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Growing Bulbs Indoors!

Category: How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

  Amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs blooming exuberantly around the house are now a part of my winter garden tradition. I like to have paperwhites for the holidays and I enjoy amaryllis from January through March. I stagger the planting so there's always something blooming. For paperwhites I allow 3-5 weeks to bloom, and for amaryllis, 6-8 weeks. Start with an amaryllis bulb and a favorite…
  Amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs blooming exuberantly around the house are now a part of my winter garden tradition. I like to have paperwhites for the holidays and I enjoy amaryllis from January through March. I stagger the planting so there's always something blooming. For paperwhites I allow 3-5…

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Tips to Get Your Orchid to Rebloom

Category: How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

  If you have an orchid and its flowers have fallen off and you don’t know what to do, read on. Chances are your orchid is a Phalaenopsis, or phals for short in orchid circles, since it is the most common available commercially. You have two choices: throw the plant out or follow the instructions below for encouraging it to rebloom! I confess I have thrown my share of orchids on the compost heap because they sat there flowerless for…
  If you have an orchid and its flowers have fallen off and you don’t know what to do, read on. Chances are your orchid is a Phalaenopsis, or phals for short in orchid circles, since it is the most common available commercially. You have two choices: throw the plant out or follow the instructions below for encouraging it to…

vaccinating a dog

What’s Blooming in the August Landscape?

Category: How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

August can be a misunderstood month. As gardeners we put our energy into fighting back weeds and thinking about next year’s garden, and often miss the rich variety of flowering plants that the late season has to offer. Garden centers will tell you that most people shop for plants in the spring, and they reach for the plants that are blooming, passing over late season bloomers. That may help explain…
August can be a misunderstood month. As gardeners we put our energy into fighting back weeds and thinking about next year’s garden, and often miss the rich variety of flowering plants that the late season has to offer. Garden centers will tell you that most people shop for plants in…

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Cold Climate Tips for Getting Your Dahlia Tubers Ready for Planting

Category: How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

  We spoke with Lisa Ringer of Two Pony Gardens in Long Lake, MN about how she prepares for the dahlia season. Many parts of the country are experiencing a late spring, so her advice on how to lengthen the growing season is particularly relevant this year, even to non-Minnesotans. Here's what she told us, commenting that she has two feet of snow on the ground and it's the middle of April (!)  This is not typical, even for Minnesota.…
  We spoke with Lisa Ringer of Two Pony Gardens in Long Lake, MN about how she prepares for the dahlia season. Many parts of the country are experiencing a late spring, so her advice on how to lengthen the growing season is particularly relevant this year, even to non-Minnesotans. Here's what she told us, commenting that she has two…

vaccinating a dog

How To Make Maple Syrup

Category: How-To Projects, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

  Many people who might otherwise consider making their own maple syrup are put off by the numbers. Forty gallons of sap yields 1 gallon of syrup. What? My friend Debbie Battaglia is a seasoned vegetable gardener, so she is accustomed to receiving the bounty of her hard work in the form of something tasty that she can share with family and friends. She is also attracted to projects that involve building something, so when she learned that there was…
  Many people who might otherwise consider making their own maple syrup are put off by the numbers. Forty gallons of sap yields 1 gallon of syrup. What? My friend Debbie Battaglia is a seasoned vegetable gardener, so she is accustomed to receiving the bounty of her hard work in the form of something tasty that she can share with…

vaccinating a dog

Watering Houseplants Remotely by Computer

Category: How-To Projects, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

The system developed by my brother Geoffrey allows him to water his favorite ficas tree from anywhere in the world. First he logs onto the web page he set up to monitor all of the controls in the process. Then he looks at his moisture sensor to see if he needs to water his plant. If the plant needs water he turns on the video camera so he can watch the water going into the pot. Then he turns on…
The system developed by my brother Geoffrey allows him to water his favorite ficas tree from anywhere in the world. First he logs onto the web page he set up to monitor all of the controls in the process. Then he looks at his moisture sensor to see if he needs to water his plant. If the plant needs water…

vaccinating a dog

Getting Kids Into Gardening by Ruth Rogers Clausen

Category: 'Dear Ruth' Column, How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

  Children and gardening go together naturally, but too few kids experience the fun of getting down into the dirt.  Try these projects to get them interested and don't forget kids garden gloves to protect their hands.   What sounds like more fun to a child than growing garbage on a windowsill?  For a "Garbage Garden" start with carrots and pineapples, potatoes, and other vegetable waste bound for the garbage pail. It's educational and inexpensive too. There's no need for pots either. You just recycle cottage cheese or yogurt containers…
  Children and gardening go together naturally, but too few kids experience the fun of getting down into the dirt.  Try these projects to get them interested and don't forget kids garden gloves to protect their hands.   What sounds like more fun to a child than growing garbage on a windowsill?  For a "Garbage Garden" start with carrots and pineapples, potatoes, and other vegetable waste bound for the garbage…

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Create A Living Ornament for your Tree

Category: How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

  I got the idea for my living ornaments from a magazine called "State-By-State Gardening," whose author, Lisa Eldred Steinkopf, filled her glass balls with air plants and shiny bling. She bought Christmas floral picks at a craft store and cut them apart so she had a collection of tiny sequined balls, miniature lights, jingle bells and more. For mine I chose to keep it simple. I used a couple of air plants, plus some artificial berries and dried flowers…
  I got the idea for my living ornaments from a magazine called "State-By-State Gardening," whose author, Lisa Eldred Steinkopf, filled her glass balls with air plants and shiny bling. She bought Christmas floral picks at a craft store and cut them apart so she had a collection of tiny sequined balls, miniature lights, jingle bells and more. For mine…

vaccinating a dog

Growing Paperwhites That Won’t Flop Over

Category: How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

We first published this article in 2013, and we have been republishing it every year since! A problem with paperwhites, as with many bulbs planted in pots, is that they grow quite tall and all of their weight is at the top. This information is reprinted from the about.com website. I have tried it and it works. Researchers in the Flowerbulb Research Program at Cornell University have come up with an unusual solution to this top heavy problem: Alcohol. When paperwhite…
We first published this article in 2013, and we have been republishing it every year since! A problem with paperwhites, as with many bulbs planted in pots, is that they grow quite tall and all of their weight is at the top. This information is reprinted from the about.com website. I have tried it and it works. Researchers in the Flowerbulb…

vaccinating a dog

Decorate your Thanksgiving Table with Plants!

Category: How-To Projects, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

  Thanksgiving feels like a less commercial holiday to me. In the spirit of keeping it that way I like to make table decorations with natural items found right outside my door. If you have a pair of scissors and a few craft items it's easy to create a beautiful, natural looking table that celebrates Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Placecards Create placecards with the following items: woven bags and kraft paper tags (I purchased mine at Michaels); a piece of Oasis foam;…
  Thanksgiving feels like a less commercial holiday to me. In the spirit of keeping it that way I like to make table decorations with natural items found right outside my door. If you have a pair of scissors and a few craft items it's easy to create a beautiful, natural looking table that celebrates Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Placecards Create placecards…

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