If your homemade sprays have proven ineffective, the next step is to bring out the big guns, or in this case, the commercial organic pesticides. Chemicals are chemicals, so what is the difference between organic (natural) pesticides and non-organic (synthetic) pesticides? While both are indeed chemicals, the organic chemicals are made from natural mineral or plant substances, and most are quickly broken down and do not harm the environment over the long-term like the synthetic varieties do.
A salad isn’t a salad without cucumbers, in our opinion. Thin-sliced, skin-on. There are a number of varieties to choose from, depending on the space you have available and the purpose for which you are growing your cucumbers. After all, pickles are simply puckered up cucumbers.
The Sweet Bay or Bay Laurel tree is…well, a tree. Not your typical herb, it is an evergreen whose leaves are used as an herb in cooking, often added two at a time to sauces, soups, and stews for a slightly bitter edge. The Latin name for the Sweet Bay/Bay Laurel tree is laurus nobilis, not to be confused with any other entirely different species commonly referred to as “bay.”
Even within the same state, climates are different. For example, Flagstaff, Arizona has about a 2-month growing season due to the altitude (7,000+ feet). During the summer it rarely gets above 82 degrees F and the daily rain during the monsoon season (between Independence Day and Labor Day) is cold and often contains ice pellets. Winters are cold and harsh, and they’ve seen blizzard conditions in early June. We’ve lived there, we know! Two hours south (and 5,000 feet lower) in Phoenix you can grow vegetables pretty much year-round and 112 degree temperatures during the summer are fairly common. Winter there means maybe having to put on a pair of socks or long pants for a couple weeks.
The last thing you want to do is put something in your compost pile that will not only harm your soil and your plants, but also harm you. You are, after all, what you eat. What goes into your vegetable garden eventually makes its way into you.
Lima beans are a prolific crop, nicknamed Butter Beans due to the buttery flavor and creamy texture of some varieties. The bush varieties include Baby Fordhook, Burpee’s Improved Bush, Fordhook 242, Henderson’s Bush, and White Dixie Butter. The vine or climbing varieties include Burpee’s Best, Carolina Red, King of the Garden, Prizetaker, and Sieva.
Asparagus is a vegetable best cultivated if you are planning to stay somewhere a good, long while. It is a perennial vegetable (one of the few) that you will not harvest after planting until the third year (if you’ve grown it from seed)…and then with proper care your asparagus plants will last for two decades or longer. No joke. It’s perfect for an edible landscape feature, or a permanent garden border.
Whether you plan to use the stake-and-string method, wire cages, trellises, some homegrown contraption you’ve cobbled together from two-by-fours, duct tape and dental floss…or all of the above…the one thing they all have in common is the need to have them in place BEFORE you plant!
You either love beets or you hate them. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground. If those purple pickled things don’t appeal to you, the good news is that’s only one way to eat beets. And for that we are grateful, indeed.
Green manure is not fresh out of the horse. In fact, it’s not even manure. It’s another name given to cover crops, or crops that are planted for one reason only: to benefit garden soil. Think of it as a grow-your-own organic fertilizer, literally. Cover crops also stabilize soil and attract beneficial bugs, providing them with food and shelter.