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How To Grow Star Fruit Indoors

Dwarf star fruit trees can start producing when they are only 18 inches high. (Image by Wiki Nursery)

Looking for an easy-to-grow fruit that will bring light and sparkle to your gardening life during the darkest months of the year? Tasty, tropical star fruits (Averrhoa carambola) may be the answer, even if you live in a cold-winter climate. Dwarf trees have made indoor growing possible.

Angular star fruits are succulent […]

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Garden Journaling: How To Plan Your Dream Garden

A journal is one of the best tools for achieving the garden of your
dreams. Your recorded observations of what’s happening today will give you a clearer
vision of what to do tomorrow – and many years beyond.

Starting Your Garden Journal

A note pad, smartphone, and/or computer are all you need to build your journal. Use them to record the dates and details of significant garden happenings, such as the following […]

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Potted Holiday Trees: Selection and Care

Small or large potted holiday conifers are fragrant, fresh and provide living beauty in the home, but which should you choose for outdoor planting, and how do you care for them after the lights and glitter are shed? The right care will ensure their longterm health. Here’s how to give them what they need for success.

Know Your Trees

When picking a live tree, know what kind it is, and […]

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Repotting Pot-Bound House Plants

Pot-bound root systems can no longer access adequate water and fertilizer.

There is no shame in harboring a pot-bound plant. It can happen to anyone because pot- or root-bound specimens come in all sizes, shapes, ages, and situations. The geranium or aloe that spent a luxurious summer vacation on the back porch may be bursting out of their containers. The bargain spider plant, purchased from the garden center at […]

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Plum Yew and Japanese Holly: Better Shrubs for Shearing

Some garden settings are just made for the stylized, symmetrical look of sheared shrubs. Likewise, some shrub species take especially well to being sheared into dense, geometrical shapes

An essential ingredient of formal Japanese gardens, French parterres, English hedges, and other stylized landscape features, sheared shrubs excel at providing structure or at balancing other architectural elements (such as pillared entryways and granite walls). To fill this bill requires a […]

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Growing and Taming Jerusalem Artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke is a unique sunflower with delicious, nutty, edible tubers.

Gardeners who have grown Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) have a love-hate relationship with it. The tall, fall-blooming sunflower puts on a big show but spreads aggressively by root and rhizome and sends up 8-10-foot stems that tend to fall over at bloom time. Its delicious edible tubers make up for any bad traits. They have a nutty, […]

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Growing Tropical Fruits Indoors

Dwarf Cavendish bananas and calamondins and are super tropical fruits for indoor growing.

Growing tropical fruits in Toledo (or Toronto or Trenton) may seem like the stuff of fantasy. It’s perfectly doable, though, thanks to the numerous dwarf tropical fruit trees that take well to containers and flower and fruit at a young age. A warm sunny outdoor location in summer, an equally sunny indoor niche in […]

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Growing Winter Pears

Many of the finest pears (Pyrus communis) for growing and eating are harvested to perfection in the winter months. Their fruits become juicy, even buttery, when fully ripe. By late fall, they should start showing up at orchard stands and farmers markets for fresh eating and cooking, but homegrown fruits are even better, if you have the time and yard space.

Like most popular tree fruits, such as cherries, […]

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Small Spring Bulbs with Big Impact

When planting bulbs in fall, plant small. “Minor” bulbs can have a major impact in the spring garden. Individually, they may not measure up to bulbous divas such as Darwin tulips and large-cupped daffodils.  But combine a few divas with a chorus of lesser companions, and the real magic happens. Why have a quartet when you […]

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Beautiful Culinary Sage

In late spring to early summer, sage produces purplish or violet flowers (far right).

For better or worse, we live in the age of multitasking, when the ability to do at least two things at once has become a common goal. As we multitask through our days, we gardeners can’t help but ask our plants to do […]

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