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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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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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Five Ways to Maximize Small-Space Vegetable Gardens

Large pots and vertical gardens allow one to grow more in a small space.
Vegetable gardening is on the rise. Gardeners of all experience levels and backgrounds are growing their own food, whether they live in urban environments or spacious suburbs and countrysides. Those living where space is limited have extra challenges, which means that they must garden differently to produce enough food to enjoy all […]

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Aloe Vera Culture and Benefits

Aloe is so easy to grow and so useful.
With gorgeous thick leaves and sparsely spiny edges, the aloe vera plant (Aloe vera, USDA Hardiness Zone 9-11) is renowned for its healing properties. Native to eastern and southern Africa, it is one of the oldest-known healing plants used by humans. Aloe grows wonderfully in dry regions because its succulent leaves hold moisture and make it incredibly […]

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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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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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