Organic Vegetable Gardening

You are what you eat! Plants absorb everything that goes into their soil and water, which is the reason we always look for organic soil and fertilizer. Especially when you're growing vegetables for you and your family to enjoy, you always want to make sure that only the purest ingredients go into your food. The videos in this section are all about how to keep your veggie gardens organic.

Growing your own vegetables at home can be tricky, particularly in small spaces, but in these videos you'll find some helpful tips for organic planting, weeding, maintenance, and space-saving techniques like vertical gardening. I'll even show you how to companion plant by cuisine, harvest your vegetables, and make some tasty meals right out of the garden. Enjoy!

How to Plant a Three Sisters Garden

The wisdom of a Three Sisters Garden

The corn serves as a pole for your beans to climb. Corn requires nitrogen to grow; Beans absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that other plants like corn can use.  The beans climb up the corn stalk an provide extra rigidity preventing the corn stalk from falling down during wind or rain.  The squash balances it out providing shade; keeping weeds down and moisture in the soil.

Every year I plant a Three Sisters Garden. In this video, you’re just in time.  I’m going to get you into the action, honoring this awesome Native American tradition by teaching you how to plant this garden that promises to “sustain life.”


How to Start Vegetable Seeds

What’s the big deal with planting seeds? Seems simple enough…Just put your seeds in the dirt, water and hope. Or, you can do it the right way and have exactly what you want: germinating seeds, glorious plants and perfectly grown organic vegetables.


Controlling Weeds with Mulch

Weed control has been an issue for gardener’s going back thousands of years and one of the things that bedeviled me in my early gardening years. Let’s face it, weeding is pain, it can be back breaking, ruin the “look” of your garden and rob your plants of needed sunlight, water and nutrients. But a few years back I learned that weeds are essentially missed placed plants, they are kind of like teenagers, they just want food, shelter and a place to reproduce and your garden is a wonderful place for them to do that. As an organic gardener your goal isn’t complete eradication, if it is you’re probably reading the wrong magazine, the goal is, like with teenagers, control and I find that there are three major steps in controlling your weeds. The most important thing is proper set up and preparation. If you take the time to set up your garden properly you can reduce your time in maintenance, by almost 70%. The simplest thing you can do, weather you garden rows or in raised beds like I do is provide an actual physical barrier to keep those pesky weeds in check.


30 Minute Vegetable Garden

Welcome to "no-excuse gardening." In just 30 short minutes you can have a vegetable garden, which will be an excellent first project if you are new to gardening. If you are a seasoned gardener, using Garden Soxx is just the perfect way to start something new, without wasting too much time or effort in the process.

Garden Soxx, which were originally designed for erosion control, have also become a new way to plant in small spaces, which makes them perfect for raised bed gardening. Garden Soxx are cleverly made from a synthetic fabric which is stuffed with 1 cubic foot of compost, and will last from 3-5 years.


Vertical Gardening

What better way to make a chain link fence beautiful and useful than to grow juicy grapes vertically? Watch the vines transform the ugly industrial nature of the chain link fence as your vining plants grow...

There are no limits to what you can do, if you just think outside the box. The urban gardener’s biggest challenge is space, but that never stops me and it shouldn’t stop you, either.


Growing and Planting an Italian Kitchen Garden

Ciao, Bella!

If you haven’t already noticed, I have a soft spot in my heart and stomach for Italian Food.  Why, Garden Girl, you ask?  Because, it’s so easy to make; there are endless possibilities and it is always delicious.   Italian Food has always been my family’s favorite, but once I started gardening and preparing my sauces with fresh grown herbs and vegetables, they can’t seem to get enough of the stuff! Just wait until you try it on your family. 


Harvesting My Three Sisters Garden

This video is part two of my Native American Three Sisters Garden video series.

The Iroquois Native Americans were really on to something! In their tradition, every single year, I plant a Three Sisters Garden and watch in awe as it thrives.  This easy-to-plant garden is the epitome of “nature taking its course.”  Amazingly, like three siblings, the plants interact with each other in a complementary nurturing fashion; protecting each other from the elements. The three sisters are corn, beans, and squash and they fit beautifully in a raised bed.  After only four weeks, this video shows me harvesting beans from the garden with my daughter, Alejandra. She's always a big help at harvest time.


Four Season Gardening

Believe it or not, it is winter, and you will find me in my garden - still! And I am going to show you how your garden can still thrive in the winter. Raised Bed gardening makes it all possible, by extending the possibilities for your growing season.

The keys to winter gardening are having the proper seeds and the proper environment. By creating a micro-climate you can create a warmer environment than what is actually outside. The goal is to raise the temperature in your micro-climate to somewhere between 35 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.


Spring Garden Prep Work

The early bird gets the worm and a whole lot more! My early spring planning has paid off. With my use of hoop houses, I was able to plant two weeks before the last frost and now I already have some edibles!  This particular raised bed is a companion bed filled with several different things that all work together. This bed contains sunflowers, two rows of eggplants, cucumbers growing on a trellis, basil, marigolds, Mesclun salad, potatoes and finally corn and beans (Think Three Sisters).

In New England, where I live, we have a short growing season.  My Hardiness zone is 6 which means the Avereage low temperatures fall between 0°F through -10°F and in Boston my growing season is only 6 months out of the year.  Extending my growing season is necessary for me.  I create micro climates around my raised beds with the hoop houses.  As long as the temperature around the plants stays around 55°F, cool weather crops like lettuces, cabbages, and Asian greens can grow.


Vertical Gardening with Watermelon

Watermelons are vining crops. Large vining crops – but don’t let their size intimidate you. (Watermelons can grow from 1 to 250 pounds!) City gardeners are still in the game. You, too, can grow watermelons on vines in a small space for the same refreshing result.  This short clip shows you how I use a version of a sandwich bag tie – these come in a roll and you can choose the length you want – to attach your plants to the upright support. You should attach your stems in several different places along the trellis and train them to weave through at the top.  Watermelons take anywhere from 60 to 120 days to fruit.


Growing Cucumbers

For the first time, you may say – what is Garden Girl doing? I know, I know – plants should not be planted so closely together. If you are a purist, you are shocked! But you have to remember, I’m originally from New York City. I know how to do everything in cramped spaces. I am a small space gardener and so I have had to learn to be creative and think outside the box. My secret is using raised beds, lots of worms and livestock which create the best fertilizer for my soil. With this powerful soil mix, I can’t go wrong. Today, you will see me planting four different types of cucumbers in my raised bed. Telegraph Improved Cucumbers were originated in England and they grow to be 18” long! I am also planting Boston Pickling Cucumbers which grow to be only 7-8:” long and their thick flesh makes them perfect for…pickling, hence the name. The third variety of cucumber I am planting is the Suyo Long Cucumber that originated in China.


Vertical Gardening with Cucumbers

Here you see me working with vining crops, this time Cucumbers. You will see the progress they have made in a short time. When I come out to look at the progress  of my vining crops, I’m always looking for just a couple of things – that the plants are attaching themselves they way they should and that they are starting to flower and even show some signs of fruiting. As you can see with my cucumbers there are several small cucumbers starting to peek out and in one place a cucumber was starting to attach to my tomatoes and I had to gently re-direct them…vegetables are just like children!


How to Harvest Organic Vegetables Part 1

Harvest time is when I get to literally touch, feel, and taste the fruits of my labor. Today is a particularly good day to harvest because it is right after a rain and that is when vegetables are their freshest. In this video, you will find me in my main garden, weeding (always weeding!) and gathering the things that are ready to eat! In this garden I have planted a wide selection of fruits and vegetables and today I am delighted to see that my cucumbers are ready!  I also have assorted lettuces (red romaine, regular romaine and arugula); red corn, beans, eggplant and tomatoes.  The varieties and the qualities of the food I produce costs me pennies.  Yum Yum.  Watch the next video – as the harvest continues…


How to Harvest Organic Vegetables Part 2

Well you never know what you’re going to find in the garden. You hope to find the fruits of your labors, or you may find what I found in my fruit orchards…that my little girl and her little friends like fresh fruit as much as I do!  The blueberry bushes had fruited and today they are bare. At least the girls had fun! Although my dwarf Courtland Apple tree looks promising, they are not quite ready. I continue looking until I see the best news of the day – a huge ripe watermelon that will be saved for my husband’s birthday dinner. He’ll be happy.  Watermelon can be grown in small spaces with a vertical support.  This year I was able to grow a watermelon this is yellow inside and oh so sweet.  The Harvest is kind of like Christmas and oh so fun! Come back and check out my third harvest adventure.


How to Harvest Organic Vegetables Part 3

This last part of my harvesting journey ends on a high note. I have found that my small exotic Asian eggplants that are green and downright dainty in size are ready! I can’t wait to make something special with them. My basil is also ready and I’m going to take it now before the rabbits get to it. Another surprise is that my Tiffen Mennonite heirloom tomatoes are also ready and - believe it or not, they are yellow! I can’t wait to get cooking. Thanks for watching and I hope your harvest season is as exciting and full of surprise as mine has been.


The Dancing Snail

Every garden has it's pests, and some are more talented than others! This little guy was found dancing across my zucchini leaves, and inspired us to take a closer look at this common garden pest.

Snails are notoriously slow creatures, and are often very small. But donʼt be fooled, they can wreak havoc on the unsuspecting gardener, leaving your squash leaves looking like a lace doily in a matter of days.