Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Growing Tropical Herbs

Tropical herbs need warm temperatures to keep growing year round, making them perfect plants for a greenhouse that’s heated during winter. I grow ginger, galangal, and lemon grass in my winter-heated greenhouse and use them to make delicious Thai food. Here’s how to cultivate each of them. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) There are several different types […]

Getting to know Perennial Greenhouse Herbs

For the home cook there is nothing lovelier than sprinkling chopped fresh oregano and basil onto a pizza or putting a fresh bay leaf in a winter stew and sprinkling chopped parsley over the top when serving it. Many home cooks over-winter herbs in pots on a sunny window sill, but as low light levels […]

Bob Lilly talks about gardening on a houseboat

Bob Lily gardens on water. This Seattle horticulturalist, plantsman, and designer extraordinaire has lived on a houseboat in Lake Union, since the 1970s. His shake-shingled dwelling disappears under a cascade of greenery—with everything grown in containers. And his diverse plant collections also adorn six other nearby houseboats. This month, I asked him for ideas and […]

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The blessed blooms of autumn

Days are still hot. Roses and tomatoes are still around. But I can’t avoid knowing that fall is on the way, because its lovely, wistful heralds are flowering—Japanese anemones and turtlehead, with toad lilies on the way. Gardeners tell time by what’s in bloom, and these plants remind me that it’s time to start thinking […]

What Shall We Grow? Decisions that must happen before winter.

An empty greenhouse stands beckoning in your yard, waiting to be stocked with plants, but you aren’t sure what plants to choose. Don’t allow yourself to go into “brain freeze”. Starting asking questions: Do you fill your greenhouse with orchids, other flowering plants, fruiting vines, cactuses, herbs, vegetables, or even small fruit trees? There are […]

Reading, writing and gardening – Back to School

August is back-to-school time. For an increasing number of children, school will involve gardening. But they need the help of experienced gardeners—especially those who know what to do with a cold frame. School gardens are one kind of volunteer project that Master Gardener volunteers like me often help with. Experience has shown that there’s a […]

Hand Watering and a Kink-free Hose

In this year of epic drought in the West, conscientious gardeners collect dish-washing rinse water for their plants. They take showers with buckets around their feet to catch any excess. And in many communities, if they use a hose, gardeners are mandated to deliver water by hand. Statistics show that hand irrigation can be more […]

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Starting seeds is a year round activity in a greenhouse

To harvest winter crops in your greenhouse, starting seeds soon is a must. How do you choose the best pot in which to start seeds? Do you use a seed flat? A seed flat with an insert? A square pot? Round pots? Jiffy pots? There is a huge choice of pots and pot materials available […]

Just too intense: moderating the heat and sun of summer

I’m not much of a beach person. I enjoy splashing and diving in Lake Michigan, but the summer sun is too intense for me to lie around under it for long. Many of my plants feel the same way. Some of the houseplants I set out in the garden this May quickly developed scorch marks. […]

Short-Season Strategies for Successful Harvests

It’s summer and gardens around the country are already bursting with home-grown fruits and vegetables. Still, it’s not too early to think about bringing in the harvest—especially in places with short growing seasons. “Ninety days is what I’ve got to work with,” says Pat Munts, Spokane-based author of The Northwest Gardener’s Handbook. Pat is also […]