January 2003

I am growing cardoon this

– Posted in: Uncategorized

I am growing cardoon this year - I grew artichokes last year, but it is my understanding that cardoons get much larger, and the flowers or thistles are beautiful. In order to eat them, you have to blanch them. It is traditional in the piedmont region of Italy to eat them dipped in a hot [...]

The Minnesota Gardener

– Posted in: Book reviews, Recommended Links

Wow! I just checked out the best designed blog I've ever seen! Minnesota Gardener is beautifully laid out, just gorgeous. Regrettably, it is not devoted to gardening, because as author Lauri Mueller explains, "when I bought the url my intention was to make it a true gardening site with tons of info and shopping, etc. [...]

Growing Pansies Early

– Posted in: Garden chores, Plant info

re: The pansy question. I guess I got in the habit of seeding them in early while working at a local nursery. Like all commercial growers, they were looking for early color to stimulate sales. It was by accident I found I could harden them off and plant them out a month before our last [...]

Color Hungry

– Posted in: Miscellaneous, Plant info

Our enclosed porch is pretty drafty and faces west, which is where the winds usually come from. I can't imagine it being more than 5 degrees warmer than outside, which these days is getting below zero at night. Then again, I've never stuck a thermometer out there and checked. At any rate, there is a [...]

Testing seed germination

– Posted in: Garden chores, Recommended Links

My daughter Talitha, principal vegetable gardener for Purdyville, was wondering how to know if last year's seed would be good for this year's planting, or if she should order more. I suggested she do a germination test: put 10 seeds on a damp paper towel and enclose in a plastic bag. Put them in a [...]

‘Arp’ rosemary hardier but ugly

– Posted in: Plant info

'Arp' was the first kind I ever got, precisely because it is reputed to be so hardy. I figured if I somehow left it out and we had a hard freeze it would survive my carelessness. But you are right: now that I have a different (unknown) variety, I can see that 'Arp' was ugly. [...]