Gardener's Network Garden Blog
Welcome to the newest gardening section of
Network... our Garden Blog! We're talking gardening of all kinds. Our
garden blog strives to offer you the latest garden information and tips on
a timely, seasonal basis.
They're Called Snow Peas for a Reason
Author: Bob Matthews
Are sweet and tasty garden snow peas one of the vegetables you are
planning to grow this year?
Also called sweet peas, they are one of the earliest vegetable crops of the season. Many home
gardeners plant them much later than they should be, resulting in a less
than optimum, and sometimes disappointing harvest.
They call them snow peas for a reason. Peas are a cold weather
crop. Snow peas germinate in lower soil temperatures. The plants thrive
in cooler temperatures. Young plants survive frost and freeze. The
plants will be fine, even after being covered by a surprise, late season
snowfall. Hot, humid weather brings plant disease, which can kill
your plants just as the pods appear and begin to get plump.
This means, you should be planting garden peas now in just about any
part of the country. In more northerly areas of the country, a first
week of April planting may be ideal. Warmer areas of the country, could
have snow peas up and growing by now.
Peas can and should be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in
the spring. At 60 ° F, they sprout in about 9 days. We do recommend that
you hill your sweet pea plants. Raised rows work just fine. This helps
to drain off excess water from heavy spring rains. Soggy, wet soils can
result in rotting the seeds before they sprout. It will also warm the
soil, aiding in plant germination.
Planting your sweet peas now has another advantage. The crop will
be harvested in time for you to clean up and reuse the space for a
second season or fall crop. To grow and harvest snow peas in time
to plant a second crop, it is especially important for more northerly
areas to plant snow peas early. A second crop can be just about any
plant that will produce a harvest before the first frost this fall. With
an early start, you double the size of your garden's productivity!
Read more on
Important Garden Alert
Author: Bob Matthews
Posted March 13, 2020
Like so many other things, the coronavirus will have an impact on this
year's garden season. The information you are about to read is very
important to gardeners. Equally important, the information should not
cause you to panic. It is not life and death. It should not cause you to
drop everything else. Read on, to see why it is so important for you to
get your garden seeds now. This article will also help you to identify
what seeds will be impacted and how.
Like many other things right now, the coronavirus will ultimately cause
some disruption in the availability of garden seeds, at a time when
gardeners are getting ready to acquire their seeds. Any time there is
a recession, floods, earthquakes, disease, or calamities of any type,
the demand for home garden seeds rises dramatically. The availability of
home garden seeds is no exception. The coronavirus coupled with the
stock market downturn and the resulting economic impact, will cause some
disruption to the availability of seeds.
The perfect example is the Great Recession in 2008-2009. When the great
recession arrived, it brought out doomsayers, pessimists and
survivalists in great numbers. (aka the sky is falling). People lost
their jobs. Many started gardens for the first time, to help pinch
pennies and feed the family. Existing gardeners enlarged the size of
their gardens. Even people who felt somewhat secure, turned to
gardening. The doomsayers and especially survivalists came out in
droves, buying hundreds of seed packets apiece. More than one
survivalist bought over a thousand packets!
As you absorb this information, I repeat, do not panic. Handle you
higher, most important priorities first. Buy ample toilet paper. Get
your cleaning and sanitizing supplies. Stock up on some groceries. And,
don't forget to acquire your favorite beverages, to help see you past
this crisis. Then, and only then, calmly turn your attention to garden
Like in the Great Recession, in the next several weeks their will be
some shortages of vegetable seeds. To some extent, herb seeds will be
impacted, too. But, there WILL NOT be an outright run on vegetable
seeds. Remember, seeds have a limited shelf life. You can only use so
many seeds this year. By this time next year, supply will be back to
normal. As you might guess, there will be no significant impact on
flower seeds. Back in the Great Recession, seed manufacturers assured
retailers that there would be ample supply. That did not prove to be the
case. As the weeks progressed, there were shortages, one by one some
varieties went out of stock for the season. It was not a problem for
those who didn't care about what kind of tomatoes or beans they wanted.
Most times, gardeners simply turned to another tomato or bean variety or
brand. There were a few types of vegetable seeds that did indeed become
quite scarce. Most notably was Kale, which at the time was just becoming
the latest health food rage. By late April, Kale seeds were not
available anywhere. As we progressed through the planting season,
more and more types of seeds ran out of stock for the season, far more
than normal and far earlier. Late in the spring planting season, many
gardeners could not get the seeds they wanted. For gardeners who
normally plant a second crop in the summer, second season seeds were
simply not available for most varieties.
By now, you should realize what a gardener should do. First, don't
panic. Second, don't over buy, as next year's seed supply will be just
fine. Finally, don't wait. Calmly buy now, to assure you get the seeds
you want. But, it doesn't make sense to buy more than you normally do.
Garden Seeds and Supplies
Please share this important article with your gardening friends.
The Best Garden Begins with a Plan
Author: Bob Matthews
Posted March 5, 2020
March is a good time to make plans for your flower, vegetable and herb
gardens. A successful garden begins with a good plan. Sure, you can have
a good garden without one. But, the very best gardens, are those that
used and followed a plan of what to do. Importantly, a plan should
include a timetable, to help remind you when things need to be done. For
example, snow peas, a cool weather crop, are best planted as soon as the
garden can be worked in the spring. Planting them too late, and hot
weather arrives before the harvest, negatively affecting the crop.
Indoor plant start times vary. Tomato plants started indoors too early,
can result in overgrown, root bound seedlings. Mark target dates in your
plan. Your plan also leads to efficiency in all of your gardening
Your plan should include these key, early steps:
Determine what you are going to plant this year. Will it
be same-o, same-o? Or, will you be adventuresome, and try something new,
Buy the seeds you need. Don't wait until later, when
stores begin to run out of variety. March is peak time for seed sales.
Find seeds now.
Perform a soil test, to make certain the pH level is ideal
for the plants you have decided to grow.
See Soil pH.
Determine what will you add to the soil, to improve it.
Will it be compost, manure, fertilizers, or some of each?
How to improve
Right now, it's a great time to
review the basic "how to's" of growing your favorite plants. along with searching out
new tips on how to grow a bigger and better garden. Make sure to surf through
our many How To Grow pages.
Identify when to start or transplant tender, cold and
frost sensitive plants. Know your local last frost date. Then, consult
the back of the seed packet, to determine when to start your indoor
The above key dates are just a few of the items for the early days of
your garden plan. Focus upon the early steps for the new gardening
season. You can always add or amend the plan as the season goes by.
Whatever you do, keep it simple. Don't let the task of planning become a
The result of your advance planning? Healthier plants. A bigger,
healthier crop. And, a garden season filled with success!
It Doesn't Have to Be Red!!
Author: Bob Matthews
Posted February 12, 2020
It's Valentine's Day, a day that is all about love. It can be a
romantic love, a love of a child or family member, or even to express
our feelings to a friend. As we all know, nothing expresses that love
more than roses, specifically red roses.
But, wait just a minute!! Stop and think about the meaning of each color
of roses. It doesn't have to be red. Each rose color has its own
specific and special meaning. It sends an unspoken message, to express
what you want to say.
You can bet the house, that she knows what each color represents. You
can bet your bottom dollar, she hopes to receive red roses. If your
intent is to express your love this Valentine's Day, nothing sends the
message of love more clearly than red roses. The only exception we can
think of, is if she doesn't like the color red. I don't know about you,
but I am certain when it comes to roses on Valentine's Day, she
absolutely loves the color red. And, it pretty much has to be roses.
Even if she is allergic to roses, chances are she still wants red roses
from you on this day. She will enjoy looking at them, even if she can't
get close enough to touch or smell them.
There are plenty of situations where red roses just might not be the
right thing to give. Perhaps, you are not ready to signal the word
"love" in your relationship. Or, maybe you are sending the gift of roses
to a friend in a non-romantic situation this Valentine's Day. If this is
your intent, you're in luck. You have a wide choice of colors.
Before you decide, first check out
The Meaning of
Each Rose Color.
For those of you who received roses on Valentines Day,
Learn Ho to Make
Roses Last Longer.
It's All About the Seeds
Author: Bob Matthews
Posted January 1, 2020
As the new year and a new decade arrives, it doesn't take a sage
prognosticator to know what's on the minds of each and every home
gardener. That's right, seeds. For the next several weeks, it's the most
important thing we think about. The experienced gardener knows a great garden always begins with
the seeds he or she acquires. If you are one of the very few of us who will have a
small garden, and you will grow the same variety of plants every year, you
can skip the rest of this article. For the other 99.9% of gardeners,
read on. The more you read and learn about the plants you will grow, and
the seeds you will use in this
year's garden, the better prepared you will be to produce a garden
overflowing with prize winning plants.
Without a doubt, there is much to think about, when pondering your seed
options and choices.
The first thing to consider, is how good your garden plants were
last year. If your bean crop was less than bountiful, or the beans were a little
stringy, then perhaps your seed selection should lean towards a
different variety. Were your
zinnia plants too tall or too short? Look
for a variety of zinnias that fits the desired height for your flower bed.
What about the color selection for your flower bed? Many varieties of
flowers offer a wide range of colors and blends, affording you endless
possibilities. Will you go with the same brand of seeds? It might be a
good time to change brands, a time to acquire higher quality seeds, as you seek better results
than in previous years.
Fortunately for you, the internet has opened up our options to dozens of brands.
If you're expanding your garden or ready to change what you grow, you've
got a lot of fun ahead of you, as you make plans and procure the seeds
you will need. Larger gardens translate into so many more options. You
can now grow early, mid and late varieties of plants. This will allow
you to harvest fresh, homegrown
over an extended period of time. Will you grow a wider range of
vegetables? Just imagine how great your homemade soup will taste with a
in it. Your fresh garden salads will taste so much better, and look more
appealing, with some
endive included in the mix. When it comes to flowers, expanding or
altering your flower beds offers endless possibilities. Will you go with
May we suggest something a little different from what you've usually
nasturtium which is an edible flower.
I don't know about you, but to me one of the best things about gardening
is experimenting with plants I've never grown. The challenge and reward
is a real thrill. Are you equal to the task? Of course you are! Have you
Pumpkin on a Stick, or
Cotton? Both plants are guaranteed to catch the eye of anyone who
sees your victory garden. Last year, I grew
Hops just for fun. I was rewarded with a very successful crop, large
enough to offer them to a friend of mine who brews beer. Wow, writing
this article makes me wonder what new plant I will try this year......
Did we give you enough to think about? ....good. Now your mission, is to
grab another cup of hot chocolate, sit by the fireside and begin to make
those garden plans. Once you've decided, don't wait too long to get the
seeds you need. Get those seeds while they are still in stock. For those
of you who have been with us for a long time, you know we shut down our
online store last year as we headed to retirement. We were one of the
largest online seed sellers. Many of you reported that our absence left
a gap in your search for seeds. Here's a link that may help you ....
Find your garden seeds
About the Author
Bob Matthews is an avid life time gardener, and a recognized garden authority
on the Internet since the 1990s. Residing in Rochester, NY, Bob is the author
and owner of The Gardener's Network,
Pumpkin Nook ,
Garden Hobbies, and other websites.
Bob proudly authored every page of the over 1,000 pages of garden information
and tips on these websites.
About some of Bob's other gardening websites:
The Gardener's Network - One of
the finest, most popular sites on the internet to read, learn and have gardening
fun. The Gardener's Network is the perfect place for you and your plants,
the perfect source for how to grow just about any garden plant!
Garden Hobbies - Looking for "How
to Grow" gardening information? It's the perfect place for you and your plants.
Pumpkin Nook - By far the biggest, most
comprehensive site on the Internet for pumpkins. Information and fun abounds,
including: how to grow pumpkins, Halloween, one of the largest collections
of pumpkin recipes and much more.