Hand pollination of last year’s hosta flowers produced the seeds used to grow this tray of hosta seedlings.  However, it will take a few more years for these plants to mature and truly express the traits gained from hybridization. Photo credit: Barb and Rick Schroeder

Plants in the genus Hosta, collectively referred to as hostas, are one of the premier plants for ornamental gardens that lack full sun.  These resilient perennials are a mainstay of Midwestern shade gardens and remain popular in temperate regions worldwide. However, that wasn’t always the case, leading many folks to source hostas from fellow gardeners or grow their own.

Houseplants provide beauty as well as a plethora of human health benefits during winter although indoor plant care can often be challenging this time of year.

Winter is a stressful time for many plants in the landscape, given the drought conditions brought on by freezing temperatures and the effects of extreme cold.

Although these stressors typically don’t impact our houseplants the same way, indoor plants experience their own form of winter stress, making wintertime one of the most common times of year for the decline or death of houseplants.

beet growing with title "it's hard to beat a good beet"

Mentioning the ripe beets coming out of the ground this time of year doesn't get much excitement out of my kids, but they are certainly a favorite of mine. I have such fond memories of fresh beets from my grandmother's garden. She served them pretty regularly as a side, fresh when possible, and canned the rest of the year, and I actually enjoyed them quite a bit when I was a kid. The hearty root crops are edible top to bottom, relatively easy to cultivate, and quite productive for the garden space they occupy.

After much anticipation, tomato season is finally here but something has been devouring the leaves on your tomato plant and even taken bites out of the green tomatoes. Looking for the culprit you see an enormous alien-looking green caterpillar with white stripes and red dots down its back.

Tomato hornworms

Tomato hornworms and their equally hungry cousins the tobacco hornworm can do lots of damage in a depressingly short amount of time. Tomato hornworms feed most often on tomatoes but will also eat eggplant, pepper, and potato plants as they are in the same family.