The Perfect Plants
by Mary K. Stickley

Saving water is such an important aspect of gardening these days. But, for me, saving maintenance time is just as important. I want a beautiful garden, but I don’t have the time or energy to work hard to make it that way. So, while I do have some special babies that need lots of tender loving care, I’m always on the lookout for great filler plants that look really good — even when I ignore them.   >> read article
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Using the Olla to Beat the Summer Heat
by Brandee Gruener

Keeping the vegetable garden hydrated during the heat of the summer is a challenge in the South, where the sun beats down for weeks, the rain barrels run dry and even heat-loving crops wilt under summer’s fiery breath. Water restrictions have even become commonplace in many parts of the region, making watering the garden even more difficult.

Water-efficient systems such as drip-line irrigation can make a big difference. But Durham, N.C., gardener Scott Belan found a cheaper and simpler solution by building an olla out of a humble clay pot. This watering solution satisfied Belan’s personal philosophy in gardening: Look to the cultures and climates that make the most sense for your surroundings.   >> read article
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High and Dry
Vegetables for when Mother Nature turns up the heat
by Cindy Shapton

A kitchen garden’s survival during a drought, or periods drier than normal requires planning, preparing and making smart, water-saving decisions along the way.   >> read article
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Hugelkultur
by Stacey Arnold

When I first heard about hugelkultur from Paul Wheaton, it was a true “aha” moment. Why are gardeners working so hard to keep their plants watered during the drought of summer when Mother Nature is doing just fine all by herself? No one is watering the plants in the woods during a drought! If there’s one thing that makes me want to throw in the gardening towel, it’s wrestling with a kinked hose when it’s 95 F and 100 percent humidity outside. Just imagine not having that nightmare to contend with anymore!   >> read article
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Wet Feet
by Mengmeng Gu

Too much water is a fairly common problem in many flowerbeds in this region, where we may get about 4 inches of rain every month between late fall and early spring. Four inches of rain wouldn’t be considered “too much” water during the summer, when plants are actively growing and transpiring. During the cool season, temperatures are low so water loss through evaporation is limited, and plants are not actively growing, which does not take up a lot of water. Without good drainage, you may have a problem with too much water.   >> read article
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The Language of Plants: Yellow Leaves
by Susan Jasan

Just as we communicate through facial expressions and the spoken and written word, plants communicate as well. When we learn a foreign language, it is to understand our neighbors, just as it is important for gardeners to understand the language of their plants. When leaves start turning yellow, that is a plant’s way of telling you that it needs your attention. This is true for treasured indoor houseplants and plants in the landscape.   >> read article
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Second and Third Season Pointers
by Bob Westerfield

There is nothing I like more than being out in my vegetable garden in late March and April, working my soil in anticipation of a bountiful harvest. Temperatures at that time are usually splendid and I have no problem enjoying one of my favorite pastimes. As I fast-forward several months into the summer, my enthusiasm begins to wane as 90-degree days and high humidity begin to plague me. Not only do I have a problem staying active in such unbearable temperatures, but my plants always seem to be suffering as well. While many gardeners throw in the towel during the hottest part of summer and recline back in their air-conditioned homes, there is still an opportunity and possibility to extend your harvest season all the way until the cooler months of fall.   >> read article
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How To: Change a Sprinkler Nozzle (Part 2)
by Peter Gallagher

Alright. So, now we're in the field, and this head has already been installed. So, it's in the ground, and what I need to do is change the nozzle on it because I did have the wrong size nozzle initially. It's probably a number 2 nozzle, and that wouldn't be big enough for a 360 degree radius - which is what we are using. Instead I'm going to put in a number 6 nozzle, so I've selected a nozzle. It's a number 6 nozzle.   >> read article
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