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How to Make Tomato Wine from Homegrown Tomatoes

Posted: August 2, 2017

A wild way to use extra tomatoes! Sometime late this summer you may be confronted with surplus tomatoes. Not only have all your tomato plants borne fruit – nice, juicy, delicious, nutritious fruit – but friends and neighbors will be handing you whole bags full as well. When that happened to me two years ago … Continue reading

Tobacco Hornworm being paracitized by braconid wasp

Bug Watch: Hornworms (Tomato and Tobacco)

Posted: July 26, 2017

A Tobacco Hornworm (Manduca sexta) Red Horn Black margins to white stripes Tomato Hornworm (Manduca quinquemaculata) Blue Horn Green margins to white stripes Hornworms: a garden pest Both tobacco and tomato hornworms are garden pests for members of the Solanaceae family, which includes tomatoes and tobacco. They will voraciously eat the leaves and the fruit … Continue reading

Growing lettuce in the garden

Posted: July 19, 2017

I’ve been gardening for practically my whole life. I started out helping in my parents’ garden and graduated to my own once I was married with a family of my own. In every garden I’ve ever participated in lettuce has been grown in early spring, but after this growing season I will never think of … Continue reading

Growing garlic provides soil conditioning help

Posted: June 30, 2017

Growing garlic provides soil conditioning help. If garlic weren’t already such a great plant – good for human health, good for garden health, pretty, hardy, and easy to grow – it turns out that garlic can provide some soil conditioning as it matures in the ground. My garden has a high degree of heavy clay … Continue reading

You can’t miss with borage

Posted: June 13, 2017

Sometimes there’s a plant or seed that’s so foolproof it’s perfect for beginning gardeners – a confidence booster – and yet so lovely that even accomplished gardeners include it in their landscape plans. That would be borage, a soft, fuzzy herb with beautiful bright-blue, star-shaped flowers that hang in clusters. Borage is listed as an … 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

For the Love of Beets

Posted: June 7, 2017

I’ve been growing Detroit Dark Red Beets for over ten years. Each spring, I am still amazed by their hardiness and how good they taste after a long winter. I did not grow up in a home where beets were grown or even eaten for that matter. It was only after I was a mother … Continue reading

Trying lettuce in containers


With garden space really crunched this summer, I have been trying something new: growing lettuces in shallow decorative containers….on my patio. This has been a great experiment because it got me to slow down, concentrate on each seed, and tend the pots carefully. Not that much trouble really, as weeding is a non-issue and the … 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?


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

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