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.”
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.