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The Greener View: Holiday Gift Ideas

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

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

The Greener View: Christmas Gift Ideas

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

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

The Greener View: Gifts for Gardeners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

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

The Greener View: Cold Weather

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

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

The Greener View: Indoor Plants

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

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

The Greener View: Crows

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

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

The Greener View: Growing Pumpkins

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

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

The Greener View: Walnuts and Buckeyes

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have several walnut trees on my property. I noticed that one mature tree did not produce any walnuts this year. My question is why did that one walnut tree not produce nuts? Is there a way to prevent the trees from producing walnuts? I have a couple of trees that I would rather not cut down, but the walnuts are hard to walk on and stain the...Read more

The Greener View: Retaining Walls

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Everyone in my subdivision uses man-made blocks for the retaining walls they installed on the sloping parts of their yards. I do not like the look of these concrete blocks and want to use natural stones, but I do not want to mortar them in place. How do I build such a wall?

A: The first step in wall building is to measure how long and how ...Read more

The Greener View: Fertilizer Numbers

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: A while back, you wrote that a person could mix two fertilizers and that "each active ingredient in one of the fertilizer packages is also an inactive ingredient to the other fertilizer." Does this mean that if I mix two bottles of nitrogen, one bottle will be inactive?

And you also say, "In your case, an equal amount of the 32-10-20 added ...Read more

The Greener View: Growth Regulators

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We have a tree that produces very large acorns. They are a tripping hazard, and the acorns also prevent me from using the mulcher on the leaves. A friend told me there is a spray you can apply to the tree that will prevent it from producing acorns. Can you tell me if there is such a product and, if so, how to apply it? The tree is massive. It...Read more

The Greener View: Fall Gardens

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Fall Gardens

Sometimes it is fun to look at the differences that gardeners in the northern and southern parts of the country face. As we head into fall, what should gardeners be doing?

Depending on how much protection a northern vegetable garden has from the weather, it may not suffer much damage from a light frost. Crops that grow best in ...Read more

The Greener View: Tree Lichens

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have a spruce tree that used to be perfectly shaped. The very top of the tree trunk has been broken off. I think a hawk that stays in our area tried to perch on it and broke it. I don't know what to do for the tree. Will it grow a new straight trunk on its own? Or should I tie one of the lower branches to grow upward and take its place? And...Read more


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