Your National Gardening Association weekly news for March 11, 2017


It's Springtime and that means it's time to get serious about starting those veggie seeds! Don't get lost in the confusion of when to start your seeds, just use our handy Gardening Planting Calendar! Plug in your zipcode and it will tell you exactly when to do what. Happy Gardening!

Recently popular question and answer from our Q&A Archive: Drying and Dying Branches on Norfolk Island Pine
"This year, as last, I bought a beautiful 4-foot Norfolk Island Pine for Christmas tree. Last year's died after about three months indoors, despite my best efforts -- its branches began to dry out and curl into claw-like shapes at the ends and gradually the entire plant dried out.

The conditions in my apt. are not ideal -- I have only northwestern light and the windows all have blown-air heaters. However, I've done my best, as far as I can tell. I have two humidifiers running at all times and I have fed the new tree with Jobe's plant sticks. Yet now this tree is following last year's example. Three or four branches in the middle of the tree are beginning to dry out and curl under. Is there anything I can do to save the plant, or is it already too late? Any instructions on watering, feeding, need for artificial light in addition to the natural northwestern light, emergency care, etc, would be very greatly appreciated." --Click to read the answer

Articles you may enjoy:

Growing Spirea

"Among the easiest flowering shrubs to grow, spireas are often used in foundation plantings, as hedges, and in perennial gardens. Most spireas bloom in late spring to midsummer. Flower colors include pink, red, yellow, and white, depending on the variety."

Growing Foxglove

"Foxglove's low-growing foliage is topped by 2- to 5-foot-tall flower spikes, depending on the variety. Flower colors include pink, red, purple, white, and yellow. Foxgloves are biennials or short-lived perennials."

Growing Gardenia

"Gardenia is best known for their fragrant white flowers, gardenias are heat-loving evergreen shrubs that have become a gardening symbol in the Southeast. Another common name is cape jasmine."

Growing Ranunculus

"Brilliantly colored flowers are 'ranunculus' chief attraction, and they are indeed special. They most often come in multiple layers of delicate, crepe paper--thin petals, looking like an origami masterwork. Ranunculus (R. asiaticus) excel in southern and western gardens, and make terrific container plants everywhere. They also make long-lasting cut flowers."

Growing Hyacinth

"Favored for their intense colors and heady fragrance, hyacinths are a staple of the spring garden along with daffodils and tulips. The plants' stately appearance makes them prized in formal bulb plantings. Flower colors include rich magenta and deep indigo as well as paler pinks, baby blues, yellows and white."

Growing Bleeding Heart (Dicentra)

"Bleeding heart has attractive mounded foliage with arching stems of delicate, heart-shaped flowers in spring. It thrives in moist woodland gardens along with ferns and other shade-lovers."

Tips for Gardening in Clay Soil

"If your garden has heavy clay soil, you know what a challenge it can pose to plants, not to mention gardeners. Heavy clay drains slowly, meaning it stays saturated longer after rain or irrigation. Then, when the sun finally comes out and the soil dries, it forms a hard, cracked surface. "

Contest News!

The March 2017 Not-A-Raffle-Raffle!

By dave
March 10, 2017
The March 2017 Not-A-Raffle-Raffle!

It's the first raffle of the year and we've got 7 prizes total from 4 different companies. If you have acorns, get them out and buy some tickets for a chance to win! (764 words - Read the full article)

ATP Podcast #107: Seed Starting with Children

By dave
March 9, 2017
ATP Podcast #107: Seed Starting with Children

A pretty packed episode with Trish sharing her favorite vegetables for kids to start. Dave shares helpful advice on houseplant care, and discusses the care of redbud trees.

The most popular images last week from our plant database:

Photo of Baseball Plant (Euphorbia obesa)
By RuuddeBlock:

Photo of Miniature Dwarf Bearded Iris (Iris 'Aaah')
By grannysgarden:

Photo of Sacred Flower of the Incas (Cantua buxifolia)
By longk:

Photo of Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris (Iris 'Oregon Pay Dirt')
By lovemyhouse:

Photo of Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Enchanted Butterfly')
By kidfishing:

Photo of Rose (Rosa banksiae f. lutea)
By lovemyhouse:

Photo of Peruvian Lily (Alstroemeria isabellana)
By longk:

Photo of Texas Star Cactus (Astrophytum asterias)
By HunterSThompson:

Photo of Mottled Dutchman's Pipe (Aristolochia labiata)
By bonitin:

Photo of Baseball Plant (Euphorbia obesa)
By RuuddeBlock:

The most popular Landscape Photos from last week:

Click an image to view the names of the plants in each photo.

Photo by Paul2032:
Photo by cayce:
Photo by Paul2032:
Photo by Paul2032:
Photo by mcvansoest:
Photo by scflowers:
Photo by HemNorth:
Photo by Paul2032:
Photo by Paul2032:

Noteworthy acorn tips given this week:

6 people gave for post #1384697 in "Polyploidy & Unreduced Gametes" by auratum

5 people gave for post #1385345 in "What did you do today?" by Joebass

5 people gave for post #1382284 in "Banner for March 4, 2017 by dirtdorphins" by dirtdorphins

4 people gave for post #1386044 in "Pets 2017" by crawgarden

4 people gave for post #1384503 in "Iris of the day" by Lestv

3 people gave for post #1382518 in "L. henryi color forms & breeding" by auratum

3 people gave for post #1382636 in "'Dormant' now 'Dedicuous'" by admmad

3 people gave for post #1384814 in "OT ~ The Porch Swing" by flaflwrgrl

3 people gave for post #1384769 in "Banner for March 8, 2017 by dirtdorphins" by dirtdorphins

3 people gave for post #1381841 in "Iris of the day" by gemini_sage

The most active threads this week:

Subject OP Area Replies
Carolina Iris season 2017 - Let the blooms begin!LestvIrises forum56
Bonnie's Bloomers 2017grannysgardenIrises forum39
Peppermint spray ?PhilipwonelAsk a Question forum25
Polyploidy & Unreduced GametesauratumLilies forum20
Help Identify a treejnicholesAsk a Question forum20
ColumbinesfreedombelAll Things Gardening forum18
Seeds and PlantingrzabriskieAsk a Question forum17
Type of Aloe?r4mboPlant ID forum15
50 acorns to the first 8 people who replyBaja_CosteroThe March 2017 Not-A-Raffle-Raffle!15

Check out these numbers from last week: