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Gardening Ideas for Kids: Have More Fun by Using Veggie Scraps

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

My friend the horticulturist Ruth Clausen told me about a great activity to do with kids indoors.  She calls it "garbage gardening" because it involves planting vegetable scraps that would otherwise be headed for the garbage pail or compost heap. Ruth asks, 'What sounds like more fun to a child than growing garbage on a windowsill?' It's a good question. Start with carrots and onions, potatoes, pineapples and other vegetable waste, and use recycled cottage cheese or yogurt containers as…
My friend the horticulturist Ruth Clausen told me about a great activity to do with kids indoors.  She calls it "garbage gardening" because it involves planting vegetable scraps that would otherwise be headed for the garbage pail or compost heap. Ruth asks, 'What sounds like more fun to a child than growing garbage on a windowsill?' It's a good question.…

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Grow Your Own Microgreens Indoors — It’s A Great Winter Gardening Project!

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

Remember the adage that good things come in small packages?  Let’s start with microgreens. Scientists and nutritionists say that microgreens provide a much denser source of nutrition than their mature selves.  A study published on WebMD.com concluded that because they’re harvested right after germination, they still contain all the nutrients they need to grow. The flavor packs an outsize punch too, and they are great sprinkled on salads, in sandwiches or as a garnish for soups. Microgreens are not the…
Remember the adage that good things come in small packages?  Let’s start with microgreens. Scientists and nutritionists say that microgreens provide a much denser source of nutrition than their mature selves.  A study published on WebMD.com concluded that because they’re harvested right after germination, they still contain all the nutrients they need to grow. The flavor packs an outsize punch…

vaccinating a dog

Upcycle Gift Wrap Ideas

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

When I gift wrap I use what I have on hand for the paper and the trimmings. I like pretty packages so I keep ribbons and ties from previous holidays and use them to jazz up this year's gifts. For the gift wrap I might use brown kraft paper or a cut up grocery bag. Here are several ideas using items you probably have around your home. Keep it simple yet pretty, and reuse what you have.
When I gift wrap I use what I have on hand for the paper and the trimmings. I like pretty packages so I keep ribbons and ties from previous holidays and use them to jazz up this year's gifts. For the gift wrap I might use brown kraft paper or a cut up grocery bag. Here are several ideas using…

vaccinating a dog

Do you have drainage problems in your garden?

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

It's been a rainier winter and spring than most here in the northeast, and many of us are having issues with drainage in places we never had them before. In some cases it might be best to wait and see if the problem persists or if the excessive rainfall is just an aberration. In my case I have an herb garden that hugs the back of our house and extends about…
It's been a rainier winter and spring than most here in the northeast, and many of us are having issues with drainage in places we never had them before. In some cases it might be best to wait and see if the problem persists or if the excessive rainfall is just an aberration. My herb garden…

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Propagating Plants: Go Forth And Multiply

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

  One of the most satisfying parts of gardening for me is to take part in the miracle of plant propagation. It can be as simple as pinching off a stem and dropping it in a glass of water or as complicated as grafting a branch from one plant onto the root stock of another. Boom!  A plant is born.  There are two primary ways plants procreate: sexually and asexually. Sexual propagation is through seeds, and it is the primary…
  One of the most satisfying parts of gardening for me is to take part in the miracle of plant propagation. It can be as simple as pinching off a stem and dropping it in a glass of water or as complicated as grafting a branch from one plant onto the root stock of another. Boom!  A plant is born. …

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Get A Jump Start on Spring Indoors

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

  At this time of year a little gardening therapy can go a long way. There isn’t much that can be done outdoors where I live in Zone 6, until the ground thaws and dries out a little. But there’s plenty you can be doing indoors, and for me the fun begins with grow lights. Many houseplants need 12-16 hours of light a day to thrive, and seedlings like 16-18 hours a day.  That doesn’t mean that they will die…
  At this time of year a little gardening therapy can go a long way. There isn’t much that can be done outdoors where I live in Zone 6, until the ground thaws and dries out a little. But there’s plenty you can be doing indoors, and for me the fun begins with grow lights. Many houseplants need 12-16 hours…

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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…

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