Jessie Keith

Windowsill Salad Greens for Indoor Growing

Cut-and-come-again lettuce is the perfect cool-season crop for fall and winter gardens.Cut-and-come-again lettuce is the perfect cool-season crop for fall and winter gardens.
Windowsill greens, such as small lettuces and micro-greens, are fast-growing and gratifying.  Growing them indoors is a piece of cake, as long as you have good sunlight, quality soil, the right watering regime, and some gardening know-how. Start with the right greens, master some […]

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Salvias for Fall-Migrating Hummingbirds

habitSalvia greggii (autumn sage) (photo by Maureen Gilmer)
Hummingbirds rely on the nectar of many fall-blooming salvias to assist in their late-season migration. The striking beauty, bright colors, and architectural statures of these plants also make them great for the garden. Most cultivated salvias are from Mexico and the Southwest United States, which is why pollinators migrating south are attracted to them. Their relationship is […]

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Succeed with Container Vegetable Gardening

IMG_0679This season we experimented with planting ‘Little Baby Flower’ watermelon in big tubs, and they are doing great!
Lots of container vegetable gardens fail. Why? It often comes down to size, quality, and water. The size of the container and vegetables, quality of the soil and fertilizer, and watering regime must be right for productive veggies. Get these factors wrong and your growing efforts will be compromised.
Container growing is […]

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Blue Ribbon Dinner Plate Dahlias

Seed Savers1552-dester-tomato-organicDahlia showing is serious business. Cultivating them to full glory takes a little extra care and patience.
Summer is Dahlia time, and my favorites are the super giants with blooms the size of dinner plates. The grand flowers of dinner plate dahlias are so large that just one is enough to fill a large vase or decorative bowl. They are produced on tall, four and five foot […]

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Growing and Harvesting Edible Seeds

013psHarvested poppy seeds should be collected in a low, broad container and then funneled in to a clean, dry jar.
Poppy seeds, dill seed, fennel seed, coriander, and caraway—It’s like having the makings of an everything bagel in the garden. All of these culinary seeds are costly to buy and easy as pie to grow and collect.
Seeds used for seasoning food are technically considered spices, and like most homegrown things, they taste stronger and […]

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Big, Bold, Tropical Foliage Plants

500Lantana camera and cascading Scaevola aemula ‘Blue Fan’ compliment colorful crotons in this summer container planting.
Big, bold, tropical plants look amazing in summer gardens and large containers and drink up the summer heat and humidity. Often ornamental bananas, exotic elephant ears, upright sanserverias, strappy cordyline, and colorful croton are grown only indoors or way down South, but they thrive any place that’s steamy. Placing them in the right spot with the right companion plants is […]

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Everything about Growing Dahlias

Dahlia 'Park Princess' - CopyDahlia ‘Park Princess’
Dahlias come in all forms, from monolithic 12” dinnerplate monsters to tiny 2” pixie pincushion blooms, and colors—pretty much any shade except for true blue. So, you can never love just one. They thrive in the cooler seasons of early summer and fall and offer a botanical extravaganza of floral beauty with over 50,000 named cultivars and 20 wildly diverse forms. (Visit the American Dahlia Society (ADS) website […]

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The Biggest and Best Beefsteak Tomatoes

BCTomato-Janets-Jacinthe-Jewel-TS156-web‘Janet’s Jacinthe Jewel’ is an exceptional and unusual large beefsteak offered by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. (Image care of Baker Creek)
The bigger the better! This statement rings true with tomato breeders and heirloom collectors seeking to find bigger and better monster beefsteak tomatoes that don’t shirk on taste, productivity, or disease resistance. For many summer gardeners, nothing tastes better than the simple pleasure of a sweet beefsteak tomato slice drizzled with olive oil and […]

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Resistance Gardening in Five Steps

IMG_0679Strong vegetable starts, good opening spacing and clean ground are three factors essential to resistant gardening.
So many factors can put stress on garden plants—heat, drought, insects, disease—that’s why it’s smart to plan ahead to ward off possible garden debacles before they occur. This is done by cultivating tough, resistant crops through chemical-free preparative gardening in anticipation of heat, drought, pests and disease with bountiful results.
Start early in the season when you choose your garden plants. Pick your […]

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Getting Orchids to Bloom

Phalenopsis g. Baldan's KaleidoscopePhalenopsis g. Baldan’s Kaleidoscope is one of many beautiful moth orchids.
It’s a common story. You are given an orchid as a gift. It blooms beautifully for a month or so, and then it stops, never to bloom again. You may be tempted to throw it away, but don’t. It may seem like a challenge, but getting your orchids to rebloom is not as difficult as it seems.
Most cultivated orchids purchased at […]

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