“Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did.” That’s what the 19th century poet William Allen Butler wrote of the strawberry. (He also wrote the hilariously funny poem “Nothing to Wear”.) There are many reasons why strawberries are so popular with gardeners. They are easy to grow. They are inexpensive. They take up very little space. They produce fruit the first season. But best of all, they are full of flavor; unlike what you often get at the grocery store. Continue reading “How to Grow Strawberries”
What could be better than the special satisfaction that comes from harvesting the bounty of a spectacular plant that was once only a tiny speck of a seed in the palm of your hand? But starting your own seedlings is not only fun and rewarding, but very practical as well.
Even the best greenhouses and garden centers are limited in the number of varieties they can carry. But the variety of seed available in those same garden centers is much broader. So if you want a unique variety you may have no other choice but to start your own plants from seed. Continue reading “Starting your own Plant Starts”
Want to pick fresh greens from your garden, even in the middle of an Idaho winter? One way, of course, is to build your own backyard greenhouse, but greenhouses can be not only expensive to build, but expensive to heat in the winter… very expensive. Here’s another approach you might want to try- microgreens. Continue reading “Mighty Micro-greens!”
Growing roses in east Idaho is nothing like growing roses in Portland, or Seattle, or Los Angeles. And that’s both good and bad. The good news is that we don’t have nearly the issues with bugs and diseases that they have in those areas. The bad news is that we have to figure out how to grow a zone 5 or 6 plant in the cold and wind of our zone 4 climate. Continue reading “Preparing Roses for Winter”
We’ve enjoyed some wonderful fall weather recently, but it won’t last forever. It’s time to prepare your yard and garden for winter. Here’s a checklist of some of the things that you’ll want to do over the next few weeks to ensure that the plants in your yard will come through the winter with flying colors. Continue reading “Time to Winterize”
Depending on where you live in east Idaho you may have experienced some light frosts by now, maybe even some killing frosts. But even if you didn’t get your garden covered it doesn’t mean your harvest is over. Many crops can be harvested even after Jack Frost has paid a visit to your garden.
Onions, potatoes and other root crops can still be harvested after a frost… right up until there is danger of the soil freezing. Celery and cabbage are frost resistant and can be harvested after the first frosts. And you can continue to harvest kale and collards until it finally freezes hard enough to damage the foliage. Pumpkins and winter squash are usually harvested after the frost has killed the vines. Even then they can be left in the garden for the skins to harden up before storing in the garage or somewhere that is frost free. Continue reading “Harvest and Storage of Fresh Garden Vegetables”
If you’ve ever been to New England when the fall colors are at their peak you know how spectacular it can be. In east Idaho our color palette is a little more limited in the native landscape, but beautiful nonetheless. The native Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) provide the dominant golden yellow on the hillsides, with Cottonwood (Populus sp.) doing the same along the riverbeds. Orange and red usually come from Canyon Maple (Acer grandidentatum) and Rocky Mountain Maple (Acer glabrum) especially in the higher elevations. Serviceberry also provide striking orange to copper color in the fall, while Chokecherries and Red Twig Dogwood will turn a bright red to deep maroon. Continue reading “Favorite Fall Foliage For East Idaho”