Articles filed under Gardening

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  • Compost solutions for the kitchen Jan 27, 2015 6:01 AM
    The compost pile is almost like a family member that deserves to be fed. If the pile is well managed, feeding it is a painless ritual. This means taking out the bucket of kitchen scraps every day or two, before they begin to call attention to themselves.

  • ‘Lucky bamboo’ may be lucky, but it’s not bamboo Jan 21, 2015 6:01 AM
    The New Year is still young so let’s continue to welcome it in — with some lucky bamboo. At this time of year, this plant appears in supermarkets and plant stores across the country. It may or may not be lucky, but bamboo it ain’t.

  • For love of succulents: Tips for drought-tolerant gardening Jan 15, 2015 6:01 AM
    Drought-tolerant gardening is fast becoming a nifty form of home landscaping, as moderate to severe drought conditions and rising water bills have swept across much of the country. “Drought-tolerant plants, such as succulents, have color. They have texture. They save water,” said Molly Thongthiraj, who with her sisters has owned and operated the California Cactus Center in Pasadena for 38 years. “They’re hardy. They can take our temperatures. They can take the lows, they can take the highs.”

  • Home and Garden Expo returns to Drury Lane Jan 15, 2015 1:11 PM
    WGN's Lou Manfredini will be one of the guest speakers when the Home and Garden Expo returns Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 24 and 25, to the Drury Lane Theater and Event Center in Oakbrook Terrace.

  • It’s January Madness, so let’s discuss top seeds Jan 12, 2015 6:01 AM
    January marks the slow but unmistakable start of a fresh growing season. This beginning takes the form of the arriving seed catalogs, still fun to hold in one’s hands, to leaf through, in this digital age. Even if your browsing is now entirely online, the catalogs and the seed merchants behind them provide a timeless and dual service.

  • Herbs need generous sunlight indoors Jan 11, 2015 1:01 AM
    Q. At this time of the year I miss fresh basil and find the small packages in the grocery store to be very expensive for making fresh pesto. Do you any hints for growing basil on my kitchen windowsill?

  • Grow bulbs indoors with several methods Jan 10, 2015 7:00 AM
    There are two ways of growing paperwhite narcissus bulbs indoors: in a growing medium such as soilless potting mix or in a shallow dish filled with pebbles.

  • Garden inside by trying to grow herbs Jan 9, 2015 6:00 AM
    The outdoor gardening season is over except for pruning and monitoring for animal damage, but you still can garden inside by trying to grow herbs. Sow seeds of parsley, oregano, sage and dwarf basil in clay pots. Once they germinate, place them under grow lights and water when the soil is dry. Fertilize the plants with a half-strength solution of a liquid fertilizer.

  • Is there a gazing globe in your garden’s future? Jan 8, 2015 6:01 AM
    Did I see a glint of mocking laughter in a friend’s eyes when I mentioned the new addition to my garden, a gazing globe? These mirrored glass ornaments were popular until about 50 years ago, when they fell from their pedestals, figuratively speaking. They’re now making a comeback, straddling the fence between attractive ornament and — to some people — kitsch. Gazing globes date back to 13th-century Italy, a country known for garden ornaments, and, more specifically, to Venice, a city known for glassworks.

  • Resolved to start gardening in 2015? How to start Dec 31, 2014 6:01 AM
    The arrival of a new year is always a good time for fresh starts, and there are few things as enjoyable to start — or that provide fresher returns — than gardening. But how should a novice begin? A helpful first step is to develop a plan. Decide what you want to grow. Choose the best place for growing it. Determine how much you can safely harvest and store. Finally, lay it out.

  • Food hubs link consumers with local farm producers Dec 27, 2014 2:55 PM
    Legal secretary Betsy Bourbeau says the food hub’s deliveries to her place of work are more convenient than shopping at farmers’ markets and cuts down time at the store.“I spend much less time looking at grocery sales, clipping coupons, driving around town and finding parking. I just bring home my food on Wednesday and figure out what to make,” said Bourbeau, 50, who gets produce, bread, cheese, eggs and specialty items for about $38.50 a week — less than she would spend at a farmers’ market.

  • Fire tables join campfire fun Dec 23, 2014 6:01 AM
    Gas-operated fire pits, fire rings and firepit tables are emerging as modern-day substitutes for campfires. Flipping a switch to ignite the flames is a whole lot easier than kindling a stack of firewood. Safer, too. “The outdoor living trend is continuing to gain momentum,” said Ross Johnson, sales and marketing manager for The Outdoor Great Room Co. in Eagan, Minnesota.

  • A sea of red at poinsettia greenhouse Dec 15, 2014 5:40 PM
    The Leider family is growing thousands of poinsettias for the holiday season at Leider Greenhouses in Buffalo Grove.

  • Ignore those ugly rumors about mulch Dec 10, 2014 6:00 AM
    Rumor has it that mulching your garden beds or trees and shrubs could starve your plants. It’s a rumor that has circulated for the past 40 years or so, ever since mulching surged in popularity as a way to quell weeds and conserve water. Is there anything to it? If anything, you’d think that nutrients in mulches would help nourish plants, not starve them.

  • Enjoy water fixtures all year by winterizing Dec 6, 2014 1:01 AM
    For many people with backyard ponds, fountains and other water-garden fixtures, the arrival of cold weather means draining the pipes and pulling the plug.

  • Leave fallen leaves on shrubs, perennials Dec 6, 2014 1:01 AM
    Q. With the cold weather upon us, I still have many fallen leaves on my yard and bushes. Is it necessary to remove them?

  • It’s fall, and boxelder bugs want in Dec 5, 2014 5:45 AM
    Batten down the hatches. It’s that time of year when boxelder bugs are snooping around looking for a winter home. Your home and mine, that is. You know these bugs. They are about a half-inch long and charcoal gray, with three red stripes on their thorax and red veins on their wings.

  • Consider windbreaks to protect evergreens Dec 4, 2014 1:01 AM
    Q. Last spring I found a lot of brown needles on my evergreens. I think it was a type of “winter burn” due to strong cold winds. How can I prepare my evergreens to avoid that problem this year?

  • Tucking your cold-weather babies into beds Dec 2, 2014 5:45 AM
    Frankly, they look a little like Halloween decorations: billowy, semi-sheer white fabric pieces draped over two of my urban front-yard garden’s raised beds. Ghostly, or perhaps spider-webby. What I’m hoping they’ll do is anything but scary. These floating row covers can protect plants from wind and dropping temperatures as we stream through fall and into winter, and I’m counting on them to extend my garden.

  • Evergreens can lose water this month Nov 29, 2014 6:30 AM
    It is easy to forget about watering during the colder weather in November, but recently planted evergreens should not go into winter under stress from being too dry, which will increase the chance of winter burn. Evergreens planted over the last three years should be watered as needed this month if conditions are dry.

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