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Bottle Gourds: Growing Ancient History


The calabash or bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) has been valued worldwide since ancient times and believed to be one of the oldest plant introductions into the Americas. Early botanical research has long attributed the origins of American bottle gourds to Africa, believing specimens floated across the Atlantic to reach the New World, though some studies tell a different story. Regardless of their path of arrival, […]

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A Vertical Vegetable Garden in the City


Salem, Oregon gardener Harry Olson has taken vertical gardening to new heights, (literally).  Harry’s home is on a small city lot and because of space constraints and shade issues from neighboring trees, Harry has, out of necessity, created a vertical garden.  This has challenged him to creatively experiment and find innovative ways to maintain a productive edible garden.  Many of his methods could easily […]

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Green Tomatoes! Are Your Tomatoes Stunted and Late this Year?


“If weather promises to be uncompromisingly unpredictable in years to come, choose tomato varieties that will be resilient to unexpected weather.”
It’s early August and most of my 15 tomato vines—beefsteaks, paste, and salad types—still have green fruit. Two lean-to-ripen cherry tomatoes are the only yielders, so far.
For loads of the Mid-Atlantic gardeners, it’s the same story. The summer of 2018’s tomatoes are a month […]

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Tips for Growing Monster Beefsteak Tomatoes

These tips will yield giant beefsteak tomatoes!
Big, beautiful beefsteak tomatoes are what every avid tomato grower wants. Large yields of monster tomatoes are not difficult to achieve if you follow a few basic tips. Good growing practices will give you enough fruits to enjoy all summer and share with your friends.
Choose Good Varieties
‘Big Beef’ is an attractive, award winning red. (Image by AAS Winners)
What constitutes […]

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Edible Landscaping

Pots of lettuce look great in spring or fall gardens.
As I visit gardens, it is a delight to see more and more gardeners incorporating edible plants into their landscape. It has not been that many years ago that vegetables, fruits, berries and herbs would be grown in their own separate garden spots. In many cases, they would be away from the ornamental plantings around the house. That is not so today, with gardeners […]

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How to Grow Ramps and Ramsons

Freshly harvested ramps ready for cooking.
Ramps (Allium tricoccum), also called spring onions, are native woodland onions that have gained popularity among chefs and gardeners. The closely related ramsons (Allium ursinum) grow similarly, but they are Eurasian and have different floral characteristics. Both wild onions are grown for their greens and bulbs that taste of garlic and onion, and each makes a fitting addition to spring woodland or edible gardens.
Ramps
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Best Sauce Tomatoes for Home Gardeners

Serious sauce makers should plant at least eight tomatoes to generate ample tomato harvests. (‘Roma’ tomatoes shown)
All winter long, my family relies on my fresh canned marinara from the garden. Garden-fresh sauce spiked with homegrown basil, oregano, garlic, and peppers tastes nothing like canned commercial sauces. The best sauce starts with great tomatoes. Sauce and paste tomatoes are unique in that they are fleshier, denser, and […]

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Growing and Storing Fall Carrots, Beets, and Turnips

Carrots can be grown and harvested into early winter.
Root crops are the finest vegetables for the fall garden. Specialty varieties of carrots, beets and turnips have been bred just for fall and winter growing and storage. Once the first frost hits, they sweeten up for better flavor. If properly stored, they keep beautifully through winter. Cold-frame gardeners can also rely on them for consistent […]

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Share the Fruits and Vegetables of Your Garden

Garden abundance offers an opportunity to share food with your community!
This is the time of year when home vegetable gardens reach their peak with summer produce ready for picking. Just walking around my neighborhood, I see that the tomatoes are turning color, a sure sign that the harvest season is upon us. Once summer vegetables begin maturing, they continue at a rapid pace, often too rapidly. […]

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Sweet, Sweeter, and Sweetest Sweet Corn


Sweet corn is summer bliss, but not all ears are the same. So, what makes one type better than the other? It depends on your sweet tooth. Crisp sweet corn comes in different sugar levels, from supersweet to old-time sugary sweet. Here’s what you need to know to choose the best ears to suit your taste.

What Makes Sweet Corn Sweet?
 
The first sweet corn was sold […]

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