Fixing an over-dry, water repellent soil mix

We’re sowing our seeds right now for growing transplants that we’ll plant out in the garden. It takes some work, but you can save quite a bit of money growing your own transplants. Another huge advantage that may be even more important is being able to grow the varieties you want rather than relying on … Continue Reading →

Checking on stored flower tubers

Several weeks ago I blogged about how I store dahlias. Did you keep some of yours too? If you haven’t already done so, now’s the time to check on them to see how they’re doing. I opened mine up right after the polar vortex blew through. They were in a spot that normally stays cool … Continue Reading →

Forcing shrub and tree branches in late winter

We’re getting an early taste of spring at our house by forcing branches into bloom. It’s something gardeners have done for centuries ever since someone figured out if you cut some branches and bring them into a warm room during the winter, they will bloom. When I was in elementary school, forcing pussy willow branches … Continue Reading →

Sharpening pruners

The recent ice storm caused some damage on my trees and shrubs. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be considering we had about a quarter of an inch of ice accumulation. I’ll need to do some extra pruning this spring to take out broken branches and that made me think about my … Continue Reading →

Plants for butterfly garden

It’s been a long time coming, but more and more gardeners are finally becoming interested in growing butterfly gardens. Eleven years ago, almost to the day,  I posted a blog (on a different platform) encouraging folks to grow more plants that attract and sustain butterflies. I figure it’s time to revisit that subject again. Seed … Continue Reading →

Taking seed inventory

This is the time of year I drag out all of my old seeds from last year and years before that. I always like to take inventory to see what I’ve got on hand before I order anything. We’re in the middle of winter and not all of the seed catalogs have arrived yet.  Some of … Continue Reading →

Still selecting squash seeds

Under good storage conditions, winter squash and pumpkins can stay edible well into winter. I have a spot in my garage that stays cool, around 50 degrees, through the winter and that is right around the ideal storage temperature for squash. Air circulation is also important and there is plenty of air movement in that … Continue Reading →

When to water jade plants and other succulents

Like most plants, jade plants’ water requirements change by stage of growth or from season to season. For example now, during the winter, there is less sunlight so plants including jade plants, are photosynthesizing less and won’t need as much water. The tendency for some gardeners is to kill their plants with kindness by over-water this … Continue Reading →

Poinsettia care after the holidays

For a vast majority of people, Christmas poinsettias are a disposable commodity. There are a few of us, however, who adopt them as part of our permanent plant collection. A while back, for several years in a row, I kept one particularly bright red poinsettia that eventually grew to almost 4 feet tall. You can … Continue Reading →