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The Greener View: Cut Flowers Are Not Just for Valentine's Day

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Could your home use a little color and some brightening up? Freshly cut flowers give you lots of possibilities. You don't need any gardening experience, a green thumb or creative talent to get great looks with flowers; just go buy some. Of course, you can always stop by your favorite florist to get some do-it-yourself ideas or help with ...Read more

The Greener View: F1 Hybrids

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I see that some seeds in my vegetable catalogs are listed as F1 hybrids. They are usually more expensive than other seeds and other hybrids. Is it worth the money to get F1 hybrids? Is there an F2 or F3 hybrid?

A: It might be worth the money if the desired traits you need in that kind of plant are why the F1 hybrid was created. It is time ...Read more

The Greener View: Green Thumb Tool Awards

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Last week we talked about the five new plant varieties that have won the 2016 Green Thumb Awards presented by the Direct Gardening Association (formerly called the Mailorder Gardening Association). This week we look at the tools category. The winning products are judged on their uniqueness, technological innovation, their ability to solve a ...Read more

2016 Green Thumb Awards

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

2016 Green Thumb AwardsFive new plant varieties and five new gardening products have won 2016 Green Thumb Awards presented by the Direct Gardening Association (formerly called the Mailorder Gardening Association). This is the 18th year of the Green Thumb Awards. Judges include garden writers like me, although I didn't judge this year. This week ...Read more

The Greener View: All-America Selections 2016 Award Winners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

When you are looking at garden catalogs and plants in the garden center it is sometimes difficult to know how well the plant is going to do in your garden. The All-America Selections testing program is an independent, nonprofit organization that tests new plants. They have more than 60 test gardens from Alaska and Canada to California and ...Read more

Bringing Your Garden Back to Life

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Wow, can you believe this El Nino winter? Even though the weather is not bitterly cold for most of us, the North American landscape is almost entirely dormant. But just because the landscape is dormant, doesn't mean gardeners have to be.

Are you getting seed catalogs in the mail? If you haven't received enough gardening catalogs, or need more ...Read more

The Greener View: Gardening Resolutions

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

As we end one year and begin the next, we often think about self-improvement projects. Scientists who have studied how well people keep New Year's resolutions find that we do better if we involve other people. We can go beyond the telling a friend that we are going make some changes, and move into real volunteering where strangers are affected. ...Read more

The Greener View: Plants on Vacation

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We're going on vacation for a couple of weeks this winter. How long can we leave houseplants without watering? Most of the plants are watered every three to four days, but some go for a week. Should we harden them off by not watering as much for a while before we leave, so they are used to less water? If we turn the furnace down to the low ...Read more

The Greener View: More Gardening Gift Ideas

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Are you still looking for gift ideas for your gardener or nature lover? Here are a few suggestions.

"How Plants Work" by Linda Chalker-Scott is a concise science book written for gardeners to help them understand the chemistry behind many plant processes. It can be technical at times, but it is still very readable. I believe the more you know ...Read more

The Greener View: Making the Most of Your Garden

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

What is the key to getting the biggest yield from your vegetable garden? Planning. It is easy to buy a few plants in the spring to get a few tomatoes and peppers for fresh eating, but how do you get enough vegetables to keep the garden productive from spring through fall, getting the most from each crop? If you are a Community Supported ...Read more

The Greener View: Holiday Gift Ideas

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

The gift-giving season is upon us, and you may have a gardener or nature lover on your list. What are the new gardening tools that your gardener can't do without? I am glad you asked. Let's start with some books.

Raising chickens in your backyard is becoming a very popular thing to do. "The Chicken Health Handbook" was originally published in ...Read more

The Greener View: Ice Melters

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: My area gets a few ice storms each winter. We get a little snow, too, but that usually melts off quickly. My concern is getting rid of the ice. My neighbor told me I could use fertilizer to melt the ice and it would then fertilize the plants when the weather warms up. What do you think?

A: If you have traveled recently or just watched the ...Read more

Holly Pruning

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: I planted a holly tree 2 years ago. It is growing long and tall, with leaves only on the ends of the branches. It is 5 feet now. When should I trim the long branches to make it thicken up? I thought I would be able to have some holly branches each winter for making into wreaths, but this entire plant wouldn't make a single wreath. It ...Read more

 

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