Gardening News and Updates

Recovery: Bringing Back Bumble BeesRecovery: Bringing Back Bumble Bees
July 24, 2017

Bees are in big trouble. The good news is that virtually all ecologically literate North Americans will tell you that. The bad news is they’re worried about the wrong bees — honey bees.

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Dave Reviews the New CobraHead "mini" Weeding ToolDave Reviews the New CobraHead "mini" Weeding Tool
July 12, 2017

We are quite excited about this new (and we think improved) version of the CobraHead weeding tool. In this video, Dave demonstrates the tool and gives his opinion. The raffle going on right now features this tool as one of the prizes!

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Overview of Pterostylis Pollination (Orchidaceae) in VictoriaOverview of Pterostylis Pollination (Orchidaceae) in Victoria
July 11, 2017

Rudie Kuiter, a professional wildlife photographer living in Victoria, Australia, has devoted much of his current time to recording the pollination of native orchid species. Here is his latest publication.

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The July 2017 Not-A-Raffle-Raffle!The July 2017 Not-A-Raffle-Raffle!
July 6, 2017

Another great raffle this month! Get your acorns out and take a look at what's being offered this time.

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The Best PesticideThe Best Pesticide
June 30, 2017

Everyone wants to get rid of garden pests, but what is the best pesticide? Read more to find out!

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Repurposing a Prefabricated PondRepurposing a Prefabricated Pond
June 29, 2017

What to do with a leaky prefabricated pond? Repurpose it into a large garden container or small garden bed!

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Over-wintered peppers, thinking ahead.Over-wintered peppers, thinking ahead.
June 28, 2017

Last year I dug up my pepper plants and overwintered them in a greenhouse. I like being the first among my garden neighbors to have big healthy tomatoes and peppers in the garden AND I can also say I started them from seed. I plan on overwintering these peppers again but there has to be an easier way. A way that can keep them happy all spring and summer but doesn't hurt my back in fall. So I had an idea. And I'm feeling pretty positive about it.

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Dress up your Doggie Yard with Container PlantsDress up your Doggie Yard with Container Plants
June 27, 2017

If your dog's fenced in yard is attached to your favorite deck, it can be a boring view as the months go on. I found a way to make me and doggie happy.

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So THIS is "Harvest?"So THIS is "Harvest?"
June 26, 2017

Given any length of time spent in garden forums, YouTube or social media, certainly you have drooled over documented mounds of brightly-colored, fall garden harvests or the splendid spring baskets spilling nasturtiums and zucchini . . .but, that's NEVER how harvest happens for me and my "plodding" garden.

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Harvesting Potatoes from Ornamental Sweet Potato VinesHarvesting Potatoes from Ornamental Sweet Potato Vines
June 25, 2017

Many of us are familiar with rooting cuttings of ornamental sweet potatoes to to make more vines, but why let the end of summer be the end of your vines? Use this easy method to harvest sweet potatoes (made by your own ornamental vines) to propagate next season's plants, and save money by turning this annual into a perennial.

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Battling Pesky Garden Bugs: My Worst ThreeBattling Pesky Garden Bugs: My Worst Three
June 24, 2017

There are subtle things in nature we overlook when cultivating our own gardens. We know what we want and what we want to grow but a garden based solely on desire will have its flaws. To grow a healthy ecosystem, we have to take a few notes from the wild. Incorporating knowledge in a desire makes dreams a reality.

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Building Pergola type structures for your garden.Building Pergola type structures for your garden.
June 23, 2017

I thought I would share one way of building some type of pergola structure for use in your yards/garden. For this application, I'm making a swing out of an outdoor papasan chair for my wifes upcoming birthday. I have also used this same building technique for a large privacy panel near the fence. This is very adaptable to most projects, so follow along if you'd like.

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Love My Vinegar!!Love My Vinegar!!
June 22, 2017

The majority of us are well aware that distilled white vinegar has more uses than we can fathom, right? After all, there are plenty of books written on the subject! Well, in the Summer of 2011, I discovered a new, genius (if I don't say so myself), use for distilled white vinegar that will save you a little more time for your backyard R&R!! So what is my, best-thing-since-sliced-bread-and-insect-screens new use for distilled white vinegar?

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Watering Tips and Tricks For Potted Plants -Revised-Watering Tips and Tricks For Potted Plants -Revised-
June 21, 2017

Spring is here. Which means summer is right around the corner. Last year our region suffered a record breaking drought. And in areas where water is limited, one has to get creative when it comes to keeping potted plants from drying out in the harsh winds and baking temperatures of the season. A little bit of planning ahead can save you time and water in the future.

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Simple DIY Handyman Projects for Your Summer GardenSimple DIY Handyman Projects for Your Summer Garden
June 20, 2017

Most DIY handymen spend a long winter of stacking on garden catalogues, the entire spring in bringing outdoor space to life, while the summer is finally the time you get to actually enjoy fruits of all handy work. Whether you use your garden as your private spot for relaxation, a playground for children, or the neighbourhood party venue, it is always refreshing to add various small to not-so-small home improvements that let you, your family, and your guests enjoy the warm summer days and breezy evenings. Here I’ve set up a list of simple handyman DIY projects every garden would really use in the hot summer months.

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Raised bed gardeningRaised bed gardening
June 19, 2017

I live in zone 8, in WA and decided to use raised beds as my soil was very clay heavy and full of rocks.

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water gardenswater gardens
June 18, 2017

For a N.E. gardener, winter is certainly a time to plan, but I still like to enjoy my gardens and share that with others. The ground is frozen, but with clippings from perennials, herbs and common house plants, I make small arrangements that please me and often surprise guests.

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Portable composting and earthwormsPortable composting and earthworms
June 17, 2017

Living in a condo, I don't have a lot of space, so I sometimes need to get creative with my gardening. I can't imagine a garden without compost, but did not have a large permanent place to place a compost pile. And so, I took a large black pot that had once held a tree, and started using it for composting. The idea worked very well-- with added benefits. I had placed the pot in my rose bed - earthworms quickly found their way up into the pot from the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. They delighted in the constant supply of fresh kitchen and yard waste that I kept putting into the pot – especially my coffee grounds, banana peels and egg shells. Soon, I had an entire nursery of baby wrigglers, and my kitchen/yard waste was rapidly composted and became full of earthworm castings. Then, I had another idea -- I had a rose bush that was not doing very well - so I moved my compost pot next to the rosebush during the rainy season - nutrients must have drained out of the bottom of the pot, and baby earthworms made their way back out of the bucket and into my rose bed. Soon I noticed a great improvement in the rose bush, and a definite increase in the number of earthworms. It seems that this was a win-win situation - I was breeding earthworms, composting, and improving my soil -- all at the same time! This summer my composting pot is moving again - I have another bed that needs some soil improvement and is lacking in earthworms -- what an easy way to improve my soil!

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Recycling lamps ...Part 2Recycling lamps ...Part 2
June 16, 2017

Recycling floor lamps that don't work anymore ...... They make great planters

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Kill Virginia Creeper...not quite organicallyKill Virginia Creeper...not quite organically
June 15, 2017

Not long ago NGA member WARYR1 posted a query in the Ask A Question Forum. "What is an organic way to get rid of Virginia Creeper?" The question received many excellent replies; to date there are 23 replies - one suggestion involved pouring herbicide into a trash can and stuffing the vines into the can - the purpose of that method was to contain the herbicide and reduce risk of damage to desirable plants.

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Non toxic, recycled wasp (yellow jacket) trapsNon toxic, recycled wasp (yellow jacket) traps
June 14, 2017

How to create a wasp trap using empty water bottles. The idea behind it is, the wasps grab a bite to eat, then fall into the soapy water.

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Strawberry Fields ForeverStrawberry Fields Forever
June 13, 2017

Paint "strawberries" from walnuts!

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Hail yes!Hail yes!
June 12, 2017

Many of us have daylilies that we leave to the fickle fate that Mom Nature provides and we deal with whatever the outcome is. Sometimes Mom gives us hail.

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Tomato plants for freeTomato plants for free
June 11, 2017

We were all taught to remove the lateral shoots when growing Tomato plants. This is the shoot that appears in the axis between the stem and leaf, also known as Axial shoot, suckers etc. The removal of these shoots would enable the plant to put all of it's energy into fruit production. We were advised to pick out and discard but not anymore!!!!

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Hosta Light Requirement TidbitsHosta Light Requirement Tidbits
June 10, 2017

Hosta light / sun requirement tidbits (with examples) gleaned from my experience.

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