Articles by: Michelle Smith

En høstarbejder (farmer taking a break) by Danish painter Peter Hansen (1868-1928), oil on canvas (cropped). Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Gardener Downs Tools (for the Week)

October 23, 2019 at 1:30 pm

What to do this week Michelle Smith is away this week. She’ll be back at her regularly scheduled time next issue, but in the meantime, feel free to peruse her now quite substantial archive of past columns for some season-appropriate gardening advice. This time last year, for instance, she wasRead...

Climate strikers at Civic Centre, Sydney, NS. 27 September 2019. (Spectator photo)

Michelle Smith Asks About Climate Change

October 16, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Michelle Smith, the Spectator‘s resident gardener and expert on all things agricultural, asked this question of federal candidates in Cape Breton Canso and Sydney-Victoria: Increasingly extreme weather events due to climate change are challenging agricultural producers. Clearly, decisive action needs to be taken to slow or stop the process ofRead...

Gooseberry Photo: Pavel Leman - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4424742

Go Forth and Multiply: The Art of Propagation

October 9, 2019 at 1:47 pm

What to do this week Soon the autumn gales will strip the leaves off the trees and shrubs and the cold nights will send them into their winter slumber. That is the time for collecting stems of this year’s growth to propagate your favourite fruit and ornamental bushes. Some ofRead More

Oak seed/leaf.  Photo: Supportstorm - Own work, Public Domain https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8340734

Getting the Garlic In (And Other Pre-Freeze Garden Tasks)

October 2, 2019 at 1:02 pm

What to do this week With that nip in the air at night, it is time to think about planting bulbs. Especially those of the good Stinking Rose, otherwise known as garlic. You can plant garlic and other bulbs any time from now to the end of October. Sometimes youRead More

Kartoffeloptagning (studie) - 1911 By Jens Birkholm - bruun-rasmussen.dk, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68613890

It’s Harvest Time, You Tubers!

September 25, 2019 at 12:00 pm

What to do this week With wind and cold in the forecast – and supposing you haven’t already been hit by frost – it’s time to get serious about the winter food supply. I mean, you‘d better start digging your potatoes and getting them down into the cellar. If youRead More

Photo: Baden de, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59991987

Picking Up Post-Storm

September 18, 2019 at 1:52 pm

What to do this week Unsurprisingly, given this last week, I am in salvage mode. Few gardens escaped the effects of the hurricane, and autumnal frost warnings have started, so the rush has begun to reap and gather as much as I can. First off, I am assessing the damageRead More

McIntosh apple. (Photo by User:MarkusHagenlocher CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Gardening Tips from Septembers Past

September 11, 2019 at 1:00 pm

What to do this week The Spectator‘s gardening columnist will be back to her regular schedule next week. (Full disclosure: the Spectator forgot to tell her we were resuming the weekly publication schedule as of September 11. Sorry Michelle!) Luckily, she has written oodles of advice for September gardeners, andRead More

Cover Crops. (Photo by USDA NRCS South Dakota, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Cover Crops for Beginners

September 4, 2019 at 10:00 am

What to do this week The first frost is still (I hope) a while away but parts of the garden are starting to look tired and tapped out. As the harvest moves through the garden, it’s important to clean up as you go. It’s time to pull up or tillRead More

Royal Gala apples. (Photo by David Adam Kess, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, from Wikimedia Commons

Gardening Tips: Sage Advice for Late Summer

August 21, 2019 at 1:25 pm

What to do this week Michelle Smith is busy weeding, so here are some of her mid- to late-summer tips from seasons past: On 23 August  2017 she had some advice on storing all that produce you’re harvesting at this point in summer, notably the root vegetables: If you plantedRead More

Red currants.(Photo by ojonsson from Göteborg, Sweden [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Gardening Tips: Berry Busy

August 7, 2019 at 12:32 pm

What to do this week There are so many garden projects vying for my attention these days. The red currants and gooseberries are at their peak so I am busy picking and cleaning for the freezer. I discovered that gooseberries get sweet enough to eat out of hand if theyRead More