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Dave's Garden Articles: By Jill M. Nicolaus

Thursday, July 10, 2008

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Beyond Peppermint: An Introduction to the Flavors, Aromas, and Textures of “Fancy” Hybrid Mints
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Mint! Maybe you love its fresh flavor, maybe you hate the way it tries to take over every plant in its path. But did you know how busy the hybridizers have been with this common garden plant? They’ve produced some truly wonderful varieties that just might make it onto your next “must have” list.

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

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My Favorite Climbing Rose, ‘Zephirine Drouhin’
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Sweetly scented, fluffy pink blooms, tough as nails, shade tolerant, and nearly thornless… does that sound like your average hybrid rose?

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

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How to Plant a Tree: Getting It Out of the Nursery Pot and Into Your Yard
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

You just bought a beautiful tree in a pot, and you have the perfect spot for it in your yard. What’s the best way to plant it? This step by step photo tutorial answers some common questions about planting trees.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

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Growing Daylilies from Seed: Beautiful Blooms on a Budget
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Do you want dozens of daylilies for a border? Are you more willing to spend patience than money in order to get them? Do you like surprises? Then starting daylilies from seed is just the project for you!

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

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Trading Plants: How to Pack Plants for Shipping by Mail
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Although some swapping is done locally or at DG roundups, a lot of the plant trading at Dave’s Garden happens by mail. How can you pack plants so they survive several days of cross-country transportation? How can you package plants so they don’t end up being heavy and costly to ship? This step by step guide to packing bare root plants for shipping will show you.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

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Creeping Thymes Make Wonderful Borders for Garden Beds, Paths, and Patios
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Creeping thymes are a wonderful way to add different textures and fragrances to your landscape. They’re easy to propagate, so you can turn a couple of plants into a nice border for a sunny bed.

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

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Polymer Moisture Crystals: Magic for Your Garden and Your Containers
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Friends see the lush green plantings at our house and exclaim, “Oh, you have such a green thumb! What’s your secret?” I say, “I water them,” and they look at me in disbelief. But watering – not watering enough, or watering so much that plant roots get soggy – may be the biggest issue for those who think their thumbs are black. Fortunately, it’s often an easy problem to solve. Polymer moisture crystals are one of the best watering aids I’ve found.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

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Fill Your Yard with Special Memories: Plant Commemorative Trees on Arbor Day
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Trees provide structure and “bones” for landscape design. Even a single well chosen specimen can provide a wonderful focal point or anchor a garden bed. Whether you have space for one tree or for dozens, you’ll enjoy them more if you put some thought into choosing them. Planting trees to commemorate an occasion or to remember a special person can give personal meaning to your landscape.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

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Running Out of Room for Houseplants? Try Miniature African Violets
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

So many African violets… so little shelf space! Fortunately, there’s a solution. Welcome to the charming world of MINIATURE African violets.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

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Seed Starting 101: Planting Out – Tips for Transplanting Seedlings into Your Garden
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

For me, spring planting is one of the best times of year in the garden. I bury my hands in the rich, warm soil. I gently pop each plant from its pot and tuck it into the garden bed, firming the earth around it. I take my time, admiring each seedling and imagining the plant it will become. Here are a few tips to help your spring planting go smoothly…

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

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Seed Starting 101: Hardening off Seedlings Before Planting Out in Your Garden
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

The weather is warming, your garden is tilled, and you can’t wait to plant out all the little seedlings on your light shelf. Stop! Put down your trowel. Your seedlings need a little time and help to get used to the Great Outdoors before you put them into the ground.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

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Watering African Violets 101: Different Strokes for Different Folks
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

How to water, when to water, how much to water… Watering might be the most discussed topic in African violet care. While there is no “one true way,” a look at several common techniques might help you figure out how to keep your African violets happier and healthier.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

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Edible Landscaping: Basil Varieties for Containers, Beds, and Borders
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

It’s hard to beat a pot of basil by the kitchen door, where its fresh flavor can be added to sauces and salads all summer long. But basil’s possibilities don’t end there. With so many varieties and cultivars available, Basil is one of the best edible ornamentals around!

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Monday, March 17, 2008

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Add a Little Leprechaun Magic to Your Houseplants: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a GREEN blooming African Violet
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Am I seeing things, or does that African violet blossom look a little green today? Maybe it’s green with envy because that ever-blooming trailing violet has taken center stage again. Maybe it’s seasick because I’ve overfilled the water tray. Wait – check the calendar! It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and the Leprechauns have been up to mischief. That must be it. Maybe that’s why green blooms seem so magical…

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

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Seed Starting 101: Sowing & Transplanting Tips for Strong Seedlings
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

How do you turn that packet of tiny basil seeds into pots of lovely herbs for your garden? Starting plants from seed seems like a magical process, but there’s no great mystery to it. A few tips and pointers will help you on your way…

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

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What is a SASBE? Learn All About Getting Seeds for Postage
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Dave’s Garden began as a seed trading site. Sharing and swapping seeds between our gardens is still at the heart of DG. On the seed trading forum and elsewhere, you may see offers of seeds for postage, or seeds for SASBE. What does that mean, exactly? What is expected, and how should you respond?

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

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Growing African Violets for Foliage: Variegated African Violet Plants
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

African Violets are usually grown for their flowers. But even the most carefully tended and fertilized African violet won't bloom constantly. Variegated foliage makes some varieties exciting even when they're out of bloom. Imagine leaves so lovely that blooms are a bonus...

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

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Seed Starting 101: The Dreaded Damping Off (and How to Prevent It)
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

You carefully sow seeds into perfectly moistened soil. You check them seven times a day until the first green sprout arches its way above the soil. Ooh, the excitement as tiny green leaves unfurl and seedlings grow taller. Then, suddenly, disaster! The bushels of tomatoes and bouquets of flowers dancing in your head have been wiped out in an instant by The Dreaded Damping-Off. What is it, and how can you prevent it?

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

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Seed Starting 101: Setting up Light Shelves for Starting Plants from Seed Indoors, Without a Greenhouse
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Why start from seed? You might be tempted by the photos in the seed catalogs that fill your mailbox in January. You may want to grow wonderful heirloom vegetables that just aren’t available in your local garden centers. You could decide it’s more cost effective to start flats of plants from seed than to buy them outright. But I think the best reason to start plants from seed is that it’s just such fun! From seed to garden specimen is a magical process, and it’s enchanting to watch it unfold. Making this magic happen inside, however, requires LIGHT...

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

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African Violets 101: Getting Started with Your New Plant
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

That lovely African violet just jumped into your shopping cart. Now you are worried that you’ll kill it, because “everybody knows” they are fussy, delicate plants. Wrong! With a few simple tips, you'll keep your new African violet happy and blooming for years to come.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

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Get the most from your herbs II: Eat what you pinch!
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Fresh herbs are summertime magic in the kitchen! They make food taste fancy, but they're easy to use. Here are some tips and recipes to get you started...

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