that grew produce for a local food pantry. Our main goal was to grow as much produce as possible.

This year, the plot became mine only and my goal was...

Continue Reading...

Seed Saving

I've seen a lot online lately about saving your own seeds and I'd like to share some of my thoughts. 

I don't usually save seeds from my previous year's crops.

Saving seeds takes effort, sometimes it's pretty difficult to do. Seeds can be so tiny! Allowing your crops go to seed instead of harvesting them takes time and takes up space in your garden. I would rather use the time and space to grow more vegetables. 

I...

Continue Reading...

Gardener's Mindset: Stack the Odds in Your Favor

Starting small and starting with crops that are very likely to succeed in your area is a great approach. There is so much to learn and experience in gardening, starting with easy crops takes one variable out of the equation.

Planning for Success

Everyone has their opinion which are easy to grow... but if you ask a number of people, websites, and Google, you'll notice some common suggestions.

Find a mentor and follow their...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.