Spring Is Here – It’s Time to Clean Up

April is finally here, a month all cold-climate gardeners look forward to despite all the work that is ahead. After a long cold winter, we are experiencing some unusually warm weather right now which, of course, makes me want to jump right out there and start my spring chores. However I’m trying to remember from… Read more »

My Version Of Earth Hour

I’ve heard a lot over the past two days about Earth Hour and how everyone should participate. Sorry, but I think Earth Hour is just plain stupid. All the hype shows everyone going to parties and burning candles right? Well, let’s take a look at how that helps the environment: Did they drive their fossil… Read more »

Seed Starting Schedule

Well, I’m part way through my spring vegetable garden planning. I know what I am going to plant and I’ve prepared a garden layout based on my crop rotation schedule. The next step was to determine my planting schedule. There is a lot of information out there on seed starting schedules. A nice one is… Read more »

My Vegetable Crop Rotation Plan

We all know that crop rotation is critical to a healthy vegetable garden. Crop rotation helps reduce the risk of insects and diseases as well as manages the fertility of your garden soil. While the concepts are not challenging, actually sitting down and planning out a rotation schedule can be a bit frustrating. Everywhere I… Read more »

First Blooms Of The Season

A first sign that spring is just around the corner is the blooms on my Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Westerstede’. These witch hazels are a cross between Japanese witch hazel (H. japonica) and Chinese witch hazel (H. mollis). The bright yellow blooms arrive in my zone 5 garden in mid-March and are very cold tolerant. The… Read more »

Home Made Tiered Grow Lights

Before starting my own seeds indoors I would spend most of March and April looking longingly out the window, wishing for spring to arrive just a little bit faster. Now I not only get a head start on my vegetable garden, I actually look forward to late winter. Last year was my first year starting… Read more »

Storing Vegetables

Our first attempt at storing potatoes, carrots and kohlrabi last winter didn’t turn out too bad. We experimented with what we had — plastic storage containers with a tight seal, a wooden wine crate and those vegetable bags with the holes in them. All of these were placed in our wine cellar, which is kept… Read more »

Never Too Many Seeds

It’s time to order my seeds for the vegetable garden again this year. While I enjoy browsing through the many seed catalogues that come in the mail, I tend to order most of my seeds on-line and this year is no exception. I was even able to place my order on-line for the more unusual… Read more »

Carried Away By The Spud

Last season was our first foray into growing our own potatoes and we had a great year. We grew Yukon Gold, Norland and Russian Blue and were able to eat our own potatoes right up until early January. Unfortunately, that success has now gone to my head. I think I may have gotten a little… Read more »

My Morning View

While we have not had a lot of snow this winter it was a real treat to wake up to a bright blue sky highlighting a fresh snow fall over the gardens this morning.   I am still thrilled, and somewhat amazed, with how well the new landscaping in and around the pool and garden… Read more »