gardening

Gardening is a cornerstone of both homesteading and sustainability. Nothing is quite as local as growing your food in your own backyard! Gardeners can come in all sorts of shapes and forms, from the apartment-dwelling indoor gardener to the 20-acre owning permaculturist. Whether you have a few plant containers to maintain or entire fields of crops, there are core values that all gardeners can implement, regardless of what they’re growing!

At Insteading, we provide you with all the gardening tips you need to grow a beautiful spread of flowering plants, herbs, vegetables, fruits, and more! Learn more about how to grow specific plants, companion planting, maintaining gardens, how to build healthy soil, and more!

Gardening is our bread and butter here at Insteading. Browse the entries below to find our gardening guides on companion planting, planting zones, plant growing guides, and more.

Recent Gardening Posts

  • outhouse flower close up

    Homestead Stories: The Outhouse Flower

    I have fond memories of the outhouse at the family cottage. Years ago. When I was a youngster. Dad had built it far enough from the cottage that it didn’t project its noxious odors into the place where we ate and slept. Mom planted tall, bushy flowers around the outhouse in an attempt to beautify […] More

  • Winter Fruits: 8 Garden Additions For The Cold Months

    As the summer winds its way into fall, it’s a good time to start thinking about preparing your garden for the darker, cooler days ahead. Hopefully, you’ve made dandelion wine, dried all your herbs, and canned all your fresh veggies to keep healthy foods around all winter. But how can you prepare for a year-round […] More

  • pruning a tree

    Pruning Apple Trees

    Apple trees truly are giving trees. In spring, their fragrant, pale blossoms dot the landscape with a welcome, hopeful change from the soggy grays and browns of late winter. In summer, their lush foliage offers shade from the bright sun. In fall, their juicy fruit is the stuff of the best memories—hay rides at the […] More

  • aloe vera in pot

    How To Grow Healthy Aloe Vera

    Aloe vera may bring to mind colorful bottles and memories of a bad sunburn, but the plant is relatively easy to grow at home and comes with a load of health benefits. If you’re looking for a constant source of aloe vera for its medicinal worth, or if you simply love the look of the […] More

  • mint in container garden

    The Many Varieties Of Mint

    The little, red squirrel was determined, I’ll say that much. He, I assume it was a he because he couldn’t take a hint and go away, kept jumping on the patio door window and trying to climb inside. He wanted to join me while I watched the evening news. I don’t know why; there was […] More

  • How To Make A Succulent Terrarium

    You’ve seen them on Instagram, Etsy, and in the windows of boutique plant shops. A succulent terrarium can be as small as a necklace pendant or as large as an upcycled fish tank. Similar to putting together a hanging basket or a flower arrangement, terrariums are an art project in their own right, making them a […] More

  • fall vegetables

    7 Fall Vegetables You Should Grow

    Fall vegetables offer a bounty of color, flavor, and nutrition. The vegetables that are in season in the fall include pumpkins and squashes of all sorts (my favorites are kabocha, butternut, and red kuri), cauliflower, all the potatoes, and hearty greens like collards and kale, which do quite well in cooler weather. Other autumn favorites […] More

  • natural path

    Marking The Way Naturally – Rustic Garden Edging

    It really began with the secret garden. No, I’m not referring to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel by that name, though it is a favorite, and I’ve always wanted my own secret garden. Perhaps now I do. My secret garden really was a secret. At least initially. And hence its name which it holds to this […] More

  • sunflower field

    Summer Flowers: 10 Blooms to Make Your Garden Pop With Color

    Summer is a time of bold barbecue flavors, bright sunlight, vivid green on the fully-leafed trees, and hot temperatures. The garden would be remiss if it didn’t have colorful flowers to match the intensity of the season! Move aside, you pale pastel spring flowers, these eye-zinging blossoms are here to fill the garden beds with […] More

  • colored pallets

    Pallet Garden: 19 Ideas For The Ultimate Upcycle

    Pallets are more than “having a moment”. They’ve made their way in and onto nearly surface imaginable. From furniture to shutters, to walkways and light fixtures, pallets are one of the best upcycling opportunities around. And you can often get them for free. Not only are pallets an eco-friendly option, they have many, many uses. […] More

  • corn

    Growing Corn

    Corn is one of the most ubiquitous food ingredients in the world and is unusually suited to growing in hot weather. Since much of the growing land in the U.S. gets hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit on summer days, corn is one of the best grain crops in America. Why do corn plants heart the […] More

  • diatomaceous earth

    Diatomaceous Earth: 14 Surprising Everyday Uses

    Diatomaceous earth (DE), also known as diatomite, is a soft sedimentary rock made up of the fossils of algae-like organisms called diatoms. It’s 80-90% silica and usually comes in the form of a fine, white powder, commonly used in things like water filtering, food manufacturing, skin products, and farming practices. You can buy two kinds […] More

  • bees on flower

    Plants That Will Help Save The Bees

    It’s no secret that our environment has been suffering over the years. The state of the bee population is one of the issues that worries me the most. Honey bees, along with other bees, butterflies and pollinators are responsible for the health and growth of a large percentage of our flowering plants. Pollinators like honey […] More

  • bee balms

    Bee Balms Or Bee Bums?

    “Mom,” my six-year-old called from the front walk where he had been riding his bike back and forth. He had paused in front of my display of red and purple, firework-like flowers and admired them. At an age where he wanted to know everything, it wasn’t unexpected that he would ask about the different flowers […] More

  • dead nettle

    Shade Plants: 15 Garden Greats To Grow In Full Or Partial Shade

    You are a garden warrior. You have taken the ground allotted to you in your acreage, however big or small, and have tilled the rough sod into soft, pillowy submission. Your compost has been aged to perfection and spread with care. The pH of your garden beds is impeccable. Leaf miners, cabbage borers, and slugs […] More

  • watermelon

    8 Low Sugar Fruits: A Safer Way To Snack

    Fruits are nature’s candy and offer an array of flavors, colors, and textures for us to enjoy. But these sweet treats are so appealing because of their high sugar content, and if you’re on a low-sugar or no-sugar diet, you might want to avoid them. But some fruits are lower in sugar than others, making […] More

  • modern pergola

    Modern Pergola Inspiration For Your Backyard Oasis

    Though you can buy traditional pergolas in cedar, metal, and aluminum options, they all have the same general shape. Mediterranean-inspired with criss-cross beams and an earth-tone canopy is what you’d expect a pergola to look like. But if you’d categorize your style as modern and sleek, then traditional’s probably not the vibe you’re looking for in […] More

  • lodge cast iron pans

    The Best Amazon Prime Day Deals For Homesteaders

    Amazon’s massive Prime Day promotion is starting Monday, July 16th at 3 pm ET (12pm PT). They’ll be announcing deals throughout the day and in the days leading up to the 16th. This year’s Prime Day will last for 36 hours. Each deal will be one of four types: Spotlight Deals: Deep discounts on top products […] More

  • dandelion and lemon wine

    How To Make Dandelion Wine

    I wish I knew decades ago what I know now about the medicinal and nutritional benefits of dandelions: I remember my dad spending hours trying to get these sunny little “weeds” out of our suburban lawn. But savvy homesteaders, foragers, and DIY-ers know that the flowers, leaves, and roots of dandelions are edible. The greens […] More

  • the holly and the ivy

    Homestead Stories: The Holly And The Ivy

    “The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown. Of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown.” I hummed the tune happily as I dialed my parents’ number. I would be going home in a few days to spend Christmas with the family. I was excited and […] More

  • small backyard

    15 Small Backyard Ideas To Make Your Space Feel Larger

    No, you won’t be building an Olympic-sized swimming pool back there, but your small backyard can still be an oasis for your plants, your friends, and your mind. We’re going to take a look at several small backyard ideas that can transform your cozy yard for maximum use and enjoyment. 1. Make Use Of Your […] More

  • gopher

    How To Get Rid Of Gophers

    There’s nothing like planting a beautiful garden, only to have burrowing animals eating your carrots and making tunnels through your lettuce patch. Despite being cute and fluffy, gophers are a farm and garden pest. Along with rabbits and field mice, gophers are some of the most common mammals that disrupt growing crops. There are plenty […] More

  • solar panels

    Living Off-Grid: What It’s Actually Like

    When people learn that my husband and I moved our family to the Ozarks to go off-grid, we sometimes get interesting responses. Living off-grid evokes images of end-of-the-world preppers stocking up MREs and ammo, wild-haired hermits digging in the dirt for acorns and mushrooms, or maybe criminals attempting to elude capture. But if you visited […] More

  • lavender

    Repel Mosquitos With These 7 Plants

    Looking for a mosquito-free garden? We know that plant extracts and oils are effective as mosquito repellents, but some garden plants also help keep pesky insects away. “Mosquito-repelling plants tend to be highly aromatic,” says Amy Lawhorne, Vice President of Mosquito Squad, a national tick and mosquito control company. “Some have appealing scents, while others will […] More

  • 34 Unique Solar Lights For Paths, Gardens, And Backyards

    Whether you’re wanting to illuminate a pathway or add a bit of ambiance to your backyard or garden, solar lights offer a lighting source that won’t add any extra expense to your electricity bill. A solar light charges during the day and typically turns on automatically at dusk. Most lights can last 8-10 hours on a […] More

  • jack-in-the-pulpit

    Jack-In-The-Pulpit: A Beautiful Flower With A Weird Name

    Growing up in the 1960s, just about everyone in my class at school went to church, and most churches were similar in layout, including, at the front by the choir, a pulpit. So, when the lessons turned to studying the wildflowers of Ontario, the one plant which captured our attention was the Jack-in-the-pulpit. The teacher […] More

  • false solomon's seal

    Homestead Stories: What’s False About False Solomon’s Seal?

    “False Solomon’s seal? What’s that? And why is it false? What’s the real thing?” Questions. Always lots of questions. Each new discovery on my country property opened up a new page of learning, understanding, and appreciating. I had been studying the knee-tall foliage that arched over my flower beds. With oval-shaped leaves draping along the […] More

  • inside of greenhouse

    25 Small Greenhouses (For Nearly Any Space—2×2 And Up)

    A small greenhouse allows just the right amount of sun and moisture to come in while keeping insects and bad weather out. And the easy access panels or sliding doors make tending to your tomatoes or lettuce easy labor. If you’re a hobby gardener who likes to grow a few veggies on your patio, or […] More