True Seed Blog

Adult squash bug laying golden yellow squash bug eggs - garden pests

Bug Watch: Squash Bugs

Posted: July 13, 2017

Squash bugs (Anasa tristis) These bugs can have explosive and multiple population growth throughout the summer and prey upon plants in the Cucurbit family. The inject their long proboscis into the stem, leaves and fruit of the plant, causing local necrosis and eventual death of the plant. The eggs are golden to yellowish to reddish … Continue reading

Cocozelle Zucchini SUmmer Squash

What do I do with so many zucchini?

Posted: June 8, 2017

Originally published in Smoky Mountain Living Magazine, Gardener’s Corner (a Q&A series for gardeners by Chris Smith). When I go to the store I can buy just what I need to eat, when I need it! I like the idea of growing my own food, but one month of eating zucchini for three meals a … Continue reading

Sweet Potato planting

I’ve thought about growing sweet potatoes for a number of years, but I’m concerned about the space requirements. I’ve heard they vine all over the place, is this true?

Posted: May 3, 2017

Originally published in Smoky Mountain Living Magazine, Gardener’s Corner (a Q&A series for gardeners by Chris Smith). Sweet potatoes are typically planted in May and June from live ‘slips’ or baby plants. These slips will produce tubers under the ground and vines above the ground. It is true that sweet potato vines can be quite … Continue reading

Hatched Monarch Butterfly

According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, about 1 billion monarch butterflies have disappeared since 1990, what can I do to help?

Posted: May 3, 2017

Originally published in Smoky Mountain Living Magazine, Gardener’s Corner (a Q&A series for gardeners by Chris Smith). One of the best ways to attract monarch butterflies to your garden is to plant milkweed.  In addition to providing nectar for numerous other pollinators, milkweed is the food source for baby monarchs (caterpillars!). Since a hungry monarch … Continue reading

Hill Country Red Okra

Growing, Eating and Appreciating Okra

Posted: April 27, 2017

Orignally published in Plough to Pantry. My first experience with okra was in a roadside greasy spoon somewhere near Clayton, GA. It was slimy, greasy, tasteless and only good for playing tricks on tourists. Okra was not being taken seriously. I understand why some people never give it a second chance. The second time I … Continue reading

Collection of flower and vegetable seed packets

Garden What You’ve Got

Posted: April 12, 2017

This season – 2017 – marks right about 40 years that I have been heavy-duty gardening, first in Wisconsin right out of college, and for the last 35-plus years in western North Carolina. This blog post is different, because it’s not a message about any particular plant, but about a useful approach to gardening.   … Continue reading

Portuguese Kale (or collards)

COLLARDS and Portuguese Kale

Posted: April 7, 2017

(Originally published in Asheville’s Plough to Pantry) A long time ago, through selective breeding, the wild species of Brassica oleracea began to take on many faces: broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and collards. Today, most supermarket shoppers wouldn’t recognize these crops as direct relatives, but the budding botanist can tell! Note the four little … Continue reading

Starting Peppers and Eggplants from Seed

Posted: February 23, 2017

Peppers (both hot and sweet) and Eggplants are two crops from the Solanaceae family that have similar seed starting characteristics and are generally started around the same time. They are both frost sensitive annuals which require a fairly long and hot growing season. For this reason, they are starting indoors under controlled conditions and then … Continue reading

The Seven Steps to Microgreen Success

Posted: February 2, 2017

Growing microgreens is an easy year round activity that requires low input and super tasty outputs. This article will walk you through the seven steps for growing microgreens successfully at home. You’ll need a small amount of soil (I use an sterile, organic potting mix), some USDA Organic Seeds, and a growing container. Somewhere warm … Continue reading

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