What’s eating my garden greens? (5 common garden pests)

An ounce of prevention is worth dozens of pounds of fresh herbs and vegetables.

You’re planting lots of food in your garden, specifically greens… and all of a sudden there’s someone else eating all your food before you have a chance to harvest it… ARG!

Everyone has some pests that show up in the garden. But before you can kick them out of your garden, you need to figure out WHO has invaded! Typically, there are 5 (actually 6!) common pests that give gardeners the most trouble. Watch this video to help identify these unwelcome guests:

Once you identify which pests, diseases, or weeds have come into your garden, you can start showing them the door! 

What are favorite, or not so favorite, visitors to your garden?

The Importance of a Versatile Garden Trellis System

Trellising is one of the best ways to increase the amount of growing space available to you in your garden. It also helps keep harvests off the ground away from moisture and soil dwelling pests. The soil is where plants grow but it’s also where organic matter gets broken down. So you generally want to keep your harvest off the ground as often as possible. But before we get into the importance of a versatile trellis system, if you’re new to gardening, check out the ‘When to Trellis’ and ‘What Plants Get Trellised’ sections below.

When to Use a Garden Trellis

Don’t wait until your plants get large to trellis them. Start them on the trellis when they’re small (about 2-3 weeks after transplanting them in your garden, depending on the crop). If you wait, you’ll end up needing to move stems and branches on the trellis which can cause damage and diseases to your plants. If your plants are already past this size, you’ll want to trellis and do the best you can, then plan to do it earlier next season.

What Plants Get A Trellis?

Plants that typically get trellised are crops like pole beans, indeterminate tomatoes (click here to find out the difference between indeterminate and determinate tomatoes), cucumbers, squashes, melons, and other similar crops.

Why You Want a Versatile Garden Trellis

In gardening, expert growers rotate where their crops are each year. This system of crop rotation helps confuse pests, keeping them guessing where to find the particular crop they’re fond of.

Crop rotation also helps prevent diseases from transmitting year to year. If a soil borne disease hits your tomato crop this season, next year it won’t because you’re planting in a different area. And by the time you plant tomatoes in that same place again (typically every four years), there is a better chance that disease has died off, not having the host plant available.

Plus, rotating your crops keeps soil nutrients more in balance. Every crop needs different levels of nutrients. So if you plant the same crop in the same place each year, then your soil is going to get depleted of the nutrients that crop needs to thrive.

So you want to rotate crops for healthier plants and bigger harvests. But if you don’t have a versatile trellis system, then you have to move your trellises from bed to bed each year… what a pain!

Free yourself from excessive work by using a versatile trellis system and check out our blog on a simple, easy-to-manage, versatile trellis system… and the best part? It’s inexpensive too!

Share how YOU trellis your plants!

3 Keys to Successful Indoor Seed Starting

Growing your own healthy plants from seed can be tricky. Even expert growers have trouble keeping their seedlings alive and well. Luckily, three simple keys are all you need to focus on.

Discover how to start your plants off right so they thrive. Be sure to stick around to the end for a Bonus Key!

Do you have a successful seed story? Please share!

Vegetable & Herb Gardening in Different Growing Climates

Getting to know your local growing climate is one of the first steps to growing a thriving vegetable garden. But there’s a big difference between learning about your climate and feeling limited by your climate.

Your growing climate matters. It determines what veggie varieties you’re going to grow and when you plant and harvest them.You’ve probably heard that vegetables and herbs thrive in an “ideal” temperature range of 50-85 F (10-30 C). But how many places on Earth consistently stay in that ideal range? Not many!

You don’t have to live in ideal conditions to grow lots of food all year long.

There’s no denying great growing conditions help. But once you understand the language of plants and what they want, you can grow vegetables anywhere at any time of year. You just have to get a little creative!

“There are as many creative ways to grow your own vegetables as there are places on this earth” -Stacey Murphy

In this two minute video, Stacey shows you what’s possible if you want to grow food at an unusual time of the year OR in a less than ideal growing climate.

What grows best in your climate? Share your creative gardening tips with us!

3 Empowering Benefits of Container Gardening

For countless reasons, from limited space or mobility to the local soil composition and length of growing season, container gardening can be an incredibly powerful tool if you wish to have a bodacious and diverse garden. We are going to walk through three of the core benefits of container gardening and how they can be used to create the exact growing conditions to accommodate your garden dreams.

These benefits become especially applicable where the green space is little-to-none, such as in apartments and large cities! Container gardening can be used for something as large as outdoor pots for planting fruit trees that may otherwise not thrive or even survive in your local soil or as small as a series of windowsill-dwelling potted herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, and basil. With the right soil, container, and container gardening can offer most or even all of the benefits of a raised bed without the required construction or the relative permanence.

First, container gardening gives you the power to cater directly to a plant’s soil and nutrient needs without having to balance all the factors of remediating your native soil or building raised beds. The next core benefit is a vast one! Gardening in containers can help you get more out of your growing space, regardless of if that growing space is in a garden, on a concrete landing, in an empty lot, or in some found space inside an apartment. Finishing our list is the accessibility that container gardening provides to those with limited mobility.

1. Picky Plants!

Containers allow you to have various soil structures and to apply a specific combination of nutrients; therefore, you can accommodate for a more diverse selection of plants compared to what you can do with native soil. Exercising control over the soil structure and nutrients is one of your best tools for investing in your plant’s healthy growth and production. For example, if your native soil is alkaline, but you are looking to plant blueberry bushes that need acidic soil, then you can fill a suitable container with acidic soil while feeding an acidic nutrient blend to the plant. Through multiple seasons of carrot cultivation in the high clay content soil that we have in so much of the Pacific Northwest, our Director of Operations, Denise Beins learned that root vegetables like carrots and parsnips do best when given a looser soil structure.

Sunlight is another factor that you can have more control over with container gardening. As long as you have a way to transport them, plants grown in containers can be moved to follow the exact sun conditions needed as the seasons progress. Learning the right blend of soil, light, and nutrients for each plant you want to grow could prove overwhelming, so take care as to not to overburden yourself by trying to know each plant’s needs all at once! I recommend focussing on learning the needs of a couple or few plants per season. Pick your favorites, and after a few seasons you’ll have a proficient and well-rounded understanding for growing your ideal palette of plants. 🙂

2. Making the most of your garden space

Container Gardening Outdoors

Container gardening can help you get the most out of outdoor space! Added to the benefits of customizing your soil structure and nutrient mix, container gardening can make seemingly unusable land into a bountiful part of your garden! Areas that have been paved, laid with gravel or stones, or have low-growing ground cover or brush that could suffocate young seedlings can all become healthy growing space with an intentionally selected container, soil, and nutrient mix. Containers can also turn an apartment patio into a garden. You can even cultivate otherwise invasive plants, such as many varieties of bamboo and mint, without having that worry! Another fun idea includes companion planting mutually beneficial plants, or simply planting fun arrangements/combinations, such as a “Salsa Planter” with cilantro, perilla, hot peppers, and garlic chives.

Container Gardening Indoors

Indoor container gardening truly makes a night and day difference! For those without access to growing space otherwise, container gardening can be the difference of not being able to grow anything to being able to grow nearly any plant you’d like! Whether it’s sheer excitement to start cultivating your own garden or seeking access to whole fruits and vegetables, your local community is probably filled with testimonies of people experiencing the empowerment of having an indoor garden you can look to for inspiration. With GYOV, your online community will certainly have some sources of inspiration to share! Or maybe you have some container gardening experiences to share in the comments below? Please feel free to share that below and be a patron to some else’s garden motivation!

The most common examples of these include hanging gardens, windowsill gardens, and a seed starting station. Hanging gardens utilize a space to its fullest by efficiently utilizing the vertical space. Windowsill gardens bring the vivacious energy of the garden into your home, and their foliage can also help illuminate your home by reflecting sunlight into the space. A seed starting station can range from simple or elaborate; from a warming mat and a grow light on a side table to a wire rack arranged with warming mats, a grow light, air circulation, and a drip tray below to protect floors when watering.

3. Accessibility for gardeners with limited mobility

It is a common challenge for a gardener to come to a time in their life where they may have physical limitations from the methods they have used to garden. Whether it’s temporary from an injury or their body physically losing mobility with age, For those with limited mobility, there are many solutions for enjoying fresh veggies using container gardening!

One method is utilizing large, tall containers, measuring 2-4 feet off the ground, although these may require assistance to get started. These may be wood framed, large plastic or materials such as terra cotta (a couple options are showing below). One thing to consider is you may want these large containers to have wheels so they are mobile incase you can move according to the sun or for other reasons.

Another option is to incorporate some of the indoor gardening ideas mentioned above. You can grow lettuce, herbs and more in a windowsill and add fresh produce to your meals.

Using containers in your garden can expand possibilities for you so that you can achieve your garden dreams! There are lots of gardeners just like you (and us here at GYOV) who have found creative ways to enhance their harvest and enjoy the beauty that cultivating plants brings into your life!

Please share in the comments below ways that you’ve added ease into your gardening process with container gardening.


How to Measure How Much Sunlight Your Garden Space Gets

Watch the video below and learn how to observe key temperatures in your area and map the sunlight and shadows in your garden space for success!

All plants have ideal growing temperatures. Outside those optimum temperature ranges, plants become less productive, and growth grinds to a halt. Too far outside the zone, plants die. It’s crucial to know what temperatures your plants need and when those temperatures happen in your area! 


Your vegetable plants need 6-8 hours of sunlight minimum to thrive. Measuring hours of sunlight and mapping your shadows BEFORE you dig or build your garden beds will ensure your plants’ success.

Download our complimentary shadow mapping template

Once you understand your climate, you can let Mother Nature do the work. She’ll even let you take the credit! 

Share what shadow mapping has taught you about your garden space!