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Gardening Advice | Almanac.com

Gardening Advice

July 31, 2016
It is easy to add depth to your flower garden by using plants with dark colored leaves. Burgundy foliage creates a backdrop for the flowers growing around it and adds variety to a sea of green. Plants with dark maroon leaves not only take center stage when they are in bloom but continue to be interesting even when they are not blossoming. Dark colors mix well with silver-leaved and variegated…
June 27, 2016
Got poison ivy in your own garden? As a gardener myself, I feel your pain! Here are my tips on how to get rid of poison ivy in the garden and yard. Indeed, poison ivy has plagued man—and gardeners—since the dawn of time. I suspect Adam and Eve encountered it soon after leaving the Garden of Eden while looking for some shiny new leaves to wear. Most Native American tribes have names…
June 12, 2016
There are many natural ways to get rid of slugs. And let’s be honest. Slugs have to be the one of the most disgusting things you will encounter in your garden. Slugs will feast on any tender plant, feeding at night and hiding during the day. They have rasping, file-like mouth parts that quickly tear large ragged holes in young leaves. A tell-tale sign of a slug attack is the silvery…
June 5, 2016
Most of my favorite flowering vines are in the plant family Ipomoea. The most common member of this family is the morning glory, though there are about 300 more plants, including the sweet potato, and many of them are twining climbers. It will be a jungle out there when my vines grow up! The morning glory can grow to be ten feet tall or more in a season, which made it a…
May 30, 2016
If you are thinking of adding a new flowering shrub to your landscape, why not consider a highbush blueberry? Besides offering the beauty of its delicate bell-shaped flowers in the spring and its delicious sweet berries in the summer, it will add bright crimson foliage to your fall garden and its red stems will stand out against the snow in the winter. The blueberry is truly a plant for all…
May 15, 2016
This is such a hopeful time in my garden. Nothing has gone wrong yet, no bugs have attacked and no weird weather has struck—yet. I just know that this will be the best growing season we have ever had. Gardeners are such optimists! I dream of daytime highs in the 80's and warm nights this summer, making it a good season for melons. I struggle to grow them each year but…
May 11, 2016
One of the joys of summer is standing in the garden eating sun-warmed cherry tomatoes right off the vine.  These succulent, bite-sized jewels concentrate all the flavor of a full sized tomato into a package that is less than 2" in diameter. They are sweeter, perfectly shaped, and have thinner skin than regular tomatoes. Though highly addictive, cherry tomatoes are good for you—rich…
April 24, 2016
Everyday I pass a roadside row of old crabapples on my way to work. They are beautiful trees in all seasons. The bronze-green foliage turns a deep maroon in autumn, the tiny red apples decorate the gnarled bare limbs for most of the winter, and in the springtime the trees are loaded with blossoms in varying shades of pink. These dependable old trees bloom right on schedule each year, just in…
April 22, 2016
Every spring we plant about a dozen different varieties of basil but I'm told there are over 150 species to choose from! So many basils, so little thyme! Here are some types of basil that I'm crazy about. 'Genovese' is my all-time favorite because it makes an awesome pesto and has lots of real Italian basil flavor. 'Classico' is another Genovese-type that we grow. The seeds are from…
April 5, 2016
Gardening is not for pansies! It is a strenuous activity and none of us are getting any younger. Here are a few tips to make your chores easier and more comfortable to do. Assess the situation. Just how much can you lift and how far can you bend? What chores are painful or put too much stress on your already sore parts? How long can you work before tiring? Remember gardening is…
March 5, 2016
Ready for a tropical interlude? Luckily, I only had to go as far as our state's Orchid Society's Annual Show to share some of the most beautiful orchid pictures for you—and picked up some orchid growing tips, too. At this show, orchid growers have set up their displays and all the plants have been judged with many plants awarded ribbons.  What a treat to be able…
February 19, 2016
Have you abandoned your compost pile because you're tired of trudging outside to dump your kitchen scraps onto a frozen pile? Do you feel guilty about adding biodegradable waste to the tons of trash already at the transfer station? How about using worms to turn your kitchen scraps into fertilizer. Called vermicomposting, having earthworms eat your garbage is an easy way to recycle food waste…