Celebrating the Black Spanish Radish

Today we are celebrating the radish. Not just any radish. Oh, sure, there are round globes of red white, and the elongated French breakfast variety with both red and white. Lately we’ve been seeing designer colors ranging from cream to yellow, pink to purple. There...

A Cloche for All Reasons: Season Extension Works for Summer Crops

If you think that your cloche is only for fall and winter gardening, you’re missing out. It is great for your summer crops too. A cloche is versatile. You can set it up over your heat-loving crops and get them growing more robustly. Sure, tomatoes will survive in our...

Honoring Soil, a Gardener’s Greatest Resource

This morning, on the first day of spring, I took a walk through my garden, considering how to celebrate the occasion. One look at the planting bed I prepared yesterday gave me the answer: spring starts with the soil. The cleared soil is ready for planting if it’s warm...

Protecting Seedlings From Frost

Early this morning, I saw frost on my neighbors’ roofs, and a light smattering of it on my lawn. And my birdbath water had a very thin layer of ice. Should I be worried? Ice in the birdbath If I have planted any vegetable seeds outdoors that are now breaking through...

Vegetables Tell Stories, and Catalogs Spread the Word

part 4 of 4 on seed catalogs Have you ever had a big dinner with extended family, perhaps at Thanksgiving when all the nice dishes are brought out of the cupboard, and discussion has turned to the history of the antique serving bowl being passed around? It’s the kind...

Peering Over the Catalog Fence

part 3 of 4 on seed catalogs The rough-hewn wood of a wide field gate shields a broad garden of gently sloping rows ready for planting. Beyond are border herb and flower beds, white fence posts against a dark, protective tree line, and a beautiful sunrise peeking over...

Catalog-ically Growing

part 2 of 4 on seed catalogs The year has begun with a series of slate-gray mornings and frosty nights. Even though the winter solstice is behind us, I still feel a bit boxed in by these short days, and a familiar sense of restlessness that comes from not spending...

Catalogs Spark a Perfect-Bound Desire to Plant

part 1 of 4 on seed catalogs Sometimes desire is a tiger caught by the tail. It whips you around and sends you tumbling, arms outstretched. But in the coldest winter time, coasting through the short light of the after-holidays, it does not have to fill you with hot...