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Tips for Fall Gardening Success

Tips for Fall Gardening Success

Fall can be the most invigorating time in the garden -- for many vegetables as well as gardeners! Cool-loving crops like lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, and chicory take on their best flavor as the nights get chilly. And who among us doesn’t enjoy

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When to harvest winter squash

When to harvest winter squash

Winter squash and pumpklns require a large investment of garden space and time, but reward the gardener with sweet, delicious, vitamin-rich fruits that hold well into fall and winter. For a successful crop, you must harvest them when fully ripe. Harv

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Preserve your herbs in butter and oil

Preserve your herbs in butter and oil

Many culinary herbs love cool weather — and when summer hits, they bolt (go to seed) or get tough and lose their delicate flavor. That’s why early summer is the best time to start preserving herbs for later use.There are lots of ways to preserve herb

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Pollination Problems

Pollination Problems

A male squash flower produces ample pollen; it just needs a bee to carry it to a female flower for pollination to occur.Every summer, we hear from a few people who say their squash, cucumber, melon, or pumpkin plants are flowering but not setting fru

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Growing a late crop of tomatoes

Growing a late crop of tomatoes

Getting early tomatoes is a kind of a game for most gardeners; we start our seeds inside in winter, surround young plants with plastic or water walls, warm the soil with black plastic mulch, even build hoophouses over the plants. And that first sun-r

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When to start seeds indoors

When to start seeds indoors

Here is a schedule for starting seeds indoors, relative to your frost-free date. It assumes you will have good indoor seed-starting conditions so that seeds germinate fast and grow quickly. If you can't provide the ideal environment, start sooner.Wee

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How to schedule outdoor plantings

How to schedule outdoor plantings

Vegetables vary in their tolerance to cold, so gardeners generally use the frost-free date as the benchmark for scheduling outdoor plantings. Some cold-tolerant veggies can be planted weeks before the frost-free date; others should be planted a few w

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Give seeds what they need

Give seeds what they need

Starting seeds indoors is one of the best parts of gardening. You get to work with plants long before spring, and there is nothing more satisfying that watching seedlings push their way out of the soil.Indoor seed starting isn't difficult at all, but

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Fall is the time for salads

Fall is the time for salads

We had a tremendous summer garden this year and we ate our fill of zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and basil. As the days shorten and the nights turn chilly, we find ourselves losing interest in the flavors of summer and instead craving a cri

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Success with Zucchetta

Success with Zucchetta

We recently asked our customers to tell us about their favorite zucchini varieties. Quite a few people mentioned two varieties that technically aren't zucchini at all — they are known as Zucchetta. But the flavor is comparable and perhaps even better

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Three Types of Arugula

Three Types of Arugula

Arugula is one of those typically Italian vegetables that has become mainstream in America. And for good reason. It's a delicious green, with a lot more flavor than lettuce, plus it's quick and easy to grow. We offer three types and here is a qu

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If you want to try Agretti, grow your own

If you want to try Agretti, grow your own

In our global economy, where almost every kind of food can be imported from afar, only rare, regional, and highly perishable foods remain elusive. Agretti is a prime example — it’s a Mediterranean vegetable available for only a few weeks each spring

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Import restrictions on tomato, pepper seed

Import restrictions on tomato, pepper seed

In late 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture abruptly imposed a ban on the import of tomato and pepper seeds until they are tested and found free of a new virus that is afflicting commercial tomato and pepper crops around the world. The

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The Artichoke Challenge

The Artichoke Challenge

If you’re the kind of gardener who likes to flex your horticultural muscle with a challenging crop, may we suggest Italian artichokes? Artichokes are perennial in their Mediterranean home, where it never gets too cold or too hot. In the U.S., there i

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Better than San Marzano?

Better than San Marzano?

Paste tomatoes are essential to every dedicated gardener who wants to preserve a bit of summer by making their own passata. With so many Italian paste tomato varieties available, how do you choose? Weather, soil, and scheduling can have a huge effect

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The quickest way to grow basil

The quickest way to grow basil

In the U.S., most people grow basil into large plants and pick individual leaves from them all summer. That's how we did it when we were market farming: we would start the seeds indoors in winter, transplant them into the field with at least 12 inche

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Lavender Ginger Biscotti

Lavender Ginger Biscotti

½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)¾ cup sugar1 large egg1 tsp. vanilla extract¾ tsp. baking powder¾ tsp. sea saltLemon zest (1/2 lemon)2 tsp. dried lavender flowers (crushed between your fingers)8 ounces white chocolate (chopped)4 tablespoons c

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How to choose tomato varieties

How to choose tomato varieties

We import 40 varieties of Italian tomatoes, all of them traditional favorites, and our selection represents every possible shape, size, and flavor. They all can be grown in the U.S. and, because they are heirlooms, they all have been passed down for

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Garlic varieties explained

Garlic varieties explained

When getting started with garlic production, growers soon learn that there are literally hundreds of named cultivars or strains available in the U.S. and Canada. Choosing among that wealth of options is a challenge that has befuddled many beginners.

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Why grow your own garlic? Here are 10 great reasons

Why grow your own garlic? Here are 10 great reasons

We can't imagine a vegetable garden without garlic. We have found it to be one of the easiest and most satisfying vegetables we grow, and we would love to persuade you to give it a try if you have never grown it before. We have a terrific selection o

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Cooking Class in Umbria

Cooking Class in Umbria

A Summer Menu from the GardenFrigitelli PeppersCeci with Garlic and RosemaryFresh Strachetti Pasta with Zucchini and Tomatoes topped with Fried Squash BlossomsPanna Cotta with Glazed PeachesWe spent four days at Podere le Olle, an agriturismo in

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Horse-powered radicchio

Horse-powered radicchio

The grand prize winner of our summer 2016 photo contest is Hayshaker Farm in Walla Walla, Washington. Farmer Chandler Briggs sent us several photos of their amazingly beautiful radicchio grown from Franchi seeds. We wanted to know more, much more, ab

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Arugula in summer

Arugula in summer

Arugula, or rucola, is such an important part of our diet around here that we try to keep it growing all year long. It’s actually fairly easy to grow in winter, because it loves cool weather and can tolerate a frost. Summer’s heat is a much bigger ob

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Lidia recommends her favorite Italian veggies

Lidia recommends her favorite Italian veggies

Lidia Bastianich, perhaps the most famous Italian chef in America, writes in the April issue of Fine Gardening magazine about how important gardening is to good cooking."I learned how to garden—and subsequently cook—from my grandmother," sh

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