Planting Tomatoes

Tomato plant sales are gearing up all across the country. Whether you visit a TomatoMania event, or a local nursery, it's clear that tomato fever is running rampant. In most warm climates, it's time to put them in the ground (while coastal and cool climate folks try to restrain themselves a little longer). Here are some helpful hints for planting tomatoes whenever you get around to doing it.

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New Edible Landscape for a Cottage

Back in November, I got a call from a woman who wanted to turn her front and back yard into an edible landscape. She had seen me on Food For Thought with Claire Thomas, and felt instinctively that Gardenerd was the right hire for the job.

We worked together to come up with ideas: moving existing baby fruit trees to permanent homes in the front yard, adding a vegetable garden and more fruit trees in the backyard. She ...

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Spring Garden Planning Workshop This Saturday

You've riffled through all of those seed catalogs, you've taken a survey of your seed collection and filled in the blanks. Now what? 

Where will everything go this season?  How will you find enough room?  What about crop rotation and companion planting? 

With all these things to think about, planning your spring garden may feel overwhelming. It's supposed to be fun. We can help.

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Ask Gardenerd: When is it Organic?

A very thoughtful question came into Ask Gardenerd this week:

"I'm new here. So far my big challenge is getting started. I do have a question. I do want to eat organic. Let's say I get a small plant, like an herb, from Home Depot or a similar store, I plant it and grow it organically with no man-made chemicals are pesticides. Does that make the plant organic? Is it kind of organic? If I keep it growing year-after-year and grow it organically, will ...

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After Vacation Harvesting 2011…and meal ideas

It's magical to come home after a vacation to find that the garden has not taken any time off. We get used to looking at our gardens everyday, so we don't notice the changes as much as when we take a break and return to find a bumper crop waiting to be harvested.

That's exactly what happened last month when we took a trip to Europe. We came home to beets, kale, lettuces, Swiss chard and more. In ...

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Pruning Asparagus

A question came in to Ask Gardenerd this week:

"Could you please help me understand how to trim my 4’ tall asparagus patch that was planted in the fall? Does it need to turn completely brown? How low do I trim it?"

Great question, and the answer can be confusing, because there are two schools of thought on the matter. Many gardeners, including those at Peaceful ...

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Updated – New 2012 Spring/Summer Seed Collection

It's time to start thinking about the future, and whether that's the upcoming holiday season or next year's garden, Gardenerd is here to motivate you. What better way to start the ball rolling than a tour through the new 2012 Spring/Summer Seed Collection?

Each year we select our favorite heirloom varieties, or coveted heirlooms that we've been dying to grow. We choose a trusted seed source that takes the Safe Seed Pledge and promotes bio-diversity by offering heirloom and open pollinated varieties that you can grow, save and plant again year after year. ...

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Hey Gardenerd, Fancify My Garden

October was a busy month for garden design, as Southern California gardeners became excited about fall gardening. Our most recent project already had an existing vegetable bed, but the homeowner wanted more space to grow, and less grass to mow. We took it from there.

The existing garden bed was infiltrated with devil's grass, crawling its way up through 18 inches of fecund soil. Crabgrass surrounded two young fruit trees, potentially hampering future growth. The homeowner wanted berries and had an ideal location along a neighboring garage wall.

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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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How’s that Broccoli Coming Along?

Experimentation yields results -  just not always the results we expect. Such is the case with our trail planting of the Italian broccoli, Cavolo Broccolo a Getti di Napoli. The picture on the seed packet indicates that this sprouting broccoli is harvested mainly for it's leaves, but those leaves (and the shoots of sprouting broccoli) are reported to be slender and spear-like.

Well... not so much.

While it's true that this is a ...

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