Guy's Garden

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It's Seed Time

You know that it's January by the slew of garden catalogues inundating your mailbox. My husband Guy, the head Ciao Italia gardener is like a kid highlighting things in catalogues that he wants to try. On lazy, snowy Sunday mornings he can be found at the kitchen table so…

While to Do While The Garden Sleeps

Strewn with hickory nuts and covered in a thick blanket of oak leaves, the vegetable garden is just a mere shadow of its former glorious self. But we still have Italian zucca gialla (yellow squash) that I have made delicious zuppa di zucca gialla (yellow squash soup) from…

Garden Asleep

The Ciao Italia garden has now been officially put to bed for the winter, We cleaned it of all dead plants, and tilled the soil. The very last thing we harvested were the zucca gialla (yelow squash plants) with their ridged green skin that eventually turns yellow and its …

Not So Terrific Tomatoes

I spoke too soon. True, the last of the few tomatoes we had this year were beauties like the ones you see here. I had kept my eye on them all summer, gathering them when they were just the right hue of red and then raced to the kitchen to turn them into the best tomato s…

Terrific Tomatoes

We have a bumper crop of tomatoes once again! My favorites continue to be heirloom Brandywine, those big purplish pink beauties with a velvet texture, and Sweet One Hundred cherry tomatoes. In Italy, cherry tomatoes are called pomodorini and in the south where the temper…

Pesto Please!

I have a forest of fragrant basil plants right now and only so much can go into the freezer, into soups, salads, sauces and on sandwiches. There is nothing like fresh Pesto Sauce at the height of the summer; try it on your next pasta dish. Don't forget to get creative; t…

Getting the Most Out of Your Tomatoes

A cold May wind and cooler than normal temps delayed the planting of the Ciao garden this year but I am happy to say that all the lettuces are in, along with the shallots, onions, and leeks. We started just about everything from seed this year and the seedlings did well …

Ready, Set, Plant

Ready, set, plant! Now is the time to plant your cold weather crops this month; but if you live in areas where frost is still a possibility, let May 31, Memorial Day, be your guide for planting. Spinach, lettuce, beets, onions, parsley, peas, and sugar snap peas can go …

Getting Ready to 'Go Green'

The calendar says that spring arrived on the 20th of March but the thermometer outside says otherwise. Cold winds and leftover mounds of dirty snow suggest that the icy grip of winter is still hanging on. I am anxious to get in our garden again so I bundled up and took a…

Digging Dirt

Now is the time to take stock of your garden¬ís soil. How rich is it? Ideal soil is a rich loam that drains well but keeps moisture in. The texture of the soil should be crumbly but not too fine or rock hard so air and water can reach plant roots. If you are in doubt abo…