Green Thumb lessons Show All Sort By Views

Want to make an easy and nutrient-rich garden bed without any digging? Discover sheet layering or 'lasagna gardening', a slow compost process that makes a bed with no tilling required. Grow Organic explains how layering nitrogen-rich and carbon-rich composting materials will create a nutritious and easily tended bed that will be ready in three to six months (or cheat and plant now by adding compost on top). This garden can be created at any time of the year.


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Not only are onions, shallots, and leeks the basis for tons of delicious soups, sauces, and dishes, but onions and shallots can also be stored long-term, making these some of the most useful crops you can cultivate. Grow Organic demonstrates how to enrich the soil and avoid rotting bulbs caused by overwatering, and how to defend your garden from gophers and birds. Enjoy these veggies fresh, and for months to come—with proper care, your harvest of onions will keep long into winter!


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Is your green thumb calling? Do you have some delicious recipes that use fresh spices and flavors? Growing your own herb garden has never been easier. In this quick and easy lesson, you’ll learn how to layer mason jars with pea pebbles and perlite to create a drainage system that keeps your plants healthy and happy. Then, you’ll just need to add some organic soil and a sprinkle of seeds. Follow along and you’ll soon be enjoying the taste of homegrown basil, oregano, and other herbs!


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Want to plant a container garden, but don’t have lots of room? Make use of empty wall space and install a vertical garden! Despite the challenges of growing vertically, there are a few products on the market that are capable of providing your plants with the water they need to stay healthy and beautiful for the long haul. Sunset Magazine lets you in on their vertical container gardening product: Plantasy, a grow medium made from peat moss and coconut coir.


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Whether your plants are tall and top heavy, or fruit bearing and need to be trellised, you must give them they support they need—and there are many materials and designs you can use to create a support system for your plants! In this lesson from Grow Organic, learn how to make a bamboo scaffold that is perfect for tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, a bamboo tepee that is great for peas or beans, or how to use twine and ground staples to create a structure perfect for vertical trellising plants.


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Want to keep your container garden looking fresh? While there is no single answer for how much you need to water and fertilize your plants, this lesson shows you a simple test to determine what your plant needs. As a bonus, get a few seasonal gardening tips: how to use a frost blanket in the winter months, and how to transition between seasons seamlessly with forward-thinking design and plant choices.


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Did you know that transplanting plants at the wrong time of day or into dry soil conditions can send them into shock? For many plants, the trip from the nursery to your container garden can be a stressful experience. Sunset Magazine shows you how and when to transplant so that your plants thrive in their new home.


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Do you want to reduce your landfill waste by 30% while making your garden grow healthier and more fruitful? If so, learn how to compost! In this lesson from Grow Organic, Trisha walks you through the process of creating your very own compost pile, beginning with how to select a container (if you want one), to what kinds of materials belong in your pile and which ones don’t. Take good care of your pile, and in a couple of months you’ll have beautiful, nutrient rich compost for your garden!


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Besides being nutritious and delicious to eat, tomatoes are also fun to grow! In this lesson from Grow Organic, Tricia shows you how to plant and grow tomatoes, whether you are growing them in containers, a raised bed, or the ground. Discover why kelp is an excellent fertilizer for your soil, how you can easily and effectively improve your plant’s root system, how to prevent blossom end rot and late frost damage, and finally, how to provide the best support for a productive plant.


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Whether you are starting from seed or seedling, Sunset Magazine shows you how to choose, grow, and harvest edible plants. Pick the right container, sow seeds, and transplant your crops without damaging the roots; before you know it, you’ll be feeding your family healthy veggies straight from the garden. This lesson features chard, beet greens, and lettuce.


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Asparagus is a nutrient rich vegetable, and if planted correctly, can provide a harvest for a period of up to 20 years! Grow Organic demonstrates how to prepare a raised bed or garden for either asparagus seeds or crowns. Depending on where you live, you’ll want to plant between January and April. Though this crop won’t actually yield a harvest until the second year of cultivation, it’ll prove that patience is a virtue, and that growing great food is easier than you think.


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With your pots, soil, drainage, and irrigation ready to go, it’s time to design your container garden! Sunset Magazine shows you how to choose plants for your containers based on sunlight, water needs, and aesthetic principles. After learning these professional tips, head over to Sunset’s Plant Finder to start brainstorming the perfect garden!


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Looking to plant a berry in your yard that's easy to look after, loaded with antioxidants, and contains Vitamins B and C? Plant goji berries, also known as wolf berries. This lesson from Grow Organic teaches you how to plant goji berries from a bare root, and includes information on what sort of container to use, the conditions the plant requires, and how to prune your goji berry plant back once it begins to flourish.


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Interested in cultivating a container garden? Sometimes the hardest step is choosing a container. Sunset Magazine breaks down the best container material, size, shape, and color for your space. You’ll also learn how to position your plants for optimal growth, set up effective drainage for any pot, and install irrigation with a drip system.


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There’s nothing quite like biting into a vine-ripened organic tomato—no store-bought fruit can compare! Tomatoes are not a high maintenance crop, growing quickly given adequate sun and water. But to ensure high fruit yields as well as a healthy plant, learn about pruning and diseases that affect tomatoes. In this lesson, California organic gardener Trisha teaches you when and how to prune your plant, and how to avoid common problems like cracking or leathery skin, blotchy ripening, and blight.


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Can you jam to this? This lesson shows you how to make and can peach jam. Start by mashing peeled and seeded peaches, then mix with the other ingredients for a tasty topping. Follow Sarah’s jam recipe and boiling instructions carefully for the best results - even if you have never canned preserves, you’ll have properly set jam in no time. Use your choice of mason jars and be sure to listen for the popping lids to make sure your cans are sealed properly.


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Don’t know what to do with the last of your fresh tomatoes? Try making your own tomato paste! With a stock pot, a food mill, and your harvest of tomatoes, you’ll never need to buy tubes or cans of tomato paste again. This recipe yields a rich and smooth paste that is perfect for pizza sauce, ragù, and various soups and stews. Use it immediately or freeze for future use.


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January isn't just the time for a new year- it's the time for a new orchard! Grow Organic teaches you how to plant a new bare root fruit tree in your garden that will thrive. Learn about multi graft trees, which produce multiple types of fruit. Discover what depth and width to dig your hole, and learn about the direction, dirt, and details of getting your tree in the ground. Then pack it in and wait for your tree to flourish!


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Whether you need to control the size of a plant, promote new growth, or remove an infected limb, pruning is a necessary skill for any gardener—but some basic knowledge is required before you begin hacking at anything in your garden. In this lesson from Grow Organic, Trisha first goes through the different types of pruning tools and how they should be used. Once you are familiar with the hardware, learn the different types of pruning cuts that you’ll use, depending on your garden’s needs.


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