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

Thursday, February 12, 2009

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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 itís 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. Letís 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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The Coffee Bean Tree
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

The world just has to go on without me until I have had my two cups of coffee. Those who know me, know that I have no voice, no sight and no motion until I have been fueled with a dose of caffeine. Two cups is not too bad, is it?

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Read more articles about:  garden history tropicals coffee coffee beans

Monday, February 9, 2009

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Marshmallows!
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

What cup of hot chocolate would be complete without yummy melting mini-marshmallows floating across its steaming surface? What campfire would be complete without roasting marshmallows and making símores? And what Valentineís Day would be complete without fluffy pink homemade marshmallow hearts? How long have marshmallows been around for these traditions to evolve, and are they easy to make? Surprising answers follow.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers recipes Altheas marshmallows February chocolate series
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Picking a garden color scheme
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Picking a garden color scheme is a lot like composing a painting. You have to look at all the components together and make choices about composition and colors as a whole. If you've never successfully composed a painting, or never thought about composing your garden this way, read on.

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Read more articles about:  garden design and landscaping annual flowers perennial flowers color theory

Thursday, February 5, 2009

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Growing Herbs Indoors: Specific Needs for Healthy Plants
By Jacqueline Cross (libellule)

Common and uncommon herbs alike can be grown indoors for easy access by cooks and herbalists.

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Read more articles about:  herbs houseplants container gardening
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Trailing African Violets: Grooming, Pruning and Propagating
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Trailing African violets arenít any trickier to grow than their single-crowned counterparts, but grooming them can be a challenge. Is yours refusing to branch out? Growing into a dense tangle? Iíve got some tips on getting your trailer to shape up.

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Read more articles about:  African violets houseplants
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Red Buckeye Welcomes Spring
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Years ago my brothers carried a seed of red buckeye in their pockets for luck. Most folks would argue that such a practice would have no impact on a personís luck. Other people realize that my brothersí outlooks on life were more positive simply because they spent time in the woods. Having the seed in their pockets conjured up pleasant memories of the woods and nature that helped them to see their cups half-full.

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening ornamental trees and shrubs North American native plants hummingbirds

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

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Backyard Orcharding: Itís the Berries!!
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

With the increasing popularity of local foods, many of us are returning to the edible plants of our childhood memories. We may remember visiting Grandpa and going for a walk in the fields to pick wild blackberries in August, or visiting Grandma who had the most luscious strawberries in her garden. Even after many years, we still carry the memory of the aroma and sweet taste of that just-picked, perfectly ripe fruit.

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries orchards grapes strawberries blueberries blackberries raspberries
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Drip Irrigation - Tips, Tricks and Troubleshooting
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Once you have your drip irrigation system up and running, you might find that you have extra time on your hands; time you used to spend watering your plants by hand. I suggest you reserve some of this time for regular reviews of your system's operation and performance and, yes, upgrades . . .

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Read more articles about:  conservation drip irrigation
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What to do if you get sent a bouquet of roses (or if you buy one for yourself)
By Carrie Lamont (carrielamont)

My darling husband got me a bouquet of red roses the other day! He ordered it through an online company three weeks ahead of time, just to be sure. It was supposed to arrive on the eleventh anniversary of the day we first metówhat a sweetheart! Instead, I got a bouquet of red roses the day he ordered it, three weeks earlier than our anniversary. Er ... I guess we won't be using that particular company again!

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Read more articles about:  flower arranging roses recipes
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Winter Walk In The Park
By Adina Dosan (adinamiti)

Snowflakes, freezing temperatures and dark clouds...this is a winter day. There is no way I'm going to walk in the park in this weather! Still, the snow is too beautiful and the trees seem to be powdered with sugar...the atmosphere is magical. Let me take my coat, muffler, cap and gloves and let's go for a walk.

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Read more articles about:  winter gardening ornamental trees and shrubs nature

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

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Hand-Me-Downs
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

Growing up for the first ten years of my life most of my clothes were the tossed off, hand-me-downs from my older cousin. He was a husky and I was a slim but a tight belt fixed most of those problems. I learned to hate the garbage bags brought over by my aunt but, looking back, I have found that hand-me-downs are not all that bad after all.

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Read more articles about:  heirloom plants swapping plants and seeds
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Let your garden "draw" you in
By Summer Walla (summerkid)

After years of wanting to be an artist, dabbling in the arts and timidly hanging around with "real" artists, something wonderful happened.

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Read more articles about:  nature garden art quilting

Monday, February 2, 2009

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New Gardens: Start from Scratch
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

In every gardener's lifetime, he or she has the opportunity (or misfortune, depending on your outlook) to start a garden project from scratch. A project that wasn't someone else's botched job or neglected endeavor. A project that is wholly new and beloved to the creator. Planning is the key.

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Read more articles about:  garden design and landscaping perennial flowers ornamental trees and shrubs

Sunday, February 1, 2009

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Beginnings
By Lee Anne Stark (threegardeners)

Almost every gardener can trace back their love of gardening to one person. Somebody who inspired, or helped them begin in some way.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening gardening with kids

Saturday, January 31, 2009

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Jacob's-Ladder, Greek Valerian and Sky Pilot - Welcome to the Genus Polemonium!
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Polemonium are well known to many gardeners but you may not be aware of the many species that are commonly grown. With the variety that exist, they can be used in the border, woodland garden or rock garden. If you love blue flowers, then Polemonium are for you!

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers Polemonium

Friday, January 30, 2009

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Ahhhhh, Cornbread (Cornmeal)
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

It was during WWII, and I was learning to eat different foods, one at a time. In my memories, every one of those foods was eaten with cornbread. A little later I remember learning to make cornbread in my Granny Ninna's kitchen, it wasn't the best that was ever baked, but it was mine. And I ate every bite of it all by myself.

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Read more articles about:  cooking recipes folklore and legends
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My favorite green beans aren't green
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Green beans are a popular beginner vegetable for you or your kids to plant and to eat. They're easy to grow, cook, or freeze, but they are NOT always green! Add some novelty to your beginner bean experience with my favorite, non-green, green bean variety, 'Royal Burgundy'.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening beans
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Drip Irrigation - Laying It On The Line!
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Here is where the pipe hits the ground, as it were! You know where your water is coming from, you've planned for filtration and valving, and you have an idea about what kind and how many of the drip emitters you want in each zone. Let's piece it all together and see what we've got . . .

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Read more articles about:  conservation drip irrigation

Thursday, January 29, 2009

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Trailing African Violets: Flowing Foliage and Bountiful Blooms
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Iíll never forget the first trailing African violet I saw, cascading from its pot down over the edge of the sales counter at the Carousel of Violets in Winston-Salem. I had no clue that African violets grew in such a fashion, and Iíve been entranced by trailers ever since.

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Read more articles about:  African violets houseplants

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

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Why do plants need SULFUR??
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Sulfur is necessary for all living cells, but humans and animals only get it from plants. In plants, sulfur is essential for nitrogen-fixing nodules on legumes, and necessary in the formation of chlorophyll. Plants use sulfur in the processes of producing proteins, amino acids, enzymes and vitamins. Sulfur also helps the plantís resistance to disease, aids in growth, and in seed formation.

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Read more articles about:  soil and composting fertilizers sulfur
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A Warm Winter's Day
By Stephanie Boles (josette63)

Today it was warm in Northwest Missouri. The thermometer in my front yard read 65 degrees. And for January that is a wonderful gift. I took a break from the hustle and bustle of the day to walk through my gardens and remember them as they are during the warm season. I carried a notebook along so I could take notes as I roamed through the gardens.

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Read more articles about:  winter gardening nature gardening tips

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

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When It Is Time To Move
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

The time will come for most of us, sooner or later, to move. How do you make that move and keep your plants happy? Unless you are one of the few people who can just walk away from all your plants and start over at your new home, you will be digging and preparing for the move up to one year before hand. Here is a short primer on how to get your garden ready to move - without going crazy.

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Read more articles about:  gardening tips perennial flowers moving plants
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Hyssop
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

So strong is the scent of hyssop that at one time women pressed it into their psalm books to keep themselves from falling asleep during church services. I had a bit of a problem the day I carried a sprig of it into church with me.

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Read more articles about:  herbs herbalism Aunt Bett stories

Sunday, January 25, 2009

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Mail Order Experiences with Palms and Cycads
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

This article is a summary of my experiences ordering palms and cycads by mail order.

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Read more articles about:  mail order gardening palms and cycads January mail order series

Saturday, January 24, 2009

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Planting a bridal garden
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Whether you or a loved one is about to be married or you just love the romance of weddings, creating a nuptial themed spot in your garden can be a special undertaking.

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Read more articles about:  garden design and landscaping perennial flowers annual flowers wedding gardens
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Drip Irrigation - Filters, valves and drippers!
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Once you've reviewed your plant collection and determined (roughly) how many zones you will need in order to water all your plants, it's time to begin the building process. Your first consideration is water filtration, followed by what kind of valves you'll use and the type and number of drip emitters you will need. So let's get started . . .

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Read more articles about:  conservation drip irrigation

Friday, January 23, 2009

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Native Herbs, a Cherokee Look At Herbs and Plants
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

With most people today wanting to go back to a more natural and simple way of living, we find increased desire to know the herbs and medicines that the native peoples used over the years to heal themselves. The quest is given to take these herbs and mass produce them so everyone can use the simple cures. What can we learn from the native people and their use of herbs? I am just one voice but this Cherokee will try to help give guidance and a few tips to use along your way.

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Read more articles about:  herbs herbalism North American native plants
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Banking on Diversity: Have you saved a seed lately?
By Larry Rettig (LarryR)

As plant diversity around the globe continues to dwindle, the value of seed banks is becoming increasingly apparent. Precious genes that have benefited us in the past, that may benefit us now, or that will benefit us at some time in the future, are being lost .

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Read more articles about:  heirloom plants seed saving seed banks January mail order series
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Mountain Magic
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Our country is still young enough for many legends and traditions to be remembered. Here are some thoughts for you to ponder, things I brought with me straight out of the Appalachian mountains of southeast Kentucky. I like to think of them as mountain magic.

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Read more articles about:  folklore and legends garden history herbs planting by the moon

Thursday, January 22, 2009

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Specialty growers: a source for that perfect plant
By Jan Recchio (grampapa)

There are many reasons to buy from specialty growers, either through mail-order catalogs or online, but the biggest one is the huge variety of plant material they offer. You can find plants that you have never heard of and did not even know you needed until you read about them. If you have never bought anywhere but from a local nursery or a big box garden center store, you might just have to take the plunge after you read this.

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Read more articles about:  mail order gardening garden centers and nurseries perennial flowers herbs ground covers heaths and heathers
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Mail Order Plants: Is What You See What You Get?
By Angela Carson (Bookerc1)

January is here, with all its accompanying ice and wind and dreary days. In the midst of all this gray and white, there is one bright spot: the colorful catalogs that fill my mailbox every day! I can almost feel the warmth emanating from their sun-filled pages, and I can't wait to curl up on the sofa with my latest catalog to dream of warmer days in the garden.

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Read more articles about:  winter gardening mail order gardening Garden Watchdog January mail order series

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

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A podium for potassium
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Potassium, the ďKĒ of ďNPKĒ, is an essential plant growth nutrient used for transpiration (movement of water vapor) and regulation of carbon dioxide levels by means of opening the stoma or pores in the cells. Plants take in atmospheric carbon dioxide for photosynthesis (converting sunlight into the energy necessary to make carbohydrates/sugars), and in the process, give off the oxygen we need.

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Read more articles about:  soil and composting fertilizers potassium
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Teachable moments: My first mail order
By April (Aunt_A)

Is there a way to encourage very young children to garden? My mom knew a secret or two, even though she was never a Master Gardener and we never had perfectly weeded gardens. We did, however, grow some wonderful plants in the hills of New York state. It was in those fertile hills, in the deep dead of a dreadful winter, that I learned to love plants. Yes, mom knew a secret that I will share with you.

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Read more articles about:  mail order gardening gardening with kids January mail order series

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