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Down the Garden Path 2015

Fireplace safety and firewood Q&A

Fireplace season is here. The First thing typically to do is get it cleaned if you have not cleaned it. This should go to the top of your projects list before you start up the fireplace or wood burner. Creosote buildup can catch fire and chimney fires are common during the winter. The...
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Sanitized for your Protection

Fall is a great time to do clean up in the landscape that seems just like a lot of work with no immediate rewards besides just making the beds look better. The bigger story is when done you are indeed "sanitizing the yard for your own plants protection" Gardeners already know the benefit...
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Out in the Yard and Garden

Lawns have been turning green since the rains have shown up and some lawns have already been mowed for the first time. The south and west exposures may need to be mowed before the rest of the yard. As you get ready to mow for the first time in your yard, be sure the mower deck is clear of any grass...
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Preventing wildlife damage in the yard

Before we get to the consistent cold of winter, now would be good time to deal with potential future damage to our landscape plants. This is one of those yard activities that will benefit the landscape next spring with more robust growth and less plant damage, and it is one I feel is important to...
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Things you can do in November

Gardeners can easily find a lot to do out in the home landscape during November. As long as you can dig in the ground you can plant spring flowering bulbs. Retailers have been offering bulbs at some pretty good prices right now. The stores would rather sell the bulbs at a discount than have to deal...
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Outside Inside

In the middle of January not a lot is going on outside in the home landscape. The Holiday tree may have been put up for bird shelter and the feeding stations kept full of bird seed and suet, cobs of corn for the squirrels and maybe a salt lick for other kinds of wildlife. Perennial beds covered in...
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Still Time to Garden in all the beds

Successive plantings in the vegetable garden can still be done when home gardeners pick the right vegetables. Late summer into early fall is a great time to make additional plantings of those vegetables that we consume as the whole plant. Mustard greens, a variety of the Leaf lettuces, beets...
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The Snow is Going, Going Gone

Gardeners have been waiting to see their flower beds, the lawn, the landscape beds and dirt of the vegetable garden for some time now and it has happened or nearly so. After the excitement has faded and another look out in the yard can reveal lots of early spring cleanup. Lawns can look pretty...
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Working With Winter Bulbs

Gardeners know about spring and summer bulbs and that we plant spring bulbs in the fall and summer bulbs in the spring. Have you ever considered taking some of those and turning them into "winter bulbs" by forcing them into boom during the winter months when the weather is dark and grey? While this...
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Core aeration for the lawn

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, soil profile and microbial activity in the ground and thatch management. When the soil beneath the lawn is compacted,...
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Magnolia Scale

This summer has been exceptional for magnolia scale. Master Gardeners at the help desks have constantly been addressing this situation with homeowners for the last 5+ weeks. A typical life cycle of a scale is an overwintering female producing eggs under here protective scale covering. The eggs will...
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Forcing blooms From the Yard

Early spring flowering shrubs and ornamental trees produce their flower buds by late summer of the previous year. We can begin to enjoy spring bloom as early as mid to late February. Start by selecting branches loaded with flower buds. You can identify the flower buds as they are larger and more...
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Moles and Voles Oh My!

Winter weather can certainly take its toll on our ornamental plants, flower bud killing temperatures, heaving our plants out of the soil, maybe even killing our plants down to the ground to start over and the needle desiccation of our evergreens. Another unwelcome surprise many gardeners are...
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Time to Bring In The Houseplants

Summer vacation is just about over for our houseplants that we set out last spring and now the decision needs to be made of what comes back in the home for the winter. We generally consider any plant that cannot survive being outside a houseplant since many of them have a tropical background or are...
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Birds and Your Backyard

Holiday tree recycling is another way we get to help the environment. Sharing this information annually is a great reminder of how easy you can contribute. Just about now, you can see holiday trees sitting in the front or side yard, waiting for the assigned pick up date to be collected and mulched...
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Weeds in Your Beds

Rain is always a good thing most of the time for our landscape and gardens. Right now all the rain has brought us all the weeds we can ever imagine in every bed we have. Ignore those weeds and let them flower and set seeds and the landscape begins to look like a jungle of green really quickly. For...
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There's Fungus Among Us!

All our recent rain and cooler night and daytime temperatures have given homeowners a surprise in the yard in the form of a variety of mushrooms growing in unexpected places. Nationally, there are about 10,000 known species of mushrooms. Mushrooms are the "fruiting" structure of the fungus below...
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Starting Flower and Vegetable Seeds

Last weeks' column briefly mentioned starting seeds for the flower or vegetable garden and that you need to start by reviewing the seed packet instructions. That is just the start of course of what will be a several week adventure. This week I'll answer some few frequently asked questions....
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What's in Your Garden Catalog?

January begins the annual flight of vegetable, flower and fruit tree catalogs to your mailbox. Depending on your level of gardening, the catalogs arrive frequently and in mass. It used to be you would get either a vegetable catalog or a fruit catalog or flower catalog. Many catalogs now contain...
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