Planting Good Seed

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” ~Robert Louis Stevenson Now that my flower beds are ready and the lawn is green, my fingers are itching for the garden. But there are a few things I need to do before digging in the dirt. First, I plan. How big will the garden be? What varieties of vegetables and how many of each? (Definitely make sure there isn’t

Blooming After Winter

Something amazing happens in the Spring. Grass turns green. Trees get new leaves. And the bulbs I buried in the dirt send up green leaves and a stalk stretching for the sky. Atop each, a bud forms and grows until it shows a hint of the color within. And, seemingly overnight, the flowers in my yard unfurl their petals in an explosion of color and fragrance. Hyacinths and dafodils. Tulips and lilies. Followed by the

Like A Tree – Pruning

The blooms on my lilac are beginning to fade. That means it’s about time to pull out the clippers and cut back the branches. Not because I have a vendetta against purple flowers, but because it will keep the tree a manageable size and keep the beautiful blossoms down where I can enjoy them next spring! Lilacs are not the only tree that needs an occasional pruning. Here’s a short list of reasons to prune: Promote

Like A Tree – My Part, His Part

Now that the trees are flowering and spring bulbs blooming, many people start thinking about this summer’s vegetable garden. What to plant and how much. And whether to buy baby plants in mid-May or start their own seedlings inside. We gather the raw materials. We fill seedling pots or trays with the right kind of soil. We tear open packets of seeds and carefully plant a few in each individual spot. We arrange the pots under grow lights or

Devotions from the Garden

What do you do with monstrous zucchini? You know the ones I’m talking about. The dark green beasts that evaded notice until you tripped over them. My youngest son brought me two such presents from Grandma’s garden. He lugged them home and hoisted them onto the countertop … where they sat for several more days as I filtered through all of the possibilities. Bottom line. We shredded them, packaged them into two-cup portions, and froze

How Does Your Garden Grow? – Harvesting

Talking about the harvest feels premature when plants aren’t even in the ground yet. (Here in Colorado, the typical rule is not to plant before Mother’s Day. Good thing, since it snowed yesterday.) However, no series about gardening would be complete without discussing the final product. After months of preparing, planting, watering, weeding, thinning … and waiting in anticipation, the first vegetables are finally ready. Baskets and bowls of sugar snap peas, radishes, carrots and

How Does Your Garden Grow? – Thinning

The hardest aspect of gardening for me is the thinning. Why should I pull up perfectly good carrot or cucumber plants? And why pinch blossoms off pumpkin and watermelon vines? It’s not like they’re weeds. But, if I leave too many plants in a small area, none of them will grow to their full potential. They’ll compete for nutrients and space. And a single vine can’t put energy into a dozen melons. By thinning the

How Does Your Garden Grow? – Weeding

With rich, nutritious soil and enough water and sunshine, what grows in my garden? Very hardy weeds, that’s what. Although my youngest son loves to pick the pretty yellow flowers, I’m destined to crawl around on my hands and knees trying to get to the roots and make sure they never show their mocking faces in my garden or yard again. Whether I use a hoe or a hand spade, I am on a mission

How Does Your Garden Grow? – Protecting

Ever read the book about Peter Rabbit? That mischievous bunny just couldn’t resist the lure of Mr. McGregor’s garden. Lettuce, carrots, beans, radishes. A feast worth crawling under a gate for. All until he got chased around by an angry gardener with a rake. Part of gardening involves putting up some type of barrier to protect the plants from outside invaders – ranging from children’s (and dog’s) trampling feet to deer to birds to insects.

How Does Your Garden Grow? – Watering

April showers bring May flowers. Or so I heard back in Elementary school. What’s that got to do with growing a garden? Well, in addition to having nutrient-rich soil in a sunny spot, you need water. And not just water on the surface, but deep down where the roots will eventually spread out. Whether it comes as a sprinkling or a downpour, consistent rain is necessary to prevent longterm drought. When the rain comes, do