Hands-On Gardener

HANDS-ON GARDENER: Rules to Plan By

HANDS-ON GARDENER: Rules to Plan By

by Miriam Hansen   This is one of those years when spring has really passed in the blink of an eye. My prediction that we’d have to wait until late May to plant warm weather crops has proved utterly wrong. We’ve been frost-free in East Montpelier since the beginning of May. Despite a brutal winter […]

HANDS-ON GARDENER: Time to Start the Seedlings…

HANDS-ON GARDENER: Time to Start the Seedlings…

by Miriam Hansen After a month in the Southwest, it has only taken a day or so for us to get mighty tired of the cold weather! We planted onions, parsley, celery and some of the slower germinating annual and perennials before we left in early March. My daughter also started tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, […]

HANDS ON GARDENER: Challenges…

HANDS ON GARDENER: Challenges…

by Miriam Hansen I confess. I ordered lisianthus seed — the flowering biennial that takes five to six months from germination to flower, requires temperatures of  70 to 75 degrees day and night and 16 hours half an inch from a bank of grow lights to germinate. Why? Because that’s what gardeners do. We love a […]

HANDS-ON GARDENER: Timing

HANDS-ON GARDENER: Timing

by Miriam Hansen Well we’ve rung in the New Year and I couldn’t resist running a photo of the beautiful lettuce, spinach and cruciferous greens growing in January in our single-ply greenhouse with a door that doesn’t fully shut. We transplanted those greens into the greenhouse at the end of October. I’ve never started them […]

Hands-On Gardener: For the Love of Brussels Sprouts

by Miriam Hansen   Early November and we’ve had our first really hard frost, the perfect time to finish harvesting the Brussels sprouts and some of the parsnips and kale. A friend taught me a wonderful technique for freezing kale. Blanche about six to 10 leaves by dipping them into boiling water. One-and-a-half minutes should […]

Putting Perennial Gardens to Bed

by Miriam Hansen Miriam’s been a bit under the weather of late, and couldn’t summon the reserves to write a column for this issue. We are therefore publishing, at her suggestion and with a few modifications, the column she published last October—with our wishes for a speedy recovery. This is a busy time of year […]

Hands on Gardener: Keeping Up with Putting Up 9.11.14

Hands on Gardener: Keeping Up with Putting Up 9.11.14

 by Miriam Hansen The tomatoes have ripened, the late blight has arrived, and we’ve harvested all the fruit and are getting ready to bag the blighted plants. It certainly is a labor-intensive way to grow tomatoes and I wish we didn’t have to go through this bagging and burying every year. Still, we’ve made about […]

Be Careful What You Wish For! 8.7.14

Be Careful What You Wish For! 8.7.14

By Miriam Hansen. Between the cucumbers, summer squash, peas, blueberries, raspberries, cherry tomatoes and basil, we’re flattened! My daughter and her friend held down the fort while my husband and I sea-kayaked in Quebec’s Saguenay Fjord. We came home from our week’s vacation to twenty-odd quarts of pickles and freezers overflowing with summer squash, raspberries […]

Hands On Gardener: Feed Me and I’ll Feed You!

by Miriam Hansen. So far this has been a banner gardening year. We’ve had the perfect amount of rain and sun, and plenty of heat to encourage vegetables to grow and produce quickly. Pests have been minimal, though we have sprayed BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) a couple of times to combat cabbage moths and other caterpillars […]

Hands on Gardener: To Weed or Not to Weed

by Miriam Hansen Now that we’ve planted our gardens, it’s time to do the first weeding. I do one thorough weeding in the spring and another mid-season. By then, the vegetables shade out the weeds that threatened their growth when they were small. My approach to weed control is fivefold. Well, maybe six. First, we […]