Category Archives: How to Grow…

How to Grow Potatoes

One of the most rewarding veggie crops to grow – it’s almost fail-proof and so fun to dig under the plant for breakfast potatoes! Botanical Information Taxonomy Tomato family; relatives of eggplant, peppers, tomatillos & tomatoes (RVGPS) History Physical Description Varieties & Cultivars Categories or Types of Potatoes Earlies (aka New Potatoes) Early Potatoes take up […]

How to Start Eggplant, Peppers, Tomatoes from Seed

Various seedlings

Starting vegetables by seed can be more rewarding and more economical for most people; however, the time investment (and sometimes emotional investment) is huge. These guidelines will work for starting most vegetable and flower seeds, although I wrote them with the nightshade family (except potatoes) in mind. See individual growing articles for more in-depth info […]

Gel Sowing Method of Seed Starting

Gel Sowing is a method of starting seeds indoors, where seedling emergence is 2-3 weeks earlier than with dry-sown seeds and higher yields have been shown for slow-germinating crops like early carrots, parsnips, tomatoes and onions. It also makes for a safer way to plant out the seedlings, without damaging the roots. Awesome for areas with […]

How to Grow Leeks

Leeks are a cold-weather crop, but there’s no need to pull them when it gets warm out: letting them go to seed allows them to reseed themselves for the fall, plus the pollinators and predatory insects love their flowers. They are really cool looking, too.  Botanical Information Taxonomy Allium ampeloprasum History Leeks originated in the […]

How to Grow Jicama

Taxonomy & History Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae) Pachyrhizus erosus Relative to the Sweet Potato AKA chop suey potato (Hawaii), yam bean, Mexican Turnip (Mexico) Although it originated in North America, it is most popular in China Physical Description Plant: very attractive vine, which can twine up to 14 feet high or more. Leaves: Deep green foliage […]

Figs – Harvesting & Storing

Harvesting & Storage of Figs Edible Parts of the Plant Just the figs, as far as I know… Yield Harvest Timing figs are usually ready to pick in late summer according to “Backyard Harvest”, figs don’t ripen any more once they’re picked; however, Fine Cooking’s “In Season” states that underripe figs can be “coaxed” to […]

How to Grow Corn

[Intro text] Botanical Information Taxonomy Zea mays Poaceae family History Physical Description Varieties & Cultivars Categories or Types of Corn Colors Available Varieties (link to ../category/cultivars/tag/Corn) Growth Requirements Climate & Temperature Requirements Air Temperature Soil Temperature Humidity Day Length or Light Requirements Site Conditions Favored Soil Requirements Soil Texture pH Nutrient Requirements Propagation Methods of […]

How to Grow Melons (stub)

[stub] Botanical Information Taxonomy Muskmelons: Cucumus melo Reticulatus Group History Physical Description Varieties & Cultivars Categories or Types of Melons Muskmelons Netted Melons American Cantaloupe Winter Melons (Inodorus Group) Smooth Melons honeydew casaba True Cantaloupes (European Cantaloupe, French Cantaloupe) Charantais Watermelons Colors Available Varieties (link to ../category/cultivars/tag/Melons) Growth Requirements Climate & Temperature Requirements Air Temperature 65°F – […]

What’s Blooming When?

If you have ever wanted a calendar showing you what is blooming for each month of the year, here you go: California Native Plants – Calendar of Color The nursery that put this together, Tree of Life Nursery, is in southern California and they focus on native plants for their area. This calendar shows many […]