Chives and lettuce in a spring garden

Cold-Hardy Crops

As the last remains of snow melt away and temperatures gradually warm up, gardeners start dreaming of putting in the first crops of the season. While we often look forward to planting summer crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, the early spring can be a season of great abundance and should not be overlooked! What are Cold-Hardy Crops? There are several cold-hardy crops that will grow in cooler temperatures and can withstand a mild frost or even a freeze....

April 5, 2022 · 3 min · Erin Thomson
Frost-covered plant leaves

Know Where You Grow: Hardiness Zones and Frost Dates

When starting a garden, understanding the growing climate in your area is an important first step. There are two key pieces of information to know about your local growing climate: your hardiness zone and frost dates. While sometimes represented together, hardiness zones and frost dates are separate concepts. Read on to learn what they are and why they matter for a successful garden. What are Plant Hardiness Zones? In North America, plant hardiness zones commonly refer to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zones....

April 1, 2022 · 3 min · Erin Thomson
Tomatoes in a variety of colors

What Are Heirloom Varieties?

As a gardener, you might have heard of heirloom plant varieties. But what are they exactly? Interestingly, there isn’t a consistent definition for what qualifies as an heirloom variety. Some groups define heirlooms as varieties that have existed for over 50 years, while some set the bar at 100 years. Others define them as varieties that existed prior to World War II. While there isn’t a consistent standard, what is true of all heirloom varieties is their seeds have been passed down for many generations and they will grow “true to type”....

March 29, 2022 · 3 min · Erin Thomson
Seedlings

How to Start Seeds Indoors

Many plants must be started indoors, especially in regions with short growing seasons. Vegetables like peppers are almost always started by seed indoors because they need warm soil to germinate. Other plants which are often started indoors include broccoli, cabbage, celery, eggplant, and tomatoes. Vegetables such as beans do not take well to transplanting and should be sown directly outdoors at planting time. There are a handful of supplies you need in order to start seeds indoors....

February 1, 2022 · 3 min · Lexi Hovan

Preparing Your Garden for Winter

Many people think that after a fall harvest, your garden is to be left alone until planting time next spring. The truth of the matter is that there are a handful of methods to ‘winterize’ your garden in preparation for a successful growing season next year. While mostly optional, these practices can help increase yields and prevent disease in the next growing season. A first step would be removing most dead plant matter from the previous growing season....

November 4, 2021 · 2 min · Lexi Hovan

The Importance of Soil Health

When planning a garden, choosing which vegetable varieties you’d like to plant is only half the battle. For your plants to grow successfully, you should always check your soil health before planting. If your soil is too rocky, too acidic, or devoid of nutrients, you are going to have trouble getting much of anything to grow in your garden. It is best to check up on your soil health long before planting time, so that if amendment is necessary, you will have adequate time to do so....

June 21, 2021 · 2 min · Lexi Hovan

Soil Options for Raised Bed Gardening

Square foot gardening often takes place in raised beds. These can be pre-purchased or constructed by the gardener. While constructing the beds is fairly straightforward, figuring out what exactly to put in the beds can be a little more complicated. One of the advantages of raised bed gardening is that you are not limited by the soil on your property, which can sometimes be less than ideal for certain crops. While you can buy pre-mixed bags of soil that are specifically made for raised bed gardening, this can get very pricey if you have a lot of ground to cover....

June 16, 2021 · 3 min · Lexi Hovan

Understanding Fertilizer Labels

Not everybody fertilizes their garden. However, consistent fertilization can make or break your crop yield. Different plants require different ratios of nutrients, hence the plethora of different fertilizer types available today. When you look at most fertilizer bottles, you will see a sequence of three numbers separated by dashes; 5-5-5, for example. These numbers represent the ratios of three specific nutrients which are essential for growing most plants, expressed as percentages....

June 11, 2021 · 2 min · Lexi Hovan
Square foot garden with wooden dividers.

What is Square Foot Gardening?

They look beautiful and organized, but what exactly are square foot gardens, and should you build one? Square foot gardening is rapidly growing in popularity, and for good reason! It’s also the gardening method that Planter is best suited for. What is square foot gardening? Square foot gardening is a simple method of gardening where the garden is divided into squares, each 1 foot by 1 foot. It is organized and highly productive....

June 5, 2021 · 4 min · Peter Keefe
Roots

Soil Depth Requirements

When designing and planting raised garden beds, it’s important to consider how deep the roots grow. If your raised garden bed is on top of regular soil, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, if the bed is on top of concrete or inadequate soil, make sure the raised bed is deep enough for the plants you’d like to grow. Soil Depth Requirements for Common Vegetables Shallow Rooting (12"-18") Medium Rooting (18"-24") Deep Rooting (24"+) Arugula Beans Artichoke Bok Choy Beets Asparagus Broccoli Cantaloupe Okra Brussel sprouts Carrots Parsnips Cabbage Chard Pumpkin Cauliflower Cucumber Rhubarb Celery Eggplant Squash (winter) Chives Kale Sweet potatoes Corn Peas Tomatoes Endive Peppers Watermelon Garlic Rutabagas Kohlrabi Squash (summer) Leeks Turnips Lettuce Onions Potatoes Radishes Spinach Strawberries

June 10, 2021 · 1 min · Peter Keefe