This past year has seen a surge of moves to the suburbs, time spent on balconies and in yards, and home cooking, which inevitably also led to people thinking about growing their own food.
Growing herbs and vegetables doesn’t have to take up an entire yard or require a farmer’s touch, either. Everyday people (you!) can successfully feed themselves fresh homegrown produce, no matter how big or small the outdoor space.
I checked in with two plant experts, Nadia Hassani, plant author and Penn State Master Gardener, and Tim McSweeney, Food52 design director and backyard farmer extraordinaire, to find out the best starter produce for growing in containers.
Last spring, as the world descended into a collective panic, Drew Barrymore planted her first lawn.
“I did not think I could do this,” said Ms. Barrymore, 46, who until last year did not include gardening in her exhaustive list of achievements.
And yet, the actress, writer, producer, businesswoman, mother and recent television host managed to make grass grow. “It was all barren. I got the water and the rake and the bag of seed and I waited weeks and watched it grow,” she said, speaking by phone as one of her two daughters vied for her attention in the background.
In recent years, the Instant Pot has soared in popularity as a one-stop shop for pressure-cooking, sautéing, steaming and boiling.
Its multi-uses have made it a useful appliance to easily prepare anything from rice to pot-roast. But one lesser-known function of this kitchen gadget is that it can serve as a reliable incubator for germinating garden seeds.
Raised beds offer endless possibilities for growing crops and flowers, and they are so easy to include thanks to this advice from the celebrity gardening expert
Whether you want to grow your own produce, zone plants, or improve your soil, raised beds are the ideal solution. It’s tempting to invest in a flat-pack kit, but celebrity gardening sage Monty Don has a clever tip for building attractive raised beds that couldn’t be simpler.
Don shared the many benefits of adding raised beds to the garden in a video for BBC Gardener’s World. He explained that not only will they enormously improve drainage on heavy soil, but they ‘warm up quicker in spring, and mean you can focus all your energy into a very contained area. You can also plant them a little more densely.’
“Americans have been making gardens forever, constantly innovating and experimenting as they work the soil. Amateurs and professionals, young and old, schoolchildren and scientists — Americans of every sort have put their backs into gardening. And for a variety of motives: beauty, food, science, prestige.”