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

  • chestnut tree farm

    Planting, Growing, and Maintaining Chestnut Trees

    “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire …” is a phrase most Americans can sing along to without even thinking, but there is so much more to these amazing trees than Christmas lyrics. Much more than a seasonal treat, the chestnut tree has a fascinating history, a tragic past, and a deserving place on the homestead. […] More

  • onions

    How to Store Onions

    Onions are an essential ingredient in a great many main dishes, appetizers, salads, slaws, soups, stews, and sauces. In fact, onions are the third most consumed vegetable worldwide. With proper handling and storage, it’s easy to store onions to enjoy their pungent goodness throughout the long, cold months of winter. Whether you’re storing a bag […] More

  • seeds

    How To Choose, Collect, And Save Garden Seeds

    Planting a garden may just be the most exciting part of the growing process. Whether it is your first time or your twenty-fifth season, the anticipation of fresh spring greens emerging in your backyard never gets old. As you browse through plant catalogs and uncountable wonders of seed suppliers making your necessary heirloom seed purchases, […] More

  • avocado tree

    How to Grow an Avocado Plant

    Avocados have long been considered a perfect food. If the avocado were newly discovered today, it would be marketed as a miracle food. Irresistibly flavorful with a smooth, creamy texture, avocados should be part of everyone’s daily diet. Indigenous to Mexico and Central America, avocado trees thrive in sub-tropical and tropical climates around the world. […] More

  • raspberries

    Growing Raspberries

    Across the country, market demand for raspberries far exceeds availability and provides an ideal opportunity for homesteaders to cultivate the fruit for local markets as well as home use. A berry patch of an acre or less can provide a significant cash crop with little expense for equipment or supplies. Brambleberry production is ideally suited […] More

  • tulip tree

    Homestead Stories: The Tulip Tree

    “Oh my! The flowers on those trees look like tulips.” I was taking a walk with my grandmother along a country road just north of Lake Erie. It was spring and the weather demanded some outside activity. “That’s why people call them tulip trees,” Gran said. “They’re also called poplars. In fact, other than in […] More

  • lucky bamboo

    Lucky Bamboo

    Lucky bamboo is a fascinating little house plant. Adorable and easy to grow, they are quite common in homes around the world. Yet there are some myths that we need to get out of the way before we discuss this plant. Firstly, one of the most interesting things about lucky bamboo is that it is […] More

  • Growing Grapes

    Grapes are one of the oldest propagated crops and with good reason! These beautiful fruits are delicious and versatile foods used for snacking, canning, freezing, and of course, winemaking. Even if you don’t want to harvest your grapes, they are lovely ornamentals and even just a few plants can make a dazzling trellis display in […] More

  • peonies

    Edible Flowers

    Flowers are becoming a very popular ingredient among chefs, bakers, and home cooks around the world. There are many species that are not only edible and delicious but contain nutritional value as well. More often than not, when a person thinks of roses and nasturtiums they’re most likely going to think of a floral arrangement […] More

  • green beans

    Canning Green Beans

    To reduce our reliance on commercially grown produce, we grow as much of our own food as possible and preserve it for the offseason. Preserving fruits and vegetables is a centuries-old homesteading tradition. Growing up on my grandparents’ farm, I have fond memories of rows of pantry shelves packed full of colorful jars of syrup, […] More

  • pumpkins

    Growing Pumpkins

    Native to Central and South America, pumpkin is a low growing, vining groundcover plant with bell-shaped yellow flowers and shallow roots. Pumpkins are members of the plant family cucurbit (Cucurbitaceae) that includes melons, cucumbers, squash, gourds, and zucchinis. Pumpkins are easy to grow, easy to harvest, easy to transport, and store well for extended periods. […] More

  • garden

    The Scoop on Organic Fertilizer: Is It Right for Your Garden?

    Nothing could be simpler, or more complex, than organic fertilizer. Garden stores make it seem like it’s something that you buy in bags. Big Agriculture makes it seem like it’s something that’s less efficient than chemical fertilizers, and therefore useless unless you have a special interest for using it. Online, the options for organic fertilizer […] More

  • The Basics of No-Dig Gardening

    Wouldn’t gardening be far easier and infinitely more enjoyable if you didn’t have to turn the soil and break your back every spring? Each of us has been there and done that! After all, that ritual is what conventional gardeners have taught and passed down from generation to generation. In the search for a better […] More

  • green rose

    A Green Rose for St. Patrick’s Day … Why Not?

    “What’s wrong with your rosebush?” I asked. We were standing in front of my mother’s profuse garden of rosebushes. She loved her roses and was always adding a new color to the collection. “That’s a new one, isn’t it? Why is the flower all green?” I was convinced there had to be something wrong with […] More

  • garlic on tractor

    How to Store Garlic

    A staple in homestead gardens, garlic is easy to plant, easy to maintain, easy to harvest, and transports and stores well. With a little effort, homesteaders can grow garlic for home consumption and a supplemental cash crop. Garlic: fresh, pickled, dehydrated, packed in olive oil, or used to season savory edibles, is always a big […] More

  • large planters outside

    40 Large Planters For Trees And Flowers

    When you’re planning your garden for the upcoming spring, you may find yourself quickly running out of space in your yard, garden beds, and hanging planters, but who says you have to pick and choose what plants you want just because your yard is full? The deck, patio, and front porch are all free for […] More

  • flowers in garden

    Homestead Stories: Growing Wedding Flowers

    I am the do-it-yourself type. Why hire someone to do it if you can do it yourself? This is my mantra, and part of the reasoning behind this mentality of mine is saving money. I am not cheap, but I am frugal. The main reason I enjoy tackling all sorts of projects is the experience […] More

  • bleeding heart flowers

    Homestead Stories: Strange Names for Beautiful Flowers

    I have seen, grown, and written about some pretty unusual flowers – unusual in the fact they have unique names. There was the story I wrote about Jack-in-the-pulpit and the story about the black bat flower, but there are more unusual names for flowers, and some that might seem a little too bizarre. Like the flying duck […] More

  • flowering tree

    Flowering Trees

    Flowering trees are available in a variety of sizes and shapes for almost any landscape application. Not only do deciduous flowering trees bring visual impact and beauty to your homestead, but they also provide habitat and food for birds and other wildlife. These types of trees also provide cooling shade for people, pets, and plants. […] More

  • peach tree

    Dwarf Fruit Trees

    When landscape professionals talk about dwarf trees, they refer to trees both deciduous and evergreen that are explicitly cultivated to remain small and manageable. If space is limited, dwarf fruit trees are the ideal solution for both visual impact and fruit production in small gardens. Dwarf fruit trees are generally short trees with broad canopies […] More

  • artichoke

    How To Grow And Maintain An Artichoke Plant

    Artichokes are beautiful and interesting plants to grow, and if you have space, they can be an incredibly delicious addition to your garden. An artichoke plant has the unique distinction of being one of the few perennial vegetables that come back season after season if cared for well. They can survive about 4 to 8 years. […] More

  • potatoes in bin

    How To Store Potatoes

    Potatoes have been a staple food for centuries all over the globe. They seem to be extremely versatile and a survivor of ages. When you think of potatoes, I bet there are several different ways to cook them that come to mind. Boiled, broiled, baked, roasted, fried, or mashed — and that’s just the different ways […] More

  • cardoon

    Cardoon Plant

    Cardoon isn’t a vegetable you’ll find at the supermarket, and maybe not even at a farmers’ market. This spiky, stalky relative of the artichoke is a delicacy, especially in the US. You’re more likely to find it in Italy, France, Spain, and North Africa. A Mediterranean climate is perfect growing conditions for this tough looking […] More

  • morel mushrooms

    Morel Mushroom Hunting

    It’s spring in Minnesota when the trees are sporting their new green leaves and the ground is warm and damp. It’s also time to get into the woods and look for morel mushrooms. Morel hunting has become one of my favorite springtime traditions. My husband Adam, introduced me to morels several years ago. I still […] More

  • camelia flower

    Acid-Loving Plants

    Experienced gardeners know: A healthy productive garden is one in which the plants are compatible with the pH of the soil. Not all soils are the same, and it’s important to recognize that many plants, shrubs, grasses, and trees require a specific nutrient balance. View this post on Instagram Just wanted to share an update […] More

  • compost bin and sign

    How To Make Compost Tea

    Compost tea is enjoying a huge surge of popularity in the gardening world. Sometimes called the “liquid gold” of gardening, this nutrient-rich, microbe-rich liquid is hailed as a disease preventative for your garden and a super-boost of nutrition for your soil. But what is this “tea” in the first place, and why is it such […] More

  • daffodils

    Homestead Stories: Forcing Indoor Flowering Bulbs

    I looked at the display of potted tulips and daffodils in the grocery store and let out a deep sigh. Each flower was perfectly coiffed, the stems standing tall and pristine, the display awash with color. If only they were in my garden. Too early for that. With several feet of snow and ice, it […] More

  • black bat flower

    The Black Bat Flower

    “What is that?” I exclaimed, pointing at the black thing that sat atop a tall stem. “Black thing” was the best way I could describe it, though perhaps some avid gardeners would refer to it as deep purple. Not me! It definitely was black. With two wide flower petals flattened back like wings around what […] More

  • dried herbs

    5 Perennial Herbs For Fresh Garden Flavor All Year Long

    Those of us with green thumbs may feel a bit of the winter blues once the first hard frost hits. Though the tender sprigs of our favorite basil and dill may look beautiful as the dawn strikes their fatally crystallized leaves, we know that soon those formerly verdant garden beds will be shriveled into a […] More

  • roaches

    Natural Roach Killer

    Unless you’re a roach-loving entomologist, chances are you can’t stand having little critters all over your kitchen. Not only are they unsightly, but they are also known to be allergy triggers, especially for those who have been diagnosed with asthma. According to Pest World, cockroaches are said to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, […] More