Saving Seed and Handmade Packets


Seedheads are maturing in the garden, so it’s time to start collecting!

I like to look the stems of some plants to know when it’s time to collect the seeds. With the gaillardia at right, the three left seed heads aren’t ready to collect, but the two on the right are. (Click […]

Tomato Hornworms Glowing in the Dark

hornworm under blacklight

I learned from another Master Gardener Volunteer that tomato and tobacco hornworms actually glow in the dark under blacklight. Armed with this knowledge and a cheap blacklight from Amazon, I took a little trip out to the veggie garden this evening for a most gruesome task… dispatching the hornworms munching […]

Why do I Try to Grow Tomatoes in Virginia


It’s a steamy August here in the mid Atlantic, and the garden is still plugging along. Some great production and some not so great — the cucumbers are slowing down, the onions were tiny, the garlic harvest was great, and the peppers have flourished.

The tomatoes… well, they’re hanging in there! I […]

Shenandoah Valley Plants Ready for Spring

Plants are starting to grow up here on our little mountain ridge!

The weeds are probably doing best, but the perennials are also making a decent showing.

The daffodils, as usual, were the first to break ground, but the achillea and chamomile weren’t far behind!

I’m also happy to see the garlic doing well (though […]

Last Vegetable Harvest of 2011

Frost is on its way, so I picked the remaining peppers (banana, sweet, jalapeno, and cayenne) and green tomatoes, along with one lone red tomato. Still have some pole beans to shell, but I fell a week ago, and my back is still hurting, so I’m not up for it yet. Hopefully I’ll get to […]