How to Grow Fava Beans


Fava beans (Vicia faba L. ) should be grown by every vegetable gardener at least once. Their buttery taste can't be judged based on the dried, store bought variety, but they are so easy to grow, it's a shame to miss out on this versatile broad bean.Gardeners in Europe have been growing Fava beans for a very long time. They are favorite in potagers because of their ornamental blossoms. They are a spring favorite since they can be planted as … [Read more...]

How to Grow Turnips


Turnips are very easy to grow in the garden, providing both greens and a root vegetable. They became popular for the kitchen in the 17th century, but before that the Romans were using the tasty, nutritious roots for cooking. Long before that turnips were used mostly for animal feed, which is common for many vegetables we now serve at our table.Many cooks think of turnips mainly as a soup vegetable, but there are many other ways to serve them. … [Read more...]

Growing Cool Weather Kale


Kale is a cool weather plant that can not only withstand some frost, it actually improves the taste. While many gardeners pass it by for more popular vegetables, it's a good, dependable plant that supplies vitamins and minerals that are so important during the winter months.Kale is the Northern cousin to collard greens, withstanding cold where the other likes the heat. Kale can withstand temperatures down to 20 degrees F., sometimes as low as … [Read more...]

How to Grow Swiss Chard


Swiss chard is a cool weather heirloom vegetable that is treasured in the garden because it's easy to grow, nutritious, has few pests and a long harvest season. The brilliant colors and textured foliage make it a must in the ornamental kitchen garden or herb garden.Swiss chard is a great addition to stir fries, soups, casseroles, dips and pasta dishes, much like spinach. It can also be prepared as you would greens such as collard or mustard, … [Read more...]

Cold Frames for Beginners: Part Two


In the first part of the post on cold frames I went over variations on assembling your own using the basics. Once you've collected the materials for the cold frame you'll need to decide where to put it. Locations are important for many reasons, most importantly, because it should be sheltered from the wind, but have the best access to the sun.Location: Facing the cold frame south is ideal, but if that's not possible, have it face to the east. … [Read more...]

Vegetable Garden Troubleshooting: Part III


I noticed several more questions in the comments, which were enough for another troubleshooting post.  Sometimes I know the answer from experience, other times I do research.  I love learning new things about the garden, so this is always something I enjoy.  Feel free to share your own experiences in the comments, especially if they differ from mine.Why do some cucumbers grow a massive curl while others grow straight? Will my cucs grow on … [Read more...]

Coldframes for Beginners, Part One


Coldframes are a worthy investment of your time and money, but they don't have to be elaborate, especially for the home gardener. Coldframes are essentially small, simple greenhouses used to extend the gardening season. They can be as elaborate as your budget allows, or as simple as a 4x6 structure using recycled materials. As with any first time gardening project, it's better to start out small until discovering how beneficial it will be to … [Read more...]

Midsummer Vegetable Troubleshooting: Part II


This is part two of the garden troubleshooting questions.  Depending on the response I may continue to do this every month.  Even those of us who have gardened for years seem to find ourselves stumped every now and then.  I've always believed one can never have too much gardening knowledge.My tomato plant is not forming new tomatoes, what can I do?Humid, hot weather can keep the fruit of the tomato plant from setting. Mother Nature … [Read more...]

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