Building the ideal soil for newly planted trees

Spring is the best time of year to plant trees. During the winter the dormant buds and roots are in a kind of holding pattern until the right growing conditions happen in the spring. Then they have the entire growing season to establish themselves before next winter. No doubt you’re aware of the requirements for … Continue Reading →

No gardening space? Try a community garden

Just because you are living in an apartment or in a house with no suitable gardening space, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of luck. All around Michigan, groups work to provide community gardening space for folks who couldn’t otherwise garden because of a lack of space. There’s a wide spread on the amenities community … Continue Reading →

Leave trees for woodpeckers

,I spend a lot of time outside and one of my favorite sounds this time of year is the drumming of woodpeckers. In our neck of the woods, we have mostly hairy woodpeckers and downy woodpeckers. We live in a rural area and there are plenty of trees around to provide nesting sites for woodpeckers. … Continue Reading →

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 →