Gro Facts: Coconut Coir

What is coconut coir and why is it used as an essential component of growing mixes? What are the characteristics of coconut coir? This video will tell you everything you need to know about this all-natural potting mix component.

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Hot Fall Container Designs with Ornamental Peppers

Ornamental peppers capture the season and look great in containers.
Bright, seasonal ornamental peppers (Capsicum annuum) add warmth and zest to fall plantings. They are truly some of the best container plants of the season—with lots of new varieties being introduced each year to keep the palette fresh. Colorful peppers remain pretty for a long time and pair well with many other seasonal […]

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Five Best Ways to Save Water in the Garden

Roof rainwater trickles into a classic garden rain barrel.
Smart gardeners prepare for summer dry spells and drought. A little water can go a long way if you plan ahead with effective water conservation techniques. Implement one (or more) of our five ways to save water in the garden, and not only will your plants grow better in dry weather, but you will also spend less […]

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Top 10 Water-Wise Container Garden Plants

No matter where you live, you can always count on bouts of hot, dry summer weather. That’s why it’s smart to fill your outdoor containers with drought-tolerant flowers and foliage plants. Sure, you can always water heavily and fill your pots with water-holding potting soil, but water-wise plants provide real container garden insurance. They will perform beautifully in the dog days of summer, saving […]

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Heirloom Vegetable Power: Why Old Seed is New Again

A diverse collection of dried heirloom beans.
Every seed has a story.  When it comes to heirloom vegetable seeds, those with great stories have been nurtured for hundreds and thousands of years by diverse peoples worldwide. Many heirlooms have been lost in time, but some have been preserved, bringing with them wonderful traits that tell us something about the people who grew them and the environments […]

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Garden Flowers for Hummingbirds

A hummingbird feeding on Salvia.
If there was one pollinator I would like to attract to my garden, it would be the hummingbird. It is such a fascinating bird to watch as it zooms from flower to flower and reveals its characteristic of being quite territorial. For many years, I have planted containers of Salvia ‘Black & Blue’ on our deck because this plant is a hummingbird […]

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Spring Rhododendron and Rose Care

Once Rhododendron flowers have died, remove them from the base to stop seed development.
Spring is a good time for some general maintenance pruning on some trees and shrubs.  If your rhododendrons have not been deadheaded, it should be done as soon as possible.  I have to smile to myself when I use the word ‘deadhead’ as it is commonly used in garden lingo and many […]

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The Glorious June Garden

PRS Rose Show 2014The Portland Rose Society Rose Show is a late spring event that occurs yearly in early June.
Cussonia spicata (Cabbage Tree)The newest addition to my garden is a the delicate cabbage tree (Cussonia spicata).
Not that all 12 months are not great for gardening, but for me June is extra special. June is when I have already made many trips to local garden centers, and my containers […]

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Three Drought Strategies for Tomatoes

irrigationYoung seedlings need only one drip emitter to start, but plan on adding more as plants grow larger and demand more moisture.
With statewide mandatory cutbacks in California water due to drought, we can’t grow vegetables the same way we used to when water was more plentiful.  In the desert, where water is precious and expensive, we’ve learned many ways to help vegetables grow in the heat with minimal irrigation. Since tomatoes are always the […]

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Repotting Houseplants

1-IMG_5075Before repotting, bathe smooth-leaved house plants in tepid water to help remove dirt or dust.
It is midwinter. You are occasionally stuck indoors, but your fingers are itching to play in the dirt. Why not channel that frustrated gardening energy into repotting some of your indoor house plants? As most houseplants appreciate being bumped up into a larger pot every couple of years, this activity could be beneficial for both you and your green cohabitants.
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