Calendar of Events
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Your USDA Hardiness Zone
Even experts can kill plants—which is why Roy Diblik offers seven common reasons perennials die.
It’s happened to us all. We have plants (usually the prized, expensive ones) that grow for a season—or maybe a few years—and then they die ...
Winter in Iowa is tailor-made for solving problems in the vegetable garden – before they begin. Our long cold nights are perfect for curling up in your favorite chair with garden books, magazines and the new crop of seed catalogs. Start by choosing troublefree varieties ...>> read “Thought for Food: Planning Perfect Produce” #Advice #Edibles
Gardeners have long had a love/hate relationship with bee balm (Monarda spp.). The fragrant perennial herb attracts butterflies and hummingbirds like crazy, but also tends to get powdery mildew and take over the garden. That is, until now ...>> read “Monarda ‘Pardon My Pink’ and ‘Pardon My Purple’” #Hot Plants
Raise Chickens, Rabbits and Goats
The food movement in this country has prompted many to rethink where our food comes from. Economic times have brought people around to giving “growing their own” some serious thought; after all, many remember our parents or grandparents stepping into the backyard and gathering eggs for breakfast or a mess of green beans for dinner or fresh milk from the family cow or goat.>> read “The New Faces of Urban Spaces”
As some landscapes age, they begin to look overgrown and unattractive. Many times the landscaping was done incorrectly, resulting in the need for a new landscape sooner than would have otherwise been needed ...>> read “Updating an Overgrown Landscape” #Landscaping
Except on Groundhog’s Day, when they are cute, cuddly weather prognosticators, woodchucks are burrowing and plant-eating pests. Here’s what you should know about this rodent for the other 364 days of the year.
Spring finds gardeners dreaming of their best gardens yet. But, beware! There are critters dreaming of your gardens, too, one being the woodchuck ...
Geum triflorum is an early blooming, native perennial that provides months of interest. In early to mid-April, you’ll see red flower buds just above the cut foliage, only 4 to 6 inches tall. The whole plant—foliage and the flowers—elongate over time, growing 12 to 15 inches tall. From late April through May, the nodding pink flowers bloom. The best part comes as the flowers mature and the red stamens elongate up to 2 inches, giving the plant its smoky appearance ...>> read “Prairie Smoke” #Hot Plants
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”
Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra
Smooth oxeye, also called false sunflower or early sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra) is an herbaceous, clumping perennial native to much of Eastern North America. Found naturally in dry to moist open woods, smooth oxeye is especially known for its long-flowering duration (June through September). The cheery, daisy-like flowers are comprised of yellow to orange-yellow rays surrounding a cone-shaped central disk ...>> read “Smooth Oxeye” #Hot Plants
Thrift-store shopping is no longer just frugal but also fashionable, especially when it comes to upcycling second-hand treasures as garden containers. Think vintage handbags, rugged cowboy boots, seldom-worn children’s dress shoes and discarded toy trucks — all vessels ready to fill with plants ...>> read “Thrift Shop Chic”
With careful selection, your landscape can be beautiful while also providing you with a bountiful harvest. Apples, pears, peaches and plums have their place in the edible landscape, but you may enjoy growing minor fruit crops or newer introductions, as well. Consider your site and growing conditions before adding these common to unusual woody plants to your landscape ...>> read “Selecting Woody Plants for an Edible Landscape” #Feature
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”
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