The cusp of the New Year is not prime gardening season in much of the United States. But, it’s often an excellent time to map and design a new garden or planting border, even in areas that experience real winter. All that is required are bare ground, a relatively mild day, and a few common household items.
Start by considering the garden’s location, size, shape, and desired plants and […]
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.
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
Don’t be afraid to grow your own apples. Sure, most varieties are rife with disease problems, but there are varietal exceptions, and smaller trees make management easier. Choosing disease-resistant apples and understanding care requirements will make for a reliably healthy harvest. Aspiring orchardists need not be discouraged.
Vegetable gardens with a good mix of companion plants can perform better.
Some attractive and useful companion plants really do help ward off certain insect pests from specific crops. Plant these companions in quantity, and they can serve to reduce the populations of common insect pests of vegetables.
Research has shown that some companion plantings reduce the number of insect pests that attack vegetable crops. Some companion plants are trap […]
Row cropping or blocked beds make it easy to rotate crops from one year to the next.
Vegetable gardening is a dynamic process. Gardeners have to shift from cool-season spring vegetables to warm-season summer vegetables back to cool-weather crops. In between, savvy gardeners rotate their crops to maximize their output and health. Here are some seasonal planting and rotation tips that will help vegetables transition effortlessly and produce […]
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