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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Garden Mailbox

Plant a mailbox in the garden and you can keep garden tools in the garden, right where you need them. When the old mailboxes were replaced in the neighborhood, they were recycled into small “onsite garden storage units.” The garden mailbox is a good gathering place for storing garden tools and accessories. It could save you endless trips to the shed or garage for a garden tool.

>> read “Garden Mailbox”       #Tools
Saving Kitty (and Your Sanity)

With delicate noses in the air, some persnickety cats wouldn’t even think about nibbling on a leaf, while other “grazing” felines make it impossible to allow both plant and puss into the same room. Why can’t a cat-loving scientist discover a test that would identify the PN (plant nibbler) gene in kittens? Early detection might let you know what you’re up against. Since there is still no test available, I continue to work on my two-pronged attack: The Deterrent and the Disguise ...

>> read “Saving Kitty (and Your Sanity)”       #Advice   #Health and Safety   #Poisonous Plants
Vegetable Seed Saving Simplified

I used to think that when a gardener starts to save his or her own seed, it is akin to embarking on a doctorate program in backyard food production. I found it pretty intimidating. Then I heard horticulturist Christopher Wallen, from Dillsburg, Pa., begin a talk on seed saving with this: “Saving seed is so simple even a caveman could do it” ...

>> read “Vegetable Seed Saving Simplified”    
Damaged Trees

Storms, wind, cold temperatures, the freeze-thaw cycle — all of these can injure trees and shrubs. What’s a gardener to do ...

>> read “Damaged Trees”    
How to Build a Dry Stream Bed

Want more structure to your garden? Have a spot where rain water always puddles? Looking for a hardscape project with a Japanese-inspired look? Ever hear of a dry stream bed? Dry stream beds are decorative stone features that can also carry rain water away from foundations and garden beds ...

>> read “How to Build a Dry Stream Bed”    
Tough as Nails

What does your garden have to offer? Wet soil? Dry? Shade? Standing water? Here are some plants that will be happy there. With temperatures that can range from minus 30 to 105 F, the climate in the upper Midwest is a meteorological marvel. Alaska may be colder, but it can’t match us for heat. Saudi Arabia is hotter but rarely sees snow (yes, really; who knew?), let alone a thermometer that plummets to the depths familiar to all of us ...

>> read “Tough as Nails”    
Winter Is for Reading

You don’t have to drool over catalogs with photographs of pastel petals dripping in dew, now arriving by the armloads, to feed your flower addiction in winter. Instead you can discover great, important, entertaining, informing and jaw-dropping beautiful garden books, magazines and pictures — with expired copyrights — completely free on the Internet. Everything you ever wanted to see and everything you never knew you wanted to see ...

>> read “Winter Is for Reading”    
Don’t Cry for Me

We use a catchall term, weeping trees, to describe trees that are pendulous in nature. But so many other adjectives can be used to describe them. Some cascade; some drop like a curtain of rain, straight to the earth; others puddle and leapfrog along the ground; and a few stretch out as if they have wings and look as though they could take flight. People seem to either love them or hate them. The latter find them sad looking or depressing while the former find grace and elegance in their forms ...

>> read “Don’t Cry for Me”    
How to Build a Cold Frame

A cold frame can help you harden off spring transplants, get a head start on the growing season, and lengthen the fall season for cold-tolerant edibles such as lettuce, kale, radishes and herbs by one to three months. Here’s how to make one from a window and some lumber. You have probably heard this a hundred times: "Harden off seedling plants two weeks before transplanting by moving them to a protected area outdoors or by placing them in a cold frame." But you don't have a cold frame, and perhaps never thought you needed one ...

>> read “How to Build a Cold Frame”    
Starting Seeds Now

By March, we’ve dog-eared our seed catalogs and sense that the germination of the growing season is upon us. We’ve carefully ordered (or bought at the garden center) the seeds we will nurture from seedling into fruit. Decorated packets that rattle and hiss a bit as we jostle and inspect them, have landed at our doorstep ...

>> read “Starting Seeds Now”    
Welcome the Birds

Have you ever wondered why you see more birds in local forest preserves than in your yard? Why some birds are seen in the suburbs but not in the city? Have you ever tried to attract hummingbirds or orioles by putting out special bird feeders, only to have them ignored? What can you do to attract more birds to your yard ...

>> read “Welcome the Birds”    
Dress for Gardening Success

I am the last person you would ask about the latest ladies’ fashion. Really. I still own sweaters older than my sons. They are in college. But I do know a great bargain when I see it, and I like to look a little spiffy. Plus, I am very into comfort. So maybe you really should ask me what I like to wear in the garden. This year, it is full-skirted dresses of all sorts (on the cheap, too).

>> read “Dress for Gardening Success”    
 
 
 

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