Growing sweet alyssum from seed is a lot cheaper than purchasing flats of seedlings each year—it’s one of those plants where you don’t really buy just one! I love the versatility of this hardy annual—lobularia maritima—a member of the cabbage family that is the perfect filler and spiller for container arrangements. Mature plants produce a profusion of delicate blooms that cascade over the side of a pot. In the garden, it can be planted as a beautiful annual groundcover or edging plant. Sweet alyssum plants grow so densely they help keep the weeds down!
With hundreds of species to choose from, ferns make a lovely addition to your plant collection. Whether you’re growing warm-climate ferns indoors as houseplants or cold-hardy perennial ferns in a shady corner of the garden outdoors, ferns have so much to offer. Learning how to propagate ferns from spores or mother plants means you’ll always have plenty to share with friends and family. The following excerpt from The Complete Book of Ferns by Mobee Weinstein explains fern propagation techniques and is used with permission from the book’s publisher, Cool Springs Press/The Quarto Group.
The Armenian cucumber is the one of the most popular vegetables in my garden, but it’s not actually a cucumber. Botanically, it’s a muskmelon and produces vigorous vines that bear long, slender fruits that look and taste like cucumbers; crisp, mildly sweet, and never bitter. Armenian cucumbers are easy to grow, productive, and heat tolerant. Keep reading to learn more about this unique vegetable.
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Instead of turning to synthetic chemical fertilizers to feed your plants, consider relying on natural fertilizers to nourish both your plants and your soil. Fertilizers based on natural ingredients not only provide mineral nutrition for growing plants, they also feed the soil’s living organisms. These organisms (most of which are microscopic fungi and bacteria) process these natural fertilizers, breaking them down into the nutrients that plants use to grow. In this article, I’ll introduce you to several natural fertilizer options and discuss which ones are good choices for the garden.
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Quinoa is a cool season crop grown for its tiny, protein-packed seeds. It’s also a beautiful vegetable, producing tall plants with silvery-green leaves and brilliant red, pink, and gold seedheads. It’s easy to grow, drought tolerant, and disease resistant with the seed harvest taking place in autumn before the first hard frost. If you want to learn how to grow quinoa in a vegetable garden, keep reading.