Sometimes old-time gardening advice is the best advice. When I searched for the most complete tips for growing the best strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa), I eventually turned to two of my oldest gardening books–How to Grow Vegetables and Fruits by the Organic Method (J.I. Rodale, 1961) and the Cyclopedia of Horticulture (L.H. Bailey, 1902). Both offer a wealth of information for strawberry growing success. In fact, my new strawberry patch is already producing good fruit! Read full article.
Plant of the Month: Syneilesis aconitifolia
Native to the moist forests of China, Korea, Japan and eastern Russia, shredded umbrella plant (Syneilesis aconitifolia) is a shade perennial admired for its striking, intricate foliage. It produces a tidy clump (18" x 24") of delicate, cut leaves that die back to the ground after fall frosts. This hardy plant (USDA Hardiness 3a to 8b) is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae), but don't expect it to produce showy flowers. Small, insignificant flowers are borne above the showy, deciduous leaves in midsummer. Syneilesis aconitifolia can be purchased at Plant Delights Nursery.
Growing Tomatoes from Seed to Harvest
The tomato is the most popular warm-season crop, but it can be surprisingly tricky to tend to full productive glory. Tomatoes require at least 6 hours of full sun per day, are fertilizer and water hogs, and produce fruit most vigorously when days are warm (between 78 and 92 degrees Fahrenheit) and nights moderately warm (at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit). Vining (indeterminate) types need caging or trellising, while bush (determinant) types may or may not need staking; both benefit from seasonal pruning.
Fast, Easy Perennial Gardening from Seed
Growing your own perennials does not have to be difficult or expensive. Sure, some seeds can be pricey or require a lot of work (chilling, warming, seed coat nicking, soaking) which can take months of effort. But, many others are cheap and nearly effortless to grow, taking little more work than starting annual seeds.
Honey bees (Apis mellifera) may garner more of the limelight, but North America is also home to approximately 4,000 known native bee species that are just as agriculturally, horticulturally, and ecologically important.Click to read
Antique Garden Books
Reading antiquated gardening books can feel like finding buried treasure. They tell of times when tools and garden plants were simpler and planting designs classic. Many deliver loads of useful, old-timey tips and techniques, making them that much more fun to read. And they tend to be beautifully illustrated—all the more reason to seek them out. Link to article
Wild About Saffron
From each fall-blooming crocus flower emerges three red, precious strands. These are elongated stigmas (female flower parts) otherwise known as saffron—an extraordinarily expensive aromatic spice popular in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Indian cooking. Read more
Fall Wildflowers for Pollinators
Late summer and fall are when pollinators prepare to migrate or overwinter, so it’s an essential time to ensure the garden is filled to the brim with good plants for pollinators to eat. And usually the best plants on the pollinator menu are native wildflowers. Read article