Tag Archives

Millet Update and Spring Colors

Millet turning darker at the tips

We planted millet in late February and planted it out last month and already we have an update! While many of the plants were destroyed by curious cats, the remainder have sent up impressive stalks of grain. This being our … Continue reading

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Beneficial Flowers Build Your Ecosystem


One of the first things I talk about in my lectures about organic gardening is the importance of creating an eco-system around the garden. After all, a garden is much more than just a planter bed.
It’s everything around it as well.

Beneficial flowers attract beneficial insects, which do a number of jobs for you in the garden. They can pollinate, they can eat other bugs, and they can also be food for birds. Let’s explore some
of the easy flowers you can grow in your garden to attract beneficial insects: …
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The Truth about Seed Balls


You’ve seen the news clips about seed balls being dispensed from gum ball machines and tossed lazily amongst the weeds in vacant lots, but what ever happens to them?  Do they indeed sprout and
blossom into beautiful wildflowers?  Do they spruce up a desolate parkway in the midst of bustling city life? 

I needed to find out for myself. So I bought two packages of seed balls for the Test Garden.

One set of seed balls was designed for hummingbirds, with larkspur, …
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Winter’s Bounty 2011


As the winter growing season is winding down, we’ve already planted some spring crops, and planned out the summer crops. There’s still one important thing to do, however, before we move on to spring:
appreciate winter’s bounty.

Even though we can see what’s growing above ground, there’s an element of surprise when harvesting root crops like carrots, parsnips and potatoes (okay – it’s a tuber, not a root crop). Students
always ask me how they will know when to pick their root vegetables. I tell them to run their index finger around the …
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U-Pick Lavender


Our adventure in Ojai continue with the opening day of “u-pick” season at a local lavender farm. New Oak Ranch hung balloons out on the road
sign, inviting folks to come and pick a handful of fresh lavender for $5 a bunch. The farm features 20 different varieties of lavender (mostly Grosso, Hidcote, Buena Vista, and Provence) but
they also have Pixie tangerines, olives and walnuts.

The bees were hovering throughout …
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Gardens of Telluride


Once you arrive in Telluride, there is little need for a car, which makes for great sight-seeing on foot.  When I was last here in spring, the flowers were just starting to get going and there was still snow on the mountains. Now the gardens are in full bloom and everyone is making the most of their gardening space.  While I haven’t seen too many vegetable gardens, I have been charmed by the plenitude of cuteness in every corner.  I thought I’d share some photos from this beautiful mountain town:

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Lots of Flowers, but No Fruit


A frustrated gardenerd wrote in recently:

Having a little gardening crisis – I planted a second round of zucchini and cucumbers in September. They are large now and have produced many flowers, but no fruit! Other things I planted at the same time are doing well. Beans and peas aplenty. I know pollination is an issue, since what few bees there are right now are OBSESSED with the eucalyptus tree on the other side of the house, not my garden – but I’ve added some sweet alyssum pots to the garden area, and even poked at the flowers with …
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Gray Water for Vegetables?


A forward-thinking gardenerd wrote in this week:

“I am considering a gray water system to use on a vegetable garden. Is this safe to do? If so, is it considered organic?”

My first thought was, no – it’s not really safe to use, but it might be with the right system.  Then I took to the cyberspace waves and found a few bits of information:

In many states it is actually illegal to use gray water on vegetable gardens.  You should check with your municipal sewage service to see what laws apply where you live.

In states where gray water systems are legal, they …
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Vacation watering


We’ve recently returned from a trip to the Emerald Island of Ireland and the beautiful region of Provence in the South of France.  There were so many camera-ready images for the eyes to feast on, but that’s for another blog coming … Continue reading

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Indoor herb gardening


While Spring is just around the corner, many people are itching to have fresh herbs at the ready.  In places where temperatures remain chilly at least until April, what’s a NYC foodie to do?  Her question reads: “What do you suggest for … Continue reading

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