Gardening

SandJLinkins / MorgueFile

It’s July, and if you’re a gardener, that means little green tomatoes are popping up on your plants, flowers are attracting bees, and fruit trees are filling up with the beginnings of what we’ll harvest this fall. It’s also a time for deer to come by and steal a snack from your garden. David Brooks, a columnist for the Nashua Telegraph and writer at GraniteGeek.org, spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello about ways to prevent those deer from literally stealing the fruits of your labor.

What is the thing that keeps deer away?

Granger Meador via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/MJVLW

The warm, sunny Mother’s Day weekend we’re set to have in the Northeast gave gardening guy Henry Homeyer an idea: plants as Mother’s Day gifts.

Henry Hemming via Flickr CC

The historic barrage of snow and cold in New England this winter has pushed back the gardening season and left behind damaged bushes, trees and greenhouses as well as gardeners eager to get outside and in the dirt.

The growing season is one to two weeks behind schedule, following a winter that lacked the usual mid-season thaw.

Henry Homeyer

Gardening Guy and Cornish Flats resident Henry Homeyer says it’s not too late to plant for fall color.

 

We are in the peak of fall foliage season in New Hampshire. What are some of your favorite bright colored trees and shrubs?

Well obviously sugar maple is the best; that’s what everyone travels here to see. It’s kind of big to plant in your yard… but there are a lot of smaller things that people can plant as well.

Fall In The Garden

Sep 16, 2014
Henry Homeyer

With fall around the corner, it’s a good time to evaluate the growing season just past- and plan ahead for next year. Gardening Guy Henry Homeyer offers some tips.

How did your garden do this year?

My garden did great this year- it was a little cool, but we had plenty of sunshine and plenty of rain. I grew corn for the first time in many years and it did really well.

What should gardeners be doing in the vegetable garden now?

Henry Homeyer

Gardening Guy Henry Homeyer talks about mums, decorative kale and cabbage, and preparing for fall.

Fall is on the way… what are you doing to prepare?

Summer flowers that are looking tired can be made to look pretty darn good in the fall… I cut them back right about now… I give them some liquid fertilizer and they’ll re-bloom nicely in two or three weeks.

Are there fall plants we should consider buying now?  

bagsgroove via Flickr CC

It’s August and vacation season. Gardening Guy Henry Homeyer has some suggestions for keeping the garden growing while you're away. 

Henry, what do you do with your gardens when you’re going away for a long period of time?

Jacki Dee via Flickr CC

Cornish resident and 'Gardening Guy’ Henry Homeyer has been busy harvesting his tomatoes. He offers some tips on what to do with a bumper crop.

How have your tomato plants been doing this year?

“It’s been a great year – knock on wood – for tomatoes. We’ve had plenty of sunshine, plenty of moisture. I get a lot of emails from readers of my weekly gardening column and I have not heard a single complaint about late blight coming in early and wiping out anybody’s tomatoes, so I think we’re doing fine.”

What Are Japanese Beetles Good For?

Jul 25, 2014
Kurt Andreas via flickr Creative Commons

Mid-summer brings Japanese beetles to the garden, clustering on their favorite foods: the leaves of raspberry, grape, and garden roses. In the vegetable garden, the lead shoots of pole beans are another tasty target. I know gardeners who find a daily ritual of flicking beetles into a container with water and a drop of liquid soap to be very therapeutic. Beetle demise is quick. These are people who typically release indoor spiders and wasps to the outdoors, but damage to the garden is another matter. 

Brad Smith, Flickr CC

If you spend time tending a garden, chances are that you’ve come across some insects you don’t know. Other times there may be bugs you think you know and may be tempted to get rid of. Henry Homeyer argues that that’s not always the best thing to do. Homeyer is a lifelong organic gardener living in Cornish Flat. He’s the author of four gardening books and writes a weekly gardening column for ten newspapers around New England. I spoke with Homeyer on Thursday:

5 Plants To Mosquito-Proof Your Garden

Jul 1, 2014
cygnus921 via Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Kiera Butler about the truth behind bug spray and came away with some interesting facts. For instance, those bug sprays professing scents like cedar wood or ‘silky vanilla’ are by no means guaranteed to actually do a good job of keeping away bugs. You know what is? DEET.

According to Butler, due to the increase of insect borne illnesses, DEET is a tested-and-true method for keeping the bugs away. Although studies have shown minimal health risks associated with DEET in commercial products, some people still prefer a more natural route. It’s important to note that these solutions have not been tested enough to prove to be good ways of warding off insects, though you’ll find many proponents of natural remedies who defend them. If you’d like to put nature to the test, we’ve made a list of some of the popular plant solutions to avoiding bug bites.

Gardening Tips For Granite Staters

Jun 10, 2014
Rebecca Makowski / Flickr/CC

It’s a short season, but one that many in New England enthusiastically embrace, whether on community plots, backyard gardens or on a commercial scale.  And now, in addition to the usual challenges, there’s climate change with a longer growing season but also new floral and faunal pests, and the possibility of extreme weather.

GUESTS:

Murray Farms

After a spring characterized by strange weather, warmer temperatures have brought gardeners outside- and to their local garden stores- around the Granite State.

“We’re slammed right now. After the long winter and the nice weather we have now, people are coming out in droves.”

Charlie Cole is the General Manager at Cole Gardens, a family owned business in Concord. Like many gardeners at this time, Cole is experiencing a rapid uptick in sales.

Robert Bell via Flickr CC

Gardeners are gearing up for this year's growing season, and many New Hampshire gardeners are hoping to grow their vegetables organically this year.

But that term, "organic," doesn't mean that same thing to every gardener.

Khadija Dawn Smith via Flickr CC

Spring in New Hampshire is, well, not always the most satisfying season. This week alone, we've had weather ranging from frigid rain to warm-enough-to-use-the-sunroof.

What gets a lot of us through the season is looking forward to the weekends, when we can, now that the snow has melted, begin to play around in the dirt, maybe even plant something.

I'd love to brag about my own gardening skills, or even offer some handy tips. But I'm a certified Brown Thumb, and have little to offer other than knowing what I don't know about plants, dirt, even mulch.

Long Winter Delays Spring Planting

Apr 6, 2014
Pansies
John/cygnus921 / Flickr Creative Commons

The long, cold winter has delayed spring planting in the Granite State.  That complicates matters for nurseries and lawn and garden businesses.  Charlie Cole is general manager of Cole Gardens in Concord.  He sees the late spring as a mixed bag for his business—although he’s optimistic.

“We’re really excited, because the pent-up need to be out in the garden is just building, and it’s still building.  And once our customer base are able to get in the garden and plant, we think it’s going to be a great spring,” Cole says.

The University of New Hampshire is holding its annual Greenhouse Open House for eager gardeners — some still aching from shoveling snow the first day of spring.

The MacFarlane Greenhouse will be open Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

University faculty, staff and students will offer lectures on a variety of topics including seed saving, drip irrigation and soil testing. Visitors can also learn about UNH research on cutting-edge genetics and hydroponics.

Ellingwood

The Cornucopia Project teaches kids to grow food -- and to make a lifetime of healthy eating choices. Susan Ellingwood and her third-graders in Dublin are old hands in their school garden -- which was established with help from the Cornucopia Project.

sarah-ji via flickr Creative Commons

Today the ground is covered with snow, but imagine if you will, a verdant community garden in late July, brimming with flowers and vegetables, happy neighbors kneeling cheek-to-cheek, shovel to shovel, baskets overflowing with greens and the late afternoon sun bathing the scene in gold. We interrupt that idyll to bring you “Thievery, Fraud, Fistfights and Weed: The Other Side of Community Gardens.”   That’s the title of Jesse Hirsch’s article for Modern Farmer, where he’s a staff writer.

The World Runs on Grass

Nov 29, 2013
Francie Von Mertens

Grass doesn't get a lot of appreciation aside from lawns and hayfields, but grasses play an essential role in ecosystem health. When soil is disturbed by hurricane, fire or logging, grasses take quick advantage of. Dormant seeds awaiting the right conditions sprout and up come the grasses.

Pebbleheed via Flickr Creative Commons

Whether you have a well-worn green thumb, or are making your first foray into home gardening, rest assured: there’s an app for that. New York Times Smart App Columnist Kit Eaton confesses he’s not an experienced gardener, but he dug in to the wide variety of garden-related apps on the market and joins us with some winners.   

New Hampshire's growing season traditionally begins Memorial Day weekend, but if you haven't gotten many plants into your garden this year, it's not too late to start.

That's according to Henry Homeyer, and he should know - he's a longtime gardener who's written newspaper columns and numerous books on the subject. His latest book is Organic Gardening (Not Just) In The Northeast: A Hands-On Month-to-Month Guide.

iStock Photo

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/abennett96/538039424/">BenSpark</a> / Flickr

Summer may be winding down, but for many gardeners in New Hampshire, the season’s not quite over.  There are still tomatoes and beans to be gathered.  And rich fall squashes are just emerging.  This summer’s gardening season has been a challenging one.  Mainly because of a few creatures that have enjoyed her plants.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “I have no hostility to nature, but a child’s love to it. I expand and live in the warm day like corn and melons.”

I suspect that deer were not eating Mr. Emerson’s corn, or melons.

USDA

The USDA recently released a new growing zone map for the entire country. The Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the guide gardeners use to determine what plants and flowers will most likely thrive in their location. This is the first significant update in more than 20 years. The new online interactive map takes advantage of much more detailed data analysis, and it’s making news because it shows that warmer winters are sustaining plants that previously would have died off in colder climates.

Local food with a capital L: New York-based Brightfarms builds greenhouses on top of grocery stores and warehouses. So if the cucumber section is running low, just run upstairs and you're good.

The system is designed to save the grocer money - if the veggies are on your roof, shipping costs go down, and the food is fresher, with a longer shelf life, meaning storage costs go down too.

Welcome to the Veggielution

Sep 4, 2009