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

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Perennial Flowers Herbs and Herbalism Vines Spring Gardening
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Tropical Plants Houseplants Gardening Tips Winter Gardening

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

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Growing the tasty, exquisitely fiery hot Wasabi!
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

That tiny bit of green looks so innocent as it begins its dangerous trek across your taste buds… then all of a sudden it erupts, scorching your tongue, tearing your eyes, searing your nasal passages, clearing your sinuses and finally, blowing the top of your head up to the ceiling. Welcome to Wasabi!

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening cooking wasabi horseradish
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Asparagus.. A Spear Among Vegetables
By Jeannette Adams (adamsbydezign)

Around every dinner table children cringe at the sound of it. Family dogs are familiar with the green spears that children have poked at them under the dinner table. But what do we know about this little addition to our table?

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening asparagus freezing pests
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Botany for Gardeners - The Basics of Leaves I
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

While flowers and fruits are essential to the future survival of plant species, leaves are vital for the sustenance and growth of plants in the present. Even parasitic, leafless plants depend upon the leaves of their host for survival. Here I'll introduce you to the terminology used to describe these familiar plant parts . . .

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Read more articles about:  botany leaves

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

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Hibiscus – Native, Hardy, and Tropical
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

When the sight and sounds of the tropics comes to mind, there is no other flower that comes to mind in more peoples head than the hibiscus. So, can you grow this wonder of the tropics in your own yard? Sure you can, and, well, no you can’t. Read on to find out the how and whys!

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers tropicals Hibiscus
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Watching Joe Pye Grow
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Joe Pye weed was one of those plants that I saw so often when I was growing up, it didn't have much meaning for me. It was taller than I was, and I knew butterflies liked it. I didn't pick it for its blooms because it was always covered with honeybees. I didn't even know its name. To tell you the truth, for many years I thought Joe Pye was the name of a child, not a plant.

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Read more articles about:  North American native plants Eupatorium folklore and legends Aunt Bett stories

Monday, August 4, 2008

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Penstemon: An introduction to species and cultivars
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Penstemon is a wonderful native American genus of wildly varied, flowering perennials. This is a little known genus of vast proportions that would be hard to comprehend in one sitting, maybe even one lifetime. From dwarf ground covers to tall shrubs, xeriscaping to consistent moisture, Penstemons run the gamut of diversity. Here is a brief overview of this wonderful wildflower, straight from a Lay gardener's research journal.

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Read more articles about:  North American native plants Penstemons garden journals xeriscaping ground covers perennial flowers
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The Miracle Fruit - Synsepalum dulcificum
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

While most of us eat fruit to enjoy the taste of it as well as the health benefits, the Miracle Fruit is one that you taste not for the sake of the fruit itself, but because of what happens afterwards. You see, while this fruit has little real taste, the effect it has on sour or acid fruits and foods you taste afterwards will leave you incredulous. . .

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Read more articles about:  tropicals Synsepalum antioxidants

Sunday, August 3, 2008

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Landscaping with Livistonas
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

One of the best landscape palms are the Livistonas. These are tall (mostly), solitary fan palms from Australia, Asia (and one from Africa). Most are cold hardy, though not all, and relatively fast growing (again, not all), which makes them useful and practical landscape palms in both the tropics and more marginal zones. The following article is an introduction to some of these palms and my experiences growing those that I can in southern California.

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Read more articles about:  palms and cycads Livistonas
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Wind Chimes Make Harmony in Your Garden
By Carrie Lamont (carrielamont)

Wind chimes - constantly creating new music and new harmonies. If you've read about me below, you know I am a classically trained musician. Until I can afford weatherproof speakers or a resident string quartet, wind chimes are where my two passions coincide.

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Read more articles about:  garden crafts

Saturday, August 2, 2008

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

On Saturdays, the Writer's Group would like to say thanks by presenting a "You Supply The Caption" photo. A gardening related photo will be presented, and you the Readers will provide humorous captions. The wit available on Dave's is some of the best around, so please join in the fun! This feature is not a "for compensation" article - just our 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 soil and composting mulches
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Unbelievable! Cashews and Poison Ivy
By April (Aunt_A)

To the unsuspecting, a handful of a beautiful three leafed vine will give an unwelcome surprise; an exclusive ticket to enter Scratch City. But quite unbelievable is the fact that Poison Ivy and Cashews share an itchy chemical.

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Read more articles about:  plant dangers toxicity nuts poison ivy cashews urushiol
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Making an Olla, utilizing ancient technology in the garden!
By Glynis Ward (girlgroupgirl)

Ollas, pronounced O-yah, are direct and efficient watering devices for the garden. The original ollas, thought to be brought from Spain to South America were unglazed clay earthenware urns which are still used today in the Southwest.

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Read more articles about:  conservation garden history

Friday, August 1, 2008

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A Place to Relax
By Jeannette Adams (adamsbydezign)

Sometimes we forget that we need to take the time to relax and breathe. Let's make a "me" place to do just that.

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Read more articles about:  garden design and landscaping fragrant plants and flowers moon gardens night-blooming plants stress relief

Thursday, July 31, 2008

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Summer Squash: How To Preserve The Bounty
By Melody Rose (melody)

With summer comes the bounty of the vegetable garden. We bask in the freshness of crisp young vegetables picked at the peak of ripeness. Our supper tables are overflowing with vegetable dishes, and meat is just an afterthought. Many of us wish for the ability to preserve some of the excess, and extend our vegetable windfall into other seasons. Freezing squash is easy, and there is usually no shortage of it this time of year.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening canning and preserving foods recipes squash
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Put Your Dehydrator to Use: Make Fruit Leathers at Home for Healthy, Delicious Snacks
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Is your home orchard or local market providing a bounty of fresh fruit this summer? Are you looking for an alternative to preserving it as jam? Is your freezer getting full? It’s time to get out your dehydrator (or borrow one). You can dehydrate slices of fresh fruit, of course, but you can also make delicious fruit leathers or roll-ups in a snap!

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Read more articles about:  canning and preserving foods recipes food dehydrators fruit leathers

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

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Okay, so you have raspberries, blackberries or other brambles… How do you control them? With a Bramble Trellis!
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Brambles (caning fruits) can pose some basic problems. The first is that they flop all over, making it difficult to harvest the berries; the second is the suckers they send out for new canes, competing for nutrients and often growing all over the place. Another problem is how airflow affects mildew and moldy berries.

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries trellis blackberries raspberries
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Herbs for the Bath
By Karen Jones (karri_sue)

Ahhh, summertime! Mosquito bites, sunburn, chiggers, oh my! Read on and you will find that you don't have to spend a fortune on remedies; most of them are in your garden or kitchen cupboard.

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Read more articles about:  herbs perennial flowers Calendula rosemary Lavandula
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Botany for Gardeners - The Basics of Seeds
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

After fruits, we are often very interested in obtaining seeds. Sometimes they will come from our own plants, from fellow gardeners, or from mail-order or retail store sources. Here I will introduce you to the botanical terminology associated with seeds and the three main groups or types of seeds. . .

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Read more articles about:  botany seed saving seed starting

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

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Flowering House Plants
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

There is nothing more satisfying than coming home from a hard days work to the sights and smells of flowers blooming right there in your home. Even with small apartments or rental properties you can always have a few well placed plants growing on window ledges and under grow lights blooming for you. And, if well planted, you can have in home blooms almost all year round. This is a simple introduction to the wonderful and wild world of flowering house plants.

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Read more articles about:  houseplants tropicals
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Chicory chick, cha la cha la.....
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Now I am a chicory lover from way back, thanks to my great Aunt Bett and on the other family branch, my great Uncle Dock. It was truly a treat to be with either one of them for tall tales over a cup of chicory. As long as my mother didn't know.

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Read more articles about:  cooking recipes folklore and legends plant-based dyes chicory Aunt Bett stories
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The unexplained metaphysics of dirt
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

This article is musing about the impossibilities of physics of dirt- no serious information here!

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Read more articles about:  garden humor

Monday, July 28, 2008

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Gardening Tips to Make Life Easier
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

Nothing is better than finding an easier way to do something...especially if it saves time, energy, and money! Caring for almost 2 acres of yard and garden, I've utilized every quick tip I could find, and come up with a couple of my own.

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Read more articles about:  gardening tips pests vegetable gardening tomatoes squirrels
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Unexpected surprises from your seedling tray
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

In years of germinating many seeds, I've had the opportunity to see the occasional surprise. I'm not talking about some other type of seed mixed in with what is supposed to be "pure seed", but rather a plant like the ones I expected, yet with important differences. You, too, may have seen unusual plants spring up in your seed trays. Read on to see how this can happen . . .

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Read more articles about:  seed starting transplanting seedlings

Saturday, July 26, 2008

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

On Saturdays, the Writer's Group would like to say thanks by presenting a "You Supply The Caption" photo. A gardening related photo will be presented, and you the Readers will provide humorous captions. The wit available on Dave's is some of the best around, so please join in the fun! This feature is not a "for compensation" article - just our 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 perennial flowers insects bees

Friday, July 25, 2008

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Murderess Comes Out of the Closet
By Sheri Williams (WigglyPaw)

I am requesting that this letter to the newspaper remain anonymous due to the fact that I am a now an unrepentant killer.

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Read more articles about:  garden humor roses pests beetles diseases

Thursday, July 24, 2008

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Introduction to spotted aloes
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

This article is partly to help the reader clear up some of the confusion that is common with identifying and growing spotted aloes.... but as most readers of these articles couldn't really care less about which spotted aloe is which, I have to admit writing this article is mostly a mentally cathartic process to help me clear my own mind up, as much as possible, concerning this quagmire of spotted aloe idenfication.

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Read more articles about:  cactus and succulents Aloes plant identification
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Life is Just a Bowl of Cherry...Tomatoes!
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Do you like the little pint containers of grape or cherry tomatoes in the grocery store? They’re easy to grow, and they’re even tastier fresh off the vine. They come in a rainbow of colors, too!

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening spring gardening tomatoes

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

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Understanding Soil Testing
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

We all know plants need nutrients to grow just as we humans need nutrients for our bodies to function. So we take our daily vitamins, and we throw some 10-10-10 fertilizer around our plants. Seems to work. But does it, really? What do our plants actually need, in simple terms so even a new gardener can understand it?

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Read more articles about:  soil and composting fertilizers soil tests
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More Plants for Less Money 2: Dividing Your Perennials
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Start with one plant, grow it for a year or two, divide it, and voila, you have three or more of the same plant. Here’s a novice gardener's basic step-by-step guide to dividing a perennial plant. ( I hope you got that plant cheap after reading my earlier article, More Plants for Less Money 1: Shopping for Clearance Plants!)

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers dividing perennials gardening tips daisies

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

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Citrus – A Short Primer on How To Grow Them.
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

They are best known for their wonderful fruits but these stunning plants are great looking. With their green, shiny leaves, these plants are stunning in the garden or in pots. They are great in the landscape where climate will permit but are equally lovely in the house for a houseplant. This is a short primer on the ins and outs of citrus – the next great plant adventure.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals houseplants container gardening citrus lemons limes oranges grapefruit tangerines
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Solomon's Seal
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

When I was in sixth grade and studied world history, I came across a picture of the Lascaux Cave paintings. I was so excited to show it to Aunt Bett and explain to her that it was painted thousands of years ago. I had never been able to teach her anything that she didn't already know, but I was sure she had never seen the cave paintings. She looked very carefully and then she said, "Hmmmmm, wonder why they didn't paint any plants?"

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Read more articles about:  herbs herbalism folklore and legends Aunt Bett stories

Monday, July 21, 2008

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Iowa Roundup 2008--Portal to Plant Heaven
By Larry Rettig (LarryR)

To borrow a quote from that famous scene in the movie, Field of Dreams (filmed in Iowa): "Is this heaven? No, it's..." the 2008 Iowa DG Roundup at Noelridge Park in Cedar Rapids!

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Read more articles about:  Dave\'s Garden members online communities

Sunday, July 20, 2008

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Hybridizing Daylilies- Child’s Play
By Michele Meyer (Badseed)

Your first daylily hybrids probably won’t be $300 daylilies that appeal to serious collectors and hybridizers. They will however be a thing of beauty in your eyes, lending a wonderful sense of accomplishment. If you have patience, you can fill your gardens with great daylilies at very little cost.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers hybridizers gardening with kids daylilies
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Lavender Wands: Make Magical Scented Decorations for your Home
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Bring the sweet scent of lavender into your home by making decorative, magical lavender wands! Step by step photos make this simple project even easier.

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Read more articles about:  herbs perennial flowers garden crafts lavender Lavandula dried flowers

Saturday, July 19, 2008

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Trachycarpus- the Windmill Palms
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Trachycarpus are relatively cold hardy and very ornamental fan palms commonly used in landscaping and gardens all over the world. New species are becoming available all the time and most are easy to grow. The following article is an introduction and discussion of most of these palms.

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Read more articles about:  palms and cycads Trachycarpus windmill palms
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Natural Security
By Jeannette Adams (adamsbydezign)

Are your neighbors getting a little to close to your fence?? Worried about some one just walking up to your child’s window?? Don’t make it easy for them. As a matter of fact, make it down right painful for them, yet aesthetically pleasing for you.

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Read more articles about:  garden design and landscaping roses Cherokee roses Altai roses Betty Prior rose thorny plants

Friday, July 18, 2008

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Flowers and the Emotional Health of Seniors
By Jacqueline Cross (libellule)

Is it possible that something as simple as flowers can bring happiness to your favorite senior's life? Dropping by with a fistfull of daisies or a potted plant for their coffee table will bring more joy into their day than you can imagine.

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Read more articles about:  accessible gardening aging or disabled gardeners

Thursday, July 17, 2008

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Me and My Mantis: Adding a Mini-Tiller to Your Garden Shed
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Have you looked at those bright brochures and wondered if a mini-tiller might be right for you? Last spring, I took the “satisfaction guaranteed” plunge…

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening garden tools tillers

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

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Back From the Brink- Who Cures A Heuchera?
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

The Plant Hospital series looks at different situations that threaten the lives of our plants & how we can help them cheat death. Drawing from personal experience & the wealth of knowledge contributed by DG members, various writers will show how to nurse sick plants, recover from gardening disasters & salvage life from discards.* In this second "Back From the Brink" article I diagnose and treat a failing perennial, Coral Bells, genus Heuchera.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers Heucheras gardening tips Plant Hospital series
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How to Make Applesauce from Fresh Apples
By Melody Rose (melody)

Everyone loves apples. We celebrate them in pies, cakes, sauces, jellies and cobblers. Fresh apples have been a cherished gift for centuries, and many myths and legends featured golden apples as the prize. In modern times, who has not taken a perfect apple to the teacher? However, what happens when you have a harvest of less than perfect fruits? Lovely orbs marred by various bumps and bug holes. The answer is simple and tasty. Make applesauce!

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries cooking canning and preserving foods apples

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