Organic Gardening Blogs

Chosen as one of the Top 30 Organic Gardening Blogs – March 2018

Me and The Bee Gees and Other Stuff

This post will briefly update you on 4 topics:

  • New and Long Overdue Look for TMG Coming
  • Exclusive Tips and Info to Subscribers via Personal Email
  • Handbook of Secrets to Growing Organic Bulbing Onions – the Easy Way
  • Me and the Bee Gees

New and Long Overdue Look for TMG Coming

Folks in the know about the appearances of websites have long told me that my site looks “retro”. I always just laugh, because that really never bothered me. Tons of work is involved in making the change especially since my site is so “full”. If there was no reason to change other than someone saying it looked retro — I’d keep what I have.

But now there’s a reason.

My theme (the thing that accounts for the appearance of the site) is no longer kept up to date. The other systems involved with making the site work are continually changing. Thus, my site could go down at any time (horrors!) because it can’t handle the new stuff.

Although you can’t see it now, the change is in full swing. Once the the foundation is complete it’ll go live. After it’s up I’ll continue the changes to make it even better for readers.

I think you’ll really enjoy the new look. The thing I like best about it is that when a reader lands on the home page, they’ll be able to see in a glance a good overview of what’s available to them on the site.

I’ll be looking forward to your input once you see it and any suggestions you might have.

Exclusive Tips and Info to Subscribers via Personal Email

I finally have a system that will allow me to send personal emails to all subscribers of TMG.

So many times I have short tips or pieces of information or major information that is either too short for a post or I just don’t want anyone other than subscribers to see.

Now I have a way to get the information to you via email.

If and when you decide you don’t want to receive the emails anymore there will be an unsubscribe link you can click. (That will also unsubscribe you from TMG as well.)

Handbook of Secrets to Growing Organic Bulbing Onions – the Easy Way

The good news is I only have the bonus parts to write. Everything else has been written.

The bad news is after that I’ll have to layout the book and that could take longer than I want to imagine. So I have no idea of an estimated time of release.

Some of the information it contains I’m anxious for you to have to help you with onion seedlings that you’ll soon be starting. It’s my hope to put up an excerpt from the book as a post so you can take advantage of that information if you’re one who needs it.

With the added work of the new theme (which is critical at this point) it’s hard to find time for the book and posts.

Me and the Bee Gees

My broken femur has healed of course, but it’ll take almost a year to rebuild my muscles in the left leg. There’s a long way to go before I’m fully recovered.

I can stand comfortably, but need support (walker or crutches) to walk.

I drove for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Rigged a rope in the truck tied to a pull bar on the passenger side. It allows me to pull myself into the truck from the drivers side. I don’t venture far yet; mainly the post office.

When I hurt my legs almost 30 years ago I didn’t know anything about scar tissue or how to prevent build up. Thanks to the internet and talking to others who have dealt with it, I do now.

When I fell this time, it was with such impact that it broke the scar tissue in my legs that had limited my movement for almost 30 years.

So the good news is I could end up being much better than before I fell. Already I can do exercises and have a range of motion that I haven’t had for decades!

Exercises are my ticket back to being even better than prior to my fall. I do a wide variety of them to keep it interesting.

One of the most interesting I made up myself. With my walker I dance as the Bee Gees sing Staying Alive or You Should be Dancing (while John Travolta dances to it).

I try to copy all of Travolta’s moves that I can. Unfortunately, not in perfect form. But it’s fun and it gets the blood circulating. I can’t jump as high as Travolta did in that famous dance scene of 40 years ago, but I do jump! (Couldn’t jump at all before I fell.)

Final Thoughts

It was snowing as I was dancing the other day.  Since I can’t send you a picture of me on the “dance floor”, second best is a picture of the snow out my back door.

Thinking of all of you and planning ways to help you even more in the future.

All my best and warmest wishes to you and yours,


Out my back door.


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Marketing/Hype – Will The Product Advertised Give You Healthy Nutrient Dense Produce You Desire?

The onslaught of advertising for gardening products is on!

Have you already seen several things that you think would enhance your garden’s ability to produce more? Or help your newly started seedlings grow better? Or be just the kind of watering system you need?

Do These Advertisements Sound Like Something You Need?

“Our unique fertilizer is blended to include all the micro-nutrients that (whatever vegetable) requires for optimum growth and productivity.”

“Once your (vegetable plants) are established, feed them with our unique blend of fertilizer to maximize growth and production.”

Read on to determine if you really need these fertilizers.

Is Information on A Site Selling Garden Supplies Factual?

One source I saw warned to start feeding your seedlings as soon as true leaves appear and apply it twice a week and continue until they go into the garden. They went on to say how their seedling-fertilizer contains all the trace nutrients and minerals and everything else your seedlings will need.

Some information on sites selling products can be truthful, no doubt.  But it just so happens that I know from experience that the above is not accurate.  The seed has everything it needs to provide food for the seedling for quite sometime.  Below is a picture of seedlings I’ve raised in soilless grow-mix (no nutrients) and that have never had anything but water added to the mix.

Seedlings in plain grow-mix for 6 weeks or more.

More Powerful Than We Think

Marketing, brain washing, programming — whatever you choose to call it — is a powerful force in our society. It can influence all of us and make us think we need something even when we don’t.

Big business has the money to make it happen. They hire people, who (having made a study of how the human brain works – coupled with good writing skills) know exactly how to make you think you need their product for the success of your garden.

Is Any of It True?

That depends.

If you’re working with nature as you garden (sometimes called biological, organic, or biointensive gardening) it’s not likely you’ll need any of the above.

If you’re following the example of conventional agriculture in your garden maybe these products are for you.

Why Does It Make a Difference?

More and more for the past 100 years our food supplies have been placed in the hands of companies who are in business only to serve their bottom line of profit. That was the beginning of our prevailing agricultural methods.

Poor soil, land, and animal husbandry have depleted most of our soils in this country to point where it can no longer perform the necessary functions to produce food that is healthy and nutrient dense. For example, it no longer has the capacity to retain water or nutrients. It is, for the most part, devoid of life that makes up healthy soil.

Modern agriculture has ignored nature’s law of diversity, the law of replenishing the soil, and the law of covering the soil. Those laws when kept, work towards maintaining soil health.  When ignored they work towards the soil losing its ability to grow food that will maintain garden health and thus, our health.

Simply adding a few nutrients with a chemical fertilizer is just not enough to replace the complex system and life that is in healthy soil.

Calories – Yes; Nutrients – Not So Much

Most of our soil now lacks the nutrients to maintain human health. Some reports say as much as 85% of the soil’s mineral content has been lost.

In the United States the vast majority of the population may get enough calories, but fail to get essential nutrients necessary for health. They’re no longer in food produced on depleted soils in quantities needed to maintain health.

History shows poor management of soil and land have brought down many cultures of the past. The Dust Bowl here in America is an example in our recent history that most of us can easily relate to. (If you have my book the details are on page 148, 149 and a bit on 151.)

Without soil to sustain life there is no life.

The Good News

We as an individuals may not be able to change conventional farming methods and the damage it’s doing.  But the good news is if we have a little bit of soil to tend we can do a lot to introduce some nutrient dense, health giving food into our diets.

And the greatest news is that it’s easy IF you work with nature.

The 3 Keys

If you’ve read my book Organic GardeningCutting Through the Hype to the 3 Keys to Successful Gardening you already know how easy it is.

The First Key is Preparing the Soil Deeply

And the greatest part of this is that you only have to do it once. Henceforth, walk only in your paths not on your beds.  Otherwise you’ll undo what you’ve done by loosening the soil deeply.

Also keep some mulch on the bed to keep rain from compacting the soil.  The picture below shows a bed that I’ve just pulled back the mulch in order to plant.  Once the plants are in, I’ll put the mulch back.

Ready to plant in March. I’ve just added new straw so it’s hard to see in the picture where the paths are.

The picture below shows the garden after a snow from a view point that you can better see where the paths are.

A view to enable you to better see where the paths are.

If you don’t have the book yet, follow my instructions in the posts mentioned at the end for preparing your soil.

You won’t believe the difference it makes.  Not only will it give roots the ability to go further into the soil, but it increases the water holding capacity of the soil.  (Six inches of water can be held in soiled prepared to a depth of 24 inches.)

The Second Key is Adding Organic Material to the Soil

The depleted fields of conventional farms have no organic matter. Without organic matter soil cannot produce well, if at all.

Organic material (anything living) decomposes to make organic matter (decayed living matter.) In your organic garden you’ll want to use primarily plant material.

You don’t need manure, but if you have access to horse, cow, sheep, or chicken manure without herbicide residue you can use it.

In addition to the links I just gave you above, I’ve placed another at the end of the post to give you more information and instruction in case you don’t have my book.

The Third Key is Covering the Soil

Although this can be done with intensive planting, the easiest way if you’re just starting, is by covering the soil with organic material such as straw, pine tags (needles), wood chips, plant residue, and/or cover crops.

Mulching (covering the soil) keeps the soil from washing away, keeps it from compacting, reduces evaporation of water by 13 to 63%, and adds more fertility to the soil as it decays.

I’ve placed a link to a post on mulch at the end to get you started, but I’ve written dozens of posts on mulching .  Put mulch in the search box and choose a post that appears to be what you need.  I suggest you eventually read them all and they’ll answer about any question you might have on mulch.

Nature – Complex or Simple?

What goes on in a healthy soil is complex almost beyond our comprehension.

The good news is we don’t really have to know any of that.  Nature makes it so easy for us.

If we apply the 3 keys which work synergistically, provide good air circulation, and as much diversity as we can, that’s about all our job requires.

We don’t have to till.  We don’t have to fertilize.  We don’t have to water, unless you’re in one of the few areas that has less than 20 inches of rain a year.

Final Thoughts

Most all the dos and don’ts pertaining to growing a crop or preparing a garden come from conventional agriculture. It’s often in direct opposition to how nature does things.

Every time you change the original plan that’s been practiced successfully for 1,000s of years you have to do more and know more. And based on what we see happening with depleted soil, nutrient loss in food, and poisoning by chemicals the results you get are very poor in spite of the work involved.

Is your gardening too complicated?  In the interest of your time, your money, and your health you might want to simplify and make nature your partner.


Organic Gardening is easy, effective, efficient — and it’s a lot healthier.

Related Posts:

Soil Preparation (First Key)

Soil Preparation

Soil Preparation (Part 2)

Adding Organic Matter (Second Key)

Adding Organic Matter

Adding Organic Matter (part 2)

Adding Organic Matter (part 3)

Covering the Soil (Mulching)

10 Reasons to Mulch


Manures – Good or Bad for the Organic Garden

Highly Recommended Reading

3 Books That Can Change Your Garden Your Health and The Way You Look at Life

3 Keys to Successful Gardening – More Proof They Work

Organic Residues – The Needed Energy for Soil Fertility

Organic GardeningCutting Through the Hype to the 3 Keys to Successful Gardening $28.95 Click on the picture to order.


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The Conventional Way or Nature’s Way – One of Many Examples

As long time readers know I was raised on meat and potatoes. My father was a meat salesmen — so we had plenty of it.

The more Bill and I learned about how animals were raised and their meat was treated before it reached our table, the more we wanted to excluded it from our diet.

Eventually we just about eliminated it, and get/got our protein from plants.

Someone Trustworthy that Raises Great Beef

About a decade ago, I was introduced to folks in Idaho that raise beef according to nature’s principles and whose standards are much higher than just the regulations that govern the “certified organic” program. This is a family farm that even supervises the butchering, packing, and shipping of all their meat. Each piece can be traced to the cow it came from! (Almost unheard of today.)

Thus, we designated $200 for their beef every year. We’d freeze it to have on hand when Bill’s patrons ate at our table — which was fairly often.

If I eat any meat at all – this is the meat I’ll eat.

Managing More Than 46,000 acres Hand in Hand with Nature

Even though I haven’t ordered for about 4 years, I still take their emails that are filled with wonderful stories of how they manage 72 square miles (more than 46,000 acres) of wilderness hand in hand with nature and about 600 head of cattle that share the land with wolves, bear, mountain lions, elk, deer, and lots of other critters.

The Effect of Organic Taking More of the Market

Organic has taken more of a share of the market in recent years. Companies and individuals have hopped on the band wagon thinking to join in because there’s money to be made. In most cases, when that’s the only reason they’re in it, they’ll cut corners whenever and wherever they can.

And with the corporate take over of the organic program in recent years, standards are being constantly lowered.

The “Original” Organic Growers

Before organic was “in”, most organic growers were in it because they saw that nature knew what she was doing and they wanted to follow that way. They did/do things because they were the right way long before the certified organic program existed.

Why Growers Usually Change from Conventional to Organic

It’s interesting to read stories (and there are many) of genuine organic growers who started out as conventional growers. They changed because they saw first hand that conventional is almost always totally against nature. They got tired of fighting that battle and turned to working with nature when they figured out that was the solution.

Here’s What the Couple in Idaho Experienced

Thirty years ago when this couple started raising cattle they followed along with what the majority was doing in most things.

In a recent email they tell of one procedure that caused a lot of hardship and problems. They changed to doing it nature’s way and eliminated just about every problem involved.

Following is the conventional procedure, the reason for it, some of the problems it caused, nature’s solution, and the simple thing that brought them to that aha moment of realization.

The Conventional Procedure

Ranchers raising cattle time mating to produce calves in the dead of winter, December through March.

The Rea$on for It

Ranchers came up with this procedure to get calves started a month or so ahead of spring so they’d be as big as possible by the time grass died back in the fall. That’s when they loaded calves on trucks to be sold at market. Those few extra pounds bring a few extra dollars.

The reason for most conventional procedures, be it in raising animals for food, raising crops, or home gardening can be traced to making a few extra dollars rather than being the right way to do things.

Some of the Problems Calving in Winter Brought About

Here are some things that had to happen in order to keep newborn calves alive in subzero temperatures:

  • Ranchers had to be on hand for every calving in those subzero temps to ensure the calf got up immediately. If it didn’t, its core temperature would drop so quickly it wouldn’t survive.
  • Sometimes ranchers spent the night just dozing in the calving barn to keep watch.
  • Their presence stressed the cows. At times cows would stop labor due to stress. Nature would have had them looking for a private place to give birth rather than under floodlights in a barn with humans.
  • If labor didn’t progress, intervention with chains and calf pullers were needed to get the baby out.
  • Other requirements for this unnatural process was high dollar hay to feed lactating mama cows.
  • Adequate bedding was need for calving in snow.
  • Windbreaks were needed to keep subzero breezes of the babies.
  • Extensive lighting systems were installed to be able to see what cows were starting to calve.

Nature’s Solution and the Simple Thing that Caused an Aha Moment for this Rancher and his Wife

Almost all of us are so programmed by our society that it sometimes takes us a while to realize that there’s a much simpler and better way. And in many cases, it can be right in front of us.

One spring when the elk, antelope and deer (and the other animals of the field) were bearing their young in the warmth and green grass of spring, this Idaho rancher and his wife decided to follow suit.

They held the bulls off the cows and timed calving to take place in the spring, long about May, on green grass and the high sun of spring.

Problems Nature’s Way Solved

  • Disease is almost nil.
  • Seldom is human assistance needed.
  • Cows are in the pasture and not stressed by night lights and humans.
  • Cows take care of the birthing themselves as was intended.
  • Rarely is a calf lost.
  • The ranchers don’t have to spend nights out in the cold and try to keep the newborns alive.

Final Thoughts

The young in nature are born when conditions are best for their survival. Not in the dead of winter.

When winter winds blow now on this Idaho ranch, all the calves are safely in the womb of their mothers where the cold can’t get to them. Just as it was always intended.

Please let me know if you receive two notices (emails) for this post. Thanks. I’m still working on trying to get it right. 🙂

Related Posts

Trying to Cut Back on Meat?

Information to Think on Before You Purchase Food, Hydroponics, Afo-Cafo- Meats – Vitamins and even Grain for your Animals You Might Think is Organic.

Organic Gardening – Gardening with Nature – Simple or Complicated


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test 2 to see how post will arrive in inbox

The system that delivers my most current posts to your inbox (Feedburner) is outdated and no long works.

Hence forth, posts will be delivered by Mail Chimp and have a slightly different look than ones delivered by the old system.

This is a test, so I can see how they’ll look and try to make adjustments in case I don’t like the look.

If I’m doing this correctly, I should be the only one receiving this test post.  If you do happen to get it — my apologies.  Please bear with me while I learn.



Tribute to Bill Martz – 4-2-42 to 10-3-15

Almost all of us experience loss at sometime in our life. And although every story is different, we probably all relate some degree to that wrenching emotion that comes from saying goodbye to one we love.

Depending on how close we are to the person we lose, the loss can be like losing a limb. As Robert Southey put it, “time may heal the anguish of the wound, but the loss cannot be repaired.”

It seemed to me the minute Bill died (October 3, 2015 at 7:48 EDT) almost all the normal cares, concerns, hopes, and fears of life fell away. Things that once mattered just didn’t matter any more. So often, it was like looking at the world through a thin curtain and that I was neither dead nor alive.

Bill’s unconditional love for me over 51 years of marriage left an imprint that can never be removed. His actions and words over our life together continue to be part of my actions, thoughts and decisions. I still “hear” his voice and sense his presence at every place he walked and was, even though I know he’s not here.

He was a gift – the most treasured part of my life.

We shared our lives, dreams, failures, successes, heartbreaks, strengths and weaknesses, the best times and the worst, the little joys and the big for more than 51 years.

He helped create an environment in our marriage that allowed us both to work towards becoming the best we could be in every area of our life.

Truly I am among the most blessed of women on earth.
I will love him and hold him dear forever.

Victoria Hanley expressed my feelings when she said,

“I have lived with you and loved you, and now you are gone. Gone where I cannot follow, until I have finished all of my days.”

Final Thoughts

Thinking of all of you who have lost someone dear. May their memories help give you the strength you need to go forward.

Bill Martz, artist, drawing in the Northern Neck. Part of the Chesapeake Bay area.


Why Not Go for Being All You Can Be etc. (our story)

Before My Garden – A Dog Story


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Onions – What Recommendations Do You Follow?

When various information on any garden topic is promoted by well known writers in popular publications, that information is probably taken to heart by the vast majority of readers as “THE” way things should be done.

The unfortunate part of that is those articles are not always correct.

And many times even when information is accurate they can’t tell enough in the allotted space to fully explain.

I received an email some weeks ago from a publication that is considered one of the best, if not THE best on gardening stuff. They were promoting an article on onion growing, so naturally I read it.

It was written by someone who has won many awards for writing, is extremely well known as a garden writer, and gardens as a hobby.

Although the writer gardens in an area similar to mine, I noticed several things that I would disagree with to one extent or the other.

Following are 3 of the recommendations in the article. After the writers recommendation I’ve given mine and what I base it on.

When to Harvest?

#1 – Article Recommendation was to lift all the onions once half the tops in a planting have fallen over.

Here’s what I’ve written about that in my forthcoming book on onions:

“Even though onions in a bed may be of the same variety and were planted at the same time, they don’t all mature at the same time. They can be days apart or even a week or more apart.

“When you go by nature’s way to determine harvest time (the top falling over naturally), it will increase the storage potential for your onions. When the neck softens to the point where the tops fall naturally, the neck is able to shrink tightly when the onion is cured. That’s an important factor in storage life.

“If you ‘break’ the necks (harvest before they fall naturally), as many sources recommend, you decrease storage potential.

“Market growers often harvest all the onions in a row or bed when about half have fall over. The increased storage potential benefit mentioned above is of little value to them when they want to get their crop to market as soon as possible. But it can make a big difference for home gardeners who want onions for winter use.”

How to Plant – One step or Many?

#2 – Article Recommendation was to mix 1 inch layer of mature compost;( I understood this to mean add to the soil before making the furrow); make v-shaped furrow in bed; fill with 1 inch of rich compost or dusting of dry organic fertilizer.

This follows what is commonly recommended. And there’s  nothing wrong with adding mature compost if you want to.

But if you’re renewing your soil each year with organic materials there’s really no need to do any of that. And especially no need to buy and use a dry organic fertilizer.

The organic materials decaying/decayed will add everything to the soil that your plants need to grow.

Onions have been one of my main crops for almost 40 years and I’ve never done any of the things mentioned in the article when planting. I just pulled back the mulch and planted the onions.

(When I grew for market I planted 2,500 onions. After that I cut back to about 1,200.)

One of the most important things that was not mentioned in the article under “how to plant onions” was planting depth.

Planting depth should be about 1 inch. One of the most common mistakes gardeners make is planting onions too deep which results in small onions.

Curing Not Necessary? And Storing Where?!

#3 – Article Recommendation was to cure short-day onions for just a few days, then trim and store in the refrigerator.

I could hardly believe that one!  It too is addressed in my book as follows:

“Storage potential for short day onions can vary from 1 month to 3 months depending on the variety.  I’ve had them sometimes store well for 4 months.

“If you want short day onions to reach their full storage potential you must properly cure them rather than just let them dry for a few days. (Proper curing takes 2 to 4 weeks depending on humidity.)

“If you only have a few and you plan on eating them soon, leave them out just as if they were curing.

“Storing fully mature onions in a refrigerator is not a good idea if you want to enjoy the great taste of fresh onions.

“Cold, humid temperatures change the onions. They lose their flavor and that crisp moist texture.

“Conditions in a refrigerator are opposite the proper storage in a cool, dry environment with good air circulation.

“Young onions (scallions and green onions) pulled for fresh eating are the exception to the rule. They can be kept fresh for several days in a refrigerator without a change in flavor or texture.”

Final Thoughts

You’ve just learned several of my easy secrets to growing great organic onions.  In my forthcoming book, you’ll learn many more.


Related Posts:

How to Have Garden Onions April Thru January

Growing Onions

Following Standard Gardening Advice/Some Examples and Why it Might Happen


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5 Points to Keep in Mind for Success in Getting Through Your Most Challenging Obstacles

In the garden and in every phase of our life we all face obstacles. Some only slow us down; others stop us dead in our tracks. And then there’s the total knockout that puts us down for the count.

#1 – It’s Not the Event That Shapes Your Future

Most of us don’t look forward to unpleasantness in any form. I know I don’t.

It seems however, to be a fact of life that if you can deal with the situation by walking through it and looking for opportunities, you build an inner strength and fortitude that enables you to bounce back more quickly and easily in the future.  And —possibly survive the current situation better than you went in.

For it’s not the event that will shape our future. But rather the thought process we use to get past the obstacle and find opportunities to improve our lives in spite of an unavoidable setback.

Whatever the obstacle, there are ways to deal with it that will shape your world for the better.

#2 – Requirement: You Have To Want To — And That Might Take Some Time

In most cases, “wanting to look for the good in a bad situation” is a lot easier to talk about than it is to do. Especially just after it happens.

Anger, fear, sadness, and frustration can be normal responses depending on the severity of the problem.

We need time to process what’s happened or is happening to us. Once we come to terms with the situation, we can better decide how to proceed.

#3 – Knowing This Fact Helps Us to See How Important It Is to Move in a Positive Direction

Fact: Negative feelings, thoughts, and reactions take a lot of energy and PREVENT (or at the very least hinder) the good outcome you want.

For years I had trouble with depression and sinking to the depths of despair when a seemingly insurmountable obstacle arose. I saw the situation in the worse possible light and thought the way I was seeing it was 100% accurate.

Those thoughts did nothing but drain my energy and make me feel worse. Once I changed my negative direction and looked for opportunities within the problem, even if it was halfheartedly, things started to improve.

Eventually, Bill and I formed the habit of giving ourselves time to process what was happening and then immediately thereafter looking for possible benefits and opportunities within the problem. From there we could better determine a strategy to deal with the situation.

Once looking for the benefits and opportunities within the problem is a habit, it’s automatic.  And that makes life a lot easier.

#4 – The Influence of Others – Those You Keep Company with, What You Read, What You Watch

People we choose to spend time with (be it family or friends) make a huge difference in success or failure in every area of our life. If you want to be – successful, positive, healthy, happy, etc. – surround yourself with people who have the qualities you want for yourself.

Those who are negative, unsupportive, and drain your energy will do you harm.

They influence your attitude. Attitude determines our thinking and behavior on which success or failure in overcoming any obstacle ultimately depends.

What we read and what we watch (movies,etc) also impacts our thinking and behavior. They’ll have the same influence as people we associate with.

You have to make the choices.

And as I mentioned in a previous post: make no mistake, no matter how small it might seem, every decision and choice is taking you towards your goal or away from your goal.

Aristotle Onassis
“It is during out darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”

#5 – Take the Action Best for You

Gather whatever information you need to formulate a plan to resolve whatever difficulty you’re facing and then take action.

Remember, there will always be someone with an opinion about what your course of action should be. And although it seldom hurts to listen, no one really knows your situation like you do. You’re the only one who can decide on the best course of action to take.

Don’t fall prey to the “instant gratification” and “quick fix” mindset that is highly promoted in our society. Often the best solutions are ones that take time.

Just because you don’t see immediate results doesn’t mean that what you’re doing is ineffective.

A good strategy coupled with consistent action pays off.

Final Thoughts

These 5 points have helped me get through a lot of difficulties over the years, including the one I’m experiencing now.

I hope they’ll be helpful in getting you through whatever obstacles you face now and in the future, be they great or small.


Related post:

Choices – Making You Stronger or Weakening Your Resolve


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3 Tips for Fall – Lettuce / Bush Bean Planting, Squash Bug Control Strategy (& a personal note)

#1 – What You Need to Do to Get a Bountiful Supply of Lettuce Through Next Spring

To get a bountiful supply through fall, harvests through the winter, and the earliest supply of lettuce in the spring now is time to start your staggered plantings of lettuce if you haven’t already.

I usually start about mid August and stagger plantings every 10 days or 2 weeks through October.

That might seem like a lot of plantings but it’ll allow for some losses to weather, bugs, and/or seed not germinating. You have no way of knowing those things in advance so it’s beneficial to plan just in case.

Three of my favorite varieties for fall harvests are Sierra Batavia, Winter Density and Bronze Arrowhead. Also good are Rouge D’Hiver, Winter Marvel, Little Gem.

I’ve found Winter Density to be THE best for wintering over in my garden. (I protect from below freezing temperatures.)

Since I anticipate it being another month to 6 weeks before I can walk, I’ll be late getting started this year. But better late than not to have any lettuce. How bountiful my late plantings will be during the fall months will depend on the weather.

#2 – Want a Fresh Green Bean for Thanksgiving Dinner?

Masai bush beans are great for fall planting. They only take about 55 days from seedlings to beans.  Here in zone 7 there should be time to get beans before frost. Covering with a thicker row cover fabric should allow them to continue even a bit after frost.

A short bushy plant, the Masai plant produces long thin beans that are not only beautiful, but delicious.

If you have trouble with grasshoppers and other pests eating your emerging seedlings in the fall, you can start Masai Bush Beans in flats or pots. Transplant to the garden when they have 2 or more true leaves.

A great addition to Thanksgiving dinner. Or possibly Christmas dinner depending on your last frost/freeze date and how cold it gets.

#3 – Squash Bug Control Strategy – Do It Now to Cut Down on the Numbers Next Year

As I pointed out in a previous post you need more than one strategy to control squash bugs. One of the most important tactics is to prevent their overwintering in your garden.

Considering that female squash bugs can hibernate in the top 6 inches of your soil over the winter with as many as 250 eggs that will be viable NEXT spring without her mating again –– stopping even 10 females from wintering over could prevent as many as 2,500 bugs from attacking your squash next year.

You’ll need your dead or dying squash plants (or other cucurbits that the squash bug attacked) for this control tactic.

I gave the details in this post: Squash Bugs – End of the Season Strategy.

If you’ve already taken your plants out of the garden, I would recommend looking around where they grew. Some of the bugs may have stayed in that location.

Final Thoughts – a Personal Note

Thanks so much for your emails of concern and well wishes. They’ve meant a lot.

Still in my kitchen floor, but each day brings a tiny but noticeable improvement. Every little degree of movement gained makes things a bit easier for me and is very encouraging.

I’m heading towards getting up from this serious setback in better condition than before it happened. And wouldn’t that be something!! 🙂

All my best wishes for a great fall season. I’m thinking of you.



Related Posts:

Squash Bugs – End of the Season Strategy

Fall Planting – Less than Perfect Conditions

Time to Plan and Plant for Fall

Gardening and Life in General – Walking in the Direction You Want to Go

Fall Crops – Starting In Flats Can be a Strategy for Pest Control


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Tomatoes – Save Time; Save Freezer Space; Get Better Tasting Sauce; Recipes for Kids, Formal Dinner, Appetizer

Tomatoes are just about the most popular home grown vegetable (fruit). Many who don’t consider themselves gardeners, still grow a few tomato plants every year.

I’m so spoiled by the taste of homegrown tomatoes from my organic garden that I won’t eat tomatoes from the store — organic or otherwise.

Tomatoes from my garden.

Other Ways to Enjoy Your Tomatoes

Here are some other ways to make the most of your tomatoes that I’ve previously written about.


Want a recipe using your fresh tomatoes that the kids will love in the summer?  That you can also use for an elegant luncheon or a formal dinner during Christmas?  One that only takes 30 minutes to make and offers a taste of summer and is sure to impress your guests?

Tomatoe Sherbet- Serve at a Summer Luncheon or as Part of Your Main Christmas Meal

Here’s a recipe that’s so simple you probably won’t believe how delicious it is until you try it yourself. Serve it a an appetizer or as the salad in a formal sit-down dinner.

If you have to restrict your intake of salt, this is a definite must-try.

The post also tells you what Organic Gardening Magazine didn’t tell you about oils.

Fresh Tomatoes – Elevated (even more) to Gourmet Status

Sauce – Saving Time, Freezer Space and Getting Better Taste

Are you one who cooks tomatoes on the stove for hours to make sauce?
Is your freezer space taken up with whole fresh tomatoes?
Would you like to save time and space and still have the great taste of summer tomatoes in a much easier-to-work-with-form?

You can use this “sauce” right out of the oven with or without spices. You can freeze it in a fraction of the space taken by whole tomatoes. Great for quick meals all year: pasta dishes, soups, or by itself as a side dish. Use in anything that calls for tomatoes, sauce, or paste.

(The thickness of what you freeze will depend on how long you cook it.)

To get all the options offered, be sure to read all four posts.

Tomatoes – Roasted for the Easiest Most Delicious Tomato Sauce

How to Make Tomato Sauce or Tomato Paste the Easy Way

Quick and Delicious Tomato Sauce

Addendum to Quick and Delicious Tomato Sauce

Stir the roasted tomatoes.

After you stir the roasted tomatoes, this is what the sauce will look like.

What Tomatoes Make the Best Tasting Sauce?

Tomatoes with drier texture and little or no seeds are called paste tomatoes.
Many gardeners grow them especially for use in making sauce/paste.

Over the years I’ve grown dozens of varieties of paste tomatoes and have never found one that even comes close to the taste of regular tomatoes for making sauce or paste. I don’t grow them anymore.

If you grow both, you might want to do a test. Fix a batch of sauce with paste tomatoes and one with regular tomatoes. (Since the paste tomatoes are drier they’ll be finished sooner than the regular tomatoes.)

When both are done, thoroughly cooled, and before you add any seasoning, taste each and make your decision.

Final Thoughts

Wishing you an abundance of great tomatoes for use now and throughout the winter.


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Time to think about Garlic – One of Earth’s Most Beneficial Foods

The medicinal properties of garlic were revered even in ancient and medieval times going back 5,000 years or more.

In World War I and World War II it was used as an antiseptic for wounds and given to prevent infections like gangrene.

During the time of the plague in the early 1700s, gravediggers in France are said to have used crushed garlic in their wine to protect themselves from the sickness.

Garlic In Modern Times

If you’re only a believer of what’s been researched by modern science you’ll be happy to know that garlic fits the bill. All you need do is Google and you’ll quickly find information on any specific you’re looking for. If you have problems like ulcers that garlic might irritate, that information is also available.

Garlic falls into the category of one of the few things that’s good for just about everything that ails you.

Where Does Super Market Garlic Come From

More than 50% of garlic consumed in the US comes from China. And yep, what you buy in the grocery store more than likely comes from China. If you want reasons for not buying things produced in that country review this post.

Finding a Source You Can Trust

Even if we grow our own garlic, we can’t always grow enough to get us through the year. Finding a source we can trust can be difficult. is a source you can trust and is certified organic. Their large bulbs of seed garlic are grown specifically to be used as seed to produce healthy, hardy garlic in your garden.

If you don’t have enough garlic from your garden to get you through the year — or if you don’t grow garlic — no problem: has garlic for eating as well as seed garlic.

You can still choose the variety you want. The bulbs are just a bit smaller than bulbs of seed garlic. And there’s a nice savings on the eating garlic.

This small company is a hands-on family operation. Troy, his wife, and 6 kids grow all 20 of the varieties they sell.

The kids are very much involved in the day to day activities of the garlic business as part of their education. As a matter of fact, Troy wrote recently saying the kids handled all the harvesting this year while he was busy with something else.

Lydia and Lorna take a break (last October) from planting to smile at their Dad as he took the picture.

To Be Associated With

As you might recall from past posts, I often get requests from businesses wanting to advertise on TendingMyGarden.  Almost without exception when those businesses are further investigated, I find they don’t share the organic values that I encourage. So, of course, I decline their offers.

You can imagine how delighted I was 5 years ago, after an inquiry by Troy Greenberg about advertising, to find that shared the values TendingMyGarden encourages.

More Than Just an Advertiser

Troy and I correspond off and on throughout the year and we’ve become  good friends.The more I learn about the Troy and his family, the happier I am to have them associated with TMG and to be able to recommend them to you.

I consider them part of the TMG family and appreciate the service and product they offer you, my readers.

Troy took this picture of his daughter and son, Lydia and Elias, last October as they finished packing orders to be shipped the next day.

Final Thoughts

Their continued support (now 5 years) goes a long way towards making it possible for me to continue to give you the help you need to be successful in your garden.

I hope you’ll check out’s offerings. If you decide to order and have a chance to talk to Troy, his wife, or one of the kids, I hope you’ll let  them know how much they’re appreciated.


Related Posts:

Growing Garlic – A Good Reason to Grow Your Own

Garlic – A good Harvest Possible Even With Too Much Rain

Garlic is a Family Affair At the Greenbergs in Wisconsin – Making Memories

Welcoming Back



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