From upper left: blossom end rot, late blight, and tobacco mosaic virus.
Tomatoes are the roses of vegetables–everything attacks them. So, gardeners can count on experiencing any number of tomato diseases in their growing experience. It pays to grow disease-resistant tomatoes, but lots of the best heirlooms don’t fall into this category. That’s why tomato growers need to be armed with knowledge and IPM (integrated pest […]
My daughter is picking off Colorado potato beetles from potato plants.
For the past 14 years, I have grown my vegetables in a community garden plot, which has provided a real education in plant pests, diseases, and weeds. Why? Because these mega veggie gardens are pest hot spots, and summer is the worst time of year for the beasties. Bad insects always attack my beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and eggplants–threatening […]
Florist’s gloxinia has fallen out of vogue but has spectacular flowers in winter.
Red, green, and white–these are the common holiday colors. Poinsettias, amaryllis, paperwhites, and cyclamen–these are the common holiday plants in these colors. Why not shake it up? You can have these colors and enjoy them anew with more adventurous seasonal house plants.
Plant vendors sell all kinds of other indoor plants fit for the […]
Christmas fern is one of the toughest and easiest of the eastern evergreen ferns for shade gardens.
Ferns give shade gardens a wistful, woodland look. Most die back after a hard frost, but a few remain evergreen for continued color though winter. Species range from resilient North American ferns to […]
Spring bulbs are for fall planting, and when you plan next spring’s garden palette, plant boldly with Parrot tulips. These bulbs were bred to impress. Each bloom has feathery, undulating petals in brilliant colors that look more tropical than temperate. Many a still life has detailed the artful […]
Nuts are some of nature’s most nutritious foods. They are high in fats and vitamins and provide essential forage for wildlife. Nut trees also look beautiful in home landscapes. If you are willing to gather their shelled fruits in fall and roast or toast them, then consider planting […]
Small is sweet, especially when it comes to flowers and gardens. Miniature and fairy gardens have gained huge popularity, but miniature flower arrangements are just gaining attention. These tiny floral gems give crafty gardeners reason to collect the sweetest miniature vases (second-hand shops are a great source) and create small works of art that look best when presented in sets. Children are also thrilled […]
There are certain design and planting features that will greatly reduce summer heat in a garden, and they go way beyond just providing shade. By tapping into the power of air, water, stones, shade, and cooling plants, you can create a pleasing outdoor garden space that will help temper the high heat of summer.
Here are some of the best tools in the design toolbox […]
“What are the best plants and/or flowers to deter insects from a vegetable garden?” Question from Vesta of Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia
Answer: Research has shown that some companion plantings will reduce the number of insect pests that attack specific vegetable crops. These companions fall under two categories: trap crops and insect-repelling companion plants. Trap crops are plantings that attract insect pests, luring them away from […]