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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, September 25, 2008

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Coffee tasting on the Big Island of Hawaii
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Some folks go on wine tasting tours of Napa Valley. We’re coffee drinkers. Hawaii’s “Kona Coast” has some of the best coffee in the world!

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Read more articles about:  coffee tropicals island life September coffee series
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I've Been Expecting You -- PART TWO
By Benjamin Hill (BennysPlace)

I had prepared a special place in my garden to hopefully attract some butterflies. One sure way was to plant passionflower vines. With the vines planted, I waited anxiously for some butterflies to arrive.

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Read more articles about:  butterflies insects backyard habitats Passifloras
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Botany for Gardeners - Plant Growth Hormones
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Plant growth and development is mediated by biochemicals known as plant growth regulators, or plant hormones. The discovery of these compounds has made possible the reproduction of plants via micropropagation, or tissue culture. Read on to learn more about these hormones, and what they do . . .

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Read more articles about:  botany propagating plants

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

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Save your money: Delicious cups of wonder from the world of COFFEE
By April (Aunt_A)

Go way beyond cream and sugar. Why should a cup of coffee cost you $4 or more? Do you love specialty coffee drinks? Enjoy these delicious and easy cups of wonder.

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Read more articles about:  recipes coffee September coffee series
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The Green Bean that’s an Open Pollinated Wonder: The Kentucky Wonder!
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

I always thought green beans were just that: ordinary green beans… no difference in any of them, except for the very thin and expensive French Haricots Vert that I dearly love. As Fate would have it, I was recently proved wrong, resulting in a delightful and tasteful experience. Now my first green bean “love” has an equal.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening beans green beans heirloom plants
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I’ve Been Expecting You
By Benjamin Hill (BennysPlace)

The title of this article should really be “Be careful for what you wish for because it just may come true.” When I hear the word passionflower vine I automatically recall a visit to a friend’s house. As he gave the tour of his garden he pointed up and said “And this is what is left of the passionflower vines once the caterpillars were finished with them.”

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Read more articles about:  butterflies insects backyard habitats Passifloras

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

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A Short History of the Garden
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

Ever look out your window and wonder how everything you have there got started? How did we get beds and rows, pots and planters? When did the homes have their own gardens? This will be a short dive into the world of gardens and its rich and very ancient history.

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Read more articles about:  garden history
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The Truth about Chicory
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

The sun comes up and we blindly make our way to that first cup of morning sustenance. With the first sip, our eyes open slowly and we decide we might be able to make it through another day. There is nothing like that first cup of coffee, unless it is your first cup of chicory!

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Read more articles about:  cooking recipes folklore and legends plant-based dyes chicory September coffee series

Saturday, September 20, 2008

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The Monochromatic Garden-Pinks
By Jocelyn Wyatt (crimsontsavo)

Ring around the rosy, pocket full of posies...

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers annual flowers color theory Dianthus pinks bouquets
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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 insects

Thursday, September 18, 2008

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Seed swapping FUN for the uninitiated (or The Rules Ain't that Bad)
By Jan Recchio (grampapa)

Autumn is in the air, this season's flowers are developing seedheads and that means that the fall seed swaps will be starting soon here at Dave's Garden. Here are some thoughts about how to have fun trading seeds.

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Read more articles about:  fall gardening swapping plants and seeds gardening tips seed saving
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Botany for Gardeners - Mitosis and Meiosis in Plants
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Here I intend to make plant growth and reproduction at the cellular level--a very complex subject--much more understandable. As a trained scientist, I, too, have found many descriptions of these processes to be difficult to grasp. My hope is that you will have a good handle on these after this article...

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Read more articles about:  botany

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

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Making a Simple Rain Barrel
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Water, too much or not enough, has been in the news a lot recently. As gardeners, we are sensitive to water availability. Too much water, and our flowers and crops drown. Too little water, and our flowers and crops shrivel and dry up. Water ‘ownership’ leads to fighting between neighbors and even neighboring states. One way to have free water (if your state permits) is a catchment system like this simple rain barrel.

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Read more articles about:  conservation rain barrels

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

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Water Plants for Shallow Water and Bogs
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

Most people really get into the water garden thing one step at a time. The first step into this wonderful world is getting into plants for shallow water and bog plants. This is a stunning and easy way to get your feet wet and add a new dimension to the garden.

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Read more articles about:  ponds and water gardens bogs

Sunday, September 14, 2008

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Bordering the Southern Driveway: Adding Interest to a Long, Winding Lane
By Jacqueline Cross (libellule)

We have all seen them; winding lanes leading to huge estates and small homes alike. Entrances to homes that are planted with trees, shrubs and flowers tend to leave lasting memories.

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

Saturday, September 13, 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 insects dragonflies

Friday, September 12, 2008

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For the thousandth time, it's NOT a palm
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Sometimes palms are not palms. This article is for those that don't know what I mean by that.

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Read more articles about:  botany palms and cycads plant identification plant names
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Little Kids and Seed Balls
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

I loved to make mud pies, and even more I loved to make things with clay. There was plenty of both where I grew up, and sometimes the mud and clay were intermingled. When I accidentally added seeds to the mix, the rain of spring and the sunshine of summer often brought a nice surprise. This is a gardening project for little people, and maybe for big folks, too.

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Read more articles about:  North American native plants gardening with kids seed bombs seed balls clay soil

Thursday, September 11, 2008

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Botany for Gardeners - Plant Functions II
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

The process of photosynthesis in plants is of such import that were we to understand it completely and be able to duplicate it industrially, we could solve many of today's economic woes. For our purposes here, though, understanding the basics of the process is our objective . . .

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Read more articles about:  botany

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

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Purslane, An Edible and Beneficial Garden Weed
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

I first discovered this weed growing rampantly in the cracks of my sidewalk years ago and made every effort to eradicate it. Later I learned it is called purslane, in the same family as moss rose. This year I have learned two more things about it. The first is that it is edible; the second is that it benefits my garden as a weed.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening invasives and weeds purslane Portulaca

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

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Trash Trees: Why We Love Them
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

We have all seen that plant… that tree that everyone hates but in my mind I just have to have one… I have to plant it over there – maybe out of the way… but for some reason I just need that tree. I might hide it, might never ever talk about it, but why did I plant that tree there in the first place?

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs invasives and weeds mimosas Albizia trash trees
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Unusual and Bizarre Plants - The Whisk Ferns
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

This little plant is quite familiar to me as I have had them spring up as volunteers from time to time in pots containing other plants. I have a nice group of them growing among the tightly packed roots at the base of a large Royal Palm. This is no problem for these plants, as they have no roots. No leaves, either! Whoa. . .read on to learn more. . .

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Read more articles about:  tropicals container gardening unusual plants

Sunday, September 7, 2008

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Palm trees of the Mascareignes archipelago
By Jean-Jacques Segalen (jjacques)

Palm trees have a quite special look and immediately make people think of the tropics even if some species grow in temperate areas. The Mascareignes archipelago has its share, including a few endemic species.

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Read more articles about:  palms and cycads native plants
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Introduction to Cycas, one of the largest genera of Cycads
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Cycas include some of the most commonly grown potted as well as landscape cycads in cultivation... but there are many many more! This article serves as an introduction to some of these amazing plants grown all around the world.

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Read more articles about:  palms and cycads

Friday, September 5, 2008

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Ode to the Garbanzo Bean
By Jeannette Adams (adamsbydezign)

What do we really know about the Garbanzo bean? The uses for this easy to grow little vegetable friend are almost limitless.

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Read more articles about:  cooking vegetable gardening legumes beans

Thursday, September 4, 2008

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Graptopetalums, Pachyphytums and their hybrids: Echeveria look-alikes
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Often overlooked, these Mexican succulent rosette plants are among the best landscape and potted plants in the family Crassulaceae. And their hybrids with Echeveria are even better.

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Read more articles about:  cactus and succulents
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Botany for Gardeners - Plant Functions I
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

The study of how plants function is known as Plant Physiology. In this and following articles I'll introduce you to the essential plant functions and how they relate to everyday gardening.

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Read more articles about:  botany

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

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The Easily Grown, Pungent Condiment: Horseradish
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

The Horseradish Root has been well known as a condiment for fish and beef since the Middle Ages and more recently in a cocktail sauce or a Bloody Mary. The medicinal uses are less familiar although the Egyptians knew about horseradish as far back as 1500 B.C, and medicinal uses were recorded by the Greek scholar and herbalist Pliny the Elder, AD 23-AD 79.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening garden history horseradish
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The Search for a Perfect Cactus - Transplanting My Daughter to College
By Carrie Lamont (carrielamont)

Transplanting a Zone 6 New England daughter into a zone 8 southwestern college. Will she survive the transplant shock? Will I? And what IS that cactus, anyway?

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Read more articles about:  xeriscaping cactus and succulents desert gardening Saguaro cactus

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

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Simple and Basic Houseplants
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

You have the space but is getting that first house plant a hard thing for you to do? Or do you have a few house plants and are looking for a few more to add to your collection? Here is a short list of a few very simple and very easy house plants for you to look at and consider adding to your indoor “garden”.

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Read more articles about:  houseplants
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A Story about Bouncing Bett
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Bouncing Bet must have been named after my great Aunt Bett. There was no doubt about it. One look at those tiny white flowers bouncing around in the sun all summer long and I could just see her five steps ahead of me bouncing up the mountainside. It never mattered how old she was, she always had white hair, and when she took that bonnet off, her white curls bounced in the sunshine.

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Read more articles about:  herbs invasives and weeds soapwort Saponaria Aunt Bett stories

Monday, September 1, 2008

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Sunflower History- From Humble Wildflower to International Superpower
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

So simple: one big flower on a stem. So complex: each flower holds hundreds of seeds and each seed holds countless genes. Within the simple North American sunflower lay the genetic material that allowed humans to develop the species into a worldwide crop. Here's a brief history of Helianthus annuus, from its roots as a wildflower to its current status as an important agricultural species.

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Read more articles about:  annual flowers sunflowers Helianthus

Saturday, August 30, 2008

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Damage Control: Can This Plant Be Saved?
By Tamara Galbraith (TexasTam)

Gardeners, have you ever returned from vacation to find your plants in a state of disaster? After a recent two week trip to Belize, I found a lot of work waiting for me in the garden...but it wasn't as bad as I initially thought, thanks to careful examination and diagnosis.

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Read more articles about:  diseases insects pests gardening tips
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The Springtime Blues - Grape Hyacinths
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Grape hyacinths are a staple in the spring garden. Few other lesser spring bulbs have flowers in such an intense blue (possibly excepting Scilla). They combine beautifully with daffodils and tulips. Most are easy to grow, multiple quickly and have lovely fragrances. There are a surprising number of lesser known grape hyacinths to choose from, some quite bizarre. This article will introduce you to some of the divesrity that exists among grape hyacinths.

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening bulbs Muscari
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Cucumbers: Sweet, Crunchy Slices of Summer
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

During cucumber season, my mandoline becomes my favorite kitchen gadget. With it, cucumbers practically slice themselves – thinly and evenly, piling up in delectable heaps to be used in every way imaginable. Whether you use a mandoline or a trusty knife, you’ll love freshly sliced cucumbers in everything from hors d’oeuvres to refrigerator pickles!

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening summer gardening canning and preserving foods recipes cucumbers pickles
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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!

Continue reading »

Read more articles about:  garden humor gardening and our pets YSTC

Friday, August 29, 2008

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Quest for the Black Rose
By Jan Recchio (grampapa)

The question is always out there. We who love roses hear it now and again. Is there a black rose? Where can I find one?

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Read more articles about:  roses black roses mail order gardening

Thursday, August 28, 2008

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Botany for Gardeners - Going Underground
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

A stroll through your garden will reveal flowers, fruits, stems, branches and leaves, but you'll have to do some digging to see the rest of your plant. Here I'll introduce you to the underground plant parts, including roots and a variety of underground storage organs that are used by plants and by us as food sources . . .

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Read more articles about:  botany bulbs

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

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Plums – The Wonder Fruit, How to Grow It.
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

What is the superhero of the fruit tree world? Why the humble Plum, able to thrive in places other fruits have long forgotten, live in famine or in deluge, and be able to produce at a very young age. This is one fruit tree you need in your garden. They are stunning in full bloom or fruit.

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries plums
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Aunt Bett, Church, and the Yarrow Experience
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

This is one of the funniest Aunt Bett stories I will ever tell you. If you have ever laughed out loud at a most inappropriate time, you will surely understand the quandary I found myself in. A church service is a serious event, but in this one instance.....well, I might as well just take you with me on this little trip back to my twelfth year.

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Read more articles about:  North American native plants Achillea yarrow folklore and legends allergies Aunt Bett stories

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