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Training Dogs and Fruit Trees

What do fruit tree experts mean when they say "you need to train" your fruit trees?" Many of us have trained our dogs, but how do you train a tree? Homeowners and orchardists need to train their trees for structure to encourage fruit production and to have a productive, high-yielding home orchard. Just like with dogs, proper training makes a difference. It gives you a tree that can hold the fr...

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Planning for the Home Orchard

It has been a couple of years since I used the month of January to address starting a home orchard. The fruit and vegetable catalogs have begun to replace the holiday flyers in the mailbox and January is not too early to begin planning for a home orchard or expanding the one already there. There are several different kinds of fruit trees to consider – apple, cherry, peach, pear, plum...

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Holiday tree after the holidays

Just about now, you can see holiday trees sitting in the front or side yard, waiting for the assigned pick up date to be collected and mulched. This is one way to be sure your holiday tree gets recycled to the benefit of the environment. The follow through to getting your tree composted in a community program is to be sure you take advantage of the composted material later by bringing some back ho...

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2018 Gardening Resolutions

We have all made them – kept some, unsuccessful with others. New Year's resolutions can be tricky, but for your gardens, they may be a little easier to keep. For starters, they are months away and can be more thought out and with time to prepare, more easily accomplished. Here are a few Garden Resolutions to consider: Add more mulch where it can prevent weed growth and retain mo...

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Houseplant FAQs

Although most Master Gardener help desks are on hiatus right now for the winter, questions still come into the office. It is interesting to see the seasonality of the questions this time of year, and this month, there is a thread among most of them – houseplants. Q: I love my succulents in the summer, but they are already getting leggy. Can I stop that?...

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Pantry pests after holiday baking

This is that warning shot over the bow of the ship or in this case the holiday bow. Homemakers are in full swing, baking our favorite cookies and other holiday treats we enjoy so much. With all that baking, comes the potential for pantry pests to show up. Leftover baking goods are usually the culprit, especially any flour or flour-based cooking and baking product. This is a bit more troublesom...

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Warmer Weather and Ants

There are some 8,000 ant species around, and on occasion, ants can become an annoyance in the home. Most often they are a bother in the spring of the year when soils outdoors begin to warm again. Right now, in this particular December, our soils next to the home are still warm. We may be bothered by those ants, when colonies in the soil within the footprint of our home venture inside. Ants could b...

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