The delicate, edible leaves of leafy green vegetables, as one might imagine, are particularly susceptible to damage from insects. Keep an eye out for these common pests. Continue reading
Disease is a particularly important consideration when growing leafy greens because – as their name indicates – the delicate leaves are the part of the vegetable you’ll most likely want to eat.
Keep an eye out for any of these common diseases affecting your leafy green crop. Continue reading
If there can be a “hipster” vegetable of the moment, kale is certainly it these days. It’s hard to look over a menu in any upscale restaurant these days without seeing kale appearing as a side dish or “bed” for a couple of entrees. Continue reading
Planting leafy greens is exceptionally easy and for many variety results in both an ongoing harvest, as well as the opportunity for a second planting. Continue reading
“Leafy greens” is in fact a pretty generic term for a wide variety of vegetables. Depending on how you’re planning to grow, store and cook them, here are a number of factors about each to consider. Continue reading
Though leafy greens might seem too fragile for cooler temperatures, fall is in fact the best time to plant them in most United States hardiness zones as many varieties prefer cooler weather. Continue reading
Originating in Mexico and Central America, people have been eating squash for more than 7,500 years. Native Americans shared squash seeds in different varieties with European explorers, who then took the new crop back to their lands to grow. Continue reading
Here are some REALLY good reasons why you should grow your own tomatoes. Read “Tomatoland” by Barry Estabrook. Or be convinced by these excerpts from the NY Times book review…
“South Florida, where nearly all of America’s winter tomatoes are grown, is nearly…(an)…alien…environment for farming. It’s insane that tomatoes are grown there at all.
“Florida’s sandy soil, Mr. Estabrook writes, is as devoid of plant nutrients as a pile of moon rocks. “Florida growers may as well be raising their plants in a sterile hydroponic medium.”
He continues, witheringly: “To get a successful crop, they pump the soil full of chemical fertilizers and can blast the plants with more than 100 different herbicides and pesticides, including some of the most toxic in agribusiness’s arsenal.” Migrant workers are coated with these chemicals too. The toll that’s taken on them, in the form of birth defects, cancer and other ailments, is hideous to observe and should fill those who eat Florida tomatoes with shame.
And all this for what? Hard, tasteless, uniform green balls that barely dent when they fall off a truck at 60 miles per hour and that must be gassed to achieve the sick-pink hue they present in supermarkets.
You’d don’t need to become an eco-warrior to get on friendly terms with the environment. In fact, you can start small…literally in your own backyard. Here are a few suggestions.
In the Yard
Plant a few trees, shrubbery or flowers around your property. Weed and mulch shrubbery beds. Don’t over-water your lawn. Make sure you completely shut off the water source when you’re finished. Use your mower to mulch lawn clippings as a good self-fertilizer and to help re-seed. If you bag clippings, recycle them as mulch laid in thick layers in the areas between rows of your vegetable garden.
Not ready to abandon the pleasures of gardening just because fall is approaching? Here are a few ideas to keep your hand in and to make sure your green thumb stays green.
Planting Bulbs in the Fall
The most obvious solution is to consider planting bulbs in the fall for flowers that will bloom in the spring. Dormant over the summer months, bulbs break dormancy during low temperatures so that growth can resume in fall and early winter. As a general guideline, you can plant your bulbs between mid-August until the soil freezes depending on the species.
Planting Vegetables in the Fall
Planting a vegetable garden in the fall may even be easier than gardening during the summer. Think about it: none of those perspiration-drenched days during hot and Continue reading