Starting plants with tender taproot indoors

We've all seen that note on the seed pack: "starting indoors not recommended". Oftentimes this is because the plants have tender taproots, which end up being damaged when transplanting. Seasoned gardeners (myself not included) manage to transplant those just fine - I guess, they have magic hands... The rest of us can just wait till …

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Some great weather and an unexpected weeding session

I'm afraid that I might jinx it by typing, but it looks like Spring may be on her way to Philly! The temperatures have been slowly climbing above freezing, so I am cautiously hopeful. This weekend I ventured into the community garden with the sole purpose of burying a batch of Bokashi-fermented kitchen scraps and …

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My feeble attempts at seed organizing

For me, as for most gardeners, late winter is that time of the year: sifting through piles of seed packets, wondering if there are any more hiding somewhere in the house. This year I decided to come up with a unified system to organize and store all my seed - purchased and home-saved, and here …

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Transplanting baby geraniums

The geranium seedlings I've sown a month ago are growing up nicely, so I decided it's time to transplant them. There are a few opposing opinions on when/if to transplant seedlings from sprouting trays to bigger pots. If these were peppers, tomatoes or pretty much anything I've grown so far, I'd keep growing them in …

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My keyhole garden bed

Sometime over the winter I've stumbled over a post describing the approach known as "keyhole gardens". You can find the details here, but in a nutshell, this is a practice of building self-sustainable garden beds (oftentimes circular) in small spaces. The sustainable part comes from a composting "tower" in the center of any keyhole garden. …

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My take on Bokashi composting

Chances are you've noticed by now that I'm very passionate about reducing food waste. I mean, come on, not only does organic matter sent to landfills emit copious amounts of methane (one of the greenhouse gasses), but it robs the agricultural sector of the cheapest (if not to say "free"), most effective and safe source …

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Seed starting

Hi there fellow gardening enthusiasts! It's almost February, which means it's time to start some seeds. If you, like me, have limited space under grow lights, planning is key when it comes to starting seeds. I came to conclusion that, at least in Philadelphia, many varieties can be direct-sown, even though traditionally they are started …

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We’ve got a mushroom-bearing tree!

This is a very short post with primarily one intention: to brag! I was so skeptical about the whole project that I didn't even take pictures during setup, so all I have is the result: Here's the story behind this. I don't have a backyard, but my friends do, and in it they have an …

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Wild West End: Creating a hospitable place for wildlife on rooftops above busy shopping district

I came upon this uplifting and inspiring piece in the Life and Soul Magazine and really want to share it: "London’s West End is a busy shopping metropolis where some of you may have ventured out to to do your Christmas shopping. But above the shop floors and high up on to the rooftops of …

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The anatomy of a K-cup: collecting coffee grounds at work

Happy 2019, fellow garden enthusiasts! I have started collecting coffee grounds at work, and there are a few reasons why. Reason one: coffee grounds are an excellent compost amendment (they are a major source of nitrogen, plus when you add enough, coffee grounds accelerate decomposition of organic matter and heat up your pile). You do …

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