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Tales from a Plant Addict

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

Giant Pumpkins

A few years ago I had an opportunity to visit my good friend Dr. Jeff Wong, a vegetable production professor at Cal Poly in San Louis Obispo, California. While his main work is research and teaching, occasionally local people contact him with questions. While I was visiting, he told me about a man named Paul Rys wh...

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Osage Orange-- Maclura pomifera

I've concluded over the past few weeks that the old sayings are true–beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and one man's junk is another man's treasure. Recently, I have had several questions on Osage oranges, or hedgeapples. The typical one is "How do I stop my tree from dropping all these ugly #$%* fruits in my yard?" A question that surprised me was "Where can I get Osag...

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Wooly Worms & the Weather

Each fall, it's hard not to notice them–little wooly worms crawling across roads, sidewalks, and paths everywhere. Where ever they're going, they seem very determined. More than one person in recent weeks has asked me what they actually are. Do they stay as they are, or morph into something entirely different in time? And how does a wooly worm forecast the winter weather? Differe...

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Turnip Greens

Just because it's fall doesn't mean that the vegetable gardening season is over yet. Many spring vegetables such as turnip greens, lettuce, and broccoli can be sown in late summer and harvested in the fall. One major advantage of planting these in late summer is that the soil is thoroughly warm. Unlike spring, when cold clammy soil and air can mean certain death for young seedlings, the warm ai...

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American Persimmon

I grew up not really knowing what a persimmon was. We had plum, apple, and pear trees in our yard, but no one I knew had a persimmon tree. I first heard about persimmons my first year of graduate school, when Channel 3's Judy Fraser reported that she found lots of "spoons" in the persimmons, so be prepared for lots of snow in the coming winter. I had absolutely no idea what she was talking abou...

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