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Fruition Garden Journal

video tutorials, tried-and-true tips + our latest learnings to surround you with abundance all season long

3 Keys to Maximizing Your Leaves This Fall

Nov 15, 2018
 

'Tis the season when leaves are falling and streets are lined with ready-made mulch, compost-to-be, nutrient dense and often already bagged for the intrepid gardener to stock up one of the quickest ways to build top-notch soil.

So true!

Here are three keys to maximizing your leaves this fall, to build your soil quickly and mulch most effectively:

1. Deciduous Leaves are the Best for Mulch and Building Soil

Only apply deciduous leaves as mulch in your garden beds. Coniferous pine needles will decompose and acidify your soil, often making the resulting pH less than ideal for growing vegetables, flowers and herbs. If you’re growing blueberries, rhododendrons or want blue hydrangeas, coniferous materials are one of the easiest ways to both mulch and feed them.

2. Chipping/Shredding Your Leaves has the Greatest Impact

Whether you’re building your soil with leaves or spreading them as mulch, send your leaves through a chipper/shredder first. I’ve learned the hard...

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Six Mistakes to Avoid When Planting Garlic

Nov 01, 2018
 

Garlic is one of the easiest and most rewarding crops to grow, though it's not a cakewalk. I've grown garlic here in the Finger Lakes for over nearly three decades and here are the keys to surrounding yourself with abundance.

We've recently become enamored with growing shallots as well, which are grown in exactly the same way. 

When to Plant Garlic

Garlic is planted in fall, allowing the cold to divide each clove into the bulb to come. Plant between Halloween and Thanksgiving for the healthiest garlic growth. Your goal is for each clove to establish its root system while growing as little shoot as possible. 

Biggest Mistake: Planting too early.

Why? Garlic establishes it's root system before sending up a green shoot. Planted too early, the green shoot can rise several inches, acting as a straw over the winter to draw water from the clove, effectively desiccating the clove and potentially killing it.

Easy Solution: Plant between Halloween and Thanksgiving.

It's...

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Garlic & Shallots for Fall Planting

Aug 02, 2018
 

Flavor keeps me coming back to the garden.

Keeps me coming back to myself. 

Garlic and shallots, with their exquisite flavor and versatility, accompany me to the kitchen in each season.

For many years, I had no idea different varieties of garlic could taste to different. Several years back, we hosted a gathering of friends, chefs and food writers, garlic lovers and garlic haters alike. We sauteed and roasted 17 varieties of garlic (it's true), each one labeled. A feast we set out, each dish without garlic: roasts and quiches, olive oil and baguette, smashed potatoes and hummus. We then added garlic to each dish, one variety after another, attempting to characterize and articulate what we were tasting.

Italy Hill Porcelain is our favorite variety for making pesto.

The unanimous conclusion: We all know the apple varieties we like best. Surely you know if you prefer an Empire over a Granny Smith, for example. But in our rush to commoditize food, we've largely forgotten the...

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