April Is Full Of Surprises

By Jannie Vaught One day we are running the cooler and in a few days a cold front is dipping into our region and we are back with the heater on. What does this mean for the new plants in the garden? Plants at 39 degrees can feel the chill and will need a cover…

The Garden Itch

Jannie Vaught This is always the time of year when many gardeners have a serious case of “Garden Itch”. The waiting for official Spring is a waiting game. We are having high and low temps. One day is t-shirts and the next minute its layers and gloves. Still, the “Itch” to get planting is hard…

The Scent Of Autumn

By Jannie Vaught The leaves are falling. Just the other day there was a warm breeze and with it, the leaves began to tumble to the earth. There is a scent to Autumn and for this gardener, it is the drying of the leaves and the sound of them as I walk across the yard…

Autumn 2020

Jannie Vaught In the northern hemisphere begins autumm on September 22. If you have noticed the ash and elm trees, even some of the mulberry trees are dropping leaves and are beginning to change from green to yellow. The light is shifting and our length of the day is shortening and with cooler temperatures, the…

It Can Be About Temperature And Humidity

By Jannie Vaught Last week a fellow gardener showed up at my door. Her question was “why aren’t my tomatoes setting fruit? We went through the regular questions, are you feeding them on a regular time schedule? Are they in cages or staked? Are you pinching off the lower limbs and removing the succors? And…

The Fabulous Fava Bean

Jannie Vaught Last winter was the first time I even considered fava beans or broad beans other than butter beans or Lima beans. These were just not in my library of eating or growing. So I researched the fava. Favas are a specific kind of broad bean which includes, lima, fava, and some runner beans.…

Butterfly The Canary In The Coal Mine

By Jannie Vaught The National Butterfly Center in Mission Texas is a 100-acre wildlife center and native species botanical garden dedicated to the conservation and study of butterflies. Since many butterfly plants support bees also. Take a moment and go to their web site. www. nationalbutterflycenter.org. for all the latest and up to date information…

What The USDA Growing Zones Mean

By Jannie Vaught Have you ever wondered about the USDA growing zones and what does it mean to you as a gardener or a farmer? Let us get a definition. The USDA Hardiness Zone map divides North America into 11 separate planting zones; each growing zone is 10*F warmer (or colder) in an average winter…

The Beauty Of The Seed

By Jannie Vaught “The beauty of seed is rivaled only by their purpose.” Seed Savers Exchange. Definitions that will clear up the usage of these terms. Sustainable: able to maintain at a certain rate or level. Renewable: not depleted when used. These are just two of the many descriptive words now used when someone is…

It Is The Quiet Time In The Garden

By Jannie Vaught Which is a good time to brush up on seed saving, I am using the Book The Seed Garden The Art and Practice of Seed Saving from Seed Savers Exchange. If you are interested in going deeper into seed and plant identification this is a good book to have. Definition; Taxonomy and…

Why I Save Seeds

By Jannie Vaught Being born and raised in a farming and gardening family, now it is called “homesteading” my grandparents and parents always saved seeds and plant cuttings. This was as normal as cooking dinner. They walked the Trail of Tears, with seeds, and were relocated to central California after the dust bowl. My Uncle…

A Request Has Arrived Gourds, From Seed To Use

By Jannie Vaught Gourds, Wiki definition, includes the fruits of some flowering plant species in the family Cucurbitaceae, also called Cucurbita, or the gourd family, the term refers to a number of species and subspecies with or without a hard shell. One of the earliest domesticated plants the bottle gourd. Gourds have been used for…

The Personal Garden Library

By Jannie Vaught, With the intense heat and no rain every living thing is struggling to get through another day! The tomatoes are either done or the strong are actually slowly growing, with even a hint of ripening, they need consistent watering same amount same time everyday. Seems plants like consistency also! Yes, my fall…

Pollinators Are High On The List This Season

    By Jannie Vaught     And for this gardener, it has been a high priority for building and growing habitat for them. Here’s what we all can do to help our pollinators survive and thrive. As you plan your gardens make sure there are many flowering plants that are blooming well into the…

Cover Crops

By Jannie Vaught, Lets have a closer look at when, why and what to plant. Definition: A cover crop is a crop of a specific plant that is grown primarily for the benefit of soil other than crop yield. Cover crops are primarily used to suppress weeds, manage soil erosion, help build soil fertility and…

Trimming Back What The Frost Got

By Jannie Vaught So many gardens were severely frost bitten, or should I say froze to death, that my message box became full in one day! What do I do and will it survive? If any tender vegetables were out it probably will not be a good producer if it survives. Even my hardy winter…