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Tales from a Plant Addict

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

Asian Pears

Typically, I'm not surprised when produce prices climb in the winter. Basic economics tells us that when supply dwindles and demand increases, prices go up. I had a case of sticker shock recently though when I noticed Asian pears being sold by the case for over $20 per relatively small case. Why the high price? What makes Asian pears so special? Their price stays relatively the same, w...

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Resurrection Fern

Looking out at three foot high snow drifts against my house this week, I was at a loss to come up with a topic for my column. For me, snowstorms after January are an unnecessary delay of Spring. The white wasteland in my backyard makes me wonder if life really is lurking in the ground, waiting for the weather to break. It occurred to me that one of the plants I have is a great demonstr...

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Recent news reports showed the sad results of freezing temperatures hitting California–especially half-frozen citrus and avocados. Each report I saw mentioned that the cold temperatures not only cost growers millions of dollars in lost harvest this year, but that the crops were potentially affected for two ye...

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Key Limes

I was fortunate to have an opportunity to visit Southwest Florida recently, and escape the blustery cold of central Illinois for a few days. Without a doubt horticulture is a horse of a different color to someone like me from the Midwest. Instead of U-pick apple orchards, there are U-pick citrus orchards. Many peop...

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