The Top 10 Reasons Your Tomatoes Fail
by Bob Westerfield

Anyone who has ever grown a backyard tomato knows that there is no comparison to the flavor and quality of a freshly grown tomato compared to one purchased at the supermarket. While tomatoes are arguably the king of the vegetable garden, they can be challenging at times because this tropical fruit can be finicky. By far, tomato problems exceed those of any other vegetable. Whether that is because they just have more problems or because of how popular they are, they are definitely not easy to grow. Here I will outline what I see as the top 10 issues that can lead to tomato failure in the garden.   >> read article
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Shishito Peppers
by Cynthia Wood

While on a food and native plant pilgrimage to Austin, Texas, I was offered a small plate of charred, wrinkly green peppers sprinkled with sea salt. The waiter said that the peppers were called shishitos and that they were native to Japan. Within a few minutes, I had devoured the entire plateful and was clamoring for more. These odd looking little peppers were seriously addictive.   >> read article
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Exotic Flavors
Growing some out-of-the-ordinary seasonings
by John Tullock

If, like many of us, you have been trying to eat more locally produced food lately, no doubt you have already learned how to keep the produce bin stocked with beans, tomatoes, lettuce and corn by growing them at home or visiting the local farmers’ market. Nothing beats local produce for flavor and nutrition, and eating close to home helps conserve the fuel that would have been used to transport the food across the country. But what about those wonderful, exotic flavors like ginger? They will always have to come from far away, right?   >> read article
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Perpetua Blueberry
Vaccinium corymbosum
by Clara A. Curtis

Gardening in 2016 should be inspirational and eclectic and fun! What better plant to add to your garden than one that exhibits four seasons of interest and produces fruit for your cereal bowl! No more boring gardens stuffed with static plants that are not earning their keep – plant a new blueberry to spice it up.   >> read article

Loquat
Eriobotrya japonica
by Kerry Heafner

Kerry Heafner profiles the loquat (Eriobotrya japonica). Watch as he tells us all about this underused fruit tree that makes an excellent (and delicious) addition to the landscape.   >> read article

Chinese Che Tree
Cudrania tricuspidata
by Beth Burrell

Grape-size red fruits catch the eye starting in late August on this uncommon but commendable fruit tree known as Chinese che. At first it is slow to grow, a few inches at best. Just be patient – as with many plants three years seems to be the charm ...   >> read article

Pink Velvet Banana
by Stephanie Hudak

The cinnamon scent, exotic leaves and exceptional fruit color of Musa velutina (pink velvet banana or hairy banana) will add a tropical flair to any garden and are hard to resist once you have seen them. With adequate winter mulch, its cold hardiness makes it possible to be grown outside tropical zones.   >> read article

Plant The Yard For Beauty and Food
by Nan K. Chase

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of shady overhanging trees can keep these five fantastic edible landscape plants from becoming standards in the Southeastern garden: crabapple, yucca, sunflower, native rose and pawpaw.   >> read article