Tag Archives: vegetable gardening tips

Edible Weeds

Before you throw those weeds on the ground consider that some are more tasty and nutritious, not to mention grow more readily, than the very plants you are helping to grow. Here we can consider three common edible weeds people probably already know about, and three lesser-known plants.

Identifying the more edible varieties will help ensure you have a better experience eating these weeds but don’t be too cautious and avoid them altogether. Remember:

  1. the most edible varieties are most common and grow larger so they are the ones you are most likely to find in your garden, and
  2. you are not going to find a similar plant that is going make you sick.

If you want to start slowly on these, or if you only have a few to work with, just add some to your regular leafy vegetables.
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Leaf miner season

Anyone growing spinach or chard (or beets potentially too) should be on the look-out for leaf miner, that little maggot that burrows into the leafs creating little tunnels and eventually large dead splotches on the leaves. The miner is the larval stage of a fly and the adult fly is hard to control so focus on the eggs and larvae. Last year was a bad year for leaf miner and this year is shaping up to be another bad year for spinach.

leaf miner

leaf miner eggs on spinach (May 28, 2013)

leaf miner on spinach

leaf miner eggs
(close-up of left)


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Tips for new gardeners

Plug “vegetable gardening tips” in a search engine, and in 0.16 seconds you’ll have more than 4 million results to choose from. How do you, er, weed through this bounty and land on information sources that are right for you? Everyone’s different, and every gardener has different experience and goals and ideas about what makes a good garden.

Sometimes tips land in y0ur mailbox – like this handy graphic showing ideal dirt depths for different crops (thanks, Nicholas!). Here are a few sites I’ve consulted (I’m a novice so you pros might not find much of interest), and a few random selections. 

Growveg.com has an interactive vegetable garden planner that takes your garden design and provides you with a calendar of when to plant. There is a fee, but you can try it free for 30 days.

Martha Stewart‘s site offers suggestions for starting seeds, planning and planting gardens and, of course, for making it all look simply fabulous.

Our own Canadian Gardening is brimming with suggestions. Currently there are 62 different articles on fruit and vegetable gardening on offer, with more on herb, container, indoor and water gardening.

This one I like for the writing and the sheer energy and hard work behind the project. Ladybird at Home tells the story of a new community agriculture resource in the West Midlands, UK. Allotments are part of it, so there are some great tips and links.

The Guardian’s Gardening Blog is always entertaining and informative. Heck, the whole Gardens section is a winner!

Interested in composting with worms, or setting up a compost box right in your kitchen? Check out Wiggly Wigglers for information, tips, products. Their award-winning podcast is worth a listen, too.

If you’ve got an interesting site to share, please do so via the comments!

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