Spring Garden Tips
Flowers Fail to Bloom

Summer heat and drought can be hard on our plants and impact our gardens beauty and productivity. We can’t change the weather but we can help our plants through these stressful times.

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mgm_audio_493_flowers_fail_bloomStressed plants often fail to flower. Extreme heat or cold prevents tomatoes from setting fruit and causes peppers to drop their blossoms. The same goes for many of our ornamental plants. Some flowers like sweet alyssum and lobelia tend to stop flowering during hot weather. Grow more heat tolerant varieties like Snow Princess and the variegated Frosty Knight alyssum as well as Laguna and Techno lobelia.

And when the heat sets in, reduce the stress on your plants. Mulch the soil to keep roots cool and moist during hot weather. Water thoroughly but less frequently to encourage deep roots that are more heat and drought tolerant. And don’t apply high nitrogen quick release fertilizers than can damage stressed plants.

A bit more information: Proper soil preparation and fertilization will improve the overall health and vigor of your plants making them more heat and drought tolerant. Use a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer like Milorganite milorganite.com at the start of the season. If the season turns hot and dry, it will not damage your plants. Consider using a plant strengthener like JAZ Spray jazsprays.com to increase your plants natural defenses making them more resistant to heat and drought stress as well as insect and disease infestations.

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Ornamental Cabbage and Kale

Ornamental cabbage and kale are popular cool season annuals. Their colorful leaves brighten the fall and for some, the winter landscape. But what's the real difference between these two.

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Perennial Garden Renovations

Give your tired perennial garden a boost without a total renovation. Topdressing your garden with compost every year or two provides most if not all the nutrients your perennials need.

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Plan a Bit of Fragrance in Your Garden

Ahhh the sweet smell of lilacs generate fond memories for many of us. Be sure to grow a few new memories in your garden this year.

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Plan and Grow a Fragrant Garden

Plant a bit of aromatherapy to elevate your mood and bring back fond memories from your past.

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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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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 Your Own Fertilizer - Cover Crop and Green Manuring

Plant your own fertilizer this fall to improve next year's garden.

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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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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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Prepare Your Lawn for Summer with Late May Fertilization

Help your lawn prepare for the stressful summer season with a late May application of a low nitrogen organic fertilizer like Milorganite.

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Preparing Perennials for Winter

Procrastination is a good thing when it comes to cleaning up your landscape in fall.

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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 & Overcoming Disease Problems

Keep your plants looking good and be kind to the environment despite the risk of disease problems.

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Proper Watering

Plants like people need water for healthy growth and development. Gardeners often need to supplement rainfall to keep plants healthy. If done right, it can make the difference between a failed garden and success. Done wrong, it increases disease problems, causes greater drought stress for your plants and wastes water.

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Protect Plants and Containers from Squirrels

Squirrels dig up bulbs, munch on tomatoes and damage containers and hanging baskets. You'll need a variety of techniques and some luck to win the battle with these varmints.

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Rain Gardens

Don’t let the all that valuable rainwater go down the storm sewer. Instead, put it to work growing a beautiful garden in your landscape.

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Recycle Christmas Tree in the Garden

Don't drag that Christmas tree to the curb to be hauled away by the trash collectors. Give it a second, even third life, in your landscape.

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Recycle Fall Leaves in Your Landscape

Put fall leaves to work improving your garden soil.

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Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Don’t drag that Christmas tree to the curb. Give it a second life in your landscape.

Cut trees make great windbreaks in the landscape. Strategically place discarded Christmas trees on the windward side of rhododendron, boxwood and other broadleaf evergreens to reduce problems with winter burn.

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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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Reduce Stress - Visit a Conservatory

The holidays are a wonderful time for family, friends and neighbors to gather, feast and exchange gifts. It can also be a stressful time overfilled with festivities. So take a break and visit a nearby conservatory this winter.

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mgm audio 122414 conservatoryResearch has shown, and gardeners know, that plants and gardening are good for the mind, body and spirit. Just being surrounded by greenery can lower your blood pressure and elevate your mood.

Conservatories are glass buildings that were constructed in colder climates to overwinter citrus and other tender or rare plants. You often can find birds and occasionally small animals along with plants in these heated glass buildings.

But conservatories are not just glass houses filled with pretty plants. They serve as a space for relaxation, a site to conserve endangered species and educate the public about the environment.

A bit more information: Conservatories originated in the 16th century, but experienced great growth and increased popularity during the late 19th century. If there isn't a conservatory in your neighborhood, plan a visit to your local florist or garden center.

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Reduce Water Use When Growing a Lawn

Implement several water-wise strategies to reduce water use when growing a lawn.

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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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Reseeding Annuals

Tight budgets or just a sense of wonder may have you looking for annuals that readily reseed in the garden.

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Reviving a Flower Garden

Don’t panic if your spring garden lacks the vim and vigor the past. You can improve the health and beauty of your garden without starting over.

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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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Safely Store Landscape Products

Whether you’ve gone organic or use traditional fertilizers and pest management products you need to store them properly for safety’s sake and their longevity.

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Save Money and Still Have a Big Tomato Harvest

Whether you have a large or small planting budget, the more you save on each project means the more projects you can do.

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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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Save Water and Money with Rain Barrels

Save money and be kind to your garden and the environment by capturing rainwater and putting it to work in your landscape.

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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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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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Selecting Mulch for the Garden

Mulch can beautify your garden, suppress weeds, moderate soil temperature and conserve moisture. Consider both function and beauty when selecting mulch for your landscape.

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Selecting Rain Barrels

Save money and be kind to your garden and the environment by capturing rainwater and putting it to work in your landscape.

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Selecting the Best Mulch

You can suppress weeds, conserve moisture, improve soil and save time with one garden resource. And that’s mulch.

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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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Smart Irrigation Month - Planning a WaterSense Irrigation System

Watering our landscapes properly can save water and improve our plants' health. And if you decide to invest in an irrigation system make sure to get the best value and water savings by doing your homework first.

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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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Spring Container Gardens

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

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Strategies for a Low Maintenance Perennial Garden

Look for ways to reduce maintenance and still have a beautiful perennial garden.

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Summer Lawn Care

Warm temperatures, drought and summer rain storms take their toll on our landscapes. Keep your lawn healthy and looking its best despite the summer weather.

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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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Sweep Your Way to Cleaner Water

Break out the broom and sweep your way to cleaner drinking water.

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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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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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Tired of watering? Save time, money and water with a few simple changes.

Mulch your garden beds with shredded leaves, evergreen needles, or other organic matter. It conserves moisture while suppressing weeds and improving the soil.

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Tomato Growing Tips

Space challenged gardeners can grow tomatoes in containers. A 3 to 5 gallon pot is perfect for a single tomato plant skirted by a few flowers or herbs. Or try mixing a few tomatoes in with your shrubs and flowers.

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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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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 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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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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Watch for and Prevent Borers on Trees and Shrubs

Extreme heat and cold, droughts and floods can leave our plants stressed and more susceptible to damaging borers.

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Water Problems in Your Landscape and Solutions

Don’t let standing water, seasonal flooding, and poorly drained soils stop you from growing a beautiful landscape. Try one of these strategies to manage the excess water and create a healthy environment for your landscape plants.

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Water Trees for their Health and Longevity

Save energy, care for new trees, and conserve water in one easy step.

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Water Wise Gardening

Use water wisely in your landscape to save you time, improve plant health and reduce your water bill.

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Water Wise Gardening

No matter where you live, being a water wise gardener makes environmental and economic sense. And it’s really easier than you think.

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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

It starts with one little plant. Next thing you know your garden is overrun with them. Some start from seeds that have been dormant in the soil for years while others move in on the wind, in soil additives or with garden transplants.

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Weed Your Garden Day - June 13th

Break out the cupcakes and balloons and get ready to celebrate Weed Your Garden Day on June 13th.

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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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Wilted Plant Leaves

Stop, put down the hose and make sure that wilted plant needs more, not less water before turning on the faucet.

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Winter Lawn Care

Give your lawn a break this winter. Adjust your lawn care practices and use with the change in seasons.

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Winter Protection for Evergreens

Make this the fall you protect your evergreens before winter winds and snowloads cause your arborvitae to split and rhododendrons to wither.

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Winter Rose Protection

Help your roses through the winter and be rewarded with beautiful blooms next season.

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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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Year of the Watermelon

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

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