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Dave's Garden Articles: By Sally G. Miller

Thursday, October 4, 2012

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The elusive hickory syrup
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Truly elusive, or surprisingly easy? What's the truth behind hickory syrup, and just what IS hickory syrup anyway? A lucky break gave me a head start on this topic, and now I can tell you about a recent food sensation -- hickory syrup.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

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Fantastic beneficial fungi are essential to healthy garden soil
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Fungus and mildew: those words cause most gardeners to cringe. But good guys far outnumber bad guys in the soil fungus world. Autumn is the time of the big fall chores, mulching and fall leaf composting, and a good time to talk about beneficial soil fungus.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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Fall foliage is not just for trees -- "Yellow" shrubs
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

With all due respect to the legions of leaf peepers, there are specimens other than trees which can highlight your landscape with fall foliage color. Consider an ornamental deciduous shrub with sunny yellow leaves to brighten your autumn garden.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

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The classic Adirondack chair: a hundred-plus years of perfect relaxation on a hot summer day.
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

North of the Catskills and west of Vermont, in northeastern New York State, lie the Adirondack Mountains. Their rugged forests and sparkling lakes have a special wilderness beauty. This was a popular vacation spot and health retreat in the early nineteenth century. Home region of Lake Placid and the headwaters of the Hudson River, this are was also the birthplace of an American classic, the Adirondack chair.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

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Using DG for a native plant ID: Late-flowering Boneset (Eupatorium serotinum)
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

"For Gardeners...By Gardeners" In this case of a mystery volunteer wildflower, Dave's Garden sure was here "for me," and a part of Dave's Garden is now "by me." Figuring out the real name of my Eupatorium serotinum, (late-flowering boneset or late-flowering thoroughwort), gave me a personal lesson in botany and the chance to add some missing details to the storehouse of information that is Dave's PlantFiles.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

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Verticillium wilt: how to diagnose it, what to do about it
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Verticillium wilt: It's the V in "VFN" tomato plants, as in "resistant to Verticillium wilt." But other vegetables are attacked by this fungal disease, as are numerous varied trees, shrubs and perennials. What's a gardener to do?

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Monday, August 6, 2012

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Rain barrel accessories make water saving safe and convenient
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Getting rainwater into a barrel is not too tricky. The challenges lie in avoiding drainage problems and getting the water out of the barrel to your garden. Hence rain barrel accessories.. Use the links in the article to see a variety of available products. Start shopping, or consider the choices before fabricating your own perfect rain barrel accessory.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

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Give Peach a chance?
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Do I dare to cultivate that baby peach that has sprung from our discarded peach pits in the backyard? Just what is involved in growing ANY peach tree?

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

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Organic, free insect pest control for the home garden: try handpicking
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Organic and virtually no cost: can insect pest control get any better than this? Home gardeners really should consider handpicking of insects as a great first offense in the battle with six-legged enemies.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

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'Fireworks' for plant lovers, and not just on the Fourth of July
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Fireworks! The flammable kind can get you in trouble with the local authorities. Stay safe this Fourth and avoid the ones with gunpowder. Plant hybridizers have developed dozens of cultivars, named them 'Fireworks', and hoped for the excitement to translate into profit. The range of successful introductions to date give an opportunity for almost any plant lover to legally own and use 'Fireworks'.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

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Designer rain barrels: more pretty than practical
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

"Saving the world, one barrel of rainwater at a time!" This is the mission of those selling trendy, fancy custom rain barrels. But the steep cost of the pretty manufactured barrels is shocking. I've estimated the dollar value of potential rainwater savings and compared it to the cost of a commercial rain barrel.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

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Collecting foxglove seeds
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Common foxgloves have spectacular blooms and are fairly easy to grow. The flowers are finished all too soon, though. In early summer you may be looking at ugly dried spears of ripening pods. Instead of bidding "adieu" (farewell), say "au revoir " (till I see you again) to your Digitalis. Gather seeds, and guarantee a new crop of these lovelies next spring.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

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South African Foxglove, an easy exotic annual (Ceratotheca triloba)
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Don't look for this flower in your big gardening book, or the mass marketed catalogs that go to every house on the block. It just isn't there. South African Foxglove is waiting in the wings of the mainstream annual marketplace. I'd like to introduce it as a unique new annual for your border.

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Monday, June 4, 2012

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Did your peony bloom for Memorial Day?
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Herbaceous peonies are incredibly long lived and faithfully blooming perennial beauties, in the right situation. These same plants are long lived, but only sporadically blooming in other gardens. Understand the peony's needs and you can guarantee Memorial Day blooming peonies, or simply peonies that flower well every year.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

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Origins of terra cotta, and using clay pots in today's garden
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Terra cotta flower pots are garden classics. But what is terra cotta, exactly? The words "terra cotta" are Italian, but does all terra cotta come from Italy? Are terra cotta flower pots still the best choice for all plants, or for any plant? Inquiring minds hardly know where to stop.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

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Your first herbs: Basil, chives, parsley
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

If you can grow anything, in pots or in the ground, you can grow the beginner herbs: basil, parsley, and chives.

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Monday, May 14, 2012

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Common comfrey (Symphytum officinale) has uncommon qualities
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Herbal healers have eaten, poulticed, decocted, or drunk common comfrey for millenia. Now organic gardeners appreciate comfrey in a completely different way, in the garden.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

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Alstroemeria: Exotic Peruvian lilies make themselves at home in your garden
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Alstroemeria, also called Peruvian lilies, are a staple in florist bouquets but not nearly as common in our gardens. With their free-flowering ways and fairly easy care, aren't these beauties worth a try?

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Friday, April 13, 2012

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Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) cultivars offer lovely choices beyond "red buds"
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Eastern Redbud is a well known and well loved tree. Hybridizers have taken this favorite into another realm. The offerings in Eastern Redbud, other than "red buds," are varied, and addicting.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

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Dividing ornamental grasses
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Overgrown masses of grasses? When spring is about sprung your ornamental grasses might need to be tidied up and divided. Spring is an excellent time to divide any ornamental grass. In fact, warm season grasses can only be divided in spring. This is the season to wrench up those masses of grasses, separate them, and replant fresh, vigorous, tidy smaller clumps- and this will show you how.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

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Italian inspiration in the vegetable garden
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Plant a giardino delizioso this year, a vegetable garden inspired by the flavors of Italy. Seeds for truly Italian vegetable varieties are easy to obtain or grow. These seed buying, growing and cooking tips may help you plan and enjoy your own giardino.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

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The U. S. National Arboretum - Gardens for all, 85 years young
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

The U. S. National Arboretum, located in Washington DC, was established on March 4, 1927. I've visited it a few times, been awed by the bonsai, and amused by the pool full of hungry koi. The words "arboretum" or "public garden" just don't define this space. These acres contain something to satisfy every visitor, and provide a wonderful respite from more crowded DC tourist spots.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

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Corylopsis (winterhazel): landscape shrubs for late winter bloom
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

If you love forsythia, stop reading. If you are devoted to North American native shrubs, please avert your eyes. This is about a group of ornamental shrubs, native to Asia, which bear charming yellow flowers in late winter- genus Corylopsis, the winterhazels.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

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My favorite, versatile, new gardening tool is my "smart phone"
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

My smart phone has an awesome utility for keeping records, issuing reminders, and gathering information. lt's taking my gardening proficiency to the next level.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

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Prune and mulch backyard berries in winter, for great summer fruits
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Blueberries, strawberrries, brambles of all kinds, gooseberries and currants; we love them all! Berry plants are fairly easy to grow and make great additions to a backyard organic garden. While dormant, most berry plants do appreciate some minor care during the winter. Here's the rundown on winter maintenance of your berry patch.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

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Identifying Trees in Winter: Getting Started
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Leaf shape is the obvious choice for deciduous tree identification. Don't abandon all hope when the leaves are on the ground in winter. Use keys, field guides, and close observation together to identify broadleaf trees without leaves. When you put names to those trees, even a solo hike becomes a walk with friends.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

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Joyce Kilmer: His "Trees" and his forest
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Take a moment today to gaze into the branches of a favorite tree. Joyce Kilmer, author of the popular poem "Trees", was born on December 6th, 1886. His verses in appreciation of natural beauty, and his death as a young soldier, were honored with the dedication of Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

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Plant bulbs in pots now, for pretty spring containers
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Instead of emptying those decorative pots in fall, you might plant them now for a spring bulb display. This project makes bulb planting into an accessible activity, or simply gives you another option for the extra tulips, hyacinths, and other bulbs that mysteriously "sneak into" your shopping cart!

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Friday, November 25, 2011

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Dear Sheila (5) Clean up the veggie patch -- your first year has come to an end
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

I've been helping my aspiring-green thumb friend Sheila. This was her first year with six easy-to-grow vegetables, and she's had a great introduction to gardening. Now it's time to clean up what's left of the crops, and put that garden to bed for the winter.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

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Fall composting FAQs - get compost next spring, not next decade
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Composting is simple in theory, and the basic instructions are available all over the place. But some gardeners are still left with questions. This "FAQ" might resolve any remaining worries about how to build the fall compost pile.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

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Growing great hardshell gourds
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Bottle, kettle, apple, swan; the descriptive names of hardshell gourds tell you this is a fun crop. And, unlike colorful thin shelled gourds which brighten fall displays and soon wither away, hardshell gourds will dry to a permanent and very craftable wooden form. I'd like to give you the basics on growing the best hardshell gourds for crafting fun.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

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Fothergilla- Lesser-known native shrub with big fall color
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

With gorgeous fall color, Fothergilla (witch-alder) should be more well known to gardeners. This native shrub deserves the spotlight for its fall foliage show. Spring flowers, ease of care, and versatility round out a profile of an excellent candidate for many landscapes. (Did I mention the gorgeous fall color?)

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

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Leaf blower or rake and broom: where do you stand?
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Yard "blowers" are efficient and noisy and dusty. Rakes and brooms are environmentally friendly and slow and laborious.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

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When the pots are pretty... too pretty... the roots may be ugly
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Plant vendors are sometimes quite creative in packaging the "business end" of plants, but this can come at the expense of happy roots. I'm shocked (shocked, I tell you!) at what I have found in pots of purchased plants. When you can't easily tell what's in that pot, you should expect a surprise, and plan to correct for long term plant health.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

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The History of Growing Cotton in the Garden
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

The cozy room filled with the excited murmurs of flower junkies weeding through boxes of seed. I heard " Ooh, spider flower, I'll take one of those packets!" and "Look at all these heirloom tomatoes!" Then a bewildered voice asked "Cotton? Who would grow cotton?" Well, I would.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

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Lawn care this fall, lush grass next spring
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Is your lawn looking a little thin and pale these days? Summer is hard on the fescue and bluegrass blend lawns that cover most yards in the relatively cooler, more humid zones of the United States. Cool-season grasses need some help recuperating this fall to reach full potential next spring. Let's see what "Joe or Josie Homeowner " can do this weekend to prep the yard for the coming year.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

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Citronella, without the candle
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Citronella is a natural plant product used to repel mosquitoes. Citronella candles are a traditional patio decor and skeeter beating item. Skip the candles, grow these "citronella" plants in your garden, and maybe the little buggers will bug someone else!

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Friday, July 29, 2011

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Me Tarzan, you Jane, that Talinum paniculatum
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

In one of the early Tarzan novels, our main man ventures to a secret place to replenish his wealth from the stash of Opar. I knew nothing about that four years ago. All I knew then was that my favorite seed catalog offered an interesting "everlasting" called Jewels of Opar (Talinum paniculatum.) The rest may not exactly be history, but is an article about a flowering annual which is rarely mentioned in gardening books.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

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Dear Sheila (4), Summer in your beginner veggie patch
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

My friend Sheila is an absolute, starting from square one, beginner gardener. In earlier articles, I helped her plan and plant a small vegetable garden with a few of the easiest crops. Now I need to give that beginner some basic instructions as her peas, lettuce, cukes, squash and tomatos brave the heat of summer.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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To Sally, from 'Wabash' (growing Iris from seed)
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

My bearded and Siberian irises bloomed well this year. Now I see they gave me another gift: seed pods! My very own personal hybrid iris are just a few simple steps away.

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