Organic Gardening Blogs

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

Grow What You’ll Use – Temper with What you Can Handle

If you’re new at gardening you might have to experience the cycle (especially the harvest) before you can determine accurately how much you should be planting.

Here are 8 things you will need to consider before determining what and how much to plant. (And I am assuming that you are trying to garden in a way that is in tune with nature.)

1. Your […]

Principle of Diversity – Assuring your success.

Want to know 3 ways to always be successful in your garden?  Diversify, diversify,  and diversify. (a/k/a Variety, variety, and variety.)

A different set of variables is presented to us every year we garden. If the differences become substantial some of our favorite varieties of vegetables can fail.  If we are continually working with the universal principle of diversity in mind, we have a […]

Excess Vegetables and Fruit - Your Garden's Buried Treasure

In spite of any attempt to grow only the amount I think I will need of any particularly vegetable or fruit, nature has as way of providing more than planned for at times. Sometimes summer squash, tomatoes and cucumbers can be perfect examples.  I never consider this a problem.  As a matter of fact — I get down right excited about it!  You know why?  Because its —–read more—-

How Is Your Garden in This Drought?

My guess is if you’re a bare ground gardener you’re not doing well at all.  If you mulch I would imagine you’re still having some difficulties, although you’ve probably made it through a lot better than conventional gardeners.

Even if you’re set up to water, it’s not the same as rain to plants. I don’t water, but when I thought I was going to lose my cucumbers and squash for sure, I hauled several gallons of water to them (twice) to try to get them through.   Fortunately – we had just enough rain last week to help them make a recovery.

The picture below is what you see as you walk into my garden. The cucumber is growing into my asparagus.  Tomatoes are to the left and right. (Summer poinsettia at bottom left corner of picture reseeds in my garden every year.  It’s so lovely I would hate to pull it all up.) This was taken yesterday, July 21, 2010.

Here’s how the same cucumbers  have been —–read more—-

Mulching Your Fruits, Vegetables, and Perennials

April 10

Some folks have told me they don’t have an understanding of how to mulch certain vegetable beds.  They reason that the newly emerged vegetables will be mashed by the mulch.

Using crops that are currently planted in my garden (or will be soon) as examples below, I’ve been more specific about just —–read more—-

Slug Damage - Solution - Review

When I picked lettuce yesterday it was overcast with a slight misty rain and about 55 degrees.  Perfect day time conditions for slugs who are usually active at night.

This is one garden pest that if not controlled can make you want to give up —–read more—-

Contained Raised Beds? NO WAY!

I see contained raised beds in magazines that are showing off someone’s beautifully laid out garden. Some are quite elaborate and look lovely. The walled raised beds used in landscaping (for example to control erosion on a hill) make a great improvement to the property and if one can afford the expense and labor in constructing them they should last for a long time.

Our framer of years past (my husband is an artist) had a stone wall that enclosed a flower bed. She had an infestation of copperhead snakes —–read more—-

10 Reasons to Mulch

March 18

Its only when the ground is frozen solid or snow is on the ground that I can’t really do anything in the garden and yard — except maybe peek at the lettuce under the cold frame.  This past February was such a month, so I lost almost an entire month of enjoying my yard and garden.

Fortunately most Virginia winters are such that I can accomplish a lot outside and get a jump on things before green growth takes over.  For me anywhere from 40 to 60 degrees is perfect for working outside.

In January this year I cut the ornamental grasses (I usually wait until March), and cut back some leather leafs and variegated shrubs that we use as a hedge along the side of the property that had grown about 10 to 15 feet tall. The mocking birds and thrashers loved them and were becoming quite prolific.  Both are aggressive birds and —–read more—-

Ahhhhh - The Fruit of My Labor

Febuary 27

From Garden to Freezer to Table – Vegetable Lasagna

Small yellow squash, sweet & newly harvested onions, red ripe tomatoes, fresh parsley: all summer delights.  And although fresh-from-the-garden can’t be beat, there is a second option when snow is on the ground and there are no fresh vegetables.

I saute and freeze at least ten “fat” quart bags of yellow squash and onion each growing season just so I can make a wonderful vegetable lasagna at least 10 times during the cold weather months. This dish will make 2 to 4 meals for 2 people – depending on how much you like to eat and what you serve with it.

I’ll list the amounts of the ingredients I use, but feel free to use —–read more—-