New Grow for Your Neighbor initiative, Fredericksburg (VA)


Posted by justtracy | Posted in Gardening, General Interest, Square Foot Gardening, Vegetables | Posted on 17-04-2014

Grow For Your Neighbor kick-off event on Saturday, May 3rd

at the Fredericksburg Home Depot (Gateway Boulevard) Community Day; 9am-2pm

“What is Grow For Your Neighbor? GFYN is the people, organizations and businesses who support and participate in the movement to provide homegrown food to the recipients of the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank. Did you know the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank accepts donations of homegrown fruits and vegetables?”

This year Grow For Your Neighbor and donate a portion of your garden produce Saturdays at the Spotsylvania Farmers Market. Please consider donating a portion of your homegrown produce Saturdays from 9 AM until 12 PM at the Spotsylvania Farmers Market Route 3/Gordon Road Commuter Lot Spotsylvania,VA

to order a Square Foot Gardening Kit to pick up on May 3rd. 

Kick-Off Event: May 3, 2014 Square Foot Gardening Demos! 
GFYN is proud to host The Square Foot Gardening Foundation of Columbia, South Carolina as we kick off the growing season with garden installations, workshops and demonstrations. Join us Saturday May 3rd at The Fredericksburg Home Depot (Gateway Shopping Center) or The Spotsylvania County Farmers Market for free Square Foot Gardening for Demonstrations and Instruction by The Square Foot Gardening Foundation.

INTERESTED IN BECOMING A CERTIFIED SQUARE FOOT GARDENING INSTRUCTOR? Join the Square Foot Gardening Foundation on May 5th and 6th for their intensive course.

For more information on GFYN, the May 3rd kick-off event, to order a Squar Foot Gardening Kit, or to register for the May 5 & 6 SFG course visit


Grow For Your Neighbor is also on Plants Map!
Visit Plantsmap: Grow For Your Neighbor


Starting Seeds? Resources and Tips


Posted by justtracy | Posted in Cooperative Extension, Gardening, General Interest, Seed, Vegetables | Posted on 07-03-2014


seedlingsThinking about starting some plants from seed? It’s that time of year again.

I have to admit I am really just a small scale seed starter sticking to the easiest vegetables and annuals. My favorite vegetables to start are tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, radishes, corn, cucumbers, summer squash, and mini-pumpkins. You can see my  2014 Vegetable Garden  plans on Plants Map.

My favorite annuals to start are Angelonia, Ornamental Peppers, Violas and Pansies.  This year I have winter sown a couple of perennial seeds given to me as a gift and started a 2014 Seeds Started Collection for my garden on Plants Map.

Read More on Plants Map: How to Start a Garden From Seed

If you are like me and need some visual ideas to help get you started see this Pinterest Board: Plants Map/Seed Starting Ideas.

I also invite you to plant a seed and start your garden on Plants Map! Share what your starting from seed and growing this year by starting a garden on Plants Map too.




And For Further Reading: The New Seed-Starters Handbook by Nancy Bubel


Questions from the Farmers Market: Harvesting Green Beans


Posted by justtracy | Posted in Vegetables | Posted on 12-06-2013

I recently volunteered to work the Virginia Cooperative Extension MGACRA Master Gardener booth at the Spotsylvania Farmers Market (Gordon rd). I thought I would do a series of interesting questions from the general public.

“Is there a special technique for picking green beans?”

I really hadn’t thought about this much. Growing up in the midwest, we just went out and snapped beans of the bush. The gentleman went on to tell me that someone had told him he could pull the bean from the flower capsule that created it to get another pod from that flower capsule.  No, this is not how it works.

One flower = One Bean Pod

However, green beans are one of those crops that the more you pick, the more you produce. Or if you stop picking them, they think they have reached their purpose, which is to create seed.  So they stop making more flowers.  Most vegetables are annuals and like the ornamental annuals, setting seed is the end goal. So the more pods (seed) you pick, the more flowers it will produce.

Here are three great resources on growing beans, including green beans.  As you will see in the video, you can just pull the pod off or snap it off the vine.

VCE: Beans

YouTube: Harvesting Green Beans

Univ. of Illinois Ext: Beans