Field Notes — Gardening 101

Help! My Lettuce is Bolting. What to Do?

What to do about Bolting

Newly minted (ha! Get it?) vegetable gardeners can be taken by surprise when their beautiful lettuce plants they've been enjoying since the beginning of the season start sending up flower stalks all of the sudden, and go to seed.

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Canning, Freezing & Fermenting: Preserving Vegetables Grown from Seed

Canning, Freezing & Fermenting - Preserving Vegetables Grown from Seed

If you’re new to vegetable gardening, you may be surprised and overwhelmed by the bounty of your harvest. It’s likely to be much more than you’re able to consume while the vegetables are at peak freshness, in which case, you will need to consider freezing, canning, fermenting, or dry-preserving them so you can enjoy them over time.

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How to Attract Pollinators?

How to attract pollinators? There is much concern about the current well-being of busy daytime pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, as well those that do their work at night such as bats and moths, given their crucial role in our natural world. They are important because they pollinate—or fertilize—flowering plants, accounting for more than one-third of all food crops worldwide, allowing the plants to reproduce by setting seeds. Over 90% of plants cannot reproduce on their own and need pollinators to propagate.

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How to Thin and Transplant Seedlings

How to thin and transplant seedlings

For those new to the world of growing herbs and vegetables from seed, it is a bit unnerving trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do with the crowded clumps of seedlings that sprout up a few weeks after you’ve planted the seeds. Despite best intentions, it’s hard to plant certain tiny seeds, such as lettuce, spaced according to the instructions listed on the seed packets. And, some seeds that look large are actually clusters of seeds which, by definition, will produce a clump of seedlings. Furthermore, if you start your seeds indoors, as many people living in northern climates do, it’s not practical to plant the seeds properly spaced out, initially, anyway. So, once the seedlings make an appearance, what are you supposed to do to follow the planting instructions that direct you to ‘thin plants to xx inches apart’, and, when, exactly?

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