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The Greener View: Straighten up

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Straighten up

Q: We had an ornamental pear tree planted on a berm about three years ago. It started to lean soon after planting, and the landscaper used a wooden stake and a wire to pull it back up straight. But wet soil loosened the stake, and the tree is leaning again. What are my options?

A: Let's start at the beginning. Berms are often ...Read more

The Greener View: Planning a Vegetable Garden

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Have you received any garden seed catalogs yet? Developing a vegetable garden site takes time and resources -- a home vegetable garden can take three to five years to start producing well. Container gardening is a more short-term gardening option that works well with locations that have space restrictions, such as patios.

There are a few ...Read more

The Greener View: All-American Selections Vegetable Award-Winners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Last week, we looked at the winners of the 2017 All-America Selections testing program. It has approximately 80 test gardens all over, from Alaska to Canada to California to Florida, as well as over 175 display gardens all across the continent, which are not used for judging but to show gardeners how well plants grow locally.

The judges ...Read more

The Greener View: AAS Flower Awards

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

When you are looking at plants in a garden center or in garden catalogues, it is sometimes difficult to know how well a certain plant will do in your garden. All-America Selections, or AAS, is a nonprofit organization that tests new plants. It has approximately 80 test gardens in locations all over, from Alaska to Canada to Florida to California...Read more

The Greener View: Genetically Modified Plants and Seeds

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have been looking at the vegetable garden seed packages at the store; some are labeled as being free of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, and some are not labeled as such. Should I be looking for packages labeled one way or the other? If the package says the product is non-GMO, can it still have genetically engineered ingredients?

A...Read more

The Greener View: Tool Winners of the Green Thumb Awards

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Last week, we talked about the new plant varieties that medaled in the 2017 Green Thumb Awards, which is 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, ability to solve a ...Read more

The Greener View: Plants Winners of the Green Thumb Awards

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Six new plant varieties and five new gardening products have won for the 2017 Green Thumb Awards presented by the Direct Gardening Association (formerly called the Mailorder Gardening Association). This is the 19th year of the Green Thumb Awards. Judges include garden writers like me, although I didn't judge this year. This week, we'll look at ...Read more

The Greener View: Mail Order Gardening

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

January is National Mail Order Gardening Month. Have you gotten garden catalogs in the mail yet? If you haven't received enough, or if you need more that are specific to a type of plant you want to grow, go to the Direct Gardening Association website for a list of companies that offer catalogs of plants and gardening tools. You will get a direct...Read more

The Greener View: New Year's Garden Resolutions

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Many people will be glad 2016 is over. Research has often shown that people can relieve stress in gardens, either through enjoying an existing garden or the act of gardening. For those of us who like to work in our gardens, it is important to sometimes stop working and literally smell the roses. Right this moment, resolve to enjoy your garden ...Read more

The Greener View: The Best Bird Feeders

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We want to give a bird feeder and some seed to some friends for Christmas but don't want to get a cheap set. Which do you recommend?

A: For the feeder, you can't go wrong with one from Aspects or Droll Yankee. They're made in the U.S. and have a lifetime guarantee. You will not find these feeders in big box stores, as they both support the ...Read more

The Greener View: Unique Gifts for Gardeners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

I am always on the lookout for space-saving designs. Several of my windows would be perfect for growing plants, but the windowsill is not wide enough to set a flowerpot. Besides, the cat would knock it off anyway. For a couple of years, I have been growing a phalaenopsis orchid upside-down in a Sky Planter from Boskke.

At first glance the pot ...Read more

The Greener View: Gardening Gifts Part Two

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

There is still time to get presents for your gardener. The following are additional holiday gift options.

The Worx Aerocart 8-in-1 Wheelbarrow can carry 200 pounds, but the way it is balanced, it will only feel like 20 pounds. I like the fact that it has two wheels instead of one. I once tipped a one-wheeled wheelbarrow of concrete into a rose ...Read more

The Greener View: Gardening Gifts

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

The gardener you're shopping for this holiday may tell you that they have all the tools they need. But here are a few they probably don't have and will be glad you gave to them.

I like combining several small items into one larger present. For instance, a pair of garden gloves, some insect repellent and a bottle of hand soap or hand lotion in a...Read more


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