Category: Gardening

2016 Vegetable Garden: #Goals

I purposely haven’t been talking about the vegetable garden, because every year I talk about my various gardens. I’m pretty sure by now, if you’re a regular reader, you know it’s my thing. Seemingly, I’ve mastered growing various vegetables.  The trick this year is to successfully can what I grow. Last year my attempt at... Read more »

Dorchester Botanical Garden One Year Later

The corner of 64th and Dorchester.
A great deal has changed in a year since the Dorchester Botanical Garden was started. The garden has dramatically expanded with community and volunteer support.  It now encompasses the entire east side of the 6400 block of Dorchester. Garden founder William Hill has even started offering gardening classes. I can’t wait until the final plantings... Read more »

Vegetable Garden 2016: The List

A few days ago, I sent off the order for the vegetable garden. Anyone in the Chicagoland area knows that planting before Mother’s Day is risky at best.  So I clearly timed my order to arrive closer to planting time. In a few weeks, I’ll be out back cleaning out the beds, turning over and... Read more »

Gardening Goals: No Seed Starting Without A Grow Light

With all of this warm weather, naturally my thoughts turn to gardening. And eating a tomato that is actually red. Naturally all of the gardening catalogs jammed my mailbox *after* Christmas so I was a little late finding out about this: Make no mistake, it *will* be on the Christmas list for holiday 2016. After... Read more »

The Last Crop Of The Gardening Season: Potatoes

The past month in the garden has been about collecting the last of any late blooming vegetables and cleaning out the beds. It also meant that I had to finally face the inevitable—dig up the potatoes that I planted. Seeing that outdoor time will soon be at a premium, I decided that today was a... Read more »

Canning Time: Tomato Edition

After planting a little late in the spring and the endless waiting, my tomatoes are finally in. Despite the fact the neighborhood children re-enacted their own version of La Tomatina by fighting with at least 40 POUNDS of everyone’s tomatoes, as you can see I still have plenty to work with. This week (or weekend)... Read more »

Too Much Basil From The Garden? Make Some Basil Butter.

Thumbnail image for 'Too Much Basil From The Garden?  Make Some Basil Butter.'
Even though the weather is holding out, we all know that summer has come to an end. For me that means trying to make the tastes of garden last until next growing season.  One way I do this is to mix the overabundance of fresh Basil in my garden with garlic, lemon juice and a... Read more »

The Backyard Garden: Squash-a-palooza!

Seriously, I have a lot of squash.  More than I know what to do with. It started out innocently and with the best of intentions: Then the damn thing grew to proportions that reminded me of  “Audrey II”  from the “Little Shop Of Horrors.”   I loved picking fresh squash out of the garden: But... Read more »

The Backyard Garden: The New Beds

The largest of the new beds during wedding and soil prep.
This spring some of my neighbors’ zeal for gardening didn’t quite resurface and I was lucky enough to inherit their neglected beds. In all, I picked up a larger rectangular bed and a smaller square bed. I wasn’t quite sure what I would plant in the larger one until a friend had an overabundance of... Read more »

Pinterest Saved My Petunias!

Pinterest Saved My Petunias!
One of my biggest gardening problems is the fact I could never keep my petunias alive after a certain point in the growing season. It drove me crazy. They would look good for the first month and a half then all of a sudden get leggy, start to get brittle and yellow, then die. Luckily... Read more »