Tag / organic gardening

Gardening Plants

23 Organic Products for Every Yard and Garden Issue

This year’s garden late June

For years, we have always tried to use mostly organic products around our yard and gardens. Since I started beekeeping almost four years ago, everything had to change. It was no longer an option to be non-organic. Going chemical free was important for the bees and important in the long run for my young family. Today I thought that I would share some products that we have found beneficial over the years. A huge thanks goes out to my friends at Country Garden, who are always eager to show us something new!

Gardening Plants

Growing Strawberries

It’s strawberry season here at Tilly’s Nest. We love growing strawberries for so many different reasons. Did you know that they are one of the easiest crops that you can grow no matter your gardening space? Strawberries will happily grow in containers, raised beds, and in the ground. They are incredibly prolific and shoot out new plants as runners along the ground. You can snip off these baby plants and plant them in the soil or you can let them run wild. Soon enough you will grow yourself your own very patch.

Gardening Plants

How Does Your Garden Grow?

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow
~Audrey Hepburn
It’s been a very strange growing year on Cape Cod. We had a chilly spring. June brought us copious amounts of rain and the warmer summer temperatures did not really arrive until July. The garden has been confused. We seem to be harvesting later than usual and things have seemed to stall all summer long. This month, plants are finally beginning to bear their fruits and vegetables.
Last year fall on clearance, I purchased a small leafless bush that was marked raspberries.  Well, low and behold- it was not raspberries at all. It was a blackberry bush and they are just coming into harvest!  They are a very tart variety, probably best for a jam.  I love to watch my family taste one-pucker-and return for more!
I pulled the onions, as their tops were dying off and turning brown. They are a bit tiny- more like a shallot size.  They should have reached a 3-4 inch diameter.  I think I might pickle these.
I was also a bit disappointed with the garlic harvest too! I placed the bulbs in the drying rack. Again, about half the size I am accustomed to.

I planted broccoli early in the season.  It stalled too! I should have seen crowns by June. I didn’t and the plants still looked healthy, so instead of pulling them I left them in. I didn’t have much faith because broccoli doesn’t care for summer sun and heat.  Yet low and behold, those plants are now pushing up the crowns.

Our first spear of Fall asparagus has arrived.
Baby eggplants are emerging.

My peppers are almost ready for picking.

My cucumbers are just starting to bloom and
my tomatoes are still green. Typically by this time, I have an overflowing abundance of both.
Even the delicious cipolinni onions are petite.
We did have wonderful abundant crops of lettuce, Swiss chard, kales and sorrel. 
I am now in the process of planting the cold weather crops. I am a die hard optimist that could never imagine not having a garden. I am thankful for what we have been able to harvest no matter the size. This weekend, you can find me out in the back, by the raised beds up to my ears in seeds and chicken manure compost.
Photo Credits:  Tilly’s Nest

Gardening Plants

Fennel Doesn’t Have Friends: A Guide to Companion Planting

If you are like us, you enjoy growing, harvesting and eating home grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs.  As we have transitioned to gardening entirely organically at Tilly’s Nest, we have come to learn of some fascinating gardening techniques that can help you get the best from your plantings.  One such technique is companion planting.  Companion planting involves placing plants that can benefit from one another adjacent to each other the garden.  It also involves keeping some plants far away from one another, as they can be detrimental to one another’s growth.  In fact, this year is my first year growing fennel. I picked up one bulb and sadly, it has no home. I will have to plant it in a container.

Gardening Projects Tours

Gardening with Tiny Hands

One of the favorite things that my kids like to do is pick the vegetables and fruit growing in the gardens.  Even though we had done a thorough harvest a couple days prior, they could not help but want to be involved.  I find that children are more likely to eat things that they have nurtured and watched grow.  How could I possibly say no?   So, out we went.

We pulled a bunch of beautiful onions.  The onions gave way from the soil very easily.  Even my five year old had no problem pulling them.  We placed them on some newspaper to dry out a bit before we use them.  Then the kids went on the ultimate scavenger hunt to find any remaining cherry tomatoes.  They did have some success.

When we went out to pick, I noticed that my daughter was toting the egg collecting basket from the chickens.  She asked me what kinds of eggs it could hold.  I told her lots of different kinds.  She filled it with eggplants.

With all the onions, eggplants and tomatoes that we have picked the last few days, I think that we are going to have to make some Ratatouille.  Last night, we had tomato pie.  It was delicious!

What are you picking and cooking from your gardens this week?

Photo Credit:  Tilly’s Nest