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Tales from a Plant Addict

Fun (& a few serious) facts, tips and tricks for every gardener, new and old.
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Night Gardening

Those first few spring days in the garden are deceiving-- we happily work all day in the garden, grateful for the warmth of the sun after a long cold winter. Fast forward a few months, and the thought of working in the sun all day in August seems like cruel and unusual punishment. That's where the idea of night, or moonlight gardening comes in. During the dog days of summer, many of us...

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small bell pepper

Chile Peppers

Language is a funny thing. Mention chile peppers, and many people assume you are talking about some burning hot pepper that only a mouth made of steel can tolerate. Technically speaking, the term "chile" includes all the fruits we call peppers, even those that are not considered "hot", like bell and banana peppers. Apparently the confusion stems from Christopher Columbus, who assumed th...

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Zucchini

Picking the first zucchini is always pretty exciting, at least in our garden. But a few weeks into zucchini season, this excitement will wane a bit… ok maybe a lot. I've learned from a young age that more than one or two plants will produce far more zucchini than any family can reasonably consume. One of my early gardening memories was the summer before I entered the third grade. I stro...

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Seedless Watermelon

While you celebrate the birth of our great nation this 4 th of July weekend, you may ponder this eternal question while enjoying a delicious slice of watermelon -- if seedless watermelons have no seed, where do you get the seed to plant it? Japanese plant breeders developed the first seedless watermelons over fifty years ago. Understanding the process requires basic knowledge...

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Calibrachoa

A plant that has grown on me due to its outstanding performance in my garden is Calibrachoa , also called Million Bells, or sold under the brand name Superbells®. Up until a few years ago, I didn't really use this plant in my annual beds and containers. But the more I use it, the more I love it. Calibrachoa , like Petunia, is a genus in the Solanaceae...

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Iris

Growing up I thought that all iris were purple with yellow fuzzy "beards". I also knew that my mom hated them. I spent a lot of time alongside my mom as a girl helping her dig up the persistent rhizomes. When she and my dad bought their house, the flower bed on the south side of the house plus a few oddball places around the yard were overflowing with the exceedingly tall purple bearded iris. W...

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Hummingbirds

Each summer we look forward to seeing hummingbirds buzzing around our backyard. Hummingbirds are uniquely "American"; they are found only in the Western Hemisphere, in North and South America. There are between 325 and 340 species of hummingbirds in the world, depending on how the birds are classified. Most of these nearly 340 species live in the tropics. Seventeen species regularly nes...

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