Gardening Tips

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Added on May 15th, 2012

 by Jan Cashman 4/29/12 You can’t go wrong with pansies.  We all love their smiling faces in the spring.  And now, pansies are also available without faces, in intense solid colors like white, yellow, orange, blue, even black.  Many are sweetly fragrant.  Pansies, considered an “annual” flower, are sometim...

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May Checklist

Added on May 1st, 2012

Prune evergreens and spring-flowering hedges Sow Lawn seed once soil warms Plant bare root nursery stock Spray for fire blight at apple blossom time Sow wild flower seeds and native grasses Fertilize, mow and water lawn Sow cool-season vegetable seeds (early May) Sow warm-season vegetable seeds (late) Prepare...

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Hints for the Beginning Vegetable Gardener

Added on April 18th, 2012

by Jan Cashman 4/6/12 Vegetable gardening is “in”.  Everyone is growing vegetables these days to save dollars at the grocery store and provide better tasting, nutritious food grown without chemicals.  Vegetable gardening is an inexpensive, fun activity the whole family can enjoy together. There is more than one...

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Edging Options

Added on March 23rd, 2012

A barrier between grass and flower or shrub beds can keep grass from encroaching on your beds and keep mulches from spilling over into your grass.  Edging helps the gardener who wants a low-maintenance landscape to keep their grounds looking neat.  There are many types of edging that will add beauty, interest, and pr...

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New Plants for 2012

Added on February 29th, 2012

by Jan Cashman 2/10/12 There’s a garden full of new plants introduced to the retail market again this year.  Here are a few of these exciting new plants that should do well in our climate: Trees In the milder northern climates of Des Moines, Iowa, or Fort Collins, Colorado, ornamental pears are commonly used in t...

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An Apple A Day

Added on January 26th, 2012

by Jan Cashman 1/2/12 The November 21, 2011, issue of The New Yorker had a wonderful article called Annals of Agriculture, Crunch, Building a Better Apple, about the development of a new apple called SweeTango.  The article went into great detail about the history of apples, how patents and trademarks work on a new a...

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Origin of Species of Corn, Potatoes, and Tomatoes – and Some Other Interesting History

Added on January 7th, 2012

By Jan Cashman 12/14/11 Ever wonder where the vegetables we eat and grow in our gardens came from?   The plants had to originate somewhere.  Thousands of years ago when people simply gathered wild fruits and vegetables for food, these plants were found naturally growing in the wild.  Then, some 11,000 years ago, p...

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Growing Herbs Indoors

Added on November 29th, 2011

By Jan Cashman 11/20/11  Even though winter has set in and your gardens are under snow, you don’t have to be without fresh herbs.  You can plant an herb garden on your kitchen windowsill.   Here are some hints on how best to grow herbs indoors: Most herbs are not hard to grow indoors, but they do need plenty o...

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The 2011 Gardening Year

Added on October 29th, 2011

by Jan Cashman The weather every year is unique, but 2011 had some real extremes.  We had a snowy winter.  According to Greg Ainsworth, columnist for the Chronicle, “from November through June, was the 3rd wettest period in 113 years.”  At the MSU Weather Station, April, May and June was the coolest three month...

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Added on September 28th, 2011

by Jan Cashman People driving by in August ask us about the showy shrub planted on the northeast corner of our house full of huge, round, white flowers.  It is an Annabelle Hydrangea.  There are many species of hydrangea, all native to China, Japan, and Korea.  This late-summer blooming shrub does best planted in p...

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