USDA Hardiness Zones

As a gardener it is a good chance that you know what hardiness zone you live in.  You know that you need to choose perennials, trees & shrubs that are hardy to your zone or a zone colder.  You also know that plants that are in a warmer zone will not overwinter where you are….

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is an obligate parasite.  Huh?  In short, powdery mildew doesn’t want to kill your plants – but it sometimes happens, by accident of course.  We most often see this disease on plants outdoors where there is poor air circulation.  You probably have seen peony bushes around town or even your own that ended…

It’s The Berries

As autumn’s colorful leaves fall to the ground, our attention turns to berries as a source of color in our landscapes and for cuttings to grace our tables and entryways. Crabapples represent some of the most reliable of spring’s breathtaking flowers, but the fruit they produce also offer an array of yellow, orange and red…

Winterize Garden Tools

Garden tools are important – they make the job easier, and they’re not inexpensive.  If you’ve been gardening for a while, or even just taking care of the lawn and a few perennials, you’ve probably accumulated a collection of several important pieces.  A few minutes of care will pay dividends.   No matter the tool…

Saving Seeds

Long before the advent of seed catalogs, gardeners saved seed from their prettiest, tastiest and most promising flowers and vegetables of the gardening season, discarding the seeds from the blah, the unattractive and the poor producers.  In essence, gardeners have helped mold the shape of gardening selections, making them some of the earliest purveyors of…

Fall Garden Clean Up

When cleaning up the fall garden, it’s hard to know what should be cleared away and what should stay.  Gurus of tidiness opt for removing everything now in order to start with a clean slate in the spring.  But is there such a thing as too much tidiness?  It turns out that, yes indeed, that…

Reflection

What worked for you this year in the garden?  What didn’t?  Now is the time that you should start reflecting on this years accomplishments and learning opportunities.  One of the biggest mistakes I know that I make is telling myself “I’ll remember that next year”.  This is especially true when it comes to certain plants…

October Musings on the Vegetable Garden

Recently my friend Mary Anna returned from out of town to find her vegetable garden had been visited and the butternut squash eaten.  Teeth marks on the squash remnants indicated that one or more squirrels were the culprits.  Butternut squash wouldn’t necessarily be a squirrel’s first choice but as the growing season slows, all animals…

The Benefits of Fallen Leaves

It’s too bad autumn’s fallen leaves are seen as a nuisance, something to be gotten rid of as soon as possible. In truth, they are a boon to landscapes, serving as mulches, benefiting soils, and boosting our compost piles. Not only are leaf piles fun to jump in and make for great leaf fights, by…

Cleaning up the Garden

Cleaning up the garden, aka “garden sanitation” is not a sexy topic, but an important one in terms of future pest control and productivity.   So, what are the things to clean and to leave alone?  After all, you’re not going to advise us to scrub the dirt with a scouring pad are you?  Good…