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My June Garden: Growing Canna, Pruning Lilac, Fertilizing Trees & Shrubs

Category: Flower Gardens, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener", Spring Projects, Tools & Techniques

Part of the fun of gardening for me is that there are always new things to learn. Recently, I learned something new about fertilizing trees and shrubs, about growing canna outdoors in containers, and about pruning lilacs. Where did I get my information? I asked Ruth Clausen the horticulturist and author, and John Hoyt a local arborist who works in my garden! Pruning Old-fashioned Lilacs-- John Hoyt recommends that pruning be done when it's a little cooler (early morning or…
Part of the fun of gardening for me is that there are always new things to learn. Recently, I learned something new about fertilizing trees and shrubs, about growing canna outdoors in containers, and about pruning lilacs. Where did I get my information? I asked Ruth Clausen the horticulturist and author, and John Hoyt a local arborist who works in…

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Moving Bulbs in Spring is OK

Category: Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

After the blossoms on my daffodils faded this spring I decided I had too many bunched up in an area where I no longer wanted them, so I've started carefully lifting them out of the ground and moving them to a preferred location. If I wait until fall to do this I won't know where the bulbs are because their leaves will have dried up and disappeared. Step One: Dig deep and wide around the bulbs you want to move…
After the blossoms on my daffodils faded this spring I decided I had too many bunched up in an area where I no longer wanted them, so I've started carefully lifting them out of the ground and moving them to a preferred location. If I wait until fall to do this I won't know where the bulbs are because their…

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Growing Flowering Vines

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

There's something romantic and old-fashioned about flowering vines, the way they amble over garden fences and climb up trellises. If you're thinking of planting an ornamental vine in your garden this year, know what some of the different types are by reading on. The basic types of vines are those that cling to a support with aerial roots, those that twine or grow tendrils that wrap around a support, and those that need our help attaching to a support. [caption…
There's something romantic and old-fashioned about flowering vines, the way they amble over garden fences and climb up trellises. If you're thinking of planting an ornamental vine in your garden this year, know what some of the different types are by reading on. The basic types of vines are those that cling to a support with aerial roots, those that…

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Seed Starting Tips #1 and #2

Category: Presenting "The Curious Gardener", Spring Projects, Tools & Techniques

Tip #1: Preparing your soil.  Before you put your potting mix in the container where you will be germinating seeds, put the mix in a large bowl and add hot water. Work the soil in your hands until it's all mixed.  Add more hot water if necessary to keep it moist (about like oatmeal) but not too moist!  See video. This is the consistency you want.  Whenever I've had difficulty with germination or with fungus growing on seeds it's because…
Tip #1: Preparing your soil.  Before you put your potting mix in the container where you will be germinating seeds, put the mix in a large bowl and add hot water. Work the soil in your hands until it's all mixed.  Add more hot water if necessary to keep it moist (about like oatmeal) but not too moist!  See video.…

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How To Get Flowering Houseplants Ready for Spring

Category: Houseplants, Indoor Gardening, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener", Spring Projects

It's time to wake up your houseplants!  As the days grow longer and the sun gets stronger, now is the time to wake up two of my favorite flowering houseplants, clivia miniata and agapanthus.  Because it takes so much energy to produce a flower, they have been resting over the winter between bloom times. Here are some techniques gardeners use to get them ready for spring. Clivia miniata Clivias are native to…
It's time to wake up your houseplants!  As the days grow longer and the sun gets stronger, now is the time to wake up two of my favorite flowering houseplants, clivia miniata and agapanthus.  Because it takes so much energy to produce a flower, they have been resting over the winter between bloom times. Here are some techniques gardeners use…

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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…

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Growing Herbs Indoors

Category: Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

There are many reasons why it’s satisfying to grow herbs indoors during the cold winter months in my Zone 6 region. Imagine smelling fresh basil, peppermint or rosemary anytime you want in the middle of January. Think how pretty a grouping of plants looks on a kitchen counter or in a windowsill.  Feel the sense of accomplishment that comes from picking parsley or chives from your own garden for a recipe that calls for fresh herbs --instead of purchasing a…
There are many reasons why it’s satisfying to grow herbs indoors during the cold winter months in my Zone 6 region. Imagine smelling fresh basil, peppermint or rosemary anytime you want in the middle of January. Think how pretty a grouping of plants looks on a kitchen counter or in a windowsill.  Feel the sense of accomplishment that comes from…

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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…

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A Recipe for North Georgia Candy Roaster “Pumpkin” Pie

Category: Presenting "The Curious Gardener", Recipes

I first learned about North Georgia candy roaster squash at our farmers market last November. A local farm, Harlem Valley Homestead, grows them and had them for sale. They suggested I try making a 'pumpkin' pie with it. Since pumpkin is a type of squash too, in the same genus-- cucurbita -- it's a reasonable suggestion. I liked the novelty…
I first learned about North Georgia candy roaster squash at our farmers market last November. A local farm, Harlem Valley Homestead, grows them and had them for sale. They suggested I try making a 'pumpkin' pie with it. Since pumpkin…

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