The Bonnie Blog

The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift for Gardeners

Chocolate schmocolate. Skip the sweets and give your green-thumb Valentine what he or she really wants by downloading and printing this nifty IOU for garden lovers. Not only will you score major dirty-fingernail points, but we’ll bet your hard work will be repaid with some fresh garden bounty once harvest time rolls around. Yes, your… Read more »

5 Gorgeous Gardening Coffee Table Books

It’s entertaining season, and my husband I and like to play our part by hosting a few dinner parties. All those parties, of course, mean lots of guests, and I wouldn’t be a good hostess if I didn’t have some eye-catching coffee table books laying around to be perused, would I?

25 Ways to Eat Pumpkin Seeds

By Julie Martens Forney I love to eat pumpkin seeds! Whether left over from cleaning out a pie pumpkin or making pumpkin puree, pumpkin seeds boast a wealth of culinary possibilities. I consider these nutritious seeds to be one of nature’s best — and most versatile — snacks, and use them in a wide variety… Read more »

Easy Homemade Pumpkin Puree

By Julie Martens Forney Homemade pumpkin puree is a cinch to whip up—even kids can get in on this cooking project. I find it to be so versatile in the kitchen. Of course, it’s the staple ingredient in pumpkin classics, like pie and quick bread, but it also makes a wonderful addition to cookies, muffins,… Read more »

Gardening Quotes to Get You Through the Summer

By Amanda Davis In the beginning, when the garden is fresh and new, you can’t wait to get outside. Mid-summer, though, when the heat blazes and your plants seem to go into slo-mo, you may need a little inspirational pick-me-up. We’re on it! We’ve gathered 10 gardening quotes that celebrate some of the many reasons we love… Read more »

Gathering Garden Worms

By Julie Martens Forney Spring rains don’t just water my garden — they’re also great for gathering garden worms. I started wrangling worms many years ago in Des Moines, Iowa, when I had a new vegetable garden but very few worms to help my plants thrive. One rainy night, I was crossing a parking lot… Read more »

The Cure for Black Thumb

By Su Reid-St. John I was born a plant killer – at least, that’s what I believed for most of my life. Due to the inability to distinguish between “weeds” and “the plants we want to keep,” my childhood involvement in my Grandpa’s immense vegetable garden was limited to piling my bike basket full of… Read more »

7 Reasons Gardening is Good for You

By Su Reid-St. John Back in fall of 2013, as a newly minted Alabama Master Gardener, I volunteered to mentor a breast cancer survivor as part of the second phase of a study called Harvest for Health. The researchers were wondering if working in a garden would help participants get more exercise, become stronger and… Read more »

10 Fave Facebook Posts of 2015

The Bonnie Plants Facebook community continues to surprise and delight us each year! Throughout 2015, we gained friends, shared countless gardening tips, and gave away lots of Dirty Fingernail Club swag and garden goodies. Our Bonnie gardeners reached out and helped their “neighbors” with gardening advice and stories that made us roll on the floor laughing. Read… Read more »

How to Grow a Gigantic Cabbage

By Su Reid-St. John One of my favorite things about working for Bonnie Plants is getting to see all of the inspiring, delightful (and sometimes wonderfully silly) pictures of kids growing enormous cabbages as part of our 3rd Grade Cabbage Program. And when I say “enormous,” I’m not exaggerating: This special variety of cabbage can,… Read more »

Simple Ways to Cook with Herbs

By Julianna K. Grimes Cool weather herbs like cilantro, sage, and thyme can be so easy to grow that it’s not unusual to end up with an overabundance in the garden. That’s great, but it can leave even experienced cooks wondering about the best ways to make use of all of it all. Let this… Read more »

Growing Healthy Cabbages and Kids

By andi-K Heart During the 2014-2015 school year, Cooper Elementary in Bella Vista, Arkansas, was fortunate enough to participate in the Bonnie Plants 3rd Grade Cabbage Program. The school was also lucky enough to have a garden/nutrition instructor (me!) on hand, through Arkansas Garden Corps, an AmeriCorps project. Among other things, I helped teach the… Read more »

Tale of a Tomato Taste Test

By Byron Ford I became a Master Gardener in 2013, and through the program I’ve learned all kinds of information about soils, plant propagation, pests, and diseases, to name just a few. Each monthly meeting usually consists of a speaker, a garden tour, or hands-on training, plus — most importantly — a pot-luck lunch. The… Read more »

7 Delicious Okra Recipes (Really!)

By Amanda Davis Okra: You either love it or you hate it. As a kid, I hated it, thanks to the traditional okra and tomato stew my mom used to make for dinner. Man, was that stuff slimy. I never reached for seconds when it came around the table. But then I was introduced to some… Read more »

7 Tips for Getting Kids in the Garden

By Amanda Davis Getting kids excited about chores can be a challenge, but gardening doesn’t have to be a chore. We gathered stories from our Bonnie gardening friends on Facebook on how they encourage their own kids to enjoy both gardening and the delicious, healthy food it provides. Read on for 7 ingenious ways to… Read more »

Easy Homemade Tomato Paste

By Julie Martens Forney Homemade tomato paste is easy to make and requires very little hands-on time, as the oven does most of the work. Once the paste is done, it can be stored in ice cube form in the freezer. I like to toss the cubes into pasta sauce and soups for thickening, or… Read more »

5 Excellent Heirloom Vegetable Books

By LaManda Joy Heirloom. The word used to make us think of Grandma’s china or weird Uncle Al’s vintage coin collection, but not anymore. Today we think “vegetable” and, as much as the word has permeated our consciousness (and taste buds), there’s still a lot of confusion and mystery around what an heirloom really is…. Read more »

Why I Love Heirloom Tomatoes

By Dee Nash What do I dream of growing all winter? Heirloom tomatoes, of course! Because of their great flavor and sheer quirkiness, heirloom tomatoes are like growing edible antiques. My family were mostly hybrid tomato growers, and I’ll admit, it’s hard to beat the built-in disease resistance of a hybrid. But one year, I… Read more »

Garden Planning Ideas from FB!

This time of year, most gardeners we know are doing at least a little bit of garden planning. We turned to our Facebook community and asked how you plan your own garden every year, and you gave us some great ideas! As you’ll see below, garden planning is like creating art: Whether you account for… Read more »

Spring Fever? We’ve Got Tomato Fever!

Anticipating spring is one thing, but what’s really got us dreaming is the prospect of that first juicy tomato. We’ve gathered some of our favorite tomato harvest Facebook posts of 2014. Give yourself license to dream while browsing through them, then don’t forget to share your photos with us as your tomatoes ripen this coming… Read more »

10 Most Shared Posts of 2014

Last year was a banner year for Bonnie Plants on Facebook. We reached 100,000 friends, shared countless gardening tips, and gave away lots of Dirty Fingernail Club swag and garden goodies. So what kinds of posts did our Facebook community like best? Read on to discover our top 10 most shared posts for 2014 — and be… Read more »

Collards and White Bean Soup

By Stacy Harris After the feasts and pastries of the holidays, the new year has reminded me that what my body really wants are the fresh greens and other healthy vegetables growing in my winter garden. I find myself turning to some of my favorite cold weather staple recipes, such as Roasted Broccoli, Kale Pastry,… Read more »

Gifts for Gardeners

By Su Reid-St. John ‘Tis the season to begin the search for just the right gift your favorite gardener. Looking for ideas? If you ask me, you can’t go wrong with one (or more) of these handy garden helpers. Each one plays an important part in my own routine and actually helps make me feel… Read more »

Pumpkin Fritters

By Stacy Harris Pumpkin fritters have become a new favorite recipe in my home. I serve them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner depending upon number of pumpkins sitting on my kitchen countertop. I’ve long known that pumpkin works beautifully in both savory and sweet dishes. Recently, as I was considering the many meal possibilities for… Read more »

Crop Rotation Made Easy

By Jenny Peterson A few years back, I remember thinking, “Hmm, I had a bumper crop of tomatoes last year, but this year, not so much.” My overall harvest seemed lower, and the plants didn’t look as healthy as they had the year before. Well, it turns out there was a logical reason behind the… Read more »

3rd Annual Bonnie Fishing Classic

By Vince Culpepper It’s that time of year again, when Bonnie Plants employees, along with their families and friends, head to Lake Point State Park in Eufaula, Alabama for the 3rd Annual Bonnie Fishing Classic. As in previous years, competitors had the honor of pitting their skills against those of Bonnie partner and Bassmaster Elite… Read more »

Growing Tomatoes on the West Coast

Bonnie Plants Station Manager and former New Hampshire Trial Garden Manager Deke Jackson tests tomatoes on the opposite side of the country. Earlier this year, my family and I moved from New Hampshire to Watsonville, California. One of the things I most looked forward to this season was seeing how the tomatoes I grew back… Read more »

5 Variations on a String Trellis for Tomatoes

By Amanda Davis From Quebec, Canada all the way to Honolulu, Hawaii, people have long used the string trellis method to support their tomato plants. It’s no wonder, either, because these trellises make post-harvest cleanup a breeze. Just snip the strings and store the stakes in the shed. Easy as tomato pie! Here are five… Read more »

8 Summer Garden Desktop Backgrounds

No matter what the weather’s like outside, we know you have dreams of playing in your garden on a warm, sunny day. So why not bring a little of the beauty and serenity of the garden indoors, into your work space? Click on one of the drop-dead gorgeous garden desktop backgrounds in the slide show… Read more »

This Pasta Salad is Potluck Perfection

In the South, most occasions center around food. More often than not, events are considered “potluck,” where each person or group contributes a dish. My grandmother always loved potluck events because she knew her food —whether it was her amazing fried chicken or a scrumptious casserole — was the best.

3 Bonnie Tomatoes You’ll Want to Grow

Like me, you probably have your favorite tomato varieties that you grow year after year. But that doesn’t mean you can’t spice things up a bit by adding a couple of new ones to your garden! This year, consider growing a tomato you’ve never tasted before, one that will surprise you as you watch it grow, and delight you when take your first bite.

Roasted Asparagus: One Savory Side Dish!

Growing asparagus is really very easy. The rule of thumb I go by is to plant 10 plants per person in the household. Therefore, our family of nine needs nearly 100 plants.

Strawberry Gardening from Coast to Coast

When I bit into my first homegrown strawberry years ago and discovered for the first time what a strawberry picked fresh actually tastes like, my first reaction was that I wanted more—a lot more. I was soon mystified to find, though, that the plants once burgeoning with tasty, juicy berries simply stopped fruiting early in the season.

Spinach Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese

Just about the only vegetable left in my winter garden is spinach — and I intend to use this deep green beauty to the fullest before I begin planting my summer garden.

Strawberry Clafoutis: A Delicious Springtime Dessert

Love at first bite. That is the way I would describe the first taste of my freshly prepared strawberry clafoutis. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday a couple of years ago, and I had an abundance of strawberries growing near my herb garden.

Roasted Broccoli for Dinner Tonight!

Broccoli has always been one of the greatest side dish ingredients of all time. Most kids don’t like it very much, but I happened to be one kid who LOVED it. My mom served it to me, cooked in various ways, at least three times a week growing up.

Loran and Tristan Strawberries: Two Terrific New Varieties

A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to trial two brand new strawberries from Europe, Loran and Tristan, at my own home. I planted the Loran strawberries along with some lavender and violas in the tall concrete planters that stand in front of my house.

A Delicious Kale Recipe for Brunch? Yes!

Kale, cabbage, collards, and mustard greens are flourishing in my Alabama garden this year. The recent snow seems to have given a sweeter taste to all of them, something I’ve noticed especially in my kale recipes.

Fall in Love with Our Cabbage Program

Each year, Bonnie Plants donates over a million free cabbage plants to 3rd graders in 48 states. The students take the seedlings home, grow them, then submit a photo of themselves with their full-grown cabbage for a chance to receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Grow Food, Give Food

If you’re a gardener, you already know that nothing beats the taste and nutrition of fresh-picked vegetables. Growing your own garden can improve your health, save you money, increase the sustainability of your lifestyle, decrease your carbon footprint, and—perhaps most importantly—help a lot of people in need.

6 Great Books for New Gardeners

New gardeners have one thing in common: They have lots of questions. If you don’t have a neighbor or friend who gardens, you can find the answers you need by stocking your home library with a few key books.

A Brussels Sprouts Recipe You’ll Love (Really!)

To me, Brussels sprouts are fascinating little cabbages that just scream “eat me!” I realize, though, that there are many folks who disagree wholeheartedly.

Our Top 10 Facebook Shares for 2013

Looking back over our most popular social moments for 2013, we’ve put together a list of our top 10 Facebook shares — and learned a few things about you, our Facebook fans, in the process. Here’s what we’ve discovered:

A Cold Weather Use for Tomato Cages

I began gardening around six years ago, and at first I attempted to use store-bought tomato cages. I tried several types, ranging from cheap to expensive, but my Bonnie tomatoes always outgrew them.