Squash those bugs!

Squash bugs are here, and if you haven’t seen the damage the adult’s toxic saliva can do to your squash and zucchini plants yet, you may have noticed their brown jewel-like eggs under the leaves. The best thing to do now to prevent widespread damage is to search for and destroy...

A Second Chance for ...

If you were disappointed by your broccoli, cauliflower, or romanesco harvests this spring, good news – you have a second chance this year with a fall crop! While we saw prizewinning heads of broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage during a wet and cool 2015, 2016’s dry and hot spring...

A sweet way to use h...

Running out of ideas for ways to use your excess herbs? Try making herbal simple syrups! Simply combine 2 parts sugar and 1 part water (example: 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water), and bring just to a boil in a sauce pot. Turn the heat off, and add 2 large handfuls of fresh herbs (just tear the...

Someone’s eati...

Have you noticed big pieces of your plants missing? Those holes are likely evidence of cabbage white butterfly larvae, who love to munch on plants in the brassica family, including kale, collard greens, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. The fuzzy green worms blend in with the leaves, and can...

Kale: Harvesting, Co...

Kale is one of the most versatile greens to grow, as it can be used in anything from stews to salads, in chips, and even smoothies! Kale is a member of the brassica family, and can have different flavors depending on what time of year it is harvested. The leaves are mild in spring and early...

Summer Fungi Aren...

Summer weather has begun! While heat and humidity are favorable to growth for many of our favorite summer fruits and vegetables, they are also favorable to many diseases in the garden. The first signs – yellowing leaves, brown streaks, and white fuzzy patches – are easy to ignore...

Garlic Scapes

You may have heard about garlic scapes, or seen them in the farmers’ market. Garlic scapes are the stalks of hardneck garlic, and gardeners typically remove them between the summer solstice and the end of June. Removing the developing scape helps the plant divert energy from creating...

What To Plant Now

This month fast-growing, cool-weather crops such as bok choy, radishes, broccoli raab (rapini), spinach, lettuce, and arugula are ready to harvest. While spinach, arugula, and some varieties of lettuce are considered ‘cut-and-come-again’ (meaning you can collect multiple harvests...

What is an Expert Ga...

At Peterson Garden Project, our mantra is “learn it by doing it.” Sometimes, in fact, we like our mistakes best. If only because it’s good for a blog post. Another good way to approach a garden is to remember that the plants know what to do. The gardener is kinda just along for the ride. Keep...

Thinning for Fat Veg...

If you direct-seeded earlier this spring or purchased plants at a nursery, it may be time to thin your seedlings! Thinning seedlings is an important task for maintaining plant health and ensuring plants have enough room to reach harvest size. Thinned seedlings have more space for air...

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...