Valentine’s Day Alternatives

No doubt there are certain reported health benefits to a little dark chocolate now and then, but maybe this year, an alternative is in order for your loved one.   Here’s a short list of good ones:   *A potted plant – pots of Boston fern, rosemary, African violets, orchids and sweet bay can last…

Growing Garlic

If you’ve grown garlic before, you know that the cloves for planting are found readily in the spring.  What many do not know is that fall planted garlic produces larger cloves than spring-planted ones.  Using this opportunity to plant now means it’s not too late to reap the benefits of fall-planted garlic. In selecting a…

Vegetable Gardening 101

Nothing provides greater satisfaction than to grow your own food. It’s also really easy to start, with a small investment in some seeds, a few transplants, and a container or plot of land. A basic requirement in vegetable gardening is a clear understanding that there are cool season vegetables—those that grow and produce best when…

Tangled Roots and Potting Soil

Getting annuals, veggies and perennials off to a good start in container gardens is crucial to their success.  This starts with choosing well branched, stocky plants and examining the roots. First, gently squeeze the pot between your hands or fingers and then tease the root mass out.  Inspect the roots.  They should be white, bright…

Flooded Vegetable Garden Plots

Looking forward to the vegetable garden this spring, it’s easy to think that now that the flood waters have receded, our gardening season can carry on as usual.  While many of the callers to Extension are aware of potential dangers of gardening on a flooded site, the exact way forward is a little unclear.  Here…

Veggie Container Gardening – A Viable Alternative

For many reasons, container gardening is a great way to produce veggies and herbs.  Maybe you live in a townhouse and just don’t have much room for traditional gardens.  Maybe you have a traditional residential lot, but most of the landscape is too shady for an edible garden…most crops need at least 6 hours of…

Growing Food Indoors? Sure!

As we celebrate National Indoor Plant Week, my question turns to can we grow food indoors?  The answer is emphatically, yes! Perhaps the simplest option for indoor food production would be to grow some container plants that would work well.  Crops like lettuce, arugula, and some of the other leafy greens have lower light requirements…

Fall is For Planting

A term in the green industry – an oldie, but a goodie – is “Fall is For Planting”.  The term sort of begs the questions: Planting what? And why?  Good questions, because some things are more suited than others.  In short, the items for planting are: trees, shrubs, turf, perennials, some veggies and even transplanting…

Late Summer in the Landscape

Late summer/early fall brings us a host of “to-do’s and not to-do’s” in the landscape.  First, a couple of not to dos: *Avoid fertilization of trees, shrubs and perennial flowers.  Fertilization at this time tends to promote new growth, which would likely be injured by upcoming fall frosts. *Don’t water with the same frequency and…