More stories

  • in ,

    Tomato Flavor Explained

    Tomato Cherokee Purple

    Tomato flavor is a balance of acid and sugar recognized by the tongue and the effect of volatile compounds within the fruit that cause aroma recognized by the nose. Simply put, the human perception of tomato flavor involves the integration of taste and smell. Tomato flavor is commonly described as sweet, tart, tangy or balanced. […] More

  • in ,

    Vegetable Garden Seasonal Calendar

    Calendar1

    The seasons come and go at different times of the year depending upon where you live—Northern Hemisphere or Southern Hemisphere and the latitude within those regions. Early spring might start in February in Southern California and early May in Maine. The closer you live to the equator the less winter temperatures will play a role […] More

  • in

    Rust Disease

    Rust on Raspberry Leaf

    Rust is a fungal disease that attacks many vegetable and fruit crops and ornamental plants as well. Rust fungal spores are commonly carried on moist winds until they land on plant leaves, stems, flowers, or fruits. The spore pustules multiply creating a rusty-colored coating of spores. The coating of spores can eventually cover leaves and […] More

  • in , ,

    Companion Planting and Tomatoes

    Companion plants tomatoes and marigolds1

    Want to enhance the flavor or your tomatoes? Grow leaf lettuce, chives, or marigolds nearby. The notion behind companion planting is that some plants naturally grow better together, that they form natural alliances. How such alliances work is not completely clear; companion planting is based widely on reported observation. Tomato companion plants—said to ward off […] More

  • in

    Compost for Vegetable Garden Planting Beds

    Compost pile and bin

    Compost is the decomposed remains of organic materials-including leaves, kitchen scraps, and plant remains. Compost contains essentially all the major and minor nutrients plants need to thrive and improves soil structure—the home where plants live. You cannot add too much compost to your vegetable garden—all of the compost you add will improve crop yield. If […] More

  • in ,

    Vegetable Crop Planting and Phenology

    Lilacs

    Events in the natural calendar can be used to guide planting times in the vegetable garden. The study and observation of seasonal events and their correlation to plant, insect, and animal life is called phenology. Modern phenology got its start in England with the observations of naturalist Robert Marsham. Marsham began recording the connections between […] More

  • in ,

    No-Dig and Light-Dig Garden Preparation

    Compost aged and added to beds

    The no-dig or light-dig garden preparation method calls for spreading soil amendments across planting beds and allowing rain, wind, and soil organisms to till or work the amendments and their nutrients into the soil. You do not have to dig or use a rototiller in your garden every year. Lightly turning planting beds with a […] More

  • in ,

    Asian Greens for Cool-Weather Harvest

    Pac Choi3

    Crispy, succulent, and sweet-flavored Asian greens are easy to grow and demand little space. Like other greens such as lettuce and spinach, they are cool-season crops and prefer to reach maturity in cool air temperatures. They are quick growing and well suited for sowing in spring for late spring harvest or late summer for autumn […] More