I didn’t expect to see a big fat worm eating its way through one of my tomatoes when I peeked in between the overgrown branches to see if any new fruit had ripened. I’d been away for a few days at the Garden Bloggers Fling 2017, so as you can imagine, I was happy to be back in the garden and excited to see how much things had grown after a weekend of daily rain showers. I know when you grow tomatoes you can expect to find worms, but this one caught me by surprise. This little monster is a Yellow Striped Armyworm and is a common garden pest, especially in Southern gardens.
Garden beans are a staple in my garden. They’re fun to grow and are quite beautiful. If you have ever browsed seed racks or flipped through a seed catalog, you quickly learned that there are LOTs of interesting bean varieties to choose from. So how do you pick the right bean for your garden?
I love to color my vegetable garden beds with lots of flowers. Coneflowers, Zinnias, Marigolds and Coreopsis and others add pops of bright color to my drab raised beds made of weathered gray wood filled with rich brown soil. I plant a few annuals throughout the garden, but I mainly rely on perennials to provide fierce color year after year. To keep my flowers blooming beautifully, there’s one simple thing I do consistently – and that’s deadheading. Deadheading is a weird name for ‘cutting off the flower’. It only takes a few minutes of my time, but it’s a true game changer.
Last fall I planted my first cover crop. Like most urban gardeners, I thought cover crops were only for large scale farms. Farms like my granddaddy tended that were acres and acres wide. So I was surprised to learn that cover crops are perfect for urban gardens like yours and mine.
I bet you’ve heard the term ‘true leaves’ tossed around in the gardening community like common every day jargon. But if you’re new to gardening, the term may not be as obvious as experienced gardeners may think. Recognizing true leaves on your tiny seedlings and understanding what to do when they appear is critical to the success of your seed starting efforts.
I gain a lot of inspiration from my fellow gardeners on Instagram and Facebook. Over the summer, I saw so many fellow gardeners on Instagram re-growing veggies like celery, onions and leafy greens from kitchen scraps. Yep, the base of the stalk that normally gets tossed into the compost bin can be regrown into another plant. It looked so simple, yet such a fun experiment!
Recently, I picked up a bunch of komatsuna greens from the farmer’s market. I had never even heard of komatsuna before, but their deep green color and sturdy looking leaves caught my eye as I walked by. A large bunch was only $3, so I couldn’t resist giving this newbie a try.
Typically, I sauté my leafy greens in a little extra virgin olive oil, with sea salt, garlic and few spices. So naturally I did the same for the komatsuna. OMG! These were the most delicious greens I had ever prepared. Sadly I only bought one bunch. But, I knew I could try to grow more using the steps I had seen others follow to regrow veggies from scraps.
How to regrow kitchen scraps
- Save the base of the stalk from celery, green onions, or leafy greens.
- Sit the base in a shallow container filled with clean water.
- Place the container in a windowsill or an area that gets plenty of sunlight.
- Change the water every other day.
- Watch leaves emerge from the center of the stalk.
- Watch roots grow from the base of the stalk.
- Once roots are long and healthy looking, transplant to organic soil.
This was experiment was really amazing to watch unfold. Save your kitchen veggie scraps and give it a try!
Peace and zen,