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Growing Food With Greg

Greg Auton is co-host of the Maritime Gardening Podcast, a new podcast for food gardeners in the Maritimes and across Canada.  He also teaches at Saint Mary's University, is a research consultant, and runs a small business that designs food gardens for homeowners.

Growing Food With Greg: Culling the kale killers

Growing Food With Greg: Culling the kale killers

Without snakes and other predators around, sometimes squishing and beer traps aren't enough to keep garden-munching pests in check. When it's time to kick this turf battle up a notch, here are some environmentally friendly weapons that have worked for me.
Growing Food With Greg: Borders, boxes and beds, oh my!

Growing Food With Greg: Borders, boxes and beds, oh my!

There is something about a well-defined gardening space that just feels right. In addition, certain choices in materials can even benefit the plants.
Growing Food With Greg: Mulching — the path to success!

Growing Food With Greg: Mulching — the path to success!

I have been gardening in different capacities since I was a boy, but it was only in recent years that I learned about employing mulches in a vegetable garden. If you want a great vegetable garden with less weeding, less watering, and no tilling, it's time to start mulching.
Growing Food With Greg: A time to plant!

Growing Food With Greg: A time to plant!

The wild strawberries are flowering in my yard, and to me that means it is time to plant everything that's going in this year.
Growing Food With Greg: The curious case of ornamental gardening

Growing Food With Greg: The curious case of ornamental gardening

There is something about a well-designed garden space that is pleasing to the human eye. Perhaps it is the combination of nature, geometry, and artistic expression that draws us in. Or perhaps this is a manifestation of some other more basic desire to engage in this most primordial of activities: to capture the very essence of creation itself in our hands, combine that energy with an idea, and to see that idea realized in a physical form.
Growing Food With Greg: Are raised beds really the best choice?

Growing Food With Greg: Are raised beds really the best choice?

Raised beds seem to be all the rage among new gardeners these days. People seem to love the way they look, and love the results that they get with their raised beds. But here's the thing — you don't need raised beds to have a great garden. If your goal is to have a highly productive garden at a low cost, you can totally opt out of this fad and still have a garden that is the envy of your neighbourhood!
Growing Food with Greg: Potatoes — the nutritious peons of produce

Growing Food with Greg: Potatoes — the nutritious peons of produce

Last week I talked about calorie crops, and this week I am placing the focus on one of the world's most popular calorie crops: the potato. Whether it's baked, boiled, mashed, or french-fried, potatoes are pure comfort food.
Growing Food with Greg: Contemplating calorie crops

Growing Food with Greg: Contemplating calorie crops

I often hear gardeners, especially new gardeners, talk about their desire to grow 'big ticket items' in their gardens. There is a desire to grow only expensive produce in gardens, like tomatoes, peppers and basil, and a complete disdain for more 'humble' crops that in my opinion, are no less noble or worthy, despite their relatively low cost at the grocery store.
Growing Food with Greg: Sensational strawberries

Growing Food with Greg: Sensational strawberries

I have no idea why, but for some reason, the strawberry is not the most popular plant in the world among food gardeners. People prize their peppers, tout their tomatoes, and covet their courgettes (zucchini), but little to nothing is often said of strawberries — and this is crazy because the strawberry is one of the sweetest things you can grow in a northern climate, and is easier to grow than all the aforementioned by a landslide — and did I mention it's a perennial?
Growing Food with Greg: What to do in late April

Growing Food with Greg: What to do in late April

I am always mystified when I talk to people and tell them that I'm planting vegetables in my garden in April, only to hear them respond, "Really, I thought that you couldn't plant until late May!" I have no idea why people think this, but it's totally wrong, even in this crazy Maritime climate where I still have areas of my garden that are frozen as I write this column on April 20. Let me be perfectly clear — if your soil is workable, there are things that you can plant.