Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

The Garden Tools Issue: Choosing, Buying, and Making Your Own

If you haven’t started your garden yet, now is the time to get moving.

Welcome to the April issue of Food Gardening Magazine! This is an exciting time to have a garden. Our seedlings are going into the ground, some early vegetables are coming in soon, and our pollinator friends are out making sure nature works the way it’s supposed to. In fact, I just saw my first bee of the season a few days ago. 

As for the magazine, this was an interesting issue for us to put together. You’ll still find all the gardening tips, recipes, and fruit and vegetable profiles you expect, but two of our feature articles this month are about the tools and accessories we use to garden. We looked at some different types of garden shears and reviewed some of our favorites. 

We’re also sharing some do-it-yourself approaches to gardening tools and accessories. Saving money is always good. Reducing waste is always good. These projects manage to accomplish both of those tasks while also giving you useful and fun tools for the garden. 

And naturally, we have some fruits and vegetables that are perfect for planting this month. Don’t forget to check out the recipes, too. I made the Red Curry Coconut Zucchini Noodles last week and they’re on my menu again this week. They really are that good! 

Here’s a closer look at what you can expect in this issue.

Gardening with Amanda articles—Amanda MacArthur is one fabulous food gardener! She takes gardening seriously, makes it fun, and delivers some great content—including companion videos to show you, not just tell you, exactly what to do. Check out these four helpful articles, with videos, from Amanda this month:

  • The 5 Best Things to Plant in April: These five fruits and vegetables thrive in the cooler temperatures of spring. Plus, they need to establish themselves well before summer. In fact, these five don’t care much for the summer heat at all. 
  • New Video! Choosing Between Types of Pruning Shears: Gardening shears are all pretty much the same, right? Well, not exactly. There are several types of pruning shears, and while there is your general purpose model, there are also job-specific types that can come in quite handy. This feature article takes an in-depth look at some of our favorites, as well as some of the brands we like.
  • New Video! 10 Easy DIY Garden Tools You Can Make: No need to go out and buy all your gardening essentials! Here are 10 tools and accessories you can make from items that are likely sitting in your house right now. Our Senior Editor and Producer, Amanda MacArthur, explores some unique ideas to make gardening easier. Wait until you read about the laundry basket!
  • New Video! Red Curry Coconut Zucchini Noodles: Sweet, spicy, and flavorful, this dish is the perfect combination of all that is good in the world. At the very least, it’s an excellent addition to your weekly menu. 

And this issue of Food Gardening Magazine includes details on our three featured foods this month—concurrently with publishing this issue of our magazine, we’re publishing three new and updated collections on rhubarb, strawberries, and summer squash. As a premium member of Food Gardening Network, you get full access to the magazine and these collections.

Rhubarb: Rhubarb is a cold-hardy perennial plant grown for its tart stalks. It’s easy to grow, easy to harvest, and easy to cook with. And if you want to add to your rhubarb collection, all you have to do is split the plant and you can double your rhubarb harvest! Find out more about this delicious vegetable in Remarkable Rhubarb: The Complete Guide to Growing, Cooking, and Eating Rhubarb.

Strawberries: What’s better on a sunny spring day than ripe, juicy strawberries? I’ll have to get back to you because I can’t think of anything right now. Discover new varieties and learn how to grow and care for these fabulous fruits in Sweet! The All-Strawberry Guide.

Summer Squash: Squash comes in a great variety of colors, patterns, and shapes, from white to deep green and yellow or even orange, solid to striped, flattened to tubular with crooked necks. And just a couple of plants will easily feed a family of four or even six—any more than that, and you’ll become that legendary gardener who’s forced to give away extra zucchini to strangers on the street! Find out more about this early summer favorite in Happiness is Summer Squash: All You Need to Know about Growing Summer Squash.

I’ve read all three collections, and I learned so many things about these three plants. Consider some of these tidbits that I discovered while reading these collections, to get you thinking about what you might want to plant this year.

  • You might know that rhubarb stalks are a delicious addition to spring recipes, but did you know a healthy rhubarb plant can live for 20 years or more? That’s a lot of rhubarb pie!
  • If there’s one fruit that represents spring, it must be the strawberry. But it’s more than just a tasty spring treat. Strawberries can help reduce puffiness around your eyes, make your teeth whiter, and they have more vitamin C than an orange!
  • Another spring garden favorite, summer squash, also has plenty of health benefits. Summer squash is good for bone health, reducing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, and can help your skin fight the effects of aging. Squash is also fast-growing and prolific in the garden, making it a great choice for any garden.   

To help guide you about these three foods and our collections, you’ll find in this edition of Food Gardening Magazine Collection Close-Ups that focus on rhubarb, strawberries, and summer squash—these in-depth articles give you valuable tips and advice about these three foods, and you’ll have instant access to the premium collections themselves, too. Be first to read these Collection Close-Ups, to get a head start on how to grow these foods:

  • Dividing Rhubarb: Splitting, Transplanting, and Methods for Moving: Rhubarb is generally worry-free, and can live for decades, but it can also get HUGE! This article explores your options for what you can do when the rhubarb needs more space.
  • Everbearing Strawberry Plants vs. June-Bearing Strawberries: What’s better to enjoy with rhubarb than strawberries? The question, however, is what type of strawberries to grow. This article explains the differences between the two types and looks at five varieties of each, including a unique white strawberry with an unusually tropical flavor profile.
  • 10 Summer Squash Companion Plants You Want in Your Garden: Of course, it wouldn’t be a spring garden without some summer squash. But what should you grow alongside your squash? Read this to find out which flowers and vegetables will help your squash and zucchini be their best and brightest. Whether it’s adding nutrients to the soil, attracting pollinators, or protecting from harmful pests, these squash companions are a must. 

And then there are the recipes you’ll find in the three collections—here are three of my favorites that are tasty, unique, and easy to make:

  • Classic Rhubarb Pie: Oh, the smell of fresh rhubarb pie baking in the oven and then cooling on the windowsill. This is a simple, delicious, time-tested recipe that can take you back to the first time you ever tasted a slice of rhubarb pie. This classic recipe only has four ingredients, plus the crust, and takes about an hour and a half, most of which is baking time. 
  • Strawberry Limeade: This recipe isn’t complicated at all, but wow! It might be the most refreshing drink ever on a sunny spring day!
  • Summer Squash Bread: Make some room, banana bread! This summer squash bread is moist and delicious and works well lightly toasted for breakfast or with a cup of afternoon tea. 

I hope you enjoy the April issue of Food Gardening Magazine as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together. We’re so happy to have you here! Now let’s head out to the garden!

Happy gardening—and happy eating!

Kim Mateus

Editor & Publisher

P.S. Please enjoy this issue of Food Gardening Magazine, and let me know what you think about it by commenting below with your feedback! Your input is valuable to us and can help us make improvements.

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