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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

LAZY DAISIES AND TIRED TULIPS: Dead Heading and Dividing Perennials to Increase Vigor

Have you noticed your obedient plant rebelling into a doughnut shape with an empty hole in the middle? Has ‘Rozanne’ lost her vigor, with less and less flare each year? Are your spring tulips a carpet of green instead of red? Or maybe your friends are dying for a piece of your lungwort? While most flower gardens start out lush and colorful early in the season, late summer and fall often yield a less desirable look. Don’t be afraid to chop on your plants, you won’t hurt them. A little deadheading and dividing can go a long way in the perennial garden.

>> read “LAZY DAISIES AND TIRED TULIPS: Dead Heading and Dividing Perennials to Increase Vigor”    
LESS REALLY IS MORE: Pruning Fruits and Vegetables to Increase Harvest

A little green thumb and a pair of pruners can go a long way in yielding a high quality harvest both in the veggie patch and fruit orchard. Pruning fruits and vegetables can be very beneficial in directing energy away from other plant parts towards the fruiting buds, leading to a more bountiful garden.

>> read “LESS REALLY IS MORE: Pruning Fruits and Vegetables to Increase Harvest”    
PRUNE PERFECT: Pruning Landscape Shrubs with Perfection

Gardeners often forget the magic of how quickly shrubs can fill an empty space in the landscape. While controlling size is the most common need for pruning, other reasons include encouraging bounties of bloom, artistic shaping such as when designing topiaries, and removal of dead and diseased wood.

>> read “PRUNE PERFECT: Pruning Landscape Shrubs with Perfection”    
MAKING THE CUT: Pruning Landscape Trees

Pruning is one of the best ways to give waning trees more vigor. Alternatively, it is one of the easiest ways to send a healthy tree into decline. Knowing how to make the right pruning cuts is a skill that takes practice and involves a lot of science too!

>> read “MAKING THE CUT: Pruning Landscape Trees”    
Take a Load Off
Seating in your garden can extend your enjoyment

After a long day working in your garden, there should be a special spot where you can stop and enjoy your labors. Whether it’s a small whimsical bench tucked in along a little garden path or a swing for two, seating in your garden can extend your enjoyment of your garden tremendously.

>> read “Take a Load Off”    
Designing with Boulders
Don't be afraid to be bold with boulders in your yard

Designing with boulders is becoming one of the most popular landscaping trends, but experts agree on some basic tips to consider when placing boulders in your landscape.

>> read “Designing with Boulders”    
Building a Garden Pond
Guidelines to help you build your own garden oasis

Constructing your own garden pond is not difficult, but certain aspects of the job must be done precisely. Here are some guidelines that will help you avoid common mistakes and create the garden pond of your dreams.

>> read “Building a Garden Pond”    
Rule the Roost
Adventures in permaculture with a chicken tractor

What has wings, a manual transmission and runs on weeds and bugs? If you answered chicken tractor, you might be a gardener who owns chickens or one familiar with permaculture methods.

When I first learned of chicken tractors, I thought, now there is an idea I can get behind … literally. I couldn’t wait to give it a go. My son got me my first tractor equipped with two bantam chickens we named Taco and Cornbread. I couldn’t wait to start it up and watch it work.

>> read “Rule the Roost”    
Christmas Tree Alternatives

With the Christmas season upon us, many folks have already spent $50 to $100 dollars for a dead, cut Christmas tree, or perhaps dragged their plastic version out of storage. While there is something to be said about having a traditional cut tree such as a blue spruce or Douglas fir, it is hard for me to fathom spending that much money on a dead tree you will only enjoy a few weeks. If you are one of those folks that have procrastinated and not gotten the tree up yet, you might want to think about some alternatives that will work for Christmas morning, but also give you lasting enjoyment in your landscape for years to come.

>> read “Christmas Tree Alternatives”       #Holiday: Christmas   #Decorating   #Trees
How Toxic is This Insecticide?

Few gardeners enjoy applying pesticides, but it is something we all need to do occasionally to protect our vegetables and ornamental plants from pest damage. One question that often comes to mind when planning or applying a pesticide treatment is: “How toxic is this product and how do I handle and apply it safely?”

>> read “How Toxic is This Insecticide?”    
Caring For Your Poinsettia Year Round

People have different opinions about the poinsettia. Some consider it a holiday plant to be enjoyed during the month of December, then discarded with the Christmas tree. Others like to nurture their plants, coaxing them into bloom season after season.

There's no guarantee that your poinsettia will bloom again next December, even with year-round care. But if you would like to try, here are a few tips.

>> read “Caring For Your Poinsettia Year Round”       #Holiday: Christmas   #Flowers   #How to
How to Grow Luffa Sponges

You’ve seen them in drugstores and beauty magazines as bath sponges, but did you know you can grow your own luffas? Luffa aegyptiaca and L. acutangula are members of the Cucurbitaceae family. It is an easy to grow vining plant that will happily connect itself to your garden fence.

>> read “How to Grow Luffa Sponges”       #How to   #Vegetables   #Vines

New from our Bloggers:

Seed Viability
Will your seeds germinate and grow plants?

[+] The Everlasting Gardener

Making the Right Cut
Always cut back to a bud or branching point.

[+] Pruning with Your Personal Gardener