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The Greener View: Finding Value in Trees

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

How would you like to increase the value of your home from 5 to 10 percent? What is your home worth today? Let's just use an easy round number like $100,000. Ten percent of that is a cool $10,000. You can make five to 10 grand just by planting trees in your yard. Maybe money does grow on trees.

Now, of course, they need to be the right trees ...Read more

The Greener View: Easter Lilies and Manure

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

If you still have an Easter lily, you can keep it as a perennial plant in your garden. Removing the flowers as they die will help make the plant's food production go into enlarging the bulb and not producing seeds. They will rebloom easily if planted outdoors in hardiness zones three through seven.

Keep them in bright, indirect light until the ...Read more

The Greener View: Sharp Shovels and Spring Bulbs

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I was talking to a neighbor the other day about getting his garden ready, and he mentioned sharpening his shovels. I have never sharpened a shovel, but he made it seem like they should be practically razor sharp. Isn't the soil just going to dull it as soon as he uses it? Am I crazy or is he?

A: I know gardeners who sharpen their shovels ...Read more

The Greener View: Gardening Myths

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

In honor of April Fools' Day, let's take a look at some foolish gardening advice gardeners. Have you read that hairy-leafed plants like African violets can be sunburned by water droplets sitting on the hairs above the leaf? Sunlight is supposed to be concentrated by the water droplets like magnifying glasses and the light is focused on the ...Read more

The Greener View: Bolting Lettuce and Moving Rhubarb

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Last spring, I planted lettuce early in the spring. We didn't get to harvest much as they started flowering and the heads of lettuce were not heads anymore. What can we do to prevent this from happening this spring?

A: There is nothing you can do except pray for a cooler spring. Lettuce is a biennial. Biennials live two years and are only ...Read more

The Greener View: Garden Hoses and Rain Barrels

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I am need of a new garden hose and the thought struck me as to if there is a hose that is drinking water safe? As a kid, I always drank from the hose. But I haven't done so in a long time. The question came up as I thought about using the water from a rain barrel in an aquarium. I am concerned about that, too, since that water might be ...Read more

The Greener View: Daylight Saving

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Wow, we made it to spring. Well, at least that is what the calendar says. There may still be snow on the ground just about everywhere, but the good news is that we have another hour of sunlight to help melt it away. OK, maybe not. But it sure feels good to have an extra hour of useful daylight in the afternoon to do something outdoors.

Usually,...Read more

The Greener View: Planting Bare-Root Plants

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We ordered roses, raspberries and a few other shrubs and one small tree from a mail order company. They emailed us that our order is shipping. We are not ready to plant these plants. I didn't think they were coming until the end of March. How do I take care of them until I can plant them? They are coming bare root. Is there a special way to ...Read more

The Greener View: New Vegetable Gardener

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I know this may sound naive, but I haven't grown a vegetable garden before. My park district is advertising garden plots, but we might just plant a small garden in our yard. My local store already has broccoli and cabbage plants. I picked up a seed catalog, but I don't know what grows well in my area. Any tips for a beginner?

A: Having your ...Read more

The Greener View: Peach Tree Care

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We moved into a house over the winter that we have been told by a neighbor has a peach tree. He says that it has a few good fruit, but that it hasn't been cared for recently. We are waiting for a book from the Extension Service, but, in the mean time, we want to get dormant pruning done. Do you have any tips?

A: My first tip would be to do ...Read more

The Greener View: Garden Catalog Gadgets

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Have you received enough garden catalogs in the mail yet? After you get a dozen or so, it becomes hard to decide which seeds to order. I try to pick specialties that are only available from each catalog. When my eyes start to glaze over, I will drift to the back of the catalog. It seems that every one of them has a gardening supplies section ...Read more

The Greener View: All-America Selections 2015 Award Winners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

All-America Selections 2015 Award Winners

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, non-profit organization that tests new plants. They have more than 60 test gardens ...Read more

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