Gardening Tips

Natural Vinegar Weed Killer – The Organic Way

Organic Vinegar Natural Weed Killer

Do you love growing perennials but don’t like the weeds that need pulling? The next time you walk outside and see a garden bed full of weeds and reach for the Roundup, why not stop and ask yourself a question.  “Why drench them with something that will remain in the soil for who knows how…

Dos & Don’ts Tips for Growing Great Tomatoes

Healthy tomato tips

In the world of vegetable gardening, there is nothing quite like the taste of fresh home grown tomatoes. The flavor of the ones you grow leaves the store bought variety far behind. Home grown tomatoes are so plump and sweet, just full of flavor and freshness.  However, growing great tomatoes doesn’t happen just by putting a…

Composting Tips – Tricks for Creating Nature’s Black Gold

Compost pile

If you enjoy vegetable gardening or growing flowers, adding organic matter formed by composting will give you great results.  Have you always thought that making compost is difficult?  These Composting Tips will take the mystery out of it for you. Composting may seem like something that only our ancestors did, but many modern gardeners take…

Dieffenbachia Poisoning – How Toxic is this Houseplant?

Dieffenbachia plant

Dieffenbachia one of the most common indoor plants, is easy to care and great as an office plant. However the plant can be poisonous so there are some situations where it might not be a good fit. Dieffenbachia poisoning is talked about all the time when the plant is reviewed on line, but how toxic is it,…

Soda Bottle Drip Feeder for Garden Plants – Water Plants with a Soda Bottle

DIY Soda Bottle Drip Feeder for Garden Plants

Drip feeders are a great idea for vegetable gardening projects.  Many plants prefer the moisture at their roots instead of from overhead sprinklers which can encourage some leaf problems.  There are many retail products available, but this Soda Bottle Drip Feeder makes use or recycled materials and works really well. It is not just vegetables that will benefit…

Bleeding Heart – How to grow Dicentra spectabilis

There is something so romantic about the look of a Bleeding Heart* plant. After all, what is more romantic that the heart shaped flowers of this amazing plant? If you love growing perennials, this plant is a must have for your shady garden spot. Dicentra Spectabilis is a clear favorite among American gardeners. It is…

Mosquito Repelling Plants – Keep Those Bugs Away!

Mosquito on a leaf

With summer comes lots of outdoor living.  Sadly, that can mean lots of mosquitoes. I don’t like to use chemical products but, thankfully, Mother Nature has the perfect answer – Mosquito Repelling Plants! We can grow annuals and perennials that will keep the bugs away naturally. With all the hype about West Nile Virus, it…

How to Grow Lamb’s Ear – (Stachys byzantina)

Stachys byzantina is also known as Lamb's Ear.

Remember going to the petting zoo with your kids and touching baby lambs? This the feeling of the leaves of Stachys byzantina, also known as Lamb’s Ear. If you love growing perennials, you need to give this hardy plant a try. It is easy to grow, has a lovely texture and the prettiest flowers on…

Transplanting Monkey Grass – Division is Simple and Easy to Do

Liriope is commonly known as monkey grass or spider grass. It is a versatile and easy to grow ground cover that tolerates heat well and can be divided easily. Transplanting monkey grass is a simple process if you keep just a few things in mind. As far as growing perennials is concerned, it is one of…

Summer Garden Tips & Garden Tour

Tips for making the most of your summer garden

Life is meant to be lived outside! We spend so much time outside during the summer, and having a great looking lawn and pretty gardens makes sure that time will be far more pleasurable. These summer garden tips will ensure that you have an endless supply of color and lush green lawns all summer long.…

Red Hot Poker – Growing and Caring for Torch Lilies

Red hot pokers are also known as torch lilies

The red hot poker is a showy and dramatic plants.  If you love growing perennials that give color all summer long, this is the plant for you. Other names for this showy plant are torch lily and poker plant. The botanical name for this plant is kniphofia uvaria and there are more than 70 known species…

Growing Sunflowers – How to Grow and Care for Sunflower Plants

Sunflowers come in many colors

Growing Sunflowers is one of the really fun parts of summer time gardening.  These big annuals are very easy to grow, which makes them a very popular plant to introduce children to gardening.  Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are a member of the Aster family. The sunflower is the state flower of Kansas.  It is native to…

Astilbe Companion Plants – What to Grow with Astilbe

Companion plants for astilbe

Astilbe is a gorgeous perennial that is right at home in a shady moist garden.  You can grow it alone, but a well designed garden looks better with more than just one type of plant. These astilbe companion plants like the same moisture and light conditions and will make a beautifully coordinated garden bed. Selecting companion…

Spring Blooming Plants – My Favorite 20 Picks for an Early Bloom

My 20 favorite spring blooming plants

After a long and cold winter, most gardeners are really looking forward to the first signs of spring in their garden.  Growing perennial plants and bulbs is a great way to get that color without extra work in the spring. Thankfully, Mother Nature does not disappoint us. There a many Spring Blooming Plants that arrive…

Tips for Growing Forsythia Bushes

Forsythia bush

Nothing screams spring in your garden quite like Forsythia. With their vibrant yellow color, these perennials are one of the first bushes to flower in the spring. The shrub is very hardy, and relatively easy to grow.  These tips for growing forsythia bushes will make sure that your garden is a delight to behold in early…

Cold Hardy Vegetables Give you a head Start on Spring

Cold hardy vegetable

The weather here in NC is unseasonably warm right now, so it has my head spinning thinking of all the fun to come in my garden. But, alas, I know that no matter how Mother Nature looks today, there will still be plenty of cold days ahead. Even so, it’s never too early to plan ahead…

Regrow Spring Onions in Water – Fun Gardening Hack

Spring onions are one of the easiest cut and come again vegetables. In a week, you will have more growth to use in cooking.

I use spring onions all the time when I cook.  They have a very mild flavor that is perfect as a garnish and also makes a lovely sauce for most proteins.  So I like to have them on hand. Growing onions is a pretty easy from a gardening standpoint, but did you know that you…

African Violets – Tips for the Care of this Popular Indoor Plant

If you go to the big box hardware stores around the holidays and during the winter months, you will most likely find African Violets for sale in a lovely variety of flower colors. Even though African Violets can be somewhat picky about care, they are still one of the most popular indoor plants grown.   Saintpaulia, commonly known as…

Growing Onions indoors

Growing Onions Indoors is easy

Onions are easy to grow both outdoors and inside.  They are one of those vegetables that I never seem to have enough of because I use them every day for cooking. This article shows you how to use onions as indoor plants. Growing onions indoors is a fun project and one that the kids will love…

Caring for Your Indoor Plants During the Fall & Winter

Tips and Tricks for caring for indoor plants during the fall and winter

Most indoor plants will benefit from being placed outside in a shady spot in your garden during the summer months.  Even delicate plants like ferns will have a growth spurt as long as the spot you choose is shady and they get enough water.  I move most of my indoor plants outside when it is…

Low Light Indoor Plants – My 20 Favorites

These 20 low light indoor plants can grow in less than optimal light conditions. Some require bright diffused light and other can do well even in dark corners.

With the cold weather out in full force, thoughts of gardening are often far from the front burner.  Those are the times that I turn to indoor plants.  Growing plants indoors gives you a sense of nature all year round and keeps you busy with some light gardening chores until it is warm enough to…

My 10 Most Popular Posts of 2016

See what made the list of the most famous posts of 2016 for The Gardening Cook. This year, household tips, gardening tips and one great recipe made the top 10!

Each year, at the end of December, I take stock of what worked (and what didn’t!) on my blog.  Sometimes, I am surprised when a blog post makes my top 10 list for the past year when I wasn’t expecting it.  Other times, I think “not you again” when a tried and true favorite post…

Biltmore Estate Gardens Tour

My husband and I recently spent several days in the mountains of North Carolina with our daughter.  The highlight of the trip was a tour of Biltmore Estate. We enjoyed the tour of the estate, for sure, but what really impressed me was the perennial gardens and conservatory.  I thought my readers would enjoy reading a…

Tips for Growing Heirloom Seeds

Tips for growing heirloom seeds

Thank you EcoFarms for sponsoring this vegetable gardening post. All opinions are mine.  #ecofarmsonline. It’s time to learn about growing heirloom seeds! Heirloom vegetable seeds have so much going for them.  They end up giving you plants that you can’t go to a big box store and buy, they cost less than hybrid vegetables and…