Onions in Your Garden

There is no doubt that onions add flavor to any dish it is used in. Whether it is soups, stews, salads or sandwiches, onions spice up the meal. Not only that, if you plant them in your garden the smell can repel certain pests that want to attack your garden veggies.

I grow onions in my garden because there is nothing like fresh food. As I have grown them myself, I know there are no chemicals on them that could make me or my family sick. I prefer to start them from onions sets that I order from a farmer online. This is what they look like when they arrive:

I plant both yellow and red onions. The yellow onions provide a mild semi-sweet flavor and red onions provide a unique punch of flavor. There is more information and a video on these on my You Tube channel, Gardening for Better Health. The You Tube icon at the top of this page will take you there to see it. If you Like, Subscribe and hit the Bell Button you will be notified when I plant, tend to and harvest these wonderful onions. Have a wonderful day!

Grow Potatoes At Home

I find it disappointing when I go to the grocery store to buy a bag of potatoes and get them home only to find several of them are rotten. Somehow the rotten ones were not close to the area of the bag that you can see through and the smell was not obvious from the bag yet. Has this ever happened to you? The price of potatoes has gone up and there have been issues in some places with potatoes being unavailable at the store.


Potatoes have lots of nutritional benefits and you can grow them at home. .You can use a 5 gallon bucket or a grow bag or if you have space, grow them in the ground. Unlike flowers or other vegetables, you cannot grow potatoes from actual “seeds”. You need a real potatoe that has sprouted eyes (aka chits). These are known as seed potatoes. It is best to purchase them from the garden section of stores or an online nursery because they sell certified organic seed potatoes. I ordered my seed potatoes from an online nursery. This is what they look like:

On the Gardening for Better Health YouTube Channel (a link is at the top of this page) there is a video and more information. I will be planting these soon so be sure to subscribe to the Channel so you can see when and how this is done. Have a great day.

Time to Plant Tomatoes!

One of the first vegetables I start for the season is tomatoes. My favorites are the large beefsteak tomatoes that are indeterminate. They grow to approximately seven feet long and produce tomatoes all Summer until the frost comes in the Fall. They die when the weather gets too cold. By then, have reaped a few huge harvests from it to take advantage of the many health benefits of tomatoes.

These are some of my beefsteak tomatoes from last year. I am looking forward to more like these this season. I have just started this type of tomatoe seeds indoors so I can have more this year. I posted a video of this on my You Tube channel called, of course, Gardening For Better Health. To see it, click the YouTube icon at the top of this page. There are other videos on my channel as well. Please watch, Like, Share, Subscribe and hit the Notification Bell on the Channel so you will not miss any new videos that I post. My goal is to show you that it is easy to grow your own healthy vegetables and not have to pay expensive prices at the grocery store. Best of luck to you!

Plant Once-Harvest for 10 Years+

Gardening is an enjoyable activity. However it can be time-consuming and sometimes labor intensive. That is why a couple of years ago I began researching perennial vegetables. At first it sounded like an oxymoron, but there are a few vegetables that are perennial in certain areas under the right growing conditions.

In my research, I came across plants known as tree collards. There is a purple type and one known as the Michigan tree collard. Unlike regular collard greens that grow short and round, tree collards grow on a stalk that grows tall. When they mature you can harvest leaves from the bottom to the top, and the top keeps growing to 6 feet or more!. Some reports cite they can grow for 10+ years! I ordered some cuttings last Fall. The cuttings rooted and have been growing indoors. I will plant them outside when the weather warms enough. In the meantime, I have been harvesting and cooking the leaves. They taste extremely buttery and delicious! This is what they look like:

I have more information and a video on these and other vegetables on my You Tube Channel named “Gardening for Better Health”. Click the You Tube icon at the top of this page to see them. Enjoy the videos you are interested in. If you Like, Share, and Subscribe it helps my channel to grow. Have a wonderful day!

It’s Spring! Are You Ready to Start Gardening?

The first day of Spring for 2023 was March 20th. Are you excited to get out into the yard and prep for new plant growth? Depending on where you are, you may be more than ready for Spring temperatures to show up.

I am in planting Zone 6a. My last frost date this year is projected to be May 5th. I can plant frost tolerant plants outside when it gets close to that date. However, living here has taught me not to plant anything that is not frost-tolerant until a week after Mothers’ Day because we usually get a random frost until then. Due to the short growing season here, now is the time I begin planting seeds indoors.

The photo below shows a tray of squash seeds I planted on 3/18/23. The front half is crooked necked squash and the back half is scalloped squash. They are doing well. On 3/21/23, I planted lettuce and tomatoe seeds. I posted a video of that on my You Tube Channel named, you guessed it, Gardening for Better Health! There is a You Tube icon at the top of this page that you can click to watch the video. Please subscribe to that channel and share the video with all of your friends who like to garden.

It is amazing to see how plants grow. The white oblong shells you see on top of some of the plants are the actual seeds they grew out of. I do not remove them on purpose. I let them stay until they fall off on their own as they would do if they were out in nature.

Visit this website and blog often for more information and feel free to donate to my efforts to bring you information you can use to grow your own food. Happy Spring!

Light for Your Indoor Seedlings


You may be wondering what type of lighting you should use to get your indoor seeds to germinate and grow. Placing newly planted seeds in a sunny window may not be enough to get them to germinate and grow.

There are a few options. When I first started gardening, I chose a table top grow light stand. These are inexpensive and adjust in height so you can raise the light up as the plants grow taller. When the seedlings are first planted, the seed tray containing the seeds should be placed on a heat mat with the top of the seed tray about 3 to 4 inches from the bottom of the grow light. When the seeds sprout, they will have the light they need.

You only need to add enough water to the soil for it to be slightly moist but not soggy. I like to use a spray bottle set to the ”mist” setting to water at this stage. Too much water will drown your seeds or cause any new roots to rot.

The seeds do not need any plant food until after they grow their ”true leaves” which are the second set of leaves to appear on the seedlings. I will talk about plant food in a future post. Check back in a few days to see it.

All Soil is Not Created Equal

Sterilized Seed Starting Potting Mix

My last blog post shared information about how to start your garden. It encouraged you to assess your available growing space, decide how much you want to harvest, decide what type of garden you want, to check your growing zone and then make seed purchase decisions.

Now that you have your seeds, it is time to focus on providing the best possible soil for your seeds to grow in. If you are starting seeds indoors before your last frost date, be sure to purchase seed starting potting mix. Several companies make this type of mix and it is usually available at plant nurseries or stores with a garden center department. The soil is very light and airy so that the seeds can easily break through to get light once they have germinated. I do not recommend that you bring soil from outside. It is too thick, heavy and likely has pests in it you would be bringing into your house.

Soil, even seed starting potting mix, likely has fungus gnat eggs in it. You will not be able to see the eggs. However, a few weeks after you plant your seeds you could see these tiny flying bugs in the soil and flying around the seedlings. Fungus gnats are harmful to your seedlings. Sometimes people find they have a fungus gnat infestation that is difficult to get rid of.

To help minimize the possibility of a fungus gnat infestation, you can sterilize the soil before you use it. One way to do that is to put the soil you are going to use in a large bowl and slowly pour boiling water in it. No need to oversaturate the soil. Pour enough boiling water in to make sure all the dirt gets moist and hot then stir it up well. Let it sit a while and go back and stir it a bit more. Once the soil is cool let it get almost dry before you put it in your seed starting cells.

Taking the time to prevent fungus gnats is much better than trying to treat an infestation later.

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How to Start Your Garden

It is now February. The weather is still cold in many areas and storms are a real concern. However, the first day of Spring is March 20, 2022 – just a month away!

If you have decided to have a garden this year, it is time to make some decisions.


How much space do you have for growing plants/vegetables? Do you have a large lot, a back yard, a patio or a small area indoors to work with?


How much do you want to grow? Are you growing just for your household, extended family and friends or do you have plans to sell what you grow at a farmers market?


What do you want to grow? Do want to grow flowers, vegetables, fruit or a combination of each?

Once you have answered the above questions, the next important question is: what will grow easily in your area?

To answer this question, you need to know what growing zone you live in. The USDA has divided areas into growing zones. The growing zones take into consideration the history of high and low temperatures for an area and other factors. The zone designation is a good guide to let you know what is likely to grow where you live. I have attached a link to the USDA growing zone map. Click the link below, type your zip code in their search bar and their map will show you what zone you are in. Here in Michigan I am in zone 6a.


Once you find your growing zone, think about what you want to grow. Then look for seeds for those items. You can buy seeds from your local plant nursery, Home Depot, seed companies online, etc. Most seed packets have growing instructions on the back and it should tell you what grow zones are best for that seed. If you buy online, the seed description should say what zones that item will grow in. If it does not, feel free to contact the seed company and ask before you buy the seeds.

The above information should help you get started. I will share more in my next post. Follow me so you will not miss my next post.

Gardening in Michigan in February

My perennial vegetable garden in February.,

This is a photo of my raised garden beds during the Winter in February, 2022. As you can see, everything is dormant and covered with snow now. There is about 5 inches of snow on the ground and the high temperature for today is forecast to be about 28 degrees farenheit. Burrrrrrr!

These are new beds I set up last Fall. In the first round bed, I planted rhubarb crowns. For those of you who are new to gardening, a crown is a plant root that is grown to the point that it should thrive when transplanted in its new location.

The two oblong beds have asparagus crowns planted in them. I planted three varieties of asparagus: (1) Mary Washington, (2) Jersey Knight and (3) Purple Passion.

The round bed on the end is not filled yet. In the Spring, I will plant artichoke in it.

The goal with these raised beds is to plant perennial vegetables in each one. For my new gardeners, perennial vegetables are those that you do not have to plant every year. They return yearly on their own. There are only a few vegetables that are perennials. Most vegetables must be planted every year.

Are you new to gardening or are you experienced? If you are new or have not started yet, visit this site and my blog often. Hopefully it will be a source of inspiration for you to start and keep going. If you have a garden, let me know how yours is doing and what you are growing. You could be a source of inspiration for me.

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