The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s all-new gardening annual features endless edibles,
plants with pizzazz, front-yard foodscapes, guidance on planning a path, and more!
As the weather begins to warm, gardeners are preparing for the bountiful and beautiful season ahead. This means selecting seeds, preparing the soil, and gathering their tools—including the newest edition of the Garden Guide, which is now available in both print and digital formats.
The 2018 Garden Guide—from the editors of The Old Farmer’s Almanac—is an annual that speaks to today’s gardeners, whether they live in a city apartment or a home in the suburbs. Taking center stage in this year’s edition is vegetable gardening, in part because it is the passion of the fastest-growing gardening demographic in North America.
“Younger generations—especially Millennials—are leading a revolution in how we think about gardening,” says Janice Stillman, editor of the Garden Guide. “For them, gardening isn’t just a hobby¾it’s a lifestyle. These younger gardeners grew up in households that stressed the importance of organic, whole foods, and, as adults, they’re dedicating their gardens to just that purpose.”
Edible gardens big enough to feed a family—or provide fresh produce for co-sharing friends—require room to grow. The 2018 Garden Guide embraces this idea with specific help on how to replace a lawn with a lush foodscape, making way for seasonal vegetables, herbs, berry bushes, and fruit trees, as well as perennial edibles that can act as foundation plants to add visual interest throughout the seasons.
Speaking of perennials: The 2018 Garden Guide shows readers how to “Plant Once, Pick Forever!” Asparagus, onions, garlic, sunchokes, rhubarb, and other (almost) endless edibles not only use less fertilizer and water than annuals, but also reward gardeners with years of healthy harvests.
Container and countertop gardeners also will find ideas and solutions in The 2018 Garden Guide. Consider: mini vegetables as flavorful as their full-size cousins; dwarf varieties of citrus trees in pots; and container gardens of snack-size veggies or cocktail-ready herbs.
“Gardeners are trying to do more with often-limited time, money, and space. They want their gardens—big, small, or in containers—to be a reflection of their interests and passions,” says Stillman.
The 2018 Garden Guide encourages readers to pick their own path—literally—with advice from renowned garden designer Gordon Hayward, who notes that a path is like a main character that winds its way through a garden’s story. He shares which path is always the most important (hint: it leads to the front door) and how to use a path’s shape, materials, and resting places for mood and narrative.
Around these paths, flowers will always tell a dramatic tale. According to The 2018 Garden Guide, gardens bursting with color will be everywhere in the coming seasons. Articles feature geraniums that change color as they open (from white to rose pink!) and flowers in brighter shades that attract bees and butterflies. Gardeners can plant even more pizzazz with suggestions for summer-flowering beauties, including red-hot pokers—so-called because their brilliantly colored spikes resemble torches—and the showstopping canna lily, which can grow to be 10 feet tall!
Also in The 2018 Garden Guide, growers can learn how to sow successfully, with the best ways to start vegetable seeds, and two ingenious ways to tie up tomatoes (both methods simplify pruning and harvesting); try a few new tips to critter-proof the garden; increase their “acreage” with a garden tower; and establish aromatic plants that promise four seasons of fragrance.
“The definition of what makes a garden has evolved as gardeners have pushed beyond the traditional to experiment with what works best for them. The Garden Guide is a reflection of those changes and is here to provide inspiration and encouragement to help new ideas grow,” adds Stillman.
ABOUT The Garden Guide
The 2018 Garden Guide—like its parent publication, The Old Farmer’s Almanac—is published annually and is now available for the budget-friendly price of $4.99 U.S./$5.99 Canadian at plant nurseries, home centers, and wherever books and magazines are sold. A full list of retailers can be found at Almanac.com/wheretobuy. A digital version of the Garden Guide and other tools are available at Almanac.com/GardenGuide.
Almanac.com/garden offers growing tips, planting videos, and recipes for any harvest, while Fresh Eggs Daily’s Lisa Steele provides practical advice for raising chickens and ducks, along with the benefits of doing both as a gardener, at Almanac.com/blogs/gardening-chickens.
Also available is The Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Planner, an online garden planning tool that takes the guesswork out of planning, plotting, and planting any garden, no matter its size, shape, or layout. The Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Planner—which is completely free for 7 days—can be found at http://gardenplanner.almanac.com.