Spring Garden Tips
Edible Ornamental Container Gardens

Make it beautiful and edible by adding a few flowers to your vegetable container plantings.

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mgm_audio_507_edible_ornamentalFor sunny locations try one of these colorful combinations. Use an orange fruited pepper, like Yummy, as your focal point in a 20-inch pot. Dress it up with the orange flowered Dreamsicle calibrachoa and add some texture with the dark green foliage of curled parsley.

Or use Gretel eggplant as your vertical interest. Add the light airy Diamond Frost euphorbia for contrasting texture and white flowers that echo Gretel’s white fruit. Then allow some tricolor sage with its cream, purplish-pink and green leaves to spill over the edge of the pot.

Shady combinations work as well. Use greens as your edibles and more shade tolerant flowers for these combinations. Bright Lights Swiss Chard makes a nice vertical accent. Then add some golden moneywort and wishbone flower, also known as Torenia.

A bit more information: When selecting edibles for containers look for dwarf or compact varieties and those with colorful foliage, flowers, and fruit. And consider increasing the beauty and your harvest by including edible flowers like calendula, daylilies and roses. And avoid using pesticides on flowers you plan to eat.

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Limbing Up (pruning lower branches) Trees

Put away the saw and enjoy the beauty of your mature evergreen.

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Long Blooming and Repeat Blooming Shrubs

Don’t sacrifice beauty for function when you can have both. Select long blooming shrubs that can screen bad views, create barriers and serve as the framework or a focal point in your landscape.

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Long-Blooming Perennials

Get the most from every square inch of your landscape by including long blooming perennials.

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Love Apples for Valentine's Day

Change things up this Valentine's Day and consider a meal that includes the love apple.

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Low Maintenance Calibrachoas (Million Bells & Superbells)

Brighten your landscape with the season-long blooms of calibrachoas also known as Million Bells® and Superbells®. These cousins of the petunia pack lots of beauty with very little maintenance.

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Low Maintenance, Shade Tolerant Perennial: Pearly White Japanese Painted Fern

Brighten the shade with the creamy fronds of Pearly white Japanese painted fern (Athyrium nipponicum ' Pictum Pearly White').

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Low Maintenance, Shade Tolerant Spring Planted Bulbs

Include low maintenance spring planted Calla lilies, caladiums and elephant ears in shade gardens and containers. They'll keep your gardens looking their best even in fall when many annuals are starting to decline.

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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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Making Flavored Vinegars

Liven up your meals and extend your garden enjoyment with flavored vinegars.

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Managing Picnic Beetles

Don't share the harvest with picnic beetles this summer. Regular harvesting and sanitation can help reduce problems with this garden pest.

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Managing the Heat of Hot Peppers

Turn down the heat on those hot peppers with proper selection and preparation.

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Memorial Day Gardening - Planting Sunflowers

Memorial Day is a traditional planting weekend for many of us. Whether you are just getting started, changing out your seasonal displays or finishing up, consider adding sunflowers to your landscape.

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Mexican Mint Marigold

Add a little color and flavor to your garden and salads with Mexican tarragon (Tagetes lucida).

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Midseason Fertilization for Vegetable Gardens

Increase this season's harvest with a midseason fertilization.

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More Herbs, Less Salt Day (August 29)

Put away the saltshaker and season your meals with herbs instead.

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Moss Gardens

Tired of fighting moss in your lawn and garden? It may be time to embrace it and grow a moss garden.

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Moss in the Lawn

Moss gardens are a beautiful trend in the gardening world. But for many gardeners moss in the lawn and garden is a source of frustration.

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National Acorn Squash Day

Bake it, broil it, microwave it or stuff it– acorn squash that is. And if you didn't grow your own, visit the Farmer's Market and buy it.

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National Acorn Squash Day

Roast it, bake it, or cook it into soup. However you like it, include some acorn squash in one of your meals.

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National Bloody Mary Day - Ode to Lovage

January 1st is National Bloody Mary Day. As you start the New Year consider growing all the ingredients, including the straw, in this year's garden.

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National Garden Month

April is National Garden Month, so plan some fun gardening activities into this month's schedule.

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National Gardening Association - National Garden Month

Join the National Gardening Association and celebrate the joys and benefits of gardening this month – National Garden Month.

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National Gardening Exercise Day

It's National Gardening Exercise Day, so get out and workout in your garden today!

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National Pear Month

You purchase a beautiful pear, set it on the counter to ripen and a few days later take a bite. Seems it is either too hard or over ripe. In fact, 84% of people surveyed did not know how to tell when a pear was ripe.

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National Salad Month; Grow Your Own Salad

May is National Salad Month. Grow your own ingredients for the best tasting and most nutritious salad.

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National Sweet Potato Awareness Month

Celebrate National Sweet Potato Awareness month by including these tasty and nutritious vegetables as a main course, appetizer or side in your meals.

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National Zucchini Day

Celebrate National Zucchini Day, August 8th, by adding fresh zucchini to your relish tray, frying it with onions as a side or by leaving a few of the baseball bat sized fruit on your neighbor’s front porch. Just be sure to ring the bell and run.

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Native Plants for the Shade

Don’t let a little shade stop you from going native. A look at nearby shady natural areas and many of the new garden catalogs will provide lots of ideas.

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New Heat and Drought Loving Annual Varieties

Zinnias, sunflowers and moss roses are the go to annuals for hot dry weather. Liven up the summer garden with a few new heat tolerant varieties.

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New Herb Plants from Old

Bring a bit of flavor indoors for fall and winter. Take cuttings of your favorite herbs to create a windowsill garden.

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New Ways to Include Herbs in Your Landscape

Add a little zip to your garden and meals by planting herbs.

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New Year's Resolution Garden

The holidays are filled with lots of delicious foods and sweets. But now is the time to resolve to grow your own vegetables and eat healthier in the New Year.

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No Fruit on Holly - December's Other Birth Flower

Holly is a popular plant in holiday displays, one of the birth flowers for December and a favorite evergreen in the landscape.

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Nudge Your Bougainvillea Into Bloom

Nudge your potted bougainvillea into bloom with proper growing conditions and proper care.

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Nutritious and Delicious Peppers

They're not just pretty and delicious, peppers can help strengthen your bones, fight cancer and reduce inflammation.

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October Birth Flower - Calendula

An edible beauty serves as the birth flower for those born in October. The yellow and orange blooms of calendulas were considered sacred by some and magical by other cultures of the past. And many used them for dyes, insect repellents and medicinal remedies.

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Old Fashioned Flower Favorites

Picture a favorite garden from your past. Perhaps it included such traditional favorites as foxgloves, peonies, gardenias and sweet peas. Gardeners and brides are once again including many of these old-fashioned favorites in their gardens and weddings.

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Orienting the Rows in Your Veggie Garden

North to south, east to west – does it matter how you orient the rows in your garden?

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Ornamental and Edible Fruits

You don’t need to sacrifice beauty to grow a few edibles in your landscape. Many ornamental plants grown for their beauty also produce edible fruit.

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Ornamental Edible Landscape - Fruit Plants

Round out your meals with some fresh from the garden fruit. It is easier than you think to grow your own apples, plums, and berries.

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Outdoor Vegetable Cleaning Station

Don’t let your garden soil end up in the kitchen. Instead create a produce cleaning station outside near the garden.

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Overwintering Container Planters

Trees, shrubs and perennials are great for container gardens. But as winter approaches we need to provide a bit of care to help them through the winter.

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Pallets Add Function and Beauty to the Landscape

Upcycle old pallets into fences, compost bins, planters and even sheds.

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Picking Apples & Pears

Whether you grew them yourself or visited a Pick-Your–Own farm, get the best flavor from your apples, pears and plums by harvesting them at the right time.

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Plan and Plant a Row for the Hungry

Make a difference one row of vegetables at a time.

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Planning a Flower Garden

Put old garden catalogues to work as you plan your flower gardens this year.

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Planning a Vegetable Garden for Harvest and Preserving

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 Bit of Magic - Fairy Garden

Add a little magic to your landscape with a fairy garden.

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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 Patriotic Red, White and Blue Garden or Container

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a little red, white and blue in the garden.

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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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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 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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Poor Garden Harvest

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

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Poor Melon Harvest - Few and Tasteless Fruit

It's not your fault. Blame it on the weather when your muskmelon harvest is small or the fruit is tasteless.

You'll notice muskmelons lack the usual sweet flavor when the weather is dark and cloudy. Overwatering or excess rainfall as the melons ripen also dilutes the sweet flavor.

mgm audio 080316 poor melon harvestPoor pollination explains the lack of fruit. The first set of flowers are all male. The second set are male and female so pollination and fertilization can occur for fruit to develop. Cold rain and cloudy conditions can reduce pollination. Make sure to grow bee friendly plants in your landscape.

Very hot weather and drought can also prevent fruit development. Be sure to water plants thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are crumbly and slightly moist. Mulch with straw, shredded leaves or other organic matter to conserve moisture and suppress weeds.

A bit more information: Water properly throughout the season, manage weeds and mulch the soil. Keeping plants healthy reduces the risk of diseases that can also impact the fruit's flavor.

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Prepare Garden Soil Now for Next Season

Now is the perfect time to start preparing for next season's garden. As you finish harvesting a garden bed start preparing for the season ahead.

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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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Pruning Currants and Gooseberries

Many gardeners are growing their own fruits and vegetables, including some traditional favorites like currants and gooseberries. Proper pruning will keep these plants looking good and productive.

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Pruning Fruit Trees

Increase your harvest with proper pruning.

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Pruning Raspberries

Prune raspberries in winter to increase your harvest and reduce pest problems.

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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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Redbud Tree a Four Season Beauty

Beautiful reddish purple buds line the branches and trunks of the picturesque redbud tree. As the temperatures warm the buds burst into rosy pink or magenta blooms. And this is just the beginning of this tree’s beauty.

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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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Reviving Wilted Cut Roses

Nothing says Happy Valentine’s Day like a fresh bouquet of roses. And nothing is more disappointing than when the necks of those roses wilt and ruin the display.

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Rhubarb

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

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Sage, a Holiday Herbal Favorite

When you contemplate a winter holiday meal, stuffing seasoned with sage may be on the menu. This herb has long been used for culinary and medicinal purposes.

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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 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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Sea Lavender (Limonium latifolia), A Drought Tolerant Cut Flower

Add sea lavender to your list of must-have cut flowers. The light airy flowers blend nicely in any garden and the flowers are great for fresh and dried arrangements as well as craft projects.

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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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Selecting Groundcovers

Do a bit of remodeling in your landscape this year and dress up the ground beneath your feet with groundcovers.

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Shade Combinations for Attracting Hummingbirds

Don’t let shade stop you from attracting hummingbirds to your garden. Include a few hummingbird favorites in the garden or container plantings.

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Shade Tolerant Grass-Like Plants

Looking for grass-like plants that tolerate the shade? Many of our native and ornamental sedges thrive in shady conditions.

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Shrubs Made for the Shade

Add structure and a year round framework to your shady landscape with shrubs.

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Simple Tips for Planting Annuals

Memorial Day is the traditional start of gardening for many. Get your plants off to a healthy start with proper planting.

Include annuals on your Memorial Day planting list. They can add a little color and even fragrance to any garden in any season.

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Snowberry

What a great time of year to talk about an old time favorite shrub, the snowberry. You may recognize this plant by its white snowball like fruit.

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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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Speed Up Your Tomato Harvest

Be the first in your neighborhood to harvest a red ripe tomato from your garden this summer.

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Spiral Herb Garden

Grow a 25-foot row of herbs in a circular garden 6 feet in diameter and 3 feet tall by creating a Spiral Herb Garden.

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Spring Container Gardens

Add a bit of color and fragrance to your entryway with a spring container garden.

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Sterilizing Soil

Save money and your plants from disease by growing in pathogen-free potting mix.

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Still Time to Plant Vegetables - Late Additions to the Garden

Don’t let the calendar stop you from gardening. There is still time to plant vegetables for you and your family to enjoy.

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Storing and Cleaning Pots

Fall is about clean up and preparation for the season ahead. Don't overlook your containers when packing away summer garden supplies.

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Storing and Preserving Herbs

Preserve the flavor and zest of herbs with proper storage and preservation.

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Storing Squash for Winter

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

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Strawberries for Any Landscape

Anyone can grow fresh strawberries for their cereal in the morning or to enjoy with a glass of wine at night.

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Strawberries for Every Space Garden

Add a bit of nutrition and beauty to your patio, deck, or balcony with a pot of strawberries. It’s a great way to keep a nutritional snack close at hand.

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Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia) for Difficult Growing Conditions

Don't let heavy shade or damp and clay soil stop you from gardening. Consider adding a Summersweet, Clethra alnifolia, to your landscape.

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Sustainable, Low Maintenance Keyhole Gardening

Increase garden productivity while decreasing water and fertilizer needs with keyhole 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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Sweeten Your Garden and Meals - Stevia

Grow your own natural sweetener. Use leaves of the Stevia plant to sweeten soups, sauces, or beverages.

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Take Cuttings Now to Overwinter Annuals

It’s never too early to start preparing for winter. Start taking cuttings from annuals and herbs you want to overwinter indoors. Your garden plants are healthier and will root faster now than they will later in the season.

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The Edible and Ornamental Chokeberry (Aronia)

Though chokeberry is not an appetizing name, this four season beauty is making a big impact in edible and ornamental gardens.

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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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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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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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Tuberous Begonias Brighten Shady Gardens

Brighten up those shady spots in the garden with tuberous begonias.

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Vacation Care for Plants

You’ve got the car packed, the pets at the kennel and your kids are ready to go. But what are you going to do about all those beautiful containers?

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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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Waterwise Vegetable Gardening

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

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What's Blooming in Your Yard - A Garden Phenology

Break out the camera, notebook or garden journal and start recording the beautiful blooms in your garden. It‘s a fun family activity that can help you increase your garden’s beauty and manage garden pests.

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What's New: 2011 All-America Selections Winners (AAS)

Get your garden off to a winning start by including a few All-America Selections winners in this year’s 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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Winter Care for Unplanted Trees, Shrubs and Perennials

Fall plant sales and all those tempting new varieties have many of us buying more plants than we have time or space to plant. Protect them over the winter and reduce your workload by heeling them in until you have time to find a permanent spot in your garden.

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Winter Container Gardens and Outdoor Arrangements

Add a bit of greenery to your front steps, window box or patio with a winter container.

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Year of the Gerbera Daisy

It’s the fifth most used cut flower in the world, comes in single, semi double, double and spider type flowers and is the 2013 Flower of the Year. Did you guess? It’s Gerbera Daisy.

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Yellow Leafed Plants for Shade

Brighten up the shade with a few yellow foliage plants. You'll improve the mood inside the garden and draw attention to those shady spots in your landscape.

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