Blog/Stories

Caring for your Christmas Cactus

The Christmas Cactus is a popular holiday gift and also a subject of discussion amongst gardeners as to how to care for it and what it takes to make it bloom.  It always helps to know the origin of a plant to understand what makes it tick. This plant is a succulent, tropical type of …

Stokes Aster Flowers

When giving some thought recently about fall-blooming, perennial flowers the ever-popular chrysanthemum or mums as they are usually called, was the first to come to mind. However, there is another flower that is a fall bloomer called Aster. There are many different kinds with varying heights and flower colors. They are easy to grow and …

Asian Lady Beetle

Is Something Bugging You?                           Gardeners, farmers and orchardists consider lady beetles to be a beneficial insect because they feed on plant pests.  While there is no doubt that the Asian lady beetle is helping to control aphid and scale infestations outdoors, home owners are not as enchanted by the little pest finding their way indoors.  …

How to Handle Suckering Plants

Lilacs are known for what is called “sucker growth”.  This is when the plant sprouts new growth from the root system.  Some varieties are more prone to this than others, so to minimize suckering, choose varieties that generally sucker less.  Do some research before making your purchase. Generally, most trees and shrubs have the capability …

White Grub Destruction in Lawns

Does your lawn show wilting and browning of irregularly shaped areas?  If so you may have an infestation of white grubs.  There could be many reasons for lawn browning, especially in late summer when rainfall is not abundant.  White grubs feed on the roots of grass.  Check the root zone of affected areas by carefully …

Rejuvenate an Old Asparagus Bed

I was recently asked how to rejuvenate an old, neglected asparagus bed. Asparagus beds, if taken care of properly, can produce for fifteen or more years. One of the biggest issues of poor producing asparagus beds is the competition for water and nutrients with weeds. Pull them, mow them off and/or spray them. Soft, moist …

Vegetable Gardening Tips

Healthy soil, 8 to 10 hours of sunlight a day and having a plan will get you started out on the right foot when planting your vegetable garden. Organic gardening and using “green” practices are a popular part of many gardeners plans. Plants such as marigolds can deter pests in the garden.  Try planting borage …

Growing Sweet Potatoes

The sweet potato is a warm weather vegetable and a native to Central and South America. The orange fleshed varieties are most commonly available in our area however some cultivars are white and red and are rich in vitamin A. Although they look a lot alike, the sweet potato is not related to the yam. …

Growing Asparagus

Rich in iron, calcium, vitamin C and B vitamins, asparagus is one of the first crops to be harvested in the spring and if given the proper planting and care, an asparagus bed can be productive for 15 years or more. The asparagus bed should be located in a sunny area. It can tolerate a …