Category Archives: Recent Posts

Garlic is Great for Fall Planting

Garlic Spanish RojaGarlic is one of the best vegetables for fall planting. It is easy-to-grow, but has a somewhat long season, as it is not harvested until the following summer. Don’t let the delay in harvest put you off from planting this fantastic addition to the vegetable garden.

Garlic requires a fertile, well-drained soil, and it is a moderate to heavy feeder. Like other plants in the onion family, garlic has shallow roots and benefits from several fertilizer applications throughout the season.

Garlic benefits from being planted soil amended with organic matter like compost, rotted manure, or chopped leaves. In heavy soils, plant in raised beds to ensure that there is good drainage.

Tips for Reducing Plant Stress

Unusual weather and stressful growing seasons are becoming increasingly common. Stressful environmental conditions can slow growth, delay harvest, and reduce yields in the garden. They can also make plants more prone to pest and disease problems. Though gardeners can’t control the weather, there are some practices that can be used to reduce potential problems when growing in stressful conditions.

Growing in raised beds well amended with organic matter helps to allow the soil warm up quickly in spring and also helps to ensure that the soil drains well. This is true for all types of soils.

Forward Onto Fall

With the Labor Day holiday behind us and the fall equinox approaching, we hope that your summer season has been productive and rewarding. Our own trial garden is a bit behind due to the unusual growing season we’ve experienced here in Wisconsin, but it has already produced an abundance of beans and cucumbers. The peppers, tomatoes, winter squash, and melons are finally starting to ripen, giving us a chance to evaluate varieties new to the market and potential replacements for discontinued varieties.

As the summer begins to wind down and our late season shipping begins to ramp up, we are already hard at work on our catalogs for the 2018 spring season.

Horticultural Oil for Pest Control

Horticultural oils are an excellent option for pest control. They are a safe and effective treatment for several types of insect pests, mites, and diseases. Horticultural oil products are non-toxic and safe to use in the garden and landscape. They work by suffocating small, soft bodied insects, mites, and disease organisms. They can even kill insect eggs and disease spores, which are resistant to most pesticides.

Garden-Fresh Creamy Garlic Veggie Pasta

IMG_5123Summer and fall are a fantastic time to experiment with recipes that use your garden harvest. This recipe is one of my favorites because you can add or subtract a lot of different vegetables depending on your taste.

It is so versatile and works great as a side dish or is filling enough to serve as the entrée. A few other vegetables to try in this creamy pasta are: broccoli, artichokes, asparagus, peas or whatever has popped up in your garden! You can serve this dish over zoodles for another way to slip in more veggies and skip carbs! Stir in chicken or shrimp or serve it alongside your favorite grilled protein if your family prefers meat on their dinner plate.

Let’s Talk Blueberries

Blueberry Chandler

In honor of July being National Blueberry Month, let’s talk blueberries! Blueberry bushes make an attractive addition to your landscape and offer delicious sweet berries that provide a wealth of nutritional benefits.

Blueberry bushes make an excellent all seasons plant for your edible landscape. In the Spring, blueberry bushes offer delicate bell-shaped flowers followed by lovely blue-green leaves. During the ripening period, blueberries change from beautiful hues of green to pink to deep blue. In fall, the leaves turn bright red, providing eye-catching color well into winter.blueberry-jellybeanpot

Traditional Italian Marinara Sauce

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Home-grown tomatoes are one of the best parts of summer! There are a wide variety of tomatoes in abundance this time of year. Let’s celebrate those juicy fresh from the garden tomatoes with a recipe that highlights the amazing flavor of the famous San Marzano tomato.

Curious why we use the San Marzano tomatoes over another variety in this recipe? What makes the San Marzano “The” tomato for a perfect marinara is that they have fewer seeds, less water content and a firm flesh that almost dissolves after cooking. The flesh mixes smoothly with the pulp for a more concentrated sweet and tart flavor as well as a thicker sauce.

Understanding Heirloom and Hybrid Varieties

Tomato Hybrid Chocolate SprinklesGardeners today have access to a large number of different varieties of flowers, herbs, and vegetables. In some crops, there are so many varieties available that choosing what to grow can be difficult or even overwhelming, especially for new gardeners.

Historically, most plant varieties have been “open pollinated”. This means that when seed is saved and replanted, the resulting seedlings will be very similar to the parent plants. Gardeners of the past had to grow some plants specificially for seed production, to ensure that they would have seed to plant in future seasons. Growing open pollinated varieties allowed them to save seed each year. Over time, this often resulted in locally adapted varieties that grew well in a given region.

Peach Leaf Curl Disease

Wondering what’s wrong with your plant? We love talking plants and are always happy to help with any gardening related questions!

Question: “My peach trees have distorted leaves and I do not know what is wrong. What is happening to my trees and what should I do to stop it?”

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Answer: This is caused by a fungal disease called Peach Leaf Curl. This is a disease that is not uncommon in peaches when there is cool, wet weather in the spring, as we have had this season. Infected leaves have odd, distorted, lump, gall-like growths, often with a red-brown color and they may be twisted. Usually the infected leaves will drop after a few weeks. At this point, these leaves can be raked up and disposed of.

Straw Bale Gardening

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Introduction

Straw bale gardens are easy to create and can be ideal for creating new garden beds or developing a brand new garden. They can be used to overcome difficult soil conditions or areas where soil-borne diseases are present. Bale gardens are a creative way to compost, are space efficient, and they have reduced weeding needs.

When setting up a new straw bale garden, consider starting small. Even a single bale or just a few bales will serve well as a starter garden. Think of each bale as a 40 gallon capacity container.

Garden Setup