outdoorswithmartin on January 10th, 2010

Gardening can demand some tough choices when it comes to protecting your vegetables from insects.  Many people solve the problem the easy way by hosing down vegetables with a powerful insecticide like Sevin or whatever.  It definitely works, but I get goose bumps when I think about vegetables glistening with insecticides and more dripping into […]

Continue reading about Thinking Ahead to Spring Gardening: Protecting Your Plants from Pests

outdoorswithmartin on January 8th, 2010

The average home can be pretty grim in mid-winter, mostly just shades of white and grey, along with any colors in the furniture and walls.  Some bright greens are needed now, some flowers, some scent, some reason to walk into a room and smile, instead of frown.  Which is why every home needs some plants. […]

Continue reading about Keeping Houseplants Alive in Northern Winters

outdoorswithmartin on November 21st, 2009

  It may be mid-November, but that’s no time to give up on the years gardening.  At the very least you should be mowing that lawn covered with nutrient filled dead leaves, placing the mix on your garden, and rototilling it in to decay for next spring.  I’ve already planted a row of garlic and […]

Continue reading about Don't Give Up On Gardening in November

outdoorswithmartin on October 29th, 2009

Bitter cold weather came early this fall, but there’ll still be days, even weeks of reasonably mild temperatures before the ground freezes hard and winter snows arrive. So, there should still be time to plant a tree or two, and some of those trees should be apples. Apples are good fruit, and the supermarkets and […]

Continue reading about Still Time to Plant Apple Trees in Autumn

outdoorswithmartin on October 12th, 2009

Autumn has arrived almost unnoticed, but it seems that every day the leaves turn a little more and gradually begin to assume their gorgeous autumn hues. A few days ago on a country drive I passed a red maple that was nearly at peak color, and lots more maples that were showing tinges or yellow […]

Continue reading about Why Do Leaves Turn Color? (And Autumn Tips for Tree Planting in Ohio)

outdoorswithmartin on October 10th, 2009

I love to look at gardens.  Driving in the country or walking on city streets each spring and summer, I’ve got to slow down and look over other peoples plantings, their rows, the quality of their soil.  And while many I see are rich and fertile with healthy, vigorous plants, too many have soil that’s […]

Continue reading about Improve Your Garden Soil: Build a Compost Pile

outdoorswithmartin on October 10th, 2009

Here’s a question for you. Do you enjoy greens fresh from the garden? In season, they’re great, especially cut and come again types like leaf lettuce, arugula, mustard, and others. Of course, you can buy them in supermarkets, head lettuce and leaf lettuce, and mixes that might be wonderful and healthy, but might also have […]

Continue reading about Choosing and Planting Fall Lettuce and Greens

outdoorswithmartin on September 30th, 2009

 “English” folk like you and me love to visit Mennonite and Amish businesses whether they be selling home bakes or produce. But few indeed get into the nursery and greenhouse market, and fewer yet succeed well enough to grow like Topsy.  Elvin Burkholder is one that’s thriving. Elvin owns the Lakeside Greenhouse & Produce on […]

Continue reading about Ohio Mennonite Knows How to Make A Nursery Grow

As many Ohio readers know, there are farm markets and farm markets.  The former are usually roadside affairs selling tomatoes, sweet corn, squash, and other good things from their garden.  The latter, few indeed, are something special, offering unusual items as well as ordinary produce, items interesting enough to be worth a modest or even […]

Continue reading about Northcentral Ohio Fresh Food and Wines: There are Farm Markets – And Farm Markets

outdoorswithmartin on September 24th, 2009

It finally happened.  You went from anticipation as that very first tomato turned gradually from yellow to red, then feasted happily on a half dozen that were either sliced and devoured, or placed in salads.  Then tomatoes came on by the dozen, and you started serious canning, now they’re out there nearly in hundreds and […]

Continue reading about Excess Tomatoes: Try Canning Vegetable Juice, Freezing and Fried GreenTomatoes

outdoorswithmartin on September 23rd, 2009

Right now is a good time for landowners and city folk alike.  The weather is finally cooling, there’s been plenty of rain, and soybeans and corn are just beginning to yellow.  It’s a small pocket of calm before fall crops come off, and you might be looking for a nice, but low key to visit, […]

Continue reading about Mansfield Ohio's Kingwood Center Gardens Great In Fall

outdoorswithmartin on September 22nd, 2009

It’s September now, and everything seems to be happening at once.  Tomatoes are coming on strong, and I’ve already canned 16 quarts and 4 pints that will be used this fall and winter in everything from chili and spaghetti to vegetable soup and pasta.  Peppers are ripening too, and so far I’ve sliced quite a […]

Continue reading about September Harvest Recipes for Fall Peppers and Corn

outdoorswithmartin on September 1st, 2009

I see some lovely flower beds and borders in my various travels around the area, but one recently stopped me literally.  The flower bed lay behind a picturesque wood fence and traversed the whole front of the yard, leaving room only for a driveway.  Instead of having an odds bodkin mixture of flowers, everything from […]

Continue reading about August Gardens: Border Ideas and Anticipating Fall Seed Catalogues

outdoorswithmartin on August 27th, 2009

Some years ago, I happened to pass a good sized woodlot whose owner I knew and where I’d hunted more than once.  He’d decided that the timber could be more profitably converted to corn and soybeans, and therefore decided to bulldoze down the four acre lot to plant grain crops.  The man didn’t timber it […]

Continue reading about Woodlots Worth Saving: Profits from Tree Farming and Forest Harvests

outdoorswithmartin on July 25th, 2009

Published March 2005 Spring is coming soon and shortly area gardeners will be planting the first lettuce, onion sets, and radishes.  Not long after will come spinach, early potatoes, and peas.  But there’s one garden plant that I never bother to do much with, maybe because it isn’t necessary.  That’s dill, an herb that’s vital […]

Continue reading about Spring Gardening: Plant Dill Only Once

outdoorswithmartin on July 25th, 2009

Published March 2005 It takes an absolutely prime plant to reach the exalted status of the Perennial Plant Association’s (based in Hilliard, Ohio) Perennial Plant of the Year, but the Lenten rose has made it (2005).  (See the full list of Perennial Plant of the Year winners until 2009 here) This evergreen, late-winter or early-spring […]

Continue reading about Perennial Plant Association's Perennial Plant of the Year

outdoorswithmartin on July 22nd, 2009

Lots of people don’t care much for lettuce, and for good reason.  The kind most of us buy and/or eat at restaurants is usually rock hard commercial iceburg lettuce that’s watery and has essentially no flavor at all.  Some restaurants and supermarkets do offer other kinds, and that’s a blessing, but there’s a world of […]

Continue reading about Variety Lettuce Gardening: No More Boring Lettuce

outdoorswithmartin on July 22nd, 2009

Published February 2005 Gardening is a wonderful business, as all green thumbers know, with good fresh produce at harvest time, produce that grew under your own eye instead of being sent from Bolivia or Mexico.  But it’s a darn shame when you prepare the ground, plant the seed, fertilize, water, hoe, and carefully raise something […]

Continue reading about How To Tell When Vegetables Are Ripe for Harvest

outdoorswithmartin on July 22nd, 2009

Published February 2005 Winter still has a firm grip in Feburary on our area of northcentral Ohio, but spring is coming and before you know it, the first crocus and daffodils will be pushing up through damp soil. Before that happens, you might like to give a little consideration to tomatoes.  Tomatoes are great plants, […]

Continue reading about Ohio Spring Gardening: Growing Your Own Tomatoes from Seeds

outdoorswithmartin on July 21st, 2009

Published February 2005 Do you have a fence that looks dull and drab each summer?  A large open area that could stand a trellis and something bright climbing up its sides?  If the answer to either is “Yes”, then you might consider growing some sweet peas this spring.  Sweet peas are unique among flowers in […]

Continue reading about Trellis Ready? Spring Planting for Sweet Peas

outdoorswithmartin on July 21st, 2009

The National Garden Bureau celebrated 2005 as the Year Of The Melon, and for good reason.  Even in the 16th century one French monk waxed rhapsodic about Charantais melons saying “O fleur de tous les fruits.  O ravissant melon.”  (Oh, flower of all the fruits.  Oh, ravishing melon!)  And five centuries later, there is still […]

Continue reading about Melon Growing: Tips for Healthy and Historic Curcubits

Published January 2005 Gardening catalogs have been with us for weeks, and many gardeners, myself included, have already picked out and perhaps received their seeds for the spring planting.  It wasn’t always that way.  Once upon a time most green thumbers gathered seeds from their own gardens, dried and put them away in a cool, […]

Continue reading about Collecting Your Own Vegetable Seeds to Plant: Harvesting from F-1Hybrids and Open Pollinated Plants

outdoorswithmartin on July 20th, 2009

Published January 2005 Gardening has always been a useful, table filling, and satisfying activity, but when you’re good at it, what do you do with the excess?  A standard tactic in recent years has been to freeze extra produce, and I routinely freeze green beans, cabbage, sweet corn, and similar vegetables along with some fruit.  […]

Continue reading about Drying and Storing Your Garden Produce

outdoorswithmartin on July 20th, 2009

Published January 2005 Back when my daughter lived in Burgess Hill south of London and hadn’t yet moved to Switzerland, we used to visit her at least twice a year.  And one of my great pleasures was sitting in a chair beside her little backyard water garden.  It was only a couple of feet deep, […]

Continue reading about Building Backyard Water Gardens and Small Ponds

outdoorswithmartin on July 18th, 2009

Published January 2005 It’s been a tough winter so far with up to 20 inches of snow that’s luckily melted off now.  I was trapped in my house for about 24 hours before I could find someone to plow my driveway, and that 24 hours gave me plenty of time to start thinking about my […]

Continue reading about Winter Gardening: Spring Radish Varieties

outdoorswithmartin on July 18th, 2009

Published in December 2004 House plants have a tough time in the typical mid-winter home.  It’s cool, the humidity is low, and light often lower, so the typical scenario is to buy a couple of nice house plants, enjoy them until they die, then buy some more.  For those who appreciate a spot of greenery […]

Continue reading about Indoor Gardening: Keeping Houseplants Alive in Winter

outdoorswithmartin on July 18th, 2009

Published December 2004 December is a magic month for gardeners and flower bed enthusiasts, and not just because Christmas is coming soon.  Over the next weeks, “wish books” will be arriving, normally called seed catalogs, and we can spend snowy and bitter cold hours sitting near a warm fire turning pages, looking at new offerings, […]

Continue reading about December Gardening: Favorite Seed Catalogues

outdoorswithmartin on July 18th, 2009

Most northern Ohio farmers and outdoor types recognize the ordinary nut trees and shrubs.  They know shagbark and shellbark hickories, black walnuts, and maybe butternuts.  But did you know there are lots of other nut bearers that will live and thrive in our often chill climate?  John (Bud) Luers certainly does. Bud lives on 26 […]

Continue reading about Ohio Nut Farming: Growing Nuts and Grafting

outdoorswithmartin on July 18th, 2009

Published December 2004 Christmas is coming soon, and that means some folk are happy (finished shopping) and some are in a panic (haven’t).  If you’re in the latter group, and that person needing a gift is a gardener or plant lover, there’s still plenty of time to find them a fine present, one they can […]

Continue reading about Christmas Gifts for Gardeners: DIY Forcing Bulbs for Presents and More