Photo by Nosha

Natural Bug Controls – Slugs, Are You Feeling Lucky?

Slugs are slimy garden pests that eat my plants like every day is Thanksgiving. For that reason, garden slugs must die -- but naturally. Here are 6 everyday items that you can use to “off” those gross gastropods without using harsh chemicals. Coffee Grounds: Coffee grounds cut slug bellies and nourish your soil. Collect grounds from your morning brew, or get them from your local Starbucks, which is happy to get rid of their grounds and help your garden. Spread grounds around your plants. Egg Read more [...]
Photo by Andresmh

Ginger Cures What Ails You: Makes You Beautiful, Too

Ginger is an herb that will surprise you. On top, you see a slender green plant; but on the bottom, you grow a fat, plump rhizome that has so many lives and uses. Ginger takes many forms – sliced, pickled, powdered, or dried. It's used to flavor gingerbread, of course, but also to treat many aches, pains, and upsets. Ginger Helps Cure What Ails You Stomach Problems: Drinking ginger tea or chewing ginger slices can help treat motion sickness, morning sickness, gas, and colic. Aches Read more [...]
Photo by Andresmh

Surprising Hangover Cures from Your Garden

You partied hardy last night, and this morning you're paying the price. Luckily, your garden can help stop your head from pounding and your stomach from churning. Ginger: Drinking ginger tea is a time-honored way to stop nausea: It also helps stave off colds and sore throats. Peel ginger, and combine 10-12 slices with a quart of water. Boil and let steep for 10 minutes; strain and drink. If the ginger taste is too strong, add lemon and honey. Tomato Juice: Use a juicer or blender to liquify Read more [...]
If you're a tomato, it's easy being green. Photo by Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Green Tomatoes: 5 Lip-Smacking Ways To Prepare These Matoes Before Their Time

I never fret when my all my garden tomatoes don't ripen to a beautiful red. Green tomatoes, imperfections and all, have their place in the sun, too. Green tomatoes have a tangy taste that adds a little zip to tomato-based condiments and sandwiches. They make great appetizers or snacks. And, best of all, they don't have to look perfect to be a perfect ingredient. When you harvest, just slice off blossom rot and other imperfections, and use the rest. If you're green about green tomatoes, Read more [...]
Kids will love watching carrots grow in a 2-liter bottle. Photo by Steven Depolo

Never Throw Out 2-Liter Bottles: Gardens Love Them

Plastic bottles can be a free friend to your garden. Here are some ways to repurpose 2-liter bottles to help your garden grow. Bottles Can Water Plants You can water plants close to the roots with an old 2-liter bottle. Cut off the bottom of the bottle. Drill two or three holes in the cap. Dig a hole next to the plant big enough to bury all but the top (really the bottom) of the bottle. When you water plants, just fill the container. That way, you won't waste water on foliage Read more [...]
Photo by Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Are You Making These 5 Rookie Gardener Mistakes?

Unless you're Martha Stewart, you weren't born knowing how to grow a vegetable garden. Even experienced gardeners can make these rookie mistakes. 1. Plant too late: For every thing there is a season, and for every vegetable an optimal time to plant. Lettuce likes cool temperatures and will just laugh at you if you plant in the dog days of summer. Tomatoes like long, hot days, and will fail to thrive if you plant too early. To find out when's the best time to sow seeds or transplant seedlings, Read more [...]
Deadhead spent blooms, and your plants will look happier and healthier. Photo by Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Deadhead Your Plants – They’ll Love You For It

Pruning spent flowers seems a little ungrateful: You grew well, looked gorgeous, now off with your heads! But "deadheading" spent blossoms makes plants happier, healthier and more able to provide a second and third show each season. Deadheading is a dramatic term for cutting or pinching off dead blossoms. This helps plants and gardens by: Directing energy to new growth, not seed heads, pods and capsules. Preventing large blooms from becoming an untidy mess when pedals drop. Creating Read more [...]
Photo by Serene Vannoy

Greek Salad: Great Way To Use All Your Garden Vegetables

  Just about now you've got bushels of garden veggies – tomatoes, cukes, onions-- all dying to be eaten. One of my favorite ways to put all those vegetables to good use is to turn them into a Greek salad. Also known as a summer salad, a traditional Greek salad usually combines tomato chucks, sliced red onions, and cucumbers with squares of feta cheese and Kalamata olives. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano, and dress with olive oil. But the Greek salad has many personalities. Read more [...]
Grow plants in straw. Photo by Ruth Temple

Alternative Gardens for Land-Poor Growers

Even if you don't have land to spare, you can still grow an alternative garden that yields pounds of vegetables every year. All you need is some kind of container; soil that you either dig from your yard, buy, rent, or grow, and seeds or seedlings. Here are alternative gardens for the land-challenged. Container Gardens You'd be amazed how much you can grow in large clay or plastic pots on a sunny patio or balcony, or even in an old wheelbarrow, where I grow a salad garden. I make Read more [...]
I love you, too, strawberry. Photo by Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Plant a Garden to Fight Depression, Stress

Gardening is my antidepressant. When I'm feeling stressed, I take my frustration out on weeds, yanking, pulling, and lopping off their seed-filled heads. If I'm feeling down, I run my hands through my garden's rich soil, smell my fragrant roses, present myself with a nosegay of lavender, salvia, dahlia and lilies. I feel better right away. Turns out I'm not the only one whose mood is lifted after working in a garden. A Norway study of clinically depressed patients found that "therapeutic Read more [...]