City Seeding


Picking, Preparing and Planting the Perfect Plant

Mother’s Day, our official “safe to plant” date, is right around the corner. And with temps getting warmer and the sun getting brighter people are itching to PLANT something. So how do you figure out what, where and how to plant? CHOOSING THE RIGHT PLANT First you will need to identify the conditions in your

Continue Reading →


Getting Ready to Garden

My mother was English and loved gardening. When I was four, we immigrated to Massachusetts and Mum was devastated to learn that gardening in lovely moist, not too hot, not too cold England is not at all the same as gardening in extremely hot, extremely cold and rocky eastern Mass. I picked up on Mum’s

Continue Reading →


City Seedling: Tomato Poetry

If summer has a taste, it’s a wedge of tomato, still warm from the sun, with a little sprinkle of salt. Pablo Neruda calls this mingling of flavors a “wedding” in his poem “Ode to Tomatoes.” If you want that glorious, tomato-y moment come August, you’ve got to get moving now. It’s late to start

Continue Reading →


City Seedling: Bedfellows

Editor’s Note: We’re happy to welcome back our blogger Emily Helck. City Seedling is a blog about urban gardening in Jersey City. Enjoy! Ah, spring in the city. The cherry trees are blooming, and then being maimed by overzealous maintenance workers. (Spring is when you’re not really supposed to prune these.) Birds are singing, and

Continue Reading →


City Seedling: Flowery Prose

  As a book person, I’ve spent many rainy/snowy/humid/icky days inside reading about gardening. As this garden season comes to a close, with the projected first frost date this Saturday, I thought I’d list a few of my favorite gardening books that might help nurse you through the long winter ahead. from Les Fleurs Animees,

Continue Reading →


City Seedling: On Weeds

“There the sun lighted me to hoe beans … removing the weeds, putting fresh soil about the bean stems, and encouraging this weed which I had sown …” from Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. Weeds. Everyone hates them. The word itself is ugly. But something I’ve learned in my years of gardening (and reading books

Continue Reading →


City Seedling: The End of Summer

Summer is over. Put away your white sandals and sunblock, because it’s done. Finito. Well, not exactly. It’s over for kids and vacationers, but not for gardeners. Many home tomato crops yield their greatest volume of fruit in September, and keep giving well into October. Hardier plants, like squash or brussels sprouts, will take you

Continue Reading →


City Seedling: Who Ate My Pumpkin? Adventures in Pest Management, Part II

When we last saw Emily, she was on the verge of discovering the source of her pumpkin plant’s malaise. Will she find the antidote in time? I was pretty certain that the thing destroying my plant was a Squash Vine Borer. The only way to know for sure was to dig the sucker out of

Continue Reading →


City Seedling: Who Ate My Pumpkin? Adventures in Pest Management, Part I

I haven’t always had the best luck with vegetables in my community garden plot. There have been disappointing pepper yields, frustrating tomato thefts, and bolting broccoli. This year, I wanted to find something new to try. So in my quest to find new crops at the garden center, I came across a little pumpkin plant.

Continue Reading →


City Seedling: Shameless Plug Time – Butterfly Festival

I wanted to let you all know about a fab event that’s happening this weekend at the Brunswick Community Garden. The garden will be holding its first ever Butterfly Festival on Saturday, August 27 from 2 to 5 pm. There will be lots for kids: music, story time, games, crafts and face painting. There’s fun

Continue Reading →


City Seedling: Local Bounty

This weekend my husband and I took a trip out to the Sussex County Fair. If you’ve never been to a county fair, specifically an agricultural fair, you are really missing out. (Seriously, stop what you are doing and go visit one RIGHT NOW.) These multi-day events feature things like barrel racing, fluffy bunnies, insanely

Continue Reading →


City Seedling: Day Trip: Cross Estate Gardens

Ah, summer in Jersey City: Coco helado, farmer’s markets, Groove on Grove, films in Van Vorst Park. Standing outside Torico’s waiting and waiting for the renovations to be finished so I can get my cinnamon ice cream fix. Let’s not forget the power outages, drunk people yelling outside your open window at 2 in the

Continue Reading →


City Seedling: Flutterby Butterfly

When I was a kid, I heard somewhere that the original name for creatures of the papilio family was not “butterfly,” but “flutterby.” They were named for the way they moved, but somehow the name got switched around. One story says an inventor created a flying machine which he called The Flutterby, and once he

Continue Reading →


City Seedling: An Introduction, and Soft Eyes

Editor’s Note: Today we’re happy to roll out another new blog, City Seedling, about urban gardening in Jersey City. Enjoy! Hello Jersey Citizens, and welcome to City Seedling. My name is Emily, and I have lived and gardened in Downtown Jersey City since 2006. I used to have a little front yard, and now I

Continue Reading →