Jan 192015

by Avis Licht

If you’re in the winter doldrums, then now is a great time to start planning your Spring garden. From sowing seeds, to picking the right spot for each plant, composting, and getting your soil ready  for planting, I’ve got it covered in this easy to read booklet, The Spring Garden Made Easy.

Vegetable Garden

Zauschneria, edges an inviting path into the edible garden.

Get my book  and  be ready for Spring!


It’s that time of year – time to start the Spring Garden.  If you want to know what to grow in your own climate, how to start seed and how to make compost, be sure to get my e book.  Under $5 and you get all the information I learned in 40 years of gardening.  Well, maybe not all, but probably the best parts.

Robert Kourik, author of Your Edible Landscape – Naturally writes:
“Avis has condensed over four decades of gardening skill into one information-packed handbook. This is important reading for the beginning gardener. You will skip making many mistakes by reading this attractive handbook first.”

If you would like a simple, easy to follow handbook on starting your Spring Garden, then you’re in luck. I’ve written a concise, 20 page manual for the novice gardener. Based on 40 years of gardening experience I’ve winnowed down the information to make it a straight forward process.Only $4.99.  You can’t afford not to have this helpful guide to start your Spring Garden!

Spring Garden Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Spring Garden Made Easy

The first book, The Spring Garden Made Easy, is aimed at helping you start out, one step at a time to be successful and inspire you to keep going. Yes, there may be set backs – snails, earwigs, gophers, deer, they all want a part of your garden. Learn to how to keep them from getting too much and even how to share. Click on the Buy Now button above  and you can download it immediately. My hourly consultation is definitely more than $5, which is the cost of the book.  Since I can’t be with all of you in your garden, take this opportunity to pick my brain by buying the book.  Be sure to sign up for the blog as well, it’s free and it’s got lots of information.  I always love to hear from my readers.  Leave me a comment and let me know how your garden grows. In the joy of gardening, Avis


Mixed lettuce varieties

Mar 222014
Douglas Iris

by Avis Licht

Borage in the rain

Borage in the rain

By the date on the calendar it’s Spring – but by weather it might be any of the seasons where you live. In warm weather areas it’s definitely time to start the garden work – from sowing seeds, getting beds ready, fertilizing your flowers and generally getting involved in the excitement of coming out of hibernation.

This is the time to make sure you have good tools that help you in your work. Visit my Store to see what tools I recommend and use myself.


In my garden the wisteria is blooming, the pear, cherry and apple trees are bursting with bloom. The strawberries and blueberries are putting out blossoms like crazy.

Crab Apple Blossom with bee

The bees adore this Crab Apple which blooms in early spring

I have a lot of flowers in my garden that the bees love to pollinate.  It is important to create  diversity in the garden to encourage beneficial insects, birds, and butterflies to create health and delight in the garden.

Edible flowers in early Spring bring beauty. Calendula is a powerful plant

Edible flowers in early Spring bring beauty. Calendula is a powerful plant

Native plants are starting to bloom and are a great addition to all gardens. In California where we are experiencing severe drought conditions, California natives are the perfect solution – they are happy in this climate and can flourish in the most difficult of conditions.

Douglas Iris

This Douglas Iris is native to the California Coast. I love it.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can come and learn from me directly Hands ON! in the garden! I love to share my experience. Go to the Events page for all the dates.

You can sign up NOW right here.

Jan 252012

by Avis Licht

Size matters in sowing seeds

Very large and very small seeds often should be sown directly into the soil

There are times when sowing seed is the best way to start your plants, and times when you would do better to buy seedlings. Here are a few of the most commonly made mistakes and how to avoid them.

Mistake: Sowing seed into pots that should go directly into the ground.

Correct : Sow directly into the ground

Direct sow into the ground for best results

Plants with taproots like beet and carrot need to be sown directly into the ground

Some seeds are best sown directly into the soil where they will grow. Root crops like carrots, beets, radish and turnips have taproots that don’t like to be transplanted.

Very small seeds, like poppies and carrots can be mixed with sand in order to spread them more evenly.

Large seeded plants like beans and peas do better when sown directly into the ground.  You should plant them 2 to 3 inches deep. They send a large root deep into the soil and don’t like to have their roots disturbed.

direct sow your fava beans

Large seeded plants like beans and peas can go directly into the soil.

Mistake: Sowing indoors without sufficient light

Correct: Use additional lights

In  the hopes to get a jump on the growing season, people like to start their seeds indoors.  It is almost impossible for plants to get enough light from a window to grow strong and healthy.  Leggy seedlings rarely recover and won’t make for strong plants when transplanted.

Leggy seedlings need more light

These broccoli seedlings are leaning toward the window for more light. They are leggy and not what we’re looking for

If you do want to start indoors, get fluorescent lights and put them over your containers.  You can find these through catalogs or make a simple set up yourself. Full spectrum lights are best, but regular lights will also work.

Mistake: Sowing too soon in the season

Correct: Be patient and wait. Learn the last frost dates for your garden and what your particular plant needs.

In the excitement to get plants ready for planting outdoors, we often start plants too soon.  This is especially true for warm weather crops like tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. Even if you have a warm spell early in the spring, it doesn’t mean that you’re plants will be happy outside.  Both the night temperatures need to warm up and the soil needs to warm up.

You can plant early if you use special precautions like cold frames, “Wall o Water”, cloches and row covers. These will protect your plants from those extra cold nights.  But don’t sow your seed early  if you’re not prepared to go the extra step for plant protection.

Mistake: Sowing too many seeds and too many difficult to grow and germinate seeds

Correct: If you’re new at sowing, pick a few of your favorite plants that are easy to germinate. Don’t be fooled by those beautiful pictures in the catalogs. Beware impulse buying!

If you have a small garden and would like a variety of vegetables, it’s often better to buy your seedlings from the local nursery or farmer’s market.  You can get just amount that you need and more varieties.  Instead of 20 plants of one variety, why not get several heirloom varieties and see what does best in your garden.




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