Onion Plant Spotlight: Tips and Tricks to Grow and Cook for the Onion Gardener and Eater

Your garden and kitchen guide to onion

Introductory Facts and Trivia

The onion is a close relative to garlic and has a rich history in many countries throughout the years. The origin of the onion is unknown, as the wild onion is extinct. However, they were seen throughout the centuries all over Asia. The ancient Egyptians saw the onion as a symbol for eternal life because of the ring-shaped inside and spherical shape. In fact, the mummified body of Pharaoh Ramesses IV had onion traces in his eye sockets, along with other pharaohs, as onions were used in burial processes. Onions were present in many places, and were eventually taken to the Americas by European settlers, where they became a core vegetable in the New World.

Grow Your Own

You can grow onions from seeds, sets, or transplants. Seeds for homegrown transplants will give you the best variety of crop. Sets tend to bolt prematurely in some cases, and seeds do not have this issue.

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Pepper Plant Spotlight: Tips and Tricks to Grow, Cook, and Eat Garden Fresh Peppers

Your garden and kitchen guide to peppers

Introductory Facts and Trivia

There are many different forms of pepper. One of the best peppers to plant is Capsicum, which comes from the Solanaceae plant family. This pepper originates in the Americas, and are now cultivated all over the world. As you know, they are used in a variety of dishes and cuisines in many cultures, and are a staple of a great kitchen. The bell pepper has a slightly different taste based on where it was grown, and the pepper’s properties might be subtly different even in the nutritional standpoint. Nevertheless, it is one of the most popular edible vegetables in the world.

Grow Your Own

The UCANR page gives a wide variety of peppers coming from many different countries in the world. The incredible thing is that they able to grow in your garden.

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Potato Plant Spotlight: Tips and Tricks to Grow, Cook, and Eat Garden Fresh Potatoes

Your garden and kitchen guide to potatoes

Introductory Facts and Trivia

Potatoes are crops from the Solanaceae plant family, and they are most commonly known for their edible tuber. This is usually what we end up eating, but we can also eat the plant itself. The Spanish introduced potatoes to Europe in the 16th century, and it has since become one of the most well known and popular crops in the world. It is a part of many major dishes of various cultures. Most of the 1000 types of potatoes have originated from the lowlands of Chile. As of today, India and China lead world production for potatoes.

Grow Your Own

Potatoes grow best in cool and moist weather. Beginning in March will allow you to harvest in June. Just make sure that the soil is not too wet before you put them in the ground. In order to improve soil before growing potatoes, try adding organic matter such as composted manure. Prepare soil well by digging and working in the organic matter. Potatoes are best suited for a well-drained sandy loam soil. If the soil is too heavy, the potatoes will appear small and deformed. Make sure you drain your soil properly, because potatoes will rot under long periods of wet and cold soil conditions.

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Summer Squash Plant Spotlight: Tips and Tricks to Grow, Cook, and Eat Garden Fresh Squash

Your garden and kitchen guide to summer squash

Introductory Facts and Trivia

Summer squash is the term used for the vegetable’s rind that is still edible and soft. Technically, we are eating the immature plants. Unlike the winter squash, summer squash is a reference to the vegetable’s short storage life. One of the most well-known summer squashes is zucchini.

Grow Your Own

The key to growing summer squash is patience. Begin to plant the seeds in May, so that the cold from winter is completely gone. Sometimes, a viable option is to start indoor before moving the seeds outdoors when the weather is better. Transplant the summer squash through July.

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Turnip Plant Spotlight: Tips and Tricks to Grow and Cook for the Turnip Gardener and Eater

Your garden and kitchen guide to the turnip plant

Introductory Facts and Trivia

Turnips are root vegetables, and they are usually white-skinned with a red-green tint. Smaller turnips are used for humans to eat, and the larger turnips are used to feed livestock. While the root is more commonly eaten, the leaves can also be eaten, and are sometimes used as a side-dish in the southeastern United States. Based on how long it is grown, the size will vary. It is not the most flavorful vegetable in the world, but they go great with salads and have a function that is quite similar to radishes. It is believed to have originated in Northern Europe and domesticated during Roman times. Wild turnips and its relatives have been traced back to Europe and West Asia.

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Broccoli Plant Spotlight: Tips and Tricks to Grow and Cook for the Broccoli Gardener and Eater

Your garden and kitchen guide to broccoli

Broccoli was originally brought to Romans in Italy and became a popular vegetable to them. It was developed from wild cabbage. They knew two varieties, the Calabrese (the most familiar form today) and a purple sprouting type. They continued to experiment with recipes and mixtures of ingredients, adding components such as olive oil and wine to the vegetable.

Eventually, by the 16th century, it began to spread to other areas of Europe during the colonial days, and it made its way to the New World. In fact, Thomas Jefferson planted broccoli on his estate in Virginia during the American Revolution. During the 1700s, it was called Italian asparagus.Broccoli became very popular in America during the 20th century, when Italian immigrants brought it to the states. Now, the United States leads the world in broccoli production and California grows 92% of the U.S. crop,according to Sonoma County Master Gardener Rebecca Goodsell with UCANR.

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Plant Spotlight: Tips and Tricks to Grow, Cook, and Eat Garden Fresh Cabbage

Your garden and kitchen guide to cabbage

Introductory Facts and Trivia

Cabbage is a cool-weather vegetable that is very easy to grow, has great nutritional values, and can be incorporated into any aspect of your cooking life. It shares similar biological and irrigational aspects with many plants include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, kohlrabi, and kale, which are collectively referred to as cole crops.Because of this, some of the nutritional value, planting techniques, and even cooking tips will be

Grow Your Own

You can start the process of planting your seeds in August and continue until September. The length of time in which the cabbage fully grows can range from 70 to as much as 120 days.

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Carrot Plant Spotlight: Tips and Tricks to Grow, Cook, and Eat Garden Fresh Carrots

Your garden and kitchen guide to carrots

Introductory Facts and Trivia

Carrots are a root vegetable that grow best in cold weather. It is believed to have originated in Persia or Afghanistan and is part of the Apiaceae family and is grouped together with other vegetables like celery, parsnip, and parsley. Usually, what you are eating when you eat carrots is the root of the vegetable, as that is where the majority of the nutrients and the delicious flavor comes from. Carrots do not only come in one color. Aside from the obvious color orange, they can be shades of purple, yellow, red, white, and black.

Grow Your Own

Planting your carrots is quite a simple task as long as you care for the soils and the watering of the produce. Luckily, it is easy to grow for the majority of the year, and in Sonoma County, you can grow it during all of spring, summer, and the beginning of autumn. It will usually take around 2-3 months to properly grow, in which time you should be aware of a few things.

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Beet Plant Spotlight: Tips and Tricks to Grow and Cook for the Beet Gardener and Eater

Your garden and kitchen guide to the beet

Beets, which are native to Europe, are cultivated as garden vegetables, and are used in various dishes such as soups and salads. It is also used as a natural coloring agent. Aside from its use as a food item, the beet also functions as a source of sucrose that can replace tropical sugar cane, and are frequently used to make refined sugar.

Grow Your Own

Beets are primarily grown for their roots, which are most often dark red and globe shaped. Young beet tops can be harvested for greens, which work very well with salads. The older foliage can be cooked.

Beets grow best during the fall and the spring, where temperatures are shifting between moderately warm and cool, which allows steady and even growth. It is best to remember that beets are a cool-season crop. Beets grow best in a sunny position in light, well-drained soils.

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Composting 101: Scratching the Surface on Healthy Soil

Image from Pixabay

Written by guest blogger, Clara Beaufort of GardenerGigs.

Compost[ing]: Rich, nutrient filled soil formed by decaying organic matter. Used as an additive to gardens and beds and when planting trees and shrubs to enrich pre-existing soil.

That’s a down-and-dirty definition of the substance gardeners call “compost.” But there’s more to this miraculous material than meets the eye – or the nose, for that matter. Are you a gardening novice looking for a way to boost your physical or mental health? If so, then mulch can make your plants bloom like the proverbial rose. Let’s take a peek at this perennial topic and see what comes up.

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