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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

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?


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

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

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

Fall Greens from Nan Chase

Fall Gardening Know How (Part III): Greens

Posted: August 18, 2016

With the first official day of fall just a month away, many gardeners are looking forward to the changing season and a reprieve from the heat and pests of summer. While gardening in cooler temperatures under the azure sky of fall, my attitude improves as I slow down and spend more time pondering my garden. … Continue reading

Early Wonder Beets Freshly Harvested

Fall Gardening Know How, Part II: Root Crops

Posted: August 5, 2016

Earthy. Sweet. Pungent. Sifting through gardening blogs and seed catalogs, these are some of the many adjectives used to wax poetic about the flavors of root vegetables. If asked about their importance to modern cuisine, a chef would likely add versatile and nutritious to their description. Root vegetables like beets and rutabagas can be steamed … Continue reading

Romenesco Broccoli on a Table

Fall Gardening Know How (Part I): Growing Brassicas

Posted: July 22, 2016

Brassica oleracea. Some forms of this amazingly diverse species are prized for their large leaves, others their swollen stems or clusters of unopened flower heads. Think broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, kale, and kohlrabi. Known collectively as the brassicas, these descendants of a wild Mediterranean plant all thrive in cool temperatures. Fall is a particularly … Continue reading

July Garden Tomato San Marzano Blossom End Rot Plant

July in the Garden: Harvest, Woes, Watering and Fall!

Posted: July 7, 2016

Summer is officially here (!) and with it the heat and humidity that marks this season. For many of us our hard work is starting to pay off as we harvest and eat home-grown vegetables. After a winter of eating produce that was grown and shipped from hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away, my … Continue reading

Parris Island Romaine Organic Lettuce

Top six summer greens to grow in your garden

Posted: June 24, 2016

Summer Greens It can be tough to have the perfect home grown salad because your sweet cherry tomatoes are just looking good, but your lettuce and spinach has set seed and died! Here is a list of some summer greens that taste good and can withstand the heat. As a bonus I’ve given some tips … Continue reading

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