Year of the Tulip 2018

Tulips say “spring” like no other flowers. Their vivid, paint-box colors are a feast for winter-weary eyes. These members of the lily family (thus, a relative of onions) typically grow a single stem and flower from teardrop-shaped bulbs that are planted in fall for spring flowers. Tulip bulbs require a dormancy period with cool, winter-like temperatures. During this time, the

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Butterfly Bush

Ambrosia for butterflies, blooming shrub for the garden Can you guess which plant tops the list of “Best Plants for a Butterfly Garden”? Its name is a huge hint. Of course, Butterfly Bush Buddleia (also Buddleja) reigns Number One. This sun-loving shrub produces nectar-filled blooms that always seem to be the most popular among butterflies. If by chance there might

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HOSTA

Hosta–still king of shade plants and 
easy for every gardener to grow Why Hostas Hostas continue to reign as the king of shade plants. In fact, they remain the top selling perennial in the country, surpassing the ever-popular daylily by a factor of two in sales volume. Hostas tolerate shade where many plants do not. But why are hostas so

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dealing with waterlogged soils

Extended wet periods can cause problems with our area soils. Soils in this part of the country, for the most part, tend to have high clay content. Clay is poorly drained and aerated, and holds high levels of water, which can be detrimental to many plants.   Identifying water-damaged plants Waterlogged soils exclude oxygen from the roots thus causing decline

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PICK SOME PEPPERS

Peppers, a highlight in any garden are one of the easiest plants to grow. Bringing a rainbow of colors, a plethora of shapes and different degrees of heat to your table, peppers are an attractive addition to any garden or container. It’s easy to value these plants for looks and flavor alone, but the pepper is a nutritional powerhouse as

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FLOWER FLIES

Their Babies Eat Your Aphids Photos and Text by Tom Schroeder When I say the word “Fly”, you probably do not imagine brightly colored, harmless Flower Flies feeding on flowers in your garden. Their larvae spend the night voraciously eating aphids on your garden plants while you sleep. By modifying a few gardening practices, you can encourage this natural pest

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Homemade Hummingbird Nectar

Making your own nectar couldn’t be easier.  In a few easy steps, you can bring these nectar-loving birds to your feeder. Materials: 1/4 cup of refined white sugar 1 cup boiling water bowl spoon Important: Don’t use honey; it can promote dangerous fungal growth. Organic, natural and raw sugars contain levels of iron that could be harmful. Plain white table

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Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

A campaign to register a million public and private gardens and landscapes to support pollinators. The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge (MPGC) is a nationwide call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across America. We will move millions of individuals, kids and families outdoors and

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Growing Herbs

Easy and Tasty Basil Basil likes the warmth of full sun to grow best. Lift transplants carefully by the leaves instead of the stem. Set outdoors only after soil and air temperatures are warm. One chilly night can set plants back. Sweet green basil can be dried, frozen in ice cubes, or used fresh. Blended with pine nuts, oil and cheese, this

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