The Importance of Fertilizer (and How to Mix Your Own)

When I first began vegetable gardening twenty years ago, I knew that I wanted to be organic. I didn’t want to hurt the earth—or myself—with synthetic chemicals. I wanted to grow plants the way nature did: with nothing but dirt, water, and sun. I dug a little composted steer manure into my beds (a 40-lb….

Planting Tomatoes

April 15 is a red-letter day here in Zone 7. It’s our last expected frost date. And especially in a warm year like this one, it means all the frost-tender crops like tomatoes and peppers can safely go outside! Actually, since the weather was already so warm (today we’re supposed to hit 90 degrees…good grief),…

So Many Ways to Plant Potatoes

It seems like everyone has their own favorite way to plant potatoes. Some presprout their seed potatoes, some don’t. Some cut their potatoes ahead of time and let them cure, some don’t. Some dig holes for the potatoes, and some just lay them on top of the ground and cover with a heap of compost….

Organic Fertilizer to Mix at Home

I’ve been writing a lot lately about my early failures in the garden. My hope is that some of you whose first experiences in the vegetable patch have been less than stellar will be inspired to keep trying, knowing that sometimes a year or two of experience goes a long way. I’m also hoping that…