How to Grow Sweet Salad Turnips (with Recipes)

If you’ve never eaten a salad turnip, and you probably haven’t, it’s unlikely you think they sound very exciting. Back when the Organic Growers School was Saturday only, they did an experimental Sunday session in Burnsville, NC. Among skills like how to build hoop houses and grow through the winter, I mostly remember taste-testing the ‘Hakurei’ turnips that Patryk Battle…

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How to Make Living Flower Pots (Ornamental Edible Gardening)

We took my daughter to the Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Garden in Columbia, SC last week. By that, I mean we spent 90% of our time at the zoo before running around the Botanical Garden for the last 10% like our pants were on fire. This is what happens to a gardener when the people with her are more interested…

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How to Choose Disease Resistant Rose Varieties to Grow Organically (With Sources List)

I’m an organic gardener and I grow a lot of roses — about 50 varieties of them. They don’t look like sticks with a bow on top and I don’t treat them any better than my other garden perennials. I plant mine in the same amended soil I use for the rest of my plants, fertilize them a couple times…

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How to Grow Peas as Quick Harvest Greens (and Use Up Old Seed Packets)

I am a seed hoarder. I still have packets from 2000 in my seed box because they might germinate whenever I get around to planting them. I don’t like to take risks with my vegetables though, so I make sure to have a fresh seed supply. Peas are not great seeds to save, the older they get the less vigor…

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How to Use Fennel (or Dill) to Keep Caterpillars Off Your Vegetable Plants

I don’t do a lot of companion planting. I’m not saying it doesn’t work (and I’d love to hear your success stories) but other than being impressed by mycorrhizal fungi and permaculture plant guilds I haven’t felt the need to find my plants a buddy. Oh! EXCEPT for growing fennel next to plants plagued by caterpillars. Flowering fennel is like a beacon…

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How to (Easily) Grow Celery at Home (w/Recipes)

It’s not just tasty and easy — it’s pretty! For those of you who like to dress up your flower beds with some well-placed ornamental edibles (or who want show-stopping potagers) this is an oft-overlooked plant you can’t be without. For those of you who like to eat — it’s celery! Of course you should grow it. I don’t know…

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How to Find and Enjoy Black Walnuts

You may have noticed a tree in your neighborhood that rains dull green baseballs each fall. In most locations these heavy fruits are ignored by residents, unless a group of children utilizes them in a mock battle – or better yet – discovers the joys of walnut-stained body parts and clothing. Often my mother threw up her hands in despair…

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How to Get Over “August Slump” and Grow Through the Winter

Many gardeners hit the tail end of summer at a drag. For some, it is irrigation, weeds, and disease that have taken a toll on their enthusiasm. Others feel they will pave the garden over with concrete before they have to find a use for one more tomato, zucchini, or cucumber! This year my August Slump was due to increasing…

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How to Grow Passionfruit in the Backyard

If you’ve enjoyed passionfruit in exotic juice mixes or as a novel fruit from the produce section, you may be surprised at how easy it is to grow at home. The passionflower grown for commercial production is the South American species Passiflora edulis, but we have a local, native species that tastes just as good! Passiflora incarnata is not only…

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How to Grow Globe Artichokes in the Southeast

This is a vegetable I am still experimenting with to get a formula that really works, but I thought I’d share my observations so far. Out of growing them collectively (but not consecutively) for about 5 years, I’ve harvested artichokes in two different seasons. One year they were nicely sized and tasty, the other year they were a little small…

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How to Choose and Grow Fig Varieties for the Southeast

If you live in USDA zone 5 or warmer, you can grow figs. If you are in a colder area, the trick is to put your fig in a microclimate (next to the sunny wall of a building, beside a sheltered, blacktop driveway, etc.). You can also try pruning and wrapping your fig in the winter but if you selected…

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How to Grow Slow-Bolting Cilantro ‘Delfino’ in the Hot and Cold Months

Though it is the same species as regular cilantro, the variety ‘Delfino’ looks like a different plant. Looking more like a fennel than a cilantro, the ferny foliage of this 2006 All American Selections winner also has the same strong, sweet flavor as its large leafed counterpart. It makes a wonderful garnish, but it certainly stands on its own in…

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How to Preserve the Peach Harvest

Whether you buy them at a farm stand or grow them yourself, preserving peaches for the winter months is a satisfying endeavor. Freezing: Wash, pit, and peel ripe peaches. A boiling water dip can be used if the peaches do not peel easily on their own. To prevent discoloration, coat the peaches in a solution of 1/4 tsp crystalline ascorbic…

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