What’s Happeni...

May in Chicagoland can be taxing on the edible garden. As spring transitions to summer, we experience light frosts, 80+degree days, hailstorms, winds topping 30mph, and rain for days followed by no rain for more than a week. If you think you’re having trouble adjusting your thermostat...

Growing Tomatoes

For many gardeners, nothing can beat the flavor of a sun-warmed homegrown tomato, picked at the peak of ripeness.  With many tomato varieties taking about three months to produce the first fruit, it’s no wonder there are many tips and tricks for those anxious to grow the perfect plant....

Grow, Grewbie, Grow:...

This first of our two plant sales is this weekend. After a long, cold winter we’re excited to select our plants and get out into our gardens this year. We’ve been doing this for a few years now. But what if you’re new to gardening? You’re what we call a grewbie –...

Waking the Garden Up

Earth Day is this weekend, which is a typical planting date for cool-weather crops in Chicagoland. Cool-weather crops such as broccoli, kale, and parsley can handle slight dips in nighttime temperatures, provided they have been hardened off properly. This is also a great time to plant radish,...

Come Together: 5 Way...

The 2016 Peterson Garden Project plant and bake sales are fast approaching. This year’s plants sales are going to be bigger and better than ever. We’re moving to a new, larger location in Uptown, introducing new plant varieties (including edible flowers) and planning some special...

Lettuce Explain: A G...

Have you noticed that there are different types of lettuce out there? Lettuce can be grouped into one of several main growth types – looseleaf, bibb (sometimes called boston or butterhead), romaine (cos), batavian (also called summercrisp), and iceberg (crisphead). You may notice leaf...

2016 PGP Seed, Plant...

The Peterson Garden Project Plant, Seed and Bake Sale is back for another year and this time it’s bigger and better than ever. In fact, it’s a sale so nice we’re having it twice! Join us April 22-23 for a cool weather crop sale and then again on May 6-8 for a warm weather crop sale. The sales...

Taste Test Series: A...

Our Taste Test Series of classes are a fun way to get experience with new flavors and techniques. Last Tuesday we were treated to a Braising 101 class with Paul Popp, pictured above with Peterson Garden Project founder LaManda Joy. If you missed Paul’s class, here’s a little...

Seed Swap 2016: Now ...

For us, nothing says spring quite like our Annual Seed Swap. We get positively giddy selecting seeds for our garden every year. It’s a reminder that we’ve survived winter and it’s almost time to get our hands dirty. Sharing that gardening excitement with more than 100 other...

5 Reasons to Attend ...

The 7th Annual Peterson Garden Project Seed Swap is coming up on Sunday, March 6, 2016. We had more than 100 gardeners at last year’s seed swap so we’re moving to larger location this year. Join us in the 2nd Floor Ballroom at Broadway Armory to start selecting seeds for your garden. Need a...

Know Your Zone!

Why are plant hardiness zones so important for gardening? Plant hardiness zones are based on lowest annual temperatures for a region, and help gardeners determine which perennial plants are likely to survive the winter. If you’ve noticed your hardiness zone recently changed, that’s because...

De-Mystifying Seed C...

For some enthusiastic gardeners, the seed catalog is a giant wish list, with nearly every seed variety circled, regardless of the size of the vegetable garden they’ll be planted in! But for others, the array of tomato varieties, mysterious codes and symbols next to plant names, and figuring...

Grow2Give

At this time of year, we often think of what we are thankful for, and give to others in need. With many food pantries and soup kitchens relying on donations or cheaply purchased leftover or unwanted food, fresh fruits and vegetables are a rare sight among staples like canned beans, rice and...

Community Gardens Ta...

“Gardeners are the most generous people in the world,” says Peterson Garden Project founder LaManda Joy. And this is what we learned, or confirmed, at the recent event, Community Gardens Take Action Against Hunger. Peterson Garden Project shared our own best practices with a roomful of people...

Autumn Aphid Invasio...

While many different kinds of aphids can appear on different types of plants during most times of the year, cabbage aphids tend to appear on plants in the Brassica family (kale, broccoli, collard greens, cabbage, and brussels sprouts) in early fall.  At this time, temperatures start to drop...

Putting the Garden t...

With about 4-5 weeks left in the Chicagoland growing season, October is the month where you’ll want to monitor the weather fairly closely, as we approach the first frost. The first frost is usually a “light frost”, where nighttime temperatures are between 32F and 28F. At...

Coffee in the Garden...

It’s one of our bribes. On Community Work Days, our volunteers are greeted with hot coffee from our Work Day sponsor, Metropolis Coffee. But coffee has other applications in the garden. At many local roasters and coffee shops, you can pick up spent grounds to add to your compost pile or...

Easy Freezer Tomatoe...

Canning tomatoes can seem a little daunting when the ingredients start with 10 pounds of tomatoes.  If you have a small garden plot or even a single tomato plant, you can still preserve your harvest with this simple recipe. Instructions: On a parchment-covered baking sheet or in an oven-proof...

Tomato POW(d)ER!

Tomato Preservation: Easy Homemade Tomato Powder Running out of ways to preserve your tomatoes? Canning and freezing are good options, but can take up space in your cabinet or freezer that you may not have this late in the season. Another easy way to bottle the fresh garden flavor...

Stunted Seedlings

Are your seedling stunted? The seed starting mix may be the culprit, as many seed starting mixes do not contain added nutrients that are essential to plant growth. Why? Have you ever started seeds in a plastic bag with a ball of moist cotton? They sprout! Seeds contain all of the nutrients...

Mid-Summer Transplan...

Although we experience some of summer’s highest temperatures in August, it’s time to transplant fall crops to the garden. These cool-weather plants may have a little difficulty adjusting to summer heat, but can transition to the garden successfully if hardened-off first....

Blossom Buddies

Many of the plants we eat from the garden produce flowers, but when is a flower good to keep and when is it best to snip?  Peppers and Tomatoes After pollination, the flower dies back and a tiny pepper or tomato begins  to form. Peppers and tomatoes are usually self-pollinating, not requiring...

About Peppers

This week’s lesson: Peppers! These vibrant veggies are related to tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, and tomatillo, and come in a multitude of varieties, but there are two basic types: sweet, and hot. Sweet peppers come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Most start out green and then turn...