US First and Last Frost Dates

US First and Last Frost Dates

Growing Food, Soil & Compost, Starting Seeds, Weather, Year Round Gardening
USDA Hardiness Zone This information is useful for at least two reasons, to calculate when to plant seeds or plant seedlings outside in the garden to figure out how late in the growing season you can plant certain perennials, trees, and shrubs Dates on this chart are approximations, no one can KNOW the weather, every season is different. Most years, the first and last frost will fall within two weeks of the date on the chart, but some years, we get a very early frost or a late snow storm that throws the dates off. Please use discretion (and your local weather forecast!) along with this chart to plan your seed starting and planting. First, click on the map if you need to enlarge it and find your zone if…
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Vegetable Gardening Made Easy

Vegetable Gardening Made Easy

Gardening Methods, Growing Food, Healthy Eating, Organic Gardening
Growing your own vegetables is both fun and rewarding. Lets break it down together and get the most food, enjoyment, and nutrition from our gardens! 1. feed the soil 2. efficient use of space 3. keep food moving 4. continuous harvest 5. good record keeping 6. resources feed the soil All you really need to get started is some decent soil and a few plants. But to be a really successful vegetable gardener, and to do it organically, you'll need to understand what it takes to keep your plants healthy and vigorous. Here are the basics. 'Feed the soil' is like a mantra for organic gardeners, and with good reason. In conventional chemical agriculture, crop plants are indeed "fed" directly using synthetic fertilizers. [caption id="attachment_2197" align="alignright" width="211"] observe your garden…
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Grow Lettuce in Containers

Grow Lettuce in Containers

Container Gardening, Growing Food, Healthy Eating, Organic Gardening
Why grow lettuce in a container? In my case it is because the snails and slugs will not let me enjoy fresh, tender lettuce, straight from the garden. For some reason, they have not yet discovered it when grown with this method. Another reason is that it is weed free, making a cut-and-come-again harvest a snap. Still another benefit is that you may move them around as the seasons change. More sun in the spring, more shade in the summer. In many areas lettuce may be grown most of the year this way. The cut-and-come-again harvest is really the key to this type of planting. Here is how you do it: [caption id="attachment_2252" align="alignright" width="300"] lettuce is easy to grow in continers[/caption] Step 1 Plant a blend of leaf lettuce…
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Vegetable Garden Planting Chart

Vegetable Garden Planting Chart

Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Starting Seeds
Schedule your vegetable garden planting with this guide. As you plan which foods that you'd like to grow in your garden, remember that among other things, you must also take the following into account: Soil pH Requirements of Different Garden Vegetables Vegetable Gardening Basics (Planning, Preparing the soil, and Planting) Identifying Your Soil Type Note: This does not include plotting for Square Foot Gardening Food Vegetable Start Seed Indoors Plant in Garden S = SeedP = Plant Seed Spacing Distance Between Rows Seed Depth Days toMaturity YIELD PER100' ROW ArtichokesFeb-MarS - After FrostP - After Frost36"48"1/2"36535+ heads Asparagusn/aP - Mar-April8" between root tips34-36"1/4-1/2"365400+ spears Beans, Bush (snap)n/aS - After Frost4-6"18"1"60-6480 lbs Beans, bush (dry)n/aS - After Frost4-6"24"1"90-1008 lbs Beans, Polen/aS - After Frost8"36"1"70-85150 lbs Beans, Favan/aS - After Frost8"36"1"18020 lbs…
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How to Grow Lettuce

How to Grow Lettuce

Growing Food, Healthy Eating, Organic Gardening
Lettuce is a most poplar garden crop. Lettuce is easily grown and adds color and beauty to the home garden. One good reason for its popularity (aside from the fact that it tastes good!) is that lettuce is hardy and can be planted as early as the soil can be worked. So when you start getting the heebie jeebies because you have't had your fingers in the dirt for months, you can start lettuce as early as just about anything. It is a cool weather crop and makes its best growth at temperatures of 60-65°F (16-18°C). Careful variety selection is important for hot weather crops. Sow every 3 weeks for a continuous supply of fresh lettuce. There are four types of lettuce. Crisphead types form heads and include the popular…
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Choosing Onions – Short Day or Long Day?

Choosing Onions – Short Day or Long Day?

Growing Food, Organic Gardening
When you are choosing onions to plant in your vegetable garden, you will often see them listed as either short-day onions or long-day onions. What to choose depends on where you live. Most onion varieties begin to form a bulb when the temperature and the number of daylight hours reach certain levels. Varieties listed as short-day onions bulb up when the day length is between 12 and 14 hours. Long-day onions, on the other hand, begin to form a bulb when the day length is between 14 and 16 hours. Northern gardeners should plant long-day onions. In the North, daylight length varies greatly as you get farther and farther away from the equator. Winter days are very short, but summer days are long. Long-day onions will have a chance to…
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How to Grow Garlic

How to Grow Garlic

Growing Food, Organic Gardening
Why grow garlic? My question is why not grow garlic. Garlic grows so very easily, it imparts a flavor to food I just cannot do without. In the garden it takes up very little space and demands nothing. Even if you only grow a small garden, you can raise enough to be self-sufficient in garlic for a good part of the year. There are hundreds of varieties in garden catalogues but in determining the kind of garlic to grow in your garden depends on what you are going to do with it after harvest. Remember two things, soft neck and hard neck. Difference Between Hardneck and Softneck Garlic Softnecks stalks are actually made up of leaves rather than a central stalk. As softnecks mature, the entire green plant dies down,…
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How to Grow Carrots Organically

How to Grow Carrots Organically

Growing Food, Organic Gardening
Okay, so my friend grew up in Mississippi and says "I've never seen uglier carrots than you grew last year!" I said, "you're just used to 'perfect' supermarket carrots and not much in a home garden can mimic the perfect (says who?) shape of supermarket produce. I didn't like how defensive I sounded... but she was right. The carrots in my hand were not pretty. Tasty, but not pretty. They had large splits that ran from top to bottom and the tops were bright green and strongly flavored. I don't talk a lot about varieties, I grab seeds from the Farm Supply store, read about them seed catalogues, and work very often with trial and error. That is the sum total of how I write, how my garden works. You…
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Growing Carrots and Food Security

Growing Carrots and Food Security

Food Supply, Growing Food, Organic Gardening
I don't talk a lot about varieties, I grab seeds from the Farm Supply store, read about them seed catalogs, and various websites, and work very often with trial and error. That is the sum total of how I write, how my garden works. You can read and read, but nothing in the world prepares a person to grow their own food like hands on growing. Like Nike said, "Just do it!" It is the only way. However, rather than get off on a long discourse on the necessity of organic gardening, let me write simply about getting started. Much could be said about gardening. When I read, then review books for this website, I often think that next to love and religion, this is the most written about subject…
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Alliums

Alliums

Growing Food, Herb Gardening, Organic Gardening
The Allium family of plant includes onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, and scallions The latin word allium literally means 'garlic'. Alliums are herbaceous perennials with flowers produced on scapes, a flower stem. Hardiness: Alliums can be grown in Zones 3 to 9, depending upon the species and the cultivar. Alliums aren't terribly picky: Most alliums grow in average garden soil and need full sun and good drainage. The drainage is critical because so many of the bulbs are large and will they will rot with too much moisture, especially when it won't drain. Otherwise, they are easy to grow and come back year after year with almost no maintenance. Occasionally, they need dividing after a few years, but that will only pertain to the alliums you do not harvest the roots…
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