Summer Reading for a Gardener

The cover of A Rich Spot of Earth and The Intelligent Gardener.

Here are two great gardening books to read this summer, while you are on vacation or just relaxing at home.

The first book is “A Rich Spot of Earth” Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello by Peter J. Hatch. If you are interested in gardening history or heirloom vegetables this is the perfect book for you.

The author Peter Hatch has been the director of the Gardens and the Grounds at Monticello since 1977. He gives a great first hand account of how the Gardens at Monticello have been restored over the years and how they came to look the way they do today.

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Preparing for the Fall Garden

A tray of fall seedlings.It sounds crazy, summer has not even begun and we are already preparing for our fall garden. But in order to have our broccoli, cabbage and swiss chard plants ready to plant by the middle of July, I had to start the seeds inside about two weeks ago.

I start all of my seeds in soil blocks, made from my homemade soil block mix. This year I planted 25 broccoli blocks, 15 cabbage blocks and 10 swiss chard blocks. I will keep these under my grow lights (click here to learn more about my homemade grow light stand) until a week before I am ready to plant them outside, at which point I will slowly move them outside to harden them off.
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Garden Update 6-16-13

Lettuce PlantsI can use one word to describe our garden right now “Growing”. Over the last few weeks we have been really busy planting a wide variety of vegetables for our summer garden and even harvesting a few things from our spring garden.

Last spring I had a really hard time growing lettuce, but that is not the case this year. Over the last few weeks we have been enjoying a wide selection of lettuces. We have been enjoying some great homegrown salads.

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