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Gardening Articles, Tips and How-tos - Dave's Garden

Welcome to our library of articles, where you can search and browse over 2,000 articles written by our own team of garden writers. Interested in becoming a Dave's Garden writer? Submit an article to apply.

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Perennial Flowers Herbs and Herbalism Vines Spring Gardening
Annual Flowers Cactus and Succulents Invasives and Weeds Summer Gardening
Ornamental Trees and Shrubs Fruits and Berries Wildlife Fall Gardening
Tropical Plants Houseplants Gardening Tips Winter Gardening

Sunday, March 1, 2009

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Plant Names from Myth: Iris
By Lois Tilton (LTilton)

Where do the names of plants come from? What do they mean? The usual story is that Iris was named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, but the myths are actually a bit more complicated than that.

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Read more articles about:  bulbs Irises folklore and legends Iris pallida Hesiod Pliny the Elder

Saturday, February 28, 2009

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You Supply The Caption - Gardening Fun :)
By Dea O'Hopp (Dea)

"You Supply The Caption" photo is a fun opportunity for Readers. A gardening related photo will be presented, and you, the Readers, will provide humorous captions. The wit available on Dave's Garden is some of the best around, so please join in the fun! This feature is not a "for compensation" article - just a way of saying Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy...now let's hear some funny stuff!

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Read more articles about:  garden humor vegetable gardening avocados peppers
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Open-Source Research - Running Your Experiment and Evaluating Your Results!
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Now that your experiment is set up and ready to run, you need to consider the "what and how" of your research. This means what kind of information, or data, you wish to collect and how you intend to collect this data. You'll also need to decide how long your experiment needs to run before you stop collecting data from it. . .

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Read more articles about:  botany nature

Friday, February 27, 2009

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Aquarium Water – Liquid Gold for Your Garden
By Benjamin Hill (BennysPlace)

As gardeners, we most likely have a plethora of other hobbies we attend to. For me, I enjoy keeping an aquarium. Not only can I tend to a water garden but I can also enhance my outdoor garden as well with aquarium by-products.

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Read more articles about:  fish fertilizers aquariums
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Tame too-big bushes with pre-spring pruning
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Be honest. Do you have shrubs that look like they're eating your house? Do visitors battle sprawling branches on their way to your door? Did your fixer-upper house come with fixer-upper landscaping? If you said yes, then consider major pre-spring pruning on those overgrown bushes. Tame them now so you'll enjoy them later!

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs pruning Forsythia Euonymus Azalea
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Open-Source Research - Designing Your Own Home Experiments!
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

So you are out in your garden and you notice something very unusual going on with one of your plants. You've never seen this before, and you want to learn more about what is going on. In this article, I'll show you, step by step, how to go about doing your own open-source research. You can even collaborate with other Dave's Garden members and publish your findings on a forum!

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Read more articles about:  botany nature

Thursday, February 26, 2009

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Kumquats --The Little Gems of the Citrus Family
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Kumquats are sometimes referred to as “the little gems of the citrus family.” It is easy to see why the trees are so prized. Tangy fruits, fragrant flowers, and glossy, evergreen foliage make them a year-round standout in the garden. Gardeners who live outside its hardiness range can grow the small trees in containers and move them to protected places during the winter.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals fragrant plants and flowers kumquats citrus

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

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Can you actually buy luscious RIPE tree fruits at the supermarket? Not likely, but you CAN grow your own!
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

To satisfy shipping and storage requirements, many fruits are picked much too green to ever ripen properly even after they are gassed to attain the ‘ripe fruit appearance’ necessary for our supermarket shelves. Some of the best tasting varieties are not even GROWN by commercial fruit growers, for the same storage and shipping concerns.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals fruits and berries orchards figs loquats kiwi medlars
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Growing Thuja From Seeds
By Adina Dosan (adinamiti)

It all began a few years ago, when my husband said it would be nice to have some Thujas in our future garden. I knew they were really expensive at the nursery, so I thought I'd better try and start some from seeds.

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Read more articles about:  seed starting conifers Thuja

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

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Noisettes: An American Rose with a French Name
By Melva Wheeler (melvatoo)

The history of the different classes of rose is very interesting to me. This article is just a tip of the iceberg.

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Read more articles about:  roses heirloom plants Noisettes
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Open-Source Research - You, Too, Can Make Discoveries!
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Think of the word "research" and images of labcoat-clad technicians busy in a spotless laboratory might come to mind. To be sure, much scientific research is performed in just such an environment, but that doesn't have to be the only place where discoveries are made. You may be surprised to learn that very important discoveries have been made by individuals working in their gardens. Read on to see how you, too, can be one of them . . .

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Read more articles about:  pests soil and composting botany companion planting

Sunday, February 22, 2009

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Superfruit ~ Goji Berry, Lycium barbarum
By Diana Wind (wind)

Last October the National Restaurant Association surveyed over one thousand chefs asking them to predict ‘what’s hot in 2009’. More than half (73%) predicted superfruits would be a hot trend. Goji (pronounced go-gee) and Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) and their related products are indeed hot sellers this year. Can we grow these superfruits in our gardens?

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries goji berries Lycium barbarum antioxidants unusual fruits nutrition
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Datura and Brugmansias
By Jean-Jacques Segalen (jjacques)

Today we will take a closer look at two rather similar plants that are often mistaken for one another, at least in their names. Indeed, many people refer to Brugmansias as ‘datura’ or ‘tree datura’ plants. Although this is not the worst mistake in the world, mixing them up can make botanists and dedicated growers cringe…

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Read more articles about:  tropicals annual flowers Daturas Brugmansias

Saturday, February 21, 2009

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Mayapples: Woodlanders with Fabulous Foliage
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Certain garden ornamentals are primarily grown for their foliage, especially those suited to shade. One of the most spectacular and choice woodlanders are the mayapples. While the native North American species is not without its merit, the Asian species are the real stars. Read on to learn more about these fab (and often pricy) plants!

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers Podophyllum shade gardens
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Time to tame the raspberry jungle
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Raspberry pruning is a stickery job,and the instructions in the books seem so confusing. But a lack of pruning leads to tangled, unproductive, disease-prone raspberry jungles. When your worst winter weather subsides, you can tame your raspberry jungle and turn it back into a respectable patch. I've studied the instructions and will do my best to explain raspberry pruning simply and clearly.

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries pruning raspberries
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You Supply The Caption - Gardening Fun :)
By Dea O'Hopp (Dea)

"You Supply The Caption" photo is a fun opportunity for Readers. A gardening related photo will be presented, and you, the Readers, will provide humorous captions. The wit available on Dave's Garden is some of the best around, so please join in the fun! This feature is not a "for compensation" article - just a way of saying Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy...now let's hear some funny stuff!

Continue reading »

Read more articles about:  garden humor winter gardening invasives and weeds

Friday, February 20, 2009

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A Tale of Two Hollyhocks – The Priscilla Hollyhock
By Benjamin Hill (BennysPlace)

Grow, I sang to the seeds. Bloom, I commanded the plants. Safe, I told myself. Home.

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Read more articles about:  heirloom plants folklore and legends cottage gardens hollyhocks

Thursday, February 19, 2009

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Dioons: The hardy Mexican cycads
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

One of the hardiest group of cycads are the Mexican Dioons, and they are excellent landscape and potted plants for a variety of warmer climates. This is an introductory article about this genus of cycads.

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Read more articles about:  palms and cycads Dioons
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Greens, Pepper Sauce, and Cornbread: Southern Cuisine
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Folks who were born and raised in the South enjoy foods and recipes that have been passed down by generations of their kin. Most of these recipes are not written down, but certain techniques and Dixie wisdom are necessary for their success. If you hanker for a fresh mess of greens doused with pepper sauce, accompanied by crispy cornbread and wilted mustard salad, but are unsure how to prepare them, read on.

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Read more articles about:  cooking recipes greens
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Limbaugh’s Legacy: My Favorite Heirloom Tomato, ‘Potato Top’
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

How this spectacular variety ended up in my garden, and how you can grow it, too…

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening heirloom plants tomatoes Potato Top tomato Limbaugh\'s Legacy

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

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Backyard Fruit Trees… Think Your Space is Too Small?
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Backyard fruit production is another step in providing abundant healthy foods right at our fingertips. You’d be surprised at the many ways to maximize fruits on a small growing space!

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries orchards fruit salad trees

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

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The Rose in the Arts
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Roses have a subtle way of weaving themselves into music, art, and literature. We can look at ancient art work whose subject is majesty, myth, or religion and if we look closely, we will see a rose. When we read Alice in Wonderland and Shakespeare, we find the rose. And if we listen to Bette Midler sing, we hear The Rose.

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Read more articles about:  garden history roses botanical prints
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Anthuriums - More than Just Blooming Plants!
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

While many folks think of colorful waxy flowers from Hawaii when the word "Anthurium" is mentioned, the genus Anthurium consists of a host of different plants, only a few of which produce colorful flowers. Here you'll find diminutive creepers, vines and even huge-leaved behemoths that remind one of the larger Alocasia plants . . .

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Read more articles about:  tropicals aroids Anthurium

Monday, February 16, 2009

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The Carefree School of Gardening
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

Are you tired of all the pulling millions of weeds, deadheading the thousandth flower, mowing the grass yet again? Let’s talk about a carefree and no mess school of gardening and see what we can come up with for solutions to every man’s and woman’s home garden.

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Read more articles about:  garden humor lawn care
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Friend or Foe? Weed Identification
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

Do you know how to tell the differences between annual and perennial weeds? How they grow or spread? When seedlings first emerge, they all look alike!

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Read more articles about:  invasives and weeds annual flowers perennial flowers plant identification

Sunday, February 15, 2009

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The Rose: Medicine and Food
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

There is nothing quite as beautiful as the rose. Throughout its long history it has not only been admired, sniffed, and coveted, but it has also been used as food, as drink, and as medicine. Isn't it interesting how endearing and enduring the rose really is?

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Read more articles about:  roses garden history herbs herbalism cooking

Saturday, February 14, 2009

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The Love Garden: A lasting gift for your Valentine
By Jacqueline Cross (libellule)

It is that time of year again. Bouquets of red roses, chocolates and diamonds wrapped with red ribbon will be arriving at homes and offices around the world. Here, we will take a look at a different kind of gift, one that will last far longer than a box of chocolates or bouquet of cut flowers.

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Read more articles about:  holiday celebrations language of flowers Valentine\'s Day
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A Chocolate Garden
By Diana Wind (wind)

Now is a great time to dream up new garden ideas. Allow yourself the time and pleasure to dream, imagine and design a sensational Chocolate Garden to savor with all your senses.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers annual flowers chocolate plants February chocolate series theme gardens chocolate gardens
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Chilling Injury and Cold Damage - Knowing the Signs
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

It's the day after a night when temperatures dipped near freezing, but all your plants look OK in spite of it. Are your plants off the hook? Not necessarily, because many plants don't show injury or damage until a week or more after exposure to near-freezing temperatures. Read on to learn more . . .

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Read more articles about:  weather and storms tropicals hardiness zones

Friday, February 13, 2009

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How Old is the Rose
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Few flowers can be found as often in 8,000 years of recorded history as the rose. When we think about it, very few plants have withstood the perils of time as well as this popular flower. No other plant has played a larger role in history, religion, art or literature. Here is a very brief history, as colorful as the rose itself.

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Read more articles about:  roses garden history heirloom plants folklore and legends
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Is a Coral Bean Right for Your Garden?
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Does coral bean (Erythrina herbacea) deserve a place in your garden? The fact that it is beautiful is unchallenged. Its attractiveness to hummingbirds and butterflies is well documented. However, its beans are very poisonous. The leaves and stems have prickles, and sharp, recurved spines arm the stems. Decide for yourself whether or not the coral bean would be a good addition to your landscape.

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Read more articles about:  butterflies North American native plants plant dangers Erythrina
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Sir Joseph Banks, Botanickal Explorer
By Lois Tilton (LTilton)

February 13 is the birthday of Sir Joseph Banks, the botanist who sailed with Captain Cook to the South Seas.

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Read more articles about:  garden history botany Sir Joseph Banks naturalists

Thursday, February 12, 2009

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Cactus Flowers: The OTHER reason to grow cacti
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Cactus are great plants, for both pot and landscape cultivation. Sometimes we forget (at least I do) that they also can be great flowering plants. The following article is mostly a pictorial of some of the more impressive cactus flowers.

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Read more articles about:  cactus and succulents
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Fruit Bats up Close and Personal
By Larry Rettig (LarryR)

It came out of the blue. I was relaxing on our second floor balcony in tropical Cairns, Australia, enjoying the dusky scenery on a sultry evening, when a huge creature with strange features and a four-foot wingspan cruised by within several feet of my face. That got my attention!

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Read more articles about:  wildlife tropicals bats Pteropus conspicillatus
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A goose in my tree?
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Backyard sounds on a sunny winter's day: Nonstop twittering from the house finch version of an American Idol audition crowd. Dry leaves rustling, or crunching underfoot ( I could have sworn I had gathered them all). A goose honking in my maple tree...er, what?

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Read more articles about:  winter gardening backyard habitats birds

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

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Is your Backyard Berry Patch loaded with delicious, tasty but unusual, exotic, and unfamiliar berries?
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Most of the sweet, juicy, luscious berries of summer have gone to live in Memoryville, and the scant selections now available in our grocery stores pale in both quality and taste without even considering their ever-increasing, exorbitant cost. Now is the time for fall fruits, but it’s also the time for planning scrumptious additions to the backyard berry patch.

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries chokeberries gooseberries elderberries
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Inspiration in the Chocolate Garden
By Angela Carson (Bookerc1)

What happens when a gardener encounters two of her great passions (chocolate and gardens) in one setting? Inspiration!

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Read more articles about:  gardening with kids mulches theme gardens February chocolate series
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Herbs Like Rocks: The Mediterranean Climate!
By Bev Walker (Sundownr)

Some herbs do not like the fertilized loamy soil you plant them in. Despite their possible lush growth, their flavor, aroma, and medicinal strengths will suffer. Mediterranean herbs do best when allowed to struggle a little in the dry alkaline, and rocky soil of their origins, making them well suited for xeriscaping.

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Read more articles about:  herbs herbalism xeriscaping rock gardens drought-tolerant plants Mediterranean climates garden design and landscaping

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

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Going On A Banana Hunt
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

Something like the Great Honey Hunt book of my childhood, this was one adventure I lived through in the jungles of Veracruz, Mexico back in the late 1990s. Let’s take a little look into the world of jungle cooking, and who knows but that you might want to travel one day to Veracruz and enjoy these wonderful foods for yourself.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals nature banana trees
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A Word About Chocolate
By Larry Rettig (LarryR)

What's in a word? As far as the word "chocolate" is concerned, actually quite a bit. Join me on a brief linguistic journey that includes not only food for the mind but for the body as well. Along the way, you'll encounter three original, never-before-published chocolate recipes.

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Read more articles about:  botany garden history recipes cocoa February chocolate series

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