Fun with Lumber

A lot of my raised beds are getting long in the tooth so to speak, and I’ll be replacing rotted timbers and so forth this weekend. Kids come in handy!  My daughter Hannah and her friend Caitlin have agreed to assist. Being that they are teens, there is naturally one string attached: they have to […]

Letting Nature Tell you When to Plant

There is only so much that can be done using the calendar as a timetable for planting. By its very nature, this technique is very cautious so as to avoid frost damage to tender crops. But nature doesn’t use a calendar. Instead, it uses very sophisticated methods for determining when seeds should sprout, including factors […]

Calcium: the Neglected Soil Nutrient

Fertilizers typically come with an “NPK” rating. That stands for Nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. It would seem as if these are the only macronutrients needed for a productive soil, but nothing could be further from the truth. Calcium is, in fact, the bedrock of healthy organic soil. Few mini farmers have heard of, much less […]

Feel the Heat!

One of my all-time favorite toys is my flame weeder. Because I allow grass to grow between my beds, and weed-wacking around them can be a pain, I use a flame weeder around the outside edges of my beds where the lawnmower doesn’t reach. It is fast, efficient and really fun to use. It also […]

Planting Corn Seedlings Instead of Seeds

Corn is among the most difficult crops to grow on a small scale in the home garden. Put twenty seeds in the ground, five of them fail to sprout, and there is a good week’s difference in germination time between the first and last to emerge. Thus, the early sprouters can sometimes shade out those […]

Double Your Broccoli

The traditional growing season up here in NH is only from Memorial Day to Veteran’s Day. And, sometimes we get frosts as long as a week after Memorial Day, as we had last year. If you limit yourself to planting broccoli (also cabbage, kale and brussel’s sprouts) only during that time frame, you will end […]