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by admin

News of the doings of Alice Greene & Co., its authors and others associated with the development and marketing of our books can be found at alicegreene.com.
As part of a site dedicated to Easy Edibles, this blog is about vegetable gardening and in particular using organic methods.

Container Vegetable Gardening for a Cool Spring

by Sheri

Looking back over my previous blog entries I was reminded that in June of 2011 we were also dealing with a cooler than normal spring. While I hope this is not how next month, June 2014 turns out, it certainly looks like we’re on track for it. So, my potato tower blog entry will have to wait a bit, we should probably talk instead about cool weather spring vegetables.

By way of a refresher: The warm season crops include tomatoes, peppers, beans, and the entire squash family, etc. Cool weather crops include radish, beets, kale, and the entire cabbage family, etc. Cool weather crops are often Read More »

Gardening without a Garden

by Sheri

 

Last spring I found myself ripping out the perennials from the garden in my mother’s backyard to save them from what otherwise would have been certain death by bulldozer (she was changing the grade of the land). Everything except a few rhubarb plants made it into pots before the bulldozer arrived, so all was good on that front. However, the effort turned out to be the beginning of a very unusual vegetable growing season.
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Where I’ve been

by Sheri

As blogs go this one has been incredibly quiet over the last few years. Hmmm, okay that’s an exaggeration. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say this blog has been all but dead for the last few years. Yes, that would indeed be more accurate. On this quiet I feel an explanation is owed.
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All ready for winter

by admin

It feels like winter is almost here. Certainly, we’ve been out to our community plot and cleaned up – it now has a few months to sit and rest before we show up again next year. Not that we are going to be doing nothing. Maybe Sheri will have some ideas for us.

Happy spring-in-the-making everyone!

by Sheri

Well, it seems like spring is approaching: the sun is setting noticeably later; the smell of skunk has wafted by; weeds have been spotted sending up new growth (before the winter weather system that came through last week); and, most importantly perhaps, seed packet displays have cropped up in the local hardware stores. Yes, spring is most definitely on its way!
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Second planting of Kale

by Sheri

If you like kale, now is the time to plant a second crop of it. And if you don’t think you have enough space in the garden for anything more I would still encourage you to try. Kale doesn’t take up much space in the garden (about 1foot diameter when fully grown, depending on the variety) but it will take it a bit of time to get going. So, if you stick a few seeds next to plants that die off when the cool weather hits (so, things like tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, and basil) the kale should start to need more space just about the time the other plants are dying back. And, as a bonus – leave all your kale plants in the ground at the end of the season and they will start up like magic come the spring (they are biennials, meaning they grow for two years before they set their seeds. As a result we can harvest kale leaves for two seasons from one planting).

The Ease of Bush Zucchini

by Sheri

In all my years of growing zucchini I had never found my way to trying the bush form of it (versus the traditional runner variety) – well, until this summer that is. Oh, and how silly I now feel. Bush zucchini, as I’ve just learned, has two incredibly useful properties – one of them I didn’t even know I needed! The obviously useful property is that it stays put, no wondering where to place the 20 feet of trailing vine the traditional variety sends out. Instead, the bush zucchini plant grows in a nice round plant, about 3 foot in diameter. It really is quite cute, it sits there like a nicely contained perennial with it’s giant leaves splayed in all directions. But the real advantage to this plant is that the zucchini’s grow in the very center of the plant – sticking up and out in all directions. The benefit? No more lifting up the 20 feet of incredibly prickly vine to hunt down the fruit. Nope, on these bush babies the fruit are right there as obvious as can be, waiting patiently to be picked. How incredibly convenient!

Baby, it’s still cold outside!

by Sheri

Wow, it’s almost late June and it’s still relatively cool in the garden. Where I’m at (straddling Michigan and Ontario this summer) we’ve only had one short-lived period where the weather was hot enough to really kick the vegetable growth into hyper gear. But before and after this mini heat wave it’s been a bit too cool to really see rapid growth in the vegetables. Lettuce loves cooler weather, of course, but my beans, my tomatoes, even my sunflowers, are all behind schedule. I’m hoping you’re not in the same boat but if you are, I think all we can do is wait this out.
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Garden Spirits

by Sheri

Well, it’s finally happened, I’ve been asked to give a talk that combines an introduction to organic vegetable gardening, container gardening techniques, and the ancient lore of garden spirits. Oh wow – nothing like a challenge!?! While I’m quite familiar with the histories of the gnome and the ancient Greek Herm, and relatively familiar with fairies, the wider range of spirits that have inhabited our gardens over time is unfamiliar territory for me. What really perplexes me is how in the world to weave garden spirits into a teaching moment on container gardening? Ah, well, let me go off and figure this out some – I will report back after the talk to let you know how (and if) I pulled it off. By the way, the talk is at Angelita’s Coffee House in Midland, Michigan on July 9th. Stop by if you can. Meanwhile, if you have any suggestions on this topic…do tell.

Beets – my favorite vegetable to grow

by Sheri

Beets are by far my favorite plant to grow. I know, a bit weird, but they just make me laugh. And I’m not lying to you on this, really, I laugh when I see them growing. The beet is not only one of the most flexible vegetables I’ve ever come across, it leads a double life. At first it is a leafy green, allowing you to cut tender beet greens from it throughout the summer (it cooperates as long as you agree to leave uncut at least two large leaves). Then when late summer comes, if you let it alone and stop cutting the leaves, it takes on an identity as a root vegetable, producing a brightly colored and tasty beet in late summer and well into late fall.
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