Home On The Prairie

Home On The Prairie

This weekend I had the opportunity to spend time in Madison, Wisconsin. I was on a trip with my dear friend Sobyl, the goal of which was to explore what the city had to offer. We started by buying a book: 100 Things to do in Madison Before You Die, by Katie Vaughn. A bit dramatic of a title, but it was the perfect resource to help us sip a bit of this and a bit of that. We were both drawn to the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Arboretum. For...

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Planning Your Garden Part 3: Saving Seeds

Planning Your Garden Part 3: Saving Seeds

As spring has yielded to full summer, you might be seeing your garden overflow with produce. You might even see flowers or fruits that got away – that you didn’t see when they were ripe, and now what? You can pick them and toss them in the compost, you can leave them on the vine, or you can prepare to save their seeds. You might think that saving seeds is for the advanced gardener. What do I know about saving seeds, you might be thinking, but I...

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Pollinators: Birds, Bees and More in the Garden

Pollinators: Birds, Bees and More in the Garden

Each year at In the Gardens we invest ourselves in learning something new, or studying more deeply about an aspect of the garden. One year it was composting. Another year we explored companion planting. A different year our focus was learning about weed prevention while simultaneously enriching our soil. There are side journeys each year as well: unexpectedly we had to learn how to protect our crops more effectively from deer last year, and one...

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Planning Your Garden, Part 2: Flowers and Veggies Together

Planning Your Garden, Part 2: Flowers and Veggies Together

I recently learned something about why it’s great to plant certain flowers near specific vegetables. I knew a few basics: that marigolds deter pests and sweet alyssum is great next to your kale, broccoli, collards and other brassicas. But why? Well, let’s start with marigolds. And note that there are different varieties of marigolds. You can grow the average size, from about 18-24 inches high, or you might prefer, as I do, the dwarf size. These...

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Planning Your Garden, Part 1: Companion Plants

Planning Your Garden, Part 1: Companion Plants

“I planted peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil and zucchini,” a neighbor told me. “The tomatoes aren’t growing at all, and the cucumbers are really struggling. How do you get your vegetables to grow so full and productively?” I hear these questions often. There are some basics that might seem obvious: a spot with enough sun and soil, the proper amount of water. But there are many more elements that contribute to a successful garden that many of...

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