Gardenwise on Lovely Lavender

Caring for Lavender

Avoid the urge to cut back your lavender  plants this  winter in spite of their visual decline with the cold — wait for new growth to emerge in Spring before trimming and tidying up your lavender.   It does not react well to hard pruning and may even rot if given a thick layer of organic mulch in winter.  So be patient through this season, and the payoff will be beautiful and healthy Spring lavender! 

Martha Stewart and GardenWise on Herbs and Vines

Plant and Grow Now — Vines, Veggies and Herbs

Martha Stewart was on the Today show this morning  talking about herbs.  She pronounces the “H”.  Here’s  a link via hulu. You’ll have to suffer through  a 30 second commercial.  Martha’s segment has inpired to do today’s post on what you can plant and grow right now — Veggies, Herbs and Vines.  

Plant now: Veggies and Herbs. After the threat of frost has passed and your soil has warmed, start planting your summer herb and vegetable garden.   Some veggie choices I’ve had great luck with in containers include eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini.  Seeds are more budget friendly, and it’s always great fun to swap seeds with friends, but some of us may not have those types of friends.  Small plants can be purchased from your nursery for not more than a few dollars per plant.  This is the route I took last year when planting my containers, below, which included lemon cucumbers, also pictured below.   Some of my favorite herbs to grow each year to use for cooking and grilling include basil, rosemary and thyme. 

Grow now: Vines.  Charming and low maintenance, vines offer great a solution for those seeking to add color and fragerance to their outside spaces.  Some favorites are Purple wisteria and Crossvine ‘tangerine beauty’ for color and fragrance.  Carolina Jessamine has very aromatic flowers (not to be confused with Swamp Jasamine which has fragrance-free flowers,) and Tumpet honeysuckles such as ‘Major Wheeler” and ‘JohnClayton’ are favorites as well., an informational website where a large community of experts share information, has a wonderful in-depth feature on huneysuckles by Paul Boland which you can find online here.  Check your local nursery for a good seleciton of vines that are available in your area.



Family Gardening is GardenWise

Cool Season Seeds Indoors!

We’re always looking out for fun and simple family garden  projects — last  season we wrote about a fun Fall project centered on planting bulbs for Spring.   Now you and your family can start your herb and vegetable garden indoors!  Yes, starting cool season seeds indoors is a great project for the whole family.   

Cool season herbs and vegetables can be started from seeds indoors over the next two weeks for planting outside in April and May.  Each member of the family can be in charge of two or three vegetables/herbs, with an assigned space in the yard.  Seeds you can grow indoors right now include lettuce, spinach, arugula, endive, onions and leeks.  A second project for next month can include planting peas, radishes, and carrots, which should be sown directly into the soil in mid-to-late March. When Spring and Summer arrive, each family member can share herbs and veggies from their spot in the garden, and experience that wonderful sense of pride that goes hand in hand with gardening.