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

  • rodgers flower on pond edge

    Rodgers Flower: A Shady Perennial

    “What is that huge plant in your shade garden?” The large, leafy plant with tall spiky flowers (extremely tall — almost my height of 5 feet) really caught my attention. I was visiting a nursery that specialized in perennials, and they had a wide selection of shade garden plants from all over the world. I […] More

  • frosted purple kale

    8 Winter Vegetables You Should Plant In Your Garden

    August rolls around, and lots of us start looking at the garden with a sad sigh. The cucumbers are petering out. The tomatoes are still going strong, but the first frost (is it really looming already?) will wipe them (and the okra) from the plot until next year. The summer squash is gangly and tired, and […] More

  • ground cover around flagstone

    9 Ground Cover Plants to Replace Your Grass Lawn

    Lawns. They started out as a status symbol, and they’ve been holding that dubiously positive rank since they were first carved out of the fields around castles. Back then, there was at least some strategic advantage. It’s pretty hard to have your army sneak up on an enemy stronghold when it’s surrounded by acres of carefully-trimmed […] More

  • strawberry in planter

    7 Fruits To Grow In Containers On Your Patio Or Balcony

    Once upon a time, fruits didn’t have much of a place in my garden. I didn’t really know it was possible to grow fruit trees or bushes in my small plot. I always imagined that fruits were best grown in tropical climates and in gardens with a lot of space. At the time, I was […] More

  • mourning dove

    Homestead Stories: I Love My Birds, But…

    Several years ago, my daughter informed me (with great excitement) there was a mourning dove nesting in my hanging fuchsia on the front balcony. “No way,” I declared. “Come see,” she insisted. Sure enough, in the center of my prized fuchsia was a mourning dove, packing things down to make a nest. I wasn’t too […] More

  • flowers and candles

    12 Natural Air Fresheners

    My mother survived stage IV lung cancer (!) but the effects of the disease forced her to be on oxygen 24/7. Needless to say, she’s had to make adjustments to her lifestyle. One thing she had to give up was traditional air fresheners. She loves a clean-smelling house and used chemical-ridden sprays and plugins regularly. […] More

  • bok choy growing next to lettuce

    4 Asian Vegetables You Should Add To Your Garden

    As homesteaders, we don’t eat out a lot because we prefer to raise our own healthy food. But sometimes it’s nice to splurge when we are out for the day. When we do, I love having Asian food. Chinese, Thai, and Japanese are some of my favorite cuisines when dining out. Asian cuisine features all […] More

  • letttuce in garden

    10 Fast-Growing Vegetables

    If you love to garden, but live in a region with a short growing season, you can still successfully grow vegetables outdoors in the homestead garden. Fresh scallions, chives, lettuce, spinach, basil, and radishes are all fast-growing veggies that are easy to grow, easy to harvest, and easy to sell as a supplemental cash crop. […] More

  • close up photo of fly

    How To Get Rid Of Flies: Natural And Effective Options

    Flies are everywhere. In fact, entomologists have named over 100,000 species of flies on earth. Not only are flies annoying, but they also carry germs and diseases. Though flies are a tasty treat for frogs, they are not good for us. The following article will provide you with a variety of tips to repel and […] More

  • mullein flowers

    Mullein: An Herbal Remedy, Not A Weed

    “Isn’t that a weed?” I asked my friend. I pointed to the pale green, hairy stem rising from the flannel-textured center rosette. “It grows tall, you know. I pulled one last week that was taller than me — at least 7 feet!” “No, it’s called mullein,” my friend replied. It’s actually a heritage plant, brought […] More

  • stack of radishes

    How To Store Radishes

    Radishes come in several shapes, sizes, and colors, all with their own unique flavor. The radish is an easy to grow vegetable that is great for beginning gardeners. This cool weather root vegetable is hardy, grows quickly, and can be planted multiple times within a growing season. Radishes can be enjoyed raw or cooked. There […] More

  • Growing Horseradish In The Homestead Garden

    Horseradish, a member of the mustard family and a close cousin of both cauliflower and the common radish, deserves a place in the homestead garden. Cultivated for its thick, creamy white or yellowish roots, horseradish derives its heat from isothiocyanate, a unique volatile compound oxidized when exposed to air and saliva. The spicy taste, pungent […] More

  • succulents in pots

    20 Types Of Succulents For Your Desktop Or Rock Garden

    Generally, a succulent refers to a plant with chubby, fleshy greenery. The word on its own evokes a particular image, so if you think it’s a succulent, it probably is. The thick leaves are often plump because they’re designed to retain moisture for these drought-tolerant plants. Most succulents are fairly low maintenance and produce flowers […] More

  • soft top gazebo

    The Best Amazon Prime Day Deals For Homesteaders

    Amazon’s massive Prime Day promotion started Monday, July 15th at 12 am PT. They’ll be announcing deals throughout the day. This year’s Prime Day will last for 48 hours. Each deal will be one of four types: Prime Day Deals: Deep discounts on top products that last until Amazon runs out of stock (in some cases, […] More

  • osage oranges

    Osage Orange Trees: Durable Hardwood With Alien-Like Fruit

    Grown for decades by farmers and gardeners across the mid-western United States, Osage orange trees are incredibly versatile and can serve all sorts of purposes on the homestead. The wood from the Osage tree has been used to make tool handles, fence posts, livestock stockades, and furniture with a stable, durable wood that can withstand […] More

  • trellis plant on wall

    15 Trellis Plants For Your Wall, Pergola, And Arbor

    Pergolas, arbors, and trellises look mighty boring without a plant wrapped around their nooks and crannies. But why should you bother finding a trellis plant to cover your garden structure? It might be to provide privacy, add a decorative element, or save space in a small area. And if you’ve run out of room on […] More

  • lettuce

    12 Vegetables That Can Grow In Shade

    Just because your yard, porch, or plot of land is permanently sitting in dappled shade, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on gardening or providing your family with homegrown goodness. Plenty of vegetables are perfectly capable of growing in partial shade. You’d be surprised at just what you CAN grow! Full Sun, Partial […] More

  • okra

    How To Grow, Maintain, And Harvest The Okra Plant

    Okra seems to be one of the foods synonymous with the south — alongside fried chicken, collard greens, and cast-iron cornbread. And indeed, the warm-weather crop does best in places where the temperatures are sizzling! This delicious, nutritious, and versatile vegetable need not be constrained below the Mason-Dixon Line, however. Growers all over the country […] More

  • drought tolerant landscape

    8 Beautiful, Drought-Tolerant Plants For Dry Landscapes

    You’ve heard the rain. All that free water falling from the sky, keeping the hills and valleys green. But if you live in a drought-prone area that cooling summer rain may seem more like a fever dream than reality, and all the lush, beautiful vegetation associated with rain — as far away as the clouds that […] More

  • sunflower and sky

    How To Grow Sunflowers

    I love sunflowers. Sunflowers display a bright splash of cheerful color against the garden fence, they provide an abundant crop of seeds which both our family and the birds enjoy, and they are so easy to grow. It doesn’t matter if you have a green thumb or not. If you can stick a seed in […] More

  • celery in strainer

    How To Grow Celery

    If you want a gardening challenge, try growing celery. Celery requires a long growing season, plenty of sunshine, lots of water, tender loving care, and infinite patience. A popular herb in the parsley family with its crisp, crunchy texture and delicate earthy flavor, celery is one of America’s favorite vegetables. In fact, according to the […] More

  • yarrow flower on fence line

    How To Grow The Yarrow Plant

    Native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, yarrow is a hardy herbaceous perennial that’s a member of the Asteraceae plant family. Also known as old man’s pepper, common yarrow, nosebleed plant, or soldier’s woundwort, the erect, flowering plant is considered by many to be an invasive weed. Many homesteaders, though, appreciate the flower for […] More

  • deers in the garden

    Deer-Resistant Plants

    Deer are graceful, nearly ethereal creatures. Their silent forest ways and magnificent appearance may inspire paintings and poetry, novels and songs. But for the hard-working gardener, they may more likely inspire enraged streams of cursing, because deer are also opportunistic jerks who readily translate the hard work invested in a garden into a free, all-night […] More

  • mushroom kid

    Meet the 9-Year-Old With a Thriving Mushroom Business [Video]

    Te’Lario Watkins Jr. is a 9-year-old entrepreneur with a dream. One day, he hopes his mushrooms will feed the world. With the help of his family, Te’Lario cultivates and harvests mushrooms to sell them at local farmer’s markets, grocery stores, and restaurants. He started his business at just 7 years old and has sold thousands […] More

  • lawn meadow

    5 Compelling Reasons to Turn Your Lawn Into a Meadow

    Forget about that perfectly manicured lawn consisting of short green grass and nothing else. Boldly embrace biodiversity instead by turning that sterile lawn of yours into a mini-meadow or wildflower lawn of diverse proportions! The Earth will thank you, though your neighbors may raise an eyebrow or two. Let them. There is no better feeling […] More

  • spider flower

    Homestead Stories: The Spider Flower

    “You know I don’t really like spiders.” I scowled as my friend led me around her garden. Large or small, spiders really do give me the creeps, and sometimes they bite. Yuck! I do know they have a purpose. Just as long as that purpose does not include me. My friend stopped in front of […] More

  • anise plant

    The Anise Plant

    Brooke Medlin is an Ohio horticulturist with experience growing both edible and ornamental plants. She really likes anise and is a fan of the plant’s medicinal and culinary benefits. She also loves its decorative value in the garden. “The plants grow to about 2 feet tall with graceful white umbels and fern-like leaves. I have […] More

  • yacon tubers

    How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Yacon Root

    With a sweet taste and crisp texture similar to apple, yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) is a flavor-packed root vegetable that’s quickly gaining popularity with homestead gardeners. Yacon is a tasty treat to put away for winter. Yacon tubers are stored the same way as any other root vegetable and can be dehydrated, pickled, or canned. Dried […] More