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Articles filed under Gardening

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  •  This time of year, there’s nothing better than curling up with a hot cup of tea. Tea gardens are becoming a popular way for brew lovers to bypass the store and enjoy tea’s benefits without additives or preservatives.

    Hot stuff: Grow your own tea from your garden Jan 31, 2014 12:00 AM
    When temperatures fall, there’s nothing better than a piping hot cup of tea. And as craft and organic tea seeps into the mainstream, tea gardens are becoming a popular way for brew lovers to bypass the store and enjoy the benefits of herbal tea without additives or preservatives. “It just tastes and smells better,” says chef Kimmy Tang, who snips mint, lavender and lemongrass from her garden for herbal teas at her 9021PHO restaurants in Los Angeles.

  •  Slugs are ravenous plant eaters that leave behind slimy trails of destruction. Remove any debris that gives them a place to hide during the day, to prevent their pattern of coming out to feed at night.

    Prevent a garden slugfest with baits, upkeep Jan 28, 2014 12:00 AM
    Slugs and snails are ravenous plant eaters that leave behind slimy trails of destruction as they glide through nurseries and lawns, farm fields and gardens. Remedies abound, but prevention is an effective way to start. “Remove any debris from the garden,” said James Dill, a pest management specialist with University of Maine Extension. “Straw, boards, leaves and stuff like that. They provide the perfect hiding places for slugs in the daytime. Then they come out at night and do their damaging thing.” Slugs are essentially snails without shells, Dill said. “Sizes and colors are all over the map but both can be very destructive.”

  •  A pencil cactus, the common name for Euphorbia tirucalli, is an easy-to-care-for houseplant. A single plant looks like many slender, green pencils, each one or more stuck on the end, or growing off the side, of the one before it. A couple of small, elongated leaves perch inconspicuously and briefly at the end of the “pencils,” relegating photosynthesis to the succulent, green stems.

    Sap aside, pencil cactus is nice indoors and out Jan 25, 2014 12:00 AM
    Pencil cactus is a fitting common name for Euphorbia tirucalli, even though the plant would be useless for writing and is not really a cactus. A single plant looks like many slender, green pencils, each stuck on the end or growing off the side of the one before it. A couple of small, elongated leaves perch inconspicuously and briefly at the end of the “pencils,” relegating photosynthesis to the succulent, green stems.

  •  While landscape fabric isn’t pretty, it beats having weeds; Johnny’s Selected Seeds’ Pro9 5 Weed Barrier landscape fabric is stronger than the lighter fabric you find in box stores.

    Landscape fabric isn’t pretty, but it beats weeds Jan 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    We usually avoid landscape fabric, which, unlike an organic mulch such as seaweed or straw, contributes nothing to the life of the soil. But as a weed barrier it is more effective than these.

  •  George Ball, CEO of W. Atlee Burpee & Co., predicts Americans will increasingly incorporate gardens into smaller spaces and urban lifestyles. Plants will be smaller but their yields will be higher.

    Climate of change ahead for gardening Jan 17, 2014 12:00 AM
    The gardening industry’s visionaries are pouring talent and resources into products and ideas they hope will be sown in years to come. So what are the prospects for gardening in the year 2020 and beyond? Some responses from the long-term thinkers:

  •  Raspberries are an easy-to-grow choice for containers. They can be placed near high traffic areas around the property, making for convenient and wholesome snacks.

    Gardening small? Many fruits grow in containers Jan 16, 2014 12:00 AM
    Many fruit growers are going to pots, and small wonder. Containers are great for tight spaces, easy to manage, convenient for harvesting, and provide better soil than is found in most gardens. Everything from blueberries to persimmons, citrus to currents can be grown in containers. And don’t forget that old standby, the clay strawberry pot.

  •  Pruning, along with an arborist using a resistograph to check for tree decay, is used to determine a tree’s stability.

    Wild weather feeds homeowners’ anxiety over trees Jan 16, 2014 12:00 AM
    “It is very common for people to be afraid of trees simply because they are large,” says arborist Joe Lamb. The health of the tree is more important than its size, Buell says, and he recommends that property owners focus on managing their trees. That includes annual health checks, pruning, and precautionary steps such as adding support and even lightning protection when necessary.

  • Associated Press/August, 2013 David Warren works on High Wire Hops farm in Paonia, Colo.

    Hops farming grows slowly despite brewers’ demand Jan 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    Craft brewers eager to capitalize on the local food movement have created a strong demand for hops to flavor their all-local beers, but farms in most states have grown slowly because of high investment costs and limited knowledge of the plants.

  •  A prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura) is a houseplant that tolerates low light levels and “prays” by folding up its leaves each evening.

    Plants wait out the darkest days Jan 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    Plants and people can’t help but feel a bit wan this time of year, but things are brightening up already. Every day the sun is gradually moving higher in the sky, burning with increasing intensity and duration. Houseplants’ problems are further compounded by windows, which cut sunlight by another 10 percent. No wonder these plants, if they are growing at all, stretch for light this time of year. There are ways you can help them.

  • Batavia Community Garden gets 1-year lease Jan 6, 2014 12:00 AM
    The Batavia Community Garden received permission to garden another year on a 1-acre plot in the downtown. But aldermen reiterated that they want the garden, which raises produce for charity, to find another location, on tax-exempt land, so that governments could again receive property taxes off the site.

  • Grass isn’t the only filler you can use between your steppingstones. Tumbled recycled glass, pebble mosaics, gravel and ornamental ground cover are also creative choices.

    Concrete steppingstones — big look, small cost Jan 5, 2014 12:00 AM
    All over, folks are rethinking their midcentury tract homes, which have become swanky architecture for the new millennium. Study these projects enough and you see that concrete steppingstones have evolved from the low-cost choice to hot stuff.

  •  Seeds are weighed and packaged in various sizes at Lockhart Seeds. It’s important for gardeners to invest time in getting to know seed companies through their catalogs and online.

    Despite the cold, there’s much gardening work to be doneJan 4, 2014 12:00 AM
    With temperatures now consistently dipping into the teens, my time spent outdoors tending to my winter garden is becoming less frequent. That leaves more time than ever to turn my attention to indoor garden-related activities.

  •  These ears of sweet-tasting, bicolor corn were grown from seed in containers inside a hobby greenhouse near Langley, Wash. The Burpee’s “On Deck” corn matured in a little more than two months.

    Climate of change ahead for gardening Jan 2, 2014 12:00 AM
    While many gardeners scan the newly arrived seed catalogs to plan their next growing season, the industry’s visionaries are pouring talent and resources into products and ideas they hope will be sown in years to come. Evolutionary biology is just one aspect of flora development; plant resiliency, landscape design and education also are part of the creative mix. So what are the prospects for gardening in the year 2020 and beyond? Some responses from the long-term thinkers.

  •  Unlike many plants, holly’s pollen is borne on flowers that are strictly male, while its eggs are contained in flowers that are strictly female. So you need trees of both sexes if you want to see any berries.

    Hollies need males to look their best Jan 1, 2014 12:00 AM
    You might deck your halls with boughs of homegrown holly, but unless you planned ahead, those boughs could lack red berries. And that leads us to some frank talk about sex. A holly berry, like any other fruit, is a mature ovary, home for a seed or seeds. Seeds are what stimulate development of any fruit, but seeds themselves can’t get started without sex.

  • Huerta chose IKEA’s Jara black barrel shade chandelier as a focal point for her entry area, which also serves as a dining room.

    How to make a rental feel like homeDec 29, 2013 12:00 AM
    Calling a rental apartment home doesn’t have to mean living with ugly light fixtures, hideous appliances and blah white walls. Three years ago, newlywed Seattle designer Kerra Michele Huerta threw herself into space planning, flea market shopping, furniture repurposing, organizing and DIY projects, creating a personal, warm place.

  • As the snow piles up, branches can be damaged under its weight.

    Snow presents challenges for gardenersDec 22, 2013 12:00 AM
    Monitor your garden for animal damage during the winter and install protection as needed. Look for gnawed bark at the base of trees and shrubs.

  • The corky ridges of the hackberry’s bark have a subtle beauty, with crisp areas of light and shadow evocative of photographs of the lunar landscape.

    Hackberry’s worth a second look Dec 17, 2013 12:00 AM
    With many trees and shrubs now bereft of leaves and flowers, more subtle aspects of the landscape come into focus. A tree that many people hardly notice captures my full attention — specifically, its bark. Hackberry bark will not stop you in your tracks, but it possesses a subtle beauty. You have to recognize the bark, then stop and really look at it. Plus, it bears a delectable fruit that tastes like a date.

  •  Tomatoes are tender plants, susceptible to damage from frost. Like most warm-season crops, they can be started indoors or protected by such season-extending tools as cold frames, row covers or hoops until the threat of frigid weather has passed. Wait until soils have warmed to at least 55 or 60 degrees before transplanting.

    How early is too early to plant? Dec 16, 2013 12:00 AM
    “Plant early and you’ll plant often” is an old saying containing more than a kernel of caution. Timing is everything in gardening. Start too soon and you’ll lose your crop to lingering spring frosts. Too late and you’ll gamble with winterkill before you can harvest. So when is the right time to put plants in the ground?

  • Amaryllis bulbs can be potted in shallow containers with a soilless growing medium.

    Be careful when applying ice treatments Dec 15, 2013 12:00 AM
    When using ice melting chemicals on slippery areas, follow directions carefully. Many people apply too much ice melt, which can cause damage to walks and adjacent plants. Consider using sand on slippery areas. Mixing a small amount of ice melt with sand can also be effective and minimize the amount of ice melting chemical that must be used.

  •  Plants given as gifts during the holidays, like the cyclamen pictured, often are wrapped in colorful foil, which traps water in the roots. Be sure to remove the foil, or at least punch holes in the bottom to allow water to drain.

    How to care for houseplants in the winterDec 10, 2013 12:00 AM
    During the winter, most houseplants need less water and little if any fertilizer because their growth has slowed down. They are not in an active growth phase because of short days, reduced humidity and lower temperatures.

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