Q: I want to grow aloe vera plants to use in making some lotions. My friend has an aloe plant in her house that is doing so well that it has flowers. Mine is just sitting there doing nothing. The only difference I can see is that hers has white spots on the leaves, and mine doesn't. What can I do to get it to grow better?
A: If your friend will...Read more
Last week, three of the four flower winners of the All-America Selections had red flowers. This week, seven of the 10 vegetable winners are tomatoes.
Cucumber Green Light may be one of the best ever grown for making into pickles. Each plant can produce 40 spineless, pickle-sized (3- to 4-inch) fruits. This variety only produces female flowers ...Read more
My garden seed catalogs are arriving. I am always happy to find the All-America Selections, or AAS, logo in a plant's description. I know these plants have been tested in the AAS testing program. It is an independent, nonprofit organization that tests new plants. They have more than 40 test gardens, from Alaska and Canada to California and ...Read more
Wow, we made it to the year that people with bad vision dream about: 2020. New Year's is the time that we look to the future and try to create a new vision of ourselves. In our mind's eye, we see ourselves healthier, happier and leading more productive lives. The pursuit of gardening can help with all of those visions.
There are many ways that ...Read more
Q: While looking for our Christmas tree, my daughter asked why some trees have needles and some don't. She also wondered why the needles don't fall off. I don't think she thought my answer was very good, so I am asking you.
A: Your daughter is brilliant. Thinking about how plants work is an excellent start to investigating the natural world. I ...Read more
Last minute shopping for gifts sometimes comes down to just grabbing some books that sound like they might be interesting. Here are some new ones that came out this year that the gardener on your list might not have heard about.
One of the easiest groups of plants to grow is the grasses. They supply much of the food we eat. Corn, rice, wheat, ...Read more
One of the ways that I like to give gifts to a gardener is to create a basket of items they can use. For instance, if you know a gardener who likes to grow tomatoes (and who doesn't like growing tomatoes?), then a group of gifts that helps grow tomatoes is a good idea.
Start with a Seeds 'N Such seed catalog that has over 200 varieties of ...Read more
Let's continue with our gardener gift ideas that we started last week. During the winter, gardeners dream about next year's garden by browsing garden catalogs and by reading gardening books.
The first book on our list is perfect for wintertime indoor gardening. "Gardening Under Lights" by Leslie F. Halleck is a highly detailed, accessible guide...Read more
Well, it is that time of year again: gift-giving season. So let's dig in and see what is new and useful for gardeners this year.
Just about every gardener needs their tools sharpened. Knives and pruning tools are safer if they are sharp and can make a clean cut. The smooth cut will cause less damage to the plant, which means it can heal faster....Read more
If you don't live in the West Coast or southern Florida, you probably experienced some record cold temperatures last week. It was very cold in a lot of places that are supposed to be warm this time of year.
Plants are not all created equal. Plants native to areas near the equator are called tropical plants. As a group, they don't do well if the...Read more
Q: I have tried for several years to keep houseplants indoors during the winter and then move them outside for the summer. They grow well in the summer, but they nearly die indoors. I thought houseplants should be able to grow indoors. Do you have some tips on what I can do to help them grow better this winter?
A: Of course, all plants ...Read more
Question: Every morning for the past few weeks, we have had a flock of crows sit in the trees above our house. They make a huge racket and wake us up. It is almost like a scene from a horror movie. What are they doing? And how can we make them stop?
Answer: You are not being singled out. They do not care at all that anyone is in the human house...Read more
If you are planning ahead to next year's Halloween and need to repel vampires, it is not too late to plant garlic. Garlic is an easy-to-grow garden crop. It is planted in the fall along the edge of the garden, where it will be out of the way. It will sprout in the spring, grow some leaves and be harvested in the early summer. Check out your ...Read more