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Unusual Edibles for Your Front Yard Garden

Make your front yard garden beautiful so neighbors can enjoy it too.

There are many factors to consider when picking your plants each growing season. One factor you might have to deal with … does your neighborhood allow front yard gardens?

Here’s your chance to get inspired by some unusual yet stealth edibles.

How about adding some garlic?
Complimentary eGuide: Your guide to growing, harvesting & curing delicious garlic

What do you grow in your front yard garden? Let us know in the comments below.

6 Keys to Hot Weather Gardening

If you live in a climate where summer temperatures regularly exceed 90°F, hot weather gardening can be a challenge. Above 95°F, tomato blossom drop can happen, and summer favorites like cucumbers, sweet peppers, and eggplant slow production and become more vulnerable to pests and disease.

The good news is you can take steps to protect your plants and your harvests.

Gathering some information will help you be successful in hot weather gardening:

🔥 Your area’s average high temperatures

🔥 When you can expect the heat to strike

🔥 What temperatures your crops need to thrive

Not sure how hot it gets in your area? You can use Weather Underground’s “Historical Weather” section to learn about weather trends in your area.

All vegetable crops have a temperature sweet spot that supports maximum growth and productivity.

Cool season vegetables are generally leaf and root vegetables that thrive in temperatures between 50 and 70°F. Many can withstand frost, but they slow production and eventually bolt as temperatures climb.

Hot weather crops bear fruit (we call many of them “vegetables”). Summer favorites like tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, mellons, and beans thrive in temperatures between 80 and 90°F. If your high temperatures rarely go above 95°F, you just need to make sure your plants are healthy and watered.

However, if you live in an area that regularly sees temperatures above 95°F, keeping crops cool is key.

Hot weather gardening can be challenging, but just a few measures can keep your plants happy and productive:

  1. Choose crops that can handle the heat. Sweet potatoes, okra, melons, hot peppers, southern peas, and malabar spinach are all great options for hot areas.
  2. Make sure your watering is consistent. Irregular or insufficient watering can stress your plants and make them less resilient in the heat. Sufficient water helps your plants stay healthy and withstand heat.
  3. Provide lots of organic matter with compost. Abundant soil life protects your plants from diseases and makes them more resilient to stress. Soil with high levels of organic matter also holds water better, so you don’t risk losing as much moisture when things heat up.
  4. Interplant to create natural shade in the hottest part of the day. If you orient your garden beds facing West, you can plant tall, heat-loving crops “in front” of other crops to provide shade. Okra grows large with big, broad leaves–like a natural sun canopy that also feeds you!
  5. Space your plants further apart. Biointensive planting has many benefits. But when things heat up, closely spaced plants have to compete more for water and air circulation. Just like you don’t want a long hug on a hot summer day, your plants need a little room to breathe.
  6. Try shade cloth. Shade cloth comes in a variety of densities that provide more or less shade depending on your plants’ needs.

Solving your unique climate and space puzzle takes time, research, and experimentation. Making observations and taking good notes this year can help your garden grow even more next year. And we’re happy to help you learn more along the way!

Join us for our summer series of blogs all about hot weather gardening for bountiful harvests.

Amy Davis
Wordsmith and Client Support

In an age of increasing specialization, Amy proudly calls herself a generalist. She holds a Master’s degree in English, a RYT 200 yoga teacher certification, and is working her way through a bachelor’s in Biology. She believes in nurturing and following curiosity, then taking what you’ve learned and sharing it to better the lives of others.

Amy is an avid chaos gardener and has worked in agriculture for several years. In 2017, she first apprenticed on a Certified Organic vegetable farm and later took over as operations manager there. She also served as greenhouse manager for a local restaurant’s urban farm, and she spent a year in AmeriCorps service to an agriculture nonprofit specializing in education for beginning farmers and gardeners. She has a passion for greenhouse work, and she loves watching tiny little seedlings grow and turn into lunch. Amy and her husband grow an ever-evolving front yard garden in southern Appalachia (apple-atcha).  

Are you experiencing hot weather? Share your hot weather tips in the comment section below!

Kids’ Read-Aloud: Dandelion Magic

So many grownups think dandelions are weeds. They mow them down, spray them, and gripe about them all spring.

But did you know dandelions can actually be…MAGIC?? Dandelions are the first food honeybees eat each year. And because they have a taproot, dandelions loosen hard soil and bring deep-down nutrients, like calcium, to the soil surface for other plants to use. Dandelions have tons of health benefits for you, too!

Join our Youth Garden Instructor, Meg Groves, as she reads Dandelion Magic by Darren Ferrell. Dandelion Magic is an interactive story about a little boy named Jonah, one magical dandelion, and a wish that gets a little out of hand.

Jonah’s Nana tells him that there is a very special dandelion that grows once a year. If you find the magical dandelion, make a wish, and blow its seeds, your wish will come true! Nana found it once herself, so she knows all about it.

Jonah finds the magical dandelion, and he wishes to become a pirate! But being a pirate comes with LOTS of unexpected challenges. Just when he finds treasure, sea monsters appear everywhere. Jonah needs your help to scare them off and get back home.

How can you help? Roaring, making faces, and blowing raspberries! This interactive story will work those dandelion-blowing muscles, even if they’re not blooming where you are right now.

When you blow the dandelion seeds off of the stem, the wind takes the seeds far and wide. If the seeds land in a place where it’s good to grow, they’ll grow into more dandelion flowers! More dandelions will feed even more bees and improve more soil.

With so many reasons to love dandelions, let’s stop all this “weeds” business. Pick a dandelion, make a wish, and send the seeds out on your own breath! Maybe you’ll make a little magic 🌬️

This article contains links to a product that we are a referral partner for. If you click and take action, Grow Your Own Vegetables LLC may be compensated. We only recommend products that we love and that we know can be helpful to you as a gardener.

Do you have a favorite ‘Garden Story’? Comment below.

Regenerative Soil Microscopy: the Book, Course, & Database

Matt Powers
The Permaculture Student

{2022 Superfood Garden Summit Presenter}

Matt Powers teaches permaculture and regenerative gardening and farming to families, youth, schools, and adults all over the world through his online courses, videos, and books. Matt provides daily inspirational and regenerative content online and is one of the most-followed permaculture teachers online.

How do we truly tell good compost from bad compost? Or better from best? BECAUSE in life, we are always after what is BEST.

What about you?

  • Do you want to KNOW what’s in your soil or compost before you apply it?
  • Do you want to be able to test your soil, compost, mushrooms, roots, and more at home?
  • Would you like to see other people’s test results in comparison to your own? What about in comparison to other bioregions and climate analogs?

Matt Powers has a new book, course, and database project that is absolutely WILD – it’s going to change soil science as we know it!

By having a way for everyone to compare their soils, the best soil regeneration and management practices will be revealed transparently, publicly, and powerfully!!

This is a game-changer – if you ever wanted to know how your soil or compost compares to others in your bioregion or in the world, this is how we are going to do it. Matt’s cracked the code: he’s developed a holistic approach to soil science with Regenerative Soil first and now with Regenerative Soil Microscopy & the new R-Soil Database, there’s a way to unlock the secrets of the soil for all the see for the first time EVER.

This is such an incredibly important project: it will change all farming, horticulture, ranching, gardening, and food as it rolls forward and shows the pathways to the highest nutrient density. Folks will be able to compare across 100+ points of distinction like organic matter %, BRIX of the plant sap, pH, all macro & micronutrients, paramagnetism, REDOX, CEC, Salinity, Compaction, Plant Sap Analysis, and so much more – compare your own samples over time or against the bioregion, world, or across specific variables like pH… the possibilities for deeper insight are limitless!!

This opens the door to a new way of testing, researching, discovering, sharing, learning, and growing.

THANK YOU MATT!!

Please show your appreciation by supporting Matt’s Kickstarter campaign in any way that you can – please share it with your people: this is for the folks that LOVE composting and soil & for those serious about growing, so please share it with everyone you can so we can find those folks to participate in this project. It’s going to help everyone as it develops and grows!

Check out what Matt is offering in his 7th Kickstarter!!
(Already 105% funded!!)

Did you check out Matt’s Video and New Book? Share with us your take-a-ways from his teaching.

The Perpetual Harvest Hack: How to Grow A Continual Harvest of Fresh Food All Year Long Without Losing Your Mind Doing It

Paul Dysinger
Seedtime

Paul Dysinger is the co-founder of Seedtime. Together with his Dad Edwin they design ground breaking garden/farm planning software and teach thousands of people from around the world how to grow their own nutrient dense food at home.

Paul and Edwin, are 2022 Superfood Garden Summit presenters.
“The Superfood Perpetual Harvest Hack”

You know, I could probably start this post out by writing some fancy introduction or story or something…

But something is telling me, how about we jump straight to the chase? What do you think?

You game?

Ok, here goes…

How would you like a perpetual harvest of fresh veggies out of your garden every single week of the year (or greatly extending your growing season)?

I’m talking about fresh lip-smacking tomatoes, cucumbers, and melons during the summer, crunchy leaf lettuce and spinach in the fall, buttery Brussels sprouts with some powerful cabbage salad in the winter, and then back to spring peas, carrots, or beets.

It’s like replacing your grocery store with fresh food directly out of your backyard (think dollar signs!).

Or turning your garden into your living refrigerator.

Does that sound cool or what?!

The problem is… to pull off a perpetual harvest can be a little complex unless you have a good system to do it with.

Let me explain.

Have you ever heard of succession planting? Or I like to call it leapfrog planting.

See, the key with a continual harvest is that you need to always have something growing in the garden – all the time.

And every plant has its own life cycle.

There’s a time to seed it. It grows. And then it’s harvest time.

Eventually harvest time ends (different for each crop) and the cycle starts over.

This means that if you’re going to effectively plan a continual harvest in your garden you’ll need to understand the following:

  1. You’ve got to figure out when to plant your first crop
  2. Then how long before it will be harvested
  3. How long of a harvest window you can expect from it
  4. And then when to plant the second “leapfrog” or succession crop so that it is ready to go in when the first crop is harvested so you keep that garden space occupied
  5. Plus figure out how long in the season each crop can be grown (is it a warm season or cold season crop?)
  6. And then repeat that for every crop because they are all different

If you think that’s a little complex or overwhelming – you aren’t alone.

In fact, how in the world are you going to keep track of that for 20+ different crops, line them up, arrange them so they stagger after each other, all year long – without going crazy or losing your mind?

Yikes!

The good news is that there is a way. And we call it our Perpetual Harvest Hack.

See, back in the day my Dad Edwin and I made a bit of a rash promise to our gardening students when we told them that we would give them custom weekly checklists of what to do in their gardens based on their current locations.

We soon discovered that was a lot bigger of a task than we bargained for and none of the gardening tools we could find really made it much easier.

Granted, there are some tools out there to help know when to seed your crops in the spring or fall, like Johnny’s Seed Starting Calculator (here’s the fall version) or Away to Garden’s Seed Starting Calculator.

In fact, Johnny’s even has a succession planting spreadsheet.

But none of these really made it easy. Let alone automate a way we could give our students weekly checklists of what to do in their areas.

But a promise is a promise. So after intensive research we finally pulled off turning some massive gardening spreadsheets into our first simple Click ’N Drop Gardening Calendars.

And when we first showed them to our students – let’s just say they went crazy…
I’ve never seen gardeners so excited about anything in my entire life.

But the problem was, though our first calendars were one of the best products on the market, they weren’t fully customizable. And while they made planning a year-round garden easy, they were generic.

Our students needed something better. They needed a gardening plan they could personalize.

Which brings us to what we call our “Perpetual Harvest Hack”.

Or in other words we call it – Seedtime.

Seedtime is the first garden planner (that we know of) that makes it extremely easy to visualize exactly when to seed, transplant, and harvest crops in your garden all year long – based on your local area.

Which means when it comes to a continual harvest, there’s finally a way to line up all those plantings without crazy spreadsheets or headaches.

Let’s take lettuce as an example.

If you’re wanting a continual harvest of lettuce, you can quickly and easily drop your first planting into the calendar.

Then with a couple clicks you can drop in a succession planting a couple weeks later.

Throw these onto the timeline view and you can easily get a quick big picture of when each planting is going to be seeded and approximately when you can expect to be harvesting from them.

You can then repeat that process to add more plantings…

Or, if you’re dealing with a specific location in the garden you can change it up a bit.

Let’s say you want your second planting of lettuce to be ready to transplant into the garden when the first one is done harvesting.

Before, you’d have to manually calculate the days to maturity and harvest window, then backtrack about four weeks before the first planting is done harvesting to set the seeding date of your second planting so that it’ll be ready to transplant when the first crop is done.

Wow… that was complicated just trying to type that out.

But now, you can simply click and drag the transplanting task of your second lettuce planting and move it to the week after your first planting should be done harvesting – and everything else will automatically adjust.

Sweet!

That’s the power of click ’n drop garden planning.

And get this, you can do this with literally any crop! In fact, you don’t even have to follow one crop with the same one – you can follow the first crop with a different one.

Let’s take peas and green beans as an example.

Peas like cool weather so it is best to grow them in the spring. And when they are done harvesting, it is often a great time to plant a crop of green beans.

Just line up the seeding times and with a few clicks your schedule is set up.

But it gets even better!

Once you have your garden plantings setup, you can jump over to a weekly or daily task list that automatically compiles from your garden plan.

That’s what we call a game changer.

Now staying on track in your garden is as easy as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

And that’s not to mention the fact that you can click on the tasks in your task list for a quick description of what to do, how to do it, and links to visual demonstration or training videos showing/telling you how to get each task done like a pro.

So if your mind is spinning right now… just know that this is the tip of the iceberg.

There’s a lot more you can do with Seedtime than I can fit into this one blog post.

But the key takeaway here is this:

If you want a continual harvest out of your garden – it just got a whole lot easier.

Your garden matters. Your family matters. Your health matters. And we’re on a mission to make it so much easier for you to focus on the fun parts of gardening without getting bogged down with all the planning/organizing tasks that can be such a chore.

In fact, if you throw in some simple protection methods like a quick hoop with a row cover or two, you can drastically extend your season or grow all year round in many places.

So are you ready to knock it out of the park this season?

Let’s get that perpetual harvest growing so you can replace the grocery store with your garden.

At the time of writing this, Seedtime isn’t open to the public yet. But if you want to get started with your own free account – here’s a special invitation link where we’re inviting Grow Your Own Vegetable readers to get early access:

Get your free Seedtime account here

You’ll get full access to everything for 14 days and then will automatically continue at the Free Forever plan level – or you’ll have the opportunity to upgrade if one of the higher plans fits your needs better.

Here’s to your success and a continual harvest of lip-smacking fresh veggies out of your very own backyard!

Wow! Go check out Seedtime, set up your FREE account, and share your insights here!