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Mike Darcy’s Fall Garden Tasks For a Happy Garden

As potted annuals and vegetables die back, it is time to clean them up for the season. Mike Darcy’s Fall Garden Tasks For a Happy Garden
RAIN! We actually had rain. Not just rain but enough to clean the dust off of the leaves, wet the soil, and make both gardeners and plants happy. I was thrilled to see such heavy rainfall. […]

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Growing and Harvesting Popcorn


Popcorn is one of those crops that can last all year long until your next crop if you dry and store it correctly. And, as with any vegetable, growing your own offers more opportunities to try different delicious and unique types. Kids love to grow popcorn as well. There is something satisfying about picking off the dried kernels, jarring them up, and popping your […]

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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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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 Salad Pots For Quick, Easy, Fresh Eating

Last year I experimented with salad pots with great results. This shows some of the pots just after planting. They contain mixed lettuce, bok choi, and beets. Another pot contained six large Romaine lettuce plants.
My first spring salad pots were grown in large, inexpensive plastic containers that I bought from the garden center. I filled them with some Black Gold Natural & Organic Potting Mix and […]

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Getting Phalaenopsis and Oncidium to Rebloom

Moth orchids, or Phalaenopsis, are the most commonly sold orchids and easiest to grow.
I think that most of us have walked into a grocery store or the houseplant section of a garden center and seen colorful displays of colorful blooming orchid plants. With their unique and beautiful flowers, it can be difficult not to buy one. Once purchased, it is easy to get hooked on […]

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10 Tips for Seed Starting on a Budget

Reused plastic cups make good seedling pots as long as you poke holes in the bottom.
Are you low on cash but want a summer garden? No worries. Seed starting can be very inexpensive if you know where to shop, when to plant, and how to succeed with as few resources as possible. Fancy seed-starting flats are not needed, reuse instead. Pricy grow lights can be […]

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DIY Holiday Wreath from the Garden

DIY Holiday Wreaths from the Garden
Homemade wreath making can be expensive if you invest in pricy greens, berried branches, premium pinecones, and premade bows and baubles. But, wreath making can also be inexpensive, which is especially welcome during tough economic times when money is tight. Harvest ornamental branches and clippings from the garden, ask your local tree-yard for free evergreen branches, and you can create […]

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Cool Succulent Hanging House Plants

Don’t underestimate the length and weight of some hanging succulents, like these donkey’s tails and string-or-dolphins. Over time, they can become quite weighty and substantial. (Note: These Vintage Italian Majolica Pottery Face Vessels are difficult to find but beautiful.)
Succulents have had a place in my home since I was in college. In fact, as life became busier and busier, I began to replace more tender, […]

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