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Over the Garden Fence

Where gardeners come to find out what's happening out in the yard.

FAQs on Starting Seeds Indoors

This time of year, questions about starting seeds indoors are common. The following FAQs should serve as a helpful refresher for the seasoned gardener and a great resource for all the first-timers. Q: I have a bag of open potting soil in the garage. Why must I use soilless seed starting mix? A: Soilless seed starting mix contains all the right stuff an...

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OGF seed start blog

Starting Flower and Vegetable Seeds

The absolutely best place to start for your flower and vegetable seeds this spring is at the seed packet itself. That is just the start of what will be a several week adventure. Based on the date you expect to eventually plant outside, the information on the seed packet can guide you when you need to start your seeds. For our area, May 5 has been the average frost-free date for many years. If...

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Household and Houseplant Insects

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Late February to early March is just about the right timing for household and houseplant insects to show up. Over-wintering outdoor insects in the home become indoor household nuisance pests, and new insects may just be waking up. Plus, houseplants that survived the move in from the patio last fall will typically harbor insects in small numbers that now could be exploding with increasing numbers....

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Controlling Fruit Tree Diseases

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Home orchardists struggle from spring through the summer to make timely cover sprays, hoping to harvest good quality fruit. Several practices can help you grow fruits that are the envy of the neighborhood. Apples may be the hardest of the tree fruits to manage, as there are a couple of diseases that really affect how your crop turns out. Apple Scab and Cedar Apple Rust...

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tree buds canva

Cold Weather Challenges Flowering Buds

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

When talking about flower buds on our fruit trees and flowering ornamental plants, a couple of plants come to mind. The first is the peach tree. Like other fruit trees, peaches produce flower buds every year. It is just a gamble whether or not we have severe winter temperatures during the winter. Cold weather has already given peach trees in the home orchard a knock-down punch for 2019....

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Apples 2019 canva1

Fruit Tree Pollination and the Polar Vortex

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

About this time of year, Extension starts getting calls and emails asking about the right pollinators for the home orchard since it is time to order from the fruit tree catalogs. You may recall that we touched on this a few weeks back, but let's really dive in this time. Catalogs provide a great amount of information like flowering, harvest times, mature size based on rootstocks, if the tree y...

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Taking Care of Winter Pantry Pests

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Back in December, this column talked about doing our best to prevent an outbreak of any one of several kinds of pantry pests in the home. Some of what was shared included sealing bulk amounts of dry pet foods, including the birdseed used all winter for outdoor feathered friends, and limiting, whenever possible, the amount of flour for baking during the holidays. Even with the best attempts, oc...

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