I confess. I judge books by their covers. I’ll happily lay down an extra couple of dollars for the bottle of wine with the well-designed label. And yes, this unfortunate tendency extends to my little garden. For the past several years, containers sprouting heirlooms with awesome names (Mr. Stripey, Dragon’s Egg, Boothby’s Blonde, Painted Lady)More
Last winter, after helping our neighbors shovel out of a blizzard, we were rewarded with a lovely pineapple. It got me thinking: “How do these things work?” Unfortunately, it remains a bit of a mystery, as last year’s attempts at pineapple propagation failed, and ditto the efforts to start an avocado tree.More
by Char Vandermeer
It’s easy to become overly attached to the herbs you’ve been growing all summer long. It seems a shame to leave Winston (the English thyme) and Ami (the tarragon) out there alone to confront winter’s whims.
By Char Vandermeer
By mid-August, you probably know what works in your garden and what doesn’t. But fall is falling and seed catalogue season is a long ways away—this can lead to a case of the late summertime blues.
My garden usually begins in December, when the first batch of seductive seed catalogs slip through the mail slot. I hide them in a special stack far from my husband’s rolling eyes. Once five or six varieties of direct-mailed garden goodness have been collected, I tear through them in one delightful binge.More
Tending to tomatoes is a tumultuous affair
Let’s call the whole thing off, shall we? No matter how you slice it, tomatoes are tough. Every summer I’m ready to throw in the towel, swearing that the seductive fruit will never again wind up on my deck.But that would break my heart.
A guide to helping cucumbers and melons get their groove onby Char Vandermeer
If summer were a taste, it would surely be cucumber—or maybe muskmelon. They’re both little bursts of sunshine on the vine. While your planting space may be limited to a few pots or a tiny patch in a community garden, that doesn’t mean
Happy together: Companion planting can increase the yield and the health of your urban gardenby Char Vandermeer
It’s time to dust off those planters, rinse out the watering cans and get some dirt under your nails. If your garden looks anything like mine—a sea of containers atop a South Philly roof—then you’re constantly struggling to maximize