Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
spoon with tomato seeds and gel scooped out from a tomato

Saving Vegetable Seeds

Hello Fellow Readers, The idea of saving vegetable seeds came to me a few years back while buying produce at a farm market. One tomato weighed in at five bucks. True, it was a beefy one. When I shared my sticker shock, the farmer said it was an heirloom tomato grown organically. And s
A woman cutting cabbage out of garden

Vegetable Garden Basics

Hello fellow readers, It is undoubtedly is a challenging time in the history of our country. I pray the precautions and consequences of the coronavirus brings us together—each of us sharing kindness, provisions, and seeds of love with our neighbors, which brings me to the topic of sta
Garlic-closeup

When & How to Plant Garlic

Hello Fellow Readers, Karen of Washington, NJ, emailed, “When should I plant garlic? I’m going to put leaves in my raised beds. Should I mix them in with dirt or just lay leaves on top?” Two great questions! Garlic, Allium sativum, can be planted in the fall or early spring as soon as
Ripening-Tomatoes-indoors

Fall Tomato Hand-me-Downs

Hello Fellow Readers, While wrapping up the fall planting season, providing garden tweaks for a longstanding client become friend, I had the delight of receiving veggie garden hand-me-downs. Ed of Bridgewater NJ was tidying up his pots filled with green tomatoes; some plants were stil
Female-Zuchinni-Flower-Photo-Rimi-Studios

Birds & Bees of Zucchini Flowers

Hello Fellow Readers, I am a new owner of a big girl camera. A digital Nikon SLR. Previously I’ve relied on a point and shoot camera, “which is getting long in the tooth,” per my dear Curt. Funny saying, long in the tooth that stems from how horses’ teeth continue to grow, which indic
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Christmas Reflections from Texas

Hello Fellow Readers, One of the greatest gifts of Christmas is spending time with loved ones. I’ve just returned from visiting lifelong friends that live outside of Austin. The first stop was Round Top Texas, where Dorothy from my college days lives. She’s an artist with a gall
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Honoring the Health of our Earth

Hello Fellow Readers, As we ready our gardens for the new season of growth, many add fertilizers and other nourishment such as compost and manure. You’ve likely noticed, I advocate organic practices so we all may breathe green with a splash of color. Organic farming became known as su
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Bee Kind

Hello Fellow Readers, There’s quite a buzz about widely-used insecticides impacting our pollinators. One out of every three bites of food depend on a pollinator; hence they are critical to our food supply. Digging through research, there are varying opinions on the effect of insectici
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Volleyball Mushrooms

Hello Fellow Readers, Last week I mentioned that my neighbor Bill ate his volleyball – a Giant Puffball Mushroom that is, Calvatia gigantean. I have a volleyball too that I’ve been monitoring in amazement, but it didn’t occur to me to eat it! I’ve always admired folks that know
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Saving Herbs

Hello fellow readers, It’s fun to grow herbs and enjoy them all summer long. But I’ll admit, I still dive into my stash of dry herbs even though there’s fresh ones out in the garden. Lazy Mary? Maybe. But a big part if it is, I’m used to cooking with dry herbs. Bill from Stone Church