Lee, spreading compost (photo by Lee Reich)

There are times when even compost needs a kickstart

Looking out on my vegetable garden last week, I noticed some yellowing leaves on kale transplants. Perhaps the yellowing leaves were just a legacy from the kale transplants’ adjustment to their home outdoors….

King Red Fruit (photo by Lee Reich)

If at first you don’t succeed…

In this early part of the growing season, I’m frequently asked, “So what new and exciting plants are you growing in the garden this year?” And just as frequently, I can’t think of…

Crown imperial (photo by Lee Reich)

Some unknown knowns worth trying in your garden

To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, defense secretary under W, there are the known knowns, the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns. Donald, you forgot about the unknown knowns. Let’s talk about gardening, not war,…

A look inside Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook, written by Marbletown herbalist Dina Falconi and Accord illustrator Wendy Hollender

Now, forager: New books on wild edibles

I’m more of a cultivated-food-type guy than a wild-food-type guy. I like to be able to go right out my back door to grab a tomato from a row of tomato plants than…

Bamboo, before pruning (photo by Lee Reich)

Killed canes will make a comeback, never fear

This winter’s cold is most evident on bamboo. Clumps of tawny dead leaves, still attached to the canes, stare out from among the trunks and stems of dormant trees and shrubs. I hadn’t…

Still life with tomato seedlings (photo by Lee Reich)

A wealth of heirlooms

Pest problems, due mostly to having a poor site and living east of the Rocky Mountains, have made me give up on growing apples – almost. Last year’s cicadas and this winter’s deer…

Cicada damage (photo by Lee Reich)

For the shear fun of it

Are the 6,000 acres of forest preserve behind my farmden mocking me? Almost every day, weather permitting, I grab pruning shears, a lopper and a pruning saw, and head outdoors to snip, lop…

Sweet fern seeds (photo by Lee Reich)

Sweet fern is easier to grow from rhizomes than from seeds

Did the cheery-looking box of Mickey Mouse adhesive bandages that my friend Bill handed me actually contain adhesive bandages? No. Instead, fuzzy green buds spilled out. An illicit drug? No again. Those “buds” were sweet…

Lee, dispensing oil (photo by Lee Reich)

Full scale warfare

Over the past few weeks, excitement was steadily mounting on the windowsill. First came the stalk that poked up from the bases of whorls of leathery leaves. Then, buds started fattening up along…

Rose geranium cuttings (photo by Lee Reich)

Propagating what you prune

I have to admit a certain addiction for propagating plants. You would think that, what with sowing cabbage and Brussels sprouts seeds for transplants last week, starting tomato transplants in early April, grafting…

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