Spring Garden Tips
Make Gardening a Family Affair

Take advantage of weekends, holidays and school vacations to get the children in your life involved with vegetable gardening.

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Plant a vegetable garden with your kidsResearch has found that kids involved with gardening and the outdoors perform better in school, struggle less with ADHD and girls have greater self confidence. Any of us growing vegetables know that children are more likely to eat the vegetables they grow.

Start with a family planning session. Get out some paper, scissors, crayons and old catalogs and create a family garden collage. Have everyone draw or cut out pictures of their favorite plants they want to grow.

Include color and fun in the garden. Purple carrots, watermelon radishes, eye-ball plant and tiny mice cuphea are sure to generate a few smiles as everyone plans, plants and weeds the garden.

Plant lettuce, radishes or other fast growing vegetables that give quick results and keep everyone interested. Marigolds and zinnias are easy to start from seed and favorites of gardeners and butterflies.

A bit more information: And once the garden plans are made, you will need some plant labels. Use flat rocks, old wooden spoons or sections of mini-blinds and get everyone involved in creating plant labels for the garden. Use permanent markers and paints to write the plant names or draw a picture of the plant on the label. And for those feeling less than creative, use seed packets mounted on sticks to mark your rows. Laminate or use contact paper to weatherize the seed packets.

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Nothing beats the flavor of fresh produce, but canning, freezing and drying can help extend your enjoyment throughout the year.

Take some time to plan a garden that will provide you and your family with fresh produce and enough extra to preserve as needed or desired.

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Plant a Gift for Dad this Father's Day

Plant a gift for dad this Father’s Day and give a gift he can enjoy all season.

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Plant a Row for the Hungry in Your Community

Gardeners are some of the most generous people I know. They love to share their ideas, passion for gardening and of course produce. So when you are overwhelmed with tomatoes, peppers, greens and zucchini, contact a nearby food pantry or meal program that can get these vegetables to people in need.

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Plant a Tree for Arbor Day

One of the biggest plant investments you make for your landscape is your trees. Help insure their longevity by planting them right.

Start with a call to 811 at least three days before digging in. This free service will mark the location of all underground wires. This one call can save you money and even your life.

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Plant a Tree for Mother's Day

Give mom the gift that keeps giving for generations to come – a tree. And don't worry if there is no room in your backyard – donate a tree to your local botanical garden, community or American Forest.

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Plant a Tree in Honor of a Veteran

Honor a veteran by planting a tree now or donating to one of many tree planting programs. This living tribute honors the veteran while improving the environment for current and future generations.

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Planting a Garden...Double Up for a Bigger Harvest

Double your harvest without increasing your garden space. Try planting short season vegetables like lettuce, radishes and beets between long season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, okra, cabbage, and broccoli. When the short season veggies are ready to harvest, the longer season larger vegetables will need the space.

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Planting a Garden...Jump Start the Growing Season

Don’t let cold soil and late spring frost delay the start to your garden season.

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Planting and Training Cucumbers, Squash and Melons

The soil has finally warmed and it is time to get pumpkins, melons, squash and cucumbers in the ground.

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Planting Bulbs for Spring Beauty

Tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are sure signs of spring. Get busy now planting a bit of beauty and color for next spring’s garden.

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Planting Garlic

Lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, fight heart disease, boost your immune system, and add a bit of flavor to your meals by growing your own garlic.

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Planting Shrubs

Use shrubs in the landscape for extra color, a bit of privacy and year round beauty.

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Plastic Lumber for the Landscape

While “milk does a body good,” its’ recycled cartons can also do some good in the garden.

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Poor Garden Harvest

Blame it on the weather. This could be one cause for a poor garden harvest.

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Preparing Dormant Annuals for the Growing Season

Clear a spot on the windowsill and make room for geraniums, fuchsias, lantanas and any other plants that were stored in a cool dark location indoors for winter.

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Preserving and Sharing Your Harvest

Are you like me and always squeeze in that extra tomato plant, another row of beans or that one left over pepper plant? It seemed like a good idea at the time. But now you have more produce than you need.

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Preserving the Asparagus Harvest

Preserve the flavor and nutrition of asparagus to enjoy year round.

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Prevent Problems in Your Vegetable Garden

Try a bit of preventative care in this year’s garden. You’ll increase your landscape’s beauty and productivity with less work on your part.

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Preventing Girdling Roots

Increase the health and longevity of your trees by reducing the risk of girdling roots.

These roots encircle the trunk and interfere with the flow of water, nutrients and food reserves between the roots and the leaves.

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Propagating Snake Plants (Sansevieria)

Expand your indoor plant collection and have fun by starting snake plants from just a three-inch section of a leaf.

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Recycle Fast Food Containers

Don’t throw away or recycle those fast food containers just yet. Reuse them when gardening indoors and out.

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Recycle Wrapping Paper into Decorative Pots

Don't throw away that wrapping paper. Give it and other scrap paper a second life in creating decoupage pots for your garden.

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Recycle, Don't Bag or Burn, Fall Leaves

Think of fall leaves as fertilizer falling from the sky, not an annoyance to be raked and removed. Recycle these nutrient-rich packets back into your landscape.

Tree leaves contain 50 to 80 percent of the nutrients the plants absorb from the air and soil throughout the growing season. Recycle these nutrients back into the soil to benefit future plantings.

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Recycling Coffee Grounds

Put coffee grounds and filters to work improving your garden’s beauty and productivity.

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Relay Planting for Bigger Harvest

Plan for a season long harvest of corn, beans and other vegetables with relay planting!

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Rhubarb

Grow the main ingredient for a classic, delicious, and family favorite – rhubarb pie.

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Root Pruning for Transplanting Success

Increase your success when transplanting trees and shrubs with root pruning.

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Save Money by Starting Plants from Seed Directly in the Garden

Maximize your plant budget and enjoyment by starting plants from seeds right in the garden.

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Saving Geraniums

Your geraniums are at their peak bloom and you heard somewhere you could store them overwinter – but how?

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Saving Heirloom Tomato Seeds

Be a part of history and save money when planting next year’s garden. Collect and save the seeds from your favorite heirloom tomatoes this fall.

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Saving Heirloom Tomato Seeds

Be a part of history and save money when planting next year’s garden. Collect and save the seeds from your favorite heirloom tomatoes this fall.

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Saving Leftover Seeds for Next Season

Take a break and prepare for next season by organizing your left over and partially filled seed packets.

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Sealed Lid Seed Sprouting

Increase seed starting success and fun with the sealed lid method my friend and horticulturist Bob Polomski learned from his father.

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Seed Swap for Savings and Fun

The last Saturday of January is National Seed swap day. So gather your gardening friends, seeds and catalogs and throw a garden party.

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Selecting Artificial Lights for Indoor Gardens

Whether you are trying to start plants from seeds, get your African violets to bloom, or keeping your indoor plants alive, a bit of extra light can help.

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Shared Border

Get rid of the fence dividing yours and your neighbors’ yards. Instead create a beautiful garden you both can enjoy.

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Sifting Through Garden Catalogs

Your mailbox and dining room table are overflowing with catalogs filled with pictures of beautiful flowers and scrumptious vegetables. With so many choices it can be a bit overwhelming – I can help.

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Simple Strategies for Planting Small Seeds

Do you have trouble properly spacing the small seeds of carrots, radishes or lettuce? It's easy to end up with half the package in one short row. This is a waste of seed and time spent thinning.

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Skip the Bonemeal

Fall means bulb planting and for many gardeners it means breaking out the bone meal to get them well-rooted and growing. Consider skipping the bone meal. You’ll save money and have better long-term results in the garden.

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Skip the Rubber Mulch

Gardeners are always searching for better looking, longer lasting and less expensive mulches. Rubber mulch has been advertised as an attractive and permanent alternative. Think twice before using rubber mulch in the landscape.

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Space and Time Saving Garden Technique

Create a raised bed, compost and rotate your garden crops in one space using this convenient garden technique.

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Space Saving Vegetable Gardening Tips

Don’t panic if your garden plans are bigger than the available planting space. I have some space saving techniques that can help you get the most out of your landscape.

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Starting Cannas, Dahlias and Other Non-hardy Bulbs Indoors

You can start your summer garden months before the traditional planting date. Start cannas, dahlias or other non-hardy bulbs indoors for bigger transplants and earlier bloom in the garden.

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Starting Plants from Cuttings

Expand your indoor and outdoor garden by taking cuttings from your favorite plants.

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Starting Plants from Kitchen Discards - Seeds

Keep your green thumbs busy starting new plants from kitchen scraps.

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Starting Plants from Seeds

Extend the gardening fun and save money by starting your plants from seed.

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Storing Bulbs for Late Planting

The time to buy bulbs, corms and rhizomes at the garden center is not always the most convenient or best time to plant them in the garden.

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Storing Spring Flowering Bulbs Over Winter

Don't panic if the bulb planting season has passed and you still have some or all your bulbs in need of planting.

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Storing Squash for Winter

Continue enjoying homegrown flavor of squash throughout much of the winter.

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Stretch Out Before Digging In

Don’t let gardening become a painful experience. Warm up your muscles before you dig into gardening.

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Sweet and Tasty Homegrown Carrots

Grow the best crop of carrots yet with proper selection, timing and care.

Select carrot varieties known for their sweet flavor. Dantes, Little finger, Short 'n Sweet, Sweetness, and Tendersweet are just a few to consider.

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Take a Walk in the Park Day

Improve your family’s health and support your local park by celebrating Take a Walk in the Park Day.

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The Last of the Tomatoes

Fall has many of us scrambling to protect plants from frost, move tropicals indoors or finish harvesting our vegetables. Be sure you collect a few green tomatoes to ripen indoors.

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Think Twice Before Staking Newly Planted Trees

Break out the shovel and get busy planting. Fall is a great time to plant trees. The soil is warm and the air is cool, reducing transplant shock.

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Three Sisters Planting Tradition

Try a Native American tradition of planting corn, squash and beans - the three sisters’ method - together in your garden this year.

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Time Vegetable Plantings for Greater Success

It's all in the timing and that goes for planting vegetables.

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Tips for Proper Tree Planting

Fall is a great time to plant trees. Follow these important planting tips to insure the health and longevity of your plants.

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Tomato Troubles

You waited all season for that first red ripe tomato only to discover less-than-perfect fruit. But don’t worry, you can still have a great harvest and improve things for next season.

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Transplanting Cacti, Pain-free

Move potbound cacti and succulents into a slightly larger container without injuring yourself.

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Transplanting Peonies

Looking to expand your peony collection, share a division with a friend or move an ill-placed plant? Fall is the best time to transplant peonies.

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Transplanting Shrubs

Moving trees and shrubs can be tricky and heavy work. Make the move in spring before growth begins or in fall as the plants go dormant for greatest success.

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Try Black-Eyed Peas and Cabbage This New Year

Start the New Year with a good luck meal of black-eyed peas and cabbage.

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Upcycle Pool Noodles into the Garden

Don't throw away those worn out or forgotten pool noodles. Put them to work in the garden.

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Vacation Care for Indoor Plants

Summer is the time for vacations and travel. And if you can’t find a plant sitter, you may need to get creative when it comes to keeping your indoor plants alive.

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Vacation Care for Your House Plants

You can stop your mail, kennel your pets, but it is difficult to find a reliable house plant sitter while on vacation.

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Visit a Farmer's Market and Plan Your Garden

Farmers Markets are on the rise as more and more of us are looking for locally grown fresh produce. You may be surprised to find one or more popping up near your home.

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Visit a Park and Improve Your Mood

Gather family and friends and head out to a nearby park to celebrate holidays, family events or just to relax and escape the stress of everyday life.

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Watering Tips for New Trees

Save time, energy, and conserve water while caring for your new trees.

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Waterwise Vegetable Gardening

You can grow garden fresh produce while conserving water and limiting the time spent watering.

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Weed Control in the Garden

No matter the time of the season, weeds seem to grow and thrive. Keeping them under control will give you a healthier, more productive and attractive garden.

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What's On My Plate Day: Grow Nutritional Vegetables

Celebrate “What’s on my Plate Day” and surprise your family with a plate full of nutritious vegetables. Serve ‘em cooked up as ratatouille, chopped and mixed in a stir-fry or tossed in a tasty salad.

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Wine Bottles - Out of the Recycling Bin and into the Garden

Stop! Don't recycle those wine bottles, instead give them a second life in your garden.

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Year of the Watermelon

The National Garden Bureau has declared 2013 the Year of the Watermelon.

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