COZY N A T U R E
C R A F T
S P R I N G
F O O D
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WA R M T H
CONTENTS Hello Spring: Editor's Letter | Page 9 COZY Playlist Spring 2022 | Page 14 COZY Reading List Spring 2022 | Page 15 COZY Flower Bouquet | Page 16 In Season: Spring Foods | Page 20 Spring Lemon Salad Dressing | Page 22 Quick Pickled Snack Radishes | Page 24 A Season Of Grass, A Season of Art | Page 28 Bookmark Pattern | Page 30 Spring Crafts: Rock Painting | Page 34 Guided Nature Walks for Spring | Page 38 A Spring Guide to Gardening: Tips | Page 42 A Spring Guide to Gardening: Plants | Page 49 Support COZY | Page 52
P A G E
COZY / ˈ KŌZĒ/ ADJECTI VE Giving a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation. The sensation of sitting by a fire. The warm feeling you get being wrapped under a blanket with friends.
WARMTH G E T T I N G
C O Z Y
HELLO SPRING AN
EDI TOR' S
Since starting this magazine celebrating and embracing coziness, people have started to ask me the same question over and over: "What are you going to do in the spring and summer? Those aren't really "cozy" seasons." It's true that fall and winter are traditionally seen as the "cozy" seasons. Apple picking, cider, mittens, hats, hot chocolate—these things are all undeniably cozy (we've written about them in this very magazine). We love these things because of the warmth and comfort they bring in cold times. Fall and winter become the cozy seasons because coziness becomes so necessary for endurance. We seek. We gather. We bring warmth to the front of our minds and let it sit in our cheeks and finger tips. In the spring, when the sun hangs over our heads and the green comes back to walk beneath our feet, we quickly shelve our mittens and hats. We don't need them when warmth can be found just by walking outside. But coziness is more than just finding soft blankets and hot drinks. In the spring especially, it's a sensation. It's that simple joy you get from hearing the first song bird of the season. It's opening your kitchen window and reveling in its loud creak as fresh air blows in. It's driving your car under a blue sky just as your favorite song comes on. It's the undeniable need to go out and enjoy the first beautiful day of the year—and the next, and the next, and the next. I don't know about you, but walking outside after a long winter to a yard full of daffodils and robins is one of the coziest feelings I can think of.
For me, a lot of the coziness of spring comes from the earth. I love when that damp, heady smell of soil fills my nose after the first snow melt. Every year I anticipate the steady sound of rain on my roof after the silence of snow. Even puddles are a welcome sight in my yard—especially when birds stop by these impromptu baths. Spring, of course, means I get to garden. If you've been around these parts before, you know that I love my garden. Kale, tomatoes, potatoes, rosemary, peppers, scallions, tulsi, chamomile, dill, cilantro, and marigolds are staples in my garden. I never grow tired of pulling a little red wagon around my local nursery every May, gathering as many starters as I can fit before I have to cary the rest. I plant my garden mid-May, the best time for my grow-zone. My starters are so small then, but they always feel like fully realized plants when their roots sit bare in my hand for one, single moment before I set them into the earth. After that moment, it's up to them and me to see the season through. I bring them water, they bring me fruit and leaves and the like. Together, we make our way towards something bigger than both of us ever could have imagined when roots and skin touched. Every year, my garden manages to surprise me. I always look at the tomatoes twisting their way through my rows, or the kale plants that have turned into trees, and wonder how on earth they got so big (even though it always happens that way). Some years the peppers grow well. Some years the slugs enjoy the snack I've grown for them. Every year the rosemary has a different number of branches from the previous. In that surprise, in that ever growing and evolving relationship with nature, I find warmth. I find coziness. This spring, I encourage you to find coziness in the green around you—whether it's through a potted plant on your window sill or through the park closest to your home. In addition to admiring the view, try being a part of it too.
This year, try interacting with and appreciating the spring nature. Take a class at a local nature center. Join a free birding group. Go to the library and rent a guide on your local trees and vegetation. Rustle up some friends for a nature walk. Reserve a plot at your community garden (if you need gardening tips, skip to the Nature section for a comprehensive beginners guide). And perhaps, most importantly, find a way to give back to this rock we call home. In the place where I grew up, we have a lovely tradition where we go out every May and clean up roadside litter (with gloves on, of course). It's called Green-Up Day, and it's something you can replicate with your friends and neighbors wherever you live whenever you want. Not to mention there are always organizations looking for volunteers to help with conservation efforts and events. Even if you spend just a day lending a hand, it's a day well spent. No matter what you do this spring, try something new, enjoy the blue sky, and say hello to the birds and the bees. It's the season of discovery and beginnings, and I hope this issue can help you along your spring journey. And, as always, thank you for finding a bit of cozinesses with us.
Here Now by Wild Child Naked As We Came by Iron & Wine El Invento by José González Persephone by Humbird First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes Morena (Acoustic Version) by Vitor Kley Little Lover by Foreign Fields Dirty Rain by Andrew Combs Still Feel by Half Alive
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery Lakelore by Anna-Marie McLemore Legendborn by Tracy Deonn Grow Green by Jen Chillingsworth Wild Weather by Alison Davies Things That Grow by Meredith Goldstein The Unseen City by Nathanael Johnson Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz The Lost Coast by A. R. Capetta The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan The Stubborn Light of Things by Melissa Harrison How to Catch a Mole by Marc Hamer The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs by Tristan Gooley We Set The Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver The Oak Papers by James Canton Spring: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons edited by Melissa Harrison
This spring, we're celebrating the coziness of plants. One way to make your home cozy is through a flower language bouquet. Gather flowers based on their flower meaning, and bring the energy you want into your home! Here a few flowers you can use in your bouquet. Daffodils, new beginnings Blue Iris, hope Lavender, calmness Lilly of the Valley, happiness and luck Peony, compassion Red Rose, love Yellow Rose, joy and warmth Snapdragon, strength Sunflower, adoration Zinnia, endurance Aster, patience Bird of Paradise, joyfulness and magnificence Black Eyed Susan, motivation Chrysanthemum, optimism Blue Bell, kindness
FOOD S P R I N G
F A V O R I T E S
Apples Apricots Asparagus Avocados Bananas Broccoli Cabbage Carrots Collard greens Garlic Kale Kiwi Lemon Lettuce Lime Mushrooms Onions Peas Pineapple Radishes Rhubarb Spinach Strawberries Turnips
SPRING LEMON SALAD DRESSING BEGI NNER
Contributed by home-chef Margot Nelson, this salad dressing has been described as "a vibe" more than an exact science. That's because this salad dressing is designed to make you experiment with your tastebuds—and with the ingredients available in your kitchen. Using spring-fresh lemons, this salad dressing will pair best with a butter lettuce salad, or a green salad mixed with peas, carrots, and the like.
I NGREDI ENTS 1 lemon Dijon mustard Olive oil Salt Black pepper An allium (we recommend spring onions, shallots, or chives)
DI RECTI ONS
Collect your ingredients—selecting the allium that appeals most to you—and a mason jar with a lid. Instead of using exact measurements, this recipe uses ratios and taste testing. In your mason jar, add 2:1:1 parts olive oil to lemon to mustard. If you'd like to make a lot of the salad dressing, add as much of each ingredient as you desire, as long as the ratio is 2:1:1 parts olive oil to lemon to mustard. Roughly chop your allium (whether it be a spring onion, shallot, or chives) and add as much or as little as you desire to your dressing. This really just depends on your taste preference. Finish the dressing by adding a few cracks of black pepper and a pinch of salt to the mason jar—measuring by taste. Add the lid to your mason jar, and do a little dance (aka, shake the jar until everything is throughly combined). The most important step is to now TASTE the dressing. If you feel like the ratio is off or like it needs more of one ingredient, add the ingredient and once again mix the dressing. Once you're happy with the taste, add it to a salad of your choice. Seal the mason jar and put it in the fridge to keep the fun going throughout the week.
QUICK PICKLED SNACK RADISHES BEGI NNER
Winter and fall call for warm and cozy recipes, but spring and summer means it's finally time for zesty, bright foods. Radishes are in season right now, which means they'll make a tasty and budget friendly addition to your meals (tacos, wraps, salads, you name it)! This recipe is a great way to add a lot of flavor to your radishes. If you enjoy vinegar and salt, you'll absolutely love this quickpickle version of pickled radishes. The recipe only takes about 30 to forty minutes—so get ready for some fast fun.
I NGREDI ENTS 8 to 10 radishes, finely sliced 1/2 cup of white vinegar 1/2 cup of white balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup warm water 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped One large pinch of flakey sea salt A dash of pepper
DI RECTI ONS
Grab a bowl, measuring cups, a cutting board, a knife, a fork, and your ingredients. On your cutting board, finely slice your radishes horizontally so that you have thin radish disks. Put them in your bowl. On the same cutting board, remove the skins from your garlic cloves and roughly chop them (it truly does not matter what size they are). Put your garlic in your bowl. Using a measuring cup, measure out your white vinegar and your white balsamic vinegar. Add both vinegars to your bowl, pouring over your radishes. Again using a measuring cup, measure out your warm water and add it to your bowl. Add your salt and pepper. Stir your mixture carefully with a fork until radishes, garlic, salt, and pepper are roughly mixed around with one another. Leaving your bowl uncovered, place your mixture in the refrigerator for twenty to thirty minutes (the taste will become stronger the longer you leave it in the fridge). At the 10 or 15 minute mark, make sure to stir your mixture and put it back in the fridge. And you're done! Put your radishes on top of tacos, in a green wrap, in a salad, or eat them as a snack.
CRAFT A R T S
F O R
S P R I N G
A SEASON OF GRASS, A SEASON OF ART SPRI NG- THEMED
WRI TI NG
I don't know about you, but I love creating in the spring. On the weekends, I'll often grab my old green picnic blanket and sit on my small patch of yard for hours—writing until my laptop threatens five percent. So, let's listen to the birds, watch the grass grow, say hello to the animals waking up from winter, and make something new.
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All winter, the seeds have been patiently waiting in the earth. Now, it's their time to shine. Write a welcome home letter to the seeds, or create a piece depicting new seeds emerging. Think of the smells of spring: new grass, fresh rain, wet soil, the first bloom, pollen. Write or create a piece that explores your favorite spring smell. In the spring, bare trees find their leaves. First the buds appear one warm day, then suddenly, the world is filled with green. Write or create a piece about this slow yet sudden transformation. Think about spring activities: gardening, cleaning, picking flowers, hikes, skipping rocks in the pond. Write or create a piece about a spring memory that always makes you smile.
Lilac bushes, apple trees, cherry trees, and the like are all blooming in the spring. Maples, oaks, birches, and more are rising. Think about a tree that represents you, and write or create a piece about your similarities. Whereas winter is a season of silence, spring is a season of sound. Birds are calling to one another, and the animals are shaking from their beds. Write or create a piece about this contrast from silence to sound. Spring is associated with color. Green grass, brown soil, blue skies, pink blossoms. Think of the colors you associate with spring, and write or create a piece centering around those unique colors. There's often a misconception that coziness is associated with colder seasons (aka, going inside and bundling up to "get cozy"). Write or create a piece showing why spring is indeed a cozy season. Spring is a time of growth. Write or create a piece that reflects on the concept of growth and new beginnings. "There is no time like Spring / When life's alive in everything..." -Christina Rossetti, "Spring." Reflect on the kind of life and aliveness that is present in spring. Write or create a piece that captures "When life's alive in everything...." We have real gardens, but what would be inside of your magic garden? Write a tale or create a piece about your fantastical flowers.
It's spring. The pollen is here to make us sneeze and the birds to wake us up too early. As a knitter in this warmer weather, you might not want to create bulky hats or chunky scarves this season. Those projects are best saved for the fall and winter. Which is where the tiny projects come in handy. This bookmark pattern is a perfect project to complete on a rainy spring afternoon. Not only does this project keep your fingers knitting, it can help with your spring cleaning. We like to call this pattern a "scraps pattern" because it is the perfect way to use up left-over yarn you have lying around from larger projects. Just find two contrasting colors in your yarn basket and you'll be on your way to creating the perfect spring bookmark.
MATERI ALS One skein (you won't use all of it) of light or fine yarn One skien (you won't use all of it) of light or fine yarn in an contrasting color US size 4 to 6 needles, straight (size depends on what yarn weight you choose) Tapestry needle
ABREVI ATI ONS K M1 CO BO
knit - make one stitch* - cast on - bind off
Note: If you're not sure how to M1 stitch, we use the knit one front and back method. Watching a tutorial can help you refresh this skill.
I NSTRUCTI ONS
Row 1: CO 3 stitches. Use the yarn that you want to be the main color of the bookmark. Row 2: K establishing row. Row 3: K1, M1 in the back loop of the second stitch, K1. Row 4: K to the last 2 stitches, M1, K1. Repeat row 4 until you have 10 stitches on your needle. K for roughly 65 to 70 rows (or until the bookmark is your desired size when measures against a book.) Last row: BO and weave in your ends. To add the ribbon design, collect your second yarn color and thread it on your tapestry needle. Starting at one of the right angles at the straight edge of the project (where you just BO), insert your tapestry needle into the project on the stitch one up from the bottom and one in from the side edge of your project. Your needle should enter the middle "bump" of your stitch. Going straight up the side edge of the project, weave your needle and yarn into every other stitch around the entire border. (You will have to turn the project as your come to the triangle-shaped end, and as you travel back down the other side of the project and across the bottom.) Once you reach the point you started, tie the two ends of the project together and cut off your ends/extras. To make the tassel, gather strands of your second yarn. Roughly five or six pieces about three to four inches will do. Twist the yarn together and thread it through a gap/stitch at the tip of the triangular edge of your project. Pull the yarn halfway through and fold the yarn up (letting it come untwisted) so that the ends of your strands meet each other at an equal length. Using another strand of yarn, pick a point near the base of your strands and loop it around the yarn, bringing your strands together. Loop your yarn a few times to create a bump, and tie off. Trim tassel yarn to create a straight edge. Let us know how your project goes and show us your completed bookmark at @Cozy_zine on Twitter and @Cozyzine on Instagram!
SPRING CRAFTS: ROCK PAINTING FI NDI NG
CREATI VI TY
In the fall we painted leaves, and now this spring we're painting rocks—with a purpose. Spring is kind of famous for two things: Spring cleaning and gardening. While one is definitely more fun than the other (gardening, we obviously mean gardening), you can get creative with both by painting rocks to help label your plants and chores. First, collect some small-to-medium sized rocks that have at least one smooth, flat side (rounder rocks do well). Now, collect some paints and brushes... and let's begin.
Spring really is the perfect time to clean. Though it's often hard to keep track of everything you have to do in one week. This spring, create a rock chore chart. On a collection of rocks, paint words or small pictures that represent chores you have to do each week such as going to the grocery store, mopping, sweeping, or cleaning out the fridge. (Try to make your paintings as cute and simple as possible.) Once your rocks are dry, leave them on a counter or window sill where you can see them every day. When you've completed a chore, remove that rock from your rock list and tuck it away in a drawer or cabinet. You're done for the week once you've removed all of the rocks! Put the rocks back on the shelf at the end of the week to start all over.
Yes, we're absolutely in the garden mindset. One way to make your garden even more personal and creative is by creating your own rock plant labels. Instead of buying sticks with plant names or images that will ultimately end up in the landfill, make your own by painting rocks (using water-proof paint). On your rocks, paint the name of your plants or a picture of your plants on the flat surface. (Don't be afraid to get messy or abstract!) Once your rocks are dry, place your rocks next to the coordinating plants in your garden. Now no matter what stage the plant is in, you'll always remember what the heck that green leafy thing is.
C O N N E C T I N G
W I T H
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O U T S I D E
GUIDED NATURE WALKS FOR SPRING I DEAS
FI NDI NG
A spring walk is a truly memorable experience. While a winter walk is cold and still, and a summer walk is all heat and insect buzz, a spring walk is unpredictable. Some days only need a sweater. Others make you wish you'd remembered a hat. Some days smell like fresh rain on soil. Others make you sneeze with the amount of pollen collecting under your nose. Spring keeps you on your toes. It abruptly pulls off the blanket of winter and demands you wake up with it. So we slowly get out of bed and enjoy the new offerings of the earth. And oh, the world is so new in the spring. The birds are back, ducks are in our ponds, and even the bees are starting to build their new nests. We can discover so much in such a short amount of time, and one of the best ways to do that is through a guided walk. With so much to see and explore, a guided walk can help focus our curiosities and sharpen our senses. So let's find a sunny day, gather our light coats, grab an umbrella (just in case), and find a path that best fits our needs. It's time to walk.
Note on accessibility: All activities can be adapted to fit your needs and comfort levels. Change each activity to what’s best for you, whether that’s performing these acts sitting in your backyard, looking at the birds instead of listening to them, or walking with a friend or guide who can help you find specific elements of nature you’re trying to discover.
You cannot deny the beauty of a sunset, but there is something entirely magical about a sunrise. This spring, get up early and take a sunrise walk (don't worry, you can go back to bed after if you wish). On your sunrise walk, look for the dew on the grass and trees, and try to spot the birds and animals starting their day. Focus on the brilliant yellows, oranges, and blues of the morning. Allow the coziness of the morning guide you into the day. Just make sure to put on some shoes you don't mind getting wet, dew can definitely give you some damp socks.
Plants, leaves, and the like are coming back from their long winter nap. Focus your next walk on following new beginnings. In your community or on a nature trail, intentionally look for and admire sprouts in the earth or buds on a tree. Take a moment to admire the new growth, and celebrate the new life (and the energy it takes to grow under the sun). If you find any spring flowers, like daffodils or pansies, perhaps take a moment to stop and appreciate their perfume. And make sure you thank the dandelions for feeding the bees.
With April showers comes May flowers, and with blue skies come beautiful (and funky) cloud formations. Spring is often a season of light and joy—and what's more joyous than letting your imagination take hold of the sky? Walk in an area where you can clearly see the sky, and let your mind drift to the clouds. Specifically, trying looking for clouds that remind you of an animal or plant. Find dogs, cats, birds, and bugs above you. Let playfulness push you forward as you walk. (Just make sure to watch your feet every once and a while, you don't want to accidentally trip.) We hope these walks help you find a meaningful moment this spring. PS. Try walking with a few friends for a bit of added fun.
A SPRING GUIDE TO BASIC GARDENING TI PS
Spring is not only a time for metaphorical growth and renewal, but literal growth as well. With the frost melting, sunny days, and April showers, spring means it's time to start gardening. There is a special kind of satisfaction that can be found in between the vegetable rows. Growing a rather spry cucumber or a particularly wild bush of tulsi can bring you a sense of... well, fulfillment. To watch something grow from seedling to a tall plant full of flowers and vegetables—it makes you feel part of something larger than life. The sun, the earth, the water, you, your hands, your patience, these are the things that brought this plant to life. How marvelous is that? To be honest with you, I feel the most like myself when I am in my garden, and I hope you'll think about joining me in the soil this spring. If you're just starting out with gardening, I have included here a few tips for successful growing, and a couple of plants that should help you get a steady start. If you don't have green spaces at your home, try looking up community gardening opportunities in your area. Additionally, if you need to acquire gardening tools, many public libraries rent out gardening tools each spring. Lastly, the start of the growing season can differ slightly depending on where you live. Before you start your garden beds, spend some time researching when your season starts and the types of plants that grow well in your climate. Now, let's dig in.
If you’re looking to start your first garden or freshen-up your skills this spring, we have a few tips that will help you find your footing. No matter what skill level you're at, research always helps when it comes to plants. Just make sure to collect a watering can, a trowel, a hoe, and a shovel, and you’ll be on your way.
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Just like building a house, creating a garden is all about location, location, location. You want an area that has: direct access to the sun for long stretches of the day, access to shady areas for shade-based plants, and access to quality soil. Additionally, it’s important to know what kinds of wildlife thrive in your chosen area. If you have many critters near your garden (deer, rabbits, squirrels, etc.), you’ll want to pick an area that is fenced/or that you can fence, or has other natural critter deterrents. If you’re just starting to garden, we always suggest trying to sign up for a plot at a community garden. They often have everything we just described, and you can meet experienced gardeners who can help you when you’re stuck.
When it comes to vegetable gardening, you unfortunately cannot just dig a hole in your backyard, put a plant in it, and then walk away. (If only it was that easy!) Just like us, plants need a bit of nurturing in order to feel happy and grow.
Before planting, research the kind of soil common in your area (or the kind of soil at your community garden). Knowing if you live in a particularly sandy area, clay heavy area, or acidic area can help inform what kinds of plants you can or can’t plant. Because you cannot control what kind of soil you have, people often garden in pre-made plots (like those at a community garden) or with raised beds they can fill with their own soil mix. When you’re just starting out, we suggest starting with just a few beds and boxes and adding more over the years. When choosing your soil, you’ll want to create a mix of organic garden soil and organic compost. Look for soil and compost specifically labeled for vegetable gardens, and try to avoid composts that have composted meats in them (shells are fine). We also highly encourage organic, organic, organic. There are so many great options out there, and it will ultimately benefit your garden. If you’re putting fresh soil on top of an old bed, make sure to thoroughly till your existing soil (aka, hack it up and mix it around). Stiff, hard soil will make it difficult for your plants to take root! Lastly, when you’re first starting out with your garden, fertilizer can help boost growth. Again, going organic is the best choice. We recommend using fish poop in a vegetable garden (not sponsored, but we use Alaska Organic Liquid Fish Fertilizer). Just make sure you use as instructed, and tapper off your use mid-summer.
Of course, it’s not enough just to get the right soil, you have to make sure your plants are tucked in properly as well. It’s important to consider spacing when starting your garden. At this May-stage, your starters will be very small, but don’t let that trick you! By the end of the summer, your plants will be huge, and if you planted them too close to one another in the spring, your plants will overcrowd one another. This can lead to a host of problems, including unwanted competition that can leave some of your plants undernourished (or even dead).
Read the planting information that comes with your starters and find the information on how far apart the said plant should be from other plants. Before you put anything in the ground, lay all of the plants you want to plant on top of your soil spaced apart appropriately. This “plant mapping” will help you put everything where it needs to go before you go sticking things in the dirt. Additionally, consider what plants you want to place next to one another. Some plants naturally complement one another— corn, squash, and beans famously provide each other vital nutrients in the growing process and end up thriving if coupled together. Chives and tomatoes are another pair that support each other throughout the seasons. But some plants can actually take from one another while growing, making them incompatible neighbors. Tomatoes and potatoes don’t do well when planted directly next to one another. Similarly, if you plant a really tall plant next to a very short plant, the tall plant could “shade out” the smaller plant, harming the growth of your small friend. Your before-planting-research-checklist should include: reading your plant labels for spacing info, and researching your plants to make sure you’re not putting any nasty neighbors together.
Most mistakes made in the garden happen around watering. There is definitely a misconception that more water equals a healthier plant. Plants of course need water, but too much water can mean root rot, disease, and even death for your plants. So how often should you water your plants? When you first plant your plants, you should immediately water your soil thoroughly. After the initial plant, you should water your plants as they need it. Check your soil every day from spring to fall by pushing your pointer finger straight into the soil near the base
of your plants. If the soil is dry, the plant needs water. The plant may also tell you it needs water through dropping leaves, curling leaves, and other noticeable leaf changes (but try not to let the plant get to that point). In the peak of summer when the weather gets extremely hot, your plants may need to be watered every day. But in the spring and fall, you may find yourself watering every other day (or even every two days). When you water, you should only be watering the area around the base of your plants. Not only does this help the water reach your roots directly, but it helps you from losing water due to evaporation. When sun hits open water, it evaporates the water. If you just pour water on soil where there are no plants, you are effectively wasting fresh water. Additionally, it’s very important to just water the soil around the base of your plants, not on the plant leaves. If the sun hits water sitting on a plant leaf, it can actually hurt your plant by giving it a plant sunburn. We recommend using a watering can instead of a hose or a sprinkler in your garden so that you can control where the water is going (and avoid your leaves). Lastly, it’s best to water your plants in the morning or the evening. Watering when the sun is directly shining on your plants can lead to burns.
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Now that we have a few basic tips planted in our minds, it's time to start selecting our plants. While it's important to think about the science and the functionality of your garden, it's equally important to have fun. You want to pick plants that you will love and enjoying spending time with from spring to fall. Grow veggies you'll actually want to eat and flowers you'll love seeing. If you're really new to gardening, here are a few hardy plants that will help you get a steady start.
MARI GOLDS Marigolds are as delightful as they are necessary. Marigolds are a natural way to keep unwanted bugs out of your garden while attracting wanted bugs like bees and butterflies. Their smell can apparently also deter rabbits. Tips: Plant your Marigolds around the edges of your garden to successfully stave off insects. When a flower head starts to die, “deadhead” the flower by snapping it off right at the base of the flower head/top of the stem. Marigolds can also get overshadowed by larger plants, so make sure no tall plants are taking their sun.
F I NGERLI NG
Talk about a plant that can grow anywhere. You could technically grow a potato in a bucket if you wanted to—it's that sturdy. Fingerling potatoes are especially beginner friendly because of their tiny size. Tips: Make sure to buy potatoes from the gardening store, not the grocery store. Grocery potatoes can have unwanted
chemicals. Once you have your potatoes, pick a nice, spacious section of your garden. Potatoes have a bit of timing involved in the growing process. When your sprouts have reached about eight inches in height, mound dirt up around your sprouts. Your mound should cover half of the plant (four inches). Mound again when your plant height reaches eight inches above your first mound. Your second mound should again cover half of the plant (four inches). Stop the mounding process once the vines begin to flower. (PS. Potatoes have really cute flowers).
KALE We love kale here at COZY, and it actually makes for a great beginner plant. Kale can endure cold and frost, and it's all in all very hardy. Plus, you can eat/harvest your kale throughout the growing season—making it very rewarding. Tips: Kale doesn't like to be hot, so make sure it is wellwatered and has some access to shade. When harvesting your kale, pick from the bottom of the plant, snapping off only a few leaves at a time. This harvesting method will keep the plant healthy and encourage continued growth.
Tomatoes feel like such a classic garden staple, and the cherry tomato has to be one of the most beginner friendly (also maybe the most small and cozy). Plant one or two plants for a summer full of delightful snacks. Tips: Overwatering can cause your tomatoes to grow in a bit funky, so make sure you're watering evenly. Pinching off some of the bottom branches on your plant (new sprouts, etc) can help encourage fruit growth. Lastly, if you knock off a few tomatoes prematurely, leaving them on a windowsill can help them ripen off of the plant.
ROSEMARY Rosemary has to be one of the easiest herbs to grow. It essentially just needs access to sunlight, good soil, and a mindful watering schedule. It's really hard to kill, making it perfect for beginners wanting to include herbs in their plot. Tips: Rosemary is a smaller plant, so be careful where you place it. A taller plant could shade the rosemary, creating unwanted competition. Also, you should not grow rosemary near cucumber or basil. Those plants don't mix well.
RADDI SHES Lastly, where would the beginner garden be without radishes? Radishes are really, really easy to grow, and the end result is always beautiful. Plus, you can make our Quick Pickle Radish recipe with your very own radishes! Tips: Radishes tend to attract bunnies and squirrels. If critters start to attack your radishes, consider covering them softly in some netting, or upping your marigolds. Additionally, radishes are often grown from seed packets directly in the soil. When planting your seeds, it's important that you don't plant your seeds too deep in the soil. Follow the instructions on the packet closely. Aside from the radishes, we recommend you buy all of your plants as starters from a local plant nursery. As a beginner, growing from seed can be really difficult. Starters are grown by professionals, and you can trust that they grew a healthy plant. Happy gardening all! We wish you the best of luck and a bountiful harvest.
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Can you believe we're already at COZY issue three? We say it every time and we mean it every time: We could not make COZY without you. Your support carries us through the seasons. We're so happy to celebrate spring with you. We have big hopes and dreams for COZY. We're currently a team of two, a contributing writer and an EIC that creates most of the magazine (from layout to art to writing and beyond). One day, we'd love to hire a layout artist, open the magazine up to contributors, and to eventually produce print issues of COZY. Right now, COZY is an ad-free magazine, meaning we can only reach our goals through the support of our readers. You can visit our EIC's Patreon at patreon.com/gracesafford to support the project and receive benefits such as COZY sneak peeks, early access, and bonus articles each season. Thank you again for being a part of our COZY community. We'll see you in the summer for issue four!
We want to thank our top Novelist Patrons for their contributions to COZY. Thank you: Victoria Charlie D. Mackenzie D. And past Novelist Patrons Ellie T. and Bluestar
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