Perfect Produce? Start your Garden now

Perfect Produce? Start your Garden now

Posted by Janice Stillman on 11th Feb 2020

Soil, Water, and Sun: What Your Garden Does (and Doesn’t) Need

Not too little, not too much. Your garden needs just the right amount of three things if it’s going to grow, and you can get all the details with your membership in The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club.

Dear Garden Enthusiast,

Gardening is just another day at the plant … badda-BING! Humor, it is said, often contains a grain of truth. And it is true that gardening can feel like a day on the best job ever. Especially when the payoff is month after month of the freshest produce available. From peas to potatoes to peppers, a well-planned garden offers a bounty of colorful, tasty rewards for your work.

Before you start grilling those eggplants, though, ya gotta get dirty. More precisely, you have to work your soil. Soil pH, together with soil chemistry and structure, will greatly affect the health and vigor of your plants. For most herbs and vegetables, the ideal soil pH (a measure of acidity or alkalinity) is 6.0–6.5.

To figure out the pH of your garden soil, you can either get your soil tested or do it yourself with a soil-testing kit from your local plant center. We prefer professional testing since you get not just thorough results, but also specific recommendations for correcting your soil pH. If you do need to adjust the pH in your soil, it’s usually just a matter of adding peat, lime, sulfur, or other organic material that will raise or lower the pH.

One easy, and potentially free, way to raise the pH of your soil is to add wood ashes. If you’ve been burning wood and saving the ashes over the winter, you have a valuable source of nutrients for your plants. Wood ashes contain calcium, potassium, and a variety of trace elements. Because they’re water-soluble, wood ashes can change the soil pH and supply those nutrients rapidly. Just mix them into the soil before planting.

A word to the wise, though: Don’t apply wood ashes around acid-loving plants like blueberries, rhododendrons, azaleas, and hollies.

This is just a small sampling of the gardening tips and expertise that you can read throughout The Old Farmer’s Almanac and our digital magazine, The Old Farmer’s Almanac EXTRA!, all as part of your membership in The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club.

Did You Know?

You may be watering your garden too much. It can be challenging to get that perfect mix of sunlight and water to help our gardens grow. Many of us are guilty of not watering our gardens enough, which is OK for vegetables that need very little. But others need more.

With beets and carrots, for instance, it’s critical to water before the soil gets bone-dry. For a 5-foot row, they’ll need 1 gallon of water at the early stage, then 2 gallons every 2 weeks. Broccoli is similar; don’t let the soil dry out for 4 weeks after transplanting—then they need 1 to 1-1/2 gallons of water each week.

Of course, on the other end of the spectrum, we have tomatoes that need water twice a week.

Summer squashes may be the surprise, though. They’re so juicy that you’d think they would want water almost every day. Not so. But to discover how much water they need, you’ll have to look in The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Where can you get one of those?

Why, with your membership in The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club, of course! You can also find out what to plant in the perfect beginner’s vegetable garden and when to fertilize nearly two dozen popular garden vegetables, as well as get more than a few recipe ideas for all of your summer produce.

"I’ve Got Sunshine … on a Cloudy Day"

If you grow it for the fruit or the root, you need full sun. If you grow it for the leaves, partial shade is all you need.

You can’t have a garden without sunlight. Most vegetables and herbs need about 8 hours of sunlight each day to thrive. But shade-tolerant leafy greens and some herbs like a little shade.

For those plants that do need sunshine, though, you’ll need to choose your garden site carefully. Ideally, situate your garden in an area that gets 8 hours of sunlight daily, with a southern exposure. Plant your tallest plants on the north end so that they don’t cast shade on smaller plants to their south.

How much sunlight does your mint need? Is it too early to plant peas? Find out all this and more, with your membership in The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club.

If you want more gardening tips and much more useful information, wit, and wisdom, you can get it in The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club!

With your subscription to The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club, you get everything you need to be ready for any season including the classic edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac, The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Guide, our Gardening Wall Calendar, and The Old Farmer’s Almanac EXTRA!, our monthly digital magazine that includes articles on weather, gardening, and other content not found in the print edition. It’s a great way to keep up-to-date on Almanacky topics throughout the year.

With your membership in The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club, you’ll learn more about:

  • How to keep your houseplants healthy throughout the winter
  • The latest gardening technology
  • How to plan and plant the perfect fruit or vegetable garden
  • Container gardening and how it can work no matter how little space you have
  • Planting by the Moon’s phase, including both the planting dates and the Moon Favorable dates for more than 50 common vegetables

Tap into the deep well of resources at The Old Farmer’s Almanac for a bountiful harvest of gardening tips and tools—with a Charter Membership in The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club!

Announcing The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club! This new and exciting club is designed especially for you—with just the inspiration and information you need for all your gardening projects!

We’ve put together essential Old Farmer’s Almanac resources to celebrate your love of gardening and give you tons of tips for making your next gardening project as lush and lovely as it can be. And it all starts, of course, with The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

You’ll be prepared for any gardening project. Whether you garden for food, for flowers, or just for fun, a Charter Membership in The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club will keep you entertained, informed, and inspired all year long!

Since 1792, The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been a traditional resource for dedicated farmers, avid and casual gardeners, folks who like to get a long view on upcoming weather trends, and people who love to collect little snippets of country wit and wisdom that they can share with family and friends.

We’re not just the oldest published almanac, but the oldest continuously published periodical in North America— and we’ve been around longer than any newspaper or magazine, too.

Get your Charter Membership in The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club today—with resources to inspire you in the garden. From time-honored country gardening tips to modern garden gadgets, come share in the bountiful harvest!

With your Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Membership, you get everything you need to keep your garden at its greenest:

  • Our new Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Guide—packed with no-nonsense tips, tricks, and shortcuts to make your garden a jewel in the neighborhood or out in the country. Grow food and herbs you love, surround yourself with spectacular flowers, and get tips on the latest gardening tech!
  • 2020 Gardening Wall Calendar: Our perennial best-seller for over 40 years! Rich illustrations accompany useful gardening tips on everything from planting to preserving.
  • The special softcover, hangable edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac, loaded with the tips, trivia, and insights that make it a family favorite.
  • The Old Farmer’s Almanac EXTRA! Our monthly digital magazine includes articles on gardening, food and other content not found in the print edition. It’s a great way to keep up-to-date on Almanacky topics throughout the year.

An Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Membership will deliver exciting rewards for you—and at a special introductory rate, right now, for all new Charter Members.

When you join today, you’ll ensure that you are planting the seeds of success for your garden when you tap into the time-honored wisdom of The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Enjoy all these benefits as an Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Member:

  • Your best garden ever—Almanac gardening advice, planting dates, timesaving tips, and detailed guidance from experts will get you growing like never before.
  • You’ll know in advance about every important astronomical event in 2020—and how the phase of the Moon can influence the success of your garden.
  • You’ll save time and money when you follow all of the practical advice and tips that we deliver to you about everything from gardening to food preparation and cooking.
  • You’ll be the first to know about top tips, tricks, and shortcuts for taking your garden from good to great.
  • You’ll learn more about gardening gadgets and gear that can make your work in the garden even more enjoyable.
  • You’ll discover new approaches to planting—for color, for purpose, for stress relief.
  • Whether you’re a beginning gardener or a skilled green thumb, you’ll find do-it-yourself projects to fit your schedule—and your garden.

How can you not consider becoming an Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Member?

What You’ll Get With an Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Membership

There’s so much gardening knowledge to gain as a Charter Member of The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club:

In the convenient, hangable, softcover edition of the 2020 Almanac, you’ll find a bumper crop of gardening tips. Many gardeners consider the Almanac their most valuable tool, so this year, for all of you trying to grow food, we’ve got foolproof advice that promises a harvest the first year and every one thereafter. Perhaps you grow flowers—or want to: In the 2020 Almanac, you’ll learn which flowers are edible, when to pick them, and how to use them (e.g., pick apple blossoms in late spring and sprinkle them onto a Waldorf salad and use impatiens all summer long as a garnish).

But that’s not all. Here’s a taste of other tips you’ll find in the 2020 Almanac:

  • The Faces of Farming: ambitious folks from across the country tell about how they got started, hurdles they faced, and the rewards of working the land
  • Best days for planting, pruning, weeding, grafting, and controlling pests, plus the easiest-ever soil test (all you need is a pair of men’s clean, white, 100% cotton underwear and a small shovel)
  • Daily weather forecasts for all regions of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii
  • Fresh new ways to savor the asparagus, beet, corn, and cucumber harvests, with “The ABCs of Pickling!”
  • Easy, delicious, Almanac prize-winning recipes using oranges

Each month, you’ll get new articles and original content with our digital magazine, The Old Farmer’s Almanac EXTRA! It’s a treasure trove of Almanac information that you won’t find in the printed edition, including audio and video content. EXTRA! leads you to some interactive fun when you’re ready for a change of pace

As you count the days until you can get out and garden again, enjoy the rich illustrations in our Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Calendar. This compact calendar is the perfect size to fit on the wall in your kitchen, den, or potting shed. Each month features rich, full-color illustrations along with tips, history, or background information on the artwork.

Here are just a few of the tips you can find in our 2020 Gardening Calendar:

  • Start an indoor herb garden (no waiting for the last frost!).
  • Choose the perfect fast-growing ground cover.
  • Enhance your garden’s growth by inviting beneficial fauna.
  • Pick the perfect time to plant peas—based on fact and folklore.
  • Build your own bog—in a garden container!
  • Find out why ladybugs are such great garden friends.
  • Grow your own flower garden designed to create custom fabric dyes.
  • Praying mantises: helpers or hindrances in the garden?
  • As you do your garden planning, save some space for flying saucer squash.

You’ll love the advice, folklore, and gardening secrets in our 2020 Gardening Wall Calendar!

As you count the days until you can expect the last frost, peruse the pages of The Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Guide for tips on how to grow better, naturally!

From the practical to the ornamental, plan your prolific garden with some of these tips:

  • Plant edibles indoors and out, no matter how small your space is.
  • Create a fun foodscape (or: How to get beyond the basic lawn).
  • Get your garden off to a good start with tips on successful seedlings.
  • The plants that keep on giving: Pick perennials to serve up year after year.
  • Serve up your harvest in style with recipes that will let you savor the flavor of homegrown food.

And all of this is available to you—right now—when you claim your Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Membership.

What are you waiting for? Become a Charter Member of The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club today!

No other Almanac has so many fun and fascinating facts, timely and accurate events and predictions, and topical and useful articles all in one place for your easy access and use—and covering more regions of North America than any other almanac or resource! Add The Old Farmer’s Almanac EXTRA!, The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Calendar, and The Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Guide, and your garden will be the prolific pride of the neighborhood!

Why Not Join Right Now?

Gardeners everywhere have been using The Old Farmer’s Almanac for years to guide their gardening plans, and now the Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Membership offers you all things gardening in one place!

When we first created the Gardening Club, we wanted to make it easy to use, easy to order, and packed with valuable gardening content that you could put to use right away. Be the best gardener you can be with your Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Membership.


Janice Stillman

Editor, The Old Farmer’s Almanac

P.S. Why not be among the first to join us today and benefit from the valuable Almanac gardening information that you can’t get anywhere else? Become an Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Member today—while this special offer lasts!

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