1. Published

    January finds us thinking we have already had our share of cold, and this year, some snow. Yet the colorful gardening catalogs keep us thinking that spring will return. The vegetable and flower gardens are certainly asleep until spring, but we can take a yard inventory from the dining room window and think about what we liked, what grew well and not so well, and begin to generally plan how we want our yard to look in 2021.

  2. Published

    As we approach mid-January, there may be more going on inside than outside for gardeners. Perennial beds covered in snow enjoy the protection from drying winter winds and the winter sun (if we ever see sunny days anytime soon). For some of us, traditional bird feeding started weeks back.

  3. Published

    January begins the annual flight of vegetable, flower, and fruit tree catalogs to your mailbox (or your email inbox). Depending on your level of gardening, the catalogs may arrive frequently and in mass.

  4. Published

    Firewood is sold in a variety of ways these days, from a small bundle at the local gas station to a truckload dumped on the driveway waiting to be stacked by you later.

    Measurements for firewood go back to sometime between 1630 and 1640. Back then, you could still buy firewood by the “cord.” The story goes that the term originated from the materials used to measure the firewood – namely a line, string, rope or “cord.”

  5. Published

    I know you are already thinking, “Why is he talking about what to do with the holiday tree while presents are still under it?” Well, I may be rushing the calendar a bit, yet having an expectation of how best to recycle the tree makes the follow-through easier.

  6. Published
     

    In 2020, many garden retailers found themselves with empty shelves or running very low on seeds and other common garden items. Like any other industry, future orders are based on previous sales with a projected increase to match sales goals. Seed producers base their production on the orders they get from retailers without a lot of cushion. (There is not always a good market for leftover seed.)

  7. Published

    A brief history of decorating evergreens

  8. Published

    Everyone recognizes that 2020 has been quite a unique year. Travel has been limited or off the table, school or work may have been moved to home, and since spring, holidays have been celebrated in different ways. One big stress reliever in all of this may just have been the backyard garden and the home landscape.

  9. Published

    What’s your favorite holiday plant? If you said the Poinsettia, you would be in good company. Since 1825 when the Poinsettia was introduced from Mexico, it has been the traditional holiday gift plant. With good reason, too. Poinsettias are not only striking in color and shape, but they can last for several weeks to several months with proper care.

    Temperature and placement

  10. Published

    We winterize the lawn mower, why not the home orchard and landscape? Now is the time to prevent problems later, by spending some time with your favorite young trees and fruit trees.

  11. Published

    How do you handle wildlife in your yard? Do you welcome the birds, squirrels, and other critters, or do all you can to discourage them from visiting? If you are a birder, you can expect to see four-legged critters visiting often too.

  12. Published

    Sometimes life gets in the way of doing things on time, especially in the yard, and even if we know better. This past gardening season for homeowners may have had a way of pushing those garden activities back since our year has been so different in so many ways. The weather pattern is most likely to blame, and we have to blame something!

    Leaves

  13. Published

    We have had some good weather to begin our fall cleanup efforts in the home landscape, and other days, it has been too cold and rainy to get out in the yard as we would have wanted. Those days have allowed us to see what else will need to be done before the “snow flies.” Master Gardeners continue to field calls remotely and a common one has been the abundance of weeds found as yard cleanup is progressing.

  14. Published

    Those of you who enjoy the crackling fire outside in the fire pit, soon may be planning your transition to the indoor fireplace. Burning questionable quality firewood outside does not take away from the joy of sitting around the pit after dark, but it can make a big difference inside.

  15. Published

    What a great time of year – crisp mornings, warming up to comfortable afternoons, with the opportunity to have that outdoor firepit going after dark.

    October also signals the annual trip to a farm or farm stand for fall outdoor decorations including pumpkins, mums, flint corn with or without stalks, and an array of colorful gourds in weird shapes and textures.

  16. Published

    There are still many activities in the yard that could be covered, but I am picking three timely topics to cover this week. They all have to do with one thing: soil.

  17. Published

    Late summer and early fall provide us opportunities to learn more about the insect world. With our outdoor bloom show coming to a close, there are a great many insects that had been feeding on flower parts that are now looking around for something else to eat or thinking about vacationing where it is warm – inside our homes.

  18. Published

    Late summer triggers a column on our houseplants that are going to be brought back into our homes for the winter. For many, we take them outside to let Mother Nature nurture them back to a better state of health, or to kind of take a vacation from having to care for them as carefully as we had been during the winter. You may have set them out on the ground under shrubs or evergreens, put them on the edge of the patio, or maybe you have plant stands you use under your trees in the yard.

  19. Published

    Homeowners have likely heard of core aeration as a way to relieve soil compaction in the lawn. While that is certainly true, coring has several more benefits for the grass plant, microbial activity in the ground, and thatch management.

  20. Published

    The weather can, does, and will influence foliage disease each year, starting in the early weeks of spring. While early spring was a long time ago, many diseases are now quite visible in the home landscape.