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The Greener View: Fertilizing Time and Low-Maintenance Herbs

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: My tulips and daffodils are coming up. When is the best time to fertilize them?

A: Right now is the perfect time. Most people wait until the end of flowering, but just as they are coming up out of the ground is better. A bulb wants to produce flowers and seeds right now, and then it must store carbohydrates in the bulb for next year. We want...Read more

The Greener View: Phals Orchids

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I am in love. I received a phalaenopsis orchid as a gift at Christmas. It is still blooming in March! I can't get over the fact that I haven't killed it yet and it still looks beautiful. I want to take care of it and see whether I can get it to bloom again. What do I need to do to repot it and take care of it so it will keep blooming?

A: ...Read more

The Greener View: Dwarf Tomatoes

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I love fresh tomatoes. I moved into an apartment with a small patio. It gets a lot of sun, so it should be OK to grow plants, but I need small plants. Are there any really small tomato plants?

A: I have good news for you. There are a lot of small tomato plants that have great tasting, full-size fruits. The only problem is that most people ...Read more

The Greener View: Vegetables and Honeysuckles

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have tried growing my own vegetable plants for a couple of years, but they always seem to fail. I am careful with the watering and following the directions on the seed packages. Most of the seeds sprout, but very often, they reach an inch or 2 high and then fall over like they were chopped off at the base. I know there are no insects, slugs...Read more

The Greener View: Ice, Snow and Pigeons

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Our area recently received a lot of ice and snow. Some of our trees were bent over during the storm but seem to be recovering after most of the ice and snow melted off. My problem is that some larger trees have broken or cracked limbs. They are in the backyard and have provided us with a lot of shade, and I don't want to lose them. How soon ...Read more

The Greener View: Valentine's Flowers

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

If you receive a flower arrangement or a bouquet of roses for Valentine's Day, you may wonder how to take care of them. Even though cut flowers are not attached to the plant anymore, they are still alive. Just like a living plant, they need water. Just like when they were attached to the plant, they will use water faster and wilt quicker if ...Read more

The Greener View: Careers in Horticulture and Landscaping

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Midwinter is a time when many high-school and college students are narrowing their career-choice options. Opportunities in horticulture and landscaping are abundant for individuals who enjoy working with plants, working outdoors or working with people. There are careers in arboriculture, floristry, greenhouse management, irrigation and landscape...Read more

The Greener View: AAS Vegetable Winners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Last week, we looked at the flowering-plant winners of the 2018 All-America Selections testing program. This week, we have the vegetable winners. There are three peppers, three tomatoes, one Chinese cabbage and one sweet corn.

When you see the red, white and blue logo of All-America Selections on seed packets or in catalogs, you can expect the ...Read more

The Greener View: AAS Flower Award Winners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

AAS Flower Award Winners

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

The Greener View: Green Thumb Award-Winners Part 2

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Last week, we talked about the new plant varieties that have won the 2018 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, ability to solve a gardening ...Read more

The Greener View: Green Thumb Award-Winners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Four new plant varieties and two new gardening products have won the 2018 Green Thumb Awards presented by the Direct Gardening Association (formerly called the Mailorder Gardening Association). This is the 20th year of the Green Thumb Awards. Judges include garden writers like me, although I didn't judge this year. This week we look at the ...Read more

Winter Garden Tasks

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

The North American landscape is almost entirely dormant. But just because the landscape is dormant doesn't mean gardeners have to be. Now is a good time to visit your local botanical garden greenhouse. It is warm and full of beautiful green plants.

Many gardeners also love bird feeding and bird-watching. Now is a good time to build a birdhouse....Read more

The Greener View: 2018 Gardening Resolutions

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

I used to have a New Year's resolution of not eating a whole watermelon in one sitting. That was back when watermelons weighed 25 to 30 pounds, but now many stores sell the little round baby watermelons. I have reversed my resolution so that now I resolve to eat a whole watermelon in one sitting at least once this summer.

Are you glad 2017 is ...Read more


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