Gardens to Tables

Fall is time for:

Planting cover crops

Sow cover crops like mustard, clover or peas and then turn them over to add nutrients when it's time to plant your veggies again.

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What's the best fall garden activity?
Welcome to Gardens to Tables
Fun Facts about Watermelons Print E-mail
The fun thing about growing watermelon is that they GROW. You can feel like a very accomplished gardener when you see those vines shooting out and then the little pods that turn into (in my case) big 25-30-pound bubba watermelons.

One of the biggest questions that come up for people growing watermelons is when to harvest them. The first response I received when searching the university agriculture sites was often “it’s very difficult to know when to harvest a watermelon.” There is of course, the “thump” method, but that seems to be only for those with a very sophisticated ear who’ve had a lot of experience with thumping.


Spring is a Great Time to Plant Basil Print E-mail
Written by Janine Warner   

Want to get off to a great start as a newbie gardener? Try basil. Not only is it easy to grow, it adds incredible flavor to so many dishes.

Basil plants are happy as long as they have plenty of sun and water (and a little organic fertilizer now and then). You can grow basil almost anywhere -- in backyards, community gardens and even small pots. I have a big garden, but I still like to keep the basil close to the kitchen in big wooden planters on the deck.

Starting as early as March in warmer climates, you can find basil at nurseries, farmer's markets, and most places that sell gardening supplies and plants.

Watermelon Margaritas Print E-mail

John's Watermelon Margarita recipe

1 part tequila

1 part fresh-squeezed lime

3 parts fresh watermelon (with seeds removed)

Mix in a blender with a lot of ice and you’ve got a simple frothy drink without all the sugar of a regular margarita.

Dave's favorite cucumber salad Print E-mail

Dave likes cucumbers. Dave likes shallots. Dave likes garlic. Read on for a recipe that combines Dave's three likes.

Dave's favorite cucumber salad 
  • Mix 3 tbs. of white or rice vinegar
  • 3 tbs. of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt with 1 thinly sliced, peeled, and de-seeded cucumber
  • 1 sliced shallot
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
Tips for Balcony Gardeners Print E-mail
Written by Roy Joulos   

Greenbo Purple FlowerboxPlants add a great deal to our quality of life -- from cleaning the air we breathe to keeping us in touch with nature. Fresh, home-grown herbs and vegetables not only taste so much better than supermarket produce, they're convenient, and you know exactly where they came from and what was used, or not used, on them.

While hydroponic and vertical gardening systems have been developed to maximize the yield in small spaces, starting a balcony garden needn't cost much. Start with the right materials and choose plants that are right for your conditions, and you'll soon be eating from the pots on your porch.

Start by planting the right plants for the amount of sunlight you have. Most herbs and vegetables require six to eight hours of direct sunlight a day. So what do you do if you have just one balcony and it doesn't get that much sun? Choose edibles that can take partial sun/shade (three to six hours of sun in the morning or early afternoon) or light shade (two to three hours of direct sun or highly shaded all day).

Partial shade herbs include cilantro and parsley (both prefer cooler weather), dill, bee balm, spearmint and chamomile. Light shade herbs include garlic, chives, peppermint and rosemary. Partial or light shade veggies include lettuce, broccoli, green onion, collards, cabbage, peas, carrots, strawberries, beans and sweet potatoes. Remember that pale-colored surfaces increase the light your plants receive and plants with short-growing seasons usually need the full six to eight hours of light per day.

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