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Today's Community Idea
Metal Basket Container PlantingMetal Basket Container Planting
By webesemps, July 22, 2016

There are many metal objects available to use for container planting, such as tubs, troughs, cans, buckets, cups, bowls, etc. While browsing through an antique mall, I found a metal basket that I thought was quite distinctive. The question I asked myself was, "What do I do with it?" My answer: "Plant succulents, of course!"

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How To Make Cheap, Permanent Plant TagsHow To Make Cheap, Permanent Plant Tags
By duane456, July 20, 2016

Tired of trying to remember the name of that plant? Or -- trying to read your faded plant tag that is falling apart? Here's an inexpensive, interchangeable, and permanent plant tag that is easy to make with a few tools and materials.

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Chickens in the Vegetable GardenChickens in the Vegetable Garden
By Artistwantobe, July 18, 2016

My three hens live in my vegetable garden. They are wonderful garden helpers: scratching up weeds, patrolling for bugs, and fertilizing. And I get wonderful rich organic eggs! Here is how I get my girls to co-exist with my vegetables.

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Make a Lavender Wand SachetMake a Lavender Wand Sachet
By cwhitt, July 15, 2016

Bring your garden indoors with a wand sachet made from lavender from your garden.

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The July Not-A-Raffle-Raffle!The July Not-A-Raffle-Raffle!
By dave, July 13, 2016

We have a huge collection of great prizes in this month's contest. Grab your acorns, come in and take a look!

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Stop Snakes Invading Purple Martin HousesStop Snakes Invading Purple Martin Houses
By kytnbabe, July 11, 2016

My parents had stored berry/bird netting a couple of years ago and decided to get it out to cover strawberries. They found two big chicken snakes caught in it. My dad cut the dead snakes out of the netting and put the bird netting over the strawberries. Another snake was entangled. Hey! Bright idea!

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Love My Dog - Love My GardenLove My Dog - Love My Garden
By kytnbabe, July 9, 2016

Boomer, my one-year-old German Shepherd dog, is always looking for work when he's outside. Unfortunately, he often likes to dig through one of my planters during the winter. By spring I realized I'd have to have a barrier on them to be able to plant flowers.

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Recycling Deli ContainersRecycling Deli Containers
By PlantMania, July 7, 2016

Leftover chicken is not the only item that is used from this quick dinner. The container from a store-bought rotisserie chicken may be used for seed germination.

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Followup to the Garden Tower 2 ReviewFollowup to the Garden Tower 2 Review
By dave, July 6, 2016

A couple months ago I posted a video review of the Garden Tower 2 (the combination vertical garden/vermicomposting system) and I was asked to post a followup once the plants have grown a bit. Here it is!

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Recent Images from the Plant Database
Photo of Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Malachite Prism') Photo of Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Mysterious Zodiac') Photo of Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Sacha') Photo of Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Jessica Lynn Bell') Photo of White Guinea Yam (Dioscorea rotundata) Photo of Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Jessica Lynn Bell') Photo of White Guinea Yam (Dioscorea rotundata) Photo of White Guinea Yam (Dioscorea rotundata) Photo of Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis 'Pink Elephant')

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New Multi-Plant Photos
Photo by Fleur569 Photo by nativeplantlover Photo by ge1836 Photo by Paul2032 Photo by Paul2032 Photo by Fleur569 Photo by LynNY Photo by LynNY Photo by springcolor

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The newest comments to the plant database:
By MamaIve12 on Jul 23, 2016 8:47 AM, concerning plant: White Guinea Yam (Dioscorea rotundata)

I grew up eating this type of edible tuber. It is a type of yam. This is my first time growing it where I live (South Florida), and it's been an interesting experiment. I usually boil it with a little salt. It is healthy and delicious.

I got a starter from a friend- ate part of it and put little pieces of it on a barrel. We are trying our hand at growing herbs and vegetables in our backyard, so growing ñame is part of that experiment.

The guinea yam is a vine, and the tubers grow big, so they need space. I recommend using a deep container because it is a pretty vine, but it also needs to be controlled. It wraps around EVERYTHING! It took about three months for the plant to sprout- I almost gave up on it and planted a grape tomato plant on the same container... not doing that again, though. The tomato plant grew mostly unobstructed, and yielded nice fruit, but now it is completely overshadowed by the vine. I had beginner's luck because the tomato plant was pretty much done with its fruit season. So lesson learned: keep it in its own container and don't plant anything else on that container. :)

Now I didn't realize that on this plant, tubers would actually grow on the vine. It may have been obvious for the usual gardeners, but this came as a surprise to me. I am going to take the ones that are on the vine and replant them. Let's see what happens! I will keep you posted.

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By Frillylily on Jul 22, 2016 11:06 AM, concerning plant: Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)

VERY invasive roots that grow vigorously. We had one that rooted up into the neighbors' garage floor and buckled the concrete. It would root up in my foundation plantings about 40 ft away from the tree. They grow to be HUGE and have very soft wood that breaks off in whole sections during high wind. Ours had a huge limb fall onto the neighbors car one time. (This was a shared tree with them in the property line that their grandfather had planted about 25 yrs prior to us living there.) Very pretty fall color, fast growing, birds loved it and it is drought tolerant. Seeds of the tree we had sprouted all over in my flower beds and around the lawn. Not recommended for small yards, or around sidewalks or driveways or any water lines due to its invasive roots.

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By kniphofia on Jul 21, 2016 10:24 AM, concerning plant: Tritoma (Kniphofia 'Toffee Nosed')

I've had this variety in a large container now for over 8 years. It's with some other plants, so I really will have to re-do the pot at some point, but it has thrived and blooms very well every year. Not too large, reaching about 3 - 4 feet. A gorgeous colour with apricot buds fading to a pale peach with age. Highly recommended.

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By purpleinopp on Jul 21, 2016 10:20 AM, concerning plant: Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

Recent hype over pokeweed is growing to mythic proportions. I've never seen one actual news report of someone being poisoned. I tried to find any articles just now and none were about anything but warnings published in newspapers and websites about the horror of having one of these native plants in ones' midst. If one can be found, please share it.

When we go camping in a state park in a nature preserve in FL, there are tons of poison ivy and pokeweed in and around (and above) the campsites. The PI is one of the plants that appear on a sign about various common plants in the park, and in the little info pamphlet they give you so you can handle yourself more appropriately and safely in the park. The sign basically has a more polished version of, "here's what it looks like, it's here because it's native and important source of food for birds so don't touch it if it gives you a rash." There's no mention of pokeweed, growing within reach of hundreds of kids and bearing its berries for months every year. If it were a problem, they would at least put it on the sign.

Poison Control has a calm, reasonable article.
Their statistics also indicate that kids are much more likely to be poisoned by cleaning stuff or medications (click "poison exposure statistics, pokeweed isn't among the things listed):

From a very brief search, one can glean that various honeysuckle berries pose a similar degree of threat. Nobody is worried or warning about kids eating those, and they probably are much more common in the garden/landscape.

Is there a warning like that for Oleander, various Solanums, Daturas, Nandina? It would seem strange to me to put such a warning on this plant, a standard food item for some, on the menu in restaurants, if it's not on the others that have no edibility and/or higher level of danger in regard to ingestion toxicity.

Have you ever seen a can of Oleander greens for sale?

People buy and plant Oleander, a much more toxic entity, in their yard on purpose, but if you have a pokeweed, you will be urged to kill it. Guaranteed, every time the plant is mentioned, somebody will mention how menacingly dangerous it is.

I agree that one needs to follow a recipe if they're going to experiment epicuriously, but there should be some perspective about discussing its toxicity, and/or suitability for any particular gardener/garden setting. There are various "toxins" in many parts of plants widely considered edible/food, and not all parts of every plant are edible. Tomatoes and potatoes come to mind. Tomato and potato leaves aren't considered edible because of the solanine. This is why potatoes must be stored in the dark or they turn green and can then cause indigestion because of the increase in solanine.

If one is in the U.S., P. americana is a native, an important food source for many birds. One article says that pokeweed has long been thought to have medicinal value. "At one time it was employed to cure everything from boils to acne. Today, pokeberry is being researched as a possible treatment for cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, a chemical found in pokeberry juice has been used to successfully treat cancerous tumors in laboratory mice. The chemical is also being tested to determine whether it can protect cells from HIV and AIDS.

Remarkably, the lowly pokeberry may help solve the energy crisis. Researchers at Wake Forest University have discovered that a dye derived from pokeberries doubles the efficiency of fibers used in solar cells to absorb solar energy."

The sprouts pull easily the first year, and it is not difficult to keep mature plants from occurring by pulling or hoeing/scuffling sprouts while young and delicate. Boiling water poured on a mature root will kill it. After watching plant ID forums since they were invented, I've seen that most people who ask for pokeweed ID make the effort to say something about how attractive they think it is. In all my years of gardening in both OH and AL, I've seen pokeweed sprouts in my own garden maybe a total of a dozen times.

There's also the dye thing that's had varying degrees of prevalence throughout history, and something people still like to do. One of my favorite things about this plant is the disproven myth that the Declaration of Independence was written in pokeberry ink. No less charming even if not true, because it could have been.

I was thrilled to get a scroungy little sprout in our front yard last year. It was a puny thing and I guess it died because it's not back. If anyone is looking for a rationalization to keep a pokeweed plant that grabbed their attention enough to try to ID it, there are plenty.

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By Frillylily on Jul 20, 2016 7:18 PM, concerning plant: Panicle Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata Limelightâ„¢)

I had Japanese Beetles on my roses, crepe myrtle, and hibiscus, but did not get any on this shrub. I had to spray the others just to control the bugs, but they didn't bother this at all and I did not spray it. It also overwintered here for me in zone 6, it came back strongly after its first winter, and it bloomed like crazy.

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