About Eggplant

Eggplant is a heat-loving crop native to India, and comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Some 18th-century European varieties were yellow or white and resembled goose or hen’s eggs, hence the name “eggplant”. Eggplant is widely used in cooking, most notably as an important...

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,...