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Tales from a Plant Addict

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

Avoiding Garden Gift Gimmicks

Holiday catalogs are filled with gadgets for the person that has everything, and gardeners are no exception. As our inboxes and mailboxes fill with offers and catalogs promising the "perfect gift" that will make gardening quicker, easier, cost less, yield more, and are the key to a perfect garden, you might start to wonder what to believe. There are a lot of gifts on the market that sou...

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Mice

Although the topic of mice is really not a horticultural topic, or exists at the far fringes of horticulture at best, every fall our office gets calls about mice. Fall is the time of year mice are looking for a warm place to spend the winter. This is especially true if you live anywhere remotely rural. Even a park can be a source of mice. My husband and I live near both woods and farm f...

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Yam or Sweet Potato?

There are certain foods we tend to associate with the Holidays, but we may call them by different names. For example, many of us will find sweet potatoes gracing our tables, while some families refer to them as yams. Which is it? What are you actually eating? While we sometimes use the name interchangeably, yams and sweet potatoes are two totally different plants. The yam includes vario...

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Think Spring! (It’s Not too Early)

Though the 2014 gardening season is winding down, it's not too early to think ahead to Spring. A little advance planning and work now will pay off in a few short months. Preparing your vegetable garden for winter can involve more than removing summer's spent plants. Planting a cover crop, also called "green manure" is a simple process that will reduce soil loss by erosion, reduce weeds,...

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Blueberries

Blueberries might seem like a topic more suited to the spring or summer, since that's when the tasty berries are in season. Their white flowers in the spring and blazing red fall color make an excellent addition to your landscape, whether you plan on harvesting their fruit or not. Blueberries are also a very appropriate topic with Thanksgiving right around the corner. According to the U...

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Rhubarb

There are certain fruits and vegetables that seem to elicit a very strong positive or negative response depending on the person. Rhubarb appears to me to be one of those vegetables. Any mention of rhubarb within earshot of my husband is answered with a resounding "YUCK!" As for me, no one in my immediate or extended family cared for rhubarb, so I grew up never eating it. When I actually had an...

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Clivia

Clivia is a genus of flowering plants native to South Africa. There are six known species. Clivia miniata is the most widely cultivated species, along with various hybrids. It is one of those plants commonly found in full bloom around the holidays or soon after. If you bought one last winter and wondering if it can be coaxed into bloom again—it can, with surprisingly little ex...

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