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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Majestic Pampas Grass

Pampas is actually a perennial grass, native to South America. It grows in large clumps 8 to 10 feet tall with silvery white, rose, purple or pinkish silken plumes that look like feathers sitting atop long stalks. There are dwarf varieties that grow to a height of 4 to 5 feet tall, which seems to be preferred by those gardeners with a smaller space ...

>> read “Majestic Pampas Grass”    
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”    
Moldy Trees? Or Is It Something Else?

“What do I do about my tree? It’s molding!” This has recently become a very common question I hear from gardeners in Northern Indiana, but is most likely a “problem” across the Midwest. Many individuals are seeing this “moldy” growth on the bark of trees or on branches that appear to be dead or dying back ...

>> read “Moldy Trees? Or Is It Something Else?”    
Conserving Water with Rain Barrels

Rain barrels are not a new concept. However, based on the many benefits they offer, it is surprising that they are not more commonly used. I have had my rain barrels now for three years and would highly recommend them to any gardener looking to conserve water by harnessing what nature provides.

>> read “Conserving Water with Rain Barrels”    
Mixing It Up with Cool Cosmos: Notes from My Garden Journal

Amid the autumn plantings, gardeners record plant ideas onto new journal pages this time of year. Cosmos found a way into my writings some time ago, and never left ...

>> read “Mixing It Up with Cool Cosmos: Notes from My Garden Journal”    
Diversify your Landscape
Making better choices for trees and shrubs

Don’t just plant something because all your neighbors have that plant. Think about diversity, and think outside the box. Here are some underused plants that might be better choices than the old standbys. Deciding which trees and shrubs to plant to create an aesthetic ...

>> read “Diversify your Landscape”    
Oh, Deer! 10 Tips for Keeping Deer out of Your Garden

A small herd of hungry deer —or even just a couple — can wipe out entire hosta beds, rows of hedges, swaths of daylilies and tulips and eat all of your roses. Close your garden “salad bar” by using several of these tips ...

>> read “Oh, Deer! 10 Tips for Keeping Deer out of Your Garden”    
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”    
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”    
Tools I Can’t Live Without

When you buy the right tools you can make garden maintenance easier (and less painful). Here are a few must-have favorites. Gardening isn’t all joy. Watching the garden evolve and change with the seasons is one of a gardener’s greatest pleasures but the pleasures also entail a lot of work. Therefore, the avid gardener is always searching for tools that will make maintenance easier ...

>> read “Tools I Can’t Live Without”    
Blessed Are the Aggressive, For They Shall Inherit the Garden

Ideally, good, aggressive garden plants are tough, spread nicely and can be controlled easily by pulling, cultivation or herbicides. The thicker and taller they are, the better they suppress weeds. But what exactly are ‘good’ aggressive plants ...

>> read “Blessed Are the Aggressive, For They Shall Inherit the Garden”    
Common Diseases of Landscape Trees & Shrubs

What’s that spot on the leaves? Or that fuzzy stuff? Why are the leaves falling off? Here’s how to tell whether your woody plants are really sick or just have a little case of fungus.

>> read “Common Diseases of Landscape Trees & Shrubs”    
 
 
 

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