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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Wacky Weather Time Warp

No doubt about it. This year’s wacky weather is uprooting many gardening routines. Uncovering a fig tree in early April in East Falls (Philadelphia), I was astonished to see plump green figs bigger than golf balls. In years past, the unveilings revealed no hint of fruits and just a glimpse of green on a few buds. In a Center City Philadelphia courtyard garden, red azaleas were appropriately in full bloom. Nearby though, the usual June-flowering roses were pushing buds ready to pop ...

>> read “Wacky Weather Time Warp”    
Christmas Conifers for Containers

Save that tree from the New Year’s rubbish heap. Buy a potted or ball-and-burlap tree, bring it inside for Christmas and then plant it outside afterwards. It’s a three-fer: you feel virtuous by not disposing of a carbon sink; you get a tree for the holidays and then in your yard for years to come. A live tree perfumes the air with that iconic pine fragrance that artificial trees lack and eliminates messy needle drop and fire hazards of drying cut trees ...

>> read “Christmas Conifers for Containers”    
The Importance of Pollination

There are many organisms involved in the process of pollination: wasps, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, ants, bats and other mammals, including humans. If there were no pollinators, there would be no gardens. Here are some fascinating facts about pollination ...

>> read “The Importance of Pollination”    
Weed Wondering

The presence of certain lawn weeds can be an indicator of specific environmental and soil conditions. Here’s how to ‘read’ your weeds. If you keep your eyes open, you can uncover clues as to why certain things happen. Keeping track of your weed problems can do just that. The end of the year is a good time to reflect on the problems you encountered and make plans to fix them in the coming year ...

>> read “Weed Wondering”    
Coir competency

Once considered a waste product, coir is now used as mulch, soil conditioner and as a hydroponic growth medium. This organic fiber is an ideal material for worm composers. It is also used to grow mushrooms. It is bacteria free and will deter slugs ...

>> read “Coir competency”       #Fertilizing
Sustainability: Right Plant, Right Place

A sustainable garden is a plant community that takes care of itself. By using the right plants in the right place, you can have a low- or no-maintenance landscape that is also eco-friendly.

>> read “Sustainability: Right Plant, Right Place”    
Grow a Salsa Garden—Everything but Tortilla Chips

If you are a salsa fan, you can grow an edible garden designed specifically to make this spicy sauce. Tomatoes, tomatillos, hot or sweet peppers, onions, cilantro—you can grow it all ...

>> read “Grow a Salsa Garden—Everything but Tortilla Chips”    
Spring Ahead

Spring is coming and with it one of the busiest times in the garden. Even though your last frost date may be weeks away, there are some key things you can do now so when the season kicks into high gear, you’ll feel like you’re ready ...

>> read “Spring Ahead”       #Advice
Narrow-Leaf Ironweed
Vernonia lettermannii

With its profusion of small purple flowers and tolerance of heat and drought, narrow-leaf ironweed (Vernonia lettermannii) is a standout in the late-season perennial border in USDA Zones 4 to 9. Native to dry, rocky flood plains in Arkansas and Oklahoma, narrow-leaf ironweed thrives in almost all soil types, except soggy, heavy soils. In fact, supplemental fertilizers and excessive watering are discouraged in the garden setting ...

>> read “Narrow-Leaf Ironweed”       #Hot Plants
Spring-Blooming Plants, Shrubs and Trees for Early Pollinators

This is the time when we feel most alive and our senses seem to be in overdrive. It’s the promise of renewal and awakening. Spring has finally arrived ...

>> read “Spring-Blooming Plants, Shrubs and Trees for Early Pollinators”    
Standing Up to Salt

It’s no accident that a list of salt-tolerant plants reads a bit like a list of seaside plants. Without even looking at lists of such plants compiled by arboretums and universities, I can begin my own list from memory. Past walks along the coast of Cape Cod provide me with a mental image of plants that live in constant sea spray ...

>> read “Standing Up to Salt”       #Advice
Lagerstroemia ‘Pocomoke’
Lagerstroemia (indica x fauriei) ‘Pocomoke’

Do you enjoy the late-season flowers of crapemyrtle but don’t have space for a tree? Allow me to introduce you to ‘Pocomoke’—a handsome, dwarf crapemyrtle. It’s not quite knee-high—a densely branched mound of deep rosy-raspberry flowers floating above forest-green leaves.

>> read “Lagerstroemia ‘Pocomoke’”       #Hot Plants
 
 
 

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