What Worked – or NOT – in the 2013 Garden

Winter Garden, Vincent Van Gogh: Buy through affiliate link at Art.com
Winter Garden, by Vincent Van Gogh (it looks like a dark and twisted place, does it not? You needn’t go there.)

It’s Garden Planning Season, and you know what THAT means: deep introspection to determine what worked and what didn’t, because unless you incorporate what you’ve learned into this year’s garden, you will be going forth with an impending sense of doom….… Read more

Time Again to Plant Garlic

Plant your biggest garlic cloves root-end down, pointy-end upIt’s that time of year again! Time to plant your garlic!

You would think that after 30 years of growing garlic, I would have this down to a science. But I have to say, every year is a little different. After last year’s “learning experience” (ahm!), I am rethinking what I thought I knew and going back to some basics.… Read more

Every Soil Tells a Story

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Click to purchase this photo by Ed Clark

We delve deeper into the whys of a poor garlic crop this year, and although I highly suspect it was a combination of a long wet winter and spring, incessant strong winds, and too thick a mulch, I thought it might be a good idea to buy an NPK soil-test kit and see what the soil could tell me.… Read more

The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Ugly

Rotted garlic were put in the burn pile
Obvious signs of neck rot and mold on these garlic bulbs. Don't compost them; just burn them.

In times like these, it is good not to panic. Take your bearings. Breathe slowly, deeply, inhale, exhale. That’s right. All those things that are important when it comes to living, keep on doing them while you sort through your options.… Read more

St. James Infirmary (Ode-to-Garlic) Blues

A sad farewell to my garlic crop, which did not do well this year. Adieu, my friends. (And a thank you to all the frogs that spontaneously joined me in my farewell tribute.)… Read more

When All Else Fails, Buy Plants

I don’t know about you, but when I am sad, I go buy plants. At one point in my life, I did an inventory and realized I had over 100 different kinds of herbs. Ok – maybe that wasn’t all sadness – some of that was just pure compulsion.… Read more

January Signs of Spring

I have to interrupt my January ritual with seed catalogs with a quick announcement:  It’s almost spring!

And with that overenthusiastic proclamation, I am probably invoking the wrath of the consequence gods who I fear will deeply roar, “Not so fast, Grasshopper” and cover us with a deep chill like they’re getting in the rest of the country.… Read more

Blue Moon Garden Review


The blue moon shines bright and clear tonight, surrounded by a brilliant ring. A few clouds pass by, casting spooky shadows. The ground is cold and hard, and I sit inside, snug by a fire, and am experiencing waves of nostalgia.… Read more

Tomato Saga and Green Tomato Mincemeat

This was my most successful year ever for tomatoes, and before I get into another long story, I have to take a moment to give credit to Lisa Boulware and Mark Ozias at A New Leaf, from whom I purchased 5 indeterminate but very determined varieties of exceptionally strong starter plants: Juliet Grape, Pruden’s Purple Heirloom, Peacevine Cherry, Mark Twain Heirloom Beefsteak, and Cosmonaut Volkov.… Read more

Zucchinis Gone Wild

How many zucchinis in this bowl?
How many zucchinis in this bowl?

This is a tale of two zucchinis. To tell the tale, you first have to learn how to spell zucchinis, which no matter how many “c”s or “n”s you put in there, just looks wrong.… Read more