Archive for April 2009

Paper tube seed markers

In my garden I don’t do a lot of weeding because even the lowliest of weeds have a purpose and many attract beneficial insects into the garden. Since my garden is a refuge for weeds of all sorts, I sometimes can’t tell which seedling is a “plant” and which one is a “weed,” especially if... Read more »

Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles emerge in late June in Illinois after over-wintering in the ground below the frost line as grubs. In the spring they move upwards feeding on the roots of your lawn and by the summer they are fully grown adults. When they emerge as adults, Japanese beetles feed on the leaves and flowers of... Read more »

Garden Plant Sales May '09

If you’re starting a garden for the first time, the plant sales run by local community gardens and garden clubs may be a good source for plants for your urban garden. The money raised by these garden plant sales goes back into communities in Chicago. These plants sales are occurring throughout the city, but I may list... Read more »

Vegetable Gardening-Companion Planting

When planting a garden one of the thing you should take into consideration is the plants you add into your garden. Just like you, garden plants have friends & they have frenemies. This is especially important to consider when you’re vegetable gardening because companion planting can make or break your vegetable garden. Some plants will... Read more »

Spotted Cucumber Beetle

One garden pest I expect to see more of in my garden this year is the spotted cucumber beetle. This bug with the yellow body and black spots looks harmless but it is a bug you don’t want to see in your garden if you are one of the millions of Americans expected to jump... Read more »

Nasturtium the "nose-twister"

Nasturtium, which translates literally to “nose-twister,” is the common name of a popular ornamental garden plant with intense flower colors and round lily pad-like leaves. I don’t find the flower or plant smell to be unpleasant at all. Besides being an attractive ornamental garden plant all parts of the plant are edible and supposedly repellent... Read more »

One Seed Chicago 2009

What One Book Chicago is to reading, One Seed Chicago is to gardening. Each year One Seed Chicago selects one plant to be the focus of a year-round celebration. This year the plant selected is the bean– any kind. The purpose of One Seed Chicago is to get people across the city growing the same... Read more »

Black Plants for Drama in the Garden

During the Victorian and Edwardian times when all things sombre were in fashion the pursuit of black flowers was at an all time high. Today, plants with “black” foliage and flowers are still highly sought after by gardeners and something plant breeders are trying to get to market. In reality, the advances in Photoshop have... Read more »

Starting a Garden: Microclimates

When contemplating what zone Chicago is–one thing you may want to take into consideration is the effects of microclimates & the urban heat island. A microclimate can allow you to push the boundaries of what plants you can plant in a garden in Chicago and reasonably except to survive the winter.  This photo is of a plant... Read more »

Starting a Garden: Understanding Zones

In gardening circles when people talk about Zones or ask you what Zone you live in they are asking about the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Hardiness refers to a plant’s ability to tolerate temperatures. In this case we’re talking, mostly, about a plant’s ability to survive a winter in Chicago and return the next... Read more »