Gardening News and Ideas by goldfinch4

Fall Flower Garden Clean-UpFall Flower Garden Clean-Up
November 23, 2016

If you're like me and live in a cool climate, your gardening season will soon be coming to an end for another year. You've either got loads of work ahead of you cleaning out your flower gardens or you are ready to sit back and relax and leave the clean-up until spring.

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Making a Pebble PlanterMaking a Pebble Planter
November 25, 2015

Looking for a little project to pass the time when cold or rainy weather keeps you out of the garden? How about making a cute pebble planter? This design works especially well for succulents and alpine plants because of the excellent drainage this pot provides.

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How and Why to Prune ClematisHow and Why to Prune Clematis
June 11, 2015

If you’ve ever seen a clematis that is one big mountain of tangled up stems, it’s almost enough to scare you away from growing them. But let’s take a look at why, when, and how these remarkable vines should be pruned and you’ll find it’s not as difficult as it seems.

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Time Your Cut FlowersTime Your Cut Flowers
June 2, 2015

For bouquets or floral displays, cut flowers early in the morning or late in the evening and they'll last longer in your arrangement.

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Pot of HerbsPot of Herbs
May 31, 2015

A pot of herbs can be pretty in addition to tasting good. Include edible flowers, such as pansies, parsley for its beautiful texture, purple basil for color, etc. Keep the pot by your back door so it's handy to grab what you need.

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Tiny BeautiesTiny Beauties
March 17, 2015

I think it’s safe to say that most of us collect sempervivums for the diversity of the rosettes, but it would be a shame to ignore the beauty of their tiny flowers.

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Winter in My Wisconsin GardenWinter in My Wisconsin Garden
February 15, 2015

One thing is certain about winter in Wisconsin – it’ll never be the same two years in a row.

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Fun Facts About TomatoesFun Facts About Tomatoes
March 2, 2014

Here's a fun compilation of some interesting facts about tomatoes.

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Have a Bucket HandyHave a Bucket Handy
December 28, 2013

I always carry a 5 gallon bucket with a handle into the garden with me. I keep plant tie-wraps twisted onto the handle in case I need them. On the way to the garden, the bucket holds my tools. On my way back from the garden, it holds the weeds and spent flowers.

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Club Your Way to SavingsClub Your Way to Savings
December 14, 2013

It pays to belong to garden clubs offered by local or regional nurseries. I belong to two different ones.

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Thrifty Gardening in FallThrifty Gardening in Fall
November 4, 2013

Look for great deals in fall on gardening tools at end-of-season sales.

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Emergency Seed PackageEmergency Seed Package
September 21, 2013

I needed to mail some tiny seeds, but had no package to put them in. I began looking through my cupboards and came up with a great solution!

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Dried Fall FlowersDried Fall Flowers
September 7, 2013

Bouquets of dried wildflowers and weeds can make beautiful fall displays.

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Glossary Tip - PanicleGlossary Tip - Panicle
August 28, 2013

A loose cluster of flowers growing on the end of a stem and made up of small stems with one or more flowers each. Some examples are hydrangeas, lilacs, oats, and many grasses.

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Earwig ControlEarwig Control
August 7, 2013

For earwig control, place a rolled up newspaper in your garden at night. Earwigs like dark, cozy places. In the morning, pick it up and seal in a plastic bag, earwigs and all.

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Glossary Tip - CatkinGlossary Tip - Catkin
August 4, 2013

A long, thin, drooping cylinder of flowers without petals, generally found on willows, birches, and oaks.

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Glossary Tip - VariegatedGlossary Tip - Variegated
July 23, 2013

Leaves that have blotches, patches, or marks of different colors.

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Glossary Tip - StolonGlossary Tip - Stolon
July 21, 2013

A type of plant stem that usually grows horizontally and produces new plants at the end or tip.

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Glossary Tip - Top DressGlossary Tip - Top Dress
July 10, 2013

To spread an even layer of soil amendments over the top of the soil. Top dressing can be used to add fertilizer, smooth out the surface, improve soil texture, prevent weeds, hold in moisture, or add a finished look.

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Glossary Tip - HydrozoningGlossary Tip - Hydrozoning
June 28, 2013

Grouping plants together according to their water requirements to conserve moisture.

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Vines as Ground CoversVines as Ground Covers
May 24, 2013

When most people think of vines, they think vertical growth. However, many types of vines can also be used as ground covers.

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Serpentine LayeringSerpentine Layering
May 13, 2013

Most vines propagate well by serpentine layering. Dig a shallow trench next to the base of the vine. Take a section of the vine long enough to lay on the ground. Make a small cut on the bottom of the vine a couple feet away from the base. Bury the portion of the vine where it’s cut. You may want to anchor it down with a pin or small rock. Depending on the type of vine, the roots should form in several weeks to several months.

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Don't Plant When WetDon't Plant When Wet
May 6, 2013

Working with wet soil can compact air spaces. Wait until the soil dries out before attempting to work in it.

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Cold Hardy SempervivumCold Hardy Sempervivum
March 15, 2013

Sempervivum wreaths and topiaries can remain outside all winter, even in zone 3 or 4 temperatures. They may need a little sprucing up in the spring, but they'll recover quickly.

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Sempervivum LoveSempervivum Love
March 15, 2013

I’m sure everyone has a favorite plant or two in their garden. However, it seems that people who grow Sempervivums tend to get carried away!

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Sempervivum in Shallow ContainersSempervivum in Shallow Containers
March 14, 2013

Sempervivums do well in shallow containers. You can even plant in a large saucer. Be creative!

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Sempervivum CraftsSempervivum Crafts
March 11, 2013

Once you start growing these amazing plants, you’ll find that they multiply quickly. And unless you have lots of room in your gardens, you’ll want to find some creative ways to use them.

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Sempervivum Diseases, Problems, and PestsSempervivum Diseases, Problems, and Pests
March 10, 2013

As a rule, sempervivums are tough little plants that can put up with a lot of abuse before they’re overwhelmed. Not many plants are as resilient as these guys, yet even they face some dangers.

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Growing Sempervivum in ContainersGrowing Sempervivum in Containers
March 9, 2013

An easy and inexpensive way to get started with sempervivums is to grow them in containers. But that's not the only reason to plant them in containers.

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Bringing Your Houseplants Back IndoorsBringing Your Houseplants Back Indoors
September 29, 2012

It’s that time of year when we’ll want to start bringing our houseplants back indoors for the winter. Most houseplants are tropical plants and will experience damage at temperatures below 40 - 50 degrees F. Before you bring them in there are a few things you can do that will help in the long run.

(Full article17 comments)
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A Quick Tip for FallA Quick Tip for Fall
September 23, 2012

Clean your containers well at the end of the growing season. This prevents the spread of disease, can kill eggs laid by bugs, and in the spring they’ll be ready to use when you need them.

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Fun Facts About CornFun Facts About Corn
September 18, 2012

Here's everything you ever wanted to know about corn!

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Make Your Own Plant MarkersMake Your Own Plant Markers
June 22, 2012

I was trying to think of what I could use for plant markers rather than purchase them. It gets expensive if you’ve got a lot of plants! When I run out of ideas I go ask my husband, who always comes up with something that makes me slap my forehead and say “Why didn’t I think of that”!

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A Frugal Garden MatA Frugal Garden Mat
June 21, 2012

Use an old car floor mat for a cushion when sitting or kneeling in the garden. The rubber backing will also keep you dry when it's wet.

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Building a Living PictureBuilding a Living Picture
June 9, 2012

How would you like to have a beautiful living picture in your garden or mounted on a wall outside of your home? It's a quick and easy project that you can do with just a few tools.

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A Quick Bloom TipA Quick Bloom Tip
June 7, 2012

Removing flowers as they fade (deadheading) is important. It improves the appearance of plants, prevents plants from putting their energy into making seeds, can prolong bloom time, and may stimulate some plants to produce another round of flowers.

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Cut Flowers Display IdeaCut Flowers Display Idea
June 2, 2012

Cut flowers or bouquets don't have to be displayed in a vase. Anything that holds water will work.

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A Mouse TipA Mouse Tip
May 29, 2012

Fresh mint repels mice. Every couple of weeks pick a fresh handful and spread it around the area where mice are a problem.

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A Gnat Tip for HouseplantsA Gnat Tip for Houseplants
May 21, 2012

A great way to get rid of gnats on your houseplants is to mix 32 ounces of water with one squirt of Windex. Water your plants by making sure the entire soil surface is wet. It's not necessary to saturate the soil.

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Deck Saver TipDeck Saver Tip
May 9, 2012

Leaking water from containers can be hard on your deck. Prevent water damage by placing decorative "feet" or stones under your containers to allow air flow.

(7 comments)
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A Quick 'Time' TipA Quick 'Time' Tip
May 5, 2012

Plant low-maintenance plants to reduce the amount of time you spend gardening. Sempervivum, lavender, hosta and most native plants are just some examples.

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All About Herbaceous PeoniesAll About Herbaceous Peonies
April 13, 2012

For a spectacular flower show in your garden, herbaceous peonies (paeonia) in bloom can’t be beat. They’re a long-lived perennial, they make wonderful cut flowers, and when they’re done blooming the foliage provides a beautiful backdrop to other plants for the rest of the growing season.

(Full article14 comments)
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Don't Let Weeds Take HoldDon't Let Weeds Take Hold
April 12, 2012

It’s best to pull weeds when they’re small. They’re easier to remove, it won’t disturb the roots of nearby plants, and it prevents them from going to seed.

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When To Stake Your PlantsWhen To Stake Your Plants
March 12, 2012

When staking plants, put the stakes in place early in the season. There is less chance of damaging the plant, and as the plant grows it will hide the stakes.

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Prevention Is the Best KeyPrevention Is the Best Key
March 7, 2012

Keep an eye on your plants for pests. It’s easier to eliminate them before they get out of control.

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All About ColeusAll About Coleus
March 1, 2012

If you’re looking for non-stop color in your gardens and containers that will last your entire growing season, consider planting coleus – the plant that can quickly show big results.

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All About ClematisAll About Clematis
February 21, 2012

Despite what you may have heard about growing clematis, these beautiful plants are quite easy to grow. There are many variables to take into consideration when selecting the perfect plant for your location.

(Full article62 comments)
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The Benefits and Drawbacks of Snow in the GardenThe Benefits and Drawbacks of Snow in the Garden
February 7, 2012

There’s no doubt that snow can be beautiful and offer many benefits to gardens, but unfortunately it can also cause problems. Let’s take a look at how our landscapes can be affected by this frozen precipitation.

(Full article25 comments)
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Just Say "No" to Weeds in Your Raised BedsJust Say "No" to Weeds in Your Raised Beds
January 28, 2012

When using rocks or bricks as garden edging, place weed barrier cloth underneath them as you build the edging. It will help keep the grass from growing between the rocks and bricks and into your gardens.

(5 comments)
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Ties for VinesTies for Vines
January 24, 2012

If I grow vining plants on trellises I always leave a few plant ties attached to the trellis. That way if I’m out in the gardens and see a vine that needs a little assistance staying on the trellis I always have a plant tie handy.

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Good Gloves Are Worth the InvestmentGood Gloves Are Worth the Investment
December 24, 2011

Invest in the best pair of gloves you can afford. Good gloves will outlast many pairs of cheap ones.

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Tool CareTool Care
December 16, 2011

Take care of your tools. Sharpening and cleaning them will prolong the life of the tools and they will perform better. It’s much easier to dig with a sharp shovel, and sharp pruners will not crush stems as you cut.

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Early American Gardeners of the Thirteen ColoniesEarly American Gardeners of the Thirteen Colonies
November 14, 2011

Early gardening and farming was nearly a full time daily job for the initial settlers of the thirteen colonies. The climate and soil were new to them and it took quite some time to discover what fruits, vegetables and crops would grow successfully here.

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Organize Your ToolsOrganize Your Tools
November 10, 2011

Keep your tools organized. There is nothing more frustrating than spending precious gardening time looking for your tools.

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Real Uses for a Toy RakeReal Uses for a Toy Rake
October 17, 2011

Use a child's toy rake to clean under shrubs or other hard to reach places.

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All About PumpkinsAll About Pumpkins
October 7, 2011

From the legend of the Jack O'Lantern and "chucking", to growing, health benefits and pumpkin trivia, let's find out more about this amazing fruit.

(Full article28 comments)
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Divide Your Plants in the FallDivide Your Plants in the Fall
October 5, 2011

Fall is a great time to divide your plants! Dividing perennials is an easy way to increase your plants, and it also keeps many perennials healthy and prevents them from outgrowing their space.

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All About MulchAll About Mulch
September 30, 2011

One of the best things you can do for your flower and vegetable gardens, and for trees, is to apply mulch. Mulch is a material placed on the soil to protect it and conserve moisture, but it has many more benefits than that.

(Full article22 comments)
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Where To Plant Spring BulbsWhere To Plant Spring Bulbs
September 30, 2011

Many spring blooming bulbs can be planted under deciduous trees and shrubs. They will bloom before the branches fill out with leaves, which will give you a pretty view earlier.

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Plan Ahead!Plan Ahead!
August 28, 2011

When planting, be sure to take the mature size of the plant into consideration and leave enough space for it to grow.

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Invasive Plants - Why Are They Here and How Can I HelpInvasive Plants - Why Are They Here and How Can I Help
August 24, 2011

Did you know most plants that are considered invasive are the result of human activities? Fortunately there are ways we can protect our native plants.

(Full article30 comments)
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Mulch, Mulch, Mulch!Mulch, Mulch, Mulch!
August 17, 2011

Mulch is a wonderful thing! It keeps plant roots cool, conserves moisture, suppresses weeds, keeps dirt from splashing on your plants when it rains and it looks nice. In areas that receive frost in winter it helps maintain soil temperature, thus preventing frost from heaving plants out of the soil.

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Heuchera:  Jewels in the gardenHeuchera: Jewels in the garden
June 12, 2010

Heuchera (pronounced Hew-ker-ah), also commonly called Coral Bells or alum root, are known and planted mostly for their bright, colorful leaves that bring jewel tones to the garden.

(Full article40 comments)
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How To Make Your Own Succulent WreathHow To Make Your Own Succulent Wreath
March 30, 2010

The directions for making a succulent wreath are very simple. The same method can be used for any topiary form using sedum or sempervivum. The directions below are for using semps and a wreath frame.

(Full article39 comments)
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Hypertufa, the Look of Carved StoneHypertufa, the Look of Carved Stone
March 26, 2010

Do you like the looks of carved stone planters? Then hypertufa is for you. Here is my recipe and instructions on how to make your own unique trough, bowl, or box.

(Full article156 comments)
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