Hands-On Gardener

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 […]

Hands on Gardener: Planting and Planning

by Miriam Hansen In last month’s column I lamented the demise of all the spinach and lettuce seedlings I planted in the greenhouse last fall. Too cold for too long, I said. Wrong again! While it is true that everything in the small greenhouse died, the tiny seedlings I planted in the big greenhouse very […]

Hands-On Gardener: Can You Grow a Radish?

by Miriam Hansen It’s been challenging to get super excited about starting seeds with this much snow on the ground. Still, April is the month to plant most of the seeds that need to be started indoors. With the exception of the squash family, I’ll be starting all the flowers and annual herbs, brassicas, tomatoes, […]

Hands-On Gardener: Cover Up

by Miriam Hansen Do you wonder why your neighbor’s garden is covered in white billowing material? Have you been wondering what that stuff is, and why more and more people are using it? The “stuff” is variously called row cover, floating row cover, frost barrier, garden or frost blanket, or Reemay. The latter is a […]

Hands-On Gardener January 23, 2014

by Miriam Hansen January is the month for ordering seeds, and this year is no exception. I’ve been ordering from catalogs as long as I’ve been gardening—about 35 years. The catalogs have changed from Gurney’s and Stoke’s to Fedco and Johnny’s, but the basic process has remained the same. Go through my seed box and […]