Learn how to plant and grow Brussels sprouts. Listen to podcast: podcast transcript Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea) have gotten a bad rap. These mini-cabbages on a stalk may look weird, but they taste great if you harvest and prepare them correctly. I’ve learned the key to enjoying this cabbage-relative is to let them get touched by light frost in fall before harvesting. Then the sweetness comes out. I like to roast “sprouts” with balsamic vinegar and root crops such as beets and carrots. Don’t be afraid to sweeten them up […]

Learn how to select, plant and grow canna lilies. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript How to Grow: Canna Lilies Canna generalis   Other Name indian shot   Sun Requirements full sun   Bloom Period and Seasonal Color mid to late summer in colors such as pink, salmon. red, and orange   Mature Height x Spread 3 to 6 feet x 1 to 3 feet   Added Benefits attracts beneficials, deer resistant   Canna lily is a tropical bulb that grows quickly during our warm summer to produce tall stately plants […]

Listen to this podcast on the best ways to can tomatoes to preserve them in winter.     Growing up an Italian-American in Waterbury, I have fond memories of my mom canning tomatoes in late summer. It always seemed to be a hot day when she canned and her boiling water bath just added to the stickiness in the air. But those tasty canned tomatoes made for great sauce all winter. Mom is done canning, but I still like to do it. While I also freeze whole tomatoes for cooking, […]

Learn how to take care of Christmas cactus, poinsettia and other holiday plants after the holidays. Listen to Podcast: Now that you’ve put away all your holiday decorations, what are you going to do with those holiday gift plants still adorning your house? Like many gifts, some are worth saving and others are better regifted. So let’s go through the list of holiday gift plants and I’ll tell you what I think you should do with them. Some plants require special growing conditions to look beautiful at the holidays. These […]

Listen to this podcast about caring for and growing chelone or turtle’s head perennial flowers.     I used to own a camp with a swimming pond in the Northeast Kingdom. I remember in late summer swimming in the pond and admiring these plants growing along the pond edge. They were 2- to 3-feet tall with rounded stems, deep green, boldly veined leaves and white or pink flower on the top of the stems. The flowers reminded me of an animal’s head. Do you know the animal I’m talking about? […]

Learn about how to grow Christmas cactus to flower this winter in your home. Listen to Podcast: This common flowering houseplant is native the southeastern, coastal mountains of Brazil. It flowers in May in the Southern hemisphere in response to the shorter day lengths. Europeans starting breeding this plant in the 1800’s and now it’s one of our most treasured symbols of the holidays. It’s the Christmas cactus. Christmas cactus is actually a misnomer. This plant can bloom from November to March and it’s not really a cactus. Christmas cactus […]

Learn some alternative ways to make compost beyond just building a pile. Listen to podcast:     I have a confession to make. I’m not an active composter. I’d like to think the piles of organic matter I put together in fall will heat up and break down quickly, but invariably other chores take my attention and they slowly decompose to eventually be useable. This method works, but there are other alternatives for making compost right in the garden for those of us who aren’t interested in layering, watering, and […]

Learn about composting your garden waste in the garden instead of moving it to a compost pile. Listen to Podcast: Like many gardeners, for years I would diligently clean up the veggie and annual flower gardens this time of year, pulling out dead plants and adding them to my compost pile. But in the last few years I’ve decided to compost in place. Instead of feeding the compost pile, I feed the garden soil in the beds directly. Here’s how it works. Instead of pulling out old broccoli, cabbage, pepper […]

Learn how to identify and control these pesky critters. Listen to podcast:   What’s eating your lawn? Got holes? If your lawn looks like a war zone, there are many possible causes. Certainly skunks could be digging for grubs or your neighbor’s dog digging for fun, but if you see tunnels too, it’s time to talk voles and moles. Although they sound alike, these are two very different creatures. Moles are completely subterranean and are carnivores. They feed on earthworms and other soil creatures, not your plants.  Other than forming […]

Learn about poison ivy, including the best and safest ways to control it. Listen to podcast: For as long as I can remember, each summer I get some amount of poison ivy rash. Poison ivy is best identified by the “leaves of three, let them be,” rhyme. It grows as an aggressive ground cover and up trees. I once saw a whole tree enveloped in poison ivy vines. I stayed away! It’s best to avoid contact with leaves, stems and roots since the chemical urushiol can stay active for months […]

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