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When All Composts Are Not Created Equal

For gardeners, even the word ‘compost’ will cause people to wax poetically and almost enter a state of ecstasy. Compost is ‘brown gold’ – it is seen as being able to magically transform a garden. And to the extent that when it contains the optimal combination of carbon and nitrogenous materials and has been allowed to cook long enough to kill off seeds and so on, it is great stuff.

But not everything that is called ‘compost’ is equal to this standard. (more…)

Ding! Time to get a jump on a fall garden

OK, it’s mid-July here at Chez Siberia and it’s been horrifically hot. And dry. And the garden is not, shall we say, looking its best. We’re still harvesting but there are parts of beds that have been picked over, harvested out. There are lettuces that have bolted. (the photo above is basil – which does not look picked over or harvested out – but I’m going to start taking cuttings anyway so that I have fresh basil this winter)

In short, time to clear the decks to start things for a fall garden. (more…)

Tomorrow’s Garden: Today! Part 2

sprouts OK. We are NOT in the kitchen today. This is for those folks who read, way back in October, about starting a garden and perhaps went to their land fill or composting facility and picked up some compost and put out the cardboard and now have …frozen piles of compost out in the yard that has snow all over it. It’s hard to get romantic looking at that stuff – but trust me, in the spring, you will be happy you did the work.

Actually, look at the picture above: I took that yesterday, Christmas Eve day in my garden here in Upstate New York. Those are brussels sprouts, frozen but still cookable and edible. On Dec. 24th!! So, if you get started with more garden stuff this week, you can, even in the coldest places (well, maybe not Alaska…) have something out in your garden that you can harvest a year from now and use to feed your family (ahem..disclaimer: you will have something out in your garden that you can harvest…except if the bunnies and deer get to it. RIP: the kale that was also standing in the snow last week, sniff). (more…)

Thin Thighs in Thirty Days™ OR, Tomorrow’s Garden: Today! Part 1

veg1OK, so you say you want a garden next spring. And you say you’ve tried to do it before and you just never got around to it…and this makes you feel worthless and unambitious and un-American?

Well, bucky, today’s first lesson is for you. (more…)

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