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The Best Garden Mulches and Decorative Covers

Garden stone is a longterm cover that must be applied correctly from the start.
Mulches define a garden’s character. Organic options give landscapes different looks, and all break down to help feed the soil. Others have more permanency. Either way, organic and decorative garden top dressings add beauty and distinction to plantings. Some take outdoor spaces to new visual heights, while others are simply functional in their […]

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Western Riparian Trees for Wet Soils

Trees that naturally grow by waterways or riversides make good landscape trees for wet ground.
Do you have moist ground in your yard but want trees for the site? For a gardener with wet or damp soil, finding a tree that will thrive in such conditions can be challenging. When browsing through a garden center and reading the cultural requirement for many of the plants, probably one […]

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Transformative Grasses: Anchoring Gardens and Soils

 
This hardy fountain grass is in full summer bloom, releasing pollen in the breeze. (Photo by Maureen Gilmer)
Over the past year, California has experienced drought, wildfires, floods, mudslides, and extreme cold.  The rest of the Southwest has seen the same crazy extremes and has experienced high-damage potential within a short time span.  Everyone will have some rethinking to do, whether making structural repairs or just […]

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What’s Your Favorite Eating Tomato?

Tomato ‘Gold Tomato’
“For Central MS, what is your best suggestion for a good “eatin’ ‘mater?” Question from Judy of Louisville, Mississippi
Answer: You can never love just one tomato! I have three standbys for great overall eating tomatoes. These are the ones I grow each year no matter what, and they’ll grow well in your Southern heat.
The best tomato for flavor is ‘Gold Medal’, a golden heirloom […]

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How Do I Keep Cats Out of the Garden?


How do I keep cats out of the garden? Question from Richard of Winston Salem, North Carolina.
Answer: Even if you love cats, they can be real pests in the garden, even though they keep a wide variety of other garden pests at bay. Their love of soft mulch and soil for defecation encourages them to treat nice garden ground as makeshift cat boxes. Bird lovers […]

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Meet Our Black Gold Writers

All of our exciting garden blogs are written by top horticultural writers, so you can rely on their quality information and photography!Read More »

Quasi Bonsai: Manageable Bonsai Beauty

(Image by Maureen Gilmer)
The price of neglecting to water your bonsai in midsummer even for a day will have to be paid in a withered plant.  You might as well plough the field and forget the seed as commit such negligence.  –Norio Kobayashi, Japan 1951
The little-known secret of true Japanese bonsai trees is that they are watered every day.  Not a single sunrise passes without […]

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Managing the Worst House Plant Pests

Growing house plants all together in a dense tangle encourages pests to spread and multiply!
When garden plants are outdoors, pest populations are generally lower or more diffuse due to natural predators, harsher weather, and more host plants. But, once you bring plants indoors, all of that changes. Predators are gone, climate conditions are good, and the pests that enter your home have just a few plants […]

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Should I Fertilize My Vegetable Garden in Winter?


“What is the best nutrient to use when preparing for a vegetable garden in the winter months?” Question from Denise of Clemmons, North Carolina
Answer: Vegetable fertilization regimes always depend on the plants you are growing. Winter crops for cold frames or hoop gardens tend to consist of cold-tolerant greens, herbs, and root crops. Nitrogen is the best fertilizer for growing leafy crops, while phosphorus and […]

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What are the Best Edibles for Sunny Patio Containers?


“What is the best produce to plant in containers on a large patio that gets a lot of sun?” Question from Jennifer of Telford, Pennsylvania.
Answer: The key to choosing great vegetables, herbs, and fruits for container gardening is selecting compact varieties and/or planting in containers that are large enough to support your vegetables through the season. Then it’s all about getting your potting soil, fertilizer […]

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