Sunday, June 30, 2013

Would a Pumpkin By Any Other Name Taste as Sweet?

Would a pumpkin by any other name taste as sweet? What if you discovered it was actually a squash? Read on to discover all kinds of surprising facts about the pumpkins grown in Central Illinois.

I live and work in central Illinois, so I'm accustomed to the idea of living in the Corn Belt, and in the Bread Basket of the Nation. To be more specific, I live only a few miles away from Morton, Illinois, which bears a more unusual nickname: The Pumpkin Capitol of the World.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Lovely Lamium

One of the up and coming stars in the ornamental plant world are spotted dead-nettles or Lamium maculatum. This multi-purpose plant is grown for both its flowers and lovely foliage display. Of low stature, this plant is useful for border edges, rock gardens, shady gardens and containers. This article will introduce you to the many cultivars which now exist.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Japanese Vegetables for Cool Weather Growing

The 12 month growing season in Georgia and my love for ethnic foods had me searching for a wide variety of vegetables I could grow all winter. After combing through many seed catalogs I discovered that some Japanese vegetables prefer cool weather – mostly those of the cold tolerant brassica family that are tastier with a touch of frost. They are delicious when young and tender in a salad, and terrific cooked when mature.

Since the vegetable bed area I installed is in the front yard, very close to the sidewalk, my goal was to make it look ‘pretty’ – I think vegetable gardens can be beautiful if one keeps in mind the leaf color, texture and size. I wanted my neighbors to see the food growing – and to consider where food comes from – and to also enjoy its ornamental appearance. Keeping it green all year was one way to make the garden look more presentable in any season. Cold weather greens fit the bill for taste, nutrition and presentablility. A big plus is that there are few or no pests to bother my crops!