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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
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Tropical Plants Houseplants Gardening Tips Winter Gardening

Friday, January 16, 2009

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The Beauty of Bark
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

I do it every year. I mope through the winter months, threaten to move to Florida, grumble at the clouds, moan in the cold temps. It is winter and I am a summer person. But last week, I rescued my neighbor's cat and it opened my eyes to an unlikely surprise.

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Read more articles about:  winter gardening garden design and landscaping nature tree bark

Thursday, January 15, 2009

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Geriatric gardening
By April (Aunt_A)

Are you old? Maybe not yet, but you are older then you were ten years ago. Do you know someone that is enjoying their golden years or will you someday retire? Then this article is for you. A Dave's Garden member, Peg (known to her Dave's Garden friends as DATURA12) advocates gardening for geriatrics. Her ideas are inspiring.

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Read more articles about:  accessible gardening aging or disabled gardeners

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

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Mark your calendars: Spring shopping!
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Nothing’s worse than realizing you‘ve missed a prime opportunity to buy the perfect plant. So I would suggest planning your spring plant shopping sprees this winter and in the meantime save your pennies. An added bonus: this practice is also an excellent way to quell cabin fever.

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Read more articles about:  winter gardening garden design and landscaping mail order gardening garden centers and nurseries plant sales garden clubs and plant societies
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Phosphorus, a key element in all plant (and animal) life
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Phosphorus, the “P” in NPK, is one of the essential nutrients for plant growth. It is a macronutrient, meaning it’s one of the major nutrients plants need, while secondary nutrients like calcium, magnesium and sulfur are needed in smaller amounts. All nutrients are necessary, to work together in balance for optimum plant health, growth, and production of flower, fruit, and seed. Phosphorus, much like potassium, plays an important role in photosynthesis, and energy movement within the plant tissues.

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Read more articles about:  soil and composting fertilizers phosphorus mycorrhizal fungi

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

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The Protein Plant: Stinging Nettle
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

I was more interested in the wonderful green dye that could be made from stinging nettle than in any of its other attributes. But if push ever comes to shove, then nettle is a good plant to know about.

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Read more articles about:  herbs herbalism plant-based dyes Aunt Bett stories

Monday, January 12, 2009

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Griffins, Gargoyles, Grotesques, and Other Beasts: Garden Guardians
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

Bunnies, gnomes, birds, and ladies with red polka-dot bloomers. Common garden statuary, but for a unique look, I’ll take the beasties. It must be my darker side coming through.

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Read more articles about:  garden art folklore and legends

Sunday, January 11, 2009

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Jubaea chilensis, the Chilean Wine Palm- World's Largest Palm Tree
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Jubaea chilensis is one of the most awesome landscape palms in cultivation and an easy and hardy palm as well. The following article is an introduction to this amazing tree and how to grow it.

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Read more articles about:  palms and cycads
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Red Wings in the Air and Garden: Cardinal Songbirds and Cardinal Flowers
By Jacqueline Cross (libellule)

Bright red, fluttering cardinal wings can be found flying overhead and tucked into garden beds alike.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers North American native plants birds Lobelia

Saturday, January 10, 2009

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A Special Rose From My Mom
By Sheri Williams (WigglyPaw)

My mom reached out to me across the Rainbow Bridge with a special rose to help me through the worst time of my life. I want to share this miracle with you.

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Read more articles about:  roses heirloom plants
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Woody Plants for Acidic Soils
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Do you have naturally acidic soil? Have trouble find the right woody plant for such soils? Don't worry about amending your soil - work with nature! There are many woody plants that prefer or tolerate highly acidic soil. This article will explain how to care for such plants and what choices exist.

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs soil and compost
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From Aristotle to Linnaeus: the History of Taxonomy
By Lois Tilton (LTilton)

The system that we still use today for giving scientific names to plants and animals has many founders, from the Greek philosopher Aristotle to the Swedish physician and botanist Carolus Linnaeus.

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Read more articles about:  botany garden history Linnaeus

Friday, January 9, 2009

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Drip Irrigation - Save water, save time, save plants!
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

If you are anything like me, you have plenty of potted plants of many sizes around (and in) your house and/or greenhouse. This makes for a wonderful environment, except when it comes time for a vacation. Who will care for your beloved plants while you are away? If you've ever entrusted your plants to someone, only to return to find struggling or dead plants, this ongoing story is for you . . .

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Read more articles about:  conservation drip irrigation
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Planning plants in your wedding day
By April (Aunt_A)

Weddings are no longer only formal events with hideous bridesmaid dresses and tuxedos. A wedding is a celebration of two lives and loves merging to create a new entity that never was before. Do you or your future spouse love plants? Why not decorate with plants and flowers that will be useful years after the top of the cake has dried to inedible? These plants will be living reminders of vows that should not be tossed.

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Read more articles about:  houseplants annual flowers perennial flowers wedding gardens
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Horehound for coughs
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Not so long ago one of my students offered me a "new" cough drop. She said it was the newest thing in Europe and that it really stopped coughs. It was a small brown hard candy wrapped in a plain white square of paper, and with just one whiff I was engulfed in a bunch of memories.

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Read more articles about:  herbs herbalism Marrubium Aunt Bett stories

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

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Is Nitrogen a double-edged sword for our garden soils?
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

What gardener has not heard over and over, “NPK, NPK, NPK” or, “fertilize, fertilize, fertilize”? It’s true we need to address those things, but do we really understand ALL the ramifications, the How’s and Why’s? I didn’t fail chemistry in school because I never took a chemistry class. So, when I began gardening and reading about soil chemistry, it seemed so unintelligible that I could feel my eyes glazing over and my brain fogging. Finally I think I understand it a little better.

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Read more articles about:  soil and composting fertilizers nitrogen legumes inoculants
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The White Oak Whiskey Barrel
By Stephanie Boles (josette63)

Is there anything more striking than a majestic white oak with its sweeping limbs and broad, familiar tops? The white oak is often a superb acorn producer. It is also prized for its hardwood lumber. One of the products made from white oak lumber is whiskey barrels. As a gardener, I value whiskey barrels for their many uses. Read on and learn about the white oak tree and ways to use whiskey barrels in your home and garden.

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs container gardening Quercus

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

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Plant Catalog Organization Not for the Faint of Heart
By Sheri Williams (WigglyPaw)

Have you run out of room for your plant catalogs? Nowhere to file them? Need to order now before the spring rush? Got some time and energy on your hands? Too much leisure time? All thought and no action? I can help you!

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Read more articles about:  winter gardening mail order gardening seed catalogs

Monday, January 5, 2009

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The Quixotic Garden
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

I’ve been contemplating themed gardens in lieu of my random mish-mash of plants recently. Generally, if I like a plant I’ll buy it, whether or not I have a place for it and it definitely never crosses my mind if the plant would look good in my existing landscape.

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Read more articles about:  garden design and landscaping perennial flowers
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25 Gardening Tips for a Tough Economy
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

In 2008, Americans alone spent more than $34 billion on gardening. As the year progressed, hundreds of thousands of people faced the prospect of no job and no income. In this first week of the New Year when a gardener's fancy turns to seed catalogs and great plans for spring, most of us will be trying to figure out how to continue our love of gardening on a shoestring.

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Read more articles about:  frugal gardening swapping plants and seeds recycling conservation propagating plants

Sunday, January 4, 2009

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Traveler's Palm
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

There are stories of thirsty travelers searching the horizon for a sign of this tree, which can accumulate as much as a half gallon of rainwater in each leaf base, making for a ready supply of drinking water.

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Read more articles about:  palms and cycads tropicals bird of paradise strelitzias lemur
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Birds of Paradise- the Strelitzias
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

This article will introduce the reader to this fantastic plant with unique and curious flowers that say 'tropics' just about as well as any flower on the planet.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals bird of paradise Strelitzias
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Searching for giardini in Rome
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Would I drop my family responsibilities like a load of hot potatoes and run off to Rome? You bet I would. Did I look for flowers while I was there? You bet I did!

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Read more articles about:  annual flowers poppies public gardens

Saturday, January 3, 2009

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Can you identify the plant life?
By April (Aunt_A)

It is your turn. Welcome to a plant lover's puzzle! Here are 42 plant pictures without a label. Dave's Garden members seem to be able to identify hundreds of plants within minutes (and sometimes seconds). How long will it take you to identify all of the pictures in this article? The pictures are of plants at the Tulsa Zoo. Puzzle and plant people, the race is on! Ready; Set...

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers annual flowers botany garden riddle

Friday, January 2, 2009

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Some Like it Hot
By Larry Rettig (LarryR)

As I begin this article, the temperature outside is hovering at 10 degrees F, a space heater is keeping my feet warm , and my Afghan Hound, Saphira, is dozing lazily on the floor beside me.

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Read more articles about:  winter gardening insects Magnolias Philodendrons lotus

Thursday, January 1, 2009

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Decorating Houseplants: Don’t limit yourself to holiday displays, decorate your plants every day!
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Many of us have decorated a Christmas tree or two or many more. And some of us have been more adventuresome, putting twinkle lights on a lemon tree or hanging small ornaments on a philodendron. But why not decorate your houseplants for every day? Your special plants deserve a little “bling!”

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Read more articles about:  houseplants holiday celebrations Christmas garden crafts pinecones
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Hesiod: The First Farmers Almanac
By Lois Tilton (LTilton)

Almost three thousand years ago, a Greek poet named Hesiodos wrote a piece called Works and Days, which is now widely regarded as the first surviving farmers almanac, and an indispensable guide to the practices of ancient agriculture.

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Read more articles about:  garden history folklore and legends weather and storms farmers almanacs Hesiod
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Through the Years, We All Will Be Together
By Benjamin Hill (BennysPlace)

Dave’s Garden is more than a site with a comprehensive plant database, although at first that is exactly what I thought. When exploring the site a bit further, I had yet to uncover the best part of the website: the multitude of forums! Whether it be regional or specifically plant oriented, the forums have something for everyone. This aspect is what sets Dave’s Garden apart from the rest.

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Read more articles about:  Dave\'s Garden members online communities
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Herbal Remedies for Cold & Flu Symptoms: What's For Dinner?
By Bev Walker (Sundownr)

Did you know the cooking herbs and spices found in your kitchen pantry may prevent you from catching a cold or the flu, or at least ease the symptoms? Why is chicken soup called “Jewish penicillin”? Have you unknowingly dodged winter bugs by sipping your favorite herbal tea?

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Read more articles about:  herbs herbalism cooking medicinal plants recipes nutrition folklore and legends

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

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Wild and crazy plants: so much fun to grow and show. Part II
By April (Aunt_A)

Don't you just love a plant that makes you smile? Is a plant ever funny? I think so. Ready for a smile or two? I am not making these up. You will fall in love with these unusual plants.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers annual flowers garden crafts garden humor
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Philodendrons - Spotlight on the Climbers
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Of all the types of Philodendrons, this group is most diverse. Some of our most beloved and well known house plants are in this group, as well as some of the most exotic and difficult to grow members of the genus. Join me for a look at these attractive vines . . .

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Read more articles about:  houseplants tropicals aroids Philodendron
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Catnip: Just for cats?
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Catnip is a curious herb that is like a drug for cats. This article acts as an introduction to catnip, its effects on both cats AND people, and whether it's safe or not.

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Read more articles about:  herbs gardening and our pets catnip

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

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Queen Hatshepsut
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

Long believed lost in the annals of time, the famous Queen Hatshepsut was mostly unknown beyond a few scholars. Yet this Queen of ancient Egypt is noted among the ranks of the most famous gardeners the world over - read on and find out why.

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Read more articles about:  garden history Queen Hatshepsut

Monday, December 29, 2008

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Cat Grass for Cats- good or bad?
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Cats often will eat cat grass, and you can find it for sale just about anywhere today. But is it good for cats? Is it necessary? Why do they eat it? These are the questions that will be discussed in this article.

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Read more articles about:  gardening and our pets herbs cat grass

Saturday, December 27, 2008

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Where Does The Food Go?
By Benjamin Hill (BennysPlace)

If ever I need a reminder of how incredibly fortunate I am, I only need to look outside my office window and look at the dozens of people waiting for food at our church food bank. With the current economic situation, the line is getting longer and the supplies are starting to run out. As a gardener, I am fortunate to be able to help in more ways than one.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening community food banks

Friday, December 26, 2008

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Welcome to Peg's topiary living room
By April (Aunt_A)

Come on in; but please don't sit on the sofa. This is a story of Peg (known to her DG friends as DATURA12), a Dave's Garden member who overcame pain and financial hardship to create beautiful and unusual topiary in her backyard. Peg's handiwork is impressive and has been featured in two Texas newspapers. Progression pictures are included in the following article so you can see the sofa as it takes shape.

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Read more articles about:  garden design and landscaping ornamental trees and shrubs pruning topiaries

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

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Pass-Along Houseplants: Grow a Jungle of Hanging Baskets from Cuttings
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Hanging baskets are one of the easiest ways to have plants inside your home. They don’t take up floor space, and you can put them out of reach of kids and pets. But how do you achieve lushly planted baskets without breaking the bank? Pass-along plants! Many common varieties of houseplants root readily from cuttings and make ideal hanging basket subjects.

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Read more articles about:  propagating plants swapping plants and seeds houseplants container gardening cuttings

Monday, December 22, 2008

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The Properly Named Garden
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

The cold has pretty much set in hard here in Colorado. The pond is closed down for winter, the perennials have all entered their dormant sleep, and I have let go of the gardens while nature takes care of them for several months. What will I do with my time now that the weather is prohibitively cold? I plan on brainstorming for new, bigger, and better planned gardens for next year.

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Read more articles about:  garden design and landscaping winter gardening perennial flowers

Sunday, December 21, 2008

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Winter Solstice Traditions
By Lois Tilton (LTilton)

Today is the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere - the shortest day and the longest night of the year. What are the different traditions associated with this event, and where did they originate?

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Read more articles about:  winter gardening folklore and legends holiday celebrations winter solstice

Saturday, December 20, 2008

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Sidewalk de-icers: effective AND safe?
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

.Two things many of us need to prepare for at the end of the year are guests and winter precipitation. It's especially dicey if the two arrive at the same time, causing concern for loved ones slipping and falling. I can't help you with cooking and cleaning for your guests, but I will try to guide you in choosing the right sidewalk de-icing treatment for your property.

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Read more articles about:  winter gardening organic gardening gardening and our pets de-icers

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

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The Siberian Cedar
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

In the current best-selling Russian book series, “The Ringing Cedars of Russia” by Vladimir Megre, there is an often repeated tale of Siberian cedars of an advanced age “ringing”. This of course got my attention, both as a Reader and as a Gardener.

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Read more articles about:  evergreen trees and shrubs nuts December evergreen series pines

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