Category Archives: 31 Days to a Great Northern Vegetable Garden

tomatoes wide

Day 18: Tips for Growing Tomatoes

I heard it a lot when I talked to gardeners last summer, and the summer before that: “My tomatoes are doing terrible—I don’t know what I did wrong!” People are…

lettuce tight

Day 17: Tips for Growing Greens

Growing greens — lettuce, spinach, arugula and other leafy things — in your vegetable garden produces big pay-offs in taste and nutrition for relatively little effort. And, nothing says summer…


Day 16: How Far Apart to Plant in the Vegetable Garden

In most urban vegetable gardens, plant spacing is determined by what sort of things you plan to grow and how many plants of each variety you plan to put in….

vegetable garden art

Day 15: When to Plant Your Vegetable Garden

We’ve spent several days talking about starting seeds indoors, hardening them off, using a cold frame and winter sowing vegetable seeds. You’re probably thinking, “All right, already, when do we…

winter sowing containers

Day 14: Winter Sowing for Your Vegetable Garden

One of the most popular articles ever written for Northern Gardener was on winter-sowing perennials. Winter sowing involves sowing seeds outdoors in mini-greenhouses, made of milk jugs, deli containers and…


Day 13: Frost-Free Dates and the Vegetable Garden

If you grow vegetables from seed, the packet almost always lists how long before or after your average last frost date you should plant. It’s important to know your “frost-free”…

cold frame with lettuce 2

Day 12: Get Your Vegetable Garden Growing with a Cold Frame

One way to extend the vegetable growing season — both on the front end in spring and on the back end in fall — is to use cold frames, hoophouses…

hardening off

Day 11: Seed Starting, Part 3: Hardening Off

Once your seeds have germinated and the seedlings are growing, the next step in the process is transplanting them into a larger container—or not. If I’m growing lettuce under lights…