April 11th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
To maximize your organic garden’s yield, plant vegetables and herbs that are easy to grow and versatile in a variety of dishes.
Here are the six top springtime picks from the experts at Bonnie Plants, a green-garden wholesaler in Union Springs, AL:
- Tomatoes. The most popular fruit in U.S. home gardens, tomatoes are hard to beat in terms of taste, health benefits and versatility.
- Yellow squash and zucchini. While their growing season is shorter than the tomato’s, squash are very productive. You’ll pick them every day once the season starts.
- Lettuce. As long as weather is mild, leaf lettuce will continue to produce. If you regularly enjoy salads, growing your own lettuce can offer substantial savings.
- Cucumbers. Grown in a cage or on a trellis, a single cucumber plant can produce five to 10 cukes. You can place two or three plants in a cage just 18 inches in diameter and 4 feet high. Your yield: 15 to 30 cucumbers from a slice of ground no bigger than an end table.
- Specialty peppers. Price jalapeños and other specialty peppers in the supermarket, and you’ll realize the benefit of growing your own. These peppers produce especially high yields in areas with a long, hot summer.
- Herbs. Also pricey in supermarkets, fresh herbs are easy and economical to grow. Consider planting sage, rosemary, mint, thyme and chives (one plant each), plus at least three basil plants. Try different basil varieties: sweet, cinnamon, Thai and/or boxwood.
Photo courtesy of Bonnie Plants/ARA
Read More:6 High-Yield Organic Vegetables & Herbs
April 10th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Organic gardeners are busily cutting out sections of lawn, retiring flower beds, building raised vegetable beds and spending lots of spare time playing in the dirt.
In fact, many are first-timers, tilling the soil to save money on grocery bills.
Growing your own organic vegetables offers additional benefits:
- Freshness and flavor
- The ability to exercise control over what your family eats
- Healthful exercise
- Family activity time
Here are 5 tips for getting started from the experts at Bonnie Plants, a green-garden wholesaler in Union Springs, AL:
- Pick your plot. Most vegetables thrive when exposed to plenty of sun, so pick a plot that gets at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sun every day. It’s OK to plant leafy greens like lettuce and spinach in shadier spots, but get them in the ground in the cooler part of the season. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash do best in the hotter months.
- Think outside the box planter. Get creative with space. You don’t need a huge yard to plant a veggie patch. Try planting lettuce under tomato vines, or mix veggies into flower beds among the colorful blooms.
- Give veggies a raise. Try raised beds, which offer an easy solution to planning out a plot. They’ll enable you to use near-perfect soil, better organize your garden, improve drainage and more easily maintain your plants. Timesaving tip: Use transplants instead of seeds.
- Opt for natural/organic plant food. Be sure to use safe, organic and all-natural products in your garden. Research shows plants are healthier when gardeners use organically based foods in lieu of chemical options.
- Water wisely. One inch of water per week is adequate for most vegetables. Soaker hoses or drip systems deliver water efficiently and keep foliage dry, fending off leaf diseases.
Tune in tomorrow for a list of Bonnie Plants’ favorite seasonal planting picks.
Photo courtesy of Bonnie Plants/ARA
Read More:Dig Up Your Dinner: 5 Organic Gardening Tips
January 13th, 2009 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
Somewhere in Norway, a man took a picture of that forest, the same spot, once a day, everyday. And in 40 short seconds, watch as these trees go from winter, spring, summer, fall and back to winter. It’s really cool.
On his website, the photographer, Eirik Solheim, explains how he did it. The most interesting thing is he actually took the pictures by hand and didn’t use some sort of elaborate time-lapse photo equipment. Now that’s commitment!
Read More:One Year Flashes Before Your Eyes…