FREE Seed Catalogs

Free seed catalogs? Oh yes! It’s the time of year when the ground is frozen and we wonder if anything will grow again. This is a perfect time for me to share with you my list of FREE (and great) seed catalogs — ones that are in print form…ones you can write in, mark up, dream over. There is nothing like holding a seed catalog in your hand in the dead of winter.  Even if you can only order one or two packs,

Capon On Cooking (Houghton Mifflin, 1983)

One of my Personal Chef’s favorite authors on the subject of cooking is Robert Farrar Capon. He has several books on the subject and this is one of the top. If you want it, you’ll have to find it used. A colleague of mine told me about Capon and I bought this book used, giving it to my Personal Chef for Christmas. I knew he would love it. And he did. Why? The author is kind of a salty dog, a bit ornery. For years he served as a Priest in the Episcopal Church AND he loved to cook. My Personal Chef was also a Pastor in an Evangelical church for 23 years and he too loves to cook. Capon, the author, isn’t afraid to teach the truth that heaven meets earth. Capon loves that one finds God’s beauty in the most ordinary of things (like gardening and food). My Personal Chef loves that too. And what they ultimately have in common? They both think the human hand is the ultimate kitchen gadget (see the last chapter of this book). Yes, I often find him mixing our dinner with his fingers. And no, that doesn’t gross me out.

Growing Warm Season Vegetables

Colorado State University Extention

Yes, there are some veggies you can put in the ground as early as April.  But others need to WAIT until the temperatures at night are 50 degrees or higher.  Check out the link above for information on what can go in the ground AFTER the last frost date here in the Front Range.  If you are like me and don’t want to check the weather forecast, just shoot for Mother’s Day, knowing that there is little chance of a freeze overnight.  Little chance, but not impossible.

Believe me, I’ve made the mistake of putting in peppers FAR TOO EARLY.  But that is what you have to be willing to do when you garden — BE WILLING TO MAKE MISTAKES.

Growing Cool Season Vegetables In Colorado

Colorado State University Extention

image courtesy of

Here on the Colorado Front Range, you can have an early spring, a summer and a fall vegetable garden by planting cool and warm season vegetables. Cool season?  Yes, you CAN plant vegetables as early as April (sometimes as early as March) for an early summer harvest and again in mid-to-late July for a fall harvest.

Cool season veggies like cooler weather.  This is why they are labeled cool (or sometimes cold) season.

Go to the link above to read more about these vegetables who like to chill.



Trowel and Error: Over 700 Tips, Remedies and Shortcuts for the Gardener (New York: Workman Publishing, 2003)

trowelJust the title should tell you why I love this book.   If you want to garden you have to be willing to make lots of errors.  A friend and Denver Seminary colleague gave this book to me.  It’s so easy and accessible.  And, it has the most creative illustrations.   It’s just fun to flip through.  I learn something every time I pick it up.

Vegetable Planting Guide for Colorado

June 15, 2014

Please, pretty please go to the link above for a chart that indicates WHEN you can plant your veggies.  Probably the biggest mistake a Colorado gardener makes is planting veggies at the wrong time.  For example, it took me years to learn that I can plant peas in early April for a June harvest (and again in mid/late July) for a fall harvest!

Where To Learn A Lot of Gardening Basics

June 15, 2014

I often find myself meandering over to Margaret Roach’s website.  Click on the link above.  This is a great place to learn.  But to learn here you have to NOT be intimidated.  Yes, she was a gardening editor for Martha Stewart’s Living magazine.  But we must get past that fact and learn from her.