Must-Have Herbs to Grow Fresh

People don't always think of herbs when thinking about putting in a garden. If you cook at home, growing herbs is one of the easiest ways to get a "return" on your gardening. 

The price of fresh herbs at the grocery store is outrageous. I understand why they the price is high - most herbs are low-volume sellers and they end up throwing out much of their herbs when they go bad. The higher price compensates for the waste. For $3...

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I'm a Complete Beginner - Where Do I Start?

Every once in a while I see a plea for help from a complete beginner, who has never gardened before in online forums. 

  • I've never gardened before! I'm a complete beginner!
  • I have NO IDEA where to begin!
  • This will be my first garden ever!
  • How do I start gardening?

It's courageous when someone jumps in, admits they're starting from scratch, and looks for help. And we always need more gardeners, so I'm happy to help however I...

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Tutorial: A Beginner's Guide to Reading Vegetable Seed Packets

Seed packets for consumers like you and me are required by law to contain truthful information about the seeds in the packet. The intent of the law is to ensure the buyer knows exactly what they are buying, and to provide the consumer with some basic instructions for how to plant and grow the seed successfully. 

It seems pretty obvious. The information on a seed packet is regulated at a national level to provide...

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Three Things You Didn't Know About Community Gardens

Even if you're a member of a community garden, you may not know everything about community gardens. Those who aren't members yet may have preconceived ideas about how they work. Here are three surprising facts about community gardens.

1. There are different community garden models

Community gardens can have a variety of different models based on the goals the founders (or founding organization) intended for the garden. The...

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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...

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Gardener's Mindset: Celebrate Your Successes

Most beginner gardeners have at least a few successes every season. It's important to celebrate those successes, and who is better to celebrate with you than other gardeners! Other gardeners "get it" in a way that non-gardeners don't.

As human beings, we are tempted to focus on what went wrong. Of course we need to troubleshoot problems and strive to do things better! The problem arises when the problems are all you see....

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Fertilizers: Synthetic vs. Organic

In my previous article about fertilizers, I hinted at the difference between organic and synthetic fertilizers. This article will go in more depth.

In my community garden, we're 100% organic, so we don't even have the option of using synthetic fertilizers. I used to use synthetic fertilizers on my yard at home, but as I learned more about fertilizers and the environment, I decided to switch to organic. I can't say I always 100% of the...

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What I Don't Plant in my Community Garden Plot

You may think only in terms of what you want to plant in your plot, but you should also consider what crops not to plant in your plot. Kind of a backwards reasoning, right? 

To me, some crops just aren't worth the trouble. 

Cherry or Grape Tomatoes

Don't get me wrong, I love tomatoes! But cherry and grape tomatoes are prolific producers. You'll have a bajillion little tomatoes to pick. In season, a few...

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Growing Cucumbers Vertically

Cucumbers are one of my favorite crops to grow. They are easy and can produce many fruits from only a few plants. The seeds are nice and large and easy to handle. The sprouts are obvious and substantial. It's a great choice for introducing gardening to your children or grandchildren. 

Cucumbers are also one of my favorite vegetables to eat raw. Anyone else slice up a fresh, chilled cucumber and eat the whole thing?

As...

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Bring Your Garden Back to Life Challenge!

Weeds. Bugs. It's so freakin' hot! 

"I get all sweaty and dirty." "I'll go tomorrow."

It's easy for your garden plot to get out of control and overrun with weeds. Maybe some of your plants didn't make it, or they're just teetering on the brink. 

Don't give up! 

You put a lot of work into your garden at the beginning of the season! You had hope and dreams of growing your own beautiful, nutritious vegetables. 

Your...

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