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The Cult of Extreme Heat: Raising the Hottest Peppers


Hot peppers have a cult following. Those that eat, hybridize, and grow the hottest peppers in the world are all part of the wicked hot-pepper culture where Scoville Units below 1,000,000 are too cool to be cool. Breeders and growers choose only the most dangerously scorching Capsicum fruits on the planet. Each year, newer, hotter peppers appear in the pursuit of extreme heat.
Hot peppers […]

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Summer Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden


July, 2021 –If ever there was a time that showed the benefits of adding compost to the soil, this past week was it. With temperatures in the Portland, Oregon area setting records for all-time highs, plants suffered just as people, pets, and wildlife did. We generally experience mild summer weather, but one afternoon this week our outdoor temperature was 114 […]

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Nine Water-Saving Garden Tips to Fight Drought

A combination of protective row covers, mulch, and drip hoses will dramatically reduce water loss.
Hot weather drains garden plants dry and reduces productivity, especially when rain is scarce. More and more gardeners have had to change the way they grow because heat and drought limit the season. Rather than getting discouraged, they have learned smarter gardening techniques and how to stretch resources. Approaching the garden […]

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Colorful Variegated Plants for Nonstop Garden Beauty

The fancy-leaved geranium ‘Mrs. Pollock’ is one of my favorites of all time!
While most gardeners usually focus on flowers in their garden beds, there is another group of plants just as beautiful. These are ornamentals with showy, variegated leaves in multi-colors. They include perennials, such as variegated Hostas, tender tropicals, such as Caladiums, and bedding plants, like everyone’s favorite leafy gem, Coleus. They are garden workhorses […]

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How to Prune Spring-Flowering Shrubs

Unless you are removing dead or dying stems, it is best to prune spring-flowering shrubs just after they bloom.
When we think of pruning shrubs, we probably think of late fall and early winter as the ideal time, but this is not always the case. For many spring-flowering shrubs, late spring is the best time to prune because pruning must happen shortly after flowering. Prune off-season, […]

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Heavenly Non-Invasive Honeysuckles for Pollinators

Many native honeysuckles are adapted for hummingbird pollination.
 
I love the honeysuckles (Lonicera japonica) of old. Their fragrance is unmatched, and their nectar-filled flowers sweet to taste. But sadly, the rampant, rambling wild vines are Asian in origin and unfriendly to North American landscapes. They take over; smothering native landscapes in a sweetly-scented blanket of blooms. There is, however, an upside. There are loads of native, […]

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Beautiful Buckeye Trees for Yard and Garden

The flowers of Aesculus x carnea may be pink or red, depending on the variety.
Probably known to many, the state tree of Ohio is the Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra, 20-50 feet, USDA Hardiness Zones 3-7), a large tree native across eastern North America. Another common name is horse chestnut, a name that refers to its round, inedible, husked nuts with a mahogany sheen. In general, […]

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Growing and Using Fresh Stevia Leaf


You’ve probably heard rumblings of stevia before. Found in many soft drinks and juices, many people find the taste strange and not at all like sugar. I agree completely with you! When tasting stevia in its white powder or liquid form, I found it to be bitter yet super sweet at the same time, but fresh stevia is different.
Green stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is what I […]

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How to Weed Gardens: Tips, Tools, and Timing


Weed competition drags gardens down in every way. Ignore your garden for just a couple of weeks, and weeds can take over in a flash–turning once tidy, pretty beds into a tangled mess of green interlopers with no room to spare. If you use the right tools, techniques, and timing necessary to stop a weed takeover, it will save you trouble and reward you […]

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Spring Garden Tips for a Happy Garden


April is here, and it is a welcome relief to have winter gone, especially with the ongoing constraints of Covid-19. I am really looking forward to the new spring season and plan to garden nonstop this year! So, it was a delight to recently visit a garden center and see it well stocked and ready for spring. It put me […]

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