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How Do I Grow Carrots?

| Grow

A grocery store carrot can never compare to the taste of a fresh-picked carrot from the garden, but growing carrots can be frustrating. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid the obstacles and have a successful carrot crop. If you want to grow carrots in your garden, here’s everything you need to know. […]

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How Do I Grow Asparagus?

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Though I have been a gardener for decades, I did not always grow asparagus because I was hesitant to commit a garden bed to a long-lived perennial crop, but in time I realized I was missing out on one of nature’s greatest gifts. Home-grown asparagus is unsurpassed in flavor and sweetness, and it’s downright beautiful […]

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How Do I Grow Corn?

| Grow

Corn — or maize, as it’s known in much of the world — is the most planted crop in the United States. In agriculture, corn is grown for human consumption, spirits, animal feed and even fuel and disposable containers. In the home garden, this warm-season crop is usually grown for one reason: to enjoy the […]

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How Do I Grow Turnips?

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Turnips are root vegetables in the cabbage family that are spicy and crunchy when raw, and sweet and earthy when cooked. Turnips that mature in cool weather are the sweetest of all, but this crop can be grown for both spring and fall harvest. If you want to grow turnips in your garden, here is […]

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How Do I Grow Parsnips?

| Grow

Parsnips are cool-season root vegetables that are similar in appearance to carrots but with their own unique growing requirements and distinct taste. Parsnips that have experienced a few touches of frost prior to harvest are the sweetest, with a nutty or earthy flavor. If you want to grow parsnips in your garden, here is everything […]

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How Do I Grow Radishes?

| Grow

Radishes are an easy-to-grow root crop that is suited to both a spring and fall harvest. They are quick to mature, which makes them ideal for succession planting. If you want to grow radishes in your garden, here is everything you need to know. You can also download my How Do I Grow Radishes? one-sheet […]

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How Do I Grow Cauliflower?

| Grow

Cauliflower is a nutritious, versatile vegetable that offers so many possibilities in the kitchen and is satisfying to grow. If you want to grow cauliflower in your garden, here’s everything you need to know to keep it thriving from planting to harvest. You can also download my How Do I Grow Cauliflower? one-sheet and keep […]

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Winter: The Best Time to Work on Your Garden

| Prepare

Though there are a number of methods gardeners can use to extend the growing season, there is a period of dormancy for most gardens in the winter months between December and February. During these coldest months, I take this opportunity to work on my garden rather than in my garden. The careful planning and work […]

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How Do I Grow Beets?

| Grow

Beets are a cold-weather crop that I look forward to growing in both spring and fall. Not only are beets a hearty root vegetable, but the tops are edible as well. They also grow quite fast, so you can enjoy beets before many other crops. If you want to grow beets in your garden, here’s […]

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How Do I Grow Broccoli?

| Grow

Broccoli is one of my favorite plants to grow and eat, and it’s one of the most nutritious crops there is. If you want to grow broccoli in your garden, here’s everything you need to know to keep it thriving from planting to harvest. You can also download my How Do I Grow Broccoli? one-sheet […]

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How Do I Grow Swiss Chard?

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Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that’s renowned for its nutritional value, and it’s popular with gardeners because it is so easy to grow. It is a cut-and-come-again crop that produces for quite some time and is cold hardy too. If you want to grow Swiss chard in your garden, here’s everything you need […]

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Feed Your Lawn Naturally by Topdressing with Compost

| Care

A healthier lawn comes with healthier soil, and there is no better way to improve soil health than by adding compost. You can feed your lawn naturally by topdressing it with compost. Compost contains the primary nutrients — nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium — and an array of micronutrients to naturally feed a lawn. But there […]

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How Do I Grow Summer Squash?

| Grow

Pattypan, crookneck, straightneck and zucchini — these are the summer squashes, all highly productive, a pleasure to grow and better to eat. What sets summer squash apart from winter squash is that the fruit are soft-skinned, tender and intended for eating right away. They are picked while immature and lack the tough skin that makes […]

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How Do I Grow Winter Squash?

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Winter squash is so-named because unlike summer squash, which has a soft skin and should be enjoyed right away, the hard-skinned fruit of winter squash can be cured and then stored for several months. Butternut, spaghetti and acorn squash are classic examples, and pumpkins too are a cultivar of winter squash. If you want to […]

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How to Conduct a Bioassay Test

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Conducting a bioassay test is a way to determine if composted horse manure contains persistent herbicides that could be detrimental to plants. It’s not that complicated, but there are a few steps to follow to ensure reliable results. Once contaminated horse manure has been added to your garden beds, it may create problems that take […]

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How Do I Grow Basil?

| Grow

I love to grow basil — there’s nothing better than walking outside to snip a few stems for whatever you’re cooking at the moment. Basil is a great plant for gardeners from beginners to experts because it’s easy to care for and doesn’t require lots of space. It can easily be grown in a container […]

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How Do I Grow Melons?

| Grow

Few things say summer quite like biting into a sweet, juicy melon. Cantaloupes, honeydew and watermelons are all a delight to grow when they have the sun, heat and fertility that they need. Their spreading and climbing vines make the garden visually appealing too. If you want to grow melons in your garden, here’s what […]

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How Do I Grow Tomatoes?

| Grow

Tomatoes are by far the most popular home garden crop in America, and it’s clear why. You’ll never eat a tomato that tastes better than one you picked from your own garden. If you want to grow tomatoes for the first time or are looking to up your tomato-growing game, here’s what you need to […]

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How Do I Grow Green Beans?

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Green beans, string beans, snap beans or haricot vert — no matter what you call these legumes, they are easy to grow and a delight to eat fresh from the garden. If you want to grow green beans in your garden, here’s everything you need to know. You can also download my How Do I […]

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How Do I Grow Cucumbers?

| Grow

Cucumbers are a fast-growing summer crop and make a great addition to any vegetable garden. They’re known for their desire to roam, with vines that climb everywhere, but these days, there are also bush-style varieties available that make cucumbers a good option no matter how little space you have. If you want to grow cucumbers […]

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How Do I Grow Eggplant?

| Grow

Eggplant is a warm-season crop that you’ll love eating, and as a bonus, it adds a lot of visual interest in the garden with its purple flowers and gorgeous fruit. Eggplant is related to tomatoes and peppers, so if you’ve ever grown either of those, you’re already off to a good start — but no […]

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How Do I Grow Spinach?

| Grow

Spinach is a cool-season plant that’s one of the first crops of spring and a great fall crop as well. You’ll enjoy growing this undemanding plant and will enjoy eating it even more. Harvest spinach any time to enjoy raw in salads or cook it up in seconds for a delicious side dish that’s loaded […]

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How Do I Grow Peas?

| Plant

Peas, as one of the first crops that can be sown outdoors in spring, are a harbinger of the growing season. There are climbing-type and bush-type peas, peas with colorful and interesting flowers, shelling peas and peas with edible pods. If you want to grow peas in your garden, here’s everything you need to know. […]

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How Do I Grow Peppers?

| Grow

Peppers are one of the most rewarding plants grown in an edible garden. They are very productive — giving gardeners all the fruit they can eat, and then some — and the fruit look gorgeous as they develop. If you want to grow peppers in your garden, here’s what you need to know. You can […]

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How Do I Grow Brussels Sprouts?

| Grow

Brussels sprouts are cool-season brassicas that taste even better after they have been kissed by frost. Nothing complements a main course in fall quite like fresh Brussels sprouts that came straight to the kitchen from the garden. They have a delicious, slightly crunchy, nutty flavor and can be served roasted, sautéed, steamed and even raw. […]

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How Do I Grow Herbs?

| Grow

Growing culinary herbs is the easiest way to start a kitchen garden, as herbs are undemanding and produce continuous harvests throughout the season. Even if you have no room for a garden — as long as you have sun — you can grow herbs in containers. If you want to grow herbs, here’s what you […]

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How Do I Grow Lettuce?

| Grow

Lettuce is a fast-growing cool-season crop for spring and fall that is attractive in both vegetable and ornamental gardens and is suited to container gardening as well. If you want to grow lettuce in your garden, here’s what you need to know. You can also download my How Do I Grow Lettuce? one-sheet and keep […]

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How Do I Grow Artichokes?

| Grow

Artichokes are delicious to eat roasted, grilled, fried or steamed, and in the garden they provide incredible ornamental value with their structural form, silver-green foliage and blazing neon purple color when allowed to bloom. If you want to grow artichokes in your garden, here’s what you need to know. You can also download my How […]

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How Do I Grow Strawberries?

| Grow

Strawberry plants are cold hardy and easy to grow, and they thrive in containers and raised beds. Best of all, home-grown strawberries taste a thousand times better than any store-bought variety. If you want to grow strawberries in your garden, here’s what you need to know. You can also download my How Do I Grow […]

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How Do I Grow Onions?

| Plant

If you’ve never grown onions, you’ll be pleasantly surprised because they’re super easy to grow, hardy through winter, and ready to harvest anytime you are. Young plants are harvested as green onions or scallions. But the longer you wait, the bigger the bulb — at least until they reach full size at maturity.  Here, I’ll […]

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Why to Leave the Leaves

| Care

One of the best decisions that gardeners can make to increase the diversity of wildlife on the land that they steward is to “leave the leaves.” This easy-to-remember turn of phrase means refraining from raking, blowing, or mowing the fall leaves that butterflies, bees, moths, spiders, toads, salamanders and other critters rely on for habitat […]

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The Complete Guide to Growing Garlic (Everything You Need to Know)

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Garlic is an easy-to-grow crop that requires little to no care, and if you set aside a head or two from each harvest for planting the next season, you’ll never have to buy garlic again. Garlic is in the Allium genus, which also includes onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, chives and ornamental Alliums.  Because garlic grows […]

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A Guide to Using Cover Crops in the Home Garden

| Care

When vegetables are not actively growing in your garden, planting a cover crop can be an excellent, and potentially better option to both protect and improve your soil. It’s beneficial to plant a cover crop any time a bed is allowed to go dormant. This could be in anticipation of winter or between plantings of […]

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Japanese Beetle Prevention and Control

| Care

Japanese beetle prevention and control is one of the most common challenges for gardeners each summer. Although they are one of the most visually stunning insects, with their bronze and green coloring, these invasive pests are also one of the most destructive — they damage and can sometimes even kill flowers, shrubs and trees when […]

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Powdery Mildew Prevention & Control

| Care

Powdery mildew is a widespread plant fungal disease that affects both edibles and ornamentals, but when you find that your squash vines or rose bushes appear to be covered in white dust, all hope is not lost. You can control or eliminate powdery mildew, and there are preventative measures you can take before it appears. […]

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Squash Bug Prevention & Control

| Care

The squash bug (Anasa tristis) is a pest to plants in the cucurbit family (squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelon, etc.) and one of the most difficult garden pests to control organically — but it can be done! Squash bugs (not to be confused with the Squash vine borer) not only damage plant foliage as they feed, […]

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Squash Vine Borer Prevention & Control

| Care

Squash vine borer (Melitta curcurbitae) is a garden pest that destroys squash plants and is almost impossible to stop once it has gotten inside a squash vine, but there are smart, organic gardening practices you can adopt to prevent this pest from ever becoming a problem. The name squash vine borer applies to both the […]

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The Best Soil Temperature for Seed Germination

| Plant

The anticipation and excitement that come from sowing seeds for a favorite flower or vegetable can lead to disappointment weeks later when many, if not all, of those seeds have failed to germinate. While many factors affect germination — from the age and quality of the seed to the depth of planting — the most […]

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The Benefits of Backyard Chickens to Your Compost

| Compost

Of all the ingredients I could add to my garden to make it grow and thrive, without a doubt the single most important input is compost. It’s the key to the health of my vegetable garden, landscape plants, thriving lawn, and anything growing under my watch. And the benefits of keeping backyard chickens to your […]

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How to Make Compost the Easy Way

| Compost

Composting – It’s unfortunate how often that phrase intimidates gardeners. The fact is, anyone can compost, and there are so many benefits to enjoy as a result. Even if you have just a small yard or balcony, you can turn a pile of your raw household materials into the most beautiful, rich, dark, earthy material […]

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Busted – Top Five Tomato Growing Myths

| Grow

When it comes to growing tomatoes, there’s no shortage of advice, and some of it has been handed down for generations. Fortunately for us, there are researchers who put these time-honored tips to the test. So, which recommendations have been proven as nothing more than garden myth? Let’s take a look at the most common […]

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How to Use Fall Leaves in the Garden – and Why You Should

| Compost

Fall is a favorite time of year for many. It certainly is for me. The softer light and cooler temperatures, football games, the approach of Thanksgiving – these are just a few of the reasons fall is what I consider the best season. Yet, it’s the falling leaves that I’m most thankful for right about […]

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How to Divide Plants – and Why You Should

| Care

Are you interested in some free plants to add to your landscape? There are plenty of them already all around you. In fact, many common landscape perennials can – and should – be divided. Dividing plants is easy. You just need to follow a few steps and become familiar with the types of plants which can […]

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How to Create a Drought Tolerant Landscape: Pro Tips – Pt. 5 of 5

| Care

If you live in an area which experiences periods of drought, you’re probably subject to watering restrictions. Fortunately, your landscape can be surprisingly resilient and drought tolerant using the measures I covered in Part 2 of this series which ensure your plants establish well and sink their roots more deeply into the ground. Under extreme conditions, […]

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Watering Your Garden: How Much Is Enough and Sources: Pro Tips – Pt. 4 of 5

| Care

There’s more to being wise with water than efficient garden watering. I often mention that more plants die from overwatering than from underwatering. That’s the main reason I speak so often about making sure you have well-drained soil. In earlier parts of this 5-part series; I’ve covered selecting the right plants, water delivery methods, and watering […]

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How to Water and What to Use: Pro Tips – Part 3 of 5

| Care

There are a number of tools and methods to use when watering your landscape in the absence of rainfall. Efficient water delivery is all about applying the right method in the right circumstance. A water delivery system doesn’t need to be complicated – and it sure doesn’t need to be expensive. Best of all – […]

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How to Water Your Garden and Landscape: Pro Tips – Part 1 of 5

| Care

For most of us, having access to water means simply turning the faucet handle. Voila! Water in abundance, right? Well, this convenience is incredibly deceiving. Although 75% of our planet is covered with water, only a minuscule 1% is available as pure, clean water for use by the entire world population. That’s right – 1% […]

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What to Plant in a Fall Vegetable Garden

| Plant

Knowing what to plant in a fall vegetable garden will open your eyes to a whole new world and extend your edible gardening season for many weeks or longer. Some varieties even get better after exposure to a few frosty nights.     I’ve had great success buying and planting cool-season vegetable seedlings in early […]

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Resources & Links

| Resources

Oftentimes, your best tool in the garden is good information. Today’s world of information overload can make it difficult to weed through the clutter. Anyone can share advice on the internet – without qualification or a commitment to accuracy. When searching online for garden resources, look for trusted experts and advice shared by educational institutions […]

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When is the Best Time to Pick a Tomato?

| Grow

When is the best time to pick a tomato? It’s one of the most often asked questions as we get closer to that time and the temptation to harvest gets greater by the day. When a tomato reaches a full size, and the fruit becomes a pale green, it begins the ripening process, regulated by an […]

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How to Create a Productive Raised Bed Garden

| Grow

I’m often asked how to create a productive raised bed garden. Whether you choose to contain your bed within a raised border, or simply mound the soil up, the benefits of raised bed gardens provide a significant advantage in creating a productive and healthy growing environment. Gardening in raised beds offers a simple and effective way to grow healthy and productive plants by manipulating the […]

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Backyard Composting: A Simple Recipe for Making Great Compost

| Prepare

If you’re here because you’d like to learn more about backyard composting, you’ve come to the right place. I believe the single biggest reason more people don’t compost, or quit too soon, is because they think it’s too complicated. I’m here to tell you, that is simply not true. In fact, it comes down to just three simple but […]

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Pruning 101:
The Pruning Basics from A to Z

| Care

You remember all those freshman college classes that ended in “101”. For some reason, I always felt less intimidated by the course if the title ended with that number. So welcome to Pruning 101, where we cover how to prune – the pruning basics from A to Z. While pruning can be intimidating for many […]

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