Gayla Trail with a box of freshly harvested currant tomatoes

Guide to Growing and Eating Tomatoes

It’s no secret that I love tomatoes. Growing them is an exciting, ever-changing challenge with a big reward at the end. I strive each year to experiment with as many different varieties as I can fit into my small gardening spaces, testing them in a variety of growing conditions to see how well they will

mizuna by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Guide to Growing Lettuce and Salad Greens

Salad greens are one of the first crops that I start outdoors. It snowed today, but as soon as the soil is workable, I will be out there, seeds in hand, to get started. As with Seed Starting 101, I have created a permanent page that lists all of the best posts around the subject

tomato giallo a grappoli by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Tomatoes Worth Growing: ‘Giallo a Grappoli’

2011. It was the first year in my new garden, and with what initially felt like space to spare, I went wild, starting seed from every tomato that caught my fancy. I had heard about Italian long keeping tomatoes and was eager to try them. These are tomatoes that don’t ripen well on the vine

White Currant Tomato by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Tomatoes Worth Growing: White Currant

I have a special place in my heart for currant tomatoes. They’re wild and free-growing. They are quite literally their own species (Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium). Naughty, unruly, and rebellious, they will blanket the garden in a webbing of lace-like foliage if you turn your attention away for even a moment. They are out of control and

Tomatillos photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Growing Salsa Verde (+ Podcast)

This week I was a guest on Margaret Roach of A Way to‘s radio show. We spoke at length about growing tomatillos as well as other edible crops of the same genus (Physalis). You can listen to that episode over here. Tomatillos (Physalis ixocarpa) have only recently gained popularity as a backyard garden crop

Illustration of Tomato Lifecycle by Davin Risk: All Rights Reserved

The Lifecycle of a Garden Tomato

Davin surprised me with this drawing on our kitchen chalkboard this morning. I know that some of you in the warmer regions have already started your tomato seeds. Around here I still have a month(ish) to go before I will start my first batch of dwarf varieties. Which varieties are you growing or planning to

Photo of onion seeds by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

How to Grow Onions, Shallots, and Leek from Seed

The following are a few tips gleaned from my own past blunders and successes in growing onions, shallots, leeks, and other alliums to help you get started with yours. Onions & Shallots: Depending on the type, onions are fairly flexible plants that will tolerate a certain amount of rule-breaking on your part. Bunching onions aka

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Office Pepper 2013

I elected to overwinter one pepper plant this winter, a mild “hot pepper” variety called ‘Trinidad Perfume’ (I purchased mine from Solana Seeds.) And wouldn’t you know it the darned thing up and made a little fruit. It’s a teeny, weeny jewel of a thing — barely worth a mention, really. But it is orange

Italian Heirloom Vegetable Varieties

Five Favourite Italian Edibles

I went to my local Italian grocer this week and chose seed packs for the contest. I tried to stick with varieties that winners can grow in a variety of conditions whether that’s location/climate, season, small spaces, big spaces, and containers. Some of these can be direct sown and some should be started indoors. Something

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Tomatoes Worth Growing: ‘Mennonite Orange’

Meaty, dense, huge, and prolific: I didn’t intend to grow ‘Mennonite Orange’ last summer, but boy am I ever glad I did. The details: 80 days Indeterminate Open-pollinated heirloom Beefsteak, Slicer Orange Ripens: Mid-season Story: Originally from Pennsylvania but grown in Southern Ontario. Container Growing: You’ll need a really big pot, 16″+ deep.

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Lifecycle of Radishes Gone Rogue

This spring I started seeds of a long, red, Italian radish variety called ‘Candela di Fuoco.’ They did well enough considering the strange weather that season — I ate the crunchy roots and sautéed the greens. When two stragglers bolted in the heat, I let them go and ate their flowers. The plants continued to

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Jerusalem Artichoke Season is Back

Last weekend we dug up a boatload of Jerusalem artichokes aka sunchokes from the garden, right on schedule. Believe it or not, many of the tubers are even bigger this year than last. And there are more of them! God help us. When we began digging, I told Davin that we would only be excavating

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