Category: Gardening

Some Spices You Can Grow in Maine

By Will Bonsall Spices have always held a peripheral importance in virtually all cuisines, despite their relatively low nutritional value. They’re especially significant in diets based on bland foods like rice and potatoes, whose nutrient value itself is not enough to stimulate the appetite. To be clear, I’m distinguishing spices from leafy herbs, most of

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Growing Winter Squash

By Will Bonsall Winter squash are generally distinguished from summer squash by their drier, denser flesh, their sweetness and their storability, though it’s not quite that simple. Most winter squash belong to the species Cucurbita maxima, whereas summer squash (including zucchini) are all in the species Cucurbita pepo. Several winter squash are in fact also

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Growing Potatoes in the Garden

By Will Bonsall Considering that potatoes are the fourth biggest food crop grown by humans (after corn, wheat and rice), that they are so simple to grow, and so productive, it seems strange they aren’t more common in backyard gardens. I suppose it’s partly because, like the other staples, they are so cheap to buy,

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Garden Beets 

By Will Bonsall There’s nothing new about beets. They’re among the oldest vegetables cultivated by humans. The ancient Greeks esteemed them, starting with their wild ancestor, Beta vulgaris spp. maritima (still found growing wild on the Adriatic littoral). They eventually bred them into the sweet and succulent food we enjoy today. In much more modern

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Starting Garden Seeds Indoors

By Caleb Goossen, Ph.D., MOFGA Crop Specialist Starting seedlings indoors allows you to create a controlled environment that is ideal for germination and early growth. In addition to long-season crops, like Brussels sprouts and artichokes, that require many days to reach maturity, we want to give some crops time to grow as large as possible

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Garden Tip: Watering During Drought

By Eric Evans, Camden, Maine In most soils, watering is needed during extended droughts (our 1-2 inches of rain for all of June and July in 2022 was not enough!) to support blooming and fruiting. But frequent shallow watering can have little benefit, because it encourages shallow rooting and evaporates rapidly. I aim to provide the equivalent

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Garden Tip: Squash Your Lawn

By Jack Kertesz Sheet mulching your lawn can bring about short-term food and long-term garden expansion for future production in your yard. The photo shows a 4-by-8-foot plot, or roughly 50 square feet.  Coarse, dead plant material, gathered from MOFGA’s perennial flower beds, was placed over the sod in the spring of 2022. A layer

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Garden Tip: Asparagus Beetle Trap

By Blair Rollin, Scotland, Connecticut I wanted to let people know about an asparagus beetle trap I came up with. 2022 is the second year I’ve used these, and they have pretty much ended my asparagus beetle problems. I used to spend countless hours catching and killing asparagus beetles by hand. (I got quite good

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Selecting Seeds for the Garden

By Caleb Goossen, Ph.D., MOFGA Crop Specialist With gardens put to bed for the winter, now is the time when gardeners reflect on the prior season and begin planning for the next. For many, it is the time to evaluate seed supply, and order seeds for the coming year. This is also a great time

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Vertical Garden: Wall of Mint

by Ivonne Vazquez Unused materials for a different project turned into an opportunity to create a vertical garden. The project: a wall of mint. “Wha-aat?” you say with great interest while conjuring images of the delightful possibilities, the scent of mint swirling about in your thoughts. With some pieces of wood, plastic plant pots, a

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