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Bird feeders in the yard

Bird feeders will bring in a variety of migrating birds during the early spring on their journey to summer digs. This is before there is much for them to eat elsewhere, in nature or in home landscapes. Our winter resident birds that have hung out with us all winter still need that seed too. Be sure to continue your feeding efforts well into spring until they can find food on their own. Plan to use...

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Things to do for the home orchard

A couple of weeks ago, my column covered getting ready for the vegetable gardening season. This time it is about the home orchard. While dormant pruning has been and will continue to be done, getting ready for the management of fruit tree diseases and insects can be done inside, dry and warm. In the early spring, the first spray should be applied while the ground and air temperatures are still...

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Down the Garden Path

Now that the snow is gone

Now that the snow is all gone our yards are now shades of brown. All too obvious is the debris from the neighborhood that has blown in, collecting in the ground cover and shrub beds and at the base of your fence. Time to do that quick walk about and pick up so you do not have to look at it every day until spring arrives. Natural litter from your landscape is expected though, and leaves and twigs w...

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Sorting out your saved seeds

It is early to be starting any flower or vegetables seeds. However, it is not too early to round up those saved seeds and determine just how good they are. As a rule, smaller seeds do not last as long as larger seeds, as there is more stored energy in the big ones. This "rule" is especially true if the seeds were not stored in the best conditions. The best place would be in a tight-sealing con...

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Keeping your raspberries from becoming a bramble patch

Raspberries are a wonderful addition a backyard, providing us with berries for fresh use while they are in season and for preserving to enjoy later. Raspberries are a perennial, giving us many years of production, though there should be some annual pruning done. This will prevent that row we started with from becoming an uncontrollable patch that only gives us few berries compared to its size....

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Common indoor insect question in January

What do fungus gnats, drain flies, Boxelder bugs and stinkbugs have in common this time of year? The common thread is they are all nuisance household insects that can be found in any home during winter. Fungus gnats and drain flies can be lumped together based on their favored conditions, cool temperatures and humidity. Fungus gnats often come in with our houseplants for the winter, as they ar...

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Orchard Tree Series: Location Location Location

Orchard Tree Series: Location Location Location Where you plant your dwarf fruit trees can make a big difference in how they grow and perform. A major consideration is the soil. Fruit trees are no different from other trees and shrubs in your landscape; the soil needs to drain well. Placing the home orchard where water will drain away very soon after a...

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