Using annual flowers for quick color

When you want lots of color quickly, flowers to cut by the armful and bloom all summer, you want annuals. For earliest possible bloom, sow seeds indoors, then transplant-or buy started plants in May. But you’ll still get plenty of flowers if you wait till the danger of frost is past and sow the seed of quick-growing varieties where you […]

COSMOS (Cosmea) (Mexican-aster), Annual Flower Information

COSMOS (Cosmea) (Mexican-aster) (The name comes from the Greek for orderliness, hence an ornament or a beautiful plant) The Cosmos is not as impatient about coming into bloom as most annuals, but waits until it has made its growth before expending its energy in flower production. There is no other tall annual so graceful or so useful as the Cosmos. […]

FRESH VEGGIES – Gardening

When I was growing up, my father’s friend, Richard Pastecki, grew lots of eggplant. He did not eat them grilled or in salads, and it would never have occurred to him to use them in something as unfamiliar as ratatouille. Richard Pastecki raised eggplant for only one reason—Eggplant Parmesan. In the Pastecki household Eggplant Parmesan was taken very seriously. Richard’s […]

Grow Your Own Peas

The pea is a vegetable which helps the soil, has an interesting history, is easy to grow, and is a more versatile food than you might know.  It is loaded with helpful vitamins, protective phytonutrients that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, protein and fiber.  They’re low in fats but, what they have, are healthy omega-3 fats.  Some research (whfoods.org) indicates […]

How to use Basil

Basil is a well-known culinary herb that’s popular in many Italian dishes. But did you know that there are many other uses of this herb, including its use as a tonic to aid in digestion? The most common use of basil is for cooking, such as in tomato sauce, pesto, or vinegars. But it also can be sprinkled over salads […]

Heirloom Vegetables and Tomatoes

Heirloom Vegetables and Tomatoes – An introduction In the 70’s, my father would pack all of us in the station wagon, and drive for what seemed an eternity to visit my relatives. I was pretty young, but I can remember two details quite vividly. My brother getting me to ask, “Are we there yet?” and, visiting my Grandparents. My Grandma […]

Growing Delphiniums – Larkspur

There’s fully as much difference between the older and the modern delphiniums with their long, gorgeous spires, as there is between old-time roses, gladiolus, peonies, and dahlias, and the newer creations. If you’re a beginner, and close to a supply of the modern hybrids, buy not old plants (one year or over), but strong, young plants. If plants aren’t available […]

Growing and planting Tagets: African and French Marigolds

Growing and planting Marigolds: African and French Marigolds Useful and Easily Grown Flowers for Garden and Greenhouse Tagetes (Tage’tes) are annuals of great decorative value during the summer and autumn months. They are natives of Mexico and South America and belong to the Daisy family, Compositae. The name is said to have been derived from a mythological deity, Tages. These […]

Growing facts for Beans and Peas

BEANS Beans include many types of snap beans, pole beans, and Southern peas, such as black-eyed types. Plant these in spring after all danger of frost has passed. Because they grow so fast, start beans from seed directly in the garden. To speed their sprouting, soak seeds in water overnight before planting. Green beans that grow on low, bush type […]

Cucumber and Squash Growing facts

  CUCUMBERS AND SQUASH Cucumbers and squash are such productive vegetables that only a few plants will provide an abundant harvest.  Experiment with unique selections that are rarely seen in stores. For example, long slender Oriental cucumbers or petite pickling cucumbers are simple to grow, as are brightly colored summer squash and zucchini. These are also fast growing crops that […]