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Dave's Garden Articles: By Sally G. Miller

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, 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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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

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When common is not ordinary, even if it is "plane"
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Sycamore is a far more common tree than you may realize, but it's also one of the least "ordinary" of trees. Also known as Plane trees (genus Platanus), the Sycamores deserve a closer look.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

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Peaches: homegrown without the hazmat suit?
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Wind, rain, kids, work... I have the Fruit Tree Spray, (aka Death in a Bottle.) I just never have a chance to use it! I'm also reluctant to use chemicals in the yard or on our food crops. Is there any hope of producing home grown peaches without the scary, and schedule--challenging, spray?

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

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Montauk Daisies, Nipponanthemum nipponicum
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Montauk daisies, Nipponanthemum nipponicum never heard of them. But the lush greenery filling the large pots looked too good to pass up. I bought three on faith alone. Only after I came home and started researching did I fully appreciate my new acquisitions.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

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Perennials demystified
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Does the term "perennial" mystify you? It shouldn't. It's a simple term applied to a wide range of garden plants, some familiar and some exotic. Read further to open the gate to a garden of beautiful possibilities with perennials.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

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Honor Earth Day With a Family Hike
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

What parent can resist an inexpensive, mentally and physically stimulating, activity the whole family can enjoy together? Hiking at a local park is one of our favorite activities. If you haven't taken the kids out together for a walk in the woods, let me refresh you on why and how. Let's honor the spirit of Earth Day by spending time appreciating the Earth.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

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Yes, Joyce, there is a Money Tree (Pachira)
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Ugh, tax time! Are you wishing that you had a magic money tree?

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Friday, April 1, 2011

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Chervil - q'est ce que c'est?
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

I slowly turned the catalog pages, feeling a certain ennui. One more seed packet between me and the limit on minimum shipping, one more 95 cents in the budget to add that "je ne sais quoi" to my garden this year. I chose chervil, a delicate "French" herb, to add to the lovely tangle of my garden, and inspire my cuisine as well.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

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Primrose versus pansy; my March madness
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Primroses and pansies-- both are offered at just about every nursery or garden center in March. They each have their charms, but slightly different needs. With a little basic information you can choose the right one for your spring garden. Let's see how these contenders stack up.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

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I (heart) my garden , my garden (hearts) me
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

February brings Valentine's Day for the romantics and American Heart Month for the pragmatic and health conscious among us. "Hearts" and "gardening" go hand-in-hand. Let's count the ways our gardens "heart" us with health and beauty, and then play a game.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

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Take my plant -- please
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

The curse of the green thumb: you grow more plants than you can possibly make room for. With a little thought, excess plants become highly snatchable giveaways at your workplace.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

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Bad luck with houseplants? Try lucky bamboo
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Is your Spider plant perpetually spindly? Has your Croton croaked? Forego the unfortunate philodendron. Your odds may improve with Lucky Bamboo.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

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Saving the world, one compostable chip bag at a time?
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

After years of hue and cry over wasteful packaging, manufacturers are admitting, "The customer is always right. Commercial packaging can be wasteful. We should do better." But will the "world's first compostable chip bag" really save the world?

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

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About Two Crocuses, Dutch and Tommie
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Crocuses are well known and widely grown spring bulbs. These early bloomers are easy to grow and inexpensive, and part of the fall bulb display in just about every store. You probably know the Dutch crocus but there are other crocus species worth growing.. Crocuses are carefree and dirt cheap when you consider the years of beauty they give. Read about how to enjoy Dutch crocus and Tommie crocus in your spring garden.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

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Easy tree swings mean happy kids (and parents)
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Take one sturdy shade tree, add two easy swings ideas, and invest just a little time and money. The payoff comes as a million kid-hours of outdoor fun while you watch from the hammock.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

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Leaf miners: more than meets the eye
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Cryptic white squiggles or shriveled patches on leaves could be the work of hidden leaf miners.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

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What are annuals?
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

There you are wandering the aisles of the big box store or huge nursery. The helpful sales person stumps you with his first question-"Are you looking for annuals or perennials?" Well, what are annuals anyway?

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Friday, May 28, 2010

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Do as I say, not as I do
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

" I really should have ___" must be my garden mantra. It's what I mutter to myself daily while strolling the green acres. I'm constantly reminded of good garden practices that I fail to follow through on. Maybe a public confession here, of what I know I should be doing, will shame me into action.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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Moles, voles, mysterious holes
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Dastardly diggers lurk in the garden and strike under cover of soil. Gardeners are left staring at holes and scratching their heads. Moles and voles are common, and commonly confused with one another. Use their digging differences to identify the enemy, then take countermeasures to prevent more dirty work in the flower bed.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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Dear Sheila (3), Plant easy vegetables, learn basic planting techniques
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Spring has most definitely sprung! There's no time to waste in getting vegetables planted. Follow my advice to a first-time-veggie-growing friend, and fellow busy mom, Sheila. In the process, you'll get a good introduction to basic planting principles.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

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Dear Sheila (2), Groundbreaking time in your new veggie garden
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Last month, I helped my friend Sheila choose crops for her very first vegetable garden. Now it's time to execute a "groundbreaking" plan to turn a sixty square foot patch of backyard into a plant-able plot with as little labor as possible, and just in time for spring.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

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Eat 'em, Mommy! (green soybeans, that is)
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Corn, tomatoes, squash...I could almost pick my seeds in my sleep. Planting the same crops in my little veggie garden year after year is safe, predictable and boring! I garden partly to learn, so trying something new every year is a must. Edamame (edible soybeans) gave me a pleasant learning experience last year.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

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Dear Sheila (1), You have to 'pick' seeds before you pick vegetables
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

I pity you, novice vegetable gardener, eyes glazing over as the reality of myriad baffling seed choices crashes headlong into your dreams of a bountiful first vegetable garden. My letter of advice to a friend might help YOU focus on a vision of a satisfying first vegetable garden.

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