The Green Life

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Der Sommer by Abel Grimmer, 1607. (Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Gardening Tips Weeks 29 & 30: Harvest Soon

August 8, 2018 at 11:30 am

What to do this week Harvesting is really the point of it all. This week, I’d like to give you a few tips and tricks to make the harvest even more abundant. To get maximum production from some crops, you have to pick them. The plant senses it is notRead...

Tomato plant. Photo by Edukeralam (Navaneeth Krishnan S), CC BY-SA 3.0  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, from Wikimedia Commons

Gardening Tips Weeks 27 & 28: Step Away from the Tomatoes

July 25, 2018 at 11:30 am

What to do this week This week is a good time to talk about pruning tomatoes and hilling potatoes. Perhaps the most talked about controversy in home gardening is whether or not to even prune tomato plants in the first place. Some people swear by pruning, raving about how muchRead More

Top: Tomato seedlings by Dwight Sipler from Stow, MA, USA (Tomato seedlingsUploaded by Jacopo Werther) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons) Bottom: Potato plants by fir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.au [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)], from Wikimedia Commons

Gardening Tips Week 24: You Say ‘Tomato,’ I Say ‘Get Planting!’

June 27, 2018 at 12:30 pm

What to do this week Summer is here and we begin the frantic time of planting all the warm-weather crops as quickly as possible before too much of our very short season passes us by. Every year is different, but there are some general rules of thumb about what toRead More

Compost tea. (Madeline Yakimchuk photo)

Gardening Tips Week 23: Soil Fertility Rights (and Wrongs)

June 20, 2018 at 12:00 pm

What to do this week This week, I would like to talk about adding fertility to the plants in your garden. Obviously the best way to have good fertility is to have good, rich soil to begin with. There is no substitute for good soil. But if your soil isRead More

Flowering buckwheat cover crop. (Source: The Campus Community Garden http://web.uvic.ca/~ccgarden/buckwheat-covercrop/, University of Victoria)

Gardening Tips Week 22: Cover Crops

June 13, 2018 at 12:00 pm

What to do this week This is the time of year when you might be starting a new garden bed — maybe your first, maybe an extension of your existing garden — which makes it a good time to talk about cover crops.  As with crop rotation, which we discussedRead More

Lath house. (Source: Pinterest)

Gardening Tips Week 20: Seedling Safety

May 30, 2018 at 11:47 am

What to do this week This time of year many people are starting to move their seedlings from the house or greenhouse to the garden. Even if you have decided to run the risk of frost, your seedlings will need a gradual introduction to the outdoors. It is important notRead More

Cucumbers. (Photo by Madeline Yakimchuk)

Gardening Tips Week 19: Squash, Anyone?

May 23, 2018 at 12:00 pm

What to do this week This week is the perfect time to plant squash seeds, and hopefully you will consider starting them in soil blocks. I like using soil blocks for almost everything anyway, but for squash plants it is particularly important because they really, really don’t like their rootsRead More

McIntosh apple, half-inch green. (Source: UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment https://ag.umass.edu/fruit/bud-stages/april-23-2013-bud-stages)

Gardening Tips Week 17: Spray It, Don’t Say It

May 9, 2018 at 11:30 am

What to do this week This week is a good time to talk about spraying fruit trees because now is the time to do that. There are a couple of reasons that even an organic grower might want to spray. One would be to rid the trees of pests beforeRead More

Chickens and Ticks and Lyme Disease and…Super Models?

Chickens and Ticks and Lyme Disease and…Super Models?

April 25, 2018 at 11:36 am

A recent conversation with a relative set me to researching chickens and ticks and what a long, strange trip it’s been. The conversation was about the efficacy of chickens in controlling tick populations. It struck a chord with me because I’ve been thinking of the advantages of backyard chickens latelyRead More

Dandelion

Gardening Tips Week 16: Into the Weeds

April 25, 2018 at 11:30 am

What to do this week This week,  I have been trying to get a jump on the perennial weeds. My soil has dried up a bit with the sun and warmth we have had these past few days, so I have been able to walk about. Your soil should beRead...