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vegetable gardening

My Three Must-Have Garden Tools and How I Use Them

Whenever I enter the garden, to work, to observe, or to harvest… I bring the same three tools with me: A trug, pruners and a hori hori knife.

Whether I’ve planned to actively garden or not, I always catch myself in the act of gardening while in the garden. Funny how that happens! It’s inevitable that I find myself weeding… the job that never gets done!

When space is limited, both in the garden and in your storage area, versatility is key. With these three must-have tools, less is more.

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vegetable gardening

How to Grow Summer Squash

Summer squash are some of the most rewarding crops to plant because they grow fast and have the potential to produce large amounts of fruits, resulting in many summer harvests! The look of your squash can vary depending on the variety, and there are many different and delicious varieties to choose from. Some may be long and narrow, or small and round, while others have scalloped edges. Popular types of summer squash include: Eight Ball, Patty Pan and Zucchini.

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vegetable gardening

Donna’s Life Long Gardening Journey

We’re thrilled to introduce a new series the “gardenstead spotlight.”

Gardening is about people and connection. The Coronavirus may have altered the way we physically interact with our neighbor’s but it won’t stop us from virtually sharing what’s in their garden!

On occasion we’re going to highlight a member of our community in one of our three main areas: vegetable gardening, houseplants or flower gardening. During such a time of uncertainty, let’s find serenity and joy in the gardens. Let’s get storytelling.

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vegetable gardening

Hardening Off Seedlings

When you grow vegetables and flowers from seed inside your home, there is one very important step called “hardening off” that you need to take before planting outside.

Insert yourself into the “mind” of your happy indoor seedling. Up until now, it has spent its life in perfectly controlled conditions. You’ve given them constant controlled light with grow lights, when their soil dries up or they look thirsty, you give them water… not to mention there are no chilly evening winds that wipe through their leaves.

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vegetable gardening

Your Guide to Companion Planting

Ally, friend, confidant, co-worker, bff, whatever you want to call them, did you know that plants have natural companions too. When planted next to each other these plants can help one another thrive in the garden. This is most commonly referred to as ‘companion planting.’ It’s a technique of planting that basically means planting crops that are complementary to each other when grown in close proximity. This can substantially promote the health of your veggies and should be considered when you’re doodling your garden layout for the season to come.
It’s close! It’s very very close! We are talking mere inches away because otherwise, it will produce leggy seedlings.

And ain’t nobody got time for leggy seedlings. Leggy seedling = not what you want and not what they want either. Leggy seedlings are stressed seedlings and stressed seedlings aren’t healthy seedlings.

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vegetable gardening

REAL TALK: The Distance Between Your Seedlings and Grow Light

If you’re new to using grow lights you may be surprised by just how close your seedlings need to be them.

It’s close! It’s very very close! We are talking mere inches away because otherwise, it will produce leggy seedlings.

And ain’t nobody got time for leggy seedlings. Leggy seedling = not what you want and not what they want either. Leggy seedlings are stressed seedlings and stressed seedlings aren’t healthy seedlings.

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vegetable gardening

Peas: How-To Plant, Maintain & Harvest

If you have ever munched on fresh garden peas – you’ll know they are in no comparison to the frozen ones that line the freezers at the grocery store. Fresh peas, straight-off-the-vine are so sweet that your harvest may never make it inside your house!

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vegetable gardening

How to Grow Kale

Kale is super versatile. It’s good in salad, soup and smoothies. It’s even delicious when torn into bite sized pieces and baked with olive oil and salt into “chips” (a healthier version of our favorite guilty pleasure) it might even convert a kale “hater” into a… “these aren’t too bad!” Best of all, kale is good for you. It’s known to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.

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vegetable gardening

Designing Your Vegetable Garden

This post is an invitation to THINK about designing your vegetable garden – not a detailed explanation on HOW to design the bed (we’ll get to that next!).

Starting a garden can seem quite daunting for a first- time gardener. You may be asking questions like: What should I grow? How do I grow it? When do I plant it? How do I plant it? There are loads of questions to ask and so much to learn, but gardening shouldn’t be stressful.

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