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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Christmas Conifers for Containers

Save that tree from the New Year’s rubbish heap. Buy a potted or ball-and-burlap tree, bring it inside for Christmas and then plant it outside afterwards. It’s a three-fer: you feel virtuous by not disposing of a carbon sink; you get a tree for the holidays and then in your yard for years to come. A live tree perfumes the air with that iconic pine fragrance that artificial trees lack and eliminates messy needle drop and fire hazards of drying cut trees ...

>> read “Christmas Conifers for Containers”    
Support for Big Tomatoes

This sounds like a vegetable self-help group, but it is really all about keeping tomatoes off the ground.

Long-time gardeners have usually tried several tomato trellising systems in search of a heavy-duty solution ...

>> read “Support for Big Tomatoes”    
Mysterious Mosses

Soft, green, lush, touchable, ancient-looking — mosses are beautiful and fascinating additions to nearly any shade garden. And did you know that they have no root systems? Learn more about these underused undergrowths ...

>> read “Mysterious Mosses”    
Weed Wondering

The presence of certain lawn weeds can be an indicator of specific environmental and soil conditions. Here’s how to ‘read’ your weeds. If you keep your eyes open, you can uncover clues as to why certain things happen. Keeping track of your weed problems can do just that. The end of the year is a good time to reflect on the problems you encountered and make plans to fix them in the coming year ...

>> read “Weed Wondering”    
Green Gap Perennials

Midwestern gardeners have a narrow gap between the cold of winter and heat of summer. But, because of the fickleness of spring weather, there is often a significant gap between the peak of spring bloom (bulbs, roses and early perennials) and the maturity of summer flowers (annuals and summer perennials, such as echinaceas and daylilies). This gap usually becomes apparent throughout late May and early June, when many people’s gardens are green and growing, but with few flowers ...

>> read “Green Gap Perennials”    
Grow a Salsa Garden—Everything but Tortilla Chips

If you are a salsa fan, you can grow an edible garden designed specifically to make this spicy sauce. Tomatoes, tomatillos, hot or sweet peppers, onions, cilantro—you can grow it all ...

>> read “Grow a Salsa Garden—Everything but Tortilla Chips”    
The Annual Review

Just as they review their yearly financial statement, many gardeners do a plant assessment as they consider their gardens for the following year. This is no different than the trialing done at the Gardens at Ball Horticultural. The few new varieties that follow have been chosen from the broad range of annuals (plus one crossover perennial) that are available for the 2012 market.

>> read “The Annual Review”    
50 Ways to Leave Your Water

Learn this new tune and change the way you water your garden. With apologies to musician Paul Simon, there must be 50 ways to leave your water. Just slip out the back, door; make a new plan, man; you don’t need to drag hose, Boz, just listen to me ...

>> read “50 Ways to Leave Your Water”    
Help Your Container Plants Beat the Heat

Do your container plantings need a facelift during the dog days of summer? When summer temperatures reach into the 90s for days on end, plants in containers wilt in the heat just like we do. Sprucing up overworked container plants and worn-out soil can help keep them colorful and cheerful even the hottest summer ...

>> read “Help Your Container Plants Beat the Heat”       #Advice   #Summer
Mulches for the Vegetable Garden

Mulch inhibits weeds and conserves soil moisture. However, many gardeners don’t use mulch in their vegetable beds. Here’s the lowdown on which mulches to use and how to use them. When you mention mulch, the first thought that comes to most minds is the aesthetic look of it in the landscape. A nice, dark bark mulch makes the plants in the bed standout a bit more, but mulch is more than looks ...

>> read “Mulches for the Vegetable Garden”    
Cornucopia - Giving Thanks for the Harvest

If you mention the word “cornucopia,” nearly everyone envisions a pointy basket with fresh fruits and vegetables spilling from its mouth. It’s a common sight this time of the year — autumn, harvest and Thanksgiving — and we see it appearing on everything from greeting cards to decorator items for the home.

>> read “Cornucopia - Giving Thanks for the Harvest”    
The Phosphorous-Free Lawn

Lawn care is experiencing a revolution at its roots. And 2012 is a watershed year, literally and figuratively. Garden center shelves will have few if any turf fertilizers with phosphorous (the P in NPK). Most commercially manufactured lawn care products will be completely free of phosphorous. Others will have less nitrogen (N) too ...

>> read “The Phosphorous-Free Lawn”    
 
 
 

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